―― 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.