Hard rock has always been a popular genre in Japan – for example, Deep Purple's classic live album Made in Japan (1972) and Scorpions' Tokyo Tapes (1978) were recorded there, to name just two. Japanese heavy metal bands Bow Wow, Loudness and X Japan enjoyed great success in the 1970s and 1980s. Featuring great archive material and candid interviews with current band members, We Are X reveals the turbulent history of these hard rockers, who started out as X before reinventing themselves as X Japan. The band enjoys incredible popularity in Japan and has paved the way for the visual kei subculture of flamboyantly dressed, androgynous musicians with lots of makeup and colorful hair. They have a theatrical stage act and play melodious metal music, including the occasional power ballad that gets everyone singing along. In 1997, internal quarrels, the death of a band member and the ongoing depression of drummer and co-founder Yoshiki heralded the end of the band. But in 2007 a new incarnation arose – the documentary ends with a glorious concert by X Japan in Madison Square Garden in October 2014.
John Battsek for Passion Pictures, Diane Becker for Passion Pictures
Sean Kirby, John Maringouin
Mako Kamitsuna, John Maringouin
Theresa Radka, Giles Khan