X Japan have gone through a lot in their 35 years of existence. They’ve had to deal with career threatening injuries, brainwashing cults, suicide, and a decade-long breakup. So perhaps it’s understandable that there’s been a 22-year gap between records. Fortuantely, the wait for new music is almost over, as the band confirms in an interview with Consequence of Sound.
The currently untitled effort serves as the long-awaited follow-up to 1996’s Dahlia. In a soon-to-be-published interview, X Japan’s founder, composer, and drummer Yoshiki tells CoS that the record should be out sometime “late summer or early fall.” “Recording’s done pretty much, we just have to mix it,” he says. “It’s pretty edgy. It’s eclectic. Even though people want to say X Japan’s heavy-metal or hard rock, the album is very eclectic and a wide range is covered. I hope this album can contribute in bringing rock to the mainstream. I think I’m pretty confident.”
Much of the LP was recorded at Yoshiki’s private Los Angeles studio and apparently has been in the works for almost 10 years. (An album was originally announced in 2016, but a serious medical situation with guitarist Pata led to that version being shelved.) “I know it’s a long time, but when you listen to the sound you’ll understand why it took that long,” Yoshiki assures fans. “99% of the songs are in English and it’s our first record targeting a worldwide audience.”
“This is the evolved version of X Japan, regardless of what happened in our past, it’s a new album. It’s sentimental because we had 2 deaths since our previous record. I have been influenced by so many types of music, hardcore punk-rock to classical, and everything in between, but I try to focus on the rock side which is my strength. I also try not to think about what people and X Japan fans want. Today, artists can speak to fans directly through social media, don’t get me wrong, their opinions are extremely important, but to create art sometimes you have to be selfish in your own way.”
Stay tuned for more from X Japan when our feature-length interview with Yoshiki runs in the coming weeks. Check out Manson’s Coachella performance of “Sweet Dreams” with the band below.