On February 3, a surprise announcement came to us that PATA was being hospitalized due to colon diverticulitis and portal vein thrombosis. In addition, the postponement of their Wembley show, which was planned to be held on March 12, as well as the release of their new album, shocked the fans. YOSHIKI apologized for all the worries and concerns they have caused to their fans, and promised the band’s continuing of their music journey together upon PATA’s recovery.
X-Japan’s schedule has to start again as all of their future activities, such as premium opening of the documentary movie “We Are X”, Wembley show and the new album release have all been postponed. We have succeeded to interview YOSHIKI during his return to Tokyo in late February and hear about their current situations from him.
[Interviewer]: We were all shocked to learn about the news on PATA’s hospitalization on February 3.
[YOSHIKI]: Yes, we have been working in a very tight schedule since last year. We were very busy last year, touring in Japan and recording new songs. We already had the next album release date fixed, so we had to do everything we can during the limited time, discussing whether to add a song or not, or whether to change the arrangement of songs. We were also blessed to be able to perform at “Music Station Super Live 2015” and “NHK Kohaku Music Show”. It was a great opportunity for us to reach out to different type of audiences, as most of our current fans come to our performances by reading reviews on magazines or internet, or by hearing our reputations. We flew between Tokyo and LA many times for the shows and recordings, and we barely had time to breathe. I flew to LA right after the NHK Kohaku and started preparing for Wembley, as I usually get involved in planning details of our show production.ToshI and SUGIZO followed me soon after to finish up our new album together. We were thenplanning to go to London to promote our music there.
[Interviewer]: I see your schedule was very tight.
[YOSHIKI]: We then received a great new that our movie “We Are X” has been nominated to the Sun Dance Movie Awards. (Note: As a result, the movie has won the Special Jury Award for Best Editing.)
[Interviewer]: That’s a great news.
[Yoshiki]: Yes, indeed. But I was scolded by our movie production team when I said we were going to decline to attend the award ceremony.
[Interviewer]: You got scolded?
[YOSHIKI]: Yes, we were told that winning a Sun Dance Movie Award is like winning an Academy award, and we should do anything to attend the ceremony even if it results in cancelling the recordings. First I was persistent to prioritize our preparation for Wembley and the new album recordings, but finally gave in to accommodate Sun Dance award related activities to our already-tight schedules, knowing how important the award is.
[Interviewer]: You also performed at the Sun Dance Music Awards ceremony, right?
[YOSHIKI]: Yeah, we were scolded by again by our U.S. agent that we did not understand it is to be offered to perform at the awards, and we ended up participating in the ceremony for 4 days.
[Interviewer]: You got scolded again?
[YOSHIKI]: Yes…. I then understood how important and honorable it was to be a part of the ceremony. We were ready to do our best in our tight schedule, then PATA’s news came.
[YOSHIKI]: At that time, ToshI, SUGIZO and I were all in LA, recording the new album, discussing our plans for Wembley and preparing for the movie award ceremony. We were all shocked and wanted to know more about PATA’s condition, but as he was in ICU, we couldn’t get much information.
[Interviewer]: It was in mid-January.
[YOSHIKI]: I didn’t know what to do. I finally heard more about PATA’s condition from his staff, then when I finally talked to PATA himself, he said something unimaginable – he said, “I will go to Wembley, and I will die there”.
[YOSHIKI]: I didn’t know how to respond. He was serious. He wanted to end his life at Wembley. But we discussed to change our schedule so that PATA can fully recover, saying Wembley should not be a place to end, but to start. PATA was not sure if we can change the plan as it was very important to all of us. For me, the priority was PATA’s recovery and his well-being. I wanted him to take time and rest, so we decided to postpone everything. We have done it in the past so it is not that of a big deal, compared to his health.
[Interviewer]: Understandable. But I can see it was not an easy decision.
[YOSHIKI]: When I heard him say he was going to die in Wembley, I did not hesitate to take all the responsibility to change our schedules. We cannot endure another tragedy.
[Interviewer]: I can also understand why PATA said that.
[YOSHIKI]: He could barely move when he said that, but I understand what he was going through, because I know performing at Wembley has always been PATA’s dream.
Full Credits: BARKS
Translation: Jrock radio