Featured Dialogue:
Brought to life through connection

Après-guerre Reissue Vol.4
February 2017

Photos by Koki Matsunaga


ties can make special things
「the relationship between the perceiving and the perceived」


Toru Nogawa (Artist)

If you’re a fan of ISSAY, it’s highly likely that you’ve seen Toru Nogawa’s art with him featured as a model in them. Those pieces are not meant to be portraits of ISSAY, but rather of someone else. Someone who isn’t iSSAY. What was the process that led to the creation of these works? This dialogue session will follow the collaboration between the artist and the model.




―― Were you acquainted before you asked him to model for your art?

Toru Nogawa (N): I’ve known him as an artist since my teens, being a fan of Der Zibet.

ISSAY (I): And then, we got to know each other through a mutual acquaintance.

N: And then, when we were drinking at an afterparty in a live house after a show, I decided to shoot my shot and speak to him about modelling (wry smile). Because his style and vibe were just perfect for the theme I was going to paint with.

―― Come to think of it, has ISSAY-san ever been an art model before?

I: No, probably not. I don’t think so.

―― I would think that there were many opportunities for you to be in photoshoots, but how did the conversation about being an art model go?

I: I was very interested because he’s someone who is capable of painting absolutely fantastical art. In the case of photos, whatever’s in the environment you’re taking photos at will also show up in the photo, right? But that doesn’t necessarily happen in a painting, and I thought that would be fun to look forward to, so I was more than willing to be a part of it.

―― Does Nogawa-san have a theme in mind before looking for a model who fits it?

N: That is indeed how I create. I think it’ll be easier to consider this from the perspective of a theatre play. [The character] I asked of ISSAY-san back then was Siegfried, a protagonist from Richard Wagner’s opera, Der Ring des Nibelungen. It’s as good as me casting ISSAY-san in the role of this character. Another theme I had in mind at the time was Dracula. A vampire. A vampire aristocrat known as the Count from the era of black-and-white film.

He in the paintings who is not ISSAY

―― What’s your process when you’re creating the actual piece?

N: The standard procedure would involve the model posing in front of the artist, but ISSAY-san is of course a busy person which means that it would be difficult to do it this way. So he prepared the outfit, took photos for me in a studio and I drew based on what I received.

―― Did you discuss poses for specific scenarios?

N: I picture them in my head, so I think it’s similar to how one would stage a play. Whether it’s Siegfried or the vampire, I’m painting them based on the same person, ISSAY-san, so he has to become someone else entirely in the painting. His response to my requests was tremendously potential-filled. He really turned into a whole other person. It only really hit me later just how amazing a performing artist I asked to do this for me.

―― Do you imagine yourself as this character, or rather, embodying it?

I: I go into it with a simple posture. Like, since this is the type of scenario it is, this is the posture that would fit. Meaning it’s better if I position this leg a little further in front, for example. To compliment that, my left leg will end up like this, but would it be better if my legs were closer together? That’s the kind of thought process that goes into creating a detailed posture.

※From W.R.Wagner 『Der Ring des Nibelungen』Oil on canvas 33.4 x 24.3/cm

―― I suppose your pantomime experience comes in handy here.

I: Indeed. Pantomime may have been most helpful.

―― What were your thoughts about being cast as Siegfried and a vampire?

I: I hope it’ll be alright (dry laugh). And, since I was selected by the artist, I suppose there’s a good chance it’ll be fine. I think it doesn’t matter how he perceives it, as long as he’s able to bring it out through me.

N: I wrote an abnormally long email for our very first discussion (lol). What I pictured only existed in my mind and I wanted to share that with ISSAY-san, so I think I set the scene for him by writing something like a short story. For my Siegfried (※From W.R.Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen) piece, he doesn’t actually have a sword on his person but I requested that he posed in a way that suggested he was holding one. It’s pretty much a pantomime. And at the time, I also wrote an essay with details like the general length of the sword the character was supposed to hold, and descriptions of this locale that only I have a vision of, like how there’s a Greek architecture-inspired column in the back. From the second request on, ISSAY-san had kindly grasped my tendencies in my art, so I didn’t have to be as detailed anymore.

I: Since then, if I asked, “How’s this?”, for example, he’d just say, “More like this,” or something of the like.

N: I’ve been requesting images from ISSAY-san for a lot of my work in recent years. So doing it this way is better (lol).

―― How did you feel when you first laid eyes on the artwork that was created through such a process?

I: It’s difficult to put into words, but in a nutshell, like, “Whooa…”. “So this is how it turned out.” While there’s no doubt that I’m present in his world too, I couldn’t have ever imagined the extent of its depiction. Because my world is more indistinct. And this has taken shape as something beyond the world I imagined. What made me happy was seeing how [the character in the piece] was obviously me, but it wasn’t me. I was really happy about that.  He painted here what he saw through me.

―― I believe people who know ISSAY-san will be able to tell that he’s the model but this isn’t a painting of ISSAY-san, right?

N: If I were to do a portrait painting, I’ll probably have to paint ISSAY-san as he is. On the contrary, what I hoped to do was see how much of ISSAY-san’s inherent personality I could carve off.

―― So since then, you’ve been making paintings of different themes and settings.

N: To me, The Picture of D (Dの肖像 / D no Shouzou) is a mystery to be solved but I told ISSAY-san that it’s based on The Picture of Dorian Gray. Dorian Gray’s first initial is D, just as Dracula’s first initial is also D. In addition, something visitors to my exhibitions mentioned to me was that Der Zibet also starts with D. They commented the three D’s were brought together in this piece, so it’s a painting that I’m also very happy with. It’s a double-image piece of Dorian Gray along with a particular sort of immorality that is drawn from vampires, right? From this point, we can increasingly say that [the subject] isn’t entirely Dracula and what I painted is a marquis of darkness, an immortal undead king of ISSAY-san’s and my making. Dracula has a variety of appearances but he’s described as a member of the aristocratic class of marquis in mainstream European stories so this series actually leans closer to the original. From then on, I started to leave the details to him.

―― How did ISSAY-san carry out your part of the work?

I: Take, for example, this pose. I’ll move my body while thinking about factors like, to what extent can I exhibit an air of reclusiveness, or whether this character really considers themself to be alone, or what this person might think if another were in their presence, and things like that.

N: Since then, ISSAY-san would move and adjust his poses while I kept clicking the camera shutter. I feel that doing this gives the piece more depth than before. There’s an interesting element that comes from the lack of a specific target here. Through this method, that which is naturally unique to ISSAY-san would be incredibly apparent in the final piece. But that’s not the ISSAY-san we personally know. It’s the ISSAY-san who becomes the gaze of the character in the piece. Which puts us in a similar position as the audience who watch ISSAY-san when he performs on stage. That’s why I can look at the art more objectively. And that’s a good thing. The method I use is a classic technique of the old masters, so the painter has to remain calm too. Instead of wielding the brush in a subjective state of mind, I have to paint with a somewhat analytical perspective, as if I’m critiquing a painting done by another. That’s why it’s very good if I can look at a painting objectively.


「Ein Dunkler Markgraf:魔性の刻 (Mashou no Koku / Witching Hour)」 Oil on canvas 116.7 X 90.9/cm

Turning Der Zibet’s song into a painting

―― And after that, the theme that you chose to work on was Der Zibet’s song.

N: As a painter, when I watch their concerts or listen to their albums, as long as text or words or music are present, pictures will come to mind. So I mentioned that something like this came to mind and asked if it was okay for me to paint it since it was based on a Der Zibet song.

I: And I said, please go ahead (smiles). I appreciate it.

―― So you wanted to create an artwork of an image that came to mind from a song.

N: Of course, it’s not exactly the same as the lyrical world ISSAY-san writes about. Instead of tracing an artist’s work from the perspective of a third party experiencing it, what I feel I’m doing is closer to traversing the path carved out by their work and weaving yet another story out of the leaves and branches that I come across. 

「Ein Dunkler Markgraf:月下美人 (Gekka Bijin / Queen of the Night)」※ From “DER ZIBET” music piece
Oil on canvas 31.8 x 41/cm

―― What’s it like having a song by your own band turned into a painting?

I: It’s a strange feeling. But it makes me really happy, though. Like, ahh, so this is how it turned out. I have my own idea of what it might look like, right? When it’s released from Der Zibet’s control and turned into something that comes from Nogawa-san, it’s really refreshing for me to see what a great piece he’s made of it. I was very happy.

N: I didn’t notice at the time, but I just realised something. Thinking about it again, it’s a strange order of events for me to ask if you’d be willing to model and feature in this painting even though you’re singing in Der Zibet to begin with.

I: That work was actually done during our concert, right?

N: Ah, right.

I: Without me singing (dry laugh). It was really interesting though, wasn’t it? To me, I think the person in SISTER ROMANOID is kind of bubbly, somewhat crazy. This was brought with subtlety so I liked that. And it’s clearly got something that leans towards romanticism, doesn’t it? I love that a lot.

N: This isn’t an illustration, to begin with, but a world that I believe only the people present at a concert and people listening to this song possess. And [this painting] is just one of those [worlds].

I: Meaning that it just so happened that Nogawa-san opened this door, y’know?

N: It’s something like a parallel world, see? Following that, I’ll paint with a more confined essence from the lyrics. The most recent piece was Gekka Bijin which features the marquis of darkness. I overlapped the characters from Ein Dunkler Markgraf with Der Zibet’s Gekka Bijin.

―― In other words, you’ve arrived where your two worlds converge.

I: It’s like some kind of reaction occurred.

―― Will you continue to count on ISSAY-san as a model for your paintings going forward?

N: I’m thinking of starting a Der Ring des Nibelungen series alongside the marquis of darkness in 2017. I’ll also be holding an exhibition in November at a private gallery in Paris which is owned by the chairwoman of French automotive company Peugeot. Seeing a painting with ISSAY-san in a gallery located in a European cityscape is certainly fitting, isn’t it? That’s what foreigners will see.

―― It sounds like you’ll be creating many more pieces in the future.

N: Right now, I’m just listening to all the Der Zibet CDs I have (lol).






Vocalist in Der Zibet, KA.F.KA, ISSAY meets DOLLY. With an unparalleled presence unrivalled by any other artist, his charisma draws an impressive following. He has upcoming live events on February 19 at Kichijoji ROCK JOINT GB and on March 25 at Shibuya GLAD performing as Der Zibet.

OFFICIAL HP: http://derzibet.com/

■Nogawa Toru PROFILE
An artist who creates unique fantastical worlds with oil painting. A member of the International Fantastic Art Association (IFAA) and Fondation Taylor, Paris, France. His works have been exhibited in shows at locations like Ginza’s SPAN ART GALLERY. Planned activities this year include a two-person exhibition at SPAN ART GALLERY in autumn, an exhibition in Paris in November, and other vampire-themed group exhibitions.

OFFICIAL BLOG: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/eden_gallery
OFFICIAL Twitter: https://twitter.com/ToruNogawa








Translation: Yoshiyuki
Scans: Yoshiyuki
Image of Ein Dunkler Markgraf:魔性の刻 : Toru Nogawa @ Official Blog, Twitter



TOUR THE BEST 35th anniv.
2022.11.06 Takasaki City Theatre

PHY Vol.23
January 2023

The parade will go on forever. As long as everyone is here, from city to city. Always

text by Kanemitsu Hirofumi
photographs by Masa


To them, the 35th anniversary year of their major debut was looking like it would be one that appears to be less about congratulations or thanksgiving, and more of a serious self-reflection. However, once they concluded their Yokohama Arena event and embarked on their first national tour in a while, we began to see them start to regain something. Here is a concert report documenting their performance on 6 November at Takasaki City Theatre, in the band’s hometown.

Now that the band is returning to their usual routine of touring
They’re enjoying focusing on performing concerts without worrying about anything else except the band

The concert held at the band’s hometown of Takasaki, Gunma is the 9th stop of the tour.

Being in their hometown seemed to have brought them some sense of security with how the concert performance, the staging, and the atmosphere from the stage felt relaxed for some reason. The band’s performance felt like it was all coming together too, and in the encore, with a charming smile, Sakurai (Sakurai Atsushi / Vocalist) introduced the members of the band by reading Jomo Karuta cards, something that’s etched into the DNA of Gunmanians.

The day when this becomes the new style of introducing band members when performing in Gunma might be close, although Junretsu would perform their concert in this same hall the next day (lol). And being able to do this is probably proof that they’re enjoying that now that the band is now returning to their usual routine of touring, they can focus on performing concerts without worrying about anything else except the band itself. Every day they’re on tour is a fulfilling one; something that makes them more than happy.

But in the first place, far too many things happened in the time leading to the year of their 35th major debut anniversary. Tours being put on hold in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, no-audience live-streamed concerts, film concerts, the stopping of a national tour when Imai (Imai Hisashi / Guitarist) broke a bone. In a situation where they as a band could barely go back to their usual routine, until this year’s fan club tour kicked off, the only shows they have managed to put on with a live audience present since 2020 were their two annual concerts at Nippon Budokan. 

Having lost their usual routine of concerts like this, I get the feeling that there is a subtle shift in each of the band members’ closeness to the band and the direction they look towards without their knowledge. I’m left with the impression that the five of them, who had been wildly enthusiastic for the longest time, have suddenly turned calm, relooking at their relationship with the band.

On top of it all, there was the sudden Russian invasion of Ukraine that happened this February. Tragic sights were thrown at us by the press on a daily basis. Scenes of children crying. This cast a heavy shadow over the band, especially on Sakurai’s psyche, rendering them unable to celebrate their 35th anniversary year with nothing but “congratulations and thanksgiving”. Here is where the forthright spirit of Sakurai Atsushi, something that we all love, shone through. This, combined with the memories of his past, turned it all into an ever deeper self-reflection. 

The unabating darkness in his heart shows through the perspective of the vulnerable that is presented in Sayonara Shelter, the band’s new song which was released in their best-of concept album CATALOGUE THE BEST 35th anniv.. A month before this tour, the〈THE PARADE ~35th anniversary~〉show held at Yokohama Arena to commemorate their 35th debut anniversary had been structured in such a way that reflected Sakurai’s state of mind as it was. The show carried some kind of tension in the air, rather than a celebratory or grateful mood. I suppose it could also be a result of the situation the band was in.

The parade will go on. As long as everyone is here, forever——
That includes each and every one of us, as well as the members of the band

The tour began a month after those two days. Titled〈THE BEST 35th anniv.〉, it isn’t to say that the band would play a selection of songs well known to fans over the 35-year history of BUCK-TICK on this tour. Instead, it meant that the band would show what represents BUCK-TICK best, along with their dream of〈THE BEST〉. I thought that this would be an extension of what we saw at Yokohama Arena which drew on the social climate of these times and the band’s present state.

But that was not the case at all. Instead, once the tour began, the band dramatically recovered their identity.

I was able to watch their first performance at Tachikawa Stage Garden and this day’s show at Takasaki City Theatre. What shocked me was how the set list only had a few songs that were also performed at Yokohama Arena a month ago. Including the encore, the set list for this tour was made up of 20 songs. The two day event at Yokohama Arena a month back had a total of 42 songs, but only 6 songs from this tour’s set list, including their new song Sayonara Shelter were present there too.

This is the gift that came out of 35 years of constant album releases and at the same time, a forethought for the fans. Yet despite how different a set list this was, the overall tone of the concert remained unchanged. It just goes to show that no matter how much time has passed, something deeply ingrained in their hearts cannot be so easily cast aside.

But the impression it left was rather different. The show opened with a rock ‘n’ roll track revolving around phrases like “let’s go now”, “hop on board”. Up next was a song that invited us into a dark fantasy. Then, a song where a cute cat takes over Sakurai (you probably know what it is from this line alone even if you don’t want to) was followed by Imai’s song which envelops darkness with light and projects hope into our future. Where did the tension and uneasiness I felt at Yokohama go?

The band presented a strong stance calling upon everyone to enjoy the concert and have fun despite the real pressure and urgency tacked to it. In the first concert, a sad ballad was interspersed between these songs, but the set list had changed by this show. This time, I could catch glimpses of a conscious effort by the band to give the audience a more uplifting experience from the very start of the concert.

But this is where we see〈THE BEST〉; their true worth. As to where we are at this point, a bottomless world of darkness. One that relates to the emptiness in our hearts and the present climate of these occluded times. But that has been channeled into entertainment. That’s where the concert deviates greatly from Yokohama’s.

Among these songs, the most symbolic of all was their new song Sayonara Shelter. A little girl sang Let It Go in a bomb shelter in Kyiv as if embracing the hearts of the wounded; this was the video that inspired BUCK-TICK’s song but above its strong message, it is a song that had evolved into one of kindness and hope. This may well be something that resulted from the band’s current situation too. 

The other songs they performed were like this too. Even though they performed songs that we’re familiar with, these songs had weight but also carried with them a sense of hope and tenderness. Because the band is moving forward with firm resolution.

Again, the shows are on different scales so it’s hard to make a general comparison, but having switched from Yokohama Arena’s staging-oriented set up to this simpler stage where there is nothing in the space between the band and the audience, the cohesiveness of the 5 of them as a band along with how well they worked the audience were more than obvious. Even if they weren’t performing in their hometown, the expressions on the band members’ faces showed that they were clearly enjoying themselves. I was once again reminded how good it was that touring has returned to being a regular routine. 

And another big highlight was that we finally got to watch them perform a track from their latest original album, ABRACADABRA, which they could not perform in concert in the past couple of years, live on stage. The “prayer” that was in that album will finally come true. And we may have very well been witnessing that moment right before our eyes.

“How long will the parade last? I’d think it’ll go on forever. As long as everyone is here, from city to city. Always and forever.”

This was the message that came from Sakurai’s lips right before the last song of the night. On the first day of their tour at Tachikawa, he said, “I don’t know how long it’ll last, but the parade will go on.” Words which carried a measure of uncertainty, but at some point in time, he began to say, “It will go on forever.”

This is yet another sign that the band is getting back to their usual routine. Now, they can say this to their fans confidently and with certainty. The parade will go on. As long as everyone is here, forever. An “everyone” which includes each and every one of us, as well as the members of the band.








Translation: Yoshiyuki
Pictures: Yoshiyuki


Hoshino Hidehiko

profile & information
Born on June 16, 1966. Blood type A. Guitarist in the band BUCK-TICK which was formed in 1985. Other members of the band are vocalist Sakurai Atsushi, guitarist Imai Hisashi, bassist Higuchi Yutaka, and drummer Yagami Toll. The band will be performing the final show of their tour, BUCK-TICK TOUR THE BEST 35th anniv. FINALO in Budokan at the Nippon Budokan on Thursday, December 29.

35th anniv.

Interview/Text ◎ Yuka Okubo
Photography ◎ Yosuke Komatsu (ODD JOB LTD.), Seitaro Tanaka


Since BUCK-TICK is right in the midst of celebrating the 35th anniversary of their major debut, we interviewed Yagami Toll back in issue 102, and this time around, we have guitarist Hoshino Hidehiko. Hinan GO-GO, BUCK-TICK’s forerunner wasHoshino first experience of forming a band, and it’s been said that the band’s first original song was written by Hoshino himself. Since then, we’ve had songs like JUPITER, LOVE PARADE, Sayonara Shelter and many more Hoshino compositions that have proven to be key to the band’s success at various points in time. In this interview, BUCK-TICK’s 35-year journey gets summarised from the Hoshino perspective, along with mentions of his impressions of his four fellow bandmates.


More than my desire to do this or that,
I think my hope to constantly keep going for a long time is stronger.

――Today, I’d like for us to look at Hoshino-san’s and BUCK-TICK’s past 35 years with Hoshino-san’s music in focus. Before we go into that, you recently held your show, BUCK-TICK 2022 “THE PARADE” ~35th anniversary~ at Yokohama Arena on September 23 and 24 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the band’s major debut. In retrospect, what do you think of the show? With the staging and all, I got the feeling that I was watching a whole new BUCK-TICK again rather than the festive mood that typically comes with anniversary events.

Hoshino (H): While it’s true that we’ve celebrated our 20th, 25th, and 30th anniversaries in a few different ways, this time around, we have a 5-CD best-of compilation and it felt as if we used that to put the show together. That’s why we ended up with a selection of songs that is a little bit different than whatever we had before. On the staging and the performance, the stage director in charge was someone we started working with only recently, and at the same time, I think it was largely Sakurai-san’s initiative that led to the production turning out the way it did.

――Concerts that are based on a best-of collection would normally celebrate a band’s history but the fact that BUCK-TICK’s doesn’t seem like that at all makes it interesting.

H: We do have our best-of collection, but rather than focusing on our first*, second* and third* album releases, a good number of the songs featured are more recent works so I guess it’s only of course that this is how the show turned out to be. We also ended up performing Sayonara Shelter, our new song that was released in this best-of collection so this also contributed to it, right.

――This event marked the first live performance of Sayonara Shelter.

H: In this show, there’s a segment where we perform Rakuen*, REVOLVER*, and Guernica no Yoru* before Sayonara Shelter and I think this ended up being the essence [of the show].  The songs we performed in this central portion remained the same on both days of the show, though.

――By “essence”, do you mean the message of the show?

H: That’s right. I think the setlist of songs from our best-of collection were probably arranged in a way that had them linked to each other more in this Yokohama Arena show.

――I think the messages here are largely related to Sakurai-san’s lyrics, but does Hoshino-san also get influenced by the sentiment of the world and the atmosphere around you when you’re composing music? I believe Sayonara Shelter, for example, is about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and more broadly, thoughts and feelings about war in general, right?H: I guess we can’t deny that there is some of that in the song, right? We might’ve had such songs before, but Sayonara Shelter came about without any deliberate intention to write  such a song. I’ve always left the lyrics entirely up to [Sakurai], but I’ve always had the liberty to do whatever I want in terms of music too, and it could just be that those lyrics were written for this song because the music called for it. I already take it as a message from Sakurai-san, though.

This question gets asked at every significant anniversary year but ultimately, these are simply passing waypoints to me.
When you mention “35 years” on its own, it sounds like a really long time, but I personally don’t pay any attention to this (lol).

――This performance officially marks the start of your 35th anniversary year. Once again, could you share any thoughts you’ve had regarding having been actively making music for 35 years?

H: This question gets asked at every significant anniversary year but ultimately, these are simply passing waypoints to me. When you mention “35 years” on its own, it sounds like a really long time, but I personally don’t feel like all that long a time has passed at all. I personally don’t pay any attention to this (lol).

――I see. For Hoshino-san, your first experience of forming a band was with Hinan GO-GO, the precursor to BUCK-TICK, right? How did it feel when you were exposed to music in that band for the first time?

H: There was a magazine named “Let’s start a band [バンドやろうぜ / Bando Yarouze]” (a music magazine that was this magazine publication’s predecessor), but that’s the vibe we started off with, so I think it really felt like we were half doing this just for the fun of it.

――Did Hoshino-san at the time have ambitions like wanting to make a living through music, or wanting to become a professional musician?

H: I didn’t even think about thinking like that. Besides, I was a kid who had never touched a musical instrument before. There might’ve been some band master who thought about those things (lol), but for me, personally, I just went into it with nothing more than the thought of giving it a bit of a try.

――Are you saying that you’ve come this far because your very first impression of doing this was fun?

H: I suppose that’s how things turned out in the end.

――It’s said that the first person who wrote an original song for the band was in fact Hoshino-san.

H: I’m not too sure about that, I guess that could’ve been the case (lol). But it wasn’t released to the public in the end.

――Is it possible for a kid who had never touched an instrument to write a song so soon after starting? Or was it something you came up with by mimicking what others did?

H: I guess that might’ve been it. There was a point of time when I felt that it was about time for us to make our own original music, and I think I actually did compose something back then, though. It was pre~tty dark though.

――Is that so? Then, does Hoshino-san’s music, a.k.a the Hoshino Melody originate from somewhere?

H: Not at all (lol). Absolutely zero.

――I’m very interested in the “pre~tty dark song” that Hoshino-san just mentioned (lol). Your indies releases up until your first major album release (SEXUAL×××××!) were mostly made of Imai-san’s songs. What thoughts did you have about the music he composed  back then?

H: The level of completeness has always been very high even back then. Although there were also songs that were shaped by the band as a whole, things like the arrangement and the core aspects of the songs mostly came from Imai-san, so I guess you could say that made the compositions very easy to grasp.

――Meaning, it was easy to grasp the idea of what the final version should be?

H: Part of it is indeed how clearly we could envision the final product, and there were other parts, like the modulation of the song, the melody, that have always been made very clear even since back then. These areas were what made his compositions easy to grasp.

――Did Hoshino-san also continue to write music at the time?

H: Nope, I think I wasn’t writing anything by then. I just left it to him.

――I see. Was there any sort of change in terms of your mindset when you went from being an indie band to being signed with a major label?

H: I think there was definitely that feeling of having decided on doing this well when we went major. But it really felt like we suddenly dropped into a world we knew nothing about so it also felt like we were at the mercy of others, just going with the flow and doing a lot of things.

――You mentioned in the beginning that you originally had no ambitions to go pro, so what would you have done if you didn’t sign with a major label at that point in time? You did go to culinary school and attained a chef’s licence, right?

H: That resulted from what was originally an excuse for moving to Tokyo, but we managed to sign with a major label much earlier than we expected so maybe I felt like I had the time or maybe the mental capacity [to do that]. Even if we didn’t sign at that point in time, I think I might still continue to make music for a few more years.

――I really liked this story I read in an old article about the time the certified chef Hoshino-san burnt a frozen croquette black in the blink of an eye (lol).

H: That legendary story (lol). I probably misunderstood something somewhere. Maybe I didn’t have the [cooking] sense even though I had the licence? I’m good at slicing and dicing but I think I don’t have any instinct when it comes to flavouring (lol).

――In the chaotic days following your major debut, your second album, SEVENTH HEAVEN, included one song written by Hoshino-san, DESPERATE GIRL. What led you to start writing music again?

H: I probably just got the feeling of “maybe I should try composing something”. It wasn’t that I was forced to do it. I think I just changed my mind about it. I remember doing a lot of things in the midst of that jam packed schedule, so I guess that might’ve fueled my motivation to write something.

――And soon after that, you went to London to record TABOO. What was the experience of recording in London like for Hoshino-san?

H: To start, the one biggest difference between that and our previous experiences at the time was that we had a producer to work with. Also, the feeling of recording while overseas was super fresh; it was a valuable experience. There were also all sorts of changes going on in the music industry. Being in London right at the scene of it all, seeing and hearing about all these things might’ve also inflicted some change within me too.

――Hoshino-san’s song, FEAST OF DEMORALIZATION also featured lyrics written by Yagami-san for the first time, and that was really fresh too.

H: That’s true. That’s just now things naturally turned out. There was a momentum that inspired everyone to try and participate more in songwriting at the time.

――There was a half year before Aku no Hana* when activities were paused. How did Hoshino-san spend that time?

H: There wasn’t anything to do during that period of time so I holed myself up at home and wrote music. It was around that time when I got more equipment and made changes to my environment too. Because back then, I only had very basic equipment. And I had time anyway, right? (Lol)

――Could it be that this led to the bigger moves that you made towards doing more in terms of songwriting? Among the three songs written by Hoshino-san in Aku no Hana, you even wrote the lyrics for one song, PLEASURE LAND, right?

H: That I did because I felt like trying it out.

――How did you feel after giving writing lyrics a go?

H: Hm~ how did I feel (lol). That I’m better suited to composing music? (Lol)

――That’s a quick conclusion (lol). And your next album, Kurutta Taiyou* was a turning point for the band in terms of sound.

H: I think it was a rather fulfilling series of events to round off our experience of recording in London for TABOO and then working on Aku no Hana* with the release of Kurutta Taiyou. Also, I think getting to know (recording engineer) Hiruma (Hitoshi)-san was also a significant point for us.

――In that time, JUPITER* also became Hoshino-san’s first song that was titled a single. It felt like the world’s impression of BUCK-TICK transformed a little with the release of this single. Like a sudden realisation that BUCK-TICK also has such songs.

H: I think that was yet another turning point. M・A・D* was what we released before that, so I think it was good that we got to drastically shake up our image. On top of a bunch of other things, I think I overcame something here that led to a significant change in me.

I really challenged myself without the knowledge of fear in the past. In a good way,
I worked with anything and everything with the feeling to “just do it”.

――In the next single, Dress*, both the title song and the B-side, Rokugatsu no Okinawa* were composed by Hoshino-san. What was Hoshino-san’s state of mind at the time? Was it a period when you felt energised to challenge yourself in different ways? You even played the keyboard when performing Dress while on tour*.

H: I played the keyboard?

――Yes…… Wait⁉ You did, right?

H: I’m kidding, I’m kidding (lol). I did play the keyboard. I think I might have been really raring to try out all sorts of things when it came to composing back then. The part of me that wanted to challenge myself with all these different things emerged, now that you mention it. I had the idea that it might be interesting to compose Dress with the keyboard instead of a guitar. There was even a period of time when I asked the vocal training teacher to teach me when they’re free.

――You learned how to play the keyboard from a vocal training teacher?

H: That’s right. That happened, and then I started getting the feeling that maybe I should try composing something with the keyboard. For JUPITER, I experimented composing with a 12-string acoustic guitar, but anyway, that was a period of time when I decided to try all sorts of new things.

――We use the phrase “Hoshino Melody” these days, but when I listen to Hoshino-san’s compositions in order of when they were written, I get the impression that this Hoshino Melody wasn’t yet established in your songs from the 90s. Instead, these songs were the scatterings of the different parts of Hoshino-san’s quintessence that gradually began to crystallise in the 2000s.

H: That’s true. While trying out all these different things, I also felt as if I was searching for something.

――By searching, are you referring to something that is unique to Hoshino-san?

H: Maybe. Imai-san’s in the band too, so it could also be something that strikes a balance with him. I thought about these things too. Along with balancing the concept of each album and a bunch of other aspects, it felt like I was experimenting with all these different things.

――Has Hoshino-san ever found yourself in a slump or a deadend when you were composing in the past?

H: Rather than a slump…… I feel like I had more freedom back then. I realised that there were things I could do without giving it much though, and maybe that’s better on the contrary, but now, this might sound weird but I feel a bit stuck. I really feel like I could create with more freedom in the past. Part of it is the feeling that I somehow managed to pull off everything because I had no knowledge fear, but as I grew older, I also feel like that gradually became more of the notion that things just happened to work out well.

――Rokugatsu no Okinawa incorporated reggae, and Chocolate, the B-side to Candy* was also inspiring.

H: It feels like I really challenged myself, right? In a good way, that was a period of time when I worked with anything and everything with the feeling to “just do it”.

――There was a period of time when the band underwent huge environmental changs; before the release of your album, COSMOS*, the band started its own independent office and after COSMOS was released, you parted ways with Victor. What did Hoshino-san think of this?

H: While there was insecurity because of these big environmental changes, there was also aspiration. I would think that was exhibited in our work too, so that kind of a big change happened as well.

――Was the insecurity present in your music?

H: Not the insecurity, but more of the aspiration, I believe. That kind of evolution probably happened. I’d say it was the same in SEXY STREAM LINER* too, which we released after we changed labels. There was an environmental change, and you could probably tell from that album that yet another challenge has begun and that we’re headed somewhere new. I think that album had strong indications of those feelings. It might’ve been in that period of time when I grew an awareness of “what I’m good at”. Although whether it’s the Hoshino Melody or not, I’m not sure.

――How would you describe exactly what this “what I’m good at” refers to?

H: I guess it’s melodies that belong to me, or things that are unique to me. It might be a little different from the likes of JUPITER or Dress, but I think that’s the part of me that I grew aware of.

――In terms of songs, would you say it’s stuff like Megami from ONE LIFE ONE DEATH*, or the B-side to 21st Cherry Boy*, Barairo no Hibi?

H: Ah~, that’s it.

――I have the impression that the beautiful melodies Hoshino-san composed became more established in that time. Were you also influenced by your activities in dropz, your solo project which formed 2004 and saw an album release* in 2007?

H: It just so happened that everyone had their own solo activities right around 2004, and although it wasn’t able to be publicly active at the time, it was something that I had been personally working on. I was thinking that I’d want to do it if I could work with vocalist Kelli Ali and that actually became reality. I was running a little behind everyone in terms of time though (lol). That was when I started working with Cube Juice-kun and I think getting to know Cube-kun also influenced my style of working on things to some extent. He only started to work on BUCK-TICK’s production from RAZZLE DAZZLE* though.

――I wondered whether dropz influenced you in some way for the band’s next release, Tenshi no Revolver with songs like La vie en Rose and CREAM SODA. They were more eccentric than anything you’ve done before that.

H: It’s true that there was a feeling of disparity during the time of Tenshi no Revolver, even within myself too. Likewise with CREAM SODA, when that came from me, I was surprised too. I had no idea such a song existed within me even though I wrote it myself. There’s stuff that just comes out of nowhere though. ur next work, memento mori* was conceptually a simple rock album so I worked along those lines, but it feels like the guitar parts became the emphasis.

――Going by albums, I’d say that I started to sense what we call the Hoshino Melody more strongly starting around the time Arui wa Anarchy* was released. Were you referring to this period of time when you mentioned earlier that you were starting to feel stuck?

H: That’s right. Despite the fact that I wanted to do a number of different things, you know? It’s kind of like, because there exists the part of me that now knows all kinds of techniques, I find myself simply sticking to what I already know. I really really want to break through this part, but there’s also the fact that I can see clearly how I can achieve what I want. This certainly makes it easy for me to compose, but at the same time, I’m unable to see other paths to my goals even though I really want to. That’s more or less the kind of feeling I’m getting now.

――Even when you’re right in the midst of putting together a new album?

H: There are different styles in it, but I still want to break through this feeling even more.

――What should you do to break past this?

H: I don’t know either. Maybe I have to bring in my old self who didn’t know anything and drop him into my seat.

――That sounds difficult to do now that you’ve gained so much experience.

H: That’s definitely true though. But that’s something I’ve only started to feel very recently.

――Really? On the other hand, regarding your performance in concerts, I have the impression that from some point onwards, there was a huge change in Hoshino-san’s expressions and gestures. Was that deliberate?

H: Ah, I suppose it was to some extent. There might also be some part of me that got inspired when I went to watch some foreign artist’s concert, for example.

――I believe you did attend some other artists’ concerts in the past too, but was there some sort of change in mentality?

H: I guess I found that I really enjoyed communicating with our fans or something. Like, I came to feel that it’s a good thing. I guess it’s a natural progression from there.

――When did you start thinking like this?

H: Probably after “darkness”.

――What darkness⁉

H: Like the period when we did 13-kai wa Gekkou* (lol). The concerts we held on that tour didn’t allow for communication, did they?

――That’s true. Now that you said it, if we go further back in time, Kurutta Taiyou and darker than darkness -style 93-* were obviously also periods of darkness, right? (Lol)

H: Right, that’s right.

――There was also a period of time when there were barely any MC segments.

H: I went to watch Bruno Mars in concert the other day. His genre is completely different from ours but it was a really good show. When I see such a performance, it somehow turns into inspiration for me too, you know?

――The Tokoy Dome show, right? Are you saying that we’ll get to see Hoshino-san’s Bruno Mars-influenced stage performance?

H: I won’t dance (lol). I meant it in an emotional aspect.

――But I also want to see Hoshino-san’s Bruno Mars-inspired dancing (lol). Anyway, you’re now right in the midst of your 35th year of activity, and in the middle of a national tour* too (Interview was in early November). You composed LOVE PARADE during your 25th anniversary year for the movie* back then and it’s now become a song we can’t go without. Even now, during this tour, Sakurai-san would say, “The parade will go on even if we’re gone,” and it really strikes a chord in our hearts. It feels melancholy to think about these things, but does Hoshino-san mentally count down or think about how much more time you have?

H: I do think about it, especially in recent times. Although I just want to keep going for as long as I can. Because we can’t do this anymore the moment any one of us leaves, you know?

Rather than big ambitions, I guess you could say I just have ordinary hopes. I don’t have big dreams.
But I’ll do my best to be able to perform LOVE PARADE again on our anniversaries.

――BUCK-TICK has always been churning out new releases at a consistent pace, and I don’t think there are many bands that have continued to release new work to this extent over the course of their careers. Do you feel like you’ll never run out of motivation when it comes to producing?

H: Somehow it feels more natural to keep creating. I guess that’s just what BUCK-TICK is like because that’s what we’ve always been capable of. Maybe that’s the definition of BUCK-TICK?

――Next, will you share what you think of your fellow band mates at this juncture? Let’s start with Sakurai-san who expressed himself through Hoshino-san’s composition. How do you see him as a vocalist?

H: Just like his lyrical world, he’s really an open and honest person. That’s something that shows in his lyrical world, and I think it’s also something that makes him very relatable. Plus, his ability to express himself on stage is also incredible. All in all, a great vocalist.

――What about Imai-san? When I look at the stage, there are times when Imai-san and Hoshino-san’s movements seem to synchronise naturally. Seeing that makes me think that it’s probably because you’ve performed together for all these years. I’d be watching and thinking, “Ah, so nice〜.”

H: Really (lol)? He’s someone who possesses much that I don’t, so I feel like I rely on him entirely in all those areas. He’s dependable. Also, he’s playing (his guitar) properly recently, isn’t he (lol)? So please feel at ease.

――Imai-san previously said that Hoshino-san’s sound was cut off in the middle of a concert before (lol).

H: That happens a lot (lol). My head goes blank, you know, if I relax too much. Like, “Huh? What’s the next chord again?” It happens a lot.

――Is it a skill honed over many years to feel nothing over this?

H: Yeah, that’s right (lol). The “Ah~, I did it again” type of things happen quite a bit too (lol).

――The fact that it’s two people coming together to create the riff as double guitars is also one of the highlights of BUCK-TICK”s music.

H: That’s right. Creating one part by the combined effort of us two is something that we’ve always done so that’s also a forte of ours.

――Speaking of fortes, I think chorus melodies composed by Hoshino-san are pretty much a forte too.

H: Is that so (lol).

――I’m always hoping for the day when you release a song that features double vocals by Hoshino-san and Sakurai-san though.

H: That would be nice if we could pull that off well, though. I’ll think about it.

――So what do you think of Higuchi-san?

H: Yuta (Higuchi Yutaka) is also a perfectionist, I think. When it comes to performing, he’s got it down to a T. Although he’s got his “huh?” moments too, I’ve got the same problem anyway (lol). It’s something that happens to all of us normally. In terms of performance style, I think Yuta’s probably changed the most.

――That’s true. What about Yagami-san?

H: Anii (Yagami Toll) is just like Yuta, a perfectionist. In the past, when he didn’t use clickers and the sort, he really gave off this feeling of being The Drummer, but these days, he’s using clickers which means that he has to drum along with them, so that part of him really gives off the perfectionist vibe, but at the same time, he’s still got this groove that reminds me of The Drummer. It’s a really exquisite flavouring that he has, and I think that’s great.

――Right now, work on the new album that you’re releasing this coming spring is progressing alongside this tour, but looking at its present stage, what kind of album do you think it will turn out to be?

H: There’s actually a lot that I can’t talk about in specifics, but it’ll be another one that’s full of variety and there are also parts of it that you could say signify yet another new BUCK-TICK. I hope that people are looking forward to it.

――Now in your 35th anniversary year, is there anything you’re hoping for or anything you want to do in future?

H: More than my desire to do this or that, I think my hope to constantly keep going for a long time is stronger.

――As long as you can in your present state.

H: Yeah, that’s right. On top of that, there’s a bunch of other age-related things, and there’s probably a lot of other aspects like physical ability that we have to pay special attention to though. Rather than big ambitions, I guess you could say I just have ordinary hopes. That’s probably it.

――It’s true that there have been recent occasions when you had to stop activities due to injury and illness.

H: Exactly, that’s what I’m talking about.

――But does Hoshino-san have any dreams of your own?

H: The biggest one is to keep going but, other that that? Things like performing at Tokyo Dome like Anii (lol), I don’t have any big dreams like those in particular. But I’ll do my best to be able to perform LOVE PARADE again on our anniversaries.



  • 5-CD best-of compilation=Their 35th anniversary concept best-of album CATALOGUE THE BEST 35th anniv. which was released in September.
  • First, second, and thirdSEXUALxxxxx! released in November 1987, SEVENTH HEAVEN released in June 1988, TABOO released in January 1989.
  • Rakuen=B-side of their 9th single, Kodou, released in April 1995.
  • REVOLVER=A track from their 15th studio album, Tenshi no Revolver, released in September 2007.
  • Guernica no Yoru=A track from their 21st studio album, No.0, released in March 2018.
  • Aku no Hana=Their 4th studio album, released in February 1990.
  • Kurutta Taiyou=Their 5th studio album, released in February 1991.
  • JUPITER=Their 5th single, released in October 1991.
  • M・A・D=Their 4th single, released in June 1991.
  • Dress=Their 6th single, released in May 1993.
  • Tour=“darker than darkness -style93-”, held between May to November 1933.
  • Candy=Their 11th single, released May 1996.
  • COSMOS=Their 9th studio album, released in June 1996.
  • SEXY STREAM LINER=Their 10th studio album, released in December 1997.
  • ONE LIFE,ONE DEATH=Their 11th studio album, released in September 2000.
  • 21st Cherry Boy=Their 18th single, released in November 2001.
  • Album releaseSWEET OBLIVION, an album by dropz, released in April 2007.
  • RAZZLE DAZZLE=Their 17th studio album, released October 2010.
  • memento mori =Their 16th studio album, released February 2009
  • Arui wa Anarchy=Their 19th studio album, released June 2014.
  • 13-kai wa Gekkou=Their 14th studio album, released April 2005.
  • Tour=‘’13th FLOOR WITH MOONSHINE”, held between April to July 2005.
  • darker than darkness -style 93-=Their 7th studio album, released June 1993.
  • National tour=“BUCK-TiCK TOUR THE BEST 35th anniv.” which started on 13 October. The tour final will be held on 29 December as “BUCK-TICK TOUR THE BEST 35th anniv. FINALO in Budokan”。
  • MovieThe Buck-Tick Syndrome I and The BUCK-TICK Syndrome II which premiered across the country in June 2013.



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“THE PARADE” ~35th anniversary~

special live report

Text ◎ Koji Yoshida
Photos ◎ Tanaka Seitaro


In celebration of the 35th anniversary of their major debut, BUCK-TICK held BUCK-TICK 2022 “THE PARADE” ~35th anniversary~” for two days at Yokohama Arena. This was their first major anniversary live concert in five years since 2017, and also their first indoor anniversary event. This report covers the first day of the event, “FLY SIDE”.

“We’re still moving forward. Wishing blessings upon everyone too.”

The first song of the first day was, surprisingly, ICONOCLASM. Recorded as part of their third album, TABOO which was released in 1989, and also featured as the first song of the first disc in their concept best-of album CATALOGUE THE BEST 35th anniv., which was released this year on 21 September to mark the start of the 35th anniversary year of their major debut, this is a sensuous industrial song that continues to be performed live even now. Adding to that was the LED screen left drawn over the front of the stage after the opening video ended. Giving no clear view of the band, this conversely adds to a feeling of taboo.

Then, red lights glared from behind and images of steeples emerged on the screen. Slowly, with grace, the screen went up as if the Tower of Babel was being built high as the band led into BABEL, a gothic song from 2017.

Imai Hisashi wore a neon-coloured outfit. Hoshino Hidehiko had on a black vest. Higuchi Yutaka wore a black jacket over a red shirt. Yagami Toll was in a plaid suit. And Sakurai Atsushi exuded kinky sex appeal with lips bright red with rouge as he wore a black jacket and a wrap-around skirt over a pair of shorts.

When they made their major debut in 1987, I don’t think anyone could’ve imagined that a Japanese rock band in their 50s (Yagami is 60) could look so glamorous and hold arena-sized concerts to boot. Likewise with their sound too. It’s definitely not an exaggeration to say that a rock band like BUCK-TICK, who continues to bring excitement even in their 35th year of activities lets the younger generation of bands hope and dream for themselves.

Next, the moveable screens were put to full use with images that could be mistaken for three-dimensional spaces as the band started to play the groovy 1995 release, Uta, followed by 2010’s alternative folk-sounding Gekka Reijin, delivering a setlist through the ages.

Speaking in a tone that transcends gender, Sakurai said, “Welcome. Do enjoy yourself.” And with that began Maimu Mime off their latest album ABRACADABRA which was released in 2020. Seated on a chair, Sakurai crossed and recrossed his legs, flashing his thighs seductively as he played out the fetishistic exchange between the man and woman in the song.

Smiles began to appear on the faces of the band members when they started playing psychedelic surf rock song Kyoki no Dead Heat. Imai, Hoshino, and Higuchi went all the way down the left and right stage extensions and interacted with the fans.

The following segment was simply incredible. 

In Kinjirareta Asobi -ADULT CHILDREN-, numerous silhouettes of an actual ballerina danced on screen until the very end when they fell headfirst to the ground. In Aikawarazu no “Are” no Katamari ga Nosabaru Hedo no Soko no Fukidamari (2022MIX), Sakurai was absent from the stage but he participated in this song through a collage video as Imai sang “Let’s meet at the city of hope (edge of hell) [Saa, kibou no minato (jigoku no hate) de aou]” over and over like a chant. Next, the exotic-sounding Rakuen saw depravity unfold before repeated calls of “Shoot it!” brought us into REVOLVER. Songs with unsettling worldviews came one after another.

After that, the screen in the back turned into a starry night sky for the slow waltz, Guernica no Yoru. Even as he sang “Please forgive me, dear god (Yurushite kudasai ne kami-sama)” from the devastation unfolding before his eyes, he tells us that it was all just a dream at the end. The performance, videos, music, lighting, sound effects, and staging all came together in a masterpiece.

Then came the first ever unveiling of their new song Sayonara Shelter which can be found in their concept best-of album. Even as the lyrics sing about how crazy this world is, the melody is contrastingly gentle. As he sings, “Wait for me in that shelter,”  his words felt like a kindly push of encouragement.

Sakurai had a tambourine in his hand for the performance of their latest single, Go-Go B-T TRAIN. Fueled by the love of their fans, the B-T train took off in this high-tempo dance groove. Following this, Sakurai introduced the band with Yagami, Higuchi, Hoshino, and Imai playing music with each of their introductions.

Towering flames then shot up, leading into the Okinawan-sounding memento mori. “Remember to die”, “Let’s love and die”――. By loving death who visits anyone and everyone, we celebrate life. That was the kind of spellbinding party this song brought to the venue.

And right when the party was reaching its peak, it was the last song of the main set, New World. It was a techno-style 4-beat song, but its gentle melody warmly envelopes you as it leads from darkness to light.

During the encore, they performed Django!!!-Genwaku no Django-, followed by the 1990 song which marked the start of their gothic image, Aku no Hana. After that, Sakurai said, “We’ve been doing  this for 35 years. And we’ll do this tomorrow again.” before launching into the ballad song, ILLUSION from their debut album, SEXUAL×××××! 35 years ago. The gentle, tearful UK rock-sounding song fills the venue with euphoria while drawing in the signature neo acoustic elements of its release era.

In the second encore, they performed the nostalgic Koi, and then the romantic Yume Miru Uchuu. Following that, Sakurai began, “We’re currently in the midst of recording something absolutely delightful. There’s no time for sentimentality.” He then added, “On our 35th anniversary, I would like to express my gratitude to all of you; thank you. If you ever have a chance again someday, I hope that we can enjoy a concert together again, with everyone in good health. We’re still moving forward. Wishing blessings upon everyone too.”

The final song they performed for “FLY SIDE” was the folky, acoustic guitar song, Solaris. “Dear god a dream please let me dream even if it’s just a  fantasy”――. Those words sounded like a message saying that no matter how much a person suffers, they can still dream.

Life and death, love and hate, beauty and ugliness, micro and macro. We walk into the future while taking in all that is reality. Dreams and hope, and cosmic love are the things that the rock band BUCK-TICK continues to convey. I honestly believe that they are the universe and the champions of love. While these aren’t the exact lyrics to Eureka, they truly embody LOVE!with YEAH!and PEACE!.



03 唄 [Uta]
04 月下麗人 [Gekka Reijin]
05 舞夢マイム [Maimu Mime]
06 狂気のデッドヒート [Kyouki no Deadheat]
07 禁じられた遊び -ADULT CHILDREN- [Kinjirareta Asobi -ADULT CHILDREN-]
08 相変わらずの「アレ」のカタマりがのさばる反吐の底の吹き溜まり(2022MIX)[Aikawarazu no “Are” no Karamari ga Nosabaru Hedo no Soko no Fukidamari]
09 楽園 [Rakuen]
11 ゲルニカの夜 [Guernica no Yoru]
12 さよならシェルター [Sayonara Shelter]
13 Go-Go B-T TRAIN 
14 Memento mori 
15 New World

01 Django!!! -眩惑のジャンゴ- [Django!!! -Genwaku no Django-]
02 悪の華 [Aku no Hana]

01 恋 [Koi]
02 夢見る宇宙 [Yume Miru Uchuu]
03 Solaris



01 エリーゼのために [Elise no Tame no]
03 Tight Rope 
04 見えない物を見ようとする誤解 全て誤解だ [Mienaimono wo Miyou to Suru Gokai Subete Gokai da]
06 ダンス天国 [Dance Tengoku]
07 BOY septem peccata mortalia 
08 相変わらずの「アレ」のカタマりがのさばる反吐の底の吹き溜まり(2022MIX)[Aikawarazu no “Are” no Karamari ga Nosabaru Hedo no Soko no Fukidamari]
09 楽園 [Rakuen]
11 ゲルニカの夜 [Guernica no Yoru]
12 さよならシェルター [Sayonara Shelter]
13 Go-Go B-T TRAIN 
15 New World

02 悪の華 [Aku no Hana]

01 忘却 [Boukyaku]
02 夢見る宇宙 [Yume Miru Uchuu]
03 鼓動(2022MIX) [Kodou]



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Translation: Yoshiyuki
Pictures: Yoshiyuki


Ongaku to Hito
November 2022

A Parade Headed For The Future

text by Ishii Eriko
photographs by Seitaro Tanaka (tanaka seitaro photo office)

“THE PARADE” -35th Anniversary-

Instead of the celebratory mood on this 35th debut anniversary, the production and staging of this live concert were strongly influenced by the atmosphere of the current deadlocked times and the reality that dreams and ideals alone are not enough to live on. Yet, the band’s stance of choosing to face this head on instead of running away was most characteristic of them. Part of it was probably a reaffirmation of what’s most important of all to the five of them. The significance of living in the now, despite the non-existence of forever. This is an in-depth report on two days that held out such hope for tomorrow.


What we’ve thought of as routine until now has, at some point, rapidly become less so. Time again, this is what ongoing historic events show us.
I always thought that BUCK-TICK was a separate entity, that they’re special, but is this really true?

The weather held out on the first day right up until it was time for me to leave home. It was a rainy day, as per the weather forecast. It rained on the morning of the second day and continued throughout the day too. Memories of〈THE PARADE~30th anniversary~〉from five years ago came to me. It was held at Odaiba’s special outdoor stage under clear autumn skies and there were lively food stalls selling beer and takoyaki and other snacks all around. All of it feels like an unexpectedly distant memory.

When we become adults, time doesn’t flow as precisely as it does in an hourglass. More often than not, we would say that something that happened approximately three years ago happened “just the other day”. And we can remember what happened around 10 years ago “like it was yesterday”.

But five years ago with BUCK-TICK feels quite distant. To list what happened since that event, they completed production of an album and went on tour, during which Sakurai Atsushi got hospitalised due to an emergency and then made a full recovery and comeback at their Nippon Budokan show. The COVID-19 pandemic came when they started work on their next album and they could only hold concerts through the screen. Furthermore, they had to stop a tour because Imai Hisashi broke a bone, so on and so forth.

The turbulence didn’t end. Just as they started going on tours with their fan club & mobile site members-exclusive tour, Sakurai was tested positive for COVID-19 and some of the shows had to be postponed. It’s truly been a step forward and a step back at the same time, with good news coinciding with a heartbreaking event. When you think they’re finally making progress, something unexpected puts a stop to it.

There’s no one to blame, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. All there is to do is hope and pray. That BUCK-TICK stays safe and sound. That BUCK-TICK will be able to continue being BUCK-TICK.

I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a crisis. It just gets me thinking that there’s a real sense of urgency, that what we’ve thought of as routine until now has, at some point, rapidly become less so. Time again, this is what ongoing historic events show us. I always thought that BUCK-TICK was a separate entity, that they’re special, but is this really true?

Despite an appearance that tens of thousands have hailed as unchanged since debut, anyone who lays eyes on post-recovery Sakurai will be able to tell that in reality, (I don’t really want to say this either but) some signs of deterioration were evident and he looked worn out. Imai can already stand on stage without a cane, but should he be running around in 10 cm heels? Don’t push yourself?

Even as I consider their actual age in this manner, I remember a pleasant feeling, similar to being patted on the head that, no, it’s precisely because they go this far that they’re BUCK-TICK. Did anyone ever think that they were an ordinary band? One you could find anywhere? One that takes the easy way out of everything? If that were the case, I wouldn’t have followed them for so long. They wouldn’t have been able to bring us here.

Yagami Toll’s hair, slicked up towards the heavens even as he celebrates his 60th birthday, seems to hold the band’s willpower in it. What emerged at the band’s 35th anniversary was less of a joyous celebration and more of an immense determination to get through it all.

Let’s first look at the set list. The number of songs that were performed on both days is surprisingly high. Five years ago, 〈THE PARADE〉had boldly varied selections of songs between the two days where only four songs were played on both days. Also, if you try to look for songs that were performed back then and also on this year’s two days, you’d realise that there are only two; New World and Aku no Hana.

If anyone were to ask whether the set lists were reinforced by their most popular songs, like their debut releases and singles that are well-known to all, I can already imagine them replying to this with a straight face and another question: Why should they have to?

Surprisingly, or rather, unlike what you’d normally expect, BUCK-TICK’s anniversary doesn’t involve a line-up of hit songs made up by their all-time bests. By performing extreme once-in-a-lifetime setlists, they mean to say that their best is being delivered by their present selves.

May this beautiful lie light up your life
Band activities that continued in this way were eventually called “the Parade”

Extreme setlists. They were brilliant from the very first day. The curtains rose to the tune of unsettling guitar sounds with ICONOCLASM, but the performance that transported us into a futuristic sci-fi city was the most impressive thing I’ve seen in relation to this song, more so than when it was first released and anytime in the 10 or 20 years since. My head was spinning from the advances in technology. 

Different images were projected on the screen in front of the stage (you’d think it was a silk screen, but it’s a movable LED screen!) and in the back. Watching the stage from the front, the two overlap to create a more semantic, three-dimensional other world. The five performing band members were separately projected on screens on either side of the stage, but I don’t feel like smiling despite the band looking well. It’s the chilling sensation of being drawn into something dangerous to any extent, of an overwhelming unknown taking everything away from you. And this is only the start of the show.

Next, images of what looked like an ancient Roman temple appeared on the screens. At the same time, the screen in front of the stage rises, finally giving us a full view of the Great Devil King with his arms outstretched in the centre of the stage. This is the majestic BABEL. It was a little heartbreaking for me to see the contrast between his dazzling makeup and his sunken cheeks which betray his recent illness.

Furthermore, a line like〈Collapsing and yet/We are BABEL (頽れて尚/我はBABEL | Kuzuorete naoWare wa BABEL)〉carries a reality it has never had before. He was probably standing here with the same determination to go all the way to the very edge with his performances too. Despite such a presence, his eyes said it was all or nothing. There was no room for playing around. Gothic entertainment in the form of love, death, and life at stake was already complete with these two songs at the start.

On top of perfection, there was future elaboration on the finer details. I never could have imagined how much production and stage settings were involved. Scenery of sleazy entertainment districts that had retro trams running across them was featured during Maimu Mime, which appears to be a favourite in recent years.

Both music and vocals were monopolised by Imai in Aikawarazu no “Are” no Katamari~, but the bright red front screen had hands groping around as if seeking something through the glass while the back screen had an oversized close-up collage of Sakurai’s various facial expressions. The two together created a picture quality that of a horror film that the audience will never forget. 

Making a complete 180° in Rakuen, beautiful mosaics with Islamic patterns were all around, turning the whole screen into a gorgeous palace. Sakurai sang with a veil over his head, looking like a beautiful Arabian queen. I could almost see camels nearby.

The performances on the second day were also superb. Horses running through a thick forest of trees and mists rolling in with a full moon illuminating the dark night in all its realism were presented to us in MOONLIGHT ESCAPE, which was positioned as a contrast to the previous day’s Maimu Mime.

And in Dance Tengoku, a brilliantly coloured heart (not a lovely heart, but an illustration of an actual organ that looks like it came out of a science textbook!) bounced around chaotically, while in BOY Septem peccata mortalia, Sakurai got down on all fours on his own and flashed his thighs and knee-high stocking repeatedly during the depraved erotic song. Thrilling as it was, I kept wondering in the back of my mind whether it was pleasure from male or female genitalia he desires, no, I have no idea what we’re being shown anymore. Every song had an extraordinarily high level of entertainment taken to the extreme.

Roman temples and trams and an Arabian queen. Alternatively, moonlight and hearts and the all-too-erotic knee-highs…… Looking at this with a calm mind, you might laugh at what I’m saying here. At what a mess it all sounds like. The performance of each song is clearly beyond the realm of simple backgrounds in X style. 

Countless lights transform the stage into an aurora borealis or a starry sky, and Sakurai reigns over the stage, transcending gender. It’s all a fascinating concoction, but you get goosebumps from the pride and experience of the performers who don’t give you a chance to think that these are all mere props. Their spirit is conveyed through each tone of voice and each movement of a finger.

May this beautiful lie light up your life. Band activities that continued in this way were eventually called “the Parade”. All that is left for them to do is carry on al the way to the end with whatever time they have left. As long as there is still life left in them, they will perform to the end.

That’s the stage I thought they were at. But——

At the end, there was an outpouring of feelings that could make a person cry
I believe that is what we call
the forward-looking, hopeful love

Reality was steadily encroaching on their flawlessly constructed fictional world. This was brought to life in the second half. They performed the same setlist here on both days. REVOLVER, Guernica no Yoru, and Sayonara Shelter; the trilogy of anti-war songs that concluded DISC 1 of their best-of concept album.

Of course, no one thought to label them with such a word at first. REVOLVER can be enojoyed as a flamboyant and suggestive dance tune on its own. But Sakurai’s personal memories are part of Guernica no Yoru and the soliloquising line “What about me?   What shall I do?   I sing of love, of romance (僕はどうだい どうすればいい 愛とか恋だとか歌っている / Boku wa doudai   Dousureba ii   Ai toka koi da toka utatteiru)” that comes in the second half is something that goes completely beyond fiction. My heart ached with an inexplicable conflict. The gunshots in the music sounded louder than ever. My vision clouded over time and again. Even though the music was ever so beautiful.

The performance of their new song, Sayonara Shelter was also unforgettable even though it featured no stage effects or props of any kind. It was just the band lit by blue lights. There was no need for any explanation. Lyrics that were written from the perspective of someone experiencing the happenings of Ukraine pierce with a rawness that cannot be dismissed as a mere fantasy. This is how far they’ve come with their composition. This is how far they had to sing their song. This one song with lyrics written by Sakurai as a result of these impending times very clearly tells us where BUCK-TICK stands now.

To put it bluntly, things like their 35th anniversary and whatever they’ve done in the past don’t matter at this point. The two-day setlist eloquently states that this is what needs to be communicated now. This is, without a doubt, the highlight. BUCK-TICK’s best probably lies in showing us the truth. As if out of concern and to provide some relief from the painful reality, Sakurai wore a mask and blew kisses numerous times. This was an expression of love, or perhaps, an expression of farewells.

After making us think so much, suddenly, we’re thrust into Go-Go B-T TRAIN. This was tremendous fun, like the sudden high-pitched laugh echoing through the hall. Impending reality flips into a half-defiant positivity. Pink tulips bloom madly everywhere. A broadly-grinning Higuchi Yutaka. Imai Hisashi shaking his hips with the groove. Hoshino Hidehiko looked cool but there was some hint of joy on his face. Yagami Toll watched over  them all from above with the gaze of a father watching over his energetic children.

In reality, all the members of the band are in their late 60s, but it was a moment that reaffirmed that the youthful energy that came with their rock ‘n’ roll tracks was still intact. It can’t be said that they’re eternal and unchanging. Physical ability diminishes with age. But even so, Sakurai Atsushi slaps his tambourine hard, calling upon everyone to go as far as they can. The audience claps in response.

〈Let your love burn   Run B-T TRAIN (愛を燃やせ 走れB-T TRAIN / Ai wo moyase   Hashire BT-TRAIN)〉. The decadent and ridiculously powered song resonates as a theme song for the energised BUCK-TICK and their fans. At the end, there was already an outpouring of feelings between both parties that could make a person cry. I believe that is undoubtedly what we call the forward-looking, hopeful love.

The encore followed with a ballad for the first time in a long while. On the first day, Sakurai had an air of formality about him as he said, “Now, recording is underway to great feedback. There’s no time for sentimentality.” But on the second day, we saw him giving a cheeky pep talk to his fellow band members.

He said, “Good thing is, we have a lot to do. Starting tomorrow, Anii and Yuta will begin rehearsing for the tour. Imai-san and Hide will write new songs. They’ll get started at daybreak.” Adding on to that, he said, “And I, will sleep.” Hearing him speak with such a chuckle-inducing tone of voice was exceptionally rare. Even though they were running on a tough schedule, they certainly seemed more relaxed between these two days of concerts.

Lastly, Imai threw a peace sign as he spoke into the mic, “Thank you, this was awesome.” Yuta, and even Hide and Anii also added to it with ‘Thank you’s of their own. When we exited the venue, the rain that stopped in the evening had completely dried up and a pleasant breeze was blowing.

As written earlier, I don’t think it was a happy-go-lucky celebration. But despite that, the fireworks shot in the ending video were beautiful. Before this all began, I came with a beseeching feeling, but by the end of these two days, I’m smiling with this thought in mind:  May BUCK-TICK go on and continue as BUCK-TICK, always.



03 唄 [Uta]
04 月下麗人 [Gekka Reijin]
05 舞夢マイム [Maimu Mime]
06 狂気のデッドヒート [Kyouki no Deadheat]
07 禁じられた遊び -ADULT CHILDREN- [Kinjirareta Asobi -ADULT CHILDREN-]
08 相変わらずの「アレ」のカタマりがのさばる反吐の底の吹き溜まり(2022MIX)[Aikawarazu no “Are” no Karamari ga Nosabaru Hedo no Soko no Fukidamari]
09 楽園 [Rakuen]
11 ゲルニカの夜 [Guernica no Yoru]
12 さよならシェルター [Sayonara Shelter]
13 Go-Go B-T TRAIN 
14 Memento mori 
15 New World

01 Django!!! -眩惑のジャンゴ- [Django!!! -Genwaku no Django-]
02 悪の華 [Aku no Hana]

01 恋 [Koi]
02 夢見る宇宙 [Yume Miru Uchuu]
03 Solaris



01 エリーゼのために [Elise no Tame no]
03 Tight Rope 
04 見えない物を見ようとする誤解 全て誤解だ [Mienaimono wo Miyou to Suru Gokai Subete Gokai da]
06 ダンス天国 [Dance Tengoku]
07 BOY septem peccata mortalia 
08 相変わらずの「アレ」のカタマりがのさばる反吐の底の吹き溜まり(2022MIX)[Aikawarazu no “Are” no Karamari ga Nosabaru Hedo no Soko no Fukidamari]
09 楽園 [Rakuen]
11 ゲルニカの夜 [Guernica no Yoru]
12 さよならシェルター [Sayonara Shelter]
13 Go-Go B-T TRAIN 
15 New World

02 悪の華 [Aku no Hana]

01 忘却 [Boukyaku]
02 夢見る宇宙 [Yume Miru Uchuu]
03 鼓動(2022MIX) [Kodou]







Translation: Yoshiyuki
Pictures: Yoshiyuki

35th Anniversary Feature

PHY Vol. 22
November 2022

I do sense that some sort of change has happened. Within myself
In any case, my desire to focus on music has grown stronger
— Sakurai Atsushi

BUCK-TICK celebrates their 35th debut anniversary on September 21. In all this time, the band has kept the same original member line-up while making all kinds of music in different themes with inspiration from a wide variety of genres and also touring at a consistent pace.

CATALOGUE THE BEST 35th anniv. is the concept album they’re releasing in this period. Although its voluminous 80 tracks breaks the mould of the idea of a “best of” (lol), the selected songs have been split into five  concepts that perfectly embody the essence of the band that is BUCK-TICK and their journey thus far. Then again, it’s more of an impossibility to attempt to summarise the band’s 35-year history within one mere CD.

However, the mood of the band right now is definitely not entirely celebratory ahead of their anniversary. Rather, I think it seems a little gloomy. What is the reason behind this?

A best-of album, a new song, COVID-19, growing older, and concerts.

This special feature explores where BUCK-TICK currently stands on a variety of topics. September 21 is the day when BUCK-TICK will see a new beginning. Incidentally, due to the many happenings in the recent period, these interviews have been arranged in chronological order, according to when they happened.





BUCK-TICK Solo Interviews


Sakurai Atsushi

Text by: Ishii Eriko

How each person thinks has also changed over time. Everyone is growing more and more uncertain about the future
I’ve had periods when I’m feeling uneasy about my health and I’ve had COVID-19. But I think everyone’s feeling the same way

――Since your 30th year anniversary, both BUCK-TICK and the world have had some hectic times. There’s COVID-19, members of the band have fallen sick and sustained injuries. Thinking about it, quite a lot has happened.

Sakurai (S): Yes. And separate from music, there’s been other frustrations in the recent few years. Including the question of how many more years I can keep at this; on account of my age and my level of motivation too. I really feel that I can’t tell what might happen anymore after all these experiences I’ve had.

――Are you able to share more in this regard?

S: You hear about it all the time. Take Kanemitsu-san, for example. I believe it’s similar to what he goes through as editor-in-chief. There’s all sorts of difficulties that come with becoming a director or manager or chief of something.

――That’s true. So it’s the kind of problems that come to those who lead?

S: Things I can’t really talk about. A bunch has happened…… Right? (smiles at the editor-in-chief)

――This is rare. We’ve never really heard you talk about these things until now.

S: Well, how each person thinks has also changed over time, you know? I believe that anyone and everyone is growing more and more uncertain about the future. I’ve had periods when I’m feeling uneasy about my health and things like that, and I’ve had COVID-19 too. But this doesn’t apply to me exclusively, I think everyone’s feeling the same way, right? In the past few years, I believe there were those whose lives changed dramatically ever since COVID-19 came about, and even the cities have changed, right? I believe it’s been both difficult and scary for everyone. Not only me, but our fans as well, and their families too. We’re all experiencing invisible pressures and encroaching terrors too.

――Yes. I think we’ve all had to make all kinds of tough decisions in the confusion.

S: Indeed. In reality, we couldn’t even hold concerts. Not only us, but I think everyone including our staff, those in the stage play and entertainment industry, the actors, the whole world felt it. That this situation was not something that anyone could even have dreamt would’ve happened. But history has taught us that such things actually do happen.

――So what did you do with all the free time that resulted from your schedule being emptied out?

S: Uh…… I rode my bicycle.

――Hahahahahaha! Really?

S: Fufufu. Yes. Well, I’d go along and do things I wouldn’t normally do…… like cycling all the way to the park on my bike.

――Has cycling always been one of your hobbies?

S: Yes. Quite so. Although I’ve been riding on the same one for about 10 years now.

――The ones that go fast, right…… In other words, a road bike?

S: Yes. The not-city bike¹ (lol). The ones with elevated seats.

――How surprising.

S: That’s what everyone says, but it’s fun. I can go here and there unlike driving a car, and obviously it’s faster than walking too. I made all sorts of discoveries. Apart from that, though, I haven’t done anything particularly productive.

――Oh, really (lol).

S: I say that but I’ve been approached by a lot of people, asking me whether I’d like to participate in this and that. One of them was a broadcast. And right about 2 years ago, our fan club-exclusive tour was put on hold but there was also a conversation about going on NHK with Hiroshi-san (for the dialogue program) at the time. Normally I’d hate the idea of going on TV to talk, but I felt it would be good since it was a way for fans to see me. I actually had a really good time. I’m extremely thankful to Hiroshi-san.

――It was very intriguing. Aside from that, you also had a dialogue with author Tono Haruka-san, right?

S: Ah, that’s right.

―― Was it also something you felt was good to do at that juncture?

S: Well, honestly speaking…… Mr Tono came to our concert before he was awarded the Akutagawa Prize. My ex-wife and I had a mutual acquaintance, Mari-chan from Kumamoto who was a man who identified as a woman, who passed away suddenly. It’s one of those things that proves you never know when something will happen out of nowhere. After that happened, I received a letter asking, “May I come and watch your concert?” That was the Makuhari Messe show. You could say that was our first meeting after 29 years…… Well, it was as good as a “Pleased to meet you for the first time.” The next time we met was after the concert at Yoyogi Gymnasium. That was when he said, “I’ll be an Akutagawa Prize-winning author when we next meet,” and I was like, “Oh~”. And after that, he really won it. I thought it was amazing.

――Ohh. That’s impressive.

S: I saw the press conference that came after the award ceremony, and there was a reporter who seemed to be incessantly trying to dig up information about his father from him. I got the impression that this person probably knew [the truth] and wanted [Tono] to say it on his own. Then, a representative from Bungei approached me with, “Mr Sakurai, would you like to do a dialogue [with him]? Because I believe a lot of people are going to turn their curiosity [towards him] later on.” I declined at first, though.

――Is that so?

S: Because I felt that I don’t have any right to show up now, at that point of time and say that I’m the father of an Akutagawa Prize-winning author. But after that, Mr Tono himself told me that, “I would like to talk with you.” So. Since that’s the case…… I also thought that this might be the one thing I could do for him in my life as a parent, so I agreed to it.

――I think it ultimately turned out to be something beautiful. Far more so than a scoop in a gossip magazine.

S: You’re right. Honestly…… I felt vindicated by the words Mr Tono said to me. For these few decades.

――It never left your mind?

S: It really was my cross to bear. Because I sincerely felt that I caused their family a lot of unpleasant feelings. Not that I could do anything if they hated and resented me though. But contrary to that, he actually said things like, “[I appreciate that] I could study all the way to college”…… I’m really grateful.

――I’m glad to hear that. Truly.

S: It’s probably convenient for me to say this, but I was definitely a little happy too that he won the prize. Really, even though I felt apologetic that I couldn’t do anything for him.

――I’m a parent myself so I understand where you’re coming from. These days, I find more joy in the youth and children’s hardwork and success than my own. Maybe that’s actually a form of hope in itself.

S: Exactly. It also feels like a weight has finally been lifted from my shoulders. And it really dawns on you that this small child has grown up and matured into their own person. That they’ve grown into a stronger person than you had expected…… It really gets me feeling, “Ah, you’re living your life well.”

――It’s something truly wonderful. 

S: You can’t really judge people by their appearances these days considering that there are so many of the younger generation who have things figured out better than the adults. That’s why there are things we can’t give up on in the world. Of course, there are parts of it that are rotten too, right? In my recent MCs, I’ve been saying “The world is rotten-” and things like that, and it’s something that I blurt out without much thought. But there definitely are things that we can’t give up on in the world, you know? Hope still exists.

――Yes. Now, about the band; with your 35th anniversary right around the corner, any thoughts about this number?

S: Hmmm? …… Huun…… Long.

――Hahaha! I got careless with phrasing my question (lol).

S: People often say, “Isn’t it amazing that you’ve played together for 35 years now.” But it doesn’t really strike us like that. I recall all sorts of things in fragments but…… I can’t quite describe it. Because it’s not as if we’re doing the same things day in and day out.

――Is it that feeling you get when you’re doing something you enjoy while time is just passing by?

S: There’s some of that too, but personally, I still feel like there’s room for growth in terms of my singing and my lyrics, if I do say so myself. In the end, that desire for more is still in me so I suppose I’m unable to be satisfied with myself.


S: Also, this is referring to what we spoke about earlier, but recently, I’ve started to be mindful of what I do in the sense that I don’t want to disgrace Mr Tono. Like releasing work that an Akutagawa Prize-winning author wouldn’t be embarrassed of, and when I think about how many more times I can do all this…… I’d figure that it’s now or never.

――It’s sobering, isn’t it?

S: In that sense, I think that somehow or rather, when I read Mr Tono’s work, I get inspired.

――Over and over, you’ve all said things like “This might be the last”, or “I wonder how many more [albums] we can produce”, but does such a topic normally surface among the members?

S: No, no. Not at all. It doesn’t happen, but…… Who knows, right? I don’t know what everyone thinks about it though.

――It’s significant to the band when members get injured or fall sick, right?

S: That’s right. In itself, it can’t be helped that such incidents occur, but I do sense that some sort of change has happened. Within myself. In any case, my desire to focus on music has grown stronger.

――So you didn’t sink [into despair] together with it all?

S: Ah, no. I did.

――Oh, my bad. But it sounds like you never thought about stopping.

S: Yes. That I have creative work to do saved me. It’s like I’m here because there’s something I can do my best and immerse myself in. Since the start of the year, it’s been song after song and I’ve been sitting in front of the computer almost every day hemming and hawing, making time to focus purely on creating stories.

――When it comes to lyrics, do the words come to you all at once and you just write everything down? Or is the process more like a patient waiting game for the words to appear in your mind?

S: Ah, it depends on the song, but oftentimes [the lyrics] come in a steady stream stemming from my first impressions. Of course, after that, there’s still a long road to completion though. With the tiny details that only I would be bothered by. Like, “僕は (boku wa)” or “僕が (boku ga)”²……… which should I use? Although there’s also the part of me that bursts out with, “Any of them will do!” But I just can’t help but obsess over those kinds of details. Fufufu.

――I actually thought this might’ve been a tough time but based on your tone of voice, it sounds like you’ve found enjoyment too.

S: That’s…… true. Because somehow, I keep getting strong desires of “I want to write this plot!” As long as I still have time to work on it, I’d keep thinking about things like whether or not there’s a better word or phrase I can use. It is during this time when I can have fun with creating the story.

――Your desire to sing a good song and your desire to write such a certain story; are these separate from each other?

S: Ah…… When you put it like this, I’d say yes, you’re right. Although, initially, when the plot gets ahead, I’d suddenly realise that, “Ah, oh, right. I’m singing this.” Of course, there’s also the melody and the rhythm to consider. That’s why the very last stage involves fitting them all together and turning it into a viable song.

――Have you ever considered, for example, writing short stories or something like that?

S: No, no, no. I think that’s tough.

――Since the plot is the first thing that comes to mind, then, Sakurai-san, don’t you think it’s feasible?

S: …… I don’t


S: I mean, those authors, novelists, even the literary greats of the past, they’re all unwell, aren’t they? Even I’m not well and I’m just writing these lyrics. Even if they’re well respected and people think they’re amazing…… I just wonder, “Are they okay?” Because they’re already consumed by their stories, right? It’s bad for health, honestly.

――I would want to read it though, a short story written by Sakurai-san.

S: Really? Then…… Shall I start with something erotic?

――By all means. Please feel free to be nasty (lol).

S: Hahahaha!

――That was a joke, but in the end, what you really want to do is song and music, right?


S: That’s right. I wonder what makes the difference for me. Well, maybe I just like singing in itself.

――Right. So, your 35th anniversary concert at Yokohama Arena. What can we expect to see?

S: For the stage, we intend to suggest doing something we’ve never done before, so I’m not too sure how we’ll capture it on screen. As for songs, we’ll be performing our popular songs through these years and maybe also our new song Sayonara Shelter, if possible.

――Got it. I look forward to it.

S: And what else? I do want to pick a few songs myself, though. Because for July’s fan club tour, I couldn’t quite readjust my focus so the other members of the band decided on the set list for me. I don’t really know what meaning I would like [the songs] to hold at this point in time though. I wonder if I should make people think about the current world situation, and about September? Of course, the songs I would like to perform are also likely different from the songs people want to hear, so there’s also some giving and taking to do. It’s like the coexistence of my own cynicism and solace. I think it would be nice if we could show the audience something like that.

――Is there a festive atmosphere right now? Although, I feel like there was more of a celebratory mood during your 30th anniversary.

S: …… Somehow it feels like we can’t really get into that mood, right? With the way things are now. Of course, we do want everyone to enjoy themselves though. But this isn’t about me personally, so I think we can achieve a good balance when we put everyone’s influence together.

――Understood. And lastly, may I ask you a particularly difficult question?

S: Haa.

――Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow band members who you’ve been walking, and sometimes running together with for the past 35 years?

S: (Immediately) Thanks for all your hard work.

――Hahahahaha! …… Is that all?

S: That’s all. …… What? You want more? Were you expecting a good answer?

――Fufufu. I just thought it’d be beautiful if there was a “thank you” or something like that.

S: Nope. None. They know without me saying it.

――Alright. Thank you!




¹ Bicycles with a basket in front, a.k.a., the mama-chari.

² While technically interchangeable, there’s actually the slightest of differences between “僕は (boku wa)” and “僕が (boku ga)”; one places emphasis on the subject that comes before, the other places emphasis on what comes after.



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Hoshino Hidehiko

Interview by: Kanemitsu Hirofumi

There’s a lot that is different than how it used to be, but we’ve always found a way to make it through
So my wish for our 35th anniversary is for the band to keep going on together

――Shows for the fan club and mobile members-exclusive tour have been postponed following Sakurai-san testing positive for COVID-19.

Hoshino (H): I was surprised but it can’t be helped, can it? Because it’s now something that can happen to anyone and everyone. I just hope for Sakurai-san to rest well, make a full recovery, and return in the best of health.

――It was your first tour in a while so did it feel refreshing to travel around the country again?

H: All kinds of memories sprung up like reminiscing about what it felt like and so on. Since it’s really been quite a while since I travelled with the band. Also, the thought of how we took the way things were for granted three years ago and how we’re now in a not-normal world hit me again.

――That’s for sure.

H: Those were the kind of things on my mind while touring.

――Next, BUCK-TICK will be celebrating your 35th anniversary together on 21 September.

H: Well it feels like things have been the same as always, though. But each one of the days are special days in their respective ways.

――Speaking of which, doesn’t you think a person can really sense the weight of these 35 years through your best-of concept album?

H: That’s true. A set of 5 CDs, and…… about 80 songs?

――Exactly 80 songs.

H: We’ve released quite a few best-of albums so far, haven’t we? Starting with our very first best-of album, we had the band’s selection of songs, a collection of single A-sides that were released with the label we were signed with at the time, and even one that was of songs requested and voted for by fans.

――You have to put some thought into it every time you release one.

H: They’re all good in their own ways. But although there are indeed a lot of songs in this iteration of our best-of’s, the songs have been split very conceptually and I think that’s what makes it rather interesting.

――But I’d think that song selection was tough.

H: Our staff separated our songs into the major categories for us before we all had a look at it and gave our own opinions on which songs we’d like to see where, but since CDs have limited capacity, we ended up in the situation where we had to sacrifice a song if we wanted to add another. It was quite agonising after all. And we had to think about the flow of the tracks too.

――The five titles of each category were written in Esperanto, which translates to “rebellion”, “gothic”, “electric”, “fantasy”, and “hope”. It’s easy to tell that the band has brought all kinds of songs to life whether thematically or musically.

H: We’ve really got a wide range, don’t we?

――Hoshino compositions are also a category of their own in a way so I think it’d be nice if they were all compiled into one release too, though.

H: Although I don’t think “Hoshino” can be written in Esperanto (lol).

――Hahahahaha. There’s also a new song included in this best-of album; Sayonara Shelter. The lyrics were written by Sakurai-san, while Hoshino-san composed the music, right?

H: We didn’t initially intend to release it here, but Director Tanaka-san said, “Don’t you think this song needs to be released now, rather than with the album scheduled for next spring?” I thought that was certainly true. And after having a meeting with the band, we came to the decision to include it in the best-of concept album.

――Did you think this way because of what was being sung?

H: Yeah, that’s right.

――The lyrics bring a gentle gaze upon the current situation in society. More specifically, the war between Russia and Ukraine, and the “innocent children” who are victims of it.

H: I guess Sakurai-san seemed to want to zoom in on that situation and he was a bit hesitant but it’s a message that we have always been sending all this time, so I suppose he felt that it would be okay to include it in the best-of album. I think so too anyway.

――The lyrics are very typical of Sakurai-san, aren’t they?

H: Yeah. It’s a gentle perspective, isn’t it? With the way he sings about something like seeing salvation in such a terrible situation. We can’t really keep silent when something like that happens. I could really sense how much he wanted to send this message out.


H: And it was happening right when we were recording vocals too. Around March, I believe. Ukraine was being bombed by air strikes and there was a video being broadcast in the news on TV of a girl singing Frozen’s theme song (Let It Go) in the shelters where civilians took refuge, right?

――I saw that. It’s the video that went around of a girl about seven years old singing and encouraging the evacuees, right?

H: I have a daughter about the same age too. It really made my heart ache. That was the kind of scenario we were recording in so I really felt each and every word very keenly.

――It’s really sad that we live in a time that makes Sakurai-san write and sing such lyrics. I would think that this is one such scene that he actually doesn’t want to sing about.

H: Yeah. I think the music to this song could’ve been suitable for just about anything too. It could’ve been a love song, or one that inspires wondrous scenery. But I suppose here and now, these are the lyrics for it.

――Hoshino-san’s music was completed before the lyrics?

H: That’s right. Because in BUCK-TICK, the music tends to come first.

――So, that means you didn’t actually think that these lyrics would be written, right?

H: For Sayonara Shelter, it was timely so I guess I had a bit of a hunch too that these would be the type of lyrics that he might very well write for it.

――It turned out to be a sound and melody that fit Sakurai-san’s current emotions.

H: Yeah. It’s a mid-tempo song but it feels a little bit different from what we’ve done so far. A progression that stuck with the mid-tempo beat would work too, but I wanted a bit of change. Like trying a rhythm change in the middle of it. Besides, I’d think that the attachment of such lyrics to such a melody is most probably a result of Sakurai-san’s feelings naturally flowing into his writing.

――I think so too.

H: Also, I believe the version that will be in next spring’s album will be a little bit different, so do look forward to that too. I’m not working on it though.

――What did Hoshino-san focus on for this song?

H: Hm… Rhythm, but also the melody, I think. But the melody for the chorus came easy, and I really liked Sakurai-san’s lyrics for that part. It really moved me.

――This gets me thinking that this is where lies the goodness and the strength of a band who has been together for such a long time.

H: You’re probably right.

――Along with this new song, I heard that you’ve started recording your next album and have already made quite a bit of progress, so what kind of album do you think it’ll turn out to be?

H: Hasty (lol). But I think we managed to do some really great things here. Like you said, we’ve made quite a bit of progress with recording work. We’re pretty much done with recording the guitar parts for all the songs that we have now and they’re now in the mixing stage. Since the fan club & mobile members-only live tour has begun, we’re pausing recording work for the time being so I don’t have a clear idea of how things would turn out in the end though.

――All members of the band have said that you’re making good stuff, but no one would give me any specifics (lol).

H: This upcoming album is made based on an idea from our staff and a particular concept.  That’s why I think it’ll be in a style that has never been seen from BUCK-TICK before. Although even I don’t know how it would end up (lol). In terms of music, I think you’d probably get to hear all types of music in the songs.

――…… I’m even more confused now (lol).

H: Anyway, do look forward to it. Because after our show at Yokohama Arena or halfway through our national tour, I think we’ll have new song(s) again so we’d have to record.  Imai-san also said he’s working on a few more songs anyway.

――What about Hoshino-san?

H: I’ve delivered three songs, including Sayonara Shelter and I’m pretty much done with recording already. I guess we’ll see how things go afterwards. For now, I do plan to compose one more song though.

――As usual, you’re the one bringing the balance (lol).

H: I think it’ll turn out great. But we’re going to get pretty busy from here on out, aren’t we? It’s about time for us to start thinking about what we’re going to do for our Yokohama Arena show and prepare for rehearsals. And a month after that, we’re going on a national tour, right? When on earth will he find the time to record? (Lol)

――That’s his problem (lol). And Anii will be celebrating his 60th soon.

H: That’s right. Anii is turning 60 and reaching the next stage in life ahead of us. We’re all going to follow after him in the coming years, but looking at Anii now, I can imagine myself still playing guitar in BUCK-TICK when I’m 60.

――That’s only another 4 years.

H: In the blink of an eye (lol). You’re right. Although there are two seniors ahead of me.

――You can see what’s ahead.

H: But thus far, we’ve constantly released new work and gone on nationwide tours with the new releases just about every year. We’ve been living very blessed days but things like this time’s COVID-19 could happen in our lives. Although, well, I think we’re headed in a good direction from here on out.

――Going forward, what does the ideal way of life look like to Hoshino-san?

H: I’m no Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones), but it’d be nice if I could become a cool grandpa like him and continue to play guitar on stage with all that flair.

――Wouldn’t that mean changing your image (lol)?

H: Well I guess we’re of different types (lol) but we all get more and more wrinkles as we age anyway. But I want to stay cool, you know? I want to keep playing music too.

――As a part of BUCK-TICK?

H: Of course, I’d like for us to keep going. It’s only natural to think so when we’ve come this far. I can’t really imagine what it’d be like otherwise. But as long as one person can’t do it anymore, this band won’t be able to continue on. That’s what I feel.

――That strong bond is beautiful yet ephemeral at the same time.

H: I suppose. So, there’s a lot that is now different than how it used to be in the past, but even in such situations. We’re same five people who have always found a way to make it through. And that’s why, my wish for our 35th anniversary is for the band to keep going on together.

――Did these thoughts come about as a result of Hoshino-san’s father passing away, and your hair loss and health problems due to the immune disorder?

H: I think there’s definitely some influence. Because in recent times, I’m feeling more and more strongly that anything could happen at any moment. I’ve grown to be mentally prepared.

――Rock bands tend to have more impulsivity or anger or things like that in their youth, but now, all the members of BUCK-TICK seem to possess that kind of preparedness in some form. Yet at the same time, I can really sense the band’s desire to go for it.

H: You’re right. I think everyone’s got that vibe. Because I think everyone’s had their own respective experiences. Not as a band, but as people.

――I think the fact that you can’t cover up your humanity is linked to what attracts people to the band that is BUCK-TICK.

H: Really? But thinking about it, I feel really blessed that we still have enough fans now that we can still perform a 2-day show at Yokohama Arena. We’re also getting a lot of letters and emails saying things like, “I recently came back [to being a fan]. Thank you for being active for so long.” Of course, I’m thankful for all the people who have watched over us through all this time, but it really makes me happy to hear that someone has come back as a fan after, for example, leaving to focus on raising their children.

――I think it means that you’ve cultivated a good relationship with your fans.

H: That’s true. When I fall sick and get discouraged, I would remember all the letters I’ve received from everyone who were battling illnesses like cancer and all that, and I’d tell myself, “No, no, I can’t.”

――That it’s not the time for you to be weak.

H: Rather than me encouraging our fans, I’m the one who’s being encouraged and motivated by them. That’s why I think our 35th anniversary is just a checkpoint. I still want to continue deepening the bond with everyone and maintaining the good relationship we have. COVID-19 is still a thing so it’s frustrating that we can’t really have concrete plans, but I hope that the timing of our 35th anniversary can serve as a start to all of that.

――Can you already envision your future 40th anniversary and all that?

H: Five years later…… I’ll be 61. I don’t really want to think about it but (lol), we’ll probably keep going. Like I said at the very beginning, I want to cherish every passing day as if they’re all special respective days.




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Higuchi yutaka

Interview by: Kanemitsu Hirofumi

I don’t want us to be nothing but carried away by the voices and the atmosphere of the times
Because this is a band that was started by the five of us

――Here we go.

Yutaka (Y): We ended up doing this remotely again (lol).

――We have to be very careful since you’re preparing to resume touring.

Y: We’re shocked too.

――Were all the members of the band already in Nagoya by the time Sakurai-san tested positive for COVID-19?

Y: Yes. It seems like Acchan’s health took a sudden turn for the worse the previous evening. Acchan’s got a throat condition too, so he was the most careful one out of all of us, and yet this still happened.

――Right? Sakurai-san was quite cautious, wasn’t he?

Y: All of us, the whole band, when we’re on tour, we’d eat our lunch boxes in our own rooms starting from the day before we travel. On concert days, we’ll book out a whole restaurant and eat in small groups. But since he still caught it anyway, we can only say that it is what it is.

――I hope you get to resume your tour. Although you had to postpone a few shows, how do you feel about being on tour for the first time in a while?

Y: It feels refreshing to be somewhere other than Tokyo. I even thought, how many years has it been since I last rode the bullet train (lol). Mount Fuji, the sea, being able to watch all that scenery passing my window was super emotional. I felt like I gained a new sense of appreciation for all the things I used to take for granted before.

――Does that mean, Yuta-san, for about three years, you haven’t gone……

Y: Out of Tokyo, no. I couldn’t even visit my hometown. That’s why when I head out, I feel happy and grateful for it. And also thankful that everyone waited for us. The shows we’re playing for this tour are standing shows. The audience numbers have been kept to a limit and to prevent overcrowding, they’ve been given designated spots to stand in, but at least, when I look down from the stage, it doesn’t look like the number of people in attendance has been reduced by that much. I feel like I’m also getting back that sense of what performing a live concert feels like.

――I see.

Y: And the audience can’t vocalise, right? It’s very a real pity but my heart feels so full when I see everyone cooperating with the rule. They’ve all come together as one to make the concert a success. That’s why, while still taking into account the situation at hand, I felt it’s important to create a space where people can enjoy a live concert without holding back, and also to live up to the expectations of those who want to watch us perform live and help us succeed in this despite the situation.

――Compared to other shows, the audience at BUCK-TICK’s concerts really do their best to abide by the rules.

Y: I feel like they’re trying to convey something to us with that. That’s why even without their voices, everyone feels more united than ever. And for us, there’s that sense of that return to normal life when we travel and tour. I don’t think we’ll be able to go back to what things were like before COVID-19 and I believe we’ll have to think about new ways to do things too, but the more shows we play, the more we all can start to feel that things will be okay. Everyone is coming together to make it work, that’s the kind of tour it is.

――After that, BUCK-TICK has a 2-day anniversary concert at Yokohama Arena coming up, followed by a national tour that begins in October.

Y: I’m looking forward to it!

――Do you have a clear idea of what you’re going or intending to do at this point in time?

Y: It’s a tour that comes after the release of our best-of album, so it’s not one that specially has to follow one album’s concept. In other words, it doesn’t have a clear concept, but I guess that also means that there’s a lot we can do. I think it’ll be good if we can first celebrate with everyone at Yokohama Arena, then head into our national tour with that excitement.

――So you’ll celebrate your 35th anniversary at Yokohama Arena with a bang.

Y: And after that, we’re going to travel the country, not to give thanks, but to have a good time together with everyone.

――I see.

Y: Since it’s our anniversary, I think we’re going to have a lot of fun. Rather than put on a celebration and then end it with a huge fireworks display, I think we’re hoping to put on a show that signals that we’re just getting started. I’m looking forward to it.

――Also, do you feel any differently when you see the words “35 years since debut”?

Y: I wonder…… But things are clearly different than how they were, right? We had the pandemic and we couldn’t really perform any shows as much as we wanted to, could we? That’s sort of ongoing, so I guess I don’t really feel the carefree joy like “It’s our 35th anniversary~!”

――I see.

Y: I said it earlier too, but it’s like I’m carefully chewing and digesting how precious activities like recording and performing live that we’ve taken for granted till now, are to me. The world has changed, war has broken out, and a lot of things won’t work out the same way they used to, right?

――We can’t stay the same.

Y: You can really sense the changing of the times. Amidst that, I’ve been thinking more and more about what we can do, what I can do. In the end, I definitely want the five of us to keep going forever, so I don’t want us to be nothing but carried away by the voices and the atmosphere of the times.

――You’ve got a point.

Y: Because this is a band that was started by the five of us.

――Is there anything you think you can do in such times?

Y: The only thing we can do is bring joy to people through music, so I guess we can only feel those emotions while doing what we do.

――That’s why the band has come this far, and why it’s important for it to keep going?

Y: That’s definitely true, but what has kept us going is the results too. There’s no checkpoint. Because we’ve always tackled each and every thing we do seriously, and none of this is a given, right? Because I don’t think we could’ve gotten here if the five of us didn’t put in effort. We have to take things seriously. We can’t let ourselves take our present status for granted. That’s something I feel particularly strongly about recently. That’s why I want to take on more new challenges, and I hope that people will enjoy seeing us do that.

――For such a 35th anniversary. You’re firstly releasing a hefty volume of a best-of album featuring five CDs and 80 songs.

Y: Having been at it for 35 years, the number of albums and songs we’ve released has grown pretty large. Even just counting our best-of albums, there’s quite a number already, isn’t there?

――For the official best-of albums with “CATALOGUE” in their titles, there are already five.

Y: That’s why this time, since we have so many different types of songs, the idea to release a best-of album that splits them into these concepts came up. Rather than lining all our singles up in sequence of their release date or having us band members select the songs, we felt that the fact that we could create this format of a best-of album is interesting, and very BUCK-TICK, isn’t it? Although the song selection was tough (lol).

――There’s one new song among them.

Y: Sayonara Shelter, right? This is, we’re currently in the midst of super-secret recording work though……

――Since when did anyone ever call it super-secret (lol).

Y: Since before summer, in absolute secrecy (lol), we’ve been going into the studio whenever we have time. Not to record a few songs at a go, but one at a time. This is for the album we plan to release next spring, just as announced, but there are some songs that are already complete. Then the suggestion to include one of the songs in this best-of album came up.

――Sakurai-san’s lyrics paint a realistic depiction of the current situation of the world, don’t they?

Y: Yeah. It’s steeped strongly with a sense of these times, so I guess that might be why even our staff thought it was better to release it now.


Y: Also, we thought it would be better if we showed the next step the band was also taking instead of only looking back on our past. The songs that we’re recording now, all of them have gotten pretty good responses, but this song by Hide is also really good too.

――In terms of playing this song, was there anything that Yuta-san was especially particular with?

Y: Hide’s music is melodious, so it won’t work unless my bass sounds like you can sing along with it. If my bass notes don’t make much movement, the song won’t come together nicely so I guess that’s what I paid attention to.

――I see.

Y: Hide said to me, “I shaped it to some extent, but feel free to change it.” Even so, it’s quite difficult to make any changes (lol).

――It’s an unyielding Hoshino melody, right?

Y: But it turned into a good song. Recently, Acchan’s been saying, “We’re in unpleasant times but……” But despite that, I think it would be nice if a song like this could rip away the unpleasantness of unpleasant times and tear us a way into a new world.

――But it’s a very meaningful album that really allows us to appreciate the diversity of what BUCK-TICK has done in your 35 years of band activity, isn’t it?

Y: That’s true. I think it’s a catalogue that is unique to us because of how we’ve done so many different things over the years.

――Isn’t it tough for you as a musician to play this many genres of music?

Y: In the past, it was though. The typical flow of events when we debuted would see situations like Imai-kun suddenly turning something he wrote into a 16-beat rhythm but here I am, incapable of playing something like that (lol).

――It’s a bit too late for me to say this but you’ve done well to keep up with that.

Y: Because it was fun to play together with everyone. I didn’t want to leave it. That unity. When I couldn’t play something well, I practised like hell with a rough idea of what it should sound and feel like, and that was how the five of us experimented and figured things out. I guess you could say that was enjoyable.

――That’s true.

Y: When you spend a long time doing one thing, you’d tend to get flickers of ego, like wanting to become better or wanting to polish up techniques, but that doesn’t happen with us, you know? It’s obvious when you listen to this best-of album, but while part of the reason is that there’s no time or place for ego (lol) with so many genres, more than that, I think our desire to bring something new to our fans, to let them hear something interesting is just far stronger. For better or worse, it feels like [our music] is becoming something that belongs to us less and less.

――I see.

Y: Besides, [achieving our] 35th anniversary isn’t something that we could’ve done on our own. Now, more than ever, I feel that this is all only possible because we had everyone’s help and support. I know first hand how important this all is precisely because we weren’t able to meet during the pandemic.

――It sounds like that’s why this band is so particular about releasing an album every year and going on a thorough national tour.

Y: Well, that’s of course. It’s also because our bodies would get easily fatigued if we don’t play music on a consistent basis. Because we no longer have bodies that will do whatever we want like when we were young (lol).

――That’s what happens when we age.

Y: Also, I’m remembering incidents from the past more and more. We recently played a show at Sendai for the first time in a while, but on our very first tour of the Tohoku area, our first show was in Sendai too. We had such a hard time. The background music played for the first song and suddenly Imai-kun’s guitar wouldn’t make a sound (lol).

――Memories of problems (lol).

Y: I think that was at Yamaha Hall. That venue’s probably already gone. On this tour, lots of these memories of the past kept coming to me. Our band also has a very long working relationship with the staff. Like the regional promoters, if I’m not mistaken, the same people have been coming to greet us at the station for about 30 years. It sort of feels like we’re there to visit our relative or our uncle at their home (lol).


Y: I’ve been thinking a lot about these people who have watched us grow and have built up the band together with us. That’s why, I’m really looking forward to travelling around the country after our Yokohama Arena show. I hope to go into it fully prepared.

――Getting ready to make sure you’ll be able to perform while also taking care of your health.

Y: And that’s why we’re doing a remote interview like this (lol).

――You don’t think the end of your super-secret recording work is close yet?

Y: I don’t. It looks like it’ll be going on for a while yet. I think we’ll probably be recording between tours after we’re done with Yokohama Arena.

――I guess that means whatever you feel during the show will again influence your music.

Y: Yeah. I think Imai-kun might very well be looking for something like that.

――You’ve got quite a number of songs recorded, don’t you?

Y: See, it’s super-secret (lol).

――Yokohama Arena, a best-of album, recording work, a national tour; pretty busy days are ahead.

Y: Yeah. But we were completely unable to perform live these few years too. So I’m grateful for all the things we can do. And we’ll have to take care of our health too (lol).




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Imai Hisashi

Interview by: Kanemitsu Hirofumi

It’s not difficult to do whatever we want to do
Isn’t it as simple as not doing do what you don’t want to do

――Yesterday was Yagami-san’s 60th birthday celebration concert. How was it?

Imai (I): Unlike a regular concert or tour, there was the aspect of celebrating Anii so, how do I say it…… I guess it was fun (lol).

――Please put a bit more effort in your word choice (lol).

I: Hahhahhahha. I enjoyed it in many ways so it was great.

――Your setlist included Itoshi no Rock Star and SEXUAL×××××! too. That created a different impression from the tour.

I: Yeah. Also because we only performed a few songs, right? Anii invited ISSAY-san (Der Zibet) to perform Itoshi no Rock Star because he wanted to do that one, and the other songs that he wanted to perform, in terms of the lyrical content too, were songs that everyone could enjoy. It was fun.

――And 3 years later, it’ll be Imai-san’s turn.

I: What is…………… Ah, me? 60th birthday celebration? No frikkin’ way I’m doing that (lol).

――Even if you don’t want it, you’ll probably end up doing it, right (lol). And this time, Sakurai-san tested positive for COVID-19 so you had to postpone shows in three locations; Nagoya, Fukuoka, and Toyosu for your fan club and mobile members-only tour, right?

I: It’s not as if we can do anything about that anyway. Not only Sakurai-san, but there’s recently been an increase in the number of infections among the people close to me too. It’s no longer surprising for it to happen to anyone. I think we just have to be mentally prepared for that when we decide to perform live.

――But how do you feel? Touring around the country for the first time in a while?

I: Given the present situation, everyone’s wearing masks wherever we go, and they can’t vocalise, right? But I can really feel their enthusiasm, the vibe that they’re hyped up. From where we stand, we can only see their eyes, but it’s like their emotions really come through.

――I see.

I: The intensity of everyone’s gaze is strong (lol). Also, I noticed Acchan was being unusually extra talkative, but since the audience can’t vocalise, I guess he was talking more on stage than usual to make up for that.

――He’s very kind, isn’t he? It’d be a burden on Sakurai-san if he was the only one to do it, so let’s have Yuta-san talk next time.

I: It’s better if Yuta doesn’t speak (lol).

――How’s the song selection for this tour?

I: Just like Anii’s event, we decided to pick songs that people can enjoy. But even as I say that, I don’t mean exclusively songs that get the audience excited, I mean songs that can be enjoyed in many other ways too.

――Like songs that you haven’t performed in a while, and those that are kind of nostalgic.

I: Yes, exactly. All five of us chose songs that we wanted to play. What did I pick…… Boukyaku and Hamushi no You ni. And also Aikawarazu〜 (Aikwarazu no “Are” no Katamari ga Nosabaru Hedo no Soko no Fukidamari), I think.

――And right after this, you’ll first have a special concert at Yokohama Arena.

I: It’s a 2-day show, so as you’d expect, the number of songs we’ll perform is going to be significant. We intend to make sure that everything is well prepared, from staging to band cohesion and all.

――We’re calling it a special show, but do you think there’ll be a strong festive mood?

I: Well, I’m just thinking of making it a good show as we always do. Every year’s an anniversary of some kind anyway (lol). And it just so happens that this year, it’s our 35th debut anniversary, right? I wouldn’t really think of anything special for this. I just think that it’s always special so we should have fun wherever it is we play.


――That’s true.

I: Although, 35 years together…… is the same age as JoJo, that’s what I thought (lol). [Note: This year marks 35 years since JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure began serialisation.]

――I didn’t know that!

I: When you think about how we’ve got the same number of years of activity as JoJo, it’s kind of emotional, isn’t it (lol).

――But it’s also amazing for a band to to achieve 35 years together (lol). You’ll be going on a national tour,  BUCK-TICK TOUR THE BEST 35th anniv. in October, but will it be more focused on your best-of album……

I: It’s got 80 songs in it so there’s nothing to focus on, right (lol).

――Well, that’s true though.

I: We haven’t come up with anything for that yet, but I think we’ll be doing something interesting, something different from Yokohama Arena. In any case, right now, we just feel very strongly about wanting to go about it properly.

――Without being swung around by COVID-19, right? And this CATALOGUE THE BEST 35th anniv. best-of collection. As mentioned earlier, it’s being called a best-of album, but the number of songs here is huge.

I: Well, that’s because we divided 35 years’ worth of BUCK-TICK songs into five themes and then selected the best songs of each theme. Besides, I think it’s more interesting to apply this sort of limitation to them.

――The names of these five themes are written in Esperanto. Were they named by Imai-san?

I: I wanted a sense of unity. If we made each one sound like album titles then they’d all have some form of meaning to them, and that would make it feel overcrowded in a way. So I wanted them to sound symbolic, sort of like what “CATALOGUE” is. Esperanto has some similarity to English, so it gives the feeling that you understand what the words are and yet, not really. I thought that would be kind of interesting.

――In other words, you didn’t want the titles to hold strong, concrete meanings.

I: Yeah. Besides, I think those who want to understand what it really means would look it up anyway. Most of all, I just think the way the words look is interesting. Although, you’d more or less get what ELEKTRIZO means.

――Who picked the songs?

I: In the beginning, our staff roughly divided our songs into these lists. We then laid those out for discussion to let those who have favoured songs to suggest which would be better to include and make adjustments accordingly. I think I mentioned one or two songs but…… which songs were they? I completely forgot (lol).

 ――But there isn’t any other band who’s made so many different types of songs.

I: This is just how things turned out after 35 years of making whatever music we want, though.

――Well, that’s probably true, but there’s a rather small number of bands who can actually do that.

I: I’ve never felt as if we’re being forced to be a band who does this anyway, and I think we’d hate doing what we do if we felt like that. But since we want to do this, that’s all we can do, right?

――Is it not difficult to do whatever you want to do?

I: It’s not, is it?


I: Probably. Just don’t do what you don’t want to do. Even so, maybe in the past we might’ve thought about whether or not a particular song was suitable for the era or for us but those kinds of considerations gradually stopped applying to us.

――There’s a new song, Sayonara Shelter that was included in this best-of album. This was recorded while you were working on the album that’s still in development, right?

I: That’s right. We finished recording this track to include in the album that we’re releasing next year, but Director Tanaka-san said, “Don’t you think it might be better for this song to be released in the best-of album?”

――Just this one song?

I: That’s right. It’s composed by Hide but there are parts of Sakurai-san’s lyrics that were influenced by the current social situation so I think the idea was to send a message by releasing this song at this particular time.

――It’s certain that the war has cast quite the shadow on Sayonara Shelter.

I: But that’s because of the lyrics, right? It’s only of course when such events are being described in the lyrics. Besides, rock bands are inseparable from society. If we were to put it in clear context, then it would take on a slightly different meaning, but this is Sakurai-san’s lyrics we’re talking about. I think it’s fine as it is. We can leave the rest to the listener.

――Also, there are quite a few songs in this best-of album that have been remixed, right?

I: I guess it just so happened that we chose songs we wanted to do that with. The programming for Aikawarazu~ was redone based on the arrangement we created for Locus Solus [Note: Locus Solus no Kemonotachi, the May 2019 show held at Makuhari Messe]. That’s why it ended up with quite the industrial vibe. For ANGELIC CONVERSATION, I’ve been wanting to change its mix since a while ago, but it just so happened [we picked it here] (lol).

――The categorisation here doesn’t have names attached to them, but after 35 continuous years of working with the same people in the same band and writing this many songs, the unique characteristics of the song writers Sakurai, Imai, and Hoshino are bound to appear.

I: That’s true. Naturally.

――And it’s easy to tell that Imai-san is a person who tends towards hope and light after all.

I: But isn’t that normal? Humans want to have hope, right? Because I don’t think there’s anyone who will be okay with letting it be regardless of how rock bottom things get. I might’ve said this before, but if I write about negative things, I feel like I’d get pulled in that direction and I don’t like that feeling. That’s why I project these things into my music and lyrics as much as possible.


――I think we’re in need of such music since we’re living in times when it’s difficult to stay positive.

I: Well…… I’ll do my best (lol).

――And you’re not taking your 35th anniversary as a milestone.

I: Not as anything in particular. I said this earlier, but that’s because it’s always an anniversary. Next year will be our 36th, and the year after, it’ll be our 37th (lol). Although, seeing these numbers, I do start to think about how a band I started when I was about 17 years old has now made it this far, and how much we’ve aged since.

――Doesn’t it scare you?

I: Not really (lol). I don’t really think about my age. As long as I don’t tire of music, I can keep going endlessly. Besides, since I haven’t grown tired of it after 35 years, I don’t think that will happen hereafter, and even now, songs I want to make keep coming to me. I’m not sick of recording work at all either. Maybe it’s because it feels like a search rather than thinking about the music. Like, “Ah, so this part of me exists.” That’s why it’s fun. Although it’s a bit tiring now since we’re holding concerts at the same time too.

――But having shows to play means you’ll be able to get yet another form of inspiration……

I: There’s definitely that. There are times when that naturally comes after we’ve been performing live for a while. That’s why I’m looking forward to finding out how I’ll react when we travel the country again after this.

――Is recording work going well?

I: Well, it’s pretty cool. But I want to add a little bit more to it and bring out more polish. More refined…… in a way. You’ll get it when you hear it. I can’t explain it very well, but I think you’ll be able to tell that it’s a little different from what we’ve done so far. It’s exciting stuff. You’d be like, “Whaaat, they turned this song into something like this!”

――Speaking of which, Imai-san, about 10 years ago you used to use more concrete words like “gothic” or “band music” to say what the next album’s theme is before recording.

I: Ah, back then, yes.

――That doesn’t seem to be the case these days.

I: That’s because even if I say it’s digital, or gothic, or band music, they’re already things that BUCK-TICK would naturally incorporate.

――Ah, I see.

I: So even if I say those things now, it doesn’t really mean anything, does it? It can’t be helped even if we do the same things. When we had our meeting in the beginning, we said we’d roughy be segregating digital and live music…… and things like that, but we don’t particularly focus on those concepts while we’re working on it. Taking out all hints of live music entirely, or eliminating all programming music, or doing the opposite of those, things like that do sometimes happen, but in the end, the main idea is to create something good, right?

――Do you think the band has even more potential?

I: It does. Because bands are interesting. There’s the intrigue that has been coming for 35 years continuously. On the other hand, there’s also the kind of fun that comes from starting anew. What’s interesting is when a person presents something they possess. So I don’t think I could’ve kept going if I did this alone.

――I see. By the way, how’s your leg?

I: Pretty much healed. There’s no more pain or anything like that. I can move around a lot on stage too. But the axis of my body is still weird. It feels like my balance is off and I’d get tired standing.

――What do you mean?

I: I don’t know how I stood before I broke my bone. Even when I stand when I go shopping, I’d feel like this wasn’t how I used to stand. Maybe the length of my leg changed or something. That’s why I need to walk instead of going for rehabilitation, and go for physical therapy to gradually get back to normal.

――Doesn’t that mean it’s tough being on stage too?

I: Well, I guess. When I tried moving like I used to, there are times when it hurts quite a bit, and I’d be like,  “Ah, I still can’t do this.” But, well, I’m not all that bothered by it. Because I just have to do a different move then. It’s just a matter of changing things up.

――After significant events like breaking a bone and COVID-19, has the world around Imai-san changed?

I: I don’t think it really changed…… No, it has changed, I think. Although I don’t think it’s anything to be worried about. Even if things aren’t the way they used to be, we’ll be alright as long as we can think of new ways of doing things. That’s what we’ve been doing for a long time anyway.




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Yagami Toll

Interview by: Kanemitsu Hirofumi

Even for ordinary people, if they live long enough, they’ll be able to experience that which geniuses have never seen
It’s not all good things only, but I don’t think it’s bad either way

――This is belated, but happy 60th birthday.

Yagami (Y): Thank you. We had a big celebration at CLUB CITTA’ Kawasaki just the other day. But at this age, I’m reminded of my father more and more.

――You spoke about it in your autobiography too.

Y: Well, my father was a cheerful man full of vitality too, but had a stroke right when he hit 60. And for the next 10 years, he lived the rest of his life like that. I just think about how I’m at this age now too.

――No, no. Even during your birthday concert, you were banging on the drums all day, weren’t you? You’ve still got a long way to retiring due to age.

Y: Well, it’ll be Acchan and Imai’s turn in three years’ time anyway (lol). I think we’ll definitely make a big celebration out of  it. But turning 60, it used to be treated as a turning point in a person’s life in the past, like a sense of how it’s almost your time while giving thanks for having lived this long. It used to hold that kind of meaning though. But humans now live longer than ever, and everyone is being told to work more these days, so you don’t feel the same way about it at all now.

――That you can tell just from looking at the stage.

Y: You saw ISSAY-kun (Der Zibet) singing with Acchan, right? I thought that it would make everyone happy if they performed Itoshi no Rock Star together, so I directly gave him a call and asked if he would make an appearance, and this guy, he’s the most good looking person in Japan who’s the same age as me (lol). Being 60 isn’t a phrase that fits him at all.

――Truly. How was it performing as Blue Sky?

Y: We were able to do some interesting things. It gets me wanting to make another album. Although it’s a pity that SHIME couldn’t be around. I always invited him to join us as a guest singer for my birthday shows.

――He passed away this year, didn’t he?

Y: He’s just a year older than me. One of the people who I thought was an amazing singer. There’s no one who can cover English songs better than him. On his behalf…… well, not exactly, but I’d like to continue Blue Sky and play together a few times a year.

――He was a close friend, wasn’t he? What about BUCK-TICK’s performance, then?

Y: Maybe it’s because of everyone’s strong desire to celebrate, but the drum stand was too high up (lol). I’m grateful for their intentions, but it’s difficult to maintain contact with the other members of the band like that. Slight deviations and mistakes would occur. Even though it’s a celebration, I want to say that my drums aren’t like this! (Lol). The next time we do this, please put my drumset on the ground because even if I can’t be seen, that doesn’t matter to me..

――I’ll look forward to your 70th birthday celebration in 10 years’ time (lol). Also, there was also the fan club and mobile site members-only tour in that same period.

Y: Seems like it’s the first in 3 years. It certainly is fresh to play shows in the local areas, and even if we can’t go out and wander around, it was fun to be on tour for the first time in a while. It’s just that good things really are always followed by the bad.

――Sakurai-san testing positive for COVID-19.

Y: Seriously, these things happen when we’re having a good time. But even though it’s been a while, I wasn’t nervous at all when I was on stage. I even thought I should be a little more nervous instead. But I don’t need to be as nervous as I was in the past, though.

――That’s what it was like when I started reporting on your shows, right? Right after you switched labels to Ariola.

Y: The period when I just entered my 40s, yes. The stage scared me so badly that I seriously considered retiring. As you’d expect, I could drum during rehearsals but I’d make mistakes when it came to the actual performance, and that made Yuta super duper angry (lol).

――How strict of him (lol).

Y: Because he’s a person who’s serious and gives his all in whatever he does. At the time, my body couldn’t keep up with the way I used to drum in the past. So I changed my drumming methods, went to the gym, and I guess you  could say I finally understood how to handle drums. I’m pretty sure god gave me the time to do that before I turn 60. Because John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) got it before he hit 20, he passed away early at 32. It took me almost 20 years to sort of get it (lol). That’s why I can keep drumming until my 60th.

――So that’s what you think.

Y: That’s the difference between an ordinary person and a genius (lol). But even for ordinary people, if they live long enough, they’ll be able to experience that which geniuses have never seen. It’s not all good things only, but I don’t think it’s bad either way.

――Up next is your special concert at Yokohama Arena. How does Yagami-san perceive this 35th anniversary of yours?

Y: I’m just out to carry out my mission (lol). For BUCK-TICK’s performances, it’s good as long as we can bring joy to our fans, so I’ll make that happen without getting carried away.

――And you’ll be releasing a “CATALOGUE”-titled best-of album.

Y: It’s a primer…… meaning, it’s got a lot of songs (lol). But I think it’s interesting that they’ve been divided up by concept.

――With so many genres, the way you drum and your tuning have to be completely different, don’t they?

Y: They are different. I did my own tuning up until Aku no Hana too…… Come to think of it, this has nothing to do with the best-of album, but we have a song called PLEASURE LAND, right? Back then, we recorded at VICTOR STUDIO and in came Ponta-san (Murakami “Ponta” Shuichi) from another studio, and he started tuning my drums for me without asking. When he was done, he had this smug look on his face as he left, saying, “Toll, how’s this?” (Lol). I was too scared to change it so I just drummed with those settings for that song. Ponta-san’s name isn’t in the credits though (lol).

――This CATALOGUE~ is a reminder of just how many types of songs this band has, but do you actually feel like you’ve drummed in such a variety of styles?

Y: I sure do. I had to get used to that in the past, so Yuta and I, just the two of us, the rhythm team used to rehearse together often. It’s just that if we did that too much, we’d be too perfect and that would be no good. In the end, it’s a human being who’s drumming anyway so something somewhere would get worn out. It wouldn’t ever be perfect. And that’s good. Even a perfectly clean rhythm created with programming would become a little off when it gets recreated through human efforts. That’s the beauty of music created by humans.

――Because the humanity of it comes through with a little bit of a gap.

Y: We record drums last these days, so I’m basically matching a rhythm that has been made complete, but even then, there will be slight discrepancies and it wouldn’t be a perfect match. That’s good. You’ll understand when you listen to this best-of album. Because the songs where drums and bass were recorded together have a very tight rhythm.

――I see.

Y: Also, I don’t think anyone realised, but in the new version of ANGELIC CONVERSATION,  we’ve replaced the guitars and the singing, but the fundamentals of it remains the same. It’s the same take from 1988’s recording in London. What’s different is the break that comes in at the middle; the first one and the second one are different. The second one runs a little faster (lol). But the producer, Owen Paul really liked it and we’re now using it here.

――The faster one?

Y: Exactly. We didn’t fix it. Owen was a singer-songwriter to begin with, a person who hit number 3 on the UK charts, yet such a person praised us, saying, “It’s such a good song that I’d want to sing it and release it as my own.” (Lol)

――Please mention that when we’re interviewing you for the autobiography (lol).

Y: I remember things from the past well, but there are just so many things to bring up that I’d just forget some (lol). On the other hand, I’ve got zero memory of my 40s when I drowned myself in drinks (lol).

――And you’ve also got a new song, Sayonara Shelter, in there.

Y: It’s a good song, isn’t it? Acchan has put into words the emotions that everyone feels in this era. I would think that people would get a strong anti-war impression, but I feel Acchan’s kindness just as much. It’s characteristic of him, isn’t it…… Ah, of course, the music is good too. I have to praise Hide sometimes too (lol).

――Hahahaha! Also, I heard that you’re already in the midst of recording work.

Y: We’re pretty much done with recording the songs that we have at this time. But we have a national tour after Yokohama Arena, so we might start recording again halfway too. It’s been a while since we could go on an actual tour, so I think Acchan and Imai might feel something there and want to turn it into a song. 

――Seems like it’ll turn out to be a rather substantial anniversary leading up to your release next spring.

Y: Good things are followed by bad (lol) so we’ll be cautious. Besides, the band can’t come  to an end here, so we’ll be giving it our all. I think we can do it without taking a break. Everyone, including myself is already at an age where our bodies won’t be able to catch back up if we rest. We’ll lose our edge, or rather, we’d very quickly go into decline. This is especially true for drummers. Part of it is a physical challenge, so we have to drum regularly or we won’t be able to anymore. That’s why, I want to keep going consistently even after we’re done with our anniversary.

――I hope for that too.

Y: Well I’ve also got the wilfulness that comes with being a drummer anyway (lol). That’s why all drummers diligently continue to practise on their own even when their bands are taking time off. Even so, if they’re not in a band, then there’s something different about them. Because it’s important for us to figure out how to work with the sound pressure that guitars, bass, and singers produce. If you do this alone, you’ll definitely end up drumming in a subdued manner.  But when you play with a band, you’ll be creating raw sound pressure, so the desire to not lose out to everyone else comes up.

――And that’s why you’d like BUCK-TICK to continue without taking a break for as long as possible.

Y: But I do think we’re getting old. For the record, retrogression is also progression anyway. Besides, there’s no way we’re the same in our 20s and in our 60s, right? The way I drum is completely different too. I think it applies to everyone no matter their occupation, but if you feel that you can longer do what you’ve always been doing thus far, then you’d start to think about what approach you should take to tackle your  work, right? There might be those who decide to quit their jobs if they can’t do it anymore, but that’s only because they don’t really like it. If your presence is required where you’re at, then you have to think about what you can do to be a valuable person here while also accepting the fact that you’re in decline.

――That’s true.

Y: I thought of quitting and retiring when I entered my 40s, but as I grew older, this is what I’ve gradually come to understand. Since we’re releasing such a best-of album, I thought it was a good chance for me to listen to our old songs, and they’re hilariously fast. Ridiculously fast (lol). Acchan’s singing also sped up along with it. If I were to drum that with a clicker, it’ll feel like a rush no matter what, so to prevent feeling like that, I end up drumming even faster. It’s the pride of youth. All I thought about was drumming in a cool way that satisfies myself.

――I see.

Y: Now I think about the groove more when I drum. Also, it would become difficult for Acchan to sing if I play it with too much detail. I keep that in mind and try to keep it simple when I drum so that he can sing as smoothly as possible (lol).

――I guess you could say that in a good way, things like your ego faded away in the course of drumming all these years.

Y: Ah, I don’t have any of that anymore. As a drummer, all I have is a desire to make good music rather than hold onto pride and ego. To put it in extreme terms, I don’t need my drums to be heard. As long as the song is viable. You have to be prepared for that to be a drummer. Because it’s not the quintessence of a drummer to be loud and noisy or drum with intensity. It’s about how you control the sound you make to turn it into a songs’ complimentary seasoning. Everyone should try drumming for Yoshida Minako-san at least once in their life. Because she’d get angry if you’re noisy.


Y: Because a drummer shouldn’t have a sound of their own. The sound they make has to be according to what the venue or the people need. That’s what Ponta-san has always done, and what I understand very well now at this age.

――I get the feeling that your understanding is probably thanks in part to the friendships that Yagami-san has, and also the diversity of sounds that BUCK-TICK has as a band, as proven by this best-of album project.

Y: That’s probably true. Musicians…… especially drummers, I think, will all feel uneasy. I’m always worried about things like if I were to change to this style of drumming, won’t I lose my identity? Or will my skill decline? Things like that. Additionally, as I grow older, I can really feel my physical ability dropping, like, I’d find myself realising that I can no longer do what I could 10 years ago.

――I see.

Y: But in BUCK-TICK, Imai and Hide would bring in all kinds of ideas without any concern for genre, and all five of us would figure out how to make it happen together. We’d shape things based on what we’re capable of doing. I guess that’s why I came to think this way as a drummer, and also why I’m still with the members of this band when I’m 60.

――Just like your mentor Ponta-san, there appears to be a part of Yagami-san that considers your occupation to be a drummer, yet more than that, your occupation is also being a member of this band, right?

Y: Because in the end, what I enjoy the most is still being part of an ensemble, you know? Also, since we’ve been doing this together for 35 years, everyone has improved their skills in their own way…… Ah, except for Imai (lol).


Y: There’s no nuance that he’s undeniably good from that guy’s guitar playing (lol). But that’s why it’s good. Even though things could usually sound smoother, it wouldn’t. It’s like he approaches something simple with twists and turns and from the opposite end, then gives it shape (lol).

――That’s how Imai’s melodies come about (lol).

Y: Indeed. Imai actually wanted to look at instructional books and DVDs for guitar playing in the past. But I said, “Instructional books? It’ll be the end if you read those.” (Lol)

――He should just live with those sensibilities (lol).

Y: Exactly (lol). Also, there was once when we joined a drinking session with a voice training instructor in the past and her husband was a famous guitarist. When Imai asked, “How do you play the blues scale?”, I said, “Sir, please don’t teach him!” (Lol)

――And the accumulation of these efforts has resulted in the completion of Imai Hisashi.

Y: Nah, that guy’s not complete and that’s fine. When I went to his home, there were what looked like instructional books in his bookshelf, but I guess he didn’t refer to them (lol).





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Editor’s File 1:
If this is the last time ever, if my weak self were to raise my voice
What should I really be singing about now? That resolution is the one thing that struck deep into my heart.

Text by: Ishii Eriko

When it comes to anniversary releases, an exceptionally substantial all-time best-of album was released in the year of their 30th anniversary. It’s been 5 years since, during which they couldn’t keep moving at full capacity for two and a half years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so a similar collection of masterpieces would not make much sense.

In that case, BUCK-TICK, whose musicality has always been described with words like “overwhelmingly original” and “ever-changing and fantastical”, has taken the plunge to attempt to divide their indescribable world into five different concepts. This idea, which originated from their staff, once again highlights the band’s miraculous balance.

Balance. To this, I would like to bring up the 80-20 Pareto (パレート / pareeto) principle. Or perhaps, if we were to play around and B-T stylise this, we could call it the Parade (パレード / pareedo) principle. 

80% of the song are composed by Imai, while the remaining 20% is by Hoshino. 80% of the song lyrics are written by Sakurai, while the remaining 20% is by Imai. It somehow feels like this, but is it really true? The following are the results of a tally of all the songs on this occasion.

The percentage of Hoshino Hidehiko songs are: 13% in DISC 1 <RIBELO>, 20% in DISC 2 <GOTIKA>, a low 5% in DISC 3 <ELEKTRIZO> and DISC 5 <ESPERO>, while just under 30% in DISC 4 <FANTAZIO>. The underlying 20% isn’t wrong, but it would seem that his personality get to stretch its wings especially in the area of <fantasy>.

The interesting thing about DISC 4 <FANTAZIO> is that 100% of the songs lyrics were written by Sakurai Atsushi; it is made complete with nothing but Sakurai’s world. He holds monopoly over the concepts of love and death and jet-black decadance. In other words, one might’ve thought that DISC 2 <GOTIKA> would be Sakurai’s domain, but there are in fact 3 songs with lyrics written by Imai. In terms of percentage, another perspective comes in a little less than 20% of the time.

With stories from different writers and a majestic rhythm brought into this word by the hands of Higuchi Yutaka and Yagami Toll, the band’s gothic lens grows evermore robust. One of the discoveries to be made here is that Sakurai is not the only gothic denizen here. And that lyrical balance in the other three albums was surprisingly not 8-2 at all.

Imai Hisashi is remarkably eloquent. If we were to include lyrics that he co-wrote with Sakurai into the count, he would account for 50% of the songs in DISC 1 and DISC 3, and 60% of the songs, a comfortable majority in DISC 5.

This isn’t a competition, so there are no winners or losers here, but Imai first comes up with the words (mainly one word phrases like <反逆 / hangyaku=RIBELO> and <希望 / kibou =ESPERO>), then hauls in the sounds (<工レクトロ / electro = ELEKTRIZO>to signify the use of the latest equipment and eccentric, exotic-sounding dance tunes) to endlessly expand BUCK-TICK’s horizons.

Imai, the pioneer and adventurer. The abilities of each member of the band to take in these unprecedented ideas and turn them into reality without fail. The Parade principle of 20% input to create 80% movement applies here, but it is never by any means a one-man system.

There is Hoshino’s music that bears a casual universality regardless of theme, and Sakurai’s singing prowess that brings polish to a solid worldview with a single vibrato and exhale. All these elements have always brought inspiration to the band, energising everything as a whole. They bring balance and maintain order. 

Now, having spoken about the beauties of this band that has remained unchanged for 35 years, let’s move on to the new song.

DISC 3 <ELEKTRIZO> refers to their musicality, while DISC 5 <ESPERO> can easily be said to be entertainment in its own right. So what does DISC 1 <RIBELO> point at? What is the reason behind the inclusion of their one and only new song, Sayonara Shelter here?

Composed by Hoshino, this song begins with a beautiful arpeggio and the line, “Ephemeral candle   Dance, dancing in the basement (儚いキャンドル 地下室でダンスダンス / Hakanai kyandoru   Chikashitsu de dansu dansu)”. Such an enchanting touch no doubt creates a fantastical mood that deserves a place in DISC 4. But this song carries a realism from the next verse on which mercilessly severs away the ballroom party.

BUCK-TICK’s <rebellion>. Their middle fingers have always been pointed at the ominous forces who come to take away our freedom. 

As mentioned above, half of the songs on DISC 1 were written by Imai. It is his role to present a strong one-liner first. The words <destruction> and <soldier> were initially cynical metaphors that were used since Muchi no Namida to replace concrete language against the absurdities of the world, terrorism and conflict. Sakurai probably took these words that Imai put forward and turned them into a story of his own. At this juncture, I can’t quite tell whether Imai had hoped for that level of embodiment.

Sadly, or rather, foolishly, itis difficult for events that break Sakurai’s heart to disappear from this world. Guernica no Yoru vividly intermingles his personal memories with a past tragedy, but this time the Ukraine invasion has turned into the ultimately realistic story in Sayonara Shelter.

<Someone is coming to kill us (誰かが僕らを殺しに来るよ / Dare ka ga bokura wo koroshi ni  kuruyo)>
<Am I going out to kill someone (わたしは誰かを殺しに行くの / Watashi wa dare ka wo koroshi ni iku no) >

The brushwork leading up to this point can no longer be contained within <FANTAZIO=fantasy>. The Demon King who was thought to frolick with fantasies in a jet-black world is now waving the banner of <RIBELO= rebellion>with a resolve stronger than anyone else. I don’t think that actually wanted to hold such a position. But if this is the last time ever, if my weak self were to raise my voice, what should I really be singing about now? That resolution is the one thing that struck deep into my heart.

Balance and order has been maintained. As much as that fact is true, the balance has changed so much that now, BUCK-TICK cannot say that things are stable as per normal. There is no disputing that the whole world is in a state of pestilence and war. Between both nations and individuals, everyone has no stability in this day and age. 

And despite it all, BUCK-TICK presses on. There is no question that the moments from here on out are crucial as they approach the conclusion of their 35th anniversary celebrations.




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Editor’s File 2:
This one verse from Sayonara Shelter may very well have been about that little girl
Or a message to each and every one of their fans
Or additionally aimed at themselves back in those days when they just started the band

text by Kanemitsu Hirofumi

First of all, let’s put things in perspective.

BUCK-TICK celebrates their 35th debut anniversary on September 21. With no change in member line-up, they have been releasing new work on a consistent basis and tours almost every two years, travelling all over the country. There’s no shortage of bands that have been around for a long time with the same members, but no other band can match their pace of releases and shows.

If we define touring as ‘going to five or more venues outside of Tokyo and Osaka’, we can say that roughly speaking, BUCK-TICK has had about 35 tours in the past 35 years. In other words, we can count them to have held a national hall tour at least once a year. Furthermore, this doesn’t include the annual December 29 show at Nippon Budokan, special arena shows, festivals, events and fan club-only shows.

In addition, there has not been a tour in the last three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of performances they’ve held to date probably numbers at 1000 strong. Some big names like THE ALFEE and Stardust Revue can boast this extraordinary a number of shows, but it’s likely the only other rock bands to have done so are B’z and GLAY. 

Such a band is now in its 35th year of ongoing activities. The average age of the five members, including the one member who hit 60 recently, is 57. They are beasts whose physical capabilities and visual presentations remain undiminished.

An anniversary of such a band. Anyone would like to celebrate it with a big fireworks display as a fan, but the atmosphere isn’t like that at all. The members of the band themselves seem to have an aversion to such an act to begin with.

On September 21, the day of their anniversary, they’ll be releasing their 80-track best-of concept album CATALOGUE THE BEST 35th anniv., but although it might be a good idea to promote it a little along with the inclusion of their new song Sayonara Shelter, there are newspaper advertisements and posters in Tokyo’s train stations but there’s barely any promotional work being done by the band members themselves.

While they are busy recording their new album slated for release next spring and preparing for the forthcoming shows, it’s a little too quiet a way to kick start their 35th anniversary year.

However, it does appear that there are several reasons for this.

Firstly, the world hasn’t yet returned to normal because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, it is impossible to expect that we will be able to live life like we did before COVID-19, and we’re still exploring ways to make all entertainment events, including live performances, happen. Business is slowly getting back to normal, but everyone is still required to wear masks, and no one can vocalise. There’s also a limit placed on audience capacity.

In such a situation, they might feel they probably don’t want to, or don’t feel very good at announcing their anniversary celebrations to the outside world. Even Higuchi said, “ I don’t really feel the carefree joy.” 

That lack of desire could be due to being sick and tired of the way they were being treated as something to be consumed when they got thrust into the public eye right after their debut. And because they refused to let their careers get controlled by others, they failed to gain as much popularity as they might’ve potentially had. Yet at the same time, these actions have undoubtedly created a strong trust and bond with their fans. And now, they cherish that bond more than anything.

And, another thing.

Perhaps they feel a sense of <insecurity> somewhere unbeknownst to them.

That comes from the feelings of loathing and the division in society. Of course, the war too. It is the grief and bitterness depicted in Sayonara Shelter. Even as we sense beauty and hope from the song of a young girl, it is also filled with helplessness and an inability to do anything about her situation.

And that comes from how their activities as a band came to an almost complete stop because of COVID-19, how they don’t have all that much time left in themselves, and in addition, how the band just wouldn’t be BUCK-TICK if it were missing just one of them. Faced with the fact that they are bound together by a common destiny, they were made anxious about their own futures. You would think that would be superfluous, since the band has been so consistently active. Even more so when life is no longer just about the band.

Yet they have been running 35 years together with this<insecurity> in one hand, and <hope> in the other. That’s why BUCK-TICK’s songs are believable and in no way frivolous. It is likely that they gained this <hope> by continuing to tour. And at present, they are unable to achieve this balance because they can’t perform consistently right now.

Yet somehow, even though the five of them seem to feel as if they are being shrouded heavily in darkness and anxiety, light and hope awaits ahead of them. The start of that will probably come with their shows at Yokohama Arena on September 23 and 24. They will likely generate more of that together with their fans again at each venue they play on their national tour which starts in October.

After COVID-19 happened, Sakurai has become even more sensitive to the changes in his surroundings, and events like his own illness and the passing of Hoshino’s father seem to have led him to believe that anything could happen at any time. Everyone can feel somewhere that things are not the same as they used to be anymore. Both with COVID-19 and the environments we find ourselves in.

Nevertheless, now that Yagami has reached the age of 60, he now sees degeneration as evolution, and Higuchi has said that  he wants to avoid being confused by extraneous voices and not be carried away by the prevailing mood of the times. At the same time, Imai understands the realities of ageing and an uncertain future in society, but his absolute faith in the band and music has not wavered. He is, after all, the driving force that leads the band towards the light.

Tonight   sleep peacefully   I’ll come and meet you   for sure
(今夜 静かに眠る あなたに会いに行く 必ず / Kon ya   shizuka ni nemuru   Anata ni ai ni iku   kanarazu)

Wait for me in that shelter
(あのシェルターで待っていて / Ano sherutaa de matteite)

This one verse from Sayonara Shelter may very well have been about the little girl who was Let It Go in that bomb shelter in Ukraine. At the same time, it can be thought to be a message to each and every one of their fans who they have not been able to meet for a long while because of the pandemic.

Furthermore, as Higuchi said, “This is a band that was started by the five of us.” These lines may also have been aimed at themselves back in those days when they just started the band. What their 35-year footprint tells us is that nothing but hope lies ahead for those who continue to walk into the future with these five who have continued like this all this while.




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2022.08.21 BUCK-TICK

The cover shoot was postponed once due to Sakurai’s medical treatment and other reasons, but now, on this sunny day, the cover shoot was finally taking place. First to arrive at the studio were Anii and Yuta-san, the sibling team. With the day’s edition of the Daily Sports paper in one hand, Yuta-san talks endlessly about the Tigers with editor-in-chief Kanemitsu after he finishes his make-up. Listening from the side, Giants fan Anii teased, “You go on and on about them in your columns every month and it still isn’t enough for you, is it!”

After that, Sakurai-san breezed into the studio sashaying. He looked like he lost some weight, but he appeared energetic, giving us all a sense of relief. We first started off by shooting the solo shots. The photographer in charge of this shoot was Tanaka-san, who was also in charge of the Okinawa photos for the extended and revised Simply Life ~Life goes on~. As if this shoot was an extension of that,  Hide-san also appeared relaxed in front of the camera. Seeing this, Kanemitsu looked like he wanted to escape from reality as he said, “Aah, I want to go to Okinawa again……” (Lol) Incidentally, we bought a copy of the dancyu magazine and placed it in the waiting room because we expected Imai-san to read it, but while he was waiting, Imai-san’s eyes never left his phone. Maybe he was playing Pokémon……

This was all usual behaviour from the members of BUCK-TICK but it felt like it’s been a long time since we’ve seen all five of them somewhere other than the stage, so that was the best part of it all.



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Translation: Yoshiyuki
Images: Yoshiyuki

“The Parade Will Always Go On”
BUCK-TICK TOUR THE BEST 35th anniv. Official First Day Concert Report

Pia News
15 October 2022

Text=Yuka Okubo
Photos=Seitaro Tanaka


After BUCK-TICK celebrated the 35th anniversary of their major debut and released their best-of album CATALOGUE THE BEST 35th anniv. on 21 September 2022, they kicked off their national tour BUCK-TICK TOUR THE BEST 35th anniv. with their first show at Tachikawa Stage Garden on 13 October.

Looking back at BUCK-TICK’s anniversary concerts, both the 20th and 25th anniversary shows were lively festival-style events featuring artists who participated in their tribute albums. For their 30th anniversary show, they switched to putting on a bang of a solo show over two days with a special stage set up at Odaiba, Tokyo and vastly different setlists for each day covering their 30-year career.

Their 35th anniversary concert was held on 23 and 24 September this year at Yokohama Arena, Kanagawa. The setlist was a departure from the festive mood of the previous anniversary live shows; instead of going for nostalgia of the past, they performed songs with messages that were crucial for the present and overwhelmed the audience with the use of bold imagery that even covered the performing members from view to bring this worldview into reality.

BUCK-TICK is a truly rare band of its kind. Huge posters were put up in Shinjuku and Shibuya stations during the run-up to the 35th anniversary show. I saw a group of office workers on their way home from work who stopped when they saw the poster that featured BUCK-TICK’s debut photo and the band as they are now posing in the same way.

“Wow, what a throwback.”  “BUCK-TICK? …… You know them?”  “Oh, yeah. They used to  be a Visual-Kei band back then, though.”

That was a conversation I overheard, probably between a boss and his staff. Fans who heard it will probably think there’s a bunch of wrong information there, and those who aren’t fans will probably think that’s all there is to the conversation.

However, the undeniable facts are that BUCK-TICK has continued to focus on their music and evolve for 35 years without losing themselves, they have performed at the Nippon Budokan almost every year, their revolutionary sound and discrete style are a major influence on bands who came after them, and even now, they’re still being “discovered” and are attracting all kinds of audiences. Such bands are hard to come by.

On the other hand, the news that their singer Sakurai Atsushi would be a radio personality (every Friday at 9pm from October to December on FM COCOLO) “for the first time in his 35-year career” caused a stir among their fans. It’s probably hard to find another band who would fit in such a box.

While they did live stream concerts and have a film concert tour during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be the first time in almost three years that the band is holding  a national hall tour with 21 shows. While the first show of their tour may bring a whole lot of nerves, the selection of songs were full of character, bringing smiles and tears where appropriate. The band ensemble rich with expression and a full-on performance from fingertips to toes tactfully weaved the show together.

The setlist, built around these five concepts of their best-of album, CATALOGUE THE BEST 35th anniv. which showcased the band’s songs in themes rather than a timeline, was fresh with the way it linked two timeless songs to create a new story and also included songs that hadn’t been performed in quite a while. Also, projection mapping visuals filled the stage, bringing to life the worldviews of each song in a way that is again different from what they showed us in the Yokohama Arena shows.

“I hope we get to shout ‘love’ and ‘peace’ together soon,” said Sakurai during an MC break before leading into Sayonara Shelter, the new song in their best-of album. This performance could very well be considered to be the highlight of this tour with the way he softly sings this song that is quiet yet strongly angry at the current state of the world despite its gentle melody, as if praying.

“I don’t know how it will last, but the parade will always go on.” ── Sakurai

“Parade” refers to BUCK-TICK’s locus. This word will always be attached to their anniversary shows. The message may sound contradictory for a moment, but we can sense their intention to “see the parade that is BUCK-TICK to the end”. But it’s still too early for us to get ahead of ourselves and feel sad about the end which we don’t even know when to anticipate.

Taking off with a spring in its step and full of lively music, this “B-T TRAIN” is fueled by the love of those who ride along with it. I’m certain it won’t be leaving anyone behind as it races towards its final destination, the 29 December show, BUCK-TICK TOUR THE BEST 35th anniv. FINALO at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan. And after that, we will await a new hope, and a new start in the form of a new album.







Translation: Yoshiyuki
Source: Pia News



The Essence of
Beautiful Music

~eternally beautiful music~

Sakurai Atsushi ✕ Imai Hisashi

Showa 45-nen Onna
November 2022

Interview: Takahashi Eriko
Photography: Komatsu Yosuke (ODD JOB)
Hair/makeup: Tanizaki Takayuki/Yamaji Chihiro (Fats Berry)
Stylist: Shimizu Ken’ichi
Outfits: kiryuyrik ✆03-5728-4048 | LAD MUSICIAN SHINJUKU ✆03-6457-7957 | AUI NITE ✆050-1564-2462

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the “Beautiful Music” special feature is a theme that was made for BUCK-TICK. In this issue, we bring a long, wholehearted interview with Sakurai Atsushi and Imai Hisashi that gives us a look behind what inspires the band’s consistently beautiful visuals and their absolute worldview which comes second to none as they celebrate the 35th anniversary of their major debut.



Major Debut 35 Years

It’s been 35 years since the band first debuted with a major label. In that time, BUCK-TICK has remained at the forefront of their peers without a single change in band members or a member departure. Furthermore, their range of musical styles is so broad that they cannot be so easily described as a mere “rock band”.

At present, they have released 40 singles and 22 albums with major labels, all of which have achieved chart topping sales and records. Listening to the large number of songs they have produced is enough to engulf you in their immersive world while introducing you to all kinds of genres. In many ways, there is no other like them——

1st major-release single
Released 26 October 1988

Buck-Tick – Just One More Kiss (1988, CD) - Discogs

They had already released two albums prior to this but their first single came from the album, TABOO. This song might very well be the song that made  BUCK-TICK known to the world when it was used as the commercial song for the CD radio-cassette player called CDian. It’s a song with a nuance of transience in it’s catchy tune.

First chart entry at no. 1
Released 18 January 1989

Buck-Tick - Taboo - Reviews - Album of The Year

The band’s 3rd album which was their first charting release, and also their first album to reach number one. The production of this album saw BUCK-TICK traveling overseas to record and work with a non-Japanese producer in the UK for the first time. It turned out to be an album which leaves a dark impression that leans strongly towards the new wave genre. Just as titled, the album TABOO had a number of songs that contained controversial content which were, however, tastefully presented.




Upon hearing the words “beautiful music”, BUCK-TICK will be the first rock band that comes to the minds of the women who were born in the 70s… At least, that’s what I think. Their image is undoubtedly beautiful, but even their music, their live performance style, everything about them is so beautiful that no other band even comes close. The subculture known as Visual-Kei grew to prominence in the 90s, but they still exist in a distinctly different sphere from it.

In other words, there was no BUCK-TICK before BUCK-TICK came to be, and there is no BUCK-TICK that came after BUCK-TICK’s formation. Even now, there are few bands who can boast a decades-long career,  but there is almost no band who can say that they have not experienced a single member change or departure in the 35 years since they made their major debut in 1987. That alone is enough to make the band one-of-a-kind.

Among the members are singer Sakurai Atsushi and guitarist Imai Hisashi who are the faces of the band and the driving forces behind their concepts. First, we asked these two about the aesthetics they value and the considerations they keep in mind when creating the BUCK-TICK lens.

I don’t think along the lines of “I’ll keep this in mind”. Or rather, I think I would prefer not to constrain myself. That’s why, even with music,  if I think that what I came up with is going to be cool, then what I’d do is keep digging deeper and work on it until it takes shape. But although that’s my thought process when I’m creating, in the end, I’d still find myself with something that is “still the BUCK-TICK sound after all”. This reason alone is why I feel that “being unconstrained” is also a personal motivation for me

— Imai

I come up with my own lyrics so rather than a focus on beauty, it’s actually more that I cannot stand it if refinement is lacking in any area (lol). That’s why I’d pay a little more attention to that when I’m composing. I’d be glad if others also felt that what I created was “beautiful”, but that’s something that is decided upon by each audience’s respective sensibilities as they listen and watch. And I think that’s okay too, because people are free to feel any way they want, right?

— Sakurai

I was surprised when I heard what Sakurai-san said. That’s right, he mentioned “refinement”! That’s what is found in Sakurai-san’s lyrics. While there certainly exists venom within them too, there is always “refinement” to be found, so we can’t help but sense its beauty alongside its venom.

I’m glad you feel that way. We often say this in reference to pretty flowers, but this “refinement” is also hidden in the shadows of the venom that is sprinkled all around; something that we can catch faint glimpses at times. I think that much is good enough.

— Sakurai

Adding on, it is not only beautiful but, like what Imai said earlier about “being unconstrained”,  there are also many challenging areas in BUCK-TICK’s music. In fact, they present a different variety of musical styles with every album they release. It’s a process of scrapping and building where they break down their image with their own hands and then reconstruct a new face again. Their conviction towards keep moving on without stopping is truly gloriously beautiful.

The moment I find a melody I want to try, I’d want to start composing for us to play it ourselves. As result, the band’s musical style had a debut-era flair, and part-way took on a groovy vibe and turned a kind of dancey, and we’ve dabbled in electronic music, techno and even genres that lean towards ambient sounds too. I guess that’s because of “the unsettled feeling of not doing something” (lol). But if we were to become a band that specialises in ambient music when we make ambient music, or industrial music if we’re making industrial music, that doesn’t feel quite right to me. That said, I don’t think I’d quite like it if we were to become a band that has everything like some kind of family restaurant¹ (lol). So I think it’s good as long as BUCK-TICK’s colours show up well no matter what musical style we’re doing.

— Imai

Whatever the genre, BUCK-TICK’s colours are undoubtedly present. That is exactly what the five members of the band have cultivated in their almost 40 years together.

It’s probably obvious, but the way the five of us play our instruments and make music is what makes BUCK-TICK’s colours. And of course, I think Sakurai-san’s voice and style of singing is a big part of that. Because a voice is something only that one person owns, right? It’s me singing with my voice at the sample stage, but once we go into the recording studio and change it to Sakurai-san’s singing, the song really changes completely. I’d feel that it now exudes the BUCK-TICK vibes.

— Imai


Having an awareness of “performing” when on stage

Sakurai’s voice full of depth and mystery is truly one-of-a-kind. These days, singers whose voices become indistinguishable when you listen to them just a little can be found here and there, but Sakurai is special. His voice leaves such a strong impression that you can’t help but turn your attention to him the moment you hear him. To maintain that voice, Sakurai himself pays particular attention to a number of things.

I become very nervous about the condition of my throat before a concert or recording session. Recording sessions and concerts are respectively different too, but after a concert, I’ll be tired and I’ll avoid speaking and eating spicy food. Even so, I’d still drink though (lol). Because I’ll get stressed out if I quit (lol).

— Sakurai

Why he became so cautious is because of the mistakes he made in his youth.

I couldn’t even fully utilise my voice when I was young, and I didn’t consider pacing myself either. Because of that, I destroyed by voice during a tour when we had three consecutive days of livehouse performances. That made me reflect on myself. I realised I can’t only think of myself because it’s an insult to the audience who took the time and effort to come and see us. I became rather anxious after that. When you hear a professional vocalist or a professional stage actor speak, you can immediately tell that they take care of their voices, so that’s something that I felt I should learn from them. The idea that “it doesn’t matter since we’re rockers” isn’t quite right to me.

— Sakurai

Sakurai’s silhouette on stage is also exceedingly beautiful. This is easy to grasp when you watch their most recent concert video release, Misemono-goya ga Kureta kara -SHOW AFTER DARK- in Nippon Budokan. The brilliance of his posturing and gestures is so captivating it lays hold on your heart. How he grew to become so meticulous in “putting on a show” was answered in this section of the column, where he talks about the influence of his admired and respected industry seniors.

Of course, the thing I cherish the most is singing, but there are many other elements apart from music and singing that makes a concert. There’s lighting and the stage sets, stage transitions and all that which are crucial in putting a concert together, so we take all these different things into consideration when we put on a show. And in all of that, I especially am the person who performs as the characters who feature in the songs’ narratives. That’s something I’ve come to keep in mind.

— Sakurai

That’s right. The world that BUCK-TICK creates on stage is not of this world. Because of how it’s neither closely relatable nor similar to daily life, it mesmerises the audience and immerses them in it. I would think that this isn’t anything like “empathising”. However, the beauty of these stories make our hearts flutter and kindle emotions from the depths our hearts. Perhaps this, too, is another power that entertainment possesses.

When we were young, we let the staff take charge of the stage. But gradually, the desire that asks, “How does the audience perceive us? How do we want them to perceive us?” grew. So bit by bit, we began to talk with staff who work the stage. For example, when I want the spotlight to shine over my head at this point in time, or when we want more smoke for a particular song. And after we started using videos too, depending on the song, we’d be making requests like, “Please make a video like this.” Or, “Please use the video as lighting.” In recent years, we’ve grown able to materialise the worlds that we want to present to our audience. But I’m just saying things (lol), so it feels like people are making things for me.

— Sakurai

When it comes to the stage, we basically use what our frontman Sakurai-san comes up with as a foundation. Then the rest of us will see what other ideas we have with regards to it, and that’s more or less how we’re doing it now in recent years.     After all, I think that the one with the ideas should propose them first anyway, and when we have meetings, Sakurai-san would a whole bunch of things like videos and photo collections, illustrated books and all those things too. So it’s like we’re expanding on the idea from there.

— Imai

In the end, nothing beats performing with an audience right in front of you

For a time, the chances of getting to watch a concert in person fell drastically because of the COVID-19 pandemic. BUCK-TICK, too, was affected. The aforementioned concert at Nippon Budokan was their one and only concert with a live audience in 2021. Live streamed concerts are certainly convenient. But without getting to feel the heat and the atmosphere in the hall, it is definitely not enough for those of our era who grew up going to live concerts in person. When you feel at a live concert what you can’t get from a CD, it will naturally bring tears to your eyes. Because it’s these experiences that enrich our lives. And to the artists, as well, concerts are undoubtedly a special space and time when they get to meet their fans in person.

We were also unable to stage concerts throughout that time, but last year, we finally got to do our show at Budokan. When I came face to face with our audience after such a long time, that feeling of “Ahh, this is as nice as I remembered,” came over me. We did a bunch of trial and error with streaming and what we could do with it, but in the end, nothing beats performing with an audience right in front of you. I really felt in my bones that this really was the best of all.

— Imai

Entertainment was said to be non-essential and as a result of that trend, entertainment disappeared entirely for a time. But when that happened, we realised that it was actually the opposite; entertainment enriches our lives and it is something we cannot live without.

We kicked off our fanclub & mobile membership-exclusive concert tour the other day, and it’s already been three years since we did the last one. For three years we couldn’t perform in livehouses. Even now, the audience has to keep their masks on and we can only see their  eyes, but even so, I could sense very strongly that they were really looking forward to this. Because there were also audience members who cried. Even though the situation is  uncompromising, seeing that makes me feel that it’s a good thing that we’re doing this.

— Sakurai

When a band has been around for as long as BUCK-TICK has, “We’ll be able to spot teenaged audience members and sometimes much older folk too” — Sakurai. Not two, but three generations of a family. It’s rare that we ever find a rock band who has been loved for such a long time, but there is no question that this is because they bring us a world which comes second to none, which only they can create. 

After this, they will prepare for their national tour for CATALOGUE THE BEST 35th anniv., and in addition, they also have in the works something that “puts what I’m feeling now into song” — Sakurai. To the women of the 70s who continue to derive joy from BUCK-TICK’s music, here’s a message from them to close things off.

Anyway, being able to enjoy yourself every day, I think that’s all that matters. Don’t need to try too hard. I think it’s enough to use just half of your whole effort.

— Imai

Gloomy news is everywhere right now, but I think it’d be good if you can find just one thing that you like, or one thing that makes you feel at ease despite it all. I hope that by doing that, you’ll be able to brighten up your life and enjoy it to its fullest.

— Sakurai


Sakurai’s Roots

Conscious down to his fingertips by the teachings of his seniors in aesthetics

The roots of Sakurai’s “aesthetics” all come from artists with their own unique perspectives. “In terms of foreign artists, it’s David Bowie. Japanese, it’s ISSAY-san from Der Zibet, DEAD END’s MORRIE-san too possesses a very strong sense of aesthetic too, I think. Among them, I’ve received instruction from ISSAY-san who also does pantomime. Ever since then, I became interested in the art of “putting on a show” and have grown conscious [of how I present myself] down to my fingertips.

Imai’s Roots

Incorporating fashion, hairstyles in the 80s when the macabre was popular

Unbound by stereotypes, Imai’s roots are wide and varied. “YMO and RC Succession, The Stalin, of course, BOØWY too, but generally, 80s punk and new wave and techno. I started out with those types of Japanese music before moving towards Western music. I wasn’t only influenced by the music, but also by their fashion and hairstyles, makeup too. The macabre was relatively popular in the 80s, and I thought that was interesting so I incorporated that too







Translation: Yoshiyuki
Images: Yoshiyuki

Official Report
BUCK-TICK’s 35th Debut Anniversary 2-Day Concert at Yokohama Arena

27 September 2022

Text=Yuka Okubo
Photos=Seitaro Tanaka


We have received the official concert report of BUCK-TICK’s 35th debut anniversary concert, BUCK-TICK 2022“THE PARADE”~35th anniversary~ which was held on two days on the Friday and Saturday, 23rd and 24th of September 2022 at Yokohama Arena.



BUCK-TICK celebrated their 35th debut anniversary with no change in member line-up on 21 September 2022. On the 23rd and 24th, the held their 35th debut anniversary concert, BUCK-TICK 2022“THE PARADE” ~35th anniversary~ at Yokohama Arena in Kanagawa.

There were two main special characteristics for this 35th anniversary show. 

The first was dynamic light and video production which made use of 12 lasers and a large LED screen. Past anniversary concerts, named “PARADE” which came before were all held on outdoor stage like the special outdoor stage created at Yokohama Minato Mirai Shinko Pier in 2007, at Chiba Port Park in 2012, and Odaiba Yagai Tokusetsu Kaijo in 2017, making this the first anniversary concert being held in an arena. At an outdoor venue, lighting and visual effects don’t come into play until the sun sets, so this time, the band was able to construct their world right from the very start.

There is one fixed screen on each side of the stage, plus one giant screen at the back of the stage and one more large screen in front of the stage. The screen in front of the stage could be moved which meant that while there were some sets there the screen remained in front of the stage like a faded filter over the band members, there were also sets when it would be raised up, removed to create a three-dimensional effect with the depth of the screen in the background. 

If I were to pick the most impactful scene among the songs performed on both days as an example, it would be the second song they performed, BABEL, which has a story which pulls you in its euphoria and deep heavy groove. The Tower of Babel was shown against a bright red background on the screen behind, while the screen in front which previously concealed the band slowly rose up as if illustrating the disquieting building of the Tower of Babel.

What left a truly strong impression on me was the performance of Aikawarazu no `Are’ no Katamari ga Nosabaru Hedo no Soko no Fukidamari (2022MIX) around the middle of the show that had a languid jungle beat and saw Imai Hisashi (on guitar) taking on the role of lead singer. The sight of Sakurai Atsushi’s (singer) face on the back screen coalescing with the numerous writhing hands on the bright red screen towards the front of the stage inspired the same creepiness you would get in a horror movie.  

During the mid-tempo Guernica no Yoru which tells of the tragedies of war, we saw an amusement park under the stars, crumbling with the passage of time. At Aku no Hana during the encore, red, blue and green lasers were shot from the stage into the audience. During Yume Miru Uchuu in the second encore, the screen in front of the stage rose almost to the ceiling to combine with the back screen and create what felt like the endless void of outer space.

The visuals and lighting used to further develop the world of the songs sometimes drowned out or silhouetted the members, and if one were to say that live performances are about enjoying the playing style and facial expressions live, then this choice of production might have seemed rather bold. But when we consider the fact that BUCK-TICK made their video debut 35 years ago as “visual artists”, one can also say that this time, they were being conscious of their “origins” on stage.

And the second special characteristic was how the set list wasn’t comprehensive of their 35-year career or brimming with a festive mood even though these concerts were in celebration of their 35th anniversary. 

This year, the first show was named “FLY SIDE” and the second was named “HIGH SIDE”, just like their shows at Odaiba in 2017. But while the Odaiba setlist looked back over their 30 years with a collection of songs that covers a relatively complete range of eras, from the indie era and early numbers such as Fly High, this year’s set list seemed to focus on where the band is now and where they’re headed towards in the future while incorporating the messages they want to convey at this point in time. 

That said, BUCK-TICK thus far tends to decide on their set list based on the songs that each band member suggests. But the set list this time around appears to centre around CATALOGUE THE BEST 35th anniv., their best-of album collection that was recently released on 21 September.

They also appear to have worked with the stage production team to focus it all around Sakurai too. As a result, the show’s content was saturated with his message. Which was especially conspicuous when they performed Rakuen, REVOLVER, Guernica no Yoru and, live for the first time, their new song Sayonara Shelter on both days.

Shrouded in a black veil from his head, Sakurai sounded the tingsha in his hands during Rakuen’s cutting narration of a war-torn country looking upon a conflagration on the opposite shore as an opportunity.  During the highly aggressive and fast-paced REVOLVER, he puts his finger to his temple, shouting, “Shoot the child’s future!”¹. In the last part of Guernica no Yoru, a song where he sings from the perspective of a young protagonist about the devastation of air strikes, a brief respite came after he sang “After seeing such a dream, I woke up”². But brief it was, before they dove into a song inspired by the current state of the world, Sayonara Shelter which illustrates the madness of reality amidst a gentle melody.

Another thing I want to highlight is their performance of Kinjirareta Asobi -ADULT CHILDREN- on the first day. This song tells of traumatised grown-up children (adult children) who have closed themselves off going through the process of stepping outside and saying “I’m leaving of this room”³. During the performance, a large white wall appeared on the screen in front of the stage with a black, gaping exit painted right where Sakurai was standing and at the end of the song, Sakurai said, “This is dedicated to all the adult children.” All of it left a deep impression on me. 

It would appear that Sakurai, who channels his thoughts and feelings into stories and puts them into his lyrical world, was very determined to strongly lay bare his message through this set list. For his gaze was sharp, his singing was strong and powerful, and filled with compassion too.

Of the 21 songs performed on each of the two days, ten of them, or half were fixed songs but the eleven alternated songs added to the set list provided different sides of the band.

The first day started with the industrial-sounding EDM track ICONOCLASM. Hard hammer beats, edgy guitar riffs and a deep mechanical-sounding voice are unleashed with lasers from behind a screen that remains down in front of the stage. The glorious BABEL came next, followed by Uta which started with Yagami Toll’s (on drums) tight drum intro that led into a robust groove which then flowed into the melancholic Gekka Reijin

“Welcome. Do enjoy yourself,” was Sakurai’s short coquettish MC that served as a lead into Maimu Mime. In a video which moves from a street which looks like Jiufen, Taiwan to a close-up shot in a room, Sakurai makes use of his black wide-brimmed hat, a chair, and glimpses of his thighs as puts on a one-man performance of the bewitching games between men and women. 

During Kyoki no Dead Heat, which feels like running at hyper speed, cameramen with movie cameras went on stage to capture the aggressive members strutting up and down the stage extensions on both the left and right side. 

To close off the main set were three songs brimming with hope. Go-Go B-T TRAIN’s performance was spectacular with light shining on the large mirror balls on either side of the stage. The colourful graphics reminiscent of CD jackets, smoke billowing like steam from a steam locomotive, and a lively ensemble that nimbly runs through the heavy, creaking locomotive adds to the electricity in the arena. 

The stage lit up with flames for the next song, Memento Mori with tribal rhythms, Okinawan-sound scales, and shouts of “Wooha!” echoing. And finally, they ended with New World, leading us out of darkness and into a bright future.

The encore began with Django!!! -Genwaku no Django-. A rich groove was produced by Imai’s exotic guitar sounds coupled with Hoshino Hidehiko’s (on guitar) light acoustic guitar and the bass notes of Higuchi Yutaka (on bass), who came to the front of the stage during the bridge. As for Sakurai, he wore a silk hat on his head, had black feathers around his neck, and hot shorts and knee-high stockings, essentially dressing burlesque-style as he showed off his thighs and sways his hips as he sang.

Following the heaviness of Aku no Hana, Sakurai said, “Please have a listen to a nostalgic song from the album we debuted with 35 years ago.” With that, they proceeded into ILLUSION. The oldest of the songs performed over these two days, it evokes nostalgia with its lyrics that seem to bring up old memories.

In the second encore, they performed a graceful rendition of Koi, a requiem that combines fragility and strength. After that came Yume Miru Uchuu which was performed on a stage with the cosmos unfolding before it. Then, the big finale, Solaris. The macrocosmic cosmos and the microcosmic cells of a random person. The beautiful soundscapes created by the band and Sakurai’s enchanting falsetto, set to a moving visual image that evokes this connection, left a lasting impression.

Opening the second day the straight rock song Elise no Tame ni created a sense of unity from the start. The band was less tense with their singing and playing than the first day, and they looked relaxed on stage. With Sakurai’s slow swaying rope-crossing performance of TIGHT ROPE created a floating sensation, followed by the chunky bass riffs and the guitar’s rigid cutting in Mienai Mono wo Miyou to Suru Gokai  Subete Gokai da, and finally MOONLIGHT ESCAPE’s singing so carefree that it feels like we’re flying over the moon, there was even an emotional moment where we saw Imai strumming his guitar while lying on the floor in the outro.

Sakurai seemed to mimic David Bowie’s voice as he said, “Let’s Dance〜” before they dove into Dance Tengoku. Then, starting with an interlude from Imai’s guitar was BOY septem peccata mortalia where the members of the band were freely roaming all over the stage, being chased by the camera crew or staring into a camera while crawling on stage; so much was going on that we could barely keep up with our eyes.

The stage was set aglow by the flames in ROMANCE, where we got to hear Sakurai’s beautiful falsetto and after that, came the last song, same as the first day’s; New World. Powerful vocals pushed forward with clean-toned riffs that seemed to burst with light and the powerful 4/4 rhythm. It’s a song fit to end the set for these five who are taking a new step forward.

The first encore featured the newly remixed ANGELIC CONVERSATION (2022MIX) from their best-of album, Aku no Hana, and the dramatic pop ballad HEAVEN. In the second encore were the heartfelt ballad Boukyaku, Yume Miru Uchuu, and finally, Kodou (2022MIX). BUCK-TICK’s magnificent paean to humanity, dedicated to all life was sung in high spirits, bringing the two-day festivities to a close.

Despite celebrating their 35th anniversary on the big stage, BUCK-TICK had already entered a new phase. Furthermore, it looks like they’re already headed in a certain direction. 

“Since our 35th anniversary year has just begun, there’s a lot for us to do, and a lot for us to be happy about. After we’re done with today, Anii and Yuta will begin rehearsing for the tour tomorrow. And Imai-san and Hide will compose new songs. And I…… will sleep (smiles).”

While listening to this MC by Sakurai, I recalled a time in their early days of exhausting work where they were going on tour for their second album right after they concluded recording work for their third album. Finding out that there were some things that still haven’t changed since those days made me laugh a little. 

I’ve been hearing that the new release slated for the coming spring will be based on a new, never-before-seen concept. Expectations are high for the future of BUCK-TICK, who continues to avariciously evolve even past their 35th anniversary.

<Set List>

■BUCK-TICK 2022 “THE PARADE” ~35th anniversary~ FLY SIDE
Friday, 23 September 2022 | Yokohama Arena


M3. 唄 [Uta]
M4. 月下麗人 [Gekka Reijin]
M5. 舞夢マイム [Maimu Mime]
M6. 狂気のデッドヒート [Kyoki no Dead Heat]
M7. 禁じられた遊び -ADULT CHILDREN- [Kinjirareta Asobi -ADULT CHILDREN-]
M8. 相変わらずの「アレ」のカタマリがのさばる反吐の底の吹き溜まり (2022MIX)
[Aikawarazu no “Are” no Katamari ga Nosabaru Hedo no Soko no Fukidamari (2022MIX)]
M9. 楽園 [Rakuen]
M11. ゲルニカの夜 [Guernica no Yoru]
M12. さよならシェルター (新曲) [Sayonara Shelter (New song)]
M13. Go-Go B-T TRAIN
M14. Memento mori
M15. New World

EN1-1. Django!!!-眩惑のジャンゴ- [Django!!!-Genwaku no Django-]
EN1-2. 惡の華 [Aku no Hana]

EN2-1. 恋 [Koi]
EN2-2. 夢見る宇宙 [Yume Miru Uchuu]
EN2-3. Solaris


■BUCK-TICK 2022 “THE PARADE” 〜35th anniversary〜 HIGH SIDE
Saturday, 24 September 2022 | Yokohama Arena


M1. エリーゼのために [Elise no Tame ni]
M3. Tight Rope
M4. 見えない物を見ようとする誤解 全て誤解だ [Mienai Mono wo Miyou to Suru Gokai  Subete Gokai da]
M6. ダンス天国 [Dance Tengoku]
M7. BOY septem peccata mortalia
M8. 相変わらずの「アレ」のカタマリがのさばる反吐の底の吹き溜まり (2022MIX)
[Aikawarazu no “Are” no Katamari ga Nosabaru Hedo no Soko no Fukidamari (2022MIX)]
M9. 楽園 [Rakuen]
M11. ゲルニカの夜 [Guernica no Yoru]
M12. さよならシェルター (新曲) [Sayonara Shelter (New song)]
M13. Go-Go B-T TRAIN
M15. New World

EN1-2. 惡の華 [Aku no Hana]

EN2-1. 忘却 [Boukyaku]
EN2-2. 夢見る宇宙 [Yume Miru Uchuu]
EN2-3. 鼓動 (2022MIX) [Kodou (2022MIX)]






¹ あの子の未来を  撃て / Ano ko no mirai wo   ute

² そんな夢見て  目覚めた / Sonna yume mite   mezameta

³ この部屋を  出て行くよ / Kono heya wo   dete iku yo



Translation: Yoshiyuki
Source: Spice, JVC Music




HIROSHI talks about how his fascination with BUCK-TICK changed his life
From nostalgic songs to the behind-the-scenes of his conversation with Sakurai Atsushi

Real Sound
20 September 2022

Interview/Text = Imai Tomoko, Photos = Takahashi Keisuke

BUCK-TICK is celebrating their 35th anniversary They have released 22 original albums since debuting with a major label. The beautiful worldview they construct by uniquely sublimating influences from punk, new wave, and popular songs, along with the bewitching and solid aura they exude as a rock band continue to attract many listeners while the power of their songwriting and live performances shows no sign of abating.

On 21 September, they will be releasing both CATALOGUE THE BEST 35th anniv., a consolidation of their 35-year career in a 5-disc best-of album collection, and the concert film production Misemono-goya ga Kurete Kara〜SHOW AFTER DARK〜 in Nippon Budokan. One would assume that both releases are no doubt considered as must-haves with new discoveries to be made for both long-time fans and new listeners who are just getting into BUCK-TICK.

Here on Real Sound, we have started a project where we invite celebrities to talk about BUCK-TICK’s charms. In this installment, we have HIROSHI, who gained popularity as a comedian with his “I’m HIROSHI” skits and has recently garnered attention for his solo camping video uploads to talk about his love for BUCK-TICK.

BUCK-TICK left an impact on HIROSHI when he first came across them in high school and in the 35 years since then, BUCK-TICK has continued to be part of his life. With a youthful twinkle in his eyes and sometimes emotional tears, HIROSHI talks about how he still continues to look up to them today.

We hope you’ll enjoy this BUCK-TICK-filled conversation that covers topics from how HIROSHI first came across them, to his favourite songs, and of course, behind-the-scenes stories from his conversation with Sakurai Atsushi on NHK Educational TV’s SWITCH Interview Tatsujin-tachi. (Editorial department) 


Debut 35th Anniversary Concept Best Album『CATALOGUE THE BEST 35th anniv.』Preview Trailer



BUCK-TICK shocked me with their dyed hair standing high

ーーFirst, start by telling us about how you came across BUCK-TICK.

HIROSHI (H): I was already a child who was very fascinated by bands ever since I was in elementary school to begin with. The very first band I saw [playing live] was a cover band of high schoolers from a neighbouring town who was performing THE MODS’ Hageshii Ame ga at an outdoor event. That got me thinking, “Bands are so cool!” I became very focused on being popular in my later years of elementary school but I always thought that bands were the equivalent of popularity, so when I started middle school, I tried to start my own band. But it didn’t go very well. I had no money, and there were no cheap second-hand music stores like what we have now, so acquiring instruments itself was an uphill battle. Nevertheless, I did manage to start a band in high school.

ーーWhat part of the band did you play?H: Bass. At the time when I started the band, music like heavy metal and hard rock were popular among the band-playing people so we initially decided to cover EARTHSHAKER, but it didn’t really fit fashion-wise. Then BOØWY appeared and I intuitively thought, “They’re cool!” Probably because I loved how they wore their hair up. In BUCK-TICK’s case, they made their hair stand high and they even dyed it, so that really shocked me the first time I saw them. But while reflecting on why I seemed attracted by hair styled like that, along the way, I came to the realisation that I liked punk music. When I told those around me who only wanted to play hard rock that I wanted to play punk music though, I was immediately shot down.

ーーDo you remember the first BUCK-TICK song you ever heard?

H: At this point, I’m not sure what was the actual first song, but I still remember watching their performance of FUTURE FOR FUTURE on TV like it was yesterday (※probably their performance on the January 1987 broadcast of the NHK music program Young Studio 101). I recorded that on VHS and watched it numerous times over. It’d be weird to say that it felt like they were giving their all, but there was this very strong spirit like, “We’re the coolest!”, “Watch us make our way to the top”. Sakurai (Atsushi)-san never stopped moving anyway. I think at the time, he was at war with the pressure from the idea that he had to stand out and that there’s no backing out for him since he was the person who asked to be given the position of vocalist. It’s as if all of that was being conveyed through the screen. Another one I remember very clearly was their performance of …IN HEAVEN… on a white stage set with BUCK-TICK written on it (※probably their performance on the January 1989 broadcast of the NHK music program Just Pop Up).

ーーWhat was the first BUCK-TICK thing HIROSHI-san bought?

H: The period when I started listening to BUCK-TICK was right when we were transitioning from vinyl records to CDs. I’m the type of person who feels sad that we were moving towards the CD format, so even though they released CD versions, I listened to BUCK-TICK on vinyl records. I was really broke, so that was already quite the hurdle to purchase the vinyls I wanted, but even if I went to the local rental stores in my area, all they had stocked were pop music so vinyl records for rock music were hard to find. Being in the suburbs meant that information was hard to come by too, so I felt that the only way for me to listen to them was to buy their records which led me to ordering them at record stores for purchase. I only bought a few records, but they consisted of BUCK-TICK and BOØWY, and also Honda Minako-san’s along with an idol by the name of CoCo. I bought BUCK-TICK’s SEXUAL×××××! (1987) and ROMANESQUE (1988). They came with stickers that were pre-order gifts. My friends would ask me to give it to them, but I would never.

BUCK-TICK has too many famous songs!

ーーWhat songs do you particularly love?

H: Off the top of my head, HEARTS (from ROMANESQUE). When it comes to “songs”, you take the liberty to relate it to your own life when you listen to it, right? At the time, I was a freshman in high school and I was thinking to myself, “I absolutely must become popular when I’m in high school,” so I spent the whole of that time looking like a delinquent. Even though I really am not one at all. And when I did that, I became super popular, a pretty girl from school confessed to me in school and we even hung out for a few days, but the truth is, I’m not that kind of person so I was soon busted as a fraud and got dumped. That girl came to mind when I heard HEARTS and that got me feeling heartbroken.

ーーAh, youth. Are there other songs that evoke such memories?

H: There are lots, but I definitely started to dream of becoming an entertainer the moment I heard FUTURE FOR FUTURE. The lyrics “The TV screen captivated my mind on some day / Making me feel my thoughts running wild just as they are¹” were definitely something that gave me the push as someone who admired the world of entertainers and television.

ーーSo, the power you felt from their music and performances along with their aforementioned hairstyles and fashion sense were all rolled into one big influence on HIROSHI.

H: Yes. Sakurai-san was touching Imai (Hisashi)-san’s butt on the back of the ROMANESQUE jacket that had the five of them posing and all I thought was, “So sexy!!! So stylish!!!”

ーーBecause punk/new wave bands like BUCK-TICK were more neutral sounding as compared to hard rock and heavy metal bands, right?

H: Right, and that’s what I admired. What I thought was really amazing was how their vibe changed starting around their Aku no Hana (1990) period, right? Honestly speaking, I did think that they changed a little too much (lol) but when I went back and listened to it again as an adult, there was a kind of realisation, like, “Now I get it, this is great!” I’m gradually getting the idea that [some of their songs are] as good as pop on occasion, but even then, they still end up sounding like BUCK-TICK, don’t they? A recent song I love, Maimu Mime (ABRACADABRA) sounds like popular music from the Showa era, doesn’t it? But there is no doubt that it belongs in BUCK-TICK’s world view. I love those types of songs too. When I got my chance to speak with Sakurai-san on SWITCH Interview Tatsujin-tachi, he had mentioned that the roots of his music came from Yamamoto Linda-san too, so I guessed BUCK-TICK might have also been influenced by pop music too.


ーーOther than Showa-era pop songs, BUCK-TICK also incorporates influences from other genres like jazz and chanson. In addition to that, Sakurai-san also sings with his unique perspective, doesn’t he? That’s a big part of what makes them unique, and also what attracts HIROSHI-san to them, right?

H: Yes, that’s right. I rarely get to attend their concerts, but I’ve watched all their DVDs and videos, and [what I find is] BUCK-TICK’s stage sets would’ve been considered cringey if other bands used them, but when it’s them, it’s cool. Also, Imai-san plays his guitar in an oddly strange way, in a good sense. And because he plays left-handed, he pairs well with Hoshino (Hidehiko)-san in concert, doesn’t it? That’s another really cool aspect to me.

ーーImai-san’s music and arrangement, Sakurai-san’s lyrics and singing, and Hoshino-san’s music respectively have different shades. And the way the band members perform creates yet another unique shade, doesn’t it?

H: Honestly, they just have too many famous songs, don’t they? They’re releasing a 5-disc best-of album collection for their 35th anniversary this time around, and when I looked at the track list, I was shocked that FUTURE FOR FUTURE and SILENT NIGHT weren’t in any of the lists. Like, even with five best-of discs, we’ve got so many famous songs that are missing. BUCK-TICK has far too many famous songs!

ーー35 years, that’s how many years HIROSHI-san has spent with BUCK-TICK in your thoughts.

H: I’m now 50 years old, but BUCK-TICK has been active since I was a freshman in high school. I’ve also formed duos and trios [for comedy] before, and obviously I’ve formed a band before too, so I think it’s really amazing that they have been able to keep at it with the same band members for 35 years and that they’re still a leading band who draws a solid crowd for concerts. I can’t imagine doing anything like that because I’ve fought and broken up with my partners even with just two or three people in a duo or trio.

Intense admiration for Sakurai Atsushi; “I want to meet him, but I don’t want to!”

ーーDo you listen to BUCK-TICK as a form of inspiration or emotional support for yourself?

H: That happens a lot. Because I probably wouldn’t have thought of becoming an entertainer if I didn’t hear FUTURE FOR FUTURE. I’m someone with average grades who doesn’t have any talents like, I’m bad at sports too, and yet I wanted to become an entertainer anyway. That’s when I heard FUTURE FOR FUTURE and felt motivated. That’s where it all started. Even now, I’d listen to it from time to time and I’d be reminded of the feelings I had back then.

ーーAfter you had a breakthrough with your “I’m HIROSHI” skits and you published your first book (I’m HIROSHI. 1 [ヒロシです。1]), I believe you made “HIROSHI Phenomenon (ヒロシ現象 / HIROSHI Genshou)” stickers reminiscent of the “BUCK-TICK Phenomenon (バクチク現象 / BUCK-TICK Genshou)” ones.

H: That’s right! We have to talk about that! When I published my first book, we had a discussion about putting stickers in the appendix so I got to include “HIROSHI Phenomenon” with the stickers that came with my story. And just like you said, I copied that from “BUCK-TICK Phenomenon”.

ーーThis came up in our earlier conversation, but you managed to have a conversation with Sakurai-san on a program, right?

H: As an entertainer, I often get work revolving around promoting local businesses so I actually happened to bump into the band when we were travelling on the same bullet train just a short period before we went on the program. I was like, “Whoaa!” and I wanted to talk to them out of excitement, but I didn’t want them to think I was just some poseur, so I bit my tongue and didn’t talk in the end. Then on yet another day, I bumped into them again at another airport.

ーーYou might’ve been travelling the same route as BUCK-TICK’s tour.

H: Maybe that’s why. With these coming one after another, I started thinking, “Could it be a sign that something’s about to happen!?” And then, I received an offer from NHK about this dialogue program and they asked me, “Is there anyone you’re interested in meeting?” …… If that’s what you’re asking, then Sakurai-san is who I want to meet! But I admire him so much that I wouldn’t know what to say if I actually do meet him, so I decided to hold on giving them a reply. But then, my manager knew that I loved BUCK-TICK because I kept listening to them on the car, and he sent NHK the reply, “I believe HIROSHI wants to meet BUCK-TICK’s Sakurai-san” without my knowledge. And they surprisingly said OK, but it wasn’t until the schedule had been set that I first came to know that this had been decided. Seriously, at that point, I was all, “Aaaaargh!!” I was all nervous on the day of the event like, “I want to meet him, but I don’t want to. God help me!”

ーーYou showed us how flustered you were right at the start of the program (lol), but it was very interesting to see both of your personalities and the similarities you share. It’s so rare to see Sakurai-san laughing like that, so I think he really enjoyed talking to HIROSHI-san.

H: …… Hearing that makes me feel like crying. There were two days of filming and he shared a whole lot of interesting things in the parts that weren’t broadcast too. I’m also an entertainer so I do make a distinction between enjoyable and boring conversations, and whatever Sakurai-san says is really so interesting that I’m like, “Ahh, he’s actually such an interesting person.” The first day was at Sakurai-san’s go-to bar while the second day saw us filming while camping outdoors. I initially thought, “Wait, I shouldn’t make Sakurai-san go outside,” but he gave the OK despite that…… I honestly wondered whether it was really okay. We talked about all sorts of things there and he’s really charming as a person too so you really just can’t help but end up falling for him. After our 2 days of filming ended, I started thinking that I’d probably never get the chance to meet him again and I was overcome with this incredibly deep hollow sense of loss. It was the exact same feeling I’d get from breaking up with a girl I loved and it was the first time that this feeling dragged out for about two to three months.

ーー Is that the loss of Sakurai Atsushi?

H: Precisely. Also, Sakurai-san is a cat lover, isn’t he? Now I’m also considering owning a cat so I’m looking around.

Band musicians and entertainers aren’t the same, but BUCK-TICK is “the ideal image of adulthood”

ーーSince you’ve spent two days together, didn’t you exchange contact details or anything?

H: I can’t do that! If I suggested exchanging contact details to Sakurai-san, he would say yes, but I just can’t bring myself to say it! Even if I did manage to exchange details with him, Sakurai-san is someone who enjoys spending time alone so I think I probably won’t be able to bring myself to contact him anyway. But one day, I saw that I received a “like” from Imai-san on one of my posts on  Instagram. I was like, “Oh shit!” Since then, he’s sent me their new releases and tour tees when they could, so I can comfort myself with the idea that I’m kind of with BUCK-TICK like that. I don’t really have anything I can gift them, so even if I think they probably find it useless, I’d just send them camping cups anyway.

ーー (Lol) So what do you think of how BUCK-TICK is like these days?

H: Sakurai-san and Imai-san often get mentioned when we talk about BUCK-TICK, but everyone’s still cool even now. Hoshino-san is super cool too, and personally, I think that’s especially the case for the big brother on drums (Yagami Toll). He still styles his hair up evne now, doesn’t he! For bands who do that when they were young, the day will always come when they decide not to style their hair like that anymore, but he’s kept that hair for decades and honestly, I think it’s probably troublesome to do that. Because hairspray doesn’t come off easily even when you shampoo your hair. But the fact that he’s carried on with it all this time is just so cool. Furthermore, the whole band putting their hair up will ruin the vibe of them being a mature band, but with only one of them doing it like a representative of sorts…… Do you understand how great this is!?

ーーYes. It becomes obvious where BUCK-TICK’s origin is, right?

H: That’s right〜. And I played the bass too, so the coolest of them all is definitely U-TA-san (Higuchi Yutaka) for me. His image changed when he let his hair down and he seems even younger than before. In the past, rock bands have the image of being cool by being taciturn and stoic, but U-TA-san plays the bass with a big smile on his face. This balance he creates is great.

ーーAnd lastly, what is BUCK-TICK to HIROSHI-san?

H: I’d say, probably “the ideal image of adulthood”. I’m a middle-aged man through and through, and the members of BUCK-TICK are no longer young either. But they’re the specimen of how cool you can be as an adult. The things that band musicians and celebrities do aren’t the same at all, but I’m definitely still hopeful. Even as they age, their image remains cool and they’re still producing masterpieces one after another. I’ll always admire and look up to them.

In truth, I’ve been thinking that I want to play in a band again and in recent times, I’ve started moving towards that. Maybe I’ll let my hair grow out long and I’ll make myself look like what Sakurai-san did in the past. Having turned 50, I think I’ve experienced all the things I want to do to a certain extent, but I think the one thing I want to do is to play in a band. But I think I would need stamina when the time comes to actually do it, so I started running. And then I thought I’ll need to be a little more popular, so I started doing sit ups and all that to reduce my belly. Whether or not this comes to fruition, life is enriched by aspiration, isn’t it? That’s why I think it’s something to treasure.

HIROSHI’s official YouTube Channel “HIROSHI CHANNEL”



■ Releases info — 1

『CATALOGUE THE BEST 35th anniv.』

『CATALOGUE THE BEST 35th anniv.』

BUCK-TICK Debut 35th Anniversary Concept Best Album
『CATALOGUE THE BEST 35th anniv.』

Releases Wednesday, 21 September 2022

・Special edition (5SHM-CD+BD)
¥11,000 (w/ tax)

・Regular edition (5SHM-CD)
¥6,600 (w/ tax)

・Limited quantity edition (5SHM-CD+BD+GOODS)
¥15,400 (w/ tax)



4. 唄 5. 楽園 6. 見えない物を見ようとする誤解 全て誤解だ
7. 相変わらずの「アレ」のカタマリがのさばる反吐の底の吹き溜まり  (21022MIX) 8. 無知の涙 9. CHECK UP
10. 極東より愛を込めて 11. BUSTER  12. 天使は誰だ
13. エリーゼのために 14. REVOLVER 15. ゲルニカの夜 16. さよならシェルター
Mastered by Randy Merrill at Sterling Sound  (USA)


1. BABEL 2. Mr.Darkness & Mrs.Moonlight 3. masQue 4. 月蝕 5. SABBAT  (2015MIX) 6. MISTY BLUE 7. 誘惑 8. Lullaby-III
9. ROMANCE 10. 凍える 11. 月下麗人 12. Django!!! -眩惑のジャンゴ- 13. Alice in Wonder Underground 14. DIABOLO 15. 夢魔 -The Nightmare 16. 愛の葬列
Mastered by John Davis at Metropolis Studios  (UK) 


1. DADA DISCO -G J T H B K H T D- 2. ケセラセラ エレジー 3. GUSTAVE 4. Baby, I want you. 5. Devil’N Angel 6. BOY septem peccata mortalia
7. 美 NEO Universe 8. メランコリア -ELECTRIA- 9. Villain 10. 獣たちの夜 YOW-ROW ver. 11. 独壇場Beauty -R.I.P.- 12. 羽虫のように
13. 光の帝国 14. 狂気のデッドヒート 15. PINOA ICCHIO -躍るアトム- 16. MY FUCKIN’ VALENTINE 17. BRAN-NEW LOVER 18. タナトス
Mastered by Clemens Schleiwies at SCHLEIWIES STUDIO  (Germany) 


1. JUPITER 2. ドレス 3. 密室 4. さくら 5. Long Distance Call
6. 無題 7. 形而上 流星 8. RAIN9. 禁じられた遊び -ADULT CHILDREN- 10. Moon さよならを教えて
11. 舞夢マイム 12. Cuba Libre 13. LOVE PARADE 14. 夢見る宇宙 -cosmix- 15. 忘却
Mastered by Alexis Bardinet at GLOBE AUDIO MASTERING  (France) 


1. 疾風のブレードランナー 2. RENDEZVOUS 〜ランデヴー〜 3. 鼓動  (2022MIX) 4. 世界は闇で満ちている 5. GIRL
6. 幻想の花 7. RHAPSODY 8. Memento mori 9. FUTURE SONG -未来が通る- 10. STEPPERS -PARADE-
11. セレナーデ -愛しのアンブレラ- 12. JUST ONE MORE KISS Ver. 2021 13. ONCE UPON A TIME 14. ユリイカ 15. New World
Mastered by Takahiro Uchida at FLAIR MASTERING WORKS  (Japan) 

  • DISC6 : VIDA<Blu-ray>

1. JUST ONE MORE KISS 2. 惡の華 3. スピード 4. M・A・D 5. JUPITER 6. ドレス 7. die 8. 唄
9. 鼓動 10. 見えない物を見ようとする誤解 全て誤解だ 11. キャンディ 12. ヒロイン 13. 囁き 14. 月世界 15. BRAN-NEW LOVER
16. ミウ 17. GLAMOROUS 18. 21st Cherry Boy 19. 極東より愛を込めて 20. 残骸 21. 幻想の花 22. ROMANCE
23. 蜉蝣 -かげろう- 24. RENDEZVOUS 〜ランデヴー〜 25. Alice in Wonder Underground 26. HEAVEN 27. GALAXY
28. 独壇場Beauty 29. くちづけ 30. エリーゼのために 31. MISS TAKE 〜僕はミス・テイク〜 32. 形而上 流星 33. New World
34. BABEL 35. Moon さよならを教えて 36. 獣たちの夜 37. RONDO 38. 堕天使 39. MOONLIGHT ESCAPE 40. 凍える 41. Go-Go B-T TRAIN


Official review of the Best-Of Album Collection: https://www.jvcmusic.co.jp/linguasounda/b-t35th/disc_review.html


■ Releases info — 2

Misemono-goya ga Kurete Kara 〜SHOW AFTER DARK〜 in Nippon Budokan
Misemono-goya ga Kurete Kara 〜SHOW AFTER DARK〜 in Nippon Budokan

Releases Wednesday, 21 September 2022

・Special edition Blu-ray (BD+2SHM-CD+PHOTOBOOK)
¥12,100 (w/ tax)

・Special edition DVD (2DVD+2SHM-CD+PHOTOBOOK)
¥12,100 (w/ tax)

※LIVE TRACKS CD (2-set) ・Includes 64-page photobook, special packaging

・Regular edition Blu-ray (BD)
¥7,700 (w/ tax)

・Regular edition DVD (2DVD)
¥7,700 (w/ tax)


<Blu-ray Track List>

SE. THE DUSK 〜start〜 01. DIABOLO 02. 夢魔 -The Nightmare 03. 楽園 04. 謝肉祭 -カーニバル- 05. Lullaby-III 06. 絶界 07. Living on the Net -Acoustic Ver.- 08. 光の帝国 09. ユリイカ 10. 忘却 11. BABEL 12. 獣たちの夜 13. 堕天使 YOW-ROW ver. 14. Villain 15. 舞夢マイム 16. MOONLIGHT ESCAPE 17. 形而上 流星 -Acoustic Ver.- 18. JUST ONE MORE KISS Ver.2021 19. 唄 Ver.2021 20. ICONOCLASM Ver.2021 21. Alice in Wonder Underground 22. 恋 23. Go-Go B-T TRAIN 24. 独壇場Beauty -R.I.P.-

<DVD Track List>


SE. THE DUSK 〜start〜 01. DIABOLO 02. 夢魔 -The Nightmare 03. 楽園 04. 謝肉祭 -カーニバル- 05. Lullaby-III 06. 絶界 07. Living on the Net -Acoustic Ver.- 08. 光の帝国 09. ユリイカ 10. 忘却


1. BABEL 02. 獣たちの夜 03. 堕天使 YOW-ROW ver. 04. Villain 05. 舞夢マイム 06. MOONLIGHT ESCAPE 07. 形而上 流星 -Acoustic Ver.- 08. JUST ONE MORE KISS Ver.2021 09. 唄 Ver.2021 10. ICONOCLASM Ver.2021 11. Alice in Wonder Underground 12. 恋 13. Go-Go B-T TRAIN 14. 独壇場Beauty -R.I.P.-


■Concert information

BUCK-TICK Debut 35th Anniversary LIVE
『BUCK-TICK 2022“THE PARADE”〜35th anniversary〜』
Kanagawa: Yokohama Arena

『BUCK-TICK 2022“THE PARADE”〜35th anniversary〜 FLY SIDE』
23 September 2022 (Fri / PH) Doors open: 17:00, show starts:18:00

『BUCK-TICK 2022“THE PARADE”〜35th anniversary〜 HIGH SIDE』
24 September 2022 (Sat) Doors open: 16:00, show starts: 17:00

Ticket price: All designated seats ¥12,000 (w/ tax)
Special website: https://buck-tick.com/feature/specialsite_2022parade



13 October (Thu) Tokyo: Tachikawa Stage Garden
Doors open: 17:30 , show starts: 18:30

15 October (Sat) Kanagawa: Pacifico Yokohama — National Convention Hall
Doors open: 17:00 , show starts: 18: 00

18 October (Tue) Saitama: Kawaguchi Sogo Bunka Center — Lilia Main Hall
Doors open: 17:30 , show starts: 18:30

21 October (Fri) Nagamo: Hokuto Culture Hall — Large Hall
Doors open: 17:30 , show starts: 18:30

22 October (Sat) Ishikawa: Hondanomori Hall
Doors open: 17:00 , show starts: 18: 00

29 October (Sat) Hyogo: Kobe Kokusai Kaikankokusai Hall
Doors open: 17:00 , show starts: 18: 00

30 October(Sun) Okayama: Kurashiki City Auditorium
Doors open: 17:00 , show starts: 18: 00

4 November (Fri) Tokyo: Tokyo International Forum — Hall A
Doors open: 17:30 , show starts: 18: 30

6 November (Sun) Gunma: Takasaki City Theatre — Grand Theatre
Doors open: 17:00 , show starts: 18: 00

12 November (Sat) Hokkaido: Sapporo Kanamoto Hall
Doors open: 17:00 , show starts: 18: 00

19 November (Sat) Miyagi: Sendai Sunplaza Hall
Doors open: 17:00 , show starts: 18: 00

20 November (Sun) Tochigi: Utsunomiya City Cultural Center — Large Hall
Doors open: 17:00 , show starts: 18: 00

26 November (Sat) Hiroshima: Ueno Gakuen Hall (Hiroshima Prefectural Culture & Arts Hall)
Doors open: 17:00 , show starts: 18: 00

27 November (Sun) Fukuoka: Fukuoka Sun Palace Hotel & Hall
Doors open: 17:00 , show starts: 18: 00

3 December (Sat) Kyoto: ROHM Theatre Kyoto — Main Hall
Doors open: 17:00 , show starts: 18: 00

4 December (Sun) Kagawa: Rexxam Hall — Large Hall (Kagawa Prefectural Hall)
Doors open: 17:00 , show starts: 18: 00

10 December (Sat) Aichi: NTK Hall — Forest
Doors open: 17:00 , show starts: 18: 00

11 December (Sun) Shizuoka: Shizuoka Culture Hall — Large Hall
Doors open: 17:00 , show starts: 18: 00

15 December (Thu) Chiba:  Chiba Prefecture Cultural Hall — Large Hall
Doors open: 17:30 , show starts: 18: 30

19 December (Mon) Osaka:  Osaka Festival Hall
Doors open: 17:30 , show starts: 18: 30

20 December (Tue) Osaka:  Osaka Festival Hall
Doors open: 17:30 , show starts: 18: 30

Ticket price: ¥9,900 (w/ tax)

General ticketing sales: Starts 10AM, Saturday, 24 September 2022


BUCK-TICK Debut 35th Anniversary SITE




¹ テレビの画面に いつかの心を奪われて/高鳴る想いは そのまま 感じたままで
Terebi no gamen ni itsuka no kokoro wo ubararete / takanaru omoi wa sono mama kanjita mama de


Translation: Yoshiyuki
Source: Real Sound


BUCK-TICK Holds 35th Anniversary Concert
“We’re still moving forward. Wishing blessings upon everyone too.”

Sports Hochi
23 September 2022




5-piece rock band BUCK-TICK held their 35th major debut anniversary concert, The Parade on the 23rd at Yokohama Arena in Kanagawa.

They performed 21 songs like their signature Aku no Hana and for the first time, Sayonara Shelter, their new song that was included in their best-of collection CATALOGUE THE BEST 35th anniv. which was recently released on the 21st. They also mesmerised fans with light performances that made use of 12 laser machines, and a giant LED screen.

“We’ve been doing this for 35 years. I would like to express my gratitude to all of you; thank you. We have more new recordings too. We’re still moving forward. Wishing blessings upon everyone too,” thanked Sakurai Atsushi who wore beguiling outfits, like jet black shorts and black knee-high socks that show off his “absolute territory¹”.

They’ll perform on the 24th at the same venue too. They will then kick off their first national tour in 3 years on 13 October, starting with a show at Tachikawa Stage Garden in Tokyo to play a total off 21 shows in 20 locations. Sakurai rallied, “You all still can’t take your masks off and scream for us, but we hope you’ll come and join us on tour too in good health.”




¹ Absolute Territory (絶対領域 / zettai ryouiki) describes the amount of bare thigh skin between the shorts or skirt and stockings or socks.


Translation: Yoshiyuki
Source: Sports Hochi