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YOSHIKI "We Are X" Special Interview
Composition and text: Jenni

special features

"We Are X" Special Interview with YOSHIKI

X Japan's documentary movie was finally released in Japan and England on March 2nd. Only few days after that, the band held their first headlining show at the legendary Wembley Arena in London, UK. We got a chance to sit down with YOSHIKI to discuss with him about the process of making the documentary, and how YOSHIKI himself feels about the movie, and where they are standing now.

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-- First, congratulations on your show at Wembley Arena last week. How was it?

YOSHIKI: Thank you. I felt great. Even though I didn't have enough time for preparations, since I had a show in New York at Carnegey Hall several weeks before, I think it went well. The audience was amazing.

-- That's nice to hear. Let's talk about the movie "We Are X", that was also showed at Wembley Arena. You said (when we previously interviewed YOSHIKI) that it took long for you to finally agree to do the documentary. How did other members react when you told first them about the documentary project?

YOSHIKI: I think everyone pretty much felt the same. It's not easy to open the door to the past, because the past is almost too sad to be true, too crazy to be true. After we decided on it, it didn't take long for them to agree, but the process of creating the movie took long. For example, I had several interviews. The first interview was just touching the surface. I couldn't get into the depth.

-- X Japan sure has a long and eventful history, and I believe it was hard to fit it to 96 minutes. How did you decide on the storyline and on what to include to the documentary?

YOSHIKI: We pretty much left every decision to the director and producers, because first of all, there was no way we could direct and produce this by ourselves. Going back to those memories is just too painful, so the director actually did those decisions. We didn't really say that much.

-- Since the film crew was not familiar with "We Are X", the movie is very interesting not only for fans, but also people who are not that familiar with X Japan. How was it working with a crew who did not know who you were?

YOSHIKI: Well first of all, I didn't want to make this film, right? My agent in America told me several years ago that X Japan's story is so dramatic that we should make it a film. I said that it's too painful to do that, I don't think I can do it. But several years later we started realizing that this film can save people's lives. Like the film is doing now, and it's great. Once we decided to do this, I said to my agent that I want a director who has zero idea of who X Japan is. I didn't want somebody who would tell the story as they know it. I also wanted this film to be not only for fans of rock music, but for everyone, so we intentionally chose a crew who has zero idea of X Japan.

-- In the documentary there was a scene where an overseas journalist asked you about what makes you think that a band that doesn't sing in English could make it in America. Do you think the attitude towards non-English speaking bands has changed throughout the years, or do you feel that the songs need to be in English in order to succeed?

YOSHIKI: I think singing in English or talking in English will help, and I think it's still important, but you don't have to. I think that 20 years ago, it was a must. But, let's put it this way; in Japan, when there's an artist who sings in English, everyone accepts it, right? Why can't we do vice versa? If there is a wall between East and West, that wall is getting thinner and thinner, lower and lower. It's easier, but I still think speaking English might be necessary.

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