X JAPAN (L-R): Pata (guitar), Heath (bass), Yoshiki (composer, drums, piano), Toshi (vocals) and Sugizo (violin, guitar)
As X JAPAN lay down tracks in a Los Angeles studio for their as-yet-untitled album, Japan’s most iconic rock band have announced that the world premiere of the new documentary film from Passion Pictures–‘WE ARE X’–will take place this week at the Sundance Film Festival. ‘WE ARE X’ explores the evolution, groundbreaking history and hopeful future of the land of the rising sun’s most legendary rock group. X JAPAN have sold 30 million singles and albums combined and continue to tour the world performing sold-out shows to massive arenas in 16 countries throughout the U.S. and Europe.
On Friday, January 22 at 9pm, YOSHIKI–songwriter, drummer, classically-trained pianist and the creative force of X JAPAN–will perform live with a string quartet for the first-ever Sundance Festival Base Camp party, presented by Canada Goose. YOSHIKI will headline the Festival Base Camp, a new outdoor venue located at Swede Alley, behind Main Street. Other artists confirmed to perform include Dan Deacon, Flying Lotus and Neon Indian.
“It’s overwhelming to see the full documentary ‘WE ARE X,’ says Yoshiki of X JAPAN. Stephen Kijak and John Battsek opened doors, which I shut and never intended to re-open. I didn’t realize that on the other side, dark memories could co-exist with a meaningful future. Audiences will be a witness to our history and future.”
Saturday, January 23 will mark the world premiere of ‘WE ARE X’ in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at Prospector Square Theater in Park City at 2:30pm. YOSHIKI and the film team will be on hand for the red carpet at 2:00pm and a Q&A after the premiere. ‘WE ARE X’ was created by the production team behind the Academy Award- winning film Searching For Sugarman: producer John Battsek (Passion Pictures) alongside renowned director Stephen Kijak (Stones In Exile and Scott Walker: 30 Century Man— (executive produced by David Bowie). From X JAPAN’s massive success (over 30 million albums, singles and videos sold) and sold-out tours worldwide, ‘WE ARE X’ chronicles the triumphs and tragedies of this legendary quintet who will never give up. On Sunday, January 24, YOSHIKI will perform live at the ASCAP CAFÉ at Sundance at 4:00pm.
X JAPAN initially split up in 1997 after playing their fifth New Year’s Eve show at the 55,000-capacity Tokyo Dome; they have now sold out the Tokyo Dome a record 18 times. The group reformed in 2007 and have released three singles: “I.V.” in 2008, “Jade” in 2011 and “Born To Be Free” in late 2015. They’ve been touring worldwide ever since–and in October 2014, the group performed their debut Madison Square Garden show in New York before announcing the new album and ‘WE ARE X’ film releases slated for 2016.