X JAPAN Reunites For New Single, Tour

Nearly ten years since X JAPAN's New Year's "farewell" concert and nine years after the death of the band's influential lead guitarist Hideto "Hide" Matsumoto, X JAPAN has officially reformed and is planning a new tour and single, tentatively due before the end of 2007.

According to an article in the Japanese newspaper Sponichi, X JAPAN founder Yoshiki summoned former vocalist Toshi to Los Angeles in November 2006 to work on a song that was written as a tribute to late guitarist Hide, entitled "Without You" (originally released instrumentally on Yoshiki's first album). After an emotional recording session, the two felt that "the puzzle pieces just fit," and decided to officially reunite the band.

Yoshiki is said to be in talks with guitarist Pata and bassist Heath regarding the reunion, with hopes to feature the band lineup circa the group's final performance. While nothing has been set in stone, the tentative touring lineup is expected to include Yoshiki, Toshi, Pata, Heath, and roughly 10 guest guitarists who will perform Hide's parts during various songs in the set.

Current information indicates that X JAPAN's tour will begin near Yoshiki's home of Los Angeles, with the Toshi-sung single release of "Without You" due sometime this year.

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Regarding the reunion, Yoshiki stated, "After Hide's death most fans were split between two extreme opinions, either 'you reunite and I'll kill you' or 'if you don't reunite I'll die.' I had trouble making the decision and for a while I wasn't able to move forward. This reunion is actually a first for me as well."

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