NEW AWARD-WINNING MUSIC DOCUMENTARY FILM
‘WE ARE X’
“EXCELLENCE IN TITLE DESIGN“
AT SXSW FILM FESTIVAL 2016 IN AUSTIN, TX
Yoshiki Performs Two Special Live Shows During SXSW Music Festival
X JAPAN Dominate Social Media Conversation At SXSW (here)
Watch The Official Trailer For ‘WE ARE X‘ (here)
‘WE ARE X’ Wins World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award For
At 2016 Sundance Film Festival
For SXSW Music & Film Festival photos re Yoshiki’s performances, download here:
Watch and share the official trailer for ‘WE ARE X’ here: https://youtu.be/T3yJhsrgg4g.
The award-winning, new music documentary on the Japanese rock group X JAPAN titled ‘WE ARE X’–from Passion Pictures–has won the SXSW Film Festival Audience Award for “Excellence In Title Design” (here). ‘WE ARE X’-which explores the evolution, groundbreaking history and hopeful future of the land of the rising sun’s most culturally significant and iconic rock group, X JAPAN–made its SXSW premiere as part of the “24 Beats Per Second” category showcasing the sounds, culture and influence of music and musicians with an emphasis on documentary. The SXSW Award-winning title design for ‘WE ARE X’ was created by Allison and Ant Brownmoore of Blue Spill.
X JAPAN and ‘WE ARE X’ dominated social media conversation during SXSW 2016 Music & Film weeks. The group marked the #2 most-used hashtag at SXSW this year: #X JAPAN and #WE ARE X-related tweets received (source: Keyhole and Forbes) just under 11 million impressions throughout the week (Posts: 11,888, Users who Posted: 1,799, Reach: 2,485,559, Impressions: 10,914,757). For a detailed breakdown, read “How POTUS and X JAPAN Dominated Social Media At SXSW” (here).
YOSHIKI–songwriter, drummer, classically-trained pianist and the creative force of X JAPAN–performed a special set for the captivated SXSW crowd of movie-goers following the final screening of ‘WE ARE X’ at the Paramount Theatre in Austin on Friday, March 18. YOSHIKI’s classical versions of X JAPAN’s songs with a string quartet live on stage garnered a standing ovation following his performance.Directly after the Paramount screening and performance, YOSHIKI ran to the “Japan Nite” event at the Elysium in Austin and offered another striking live performance for the standing room only crowd (event photo link above and below). Three of the scheduled bands for “Japan Nite” were unable to make it to Austin due to visa issues and Yoshiki stepped in to support the long-running SXSW event.
YOSHIKI performs at the Paramount Theatre in Austin during SXSW 2016.
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 continue to tour the world, performing sold-out shows at major arenas in 16 countries throughout the U.S. and Europe. ‘WE ARE X’ was produced by John Battsek of Passion Pictures, producer of two Academy Award-winning documentaries (Searching For SugarMan, One Day In September), and directed by Stephen Kijak (Stones In Exile, Scott Walker: 30th Century Man). The film also wonthe Special Jury Award for “Best Editing”at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival Awards (Jan. 20) in Park City, UT. ‘WE ARE X’–edited by Mako Kamitsuna and John Maringuoin and assisted by June Okada–earned rousing ovations during its six Sundance screenings throughout that film festival.
X JAPAN—YOSHIKI (drums/piano/composer), TOSHI (vocals), PATA (guitar), HEATH (bass), SUGIZO (violin/guitar) alongside their fallen brothers HIDE (guitars, 1987-1997) and TAIJI (1986-1992)–are currently laying down tracks in a Los Angeles studio for their as-yet-untitled album, which is due for a worldwide release in late 2016.
Check out current praise from the media for ‘WE ARE X’:
‘WE ARE X’
“…a film celebrating the group’s survival through tragedy and internal strife …”
—John Defore, THE HOLLYWOORD REPORTER
“X Japan, the subject of this eye-popping, extremely enjoyable documentary, are the most important band Japan ever produced, one of the most popular bands on the planet … and if you live in the West, it is entirely possible you have no idea who they are.”
—Joe Gross, AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN (Review, “25 Must-see films at
“The story of the band X Japan is, really, a meditation on the triumph that’s often buried somewhere amid senseless tragedy….Yoshiki’s story is the central narrative here, and through his personal tales, dazzling footage of the band preparing for a 2014 Madison Square Garden run and some serious archival deep-dives (including an unexpected brush with David Lynch!), the director threads together a compelling narrative that will resonate with fans and new listeners alike. …While soft-spoken and gracious with his stories, Yoshiki is every bit the larger-than-life force of rock he appears to be onscreen…”
–Paula Mejia, NEWSWEEK
“The movie, by director Stephen Kijak, is an extremely entertaining glimpse at a band that many Westerners aren’t familiar with but are as huge in their native country and should be appealing to fans of classic-sounding metal with a glam-rock/hair metal bent….it’s engaging and fun and made me want to check out X Japan’s catalogue, which is about all you can ask for.”
–Rob Sperry-Fromm, BROOOKLYN VEGAN
“Long-time X fanatics will marvel at the storytelling and behind-the-scenes access, while newcomers will leave theatres with a new favourite band.”
-Josiah Hughes, EXCLAIM.CA
“There’s enough in We Are X to satisfy the band’s hordes of fervent fans, while still impressing those who have never heard of X Japan; some concert sequences are crazy, magnificent, rock and roll madness.”
–Fionnuala Halligan, SCREENDAILY.COM
“It’s a story of tragic loss, everlasting friendship, set to a fantastic score that breaks the body with its raucous riffs, and tears at the soul with its heart wrenching ballads…Sundance really knows their music docs, and We Are X is possibly the greatest music doc to come out of the festival since Searching For Sugarman in 2014. …Longtime fans of the band will find their loved further fortified by this film, while new time fans will endure a 90 minute baptism by fire which will cause the to instantly descend into fandom.”
–Ty Cooper, HEYUGUYS.COM
Yoshiki photo link: http://tinyurl.com/heqjv64
X JAPAN (L-R): Pata (guitar), Heath (bass), Yoshiki (composer, drums, piano), Toshi (vocals) and Sugizo (violin, guitar). Photo link: http://tinyurl.com/j27grnn
MSO Releases + Assets:
Official poster for ‘WE ARE X’: http://msopr.com/files/wearexposter.jpg
Listen, watch and share the “Born To Be Free” video, streaming herehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKsfmo0nI9M.
Watch X JAPAN in concert here: https://www.youtube.com/user/XJAPANpodcast.
About X JAPAN:
X Japan is the most successful rock band in Japanese history, and that is not a statement made lightly. The band has sold more than 30 million albums; singles and videos combined, sold out Japan’s 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome 18 times – so far – and have played to tens of thousands of fans outside of Japan. In the band’s early days their look and sound sparked a global interest in entertainment, especially with the Japanese cultural rock phenomenon, “Visual-Kei,” a movement X Japan pioneered that spread globally.
X Japan formed in 1982 (calling themselves X) by Yoshiki and Toshi while they were still teenagers. 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, ten best hits albums and 20 DVD releases. X Japan was the first Japanese band to achieve mainstream success while signed to an independent label. The band was so popular they became a cultural phenomenon.
In the fall of 1997, at the height of their success, the band broke up. 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. In early 2007 Yoshiki and Toshi resumed communication and later that year X Japan officially reformed. The band launched its reunion in 2008 with 3 nights at the Tokyo Dome. 2 years later, X Japan filmed a music video on the rooftop of Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre with a throng of some 8,000 U.S. fans taking part in the shoot on Hollywood Blvd. But it was on August 8, 2010 that X Japan performed in front of a mainstream American crowd for the first time at Lollapalooza. Immediately following the festival, X Japan played the biggest concert in its history, selling out two consecutive shows at Japan’s Nissan Stadium, filling 140,000 seats. The band’s first North American tour wrapped with a monumental New York date selling out The Roseland Ballroom on Oct. 11, 2010.
In June 2011, X Japan kicked off a European Tour at London’s Shepherd’s Bush (selling -out the venue in 30 minutes). The tour continued to Paris and Utrecht wrapping in Berlin before the band traveled back to Japan to play the famed Summer Sonic Festival. That same year the world tour took them to South America where they sold out shows playing to massive crowds in Santiago, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Lima and Mexico City. X Japan then returned to Asia playing arena shows in Seoul, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei and Bangkok. In 2012 X Japan was the first Japanese band to take home the prize for “Best International Band” at the Golden Gods Awards held in the U.S.
In 2014 X Japan headlined a colossal show at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden in the U.S. Now, in 2016, X Japan is gearing up for the biggest event in the band’s history. The current line-up of X Japan is Yoshiki/drums, piano; Toshi/vocals; Pata/guitars; Heath/bass; and Sugizo/guitars,violin. X Japan recently announced the release of the band’s 1st new studio album in 20 years, which will be available in worldwide release late 2016.