Jun 17

[press release] X Japan Members Yoshiki & Sugizo to Appear & Perform at Otakon® 2010

Baltimore, MD (June 17, 2010) – YOSHIKI and SUGIZO, of the legendary visual kei rock band X JAPAN, will make a special appearance and give a brief performance at Otakon 2010’s Masquerade – just one (1) week prior to the band’s appearance at Lollapalooza in Chicago. YOSHIKI previously appeared at Otakon in 2006, but this will be SUGIZO’s first visit to the convention. Full details on the appearance will be posted to the convention website in coming weeks at www.otakon.com.


The heart of X Japan is Yoshiki – songwriter, drummer, and classically-trained pianist who also plays guitar, bass and trumpet. His double-record classical album, Eternal Melody (1993) was co-produced and arranged by the legendary George Martin, recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and remains one of Japan’s most successful classical releases. For Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved, the 1994 KISS tribute album, Yoshiki arranged and produced “Black Diamond” as a piano concerto, prompting Rolling Stone magazine to comment in its CD review, “the ingenuity award must go to Yoshiki…” Yoshiki has produced some of Japan’s most influential bands, including Dir en grey and Glay. At the request of the Japanese government in 1999, Yoshiki composed a piano concerto and performed it with a 77-piece orchestra to commemorate the Emperor of Japan’s 10th anniversary on the throne. In 2005, he was named the Music Director for the 2005 World Expo, composed the event’s theme song, and conducted the orchestra at the opening ceremonies. Yoshiki also wrote the X Japan song “I.V.” for the 2007 international blockbuster film, “Saw IV,” which played over the film’s closing credits.


Originally the guitarist of another pioneering visual kei band, Luna Sea, began performing with XJAPAN in 2008 for the X-JAPAN’s Tokyo Dome reunion concerts and was made a formal member of XJAPAN last year during the Hong Kong stop of the band’s world tour.


Calling X Japan the most successful rock band in Japan is not a statement made lightly. X Japan has sold more than 30-million albums, singles and videos, headlined and sold out Japan’s 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome 18 times – so far – and has started playing to tens of thousands of fans outside of Japan. Going back to the 1980s, the band’s look and sound sparked a global interest in Japanese entertainment, especially with the Japanese cultural rock phenomenon, “Visual-Kei,” a movement X Japan pioneered that went on to become a catalyst for today’s worldwide Anime craze.

X Japan was formed in 1982 (calling themselves X) by Yoshiki and Toshi while still high school students. Over the next 13 years, the band released five studio albums – Vanishing Vision (1988), Blue Blood (1989) Jealousy (1991), Art of Life (1993) and Dahlia (1996), as well as six live albums, 10 compilation albums, and 15 video albums. X Japan was one of the first Japanese bands to achieve mainstream success while on an independent label – Yoshiki’s own Extasy Records. The band was so popular, SEGA produced an X Japan video game. In the fall of 1997, the band’s lead singer, Toshi, decided to leave X Japan, which lead to the dissolution of the band. Four months later, Hide, X Japan’s original lead guitarist, was found dead in his Tokyo apartment. At his funeral, more than 50,000 fans came to mourn his passing, and in May, 2010, even more fans stood in line at a memorial service to pay their respects and mark the 12th anniversary of his tragic death. In early 2007, Yoshiki and Toshi started working together again, and later that year, X Japan officially reformed. During 2008-9, the band launched its reunion tour, being bigger than ever, and sold out everywhere it played. In January, 2010, X Japan filmed a music video on the rooftop of Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre, with a throng of some 8,000 U.S. fans taking part in the shoot on Hollywood Blvd.

The members of X Japan – Yoshiki, Toshi (vocals), Pata (guitarist), Heath (bass), and Sugizo (guitar) – have been spending time in Yoshiki’s Los Angeles recording studio working on what will be the band’s U.S. debut, and its first album sung in English. “We decided to record English lyrics for four or five of our most popular, previously released songs,” Yoshiki explained, “and then write an additional four or five brand new songs, also sung in English. We have worked very hard on this album, and are very excited to present our music to the American rock fans.”

Immediately following their August Lollapalooza set, X Japan will fly back to Tokyo where they will play their biggest concert ever – headlining two nights at the Nissan Stadium, performing to nearly 150,000 fans.


1 ping

  1. Hikari Ishihara

    Ummm… Excuse me I grew up on X JAPAN… Bakas they are the biggest thing from Japan next to Miyavi and Gackt.

  2. Kazuyuki

    Mmm, i wouldn’t call them the biggest rock band from japan, B’z are alot more popular and have sold aot more than them, also had more no.1 singles in the charts, plus B’z also are th only Asian band to have their name on the American rock walk of fame.

    1. Kathy Chee

      Believe me, I wouldn’t call XJapan the biggest by a long shot. Publicists are hired to inflate the words.

  1. Kataskeui Istoselidon

    Kataskeui Istoselidon…

    [...][press release] X Japan Members Yoshiki & Sugizo to Appear & Perform at Otakon® 2010 « purple SKY – A Japanese Music Collaborative (Jrock, Jpop and Visual Kei)[...]…

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