YOSHIKI Confirms Pata's Health and Skypes Fans About WE ARE X at OTAKON 2016

Otakon appears to be one of YOSHIKI's favorite conventions as he makes the effort to return in 2016. Unable to make an in-person appearance, he made sure he was able to speak with his fans during a Q&A held via Skype at his home in Los Angeles and the Baltimore Convention Center.

Despite the numerous technical issues experienced ranging from video cutting out, the audio lagging, and the microphones failing to work, fans, Otakon staff, and YOSHIKI himself were determined to make the event happen regardless. YOSHIKI answered questions from both press and fans, promoting X JAPAN's highly anticipated documentary "WE ARE X" and the visual kei festival Visual Japan Summit, both set to happen in October.

"We Are X" chronicles the backstory of the legendary visual-kei band X JAPAN, as its star drummer YOSHIKI prepares for a reunion concert at Madison Square Garden. The film features commentary from artists such as Gene Simmons (KISS), Marilyn Manson, and many more. Although he is not known to U.S. audiences, Yoshiki has sold more than 30 million records overseas, where he enjoys an A-list following.

The film was directed by Stephen Kijak and produced by Passion Pictures’ John Battsek (“Searching for Sugar Man”). "We Are X" received positive reviews last winter, and nabbed a special jury prize in editing at Sundance. It later played at SXSW, where YOSHIKI treated the Austin crowds to a concert. The film will be presented by Drafthouse Films, with a bigger expansion and awards push planned. YOSHIKI has announced that he will be present at the New York premiere of the Sundance documentary.

Visual Japan Summit, on the other hand, is a 3-day celebration of the visual culture powered by Rakuten from October 14th - 16th. The festival will be held at Japan's largest convention center, Makuhari Messe, and will not only showcase all things Visual-Kei, but will have a 3-day concert with the most legendary bands to boot!

As the panel continued, YOSHIKI reminisced how his first appearance at Otakon was 10 years, and explained how he came about the idea of making a documentary about X JAPAN.

"[My] agent in America asked us to do the documentary several years ago, but it was too painful for us to open that door [to] the past." he said, "A few years ago a friend told me how important it was for us to tell people about our story. It's [...] very painful, but necessary for us to achieve our dreams."

"[The film itself] is like a visual shock. When you see it... you'll cry. I cried ten times while watching it," he continued. When asked what the message of WE ARE X was, Yoshiki said, "Nothing is impossible. Just keep moving [forward]." X JAPAN had had many ups and downs, but despite everything, they were able to press on. We at VKH Press took the opportunity to ask YOSHIKI how he  thought WE ARE X might be received by those who are not involved in the Japanese rock community.

"Well..." he bagan, "it’s a [rock] music documentary. […] People talk about sex, drugs, rock ’n’ roll. We’re very different. We don’t have that, but it’s more like a [summary] on how we survived. People don’t have to [know us]. They can still enjoy this film. It’s like [watching] Rocky [or] Forest Gump. It’s more dramatic. […] It’s talking about the legacy of [X JAPAN]… [How] ToshI was brainwashed for 10 years…all of the stories of the members."

The crowd continued to buzz, giggling at the comparison to Forrest Gump and holding their breath whenever the image of YOSHIKI froze as he delivered an update on Pata's condition upon request.

"Yes,  I had just talked to him – he is out of the hospital," he said and was met with applause. "Well, to be honest with you, when I heard the [news] I thought would never survive. He was in ICU for several weeks. We couldn’t even reach him. We were talking to his relatives. [Suddenly] a miracle happened. He survived. He had to go through several surgeries, but the last surgery was done. He’s ready to rock–" The crowd's cheering drowned out the remainder of his statement regarding Pata, but the relief from hearing X JAPAN's guitarist was well made the remainder of the panel feel much more relaxed.

As the panel continued, fans learned about YOSHIKI's musical inspirations, his past, and what made him want to learn English. "Yes, it was really hard for us to learn English." he reminisced, "[One day] in New York we were bombarded by press like ‘Why did you come here when you don’t even speak English?’ That was [when we first came here] 20 years ago."

As things began to settle down, the raffle was brought up. Earlier in the panel, it was explained that two raffles were going to occur; one that gave away a pair of free tickets to the screening of WE ARE X in New York, and another that gave away a pair of free tickets to the already sold-out VISUAL JAPAN SUMMIT 2016 in Japan. YOSHIKI explained that the lucky winner would receive an all expense paid trip to Japan as well as a pair of tickets to one of the three days for the concert. The crowd murmured in excitement as the trailer for VISUAL JAPAN SUMMIT played out. Between 15 - 20 bands were expected to perform on stage in those three days, and it was going to be the world's largest visual kei event ever. Any fans would give almost anything to be there – especially on YOSHIKI's courtesy.

Alas, the winners were revealed at the end of the entire panel. Tickets for VISUAL JAPAN SUMMIT are currently on sale for over seas fans, so click here to check out more details! If you wanted to try to see WE ARE X, check the website for more details to catch a screening near you!

OHP: http://www.wearexfilm.com/

VISUAL JAPAN SUMMIT 2016 Powered by Rakuten

WHEN: October 14th (Fri), 15th (Sat), and 16th (Sun), 2016

WHERE: Makuhari Messe Hall halls 9-11

DOORS/START/END: Doors 8:00AM / Begin 9:00AM / End 10:00PM (times subject to change)
※ On 10/16 (Sun), performances are currently planned to end at 9:00PM.

ENQUIRIES: VISUAL JAPAN SUMMIT 2016 Executive Committee's office (Rakuten management) (+81)-(0)3- 6695-0497

OHP: Japanese http://visual-japan.com/ English http://visual-japan.com/en/

・Rakuten ticket pre-sales August 10th (Wed) 12:00 to 15th (Mon) 23:00 [ENDED]
・PlayGuide pre-sales August 16th (Tue) 10:00 to 22nd (Mon) 23:00 [ONGOING]

・Rakuten Ticket・Family Mart pre-sales August 23rd (Tue) 10:00 to 29th (Mon) 23:00
・Regular sales date September 3rd (Sat) 10:00

・One day ticket (all standing) - 14,000 yen (incl. tax)
・Three day ticket (all standing) - 39,000 yen (incl. tax)
・VIP ticket (one day ticket / all seats reserved /includes a special take home director's - 60,000 yen (incl. tax)

For inquiries regarding tickets, please call Rakuten ticket customer support at 050-5817- 9070 (weekdays 10:00-17:00)

Special Thanks to Otakon and Otakorp for making this possible!
Share on Google Plus
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


Post a Comment