Yoshiki of Japanese superstars X JAPAN has revealed to Consequence Of Sound that the band's first album in 22 years will include a collaboration with Marilyn Manson.
The as-yet-untitled follow-up to 1996's "Dahlia" was recorded at Yoshiki's private Los Angeles studio and apparently has been in the works for almost 10 years. "I know it's a long time, but when you listen to the sound, you'll understand why it took that long," Yoshiki said. "Ninety-nine percent of the songs are in English and it's our first record targeting a worldwide audience."
The new X JAPAN disc is tentatively due "late summer or early fall" and is described by Yoshiki as "pretty edgy. It's eclectic," he said. "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."
According to Yoshiki, X JAPAN's upcoming effort is "sentimental" because it marks the band's first album since the deaths of two of its members: in 1998, X JAPAN fans were rocked by the news of the passing of the band's guitarist, Hideto "Hide" Matsumoto, while Taiji, the bassist of the band, died in 2011.
"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," Yoshiki said. "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."
Manson made a guest appearance with X JAPAN at last month's Coachella festival. The shock-rocker joined Yoshiki during X JAPAN's second set of the festival for a performance of EURYTHMICS' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)", a song which Manson covered back in 1994 on his "Smells Like Children" album.
X JAPAN is the most successful rock group in Japanese history. Led by composer, drummer, and pianist Yoshiki, the band has sold more than 30 million albums, singles, and videos combined, sold out Japan's 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome 18 times. X JAPAN has also headlined major international stages such as London's Wembley Arena and New York City's Madison Square Garden.