X Japan to make US debut at Coachella

NEW YORK • Japanese rock icon X Japan will make their debut today at the prestigious Coachella music festival in California, but there is one big problem.

They will perform on a separate stage at the same time as heavyweight Beyonce.

The overlap will likely mean an unusually small crowd for the rockers, who still enjoy a fanatical fan base at home and have played at arenas in New York and London.

"I'm very excited, but at the same time, I'm wondering what kind of reaction we're going to get," drummer Yoshiki Hayashi said.

It has been more than 25 years since X Japan first attempted to conquer the United States market.

Hayashi, the main songwriter who last year had surgery on his neck damaged from years of headbanging, has another weapon to win over the masses.

A new album, set to come out this year, will also be the band's first that is almost entirely in English and geared primarily to an international audience.

He feels comfortable using English, but acknowledged that he was the exception in the band.

Choosing to see the flip side, he said: "I started thinking that you don't have to pronounce perfectly. We're from Japan. Maybe some kind of accent will be cool."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 14, 2018, with the headline 'X Japan to make US debut at Coachella'. Print Edition | Subscribe