X Japan, arguably the most successful Japanese rock band to date, made their Coachella debut this year.
Selling over 30 million albums, on top of selling out the Tokyo dome a record of 18 times, X Japan is undoubtedly an iconic rock band. They closed out the Mojave stage both Saturdays of Coachella, competing with Beyoncé’s slot. As the only hard-rock band at Coachella, they definitely were a stand-out performance, with holograms of deceased members and surprise guests Marilyn Manson, Wes Borland and Richard Fortus. I had the opportunity to interview frontman Yoshiki about performing at Coachella and his upcoming album with X Japan.
What drew you to the Coachella stage?
Coachella has always been one of my favorite music festivals. It’s my first time out here, but I’ve heard a lot about the festival, and we were invited to perform.
Has being the only hard rock band at Coachella influenced your performance in any way?
Yeah, I didn’t know we were one of the only hard-rock band here, but it’s very cool. We didn’t really change anything — what we do is rock hard, regardless. It is so nice to be a part of this eclectic group of artists, and we are very grateful to be here.
How did the Marilyn Manson, Richard Fortus (Guns N’ Roses) and Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit) collaboration come to be?
They are great friends of mine. I’ve known them for a long time. We played a show [with Borland and Fortus] the first week, and tonight Marilyn Manson is coming to join us. He has been very supportive, and I’m lucky to have him as a friend.
What made you want to start a new album with the band after such a long hiatus?
When we reunited the band, we didn’t know if it was a one-time show or not, then we got offered from all around the world to play shows, so we went on a world tour. When we were touring, we decided to create an album. It took 10-years with the process of recording, so this will be our first album in 22 years.
How is playing in America different than playing in Japan?
Of course, in Japan, there are much more fans, but at the same time, playing anywhere in the world doesn’t change our performance in any way. Also, I have been living in America for a long time, so it is a second home.
What is your favorite part of your Coachella set?
Of course, we have our special guests. Also, we have brought our late members Taiji and Hide to our show in holograms. It’s going to be an interesting show.
Describe the inspiration behind the visual rock aspect of your performances.
Our show is very theatrical. There’s a lot of videos and LED screens. Of course, we care about the sound the most, but it is an entertainment show. I want to rock [the audience] surely, as well.
Is there anything else you want your fans to know?
I just want to thank my fans for supporting us always, and let’s rock Coachella hard!
You can listen to X Japan’s music on Spotify here. For the latest information about the band and their upcoming music, visit their website.
Cover Image Courtesy of X Japan.