X (later changed to X JAPAN in 1992 to avoid confusion with the American punk band X) is arguably one of the most influential bands in the history of the Japanese music scene. Formed by childhood friends Yoshiki and Toshi in 1982 at Chiba, Japan, X was originally founded to play high energy rock music. Besides being one of the first Japanese acts to achieve mainstream success while on an independent label, the group is widely credited for pioneering the visual kei movement. Their early music was speed metal, but later on they acquired a more symphonic metal sound. The band consisted of Toshi (vocals), Yoshiki(drums, piano, composer, lyricist), hide (guitar), Pata (guitar), and Heath (bass), and Taiji (bassist) until 1997 when they disbanded. Once Yoshiki and Toshi recruited bassist Taiji and guitarists hide and Pata, the band began moving on the indie circuit. They garnished abundant support and fans across Japan with their outrageous dress style.
They used long, dyed hair and leather, along with makeup to make themselves shocking to the people who went to see them. This look, and their musical style of fast, driving metal, mixed with softer ballads, was the defining origin of today’s visual kei band. However, in 1996, after the release of their fifth and final album, DAHLIA, Toshi announced that he was departing from the band, for his own reasons - rumored to do with his wife disliking the band, his time commitment, and their performance of mostly sad, downbeat songs. Rather than go on without Toshi, the following year X JAPAN announced it was breaking up. At the end of the year, they had their final concert. X Japan split up in 1997. Read more about X Japan