Yoshiki’s “Yoshikimono” Selected By Tokyo National Museum For Special Kimono Exhibition

 

World-renowned artist and singer Yoshiki will see his “Yoshikimono” line appear at an exhibition at the Tokyo National Museum from June 30th to August 23rd. The Tokyo National Museum’s special “KIMONO” exhibition will include “Yoshikimono” designs from the Japanese superstar. Yoshikimono 2020 designs represent “The Modern Era” In Collaboration with American comic book icon Stan Lee and Japanese Anime Attack On Titan. The Stan Lee comic book Blood Red Dragon, was created by Lee and based the comic on Yoshiki. Continue reading

Yoshiki Donates $94,000 To the Victims of the Kyoto Animation Fire

Legendary X-Japan leader and solo artist Yoshiki had donated 10 million yen (approx. $94,000 USD) in support of the victims and survivors of the Kyoto Animation fire. The fire decimated the studio on July 18. Heartbroken by the news of the fire, Yoshiki made the donation to the dedicated support fund established by Kyoto Animation through his 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Yoshiki Foundation America. The incident affected Yoshiki deeply due to his personal and professional connection to anime which has lasted for over two decades, and he was moved to take action as soon as possible. Continue reading

HYDE – Anti

One of the best things about reviewing music, in my opinion, is having a music-savvy senior editor that encourages me to review music that is not in my wheelhouse. I have realized that if I was left to my own devices, I would likely stay in my little Heavy Metal utopia, reviewing only what I picked. I received the promo email from my editor about doing a review of Japanese act HYDE. Full disclosure, the only musical act I was familiar with from Japan was Babymetal. So, when I got the promo of HYDE’s new album, Anti, (UMG), I felt a tiny twinge of trepidation. After all, what do I know about Japanese music? Absolutely nada. How was I going to do a fair an accurate review of this music was my query. As soon as the first track off of Anti, started playing, all my fears of doing an inadequate review dissipated. The music that came pouring into my earbuds was the kind of music that bridges all humanity. HYDE’s music possesses a universal sound that almost any person can enjoy or relate to. On a personal note, I broke out in goosebumps from about 5 seconds into listening to the album, an involuntary reaction my body reserves for only the best soul touching music. Continue reading

Yoshiki Teams With The H Collective On xXx 4 Film, Starring Vin Diesel

Celebrated composer and musician Yoshiki (X Japan)will compose music for the soundtrack to the next installment of the xXx movie franchise, xXx 4, contributing the films’ main theme song. xXx 4 is in pre-production with casting currently underway, and principal photography set to commence this year. In addition, The H Collective has invested in its first animated feature, Spycies, an action spy comedy produced by Chinese entertainment giant iQiyi. Yoshiki will be working on the theme song and music for the feature which has been animated in France by Lux Populi Production. Spycies will be released in theatres across China on August 8th, 2019. Continue reading

X Japan Shares Trailer For Their “No Audience” Concert

This fall X Japan was to play three sold-out nights in their homeland. Sadly, the third night was abruptly canceled due to the impending weather effects of Typhoon Trami. With concern for the safety of fans as their top priority, X Japan performed an unprecedented large-scale “closed-door concert” with complete stage effects and crew which was broadcast to an audience of over 1 million viewers. The No Audience concert is now being released and you can watch the teaser trailer, shared by Yoshiki on his YouTube channel right now and order it below!

Continue reading

Yoshiki Shares Performance Video Featuring Sarah Brightman of “Miracle”

Yoshiki has shared a new performance video of his track ‘Miracle’, featuring legendary singer Sarah Brightman. As previously reported the two performed together at the sold-out “Yoshiki Classical” concerts in Japan recently, and the two will appear in just a few exclusive shows together in America in 2019. This track is phenomenal, as two of music’s true greats come together to make something really special for the fans. Continue reading

Watch Marilyn Manson And X-Japan Cover “Sweet Dreams” At Coachella

As previously reported, Marilyn Manson was a guest on stage at X-Japan’s second-weekend headline appearance at Coachella 2018. Joining X-Japan frontman Yoshiki at the piano, the duo performed Manson’s legendary version of 1980s classic ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)’, by Eurythmics. Watch it below! Continue reading

X Japan: Live at Madison Square Garden, New York City

x-japan

X Japan are, without a doubt, Japan’s most enduring and influential rock band. And yes, even though they are, by the by, a Metal band, their sound, their aura, and their tendency to do it big and loud, is very much based in the kind of spectacle rock at its finest is supposed to create. Taking on Madison Square Garden was the band’s dream concert since they began to see their dedication turn into liquid success shortly before the untimely death of guitarist Hide, who is, in spirit, still considered by fans and the band to be part of the action.

Untold amounts of anticipation could be sensed around the venue, sitting atop the historic Penn Station in the center of New York. Fans milled around, periodically erupting into the signature call-and-response warcry of “We Are! X!”, and judging by how much X Japan merch and hide/80s Toshi cosplay was to be seen, nobody cared about being ‘that guy’. To date, Iron Maiden or Kiss can get away with that, is how huge X Japan is as a force of rock history. With every minute that wasn’t 8:00 pm Eastern time, I swear my heart crept closer to my throat as the symphonic rendition of ‘Amethyst’ played over the speaker. Upon the fateful hour’s arrival, the grandfathers of J-Rock themselves stepped onstage, glorious as they ever have been, kicking off with a one-two hit of ‘Jade’ and ‘Rusty Nail’, pyrotechnics included, mercilessly hooking the already engaged audience with the mighty power metal number ‘Silent Jealousy’, which certainly got heads banging vigorously as Madison Square Garden has probably never seen.

1408029589XjapanNewPhoto_Media2

 

Following a new song entitled ‘Beneath The Skin’ from an upcoming album -which I’m sure will be off the charts- entertaining guitar/bass duel where Pata and Heath demonstrated the chemistry that enables them to time and time again wow the general populace of the world with both spur-of-the-moment innovation and precision mastery. Loosing the more standard hard rock number ‘Drain’ before an epic violin solo by Sugizo, the time was ripe for ‘Kurenai’, a piece as invigoratingly metal as it is tastefully composed. Another new song, ‘Hero’, had Toshi inviting the audience -and Yoshiki too, but he said “No fuckin’ way”- to sing along with the chorus, complete with words on the screen. The guys in X Japan are nothing if not interactive. After the appropriately titled ‘Born to be Free’, the band takes a well-earned intermission while Yoshiki, composer extraordinaire, took the stage hitoride to grace us with a piano solo featuring Tchaikovsky’s ‘Swan Lake’, and even ‘Star Spangled Banner’ made an appearance at one point too. So meaningful was this concert to the band, and just being able to finally give American fans the show they were waiting for, it was impossible to see this as hackneyed in the slightest, and I’m unpatriotic almost to the point of treason sometimes.

Yoshiki’s mindblowing drum solo, complete with symphonic backing, was a whole show in and of itself. Reaching and maintaining heights of climactic power I could have never imagined while his drumset hovered about on a glittering platform, and select wristbands throughout the audience did the same, it was a testament to the amount of time the band has spent in perfecting their art. Speaking of art, I cried at last when, after a moment to let Yoshiki cool down after his time as a comet, the band played ‘Forever Love’, displaying images of old concerts, them just hanging out, and enjoying all that rock allowed them to as the massively creative individuals they are. The real tearjerker was arguably Yoshiki’s telling the story of the band’s trials and struggles over the years, of his and Toshi’s nearly half-century of friendship, and their gratitude for having fans and professionals that cared enough to bring to life the event of which I type. Restarting the rock with their comeback song, ‘I.V.’, followed by the endlessly anthemic rager ‘X’, and plenty of throat-rending shouts of “We Are!” by Yoshiki, always to a louder and more impassioned response of “X!” from the crowd, they took leave of the stage once again, but no one was fooled. They still hadn’t played ‘Endless Rain’ or ‘Art of Life’ yet.

I’m sure you can fill in the blanks from here.

Ending with an acoustic version of ‘Forever Love’ over the speakers as the band pelted the audience with roses -to say nothing of the confetti, streamers, and fireworks- and Yoshiki’s body itself -they weren’t ready for that stagedive-, I was left in emotional rapture. I’d laughed, I’d cried, I’d screamed like a barbarian, I’d cried more, and I sure as hell cried a little more. Literally a once in a lifetime concert, among the best live music events I’ve witnessed, and, come to think of it, the only concert I feel funny about calling a ‘show’; it would seem blasphemous to ever think of X Japan as a gig I decided to see. It was more of a spiritual obligation. After all:

We are X.

Sean Pierre-Antoine with XJapanMSG cosplayer

Sean Pierre-Antoine with XJapanMSG cosplayer

X Japan on Facebook

SEAN PIERRE-ANTOINE