Interview by Miriam C.
Who are X JAPAN and Yoshiki? Hard to say because X JAPAN, although in their home country they have sold something like 30 millions of copies, represents more than a band that thru an emotional rollercoaster of death, love, loss and desperation managed to revolutionize the entire Japanese cultural environment during the 80s. I mention the word “death” because the story of this heavy metal band is scattered with the worst tragedies ever which the new musical documentary “We Are X” (which also it is accompanied with an audio OST: we did talked about it on April here) offers an in-depth examination and although the rockstar don’t shy away from the cameras confesses that “it was painful when I was having the interviews about my past: talking about my father [‘s suicide], Hide’s and Taiji‘s death – it was pretty hard and only in few interviews I’ve opened up my heart and it took several times to open my heart to the director (Stephen Kijak) but eventually, those interview become mostly like a therapeutic process”. “We Are X”, the movie out now in the cinemas across the Europe, “ is not only a musical documentary” on top of this “it kinda expands the X JAPAN cultural lifestyle” and it’s surprising how a relatively unknown band like X JAPAN is getting so much good positive feedback although the drummer confirms that “our story is very very dramatic and a lot of people told me “it’s an amazing material for a documentary” but I didn’t expect this kind of reaction”: the documentary was featured in several well-known indie festivals such as Sundance (winning, by the way, the Special Jury Award for Best Editing) and South by Southwest (this time winning the Audience Award for Excellence in Title Design).
It’s tough, personally, to recollect my emotions while I was interviewing Mr.Yoshiki because I felt daunted by his presence but at the same time I’ve realized that from a person with such a peculiar personal story I can only get inspired in my private life and about this he says: “basically nothing is impossible and basically anything can be possible so, we did get back from an almost hell: living after Hide’s death and past everything we’ve experienced but we’re still here and we did come back from this and we’re trying to move forward so, everything is possible, so don’t give up”. Despite, past and presence setbacks – including a neck surgery from which the band leader is trying to recover although it will be complicated since “I have to find a way because I’ve replaced a disk and so, I have play the drums but I have to do without exaggerating and it’s scary but I think I’ll go through the stage and the drama and the drums as hard as I can” – X JAPAN are looking forward to publish their long awaited album next year (yeah, people you have to consider that the band was working on it “for over 10 years and it’s our first album in over 22 years and I’ve been working on it for over 10 years”): “this time is really happening, I mean the album is really 99% done and I just have to go back to the studio and add the final touches then mix it” and when enquired about what the fans can expect from it, Yoshiki, without any doubts, confirms that “It will be very edgy and some songs are pretty heavy, some songs are very melodious. I think it will be an evolved version of our past albums” and despite the tragedies, it’s incredible how all this can be a source of inspiration, as he candidly admits: “Pretty much everything what I’ve experienced after the last album so all those things happening to us after 20 years including Hide’s death and Toshi’s brainwash. Everything not only band related stuff but everything I’ve felt and I’ve put my entire emotions on it”. Yoshiki himself feels that “We Are X” and the presence of the band itself has a more higher purpose: “I feel like I have a mission to accomplish because it’s always my, Hide and Taiji’s dream to be in the movie and try to make it in the world and not only Japan, so as long I’m doing this, people want to find out about X JAPAN eventually about Hide and Taiji’s story – I want to spread their legacy as it is so, I just have to this and I cannot stop until we accomplish our dreams”. No, Yoshiki Hayashi is not your latest messiah and he doesn’t plan to brainwash anybody (no pun intended) – he’s just a regular living man with his pain and personal suffering that wants to teach you that give up in extreme situation is wrong. Yoshiki is more than a musician, he’s someone from which everybody can learn from and X JAPAN’s history teach us that it’s possible to rise again from ashes – as their latest single “Born to Be Free” states “Nobody can steal our life away”. Concluding, this is not a promotional advert but an heartfelt thought dedicated to you all: go at your nearest cinema nearby, search for “We Are X” and enjoy this experience, believe me, because you won’t regret it. You end up crying like in a real drama movie.