X cross talking

J-rock Magazine
July 1996

Interviewed by Hiroshi Ishida
Photographer Akihito Takagi

 

Once the music is released, it’s not a personal possession any more

In March, the more than a decade long career of DER ZIBET was packed into a best-of album Ari which they released alongside their 12th full album Kirigirisu. They were supposed to go on their promotional tour for these two albums, Ari to Kirigirisu¹ but the tour was unfortunately put on hold when a band member suddenly took ill. You can imagine the shock of the fans who have been looking forward to their first tour in almost a year, but the band probably feels the same way too. How does ISSAY, for whom live performances are like an anxiolytic, feel about this? Let’s hear it from the man himself in his own words.

 

 

Be it pantomime or music
You can’t do either without the soul of a poet

―― How’s the general reaction to Ari and Kirigirisu?

ISSAY (I): … I don’t know.

―― Don’t the music reviews in magazines interest you?

I: It’s not as if I don’t care for them at all though. I do think it’s good to just read and see what that person feels about it. In the end I just feel distant from that kind of thing.

―― Because these reviews are subjective.

I: Besides, if they weren’t, the writer’s existence is moot. Even if it makes me think, “That’s not quite right though,” once the music is released, it’s not my personal possession any more. That’s why I just take [these reviews] as a matter of “Ah, so this person feels this way.” But if it sounds like “This guy isn’t listening,” it makes me want to beat them to death (lol). Like, “How dare you write something like this when you weren’t even listening enough,” or something (lol).

―― When I was listening to your latest album Kirigirisu and your best-of album Ari, I was really intrigued by ISSAY-san as an expressionist though. Like, with your lyrics, it feels as if a particular part of you is being brought out.

 

I: I suppose, first and foremost, it’s the sense of loneliness that’s always there, right? The sense of loneliness, alienation; those are the kinds of things that I want to bring out in a positive light. Because we humans are alone when we’re born and we’d be on our own ever since. I always want to put that positively. That, and the “swaying”, I guess. There are periods when our emotions get swayed, right? There are loads of these instances like In our adolescence, or when we fall in love, and I think it’d be great if I can bring that across.

―― Guitarist HIKARU-san said that, ‘ISSAY is picky with words but he’s pretty flexible when it comes to lyrics.’ But what does ISSAY-san think about this?

I: Right, I suppose that might especially be so in recent years. Because it’s a problem if you end up with the wrong impression of a particular word when writing lyrics. Even if someone suggests to me that it’s better to change a certain word, I’d say something like, “I don’t think it can be replaced.” To me, if I see the word “孤独 (kodoku / solitude)”, it’s neither negative nor positive. Because I see it as nothing more than a state of being. But if you change that to the word “寂しい (sabishii / lonely)”, it turns into something else entirely, so I’m very particular when it comes to things like that. But not when it comes to the order in which the words come. I’m not too bothered by the minor details as long as the song makes proper sense in the big picture.

―― As Der Zibet’s vocalist? Do you see it like this precisely because you’re one of four members of a band who each have strong personalities?

I: I don’t think that I’m just one quarter of the band. Besides, I think the one singing is the greatest of them all (lol). And once I start writing lyrics, it’s already out of my hands. How I’m going to sing it on stage next time is up to the future me who will be performing it so it’s about expressing how I feel about that particular piece of work, y’know?

―― Even though it’s something that originally came from inside of you?

I: But you see, it’s turned into something that is no longer the same thing as what was initially conceived, so if I were to keep holding on to the energy that I had in the beginning, [the song] would become too subjective and that’s not good. In the end, I’d be taking on a different stance when I perform. That’s something that I’ve been doing in recent years, especially since I released my solo album.

―― So, what’s Hamlet Machine, this other unit that you’re doing away from Der Zibet with Mizunaga-san?

I: Mm… Spite, I suppose (lol). I guess it’s unfettered spite and aggression. I’d say it’s something that is even more aggressive and abrasive than Der Zibet. An abrasive solitude, spitefulness; that’s the kind of thing we’re doing.

―― Der Zibet is a flesh and blood band but Hamlet Machine uses programming which gets me thinking that your method of expression would also change, so when you say that it gets aggressive, is that because of the background music being programming after all?

I: If we’re using programming, the background music will still be perfect even if we’re doing something crazy. That’s why I can always let loose with a piece of mind (lol). Because in the case of Hamlet Machine, at the music composition stage, we’re already assuming that the music will be played by a machine, you know?

―― Since ISSAY-san also does pantomime, do you think that you’re performing with a different side of yourself when you’re doing that as compared to music?

I: No, I think of it as the same. In the end, you can’t do pantomime if you don’t sing, you know? Because I think of it as a song without sound or a voice, so, be it pantomime or music, you can’t do either without the soul of a poet, y’know? That’s why, although the parts of me used in performance are different, in the end, I’m doing the same thing. But the pantomimes that I do are only those where I perform with my master, so since they’re not created by me, it’s probably more enjoyable (lol).

―― Come to think of it, what made you start pantomime?

I: I just happened to bump into my present master (Mochizuki Akira / 望月章) (lol). He suddenly asked me, “Won’t you perform in my next show?”, and I said, “I’ve never done it before so, I won’t,” but he said, “I’ll only let you do things within your ability,” so I said, “If that’s the case, then I guess I’ll give it a go.” More than 10 years have passed since…

―― You got hooked (lol). Is it because you were influenced by your master’s performances after all?

I: No, I was already performing before I saw his work. It’s because I liked that person.

―― Were you drawn by his character?

I: Saying it’s his character is weird but, yeah, I suppose it’s his character in a way.

―― I’d assume your master is one of them too, but aren’t there quite a number of artists who influenced you, ISSAY-san?

I: There are lots. I think that [the music] I’ve listened to all this while has definitely all influenced me. Besides, there are quite a number of musicians who inspired me to start listening to rock music. Like there’s David Bowie and Lou Reed and The Doors who [influenced me] in that sense of it, but I only decided to make music after I listened to T. Rex. I ended up with a huge misconception when I heard T. Rex… I thought, “If [this is rock], then even I can do it, right?” (lol). I think that was a serious misconception, but that’s what made me start music, you know (lol).

―― (Lol) But you’re here today because you thought that way.

I: Exactly, yes. Cocky, isn’t it? (Lol). I got this far in life by being cocky. Through misconceptions and cockiness.

Because making music, writing lyrics,
these are things I have no choice but to do

―― What made you decide to start writing lyrics?

I: It’s because I originally liked reading. I used to read Mishima Yukio and all that. So, one day, I found Tanikawa Shuntaro-san’s poetry collection in a second-hand bookstore, and that got me thinking maybe I should write lyrics..

―― Again, why?

I: I wonder… It made me want to try.

―― Not because you thought, “Even I can do it.” (Lol)

I: I think the idea that “Even I can do it” probably did cross my mind (lol). Since my life is just one of hubris (lol). Lyrics written with such simple vocabulary were fresh, weren’t they?

―― Even now, do you still remember the lyrics you wrote when you just started out?

I: (Lol) Because I have them. At home.

―― You still have some left?

I: I keep them. You know, I made small changes to the lyrics I wrote when I was in high school and turned it into our debut song Matsu Uta (lol).

―― Such lyrics you’ve written back in your high school days probably seem fresh when you read them today.

I: They do. They’re amateurish but I didn’t write them particularly because I absolutely had to come up with something, so it was really interesting because my emotions were in dire straits.

―― You didn’t have deadlines either back then, right?

I: Nope, none at all. And I never even had the mind to sing or anything like that back then, so it really was just me and my need to write, you know? Now, it’s me and my need to stand on stage, but at the time, I had to write lyrics no matter what. So much so that I found myself at the precipice of my… How do I say this, [these lyrics are] unpolished because they were written based on the unstable parts of my psyche, but they’re about things that we all understand very well, right?

―― I’m sure you felt a sense of release after you vented that out.

I: Probably, right? Then again, that much is still the same even now though (lol).

―― I heard that ISSAY-san had your own solo activities prior to the formation of Der Zibet, so what did it sound like?

I: I guess it was something that feels like a mix of punk and glam and electric pop.

―― So how did you go from that to deciding to form Der Zibet?

I: I was a one-man act so the members (of my backing band) weren’t fixed. It’d be a different lineup every month too. So I got sick of such an uncertain set up and was thinking about forming a band and giving that a go when I got acquainted with my present band members, and I thought, “Ah, this is it.” The moment I met this group, I decided that I’d formally form a band with them and make music with them.

―― And just like that, you’ve been together for 10 years. It’s amazing.

I: Yeah, in the end… I suppose it just goes to show how appealing this band is, right?

―― Come to think of it, ISSAY-san once acted in a movie too, right?

I: (Lol) I did.

―― So, why didn’t you continue down that path but chose to pursue music instead?

I: Rather, it’s because I had no choice but to do it. For me, making music, writing lyrics, these are things I have no choice but to do, you know? This isn’t a case of, “I’ll make it if I’m capable of it.” Even if I’m not, “I have no choice but to do it”, that’s how I felt, so… It’s still the same even now. Like, when I act in a movie, I’m not doing it because “I have no choice but to do it”. Back then, I only did it because of the people I met and because I thought it seemed like it would be fun. It was indeed fun in reality though.

―― From the perspective of such an expressionist like yourself, are there any recent artists of note to ISSAY-san?

I: There a~ren’t, are there, at all (lol). Even Western music hasn’t been interesting these recent few years. There’s good music, but I guess I just can’t get into it. … But I really like allnude’s present album² a lot though.

―― (Lol) I feel like I understand that.

I: Until I listened to that album, there were no artists that I liked recently at all, and there weren’t any artists who could get me emotionally invested like in the past, so I started to wonder whether it’s me who changed. If that were true, it’d be sad, but you know, when I heard allnude’s present album, I thought, “So I’m not wrong after all.” (Lol) I realised it’s just that there wasn’t anything like this until now.

―― When I listened to that album of allnude’s, I thought, “Ah, it’s Der Zibet.”

I: (Lol) We sound completely different, but we have things in common, don’t we?

――Somehow, there are similarities between Mizunaga-san’s lyrical universe and ISSAY-san’s.

I: That’s because we’re twins, me and that guy (lol).

―― (Lol) Then what about your little brother Sakurai Atsushi-san?

I: (Lol) I think he’s definitely putting out great work with his band BUCK-TICK. Because I also really like that last album³ that I participated in.

―― BUCK-TICK’s another band with a strong personality, aren’t they?

I: It’s nice to see them do things the way they want like that, isn’t it? When I went on a radio show recently, they played BUCK-TICK’s upcoming single and that was interesting too. It was a very good song. No, it really was good. Noisy (lol). The melody was pop, though, right?

 

Without concerts to hold
it feels like I’m going to lose it

―― It couldn’t be helped that your bassist HAL-san suddenly took ill, but it truly was unfortunate that your tour had to be put on hold considering that your show at Osaka was going to be the first in about a year…

I: I believe the band feels that more than anyone else. Including HAL. Because, you see, we’re useless human beings, right? (Lol) We have to get on a stage or we’re useless. That’s why [situations like] these are very frustrating. The number of shows Der Zibet had in these few years are too few so we want to play more but (lol).

―― (Lol) How is HAL-san?

I: He’s slowly getting better.

―― So I guess your tour will be confirmed as soon as he recovers.

I: That’s right. We feel that he shouldn’t force himself and that we should wait until he’s in good shape though. But looking at how he’s doing now, I think [the tour] probably isn’t going to be something that far off in the future. So we’re getting ready to charge when it happens (lol). And when it does, we’ll be having a ton of concerts. Without shows to play, it feels like I’m going to lose it. I really can’t take it (lol).

―― So once your next show is confirmed, the energy will be…

I: Through the roof (lol).

―― Considering how much you love being on stage, do you still remember the first time you went up there?

I: I was a real mess, y’know. I was so nervous. Because I did it despite being a person who’s always been bad at putting myself out there in front of a crowd (lol). I downed a pocket bottle of whiskey before going on stage. I was plastered drunk on stage, y’know. The first few years I had to drink because I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t go out (lol).

―― So why do you go on stage despite that?

I: Because I had no choice but to go on stage. If I don’t [do this], I’d get thrown off balance on the inside. If a person’s balance is thrown off, their mania⁴ would go out of hand and all that. So in the end, I have no choice but to do it, right? Even now, right before I go up on stage, I have the desire to go home (lol).

―― (Lol) No one would ever get that idea when they see you perform though.

I: It changes the moment I step out, y’know. Until then, I can’t do it. As long as I can get out there, I’ll be fine though…

―― The expression on ISSAY-san’s face when you’re singing live looks really happy.

I: I am happy, that’s for sure. Up on stage is where I’m most comfortable. I guess [on stage,] I can be anyone; I can feel very free. 

―― That’s the kind of place a live show is, right? Not only the ones on stage, but even the audience can escape reality…

I: Rather than calling it an escape, I think it’s more that [this particular space] is made up of only the innermost part of you. For example, there are lots of times when you can’t directly express that, “This is it!” even though that’s what you really think, right? And [live shows are] spaces where those barriers don’t exist at all. Since whatever you find in that space is really your innermost core self and that’s really what constitutes a live show, I think it’s truly a place of freedom

―― We touched on this earlier too, but HIKARU-san and HAL-san both have active solo careers. So, on that, does ISSAY-san have any plans for a 2nd solo album or anything like that?

I: I’m not particularly interested in making another solo album. Even with my last solo project, I didn’t release an album because I just wanted to release one, you know? It just happened because I wanted to do a cover album, I did it, and it turned into a solo project. And that’s nothing I couldn’t have done in Der Zibet, right? It’s more or less just me doing what I want to do. Maybe [I might start another solo project] if I find something that I can’t do with Der Zibet like how that cover album turned out, but unless that happens, I don’t have even the slightest intention of going solo.

―― Since that’s the case, what do you think about HIKARU-san’s PUGS⁵ and all the other solo activities of your bandmates?

I: That’s not really HIKARU’s solo band work, right, just him joining in. “He’s doing interesting stuff,” is what I think but… (lol). I think he understands that too, but I suppose he might be doing it with the idea that it’s his solo work though.

―― With all your bandmates all dabbling in their own activities outside of Der Zibet, does that reflect in your album and  your music?

I: I think it does, y’know. Because with this present album, HAL, for some reason, said, “I want to bring out the good elements of ISSAY’s solo album [in this album].” I suppose when each of us head out, or leave home, you know, we see the goodness of home (lol). Because you’d get an outsider’s perspective and you’ll be able to see things with fresh eyes. Furthermore, we get stimulated differently when we work with other people, so that can also be brought back into the band, right?

―― It appears that the reason why the lyric work came first for Kirigirisu is also a result of HIKARU being influenced by his participation in Sasano Michiru⁶ recording work.

I: Because he is always picking up and bringing back those kinds of new things and techniques. I think I do that too, of course. Also, I think that’s the source of Der Zibet’s power to keep changing though.

―― Maybe [he] does things with the mind that, “This might be interesting to do with Der Zibet.”

I: Maybe the thought that, “This method might suit ISSAY,” passes his mind, right?

―― For an album packed with all those things, it requires quite some time between the end of your recording sessions to the release date, right? During that period, do you start thinking things like, “It might be good if we did that for this particular part.”?

I: No, no. The sample CD will be done some weeks before we release it, right? Until then, I can’t look at it objectively. Because I’d become objective for the first time only after that sample is done and I listen to it.

―― Until then, you’ll be immersed in the accomplishment of completing an album.

I: Because I’m still in the midst of that album, y’know? But when the disk is done and I listen to it objectively, I’d think, “Well, isn’t this cool,” (lol) and when the album tour is over, that’s when I can truly be objective. I guess it’s because I can’t flesh it out unless I perform it on stage after all.

―― The tour’s been halted, but are there any songs from this album that you’re dying to perform?

I: I want to do them all (lol). Although we did do Garasu-goshi no Sekai (ガラス越しの世界 / The World Through A Glass) in that gig we did last year end. I think songs like Gokuraku Ressha (極楽列車 / Paradise Train) and Dr. Real Love will probably be lots of fun.

―― For,  I’m hoping to hear Kirigirisu wo Koroshita no wa Dare? (キリギリスを殺したのは誰? / Who Killed The Grasshopper?) live though.

I: I actually think it’ll turn out to be something amazing (lol).

―― Especially that part in the chorus, when the noisy guitar whines and groans right after ISSAY-sings.

I: Y’know, when it gets too noisy, I can’t sing, right (lol). It was difficult when we were recording too. I’m like, “Scary. This guitar feedback, tone it down~~. I can’t sing~~.” (Lol)

―― Will it be okay live (lol).

I: We’ll make it work somehow. Because we’re professionals (lol).

―― You’re getting more and more excited for the tour.

I: It’s not that far off, so do look forward to it.

 

 

 

 

Notes:

¹ In reference to Aesop’s fable

² Taking the date of this interview into account, the album in question is allnude’s Children Of The Evolution. Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAimKiv6WCQ

³ That will be Six/Nine. ISSAY provides vocals for 愛しのロック・スター (Itoshi no Rock Star).

⁴ The word I translated as “mania” is 躁鬱 (sou-utsu), which is a word specifically used to refer to bipolar disorder or manic depression.

⁵ PUGS was formed in 1994 with HONEY★K, Hoppy Kamiyama, Okano Hajime, Steve Eto. Other musicians would join in to play with them typically as a band of six. There’s a short English article about the time they played as a second stage act on the Lollapalooza 1997 festival tour. https://wc.arizona.edu/papers/90/166/11_2_m.html

⁶ Michiru Sasano, is a Japanese pop singer and songwriter who debuted in 1988 with Japanese pop band Tokyo Shōnen where she was the band’s songwriter and vocalist. After the band broke up in 1993, she became a solo artist

 

 

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Scans: Morgianasama on LiveJournal

 

 

2nd FOREVER MY WORSHIP
The search for a musician’s everlasting idol!

Fool’s Mate
February 1992

Text=ISSAY
Photos=Saori Tsuji

 

Following the well-received first of this series, today, we have Der Zibet’s ISSAY penning his thoughts about Jim Morrison, the vocalist of The Doors who dominated the late 60s and early 70s with their intense stage presence and visionary sound.

 

 

JIM MORRISON
(The Doors)

One night, when I was still in high school, a strange melody from an organ that I heard on the radio echoed in my ears. After the intro, my nerves were wrung by a voice that sounded wide awake on the surface and, at the same time, as if it was smouldering underwater.

That moment did me in.

Come on, baby, light my fire / Come on, baby, light my fire / Try to set the night on fire 

(Light My Fire)

This was my first encounter with The Doors.

 

As I recall at the time, their song The End was also the theme song of the movie Apocalypse Now, so it was a period when [my interest in] The Doors got rekindled for the umpteenth time. At the same time, I believe their songs were being played on the radio too.

Anyway, a few days later, I ran to the record store and bought the one and only copy of a compilation album, The Doors’ Greatest Hits.

This album which starts with the song Hello, I Love You, which Der Zibet also covered before, was perfectly made for newbies. At first glance, it looks like a pop album, but their characteristic acrimony was more than enough to intoxicate a tender high schooler. Having fallen for a deep dark world where a raspy voice like that of a teenager whose voice just broke floats in the repetitive flair of the keyboard, I decided that I would collect their original albums, but for all it was worth, I lived in a rural town by the sea where even the record stores didn’t bring in The Doors or anything like them. In the end, I could only keep borrowing whatever I could from friends and seniors at school. It feels like it was only quite recently that I really managed to collect their albums.

 

Now, here’s a simple list of their discography for those who aren’t too familiar with The Doors.

 

January 1967  “THE DOORS”
October 1967  “STRANGE DAYS”
July 1968  “WAITING FOR THE SUN”
July 1969  “SOFT PARADE”
February 1970  “MORRISON HOTEL”
July 1970  “ABSOLUTELY LIVE”
April 1971  “L.A. WOMAN”

Looking at it now, written like this, it really hit me that this was all in the span of a mere 5 years. They’re a band who within the mere 5 years of the late 60s, made 7 albums and came to an end right after the sudden death of their vocalist Jim Morrison. They’ve actually released a few other albums after that, but I do not acknowledge The Doors without Jim Morrison. Because to me, Jim Morrison is The Doors.

The man who claims that the spirit of a Native Indian who died in a car accident he witnessed as a child jumped into his soul. The man who got so drunk and drugged that he stood on the road and suddenly screamed, “I am the lizard king! I can do anything!” The man who sang, “Father, I want to kill you. Mother, I want to fuck you!” and got fired from a live music club. The man who emptied fire extinguishers inside a studio because he thought a fire might start if things got too heated among the band during recording. So on and so forth. Now, stories about Jim Morrison have even spawned numerous books in Japan, and even a movie. In a way, he’s one of the legendary rock musicians.

The Jim Morrison you’d see in concert on video is one whose eyes are wide open, clinging to the mic stand as he talks along with the music, as if singing (This is the aptest way to describe that man’s song). Then, in an instant, he twists and turns with a desperate shout, tensing up as he brings that tension to a peak.

In one interview, drummer John Densmore said, “On stage we (the members of The Doors) could get into a rhythm with Jim and let him do what he wanted, but we couldn’t get into a rhythm with his personal life.” But I suppose that’s the kind of person he had always been, Jim Morrison.

Standing between dream and reality, between real life and fantasy. While he had been traversing back and forth between the two, he had been sinking deeper into the depths of himself.  That is why he could sing such amazing songs. That is why his shouts were always directed inwards.

In the mid to late 60s. When the world was experiencing the height of the hippie movement. It was a time when anyone and everyone was dreaming of going to San Francisco. In the midst of it all, in Los Angeles, The Doors’ existence was like an overpowering shadow to the sun-kissed hippies (flower children).

At a time when everyone believed in being thoughtless and carefree and lauded doing things hand in hand as if they were under a spell, The Doors peered at their (own) inner selves.

Break on through to the other side / Break on through to the other side, yeah

 (Break On Through)

This is the powerful refrain of the very first song of their 1st album. Everything that The Doors are began here, and in the end, it feels as if it ended here too.

The image I harbour of The Doors is that of an eternal summer. The sounds and smells of flora and fauna in the early morning filled with the inexplicable exhilaration of youth and, the fleeting moment of eternity pierced by blinding white light.

And in a little less than 5 years, The Doors had gone on into that eternity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Scans: Morgianasama on LiveJournal

 

 

27 November 1991  Shibuya CLUB QUATTRO
Live Report

Fool’s Mate
February 1992

Text=Iwamoto Miki (岩本美紀)
Photos=Ikeda MIchihiro (池田倫弘)

 

Thrown back in time in one night’s dream

It was a truly abrupt move by them. Just when we thought that they would go off to work on their own projects after their tour ended, they suddenly announced that they would be performing at live houses. Scheduled were performances at Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya’s QUATTROs for one night each. Since it’s been a while since their last performance in a live house, this has gotten us wondering what it’s going to be like. Hearts pounding with anticipation, a crowd gathered at the venue.

 

 

Wednesday, November 27. BUCK-TICK performed at Shibuya QUATTRO. How many years has it been since they last stood on the stage of a live house? Naturally, tickets were extremely difficult to get. Whether they were the lucky fans who cleared the tough obstacle of a lottery, or fans who unfortunately didn’t get a ticket, there is no doubt that people of all walks of life and with all sorts of emotions were gathered here.

Entering the venue was the familiar sight of a horizontal black curtain hanging over the stage, something that you’d often see back when they used to run the live circuit. The white “BUCK-TICK” text against a black background brings back a wave of nostalgia. Compared to large venues, this small set in a cosy space offers an intimate view no matter where you stand. Waiting for the show to begin, a man’s cheer of “Atsushiー!” came from somewhere in the audience, leading to the crowd’s ‘whoo’s and laughter and applause filling the venue. The fans’ desire to see the band as soon as possible was manifesting in a number of different ways.

Then, the lights went out. To the backdrop of Theme of B-T and the club illuminated in red light, the band appears. Last to come on stage was Sakurai holding a cigarette by the corner of his lips. The light at the end of that cigarette looked even redder than usual on the darkened stage. Then, a spotlight shines on Sakurai. He’s wearing brown sunglasses!

The opening song was Taiyou ni Korosareta.

Only in a live house will we get to see U-ta and Yagami positioned a little lower instead of being on their usual platforms. With Sakurai’s forceful gesture, the sunglasses flew. Imai and Yagami were dressed in red while Sakurai, Hide, and U-ta were dressed in black; outfits which created a simple and unusually unified image.

In the second song, TO-SEARCH, Imai went from the left side of the stage to the right, lining up with U-ta while Hide moved to the left. This feeling that they were all focused on the same thing was not something that could have been felt if this was a bigger stage, and it’s probably another one of those things you can only see in a live house setting.

“Now, then, playtime ends here!” Following Sakurai’s words, Aku no Hana begins. There was even a fleeting moment when Sakurai joined Imai under his spotlight and hugged. The mood of the audience shifted along with the songs; they sang along when the band continued into HURRY UP MODE, the club sang in symphony, but when they went on to perform MY FUNNY VALENTINE, the audience listened quietly. Then came the second MC.

“It’s been a while. It’s been a while since everyone’s this excited.”

In response, the audience replied with the words, “We aーre.”

“Well, then, please fall deeply and descend on behalf of the tens of thousands who didn’t get selected.”

Blue and yellow lights set the mood to the song that started, VICTIMS OF LOVE. During the interlude, Sakurai sucked on another cigarette as he drew close to Hide’s face, then, changing spots, he plastered himself to Imai. Sakurai displayed his emotional expressions with subtle hand gestures like running his fingers through his hair. With his blond hair, Imai looked like a foreigner too. Then came a rare number; MISTY ZONE. Fans jumped up and down to this lively, bouncy song, and clapped in time during ICONOCLASM. They were, in short, beyond fired up.

At the third MC, Sakurai appeared to respond to the calls of the grooving audience with,

“Seems like I don’t have to talk today.”

“Keep it coming.”

It was a comfortable, friendly vibe. As if we were having a casual conversation.

“And now, for the first time,” JUPITER began with an air of melancholy and the atmosphere in that space turned hushed as people quietly listened on. When the song ended, Sakurai gently clasped his hands to his chest and they proceeded into Sakura. Two heart-aching songs, back to back.

From LOVE ME, they continued on into Speed and the audience was once again fired back up. Then, as if seeing the audience through to the climax of it all, the members left the stage. The applause for an encore echoed endlessly……

“I aren’t even tired at all.” Those were the words that Yagami said into the center mic when he came back out for the encore. A searchlight was hoisted up, shining down at the audience who laughed at this unexpected MC. The song which started was HYPER LOVE. it was then followed by an extremely nostalgic song; PLASTIC SYNDROME. When the song was over, Sakurai closed with a deep bow.

In the second encore, they played IN HEAVEN, and the very last song which capped it all off was MOON LIGHT.

Somehow, it felt as if the members of BUCK-TICK and everyone in the audience slipped back in time together to the wonderful memories of “those days” that have been etched into their hearts. Those were a warm and pleasant few hours that allowed us to experience the impossible; to relive precious memories that we don’t ever want to forget. A dream within a dream…… And now, this one night’s dream has probably also turned into new memories that are now carved into the hearts and minds of everyone who was there.

 

Setlist
Shibuya CLUB QUATTRO  1991.11.27

—Theme of B-T—

  1. Taiyou ni Korosareta…
  2. TO-SEARCH
  3. HURRY-UP MODE

—MC—

  1. Aku no Hana
  2. M.A.D
  3. MY FUNNY VALENTINE
  4. Angelfish

—MC—

  1. VICTIMS OF LOVE
  2. MISTY-ZONE
  3. ICONOCLASM
  4. PHYSICAL NEUROSE

—MC—

  1. JUPITER
  2. Sakura
  3. LOVE ME
  4. Speed

—ENCORE—

E1. HYPER LOVE
E2. PLASTIC SYNDROME TEPE Ⅱ

E3. …IN HEAVEN 
E4. MOON LIGHT

 

 

 

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Scans: Morgianasama on LiveJournal

 

 

The Poem of June ──
Interview with Hoshino Hidehiko

Ongaku to Hito
July 2020

text by Kanemitsu Hirofumi
photographs by Sasahara Kiyoaki_L MANAGEMENT

 

20 Years of Poems¹

To think that the annual June solo interviews with Hoshino Hidehiko would see its 20th year. The phrase “persistence pays off” must have been referring to this interview series. For such a memorable milestone, plans like visiting his favourite Southern island, releasing a photobook, or throwing a fancy party were in the making, but due to the emergency declaration and self-quarantine measures put in place in light of COVID-19, we found ourselves in a mood which leaves us unable to do interviews or anything with any pizzazz.

This segment ended up being handled the same way with a short photoshoot in the garden by Tama River, followed by a remote interview held on Zoom. We mainly talked about the band and their album recording which got put on hold, and about his usual laid-back everyday life, but we also hope that the days when we can relax and talk normally about these regular things will return soon. And next year, we’ll really go to a Southern island for this interview!

 

 

The album is hard to describe in one word (lol). It’s simple but there are songs that have new wave or techno influences too

―― What do you think? Your first Zoom interview.

Hoshino (H): I heard a lot about it. My soccer friends had a remote drinking party recently but I was late and didn’t get to join them (lol).

―― Hahahahahaha.

H: I want to join them next time, though.

―― I’ll be waiting to hear about it from you. Well, it’s the 20th year of this Poem of June interview and I was thinking of setting it on a Southern island but……

H: There you go again (lol).

―― No, no, no, I’m serious. We’re going to be a year late but let’s make it happen next year. We’ll publish Simply Life 2 as well (lol).

H: If only things would settle down, right?

―― Of course.

H: How’s Ongaku to Hito coping?

―― We only come to the office when we absolutely have to, but we’ve basically switched to working remotely. For shoots, they’re now mostly screenshots or selfies too, or like today; a quick photoshoot with a small group of people on short notice.

H: Yeah, even TV programs are either being recorded remotely or broadcasting reruns. Everyone’s struggling.

―― BUCK-TICK’s recording got suspended too, right?

H: Yeah. Recording quickly came to a halt the moment the state of emergency was declared in Tokyo. That was around the start of April, so I’ve been staying home for more than a month since then. I haven’t really left the house except to buy food.

―― What do you do at home?

H: Nothing special…… But in such a situation, don’t you get the urge to rearrange things at home?

―― Totally! I’ve been spending my days decluttering and making orders on Amazon.

H: Likewise (lol).

―― What kind of rearranging are you doing? I can see from the screen, in your background, that you’re in your home studio.

H: I didn’t really make any changes here, but I made other parts of the house, like the veranda more comfortable.

―― What did you do?

H: I DIY-ed, stuck tiles on the deck. And I bought a hammock.

―― A hammock for the veranda!

H: It turned out rather nicely (lol). I was also lacking in exercise, so I did yoga with videos on YouTube.

―― It’s the same in my house (lol).

H: If this goes on for another month, you’d definitely run out of things to do.

―― Since you’re a musician, have you seized this chance to write heaps of songs?

H: Somehow, I can’t get into the mood for that (lol).

―― Please get into it (lol). But when you look at Instagram, doesn’t it seem like Imai’s composing a lot?

H: I heard he is.

―― Do you check his Instagram account?

H: Soーmetimes (lol). A little bird told me that he collaborated with a different Hoshino-san² and I was like who, who?

―― You’re bandmates and yet someone else had to tell you!

H: Hahahahaha. That’s because we don’t contact each other all that frequently.  But recently, since, you know, we’re in these circumstances, I asked them if we should hold a meeting on Zoom.

―― An invitation from Hoshino-san?

H: Yeah. But no one replied (lol).

―― Hahahahahaha.

H: I think I spoke about it with Yuta for a bit. Like, “What do you think?” But after that, we didn’t have any particular reason to hold meetings anyway; we’re just waiting to get back into recording.

―― But although it was suspended, I heard that you guys were actually making good progress.

H: Recording was going unusually smoothly (lol). All the songs were pretty much done and there were just a few songs left to record for the guitar, so it feels like if we had just a few more days [it would’ve been completed]. Though, I don’t know whether Imai-san might still be composing more.

―― Was it because the song compositions were simple that things went so well?

H: That’s right. The songs themselves were simple with lots of guitar parts and riffs too. Generally speaking, these songs aren’t the type that are jam packed with sounds. It’s more like playing guitar phrases rather than layering things on. That’s why the work itself is relatively simple.

―― How does Hoshino-san envision this album to turn out?

H: It’s hard to describe it in one word (lol). It’s simple, with less sounds, but there are songs that have new wave influences. There’s even a sort of techno song included, and stripped down songs like Datenshi. I think we’ve made this album from a different angle than the last.

―― What about Hoshino-san’s songs?

H: I’ve composed 3 songs and I think the recording’s all done already. But I still don’t know how it’s going to turn out. Because we don’t know when we can get back to work anyway, right? Besides, I don’t expect that we’ll be able to gather in the studio in a big group to work  on things like we always had. We’d probably have to cut down the number of people and make sure it doesn’t get too crowded.

I hope that our future will be one where this time next year, we’ll be able to ask, “Shall we visit a Southern island?” and laugh about it

―― Makes you wonder what it’ll be like.

H: It’s hard to say. Because this isn’t the kind of problem that can be solved with us making some sort of effort and doing our best to work it out, right? The only way around it is to keep up with [safety] measures on a personal level. Like, washing your hands for 20 seconds, doing mouth rinses, bringing your own disinfectant alcohol solution when you go shopping.

―― But it’s tough to keep doing this too, isn’t it?

H: Isn’t it way unexpected that a pandemic of this scale would happen in our lifetime? Like, who would’ve thought that the kind of event that would show up in a history textbook would happen now. Now we can’t even do the things we used to take for granted. We can’t even go out and have a meal with our friends. We can’t have a face-to-face conversation. And especially in the case of livehouses…… I never realised how lucky we were to have had all these things we took for granted. Really makes you wonder what live concerts will be like in future too.

―― Because you can’t perform shows the same way anymore if we’re going to go with what they’re now calling the ‘new normal’, right?

H: What are they referring to?

―― Keeping at least a distance of 1 metre between you and another person, needing to be far enough from each other to allow singing or cheering or just holding it online, avoidance of crowding, close contact and closed spaces, etcetera.

H: Makes it difficult, doesn’t it? Thinking about it like that it seems like we can’t even start [putting on shows]……

―― Because this problem basically won’t go away unless we can get immunised or vaccines get distributed, right?

H: Isn’t that why we’re all in agony over this? At the same time, we can’t even go out for drinks, can’t even go exercising. And when that happens, we end up doing nothing but clicking the buy button on Amazon (lol). Since the hammock is working out well, I’m thinking about getting a high-pressure cleaner.

―― What a family man³!

H: Hahahahahahahaha. I’m just thinking that it’ll probably be necessary for us to live comfortably. Like, I want to do the things I normally won’t be able to do.

―― Speaking of which, how’s your health? You got hospitalised last year and lost quite a lot of weight but after that……

H: I started wondering about a bunch of things about myself so after our tour concluded the last year-end, I thought I should probably get another check-up at the start of this year so I went to the hospital, and everything’s good so.

―― That’s good then. We’ve both come to an age when we need to take care of our health.

H: Because once you pass the age of 50, it’s just a battle against yourself, isn’t it?

―― A battle against yourself!

H: Everyone feels the same, right? It’s something you come to understand once you’re over 50 (lol).

―― If, next year, I say, “Let’s go to a Southern island for our interview in June,” where would you like to go?

H: Shonan⁴ is good enough (lol).

―― What.

H: I mean, I hope that our future will be one where this time next year, we’ll be able to mention that and laugh about it.

―― But the only thing we can do is to believe that’s how things will turn out and keep going. Although, I think I might continue working from home a little longer though.

H: We’ll have to stay home a bit more. Ah, come to think of it. I had a photoshoot at Tama River for a bit just now, right?

―― Yes.

H: I just remembered; we also did it at Tama River 20 years ago, right?

―― Ah! Now I remember (lol).

H: Though, at the time, I was also wondering, “Why an interview with me now, at this timing?” (Lol)

―― And you’ve been wondering for 20 years (lol).

H: I didn’t think it would go on for so long.

―― I think the most significant thing to me back then was probably that you poured your heart out to me and said that you were happy to be in this band. Because those weren’t the kind of words you’d hear from band members⁵ in those days.

H: I suppose that’s true.

―― I hope that the band will continue being active for the next 5, 10, 15 years and that this Poem of June will keep going, and that our magazine will endure.

H: Let’s keep our fingers crossed (lol).

 

 

 

 

Notes:

¹ Fuubutsushi (風物詩) is defined as “something which is reminiscent of a particular season” or “a poem about natural scenery or a particular season”.

² With Hoshino Gen. Imai actually posted thrice.
1st: https://www.instagram.com/p/B_Ftx6-JMtK/
2nd: https://www.instagram.com/p/B_IcNrApePI/
3rd: https://www.instagram.com/p/B_K3wX_J-Aw/

³ In Japanese, the phrase is straight up マイホームパパ (my home papa).

⁴ Shonan (湘南) is located southwest Kanagawa prefecture which is approx 1 hour away from central Tokyo. Shonan area is basically a seaside region of Sagami Bay from Enoshima to Oiso.

⁵ Not sure if he was talking specifically about BUCK-TICK or bands in general.

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Scans: Patowinds on Tumblr

The Poem of June ──
Interview with Hoshino Hidehiko

Ongaku to Hito
July 2001

Text = Kanemitsu Hirofumi
Photography = Okada Takayuki
Styling = Yagi Tomoharu

 

So, Hide-san
How’s BUCK-TICK recently?

Hoshino Hidehiko is BUCK-TICK’s guitarist. If you’re a fan, you’d definitely know that this friendly and easy-going personality of his is his honest self, but this person really hasn’t changed one bit. In a good way. There are times when he seems inconspicuous because of the exceedingly spontaneous guitarist named Imai Hisashi, but it is his guitar and melodies that give the band its vibrant allure. While Sakurai and Imai are busy with SCHWEIN, it appears that preparations for BUCK-TICK’s activities were also ongoing and there’s even a new Hoshino song included in the songs that are currently being recorded. There’s much to look forward to in the near future with BUCK-TICK. So how about it, Hide-sa~n?

 

 

—— Readers have been asking, ‘What’s going on in the realm of BUCK-TICK’s activities?’ (lol). So here we are, having this interview.

Hide (H): Yeah, well. But recent days have been just like what you’re seeing in the photos. Personally, I’ve been spending my time quite leisurely everyday. I’d routinely wake up around midday, watch daytime dramas (lol).

—— Fuhaha, daytime dramas.

H: The ones that started recently aren’t that great though, are they…… Well, but I am writing songs (lol). And recording just happens to start today too. We’re working on it bit by bit in the free time that we have.

—— On Hoshino-san’s song?

H: That’s right. Today we’re going to start recording something that I wrote myself. And there’s also Imai-kun’s song. We’ve just begun so I can’t really go into detail yet.

—— You’re being unusually assertive (lol).

H: Not at all (lol). But, well, since they’re quite busy with SCHWEIN, you know? So I have to show that I’m working hard here too (lol).

—— So about SCHWEIN, what do you think?

H: In short, they’ve taken an industrial-like approach [to music]…… I guess you could say that much was as expected since [the music] felt like the kind of sound that those two, Raymond and Sascha would make.

—— Is Hoshino-san personally on the fence……?

H: It’s not like that. I’m interested in it, though. Recently, when it comes to things surrounding guitar sounds…… I’m not talking about an intensive use of programming. More like, adding rough guitar noises [into the music] and…… that sort of direction. That’s what I’m liking recently. This year, I don’t expect that we’d be holding many BUCK-TICK concerts anyway, so I don’t think I’d out in public much. And that’s why I figured it’d be important.

—— Do you think that these extra-curricular activities would bring something significant to BUCK-TICK?

H: I wonder…… Well, there might just be something? I’m sure there’s something that will be brought back [to BUCK-TICK]. There won’t be anything coming from me though (lol), to the band.

—— An easy-going statement, as usual (lol).

H: As I’ve often been told…… (lol). But if there were to be changes, it’s better if it happened anyway. Besides, I’m pretty sure we’d fall into some sort of convention when we’re making music in the same environment with the same people. That aspect…… is a plus to me.

—— The conventions within the band itself?

H: ………… I think they definitely exist, right? Conventions. Whether they’re good or bad. And that’s why I want that to change, to some sort of transference…… In the end, it’s bad if we don’t make progress, right? That’s something I felt keenly 2 years ago.

—— Like, ah, turns out I feel like that (lol).

H: Yes…… My heart’s gone dull (lol). It felt to me like we weren’t getting anywhere 2 years ago, so I’ve been feeling uninspired since then. Most of the time I just feel like, “I want to perform live,” and things like that. I need to be in front of people (lol)…… Because then I have to appear in public. Otherwise I’d look a mess (lol). I don’t really think about myself, you see.

—— Hahahaha. Since it’s just everyday life (lol).

H: Yeah (lol)…… Well, nothing can be done even if I jump the gun myself anyway (lol).

—— It feels like you’re a band of 5 who think as 5 different people (lol).

H: Yeah. I think we’re quite independent of each other anyway (lol).

—— But hasn’t the band been progressing in good form since the release of ONE LIFE,ONE DEATH?

H: Yeah…… I think it’s good. Well, in terms of level of satisfaction though, it comes with each composition. Like the reactions I get, or when someone tells me its good…… Those are pluses to me. At least, that’s what I feel.

—— Are you concerned about the kind of reactions you’d get?

H: Mm……………… I think I am…… Well, I act as if I don’t mind but I do (lol).

—— So you’re just acting (lol).

H: No, I do care, usually even. Although, I’m not bothered. Not really (lol).

—— Wahahahahahaha!

H: I care on the inside (lol).

—— Whether it’s the lyrics or the person, you haven’t changed one bit (lol).

H: Yeah. Because I don’t think the bottom line has changed at all. It’s the same for me and even Acchan’s still the same since the first time we met. You’d get that sense too when you look at the band. Though, I guess we’re changing bit by tiny bit (lol). In the end……I think the parts that don’t change, won’t change no matter how many years we do this. I guess most fundamental aspects [of ourselves] can never be changed by people, or anyone for that matter. And we just stay like this; it’s as if we don’t interfere with one another.

—— Even though you say that, the 5 of you are often together, aren’t you?

H: I actually think we can stay together precisely because we don’t butt into each other’s affairs. We do go too far, though (lol). How do I say this…… Well, I guess it’s like, we don’t touch the things that we shouldn’t…… I don’t really give it that much thought, though (lol).

I’m happy being here. And I’m sure that it’ll stay like this going forward. All the way

—— Do you think you think you’ve achieved the ideal you have in mind?

H: Right. It’s also been 15 years since the band was formed, hasn’t it? About what we’d be like now, back then…… we didn’t think about it at all. For example, we played our first gig at Shinjuku’s JAM or something, but we only thought as far as, “Man, I hope we get to play at LOFT next,” (lol) you know? We didn’t think about where we’d be now and somehow…… it doesn’t feel like we’ve grown up, barely. Hey, am I an adult (lol).

—— Hahaha, please don’t pose that question to me.

H: Mm…… I don’t quite feel it, you know. It feels like I’ve gone through a time warp (lol).

—— From 15 years ago? (Lol)

H: Or rather…… The idea of what makes an adult back then…… is completely different, isn’t it? Although, its true that if you look at an old photo, say, from 5 years ago and compare, we’d look completely different and you’d probably even think things like, “Ah, I’ve gotten more wrinkles,” (lol) but it’s not as if we live our lives checking these things all the time, and besides, I’ve still got the same band mates around me anyway. And on top of that, we do the same things, have the same relationships, play the same roles when we drink, laugh about the same things; everything’s the same (lol). There’s something weird about this, isn’t there?

—— Like an island that’s cut off from the outside world (lol).

H: The Galápagos Islands (lol).

—— Have you ever thought something like, “I didn’t expect this would go on so long.”?

H: I did think that it would be nice if we could keep on going…… It happens that just spoke about this with Yuta just now. Like, “We’ve already known each other for 20 years, huh.” Something that was just said out of nowhere. It was shocking and at the same time it really just sank in (lol). I thought, “20 years, right. That’s amazing……”, but there we had Anii still drumming like he always had since the beginning, and Yuta was being Yuta as usual (lol). It got me wondering, “Where are these 20 years?”

—— Right?

H: It’s so weird~.

—— Seems like it happened to someone else instead (lol).

H: No, no, no. I think I would feel that I’ll probably be playing in a band for a long time to come because this is such a cosy place for me to be. Besides, depending on the person, it’s probably not good to spoil them, I think…… all while being spoiled, hahaha.

—— But I find myself wondering what is it that ties you together in such circumstances? Considering that you don’t butt into each other’s affairs.

H: Hm. What indeed…… There’s no particular “something” though…… And, well, when it comes to the music, it’s obviously because I like the sounds that everyone makes. Maybe that’s what.

—— Don’t you want to get a feel of those sounds from somewhere else?

H: I somehow don’t really…… I don’t want to do it unless its BUCK-TICK, you know? Once, I was invited to take part in the recording of ISSAY-san’s solo work but…… I just couldn’t wait to go home (wry smile).

—— Fuhahahahaha.

H: But it’s not as if I don’t like recording work itself. My surroundings, like the presence of staff members who I don’t know at all, not seeing the faces who have always been there…… Being there, I felt very uncomfortable (lol).

—— Is it the vibe? (Lol)

H: Mm… I’m not so good at it………… Like, I’m not good at dealing with people I’m meeting for the first time (lol)…… I don’t think I was like that when I was a child, though.

—— So, if you were with BUCK-TICK, you could chat casually, and you’d be at ease.

H: That’s one, for sure. I’m happy, and besides, I’m enjoying myself (lol).

—— You’re definitely the person least likely to be described as distressed or stoic (lol).

H: I don’t really want to work too hard (lol).

—— Whether it’s because of that or not, there’s a reason why Hoshino-san’s melodies and sounds feel so gentle.

H: You know, people say that, but I don’t really know why either (lol). But there was a period of time when the, melodies and whatnot…… people would say that they’re very much my style, and I really hated it when they put it like that, and I was like, “I’m gonna show you a different side instead!” So there was this period when I forced myself to go in a direction that was nothing like my style.

—— Deliberately?

H: Yeah. But then suddenly, it sort of hit me like, “Ah, the best is to go my typical way.” So I made that my brand……or something like that (lol).

—— Is your position in BUCK-TICK a pretty comfortable one?

H: I get very…… Rather, I have a lot of freedom [to be myself] (lol). That’s what I like about it. But if the only songwriter was Imai-kun then maybe…… I might start to feel that even being in a band isn’t much fun because I guess the things I’m required to do would feel prearranged (lol).

—— Ah, so you want to have the space to assert yourself a little (lol).

H: No, not that. The fact that most of my songs are BUCK-TICK’s…… I doubt that’s the case (lol).

—— Ahaha. But it’s true that the band isn’t stuck going in one direction because of Hoshino-san’s presence, right?

H: Yeah. Because I’m making music as it comes to me; I just go with the flow. Without forcing things. Without thinking about unnecessary things. That allows me to make music spontaneously…… Without considerations like what’s trending now, none of that…… Besides, even without all those, [the music] still holds up anyway, and I actually feel that in BUCK-TICK, we can’t [make music] if we’re sensitive to those kinds of things. I definitely don’t mean that we turn our backs on it though.

—— Right.

H: I just feel that we don’t have to think too much about it. As long as we can evolve slowly while swimming in the same tank…… In the end, we’re all in this together. I hope that our bottom line will always stay the same, and…… even if we have our own personal concerns, this is where we can forget about it all, right (lol). That’s why, at this point in time, I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m happy being here. And I’m sure that it’ll stay like this going forward. All the way.

 

 

 

 

Notes:

※ This interview was published online by Ongaku to Hito on 16 June 2020 as part of a series of interviews they began posting during the lockdown in Japan during that year. This particular interview was chosen partly to celebrate the 20th iteration of Hide’s series of annual interviews which was going to be published in the July 2020 issue of the magazine.

In the online post, there was an additional introductory paragraph written for this piece, also written by Kanemitsu Hirofumi:

June 16th is the birthday of BUCK-TICK’s guitarist, Hoshino Hidehiko. Here at Ongaku to Hito, we conduct an exclusive interview with him every June, and this year will mark the 20th iteration! In this latest July (2020) issue of Ongaku to Hito, Hide-san talks about his laid-back everyday life. But this character of his that has remained unchanged throughout all this time is one of his biggest charms. So here is a republication of the interview from 20 years ago. The Poem of June [Roku Gatsu no Fuubutsushi¹] began with an honest sharing of his feelings towards the band. Let’s celebrate his 54th birthday with a comparison of the new interview and the interview from back then which were both shot at Tama River!

¹ This particular interview series with Hide is an annual special called “6月の風物詩”. Fuubutsushi (風物詩) is defined as “something which is reminiscent of a particular season” or “a poem about natural scenery or a particular season”.

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Source: Ongaku to Hito

DER ZIBET

Pati-Pati Rock ‘n’ Roll
October 1987

 

 

DER ZIBET’s concerts blow you away. They understand what it means to entertain the audience. Through repeated experimentation and destruction, they crept ever closer to their true form. —— But first impressions are important. They’ve been too straightforward with expressing their superabundance of energy that they’re being heavily misunderstood. Will this 3rd album that they’re working on be the answer? We’ll find out in this interview with Issei¹ and Hikaru¹.

 

 

DER ZIBET, also known as Derujibe (デルジべ). I think they’re a band dogged by the problem of having an awfully vague image. The kind that has you thinking you know them but at the same time, you don’t. Sandwiched between misconceptions and being misunderstood, they look out of place for some reason. Perhaps they have truly arrived in a situation where they have to be serious about their image and the preconceived notions that are at the forefront of what creates a fair representation of themselves.

“I’m confident that if they listen to our music, if they watch our concerts, people will understand who we are, but I’m not sure how to make them listen to us. Like those people who don’t know anything about us at all, those whose idea of us is still that same image of decadence, all of them.”

“Besides, it’s not as if we’re a closed-in band, you know?”

Hikaru and Issei are a bit irritated.

But that is, I dare say, a positive frustration.  Because they’re so strongly confident of who they are as a band, they exceedingly detest the idea of being classified by their image. On one hand, it’s been said that their music had changed a lot between the 1st and the 2nd album, but at the same time, there are few who understand the current DER ZIBET.

Keeping that in mind, they are now as good as a new band who just made their debut. That much makes sense when we consider that in the three years since the formation of this band, the number of concerts they have played is the most concentrated in the past year.

The progression of this band that seems to be riding the wave of their “Alright, here we go” momentum is undoubtedly fast. Now that they have finally started their engines, where could they possibly be headed?

That being said.

I’ve never heard their 1st album and I’m a typical human being who judges based on first impressions. When you mention DZ, Issay² immediately comes to mind, and when you mention Issay², I’d immediately associate him with being the pantomiming oniisan…… I am ignorant to the point of having such an impressively simple thought process, if I do say so myself. That’s why I was thrown off when I saw the Baby, I Want You music video. It was a form of culture shock. It was a lively song of the sort that gets you dancing up a sweat. But it was such a big change that I definitely wondered, “What happened?   Who are these people?” Sometimes, equating a band’s evolution with growth confuses people. This is especially so for a band like theirs where there is an extreme “suddenness” in their transition “from stillness into motion”.

“I don’t have a problem with it, but I don’t get it.”

Without quite knowing what to think of it all, I hesitantly went ahead with the interview.

 

―― What do you think about how you used to be?

Hikaru (H): I think we didn’t have as much power as we do now, but it’s basically no different than what we’re doing now.

Issei (I): Yeah. I don’t think the essence of it has changed, but the musical style and the appearances of what we put out have certainly changed.

―― You’ve probably been asked before, but how did this happen?

H: Things just naturally turned out like this while we were going around on tour, though.

I: I guess you could say, it was since about the time of the Revenge of Electric Moon tour that we turned our focus to dance, or rather, made [our music] easier to grasp.

H: Because we enjoyed it when we actually got down to doing it, you know?

I: Something about it just makes your body move on its own, right? I guess it’s that sensation that makes a seated audience get up and start dancing.

―― So, recently, dance beat bands have been garnering a lot of attention…… Is that why you’re…?

I: But we’re not making disco music. You see, we’re making dance music that falls in the genre of rock. Besides, I think even punk music can become dance music, so I think we can make dance music that comes from such a stance. But there aren’t any such bands in Japan, so I guess that’s where it’s easy for people to get misconceptions of us. If we’re talking about dance bands in Japan, I suppose it’d just be TM³, right?

H: They’re not a rock band, though. That’s why I feel that it’s hard to label us as a dance band.

―― But I listened to your 2nd album and as far as that is concerned, I thought it wouldn’t have been odd to call you a dance band, or rather, in a way, that’s how it turned out……

I: Yeah, I suppose it might seem complete if you’re looking at it from a dance perspective, but we wanted to become more powerful. More rock-sounding, or rather, more wild, I suppose. Also, there are some parts in our second album that seem sophisticated, so instead of that, we wanted to make music that’s more stripped-down, the kind that’s fierce and comes right at you.

H: Besides, there’s no point in making rock music sophisticated.

I: Exactly. You might as well do something else.

―― There’s also the way you all look. Like, Issei’s silhouette looks very thin compared to the other 3 members. And no matter how much you try, that just doesn’t tie in with rock music terms like ‘wild’, does it? So even if I do know what ‘wild & danceable’ is in my head, you won’t come across as a clear definition of it.

H: And that’s what we call a weapon. I believe there are a lot of rock bands that are made up of 4 big-boned members who 4 charge right into you. We may be slight, but you could say that we’re leaning towards being on the fine-edged side of things. In that sense, we’re not just a band that plays 8-beat music, but also 16-beat.
Besides, performing live is what we’re most confident in right now, so I think the impression that we give now is might be a far more brazen one that before. What’s rock-like about us is the parts of our performance that aren’t decided; the improvisation that we do so in any case, I’d like people to come and watch us play.

―― Another thing about DER ZIBET that hampers is the lyrics that Issei writes. It’s pretty much abstract poetry, isn’t it?

I: Basically, I think it’s straightforward, but I realise that what feels like everyday life to me is far removed from what everyday life generally is. Like when there’s a lot of imaginary elements, I’ve been told that it’s cold. That’s why I figured that I need to come up with things that are more relatable to everyday life. I think it might be a good idea for me to a little further forward too. With lyrics where you can see that there’s a second party, where you can tell there’s a “you” involved. And writing write lyrics that are obviously being sung to a particular someone. I think that’s how we’re going to do our 3rd album.

―― Why?

I: I suppose that’s what you’d call broadening our horizons, right? Because no matter how simple we make our rock and roll music, if no one understands the lyrics, then it gets us nowhere, right? So that’s why we have, or rather, want to diversify.

H: That’s why I think our 3rd album will bring across an even clearer message that “This is DER ZIBET.”

―― Finally, please share what’s the outlook for your 3rd album.

H: We plan to release it next year; either in January or February, and the concept for it is pop. What we intend to do is to make rock music that encompasses what we think is pop and those danceable elements as well. In short, we want to make use of our band members’ experimental spirit and expand our horizons so we don’t want to make things too rigid. And this time, it’ll be almost as if we’re working on 2 projects because we’ve asked Okano-san⁴ from Pink⁵ and Kisaki-san⁶ to produce for us.

I: We’re really taking on this challenge, you know. For people like Okano-san and Kisaki-san, if we don’t get involved, [the music] will definitely end up getting steeped in their signature styles, right? So we’re going to get into this like we would a fight. We have to drink without getting drunk. The outcome of this fight will probably be in our 3rd album.

H: In that sense, it feels like we’re bringing in new blood. Really, I can’t understand Kisaski-san. I do get the musicians he brought up (Sawada Kenji, Kikkawa, etc.) though. I’m looking forward to this.

I: It’s more distinct with bands, isn’t it? Because I think [their sounds] aren’t really audible among the music that the 4 band members are already making. Although I suppose they’d add depth to our sound by adding a horn section or keyboardist, right?

H: I get a dilemma, you know. When I have to express sounds using words. But you see, it’s because we don’t pander to everything. We make the music we want to make and  we want them to understand that we want to be accepted for that.

I: Depending on the band, I suppose there are those whose style is to stick to one thing and go all the way with it, but that’s not the kind of band we are. I think we’re a band who changes as we go along, and I think we’re capable of making all kinds of music too.

H: That said, it’s not like we’re throwing away our past. It’ll always be kept somewhere in the back of our minds so we can bring it back out whenever we want. And right now, I guess you could say that we have confidence in ourselves when it comes to rock music for a number of reasons.

I: I guess we’ve been tumbling around, and we’ve finally learnt how to roll so that’s why we’re so confident in that.

H: When we were doing negatively, we didn’t know what to do if accidents were to happen, but now, we’ll be okay no matter what happens. We’d think that we can probably pull it off. That is something that each one of us can confirm, and it really feels like we’ve got our groundwork laid. Because of that, we’re also attracting attention in the streets now…… This is still the starting line. And we’re always in search of words and themes.

 

Contrary to their appearance and their image, there was a blunt and rugged rock band under the surface. What on earth had I been baffled and confused by…… In one sitting, I felt like an idiot. “I’m happiest when our fans happily come back and say that they enjoyed it even if they don’t really understand it,” said Issei. “It’s the same as making a woman climax. Captivate [them] in that moment (lol),” said Hikaru.

Those blatantly rocker statements blow away all the silly prejudices. What the hell, they’re a rock band, that’s all — This is no longer a question of “know, or don’t know”. DER ZIBET is DER ZIBET, and that is self-explanatory enough.

 

 

 

 

Notes:

¹ The interviewer wrote their names in Katakana as イッセイ (issei) and ヒカル (hikaru). I’ll be spelling their names as written.

² Yet here the interviewer chose to use “Issay”. I suppose this is a deliberate distinguisher between the person and the stage persona.

³ Referring to TM Network, a Japanese rock/new wave/pop band that formed in 1983 and made their major debut in 1984.

⁴ Okano Hajime was a bassist in the band Pink. He is also a keyboardist, composer, arranger & producer working with Japanese rock bands like 44 Magnum, D, Asagi, Dead End, L’Arc~en~Ciel and many more. View his credits here.

⁵ Pink was a late 1980s new wave band from Japan. They formed in 1983 as a collaboration between Vibratones member Fukuoka Yutaka and Hero member Kamiyama Hoppy. Each member of the band was an established musician in their own right and they continued to work on solo projects while involved with Pink until they finally disbanded in 1989, ending the production of new material.

⁶ Kisaki Kenji (木崎賢治) is a Japanese record producer.

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Scans: morgianasama on LJ

The ornaments are incendiary*.
── Sakurai Atsushi Mesmerises!

GQ JAPAN
September 2021

Photos 奥脇孝典 Takanori Okuwaki@UM
Styling 清水ケンイチ Kenichi Shimizu
Hair&Make-up 山路千尋 Chihiro Yamaji@Fats Berry

 

Having turned 55 this year, Sakurai Atsushi who made his major debut in 1987 as the vocalist of BUCK-TICK is a forerunner of the rock scene even now. This rock legend who “have always been fascinated by the New Romantic movement” charms us bewitchingly, clad in his latest look.

 

 

 

Coat ¥649,000 | Sweater ¥209,000 | Pants ¥132,000 (All from TOM FORD), Sunglasses ¥55,000
〈TOM FORD EYEWEAR /All the above are from Tom Ford Japan〉
Necklace ¥242,000 | Bangle  ¥1,320,000 | Ring ¥286,000 〈All from TIFFANY & CO.〉

“The architectural tailoring is reminiscent of British brands, and the way it fits the body was really cool. I also liked the combination of the metal buttons and gold jewellery.”

Music rejuvenates me

A glossy shirt and slim-cut jeans, along with a pair of heeled boots. Sakurai-san showed up at the studio in an all-black ensemble. The moment he came in, he introduced himself with, “I’m Sakurai from BUCK-TICK.” There were, however, no mannerisms suggestive of the impetuous performances he puts on stage. He was mild-mannered and his tone, courteous. “It’s been a while since I last did a fashion photoshoot, but I had fun,” he said.

“My fashion is really, simply, black. I feel at ease when I wear black, and somehow I look sharper as well, so part of it is that it’s easy for me, and like putting on armour, when I wear black and slip on my boots, I’d naturally get into the zone.”

The hallmarks of BUCK-TICK when they debuted were heavy makeup and flamboyant outfits. But where did that come from?

“We’ve been influenced by 80s punk and New Romantic music, artists like David Bowie and Sex Pistols, Culture Club and all that since we started out as an amateur band, so we learned and imitated them with the makeup and the music. Putting on makeup gets me into the zone before we go on stage and perform in front of everyone. That stretch of time gives me such a sense of fulfillment. Back then, we’d be told that men aren’t supposed to wear makeup, but now, we’re at a time when there’s no need to decide that “men have to be this way”, everyone is free [to be as they please]. I think this trend of enjoying your own life is something good.”

Last year marked the 35th anniversary of the band’s formation. Still rocking at 55 years of age, the one thing that keeps Sakurai-san’s unchanging style alive is music.

“I drink and there are times when I neglect my health, but music is what rejuvenates me. Music is the only secret behind my energy cycle (lol). Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve come to think of the day-to-day life that I’ve led up until now as a miracle, so all I hope is to perform as many concerts as I can, and to keep making music for as long as it is possible.”

 

Jacket ¥583,000 | Pullover  ¥117,700 | Pants ¥506,000 | Three-strand necklace (Top) ¥162,800 | Necklace (Middle) ¥138,600 | Necklace (Bottom) ¥113,300 | Belt ¥244,200 | Bracelet ¥73,700 | Ring (Right hand) ¥24,200 each (est. price) | Ring (Left hand) ¥40,700 〈All from DOLCE & GABBANA〉

“The glitter from the embellishments and accessories designed into the set-up brought about a positive feeling and made it an enjoyable look to shoot.”

 

Coat ¥512,600 | Shirt ¥57,200 | Pants ¥171,600 | Stole ¥36,300 〈All from YOHJI YAMAMOTO〉

“I actually became a fan of Yohji in my 30s and there was a period of time when I bought the pieces for my own collection. It’s been a while since I’ve worn [clothes from Yohji Yamamoto] but it’s impressive to see that there is this consistent attitude in the craftsmanship that hasn’t changed since that time. I occasionally visit the Aoyama store, so it’d be cool if I get to bump into Yohji-san one day.”

 

Jacket ¥517,000 | Shirt ¥330,000 〈Both from GIORGIO ARMANI〉
Necklace with brooch ¥4,730,000 〈MIKIMOTO〉

“Matching Armani’s signature velvet texture with pearls creates an air of nobility, doesn’t it? This is the first time I’ve worn pearls but it’s got an elegance and an aura of tranquility, I think they can be used on a variety of occasions.”

 

 

PROFILE
Sakurai Atsushi

Born 1966 in Fukuoka City, Gunma Prefecture. Made his major debut as a member of BUCK-TICK in 1987. The band has remained active ever since with no change in member line-up. Legends in Japan’s rock scene, they celebrated their 35th year together in 2020 and continue to be an influence of many artists’ to this day. Their latest single, Go-Go B-T TRAIN is set to be released on September 22 while their live Blu-ray & DVD, TOUR 2020 ABRACADABRA ON SCREEN/ABRACADABRA LIVE ON THE NET is now available. Their national tour, TOUR2021 Go-Go B-T TRAIN will kick off on October 3.

 

 

 

Notes:

* This was a challenge. The title was 装飾がバクチクする (soushoku ga bakuchiku suru). You’d probably recognise バクチクする as the phrase that was often used as a naming pun for BUCK-TICK. It was translated as “explosive”, “crackling”, “fire cracker” (this doesn’t work as a verb) but in this case I chose “incendiary” because the whole piece wasn’t exactly as… bombastic as the other words might imply. The clothing prices though…

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Source: GQ JAPAN

BUCK-TICK — Uta/Kimi e Review

Pati-Pati Rock ‘n’ Roll
April 1995

Text by Onojima Dai

 

BUCK-TICK will be releasing their new single Uta/Kimi e on March 24. What is this sound that broke their long silence like?

BUCK-TICK announced their new single, Uta/Kimi e. How many years has it been since we had a new record from them? Apart from Yuta’s serialised column in this publication, we’re barely heard any news of BUCK-TICK’s movements during their break. It’s also been a really long while since I’ve met or even spoken to the band members too, so I could listen [to this single] with a fresh mind.

Uta was composed by Imai Hisashi, and Kimi e, by Hoshino Hidehiko. The lyrics of both songs were written by Sakurai Atsushi.

Whichever song you listen to, the first thing you’d notice is the introduction of distortion-filled heavy metal-like rock guitars. And they weren’t effectively used in specific parts of the songs. Instead, they shaped the character of the songs by reverberating throughout pretty much the whole track. Based on the general impressions I’ve got, I’m sure that even though Imai and Hoshino’s guitars can be noisy and make strange sounds you wouldn’t hear anywhere else, I don’t think they have ever pushed such an orthodox and undoubtedly rock-styled distortion sound to the forefront before.

As a result, the subtle delicateness and exquisite shades that had always been present in BUCK-TICK’s music until now has disappeared and turned into a strong, heavy rock tune that slams into you.

On the other hand, the world of Sakurai Atsushi’s lyrics and his vocals largely maintains the image that he’s created so far. Of falling endlessly while desperately reaching your hands out in search of light in a world where hope and despair are in conflict. This in itself is an approach towards a perfected universe.

But, a problem lies in the sound balance.

I’ve listened to it close to 10 times since I received the tape, but somehow, I just couldn’t shake this feeling that something felt off. Before, I’d always feel like I’d made a new discovery or like my heart had suddenly been pierced with a delicate touch whenever I listened to a new BUCK-TICK song, but this time, there was none of that.

The singing and the playing are disparate. Or, well, maybe making them disparate is just one honest way of expressing it, but rather than going in the direction of each part complementing and playing up the other, I ended up getting the impression that these two parts were killing off each other’s positive aspects.

And the most uncomfortable part of it all was the beat. I can’t feel any groove at all. The rhythm is precise but there’s no nuance or timing that is strong enough to lead the whole song along so no matter how eager they are to try to distort the guitars, it doesn’t have the slightest bit of rock ‘n’ roll intensity. Why on earth did Anii drum such a flat rhythm when he’s supposed to be a fan of the role model of rock ‘n’ roll dynamism and nuance John Bonham (Led Zeppelin).

But I thought of something when I heard this longitudinal rhythm. Maybe the composer had in mind industrial sounds representative of Ministry or Nine Inch Nails. Rather then subtle nuances and sensibilities, the industrial machine beats that seem to barge through thick and heavy are like a sort of hardcore punk with a spasmic beat, kind of like a pulse without the groove and undulations. That, in its own way, is powerful and cool but I don’t think that this beat that BUCK-TICK brought this time is anything that meticulous. Somehow, everything is half-baked. In short, I suppose it doesn’t match their nature.

But, well, I guess it’s fine too. More than anything, the thing that disappointed me the most when I listened to this single was that I could barely sense any BUCK-TICK-ness or anything that is specifically unique to BUCK-TICK and only BUCK-TICK. The one most conventionally BUCK-TICK-like thing in this whole single was probably, Sakurai’s singing. As a vocalist, he is by no means perfect one. While delicate, Sakurai’s voice, which is neither robust nor that of a heavy rock vocalist’s, keeps getting muscled out by the loud and forceful background music. His subtle nuances and thoughtful wordings gets blasted away, leaving only a brutal impression like that of a rough, grainy photograph.

And their sound. They probably have a few creative ideas of their own, but unfortunately, barely any of their original ideas or that ingenuity can be detected in the BUCK-TICK sound in this single. Whichever song you look at, it just seems to me that they are taking overused formulae from Western rock music of 4 to 5 years ago that have been reused for years, only to recycle it again now.

I rated Shapeless, an album of BUCK-TICK’s songs remixed by Western techno artists highly. Of course, the remixing is the work of the remixers and have nothing to do with BUCK-TICK themselves. But even though they had the opportunity to see what different possibilities their music has with the help of these top Western artists, they instead chose to go against the times and step backwards, going industrial. This is just too much of a waste. I’m not saying that BUCK-TICK should make techno music. I don’t think it’s too much to ask of them to apply the spirit and new direction shown in techno, the music of this era. At the very least, isn’t this a more correct solution for them as compared to forcing themselves down the heavy rocker route if they considered their own nature as musicians? Well, having said all that, “No, I only did it ‘cause I wanted to,” is what I can already see Imai saying though……

RR97 Coverage Report:
Sakurai Atsushi/BUCK-TICK

ROCK AND READ Blog
07 September 2021

The next issue of “ROCK AND READ 097” (sale on 24 September) is a special issue of BUCK-TICK who are releasing their new single, Go-Go B-T TRAIN on 22 September.

BUCK-TICK will finally be dropping new music one year after their last album ABRACADABRA was released in the middle of the pandemic.

In addition to an interview with Sakurai Atsushi, who wrote the lyrics for all the songs on the single including the new versions, Uta Ver. 2021 (唄 Ver.2021) and JUST ONE MORE KISS Ver. 2021, in this issue, there will also be an interview with Imai Hisashi who composed the title track Go-Go B-T TRAIN, and Hoshino Hidehiko who composed the new B-side, Koi (恋).

There will also be an article discussing the original JUST ONE MORE KISS and Uta, the era they were created in and their impact, plus a report on the conceptual live stream concert Misemono-goya ga Kurete Kara~SHOW AFTER DARK~ (魅世物小屋が暮れてから~SHOW AFTER DARK~) which was broadcast back on July 17.

So, the first part of this 52-page Go-Go B-T Special is a long interview with Sakurai Atsushi, who graces the cover of this issue.

He goes into detail about all the songs recorded on Go-Go B-T TRAIN and talks about what happened in the year following the release of ABRACADABRA. Sakurai’s words in this interview on what “flowers” mean to him is quite a touching moment too, so do look forward to that.

Charging ahead fueled by love, the BT Train driven by BUCK-TICK who chants the “Spell of Love” is on its way!

 

 

 

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Scans: ROCK AND READ BLOG

 

 

Somewhere Nowhere 1995 Live Report

Pati-Pati Rock ‘n’ Roll
July 1995

Photography by Inoue Seiichi
Text by Oshibe Keiko

 

At long last, “Six/Niɴe” begins!!
Breaking report!! 2 Days’ Concert at Budokan

The curtains have finally been raised on BUCK-TICK’s tour, Somewhere Nowhere 1995 with their 2 days of opening concerts at Budokan on May 16th and 17th. Their sound becomes ever more experimental with each new release. But even as their staging becomes less appealing to the general masses, the band’s collective power remains unparalleled. Now, we’ll tell you all about what the concert was like, ahead of everyone else in this ultra breaking report that made our printing company cry.

 

 

Their continual search for sonic innovation while maintaining a pop presence is even more poignant

BUCK-TICK’s long-awaited album, Six/Niɴe was released on May 15th. They kicked off their tour, “Somewhere Nowhere 1995” with 2 days of opening concerts at Budokan on May 16th and 17th.

This tour will go on for a period of approximately 2 months, ending with their final 2 days at Osaka Koseinenkin Hall¹ on August 2nd. As this magazine will go on sale when the tour is still in its first leg, I will do my best to refrain from spoiling the setlist in this report.

Two days before the start of the tour, the band played at Shinjuku LIQUIDROOM².

Compared to an auditorium, the ambience of a live house makes it easier to bring out a sense of euphoria and a particular communal sense of unity. And I frankly think that more often than not, the closer you are [to the performers], the more tangibly thoughts and feelings can be conveyed.

However, after watching these two shows, I realised that in the case of BUCK-TICK, it was easier for them to get their message across when there’s a certain amount of distance between them and the audience.

Because their show isn’t the type where the energy gets amplified by getting the audience involved. Instead, I feel that it draws you in with a deliberately constructed overall mood on top of an increasingly unique ambience in terms of sound. Coming too close will contrarily make it difficult for them to convey this ambience, as if in a bid to create some kind of distance.

For example, in a live house, Sakurai’s lines in Somewhere Nowhere or even his screams sound like a script from an avant-garde play with a rawness that left me at a loss as to how to react, but in Budokan, it came across with a poignant effect instead.

If musicians innovated without losing their inquisitive spirit with each new work they put out, just like BUCK-TICK, then oftentimes, the range of audiences they can reach narrows. That is to say in other words, the factors of the greatest common denominator, or their mass appeal, diminishes.

But BUCK-TICK’s audience have always been flexible in accepting whatever they release. I think that is in part a result of giving typically-passive audiences a sense of autonomy through the process of them evolving their sound all while compellingly drawing in listeners. Because of that, even songs like Uta can be classified as pop as long as it is being performed by BUCK-TICK.

Personally, it’s BUCK-TICK’s band power of randomly shifting values that intrigues me.

This new album appears to be an attempt to rebuild using new elements after demolishing a certain level of mastery they had attained in their last. It is exceptionally proper of them as artists to disregard the pursuit of any sort of “likeness” or anything like that amidst the pre-established harmony. This stance along with their consistent ability to draw in an audience makes for a simply gratifying tale.

But how does the audience view this present album? While there is an increased sense of “better conveyed from a distance” in their pursuit of innovation, I also got the feeling that there was diminished connectedness with the audience. Watching the arena from the second floor, I could see that although the audience understood the band’s stance, they yearned for moments when they could somehow connect with the men on stage somewhere.

Like the tune hummed after the Uta’s break, or Sakurai’s short emcee. In those moments when it felt like there was some way to connect with the stage, the audience felt as if they were groping around trying to find it.

The main set comprised only songs from the new album, arranged such that it would bring the singular flow to a close at the end.

Caught up in such a flow, I think the audience felt that it was easiest to eke out those “moments” during the song from Kurutta Taiyou, which the band played in the encore. But that connection was severed all too soon the moment the song ended and the auditorium light up. While there might be those who simply enjoy this set up or who get some sort of masochistic pleasure from this, I’m sure there are also those who were left feeling like there’s unfinished business.

However, this concert was held the day following the release of the album which also means that not everyone was familiar with the music yet.

Taking that into consideration, at this point in time, it is still a mystery as to whether the uncertainty exhibited by the audience was because of that, or due to the confusion around the band’s direction in the new album.

It will be interesting to see what the mood in the various tour venues will be like as [the audience] soaks in the album.

At the same time, it is as Yagami Toll said during his interview for the new album; the band’s principal stance is to disregard their audience and do whatever they want.

How “pop” of an existence will this piquantly self-seeking band who hurtles headlong into going their own way continue to be for their audience from now on? Will their sound evolve as they figure out how to keep up their centripetal force so strong that it transforms their worth?  Looking at the way they’re going recently, I personally feel that there’s a lot we can expect from them in this respect.

 

 

 

Notes:

¹ Now known as Orix Theater.

² First opened in July 1994 before shutting in January 2004. Later that year in July, they moved to Shibuya and reopened.

 

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Scans: Endless Dei (@DeiEndless on Twitter)

 

Related articles:

[Jun 1995] Pati-Pati Rock ‘n’ Roll: Six/Niɴe Feature — Double-Edged BUCK-TICK

[Jul 1995]  Pati-Pati Rock ‘n’ Roll: Outpouring from the heart — Part 2 of Sakurai Atsushi’s interview in the Six/Niɴe Feature