NEWS for fans of Xjapan:
Trouble for X Japan's Heath results in postponed concerts:
The latest setback for reunited rock band X Japan came earlier this week as the group suddenly announced that it is postponing two concerts in Seoul scheduled for March 21 and 22. Reports have surfaced saying that the move was caused by trouble between bassist HEATH and his management agency, which may even result in HEATH leaving the band.
On Friday, the band announced on its website that the two Korean shows have been postponed. They further announced that ticket sales for the upcoming Tokyo Dome shows on May 2-3 have been postponed as well. Tickets were originally scheduled to go on sale Saturday.
The same day, newspapers began reporting that there was trouble between HEATH and his agency, stemming from the bassist's desire to go independent. According to more recent reports, the postponements resulted from difficulties in negotiations for the upcoming shows between that agency and the management committee handling the upcoming shows. That committee had been established as a common organization for the reunited band's activities, since the individual members are normally managed by different agencies.
One source said that there is a possibility that HEATH will leave the band. Someone from the committee stated that this is just a "recharging period" until the conflicts are settled. Furthermore, the committee emphasized that even if HEATH were to leave the band, the band would not break up.
The fate of the postponed concerts is still undecided, but for the time being, tickets are being refunded. The members issued an apology to their fans for all of the trouble.
NEWS for fans Xjapan:
Yoshiki promises that X Japan's Tokyo Dome shows will go on
X Japan leader Yoshiki held a press conference on Monday, announcing that the band's Tokyo Dome concerts scheduled for May 2-3 will be going on as planned. Due to some reported trouble between bassist HEATH and his management agency, the group postponed two concerts in Korea earlier this month. They also delayed the ticket sales for the Tokyo Dome shows, leading to concerns that the shows would be canceled.
But Yoshiki reassured fans that despite the current complications, there will be no postponement of the Tokyo Dome concerts. Lottery ticket sales are starting on Wednesday, initially through Yoshiki's mobile site. He also announced another stop on X Japan's world tour, on May 30 at the Pan-Chiao Stadium in Taipei, Taiwan.
Yoshiki further revealed that his Violet UK project is doing the theme song for Kazuaki Kiriya's upcoming movie "Goemon" (in theaters May 1). The song is a ballad titled "ROSA." No release date for the single has been determined yet.
HEATH no longer with X Japan?
According to the Sports Nippon newspaper, rock band X Japan has already lost its bassist HEATH due to unresolved issues with HEATH's management company. The problems first publicly surfaced last month, when X Japan suddenly canceled two scheduled concerts in Korea.
The issues between HEATH and his management, apparently stemming from his contract, remain unsettled after weeks of negotiation. The band's production management committee had already received word of HEATH's withdrawal from the band, but tickets for the band's Tokyo Dome shows on May 2-3 still went on sale on April 18. All 100,000 tickets sold out the same day.
X Japan is hoping to avoid a last-minute cancellation similar to their Korean concerts and a few other overseas concerts that were scheduled last year. Leader Yoshiki has also publicly promised that the Tokyo Dome shows will not be delayed. In order to keep that promise, the band will reportedly select a substitute bassist within the next few days. Still, that would not leave much time for rehearsals before the actual concerts.
Yoshiki is currently said to be at home in Los Angeles, but it seems he will return to Japan this week for another discussion with HEATH.
X Japan - Believe the Hype
X Japan do like to play publicity games, and I have to wonder if their hugely loyal fans treat it as a game or not. Yesterday, just two days before they are scheduled to play two nights at Tokyo Dome, the band finally announced that bassist Heath will take part. Any issues between Heath and the other members of the band - they are all with separate management - have been put aside for the moment. The official story was that he was having an "internal struggle about the direction of his musical career" and he cut himself off from everyone. One real casualty of this was a pair of scheduled shows in Korea on March 21-22, which were indefinitely postponed. With the show said to be costing ¥3 billion to stage and all 100,000 tickets selling out within minutes of their release in March, a cancellation would have sent fans into a frenzy. Meanwhile, the worst-kept secret in J-rock was put to rest as former Luna Sea guitarist Sugizo was formally announced as the official sixth member of the band. The first stage of his integration was in March last year, when he was a support member for their reunion gigs at the Dome. And in April he stood in for sick band leader Yoshiki at a press conference. He has big boots to fill, with the late guitarist Hide still idolized by fans, but he has been part of the X Japan "family" since Luna Sea's debut in 1992.
SUGIZO Joins To X JAPAN
A recent announcement on X JAPAN's official website, as well as on SUGIZO's blog has stated that he will join the legendary rock and metal group as their formal sixth member, following several appearances as a support guitarist in the absence of late X member hide. SUGIZO will continue his role as a solo artist, as well as any future plans of LUNA SEA and Juno Reactor. Posting on his blog, he details his thoughts on joining, and why he's made the decision now, stating in an excerpt "Right now, X JAPAN requires SUGIZO as its sixth member, and I want to respectfully fulfill their needs."