2013.12.25 | POP MANIA LABEL
NINE STORIES

Words by ISSAY

Music by DER ZIBET

Japanese

 

枯れ葉はふるえて 風はつぶやく
疲れた二人は 夜空見上げた
とりとめもなく時間は
エーテルのようにこぼれ落ちてく

  もう一度だけ 君を抱きしめたいよ

夢を忘れ、声を忘れ、時は戻せない
僕達は無力だね
春が過ぎて、夏が過ぎて、秋が終わる
何事もなかったかのように

記憶のカケラと ピアノのメロディー
とまどう二人は コトバをなくす
答えのない問いかけに
振り回され続けていたね

  ただ一度だけ 時間を止めておくれ

夢を忘れ、歌を忘れ、時は戻せない
やみくもに生きるだけ
春が過ぎて、夏が過ぎて、秋が終わる
僕達を置き去りにしたまま

  もう一度だけ 心開いておくれ

夢を忘れ、声を忘れ、時は戻せない
僕達は無力だね
春が過ぎて、夏が過ぎて、秋が終わる
何事もなかったかのように

Romaji

By: Andy

Kareha wa furuete Kaze wa tsubuyaku
Tsukareta futari wa Yozora miageta
Toritome mo naku jikan wa
Eeteru no you ni kobore ochiteku

  Mou ichido dake Kimi wo dakishimetai yo

Yume wo wasure, Koe wo wasure, Toki wa modosenai
Boku tachi wa muryoku da ne
Haru ga sugite, Natsu ga sugite, Aki ga owaru
Nanigoto mo nakatta ka no you ni

Kioku no kakera to Piano no merodii
Tomadou futari wa Kotoba wo nakusu
Kotae no nai toikake ni
Furi mawasare tsudzukete ita ne

  Tada ichido dake Jikan wo tomete okure

Yume wo wasure, Uta wo wasure, Toki wo modosenai
Yamikumo ni ikiru dake
Haru ga sugite, Natsu ga suite, Aki ga owaru
Boku tachi wo okizari ni shita mama

  Mou ichido dake  Kokoro hirate okure

Yume wo wasure, Koe wo wasure, Toki wa modosenai
Boku tachi wa muryoku da ne
Haru ga sugite, Natsu ga sugite, Aki ga owaru
Nanigoto mo nakatta ka no you ni

English

 

2013.12.25 | POP MANIA LABEL
NINE STORIES

Words by ISSAY

Music by Hikaru

Japanese

 

枕元に漂うビロードの宇宙
星座達は唄うよギリシャの廃墟を
窓にさし込む星明かりは
2100光年の哀しみたたえていたのさ

I wish you were here 君に会いたい
I wish to be with you 君と生きたい

君のベテルギウスはシリウス見つめ
僕のつぶやき声は銀河にはねかえる
夢の化石は砂に埋もれ
2100光年の孤独にふるえていたのさ

I wish you were here 君に会いたい
I wish to be with you 君と生きたい

I wish you were here Night Flight of my soul
I wish to be with you Night Flight of my soul
I wish you were here Night Flight of my soul
I wish to be with you Night Flight of my soul

I wish you were here 君に会いたい
I wish to be with you 君と生きたい

Romaji

By: Andy

Makura moto ni tadayou biroodo no uchuu
Seiza tachi wa utau yo girisha no haikyo wo
Mado ni sashi komu hoshi akari wa
Nisenhyaku kounen no kanashimi tataete ita no sa

I wish you were here Kimi ni aitai
I wish to be with you Kimi to ikitai

Kimi no beterugiusu wa shiriusu mitsume
Boku no tsubuyakigoe wa ginga ni hane kaeru
Yume no kaseki wa suna ni umore
Nisenhyaku kounen no kodoku ni furuete ita no sa

I wish you were here Kimi ni aitai
I wish to be with you Kimi to ikitai

I wish you were here Night Flight of my soul
I wish to be with you Night Flight of my soul
I wish you were here Night Flight of my soul
I wish to be with you Night Flight of my soul

I wish you were here Kimi ni aitai
I wish to be with you Kimi to ikitai

English

 

2013.12.25 | POP MANIA LABEL
NINE STORIES

Words by ISSAY

Music by Hikaru

Japanese

 

どこに行くんだい? 星がつもる
鉛色の真夜中に

何が欲しい? うつろな目で
一人きりで空見上げて

痛みだけがリアルに感じて
そっと心閉ざす
生きてる証が欲しいだけだと
つぶやいているね

叫べ炎のように
濡れた心のSTRANGER

何を見てる? 心の底か?
ガラスのようなその瞳で

独りよがりの歌が聴こえる
君は耳をふさぐ
愛を失い嘆く世界では
名もないよそ者

踊れ全て忘れ
帰る場所なきSTRANGER

夜の終わりを見届けに行こう
影法師をつれて
もっとずっと遠くへ思いをはせて
時を超えるのさ

叫べ炎のように 濡れた心のSTRANGER
踊れ全て忘れ 帰る場所なきSTRANGER
熱く…祈れ…

Romaji

By: Andy

Doko ni ikundai? Hoshi ga tsumoru
Namari iro no mayonaka ni

Nani ga hoshii? Utsuro na me de
Hitori kiri de sora miagete

Itami dake ga riaru ni kanjite
Sotto kokoro tozasu
Ikiteru akashi ga hoshii dake da to
Tsubuyaite iru ne

Sakebe honoo no you ni
Nureta kokoro no STRANGER

Nani wo miteru? Kokoro no soko ka?
Garasu no you na sono hitomi de

Hitori yogari no uta ga kikoeru
Kimi wa mimi wo fusagu
Ai wo ushinai nageku sekai de wa
Na mo nai yosomono

Odore subete wasure
Kaeru basho naki STRANGER

Yoru no owari wo mitodoke ni ikou
Kageboushi wo tsurete
Motto zutto tooku e omoi wo hasete
Toki wo koeru no sa

Sakebe honoo no you ni Nureta kokoro no STRANGER
Odore subete wasure Kaeru basho naki STRANGER
Atsuku…Inore…

 

 

English

 

SNIPER IN ‘88

Pati-Pati Rock ‘n’ Roll
March 1988

Photos by Sashi Motoko (佐志素子)
Text by Editorial department

 

The first time I came into contact with their concerts was in a live house in Shinjuku. On behalf of rock magazines, I’ve been to a few live houses but watching children being absorbed in their “kids’ meal” level of inferiority left me, in all honesty, sick of it.

On this night, the venue was packed with girls dressed up in black outfits. And for some reason, the live house was filled with an overwhelmingly charged atmosphere. On this night, DER ZIBET put on a show so manic and savage that it was more than plenty; that shook me to my core. In terms of the show itself, I did get a sense of inexperience from the structural problems and issues with the live house but in an instant, I understood what they were trying to do, and I found myself believing in them. These guys were serious, although they were also testy with impatience. 

“YOU MEET THE ROCK PARTY” is a project where we introduce rock bands we’ve selected to the readers of Pati-Pati Rock ‘n’ Roll. And kicking things off as our first band, we have DER ZIBET. We wanted to share with as many people as possible the joy and the fever that everyone gets to experience at their concerts that exemplify the “wild and danceable”. This interview with them was held after their two hall shows at Osaka’s Banana Hall and Nagoya’s HeartLand.

 

 

―― First, let’s hear about what you think of “YOU MEET THE ROCK PARTY”.

Hikaru (H): It was fun. This is just the first event but I think this is something that [people] can look forward to in future too. But I got the feeling that our reputation hasn’t quite built up yet. First-timers at our show were also starting to enjoy themselves in the second half, weren’t they? 

Issei (I): To perform an actual concert of what’s so far been spreading in print and then having the magazine make us known all over the country, it’s [a] groundbreaking [project], isn’t it? It always feels like this when DER ZIBET performs at a place we’ve never been to before. Although we’ve performed at this venue many times before, there were probably a lot of people who were seeing us for the first time, right? I was glad to see them gradually start dancing despite the case. Because things never turn out the way we expect it to.

HAL (HA): The audience weren’t our fans but a recon team, or something… They’re like people who’re here to see what kind of band we are.

Mayumi (M): It’s an honour to be the first (lol). I think this magazine has been satisfying the hearts of the audience these days (lol), so yeah, maybe it’s a good thing to bring on a little more party atmosphere.

―― Hey, wasn’t there a video? (Before the show started, a film was being screened by 4 projectors onto walls and such. Captured in it were things that each band member liked) Tell us about what you picked for that and why.

I: So, for me, my house is full of junk, y’know. I just can’t get myself to throw all these things and they pile up so much that I don’t even have space to sleep. [The things I picked for the video are] the things I see most often within that pile. A broken alarm clock. A music box. A book. A Lindsay Kemp¹ photobook. Things like that.

H: I focused on what’s in my bag. Like my driving license, my wallet, an ero-guro picture from the early Showa period.

HA: Boots, hat, beard, a Chinese doll from China atop my bass guitar. The cover of a Mingus² album. At the very end, my eye appears…… This is meant to represent an “eyeball”.

M: Ingenious (lol). As to what I chose, you know how in university there’s a library and a research lab, right? I borrowed a whole variety of books for the purpose of research and just like that, I dropped out (lol). So, those are fancy books that can never be bought with pocket change. Books about music, the arts, theatre, and so on. I picked a few out of them [for the video]. Aside from those, there’s also a Dalí³ brochure a fan gave me and things like that.

―― All your strange hobbies are being shown (lol). Right, so you’re releasing your LP soon but will your live concerts change after it’s out?

H: Yeah. Now that we’ve got this far, it feels like we can go anywhere. We’re not leaving anything behind, and besides, from this album on, we’ve included elements that make people feel and want to listen to our music in a way that’s different than before. Our live shows will probably end up with a mixed [format]…… Not only will it have a strong groove, but the flow on the whole also won’t change too, something like that.

I: I think the scale [of our shows] will grow bigger. Until now, our shows have been structured to make people go to their limits. You could say that our shows are like an hour’s sprint at full speed…… But this time, I think we’ll have a kind of tempo.

H: You know, in the past, we split [our shows] into two portions, and for the first, the audience can’t stand. We’d insist that they sit. …… Then suddenly we’d come out with oil lamps in our hands (rofl).

M: Sounds stupid, doesn’t it?

HA: We even had a street lamp erected on stage.

M: Wasn’t that around the same period? Next to the street lamp was the oil lamp, right? We did that a lot. But it wasn’t a bad thing. It’s just that, I guess it was embarrassing or something (lol).

―― Did you do that too after your debut?

I: We did at Kudan Kaikan, didn’t we? The [audience’s] reaction, wasn’t all that great (lol).

M: We did so many different things that I get exhausted thinking about it. I guess it’s sad, because we can’t get to the next level if we don’t do all this.

I: We were seriously theatrical. Yes, so theatrical that it’s nauseating. Maybe that’s the kind of nuance that comes through.

M: I think we can do it if we look at it as a form of entertainment. We’ve matured a little more now too……

HA: I want to make something like the progressive music that’s come after new wave.

―― That’ll leave an impression. In a past interview, you’ve said that what you want to do is more like a “tear [your shirt] buttons off” rather than a “undo [your shirt] buttons”.

HA: I guess in comparison, this time, we’re asking people to go off the beaten track, something like that.

 

I: Won’t putting it into words narrow [the possibilities] down? But well, yes, it’s like a state of nothingness. Or a state where there’s nothing but yourself. There are many ways to get there, and rock happens to have the essential element of aggression. Steadily stripping things down…… I guess you could say that even we are facing our true selves when we perform…… It’d be wonderful if we could turn our shows into spaces where everyone listening could do the same, don’t you think?
A while ago, I went to look at paintings…… You know, while I was viewing the art, I felt something that brought me to the verge of tears for the first time. That, in the end, is seeing the artist who drew it, right? And I could also see myself looking at it. It’s the most basic thing of all. Being able to see yourself as a human being.

―― Stripped down to the bare essentials, right?

I: The trouble with performing live is when people start to think, you know. I feel that it’s not about the words saying this or that. Rather, it should be [a sense of] “Ah, I get this.” If each and every person would feel like that, wouldn’t that be great?

―― So it’s not about persuading them.

I: When you listen to rock, [the most important thing is] that sensation of the very first thing you felt, right? That feeling of being forced to strip naked. The way it’s so unexpected. Making you wonder how it got you like this. That’s the one powerful thing rock music has. Rather than persuading you, it strips you naked and leaves you outside. That’s why, it makes you feel what you want to do instead of making you think about it.

―― You know, these days, pop songs that have always been so popular are now on the decline. Recently, I read the data that an advertising agency released and there’s one part in it that said we’re moving from the era of expressing “something similar to the heart” to expressing “the heart itself”. It has to be real if it’s going to work. How composed are you? How serious are you? There’s a stereotype, and people are no longer looking at the sweet. That’s the kind of era it’s going to be. Isn’t it amazing? Well, you could of course say it’s no surprise. That’s just the conclusion this advertising agency came to after studying the trends.

M: We want to become the leaders in that sense, though. For the kids 40 years in the future to be good people and follow the rules and keep their acts together…… Spiritually speaking, everyone ends up the same in the end, right? But the truth is that every single person is different. Although no two people are alike, we’re all really one human race. So to what extent can we express ourselves?   Socially speaking, it’s not accepted much, is it? But with music, we’re free. I think more and more people are starting to feel that way. [With music,] we can show ourselves off in a civil manner, not physically or violently. This way, it’s peaceful, we’re making music, right? For us, we were born in the mid-1950s, so I think we’re the first generation to realise what the younger generation thinks these days. Those older than us don’t really matter. Because they can do whatever they like and they’ll die first. It’s the younger generation.

I: They somehow believe things too carelessly, don’t they?

HA: But, you know, haven’t we always been cynical ever since we were kids? Then we’d brush it all off as a joke…… Come to think of it, that makes it difficult to tell what’s actually real.

I: You can’t really tell who’s friend or foe.

H: Because words like “That’s rank” and “Tragic” and all that were always on our lips. If something’s really moving to you, you’d say it’s rank⁴. Now we’re past that, right? We don’t use these words so lightly now. It’s exaggerated, right?

M: I guess it’s like the old days.

I: We just hope that the era where people are convinced they’re safe would end. From the perspective that everyone should take things seriously, you know?

H: But that we think that we can do that through music and lyrics. We want to think about it, but we don’t want to put it out there directly.

M: Because doing that is authoritarian⁵, right……

I: Ultimately, just one field is enough……⁶

―― Have you decided on the title of your LP?

I: DER ZIBET.

―― That’s straightforward. Why?

I: To say that this is “DER ZIBET”.

H: We could’ve come up with a one-word title or something, but we feel that there are still many people who don’t know us so…… We figured that this would be the most straightforward way to get that across.

M: This is our company (lol).

HA: With a capital C.

―― What does DER ZIBET mean though?

H: What it means is, well, the word “ZIBET” is what the civet cat is called in both English⁷ and German, but the “DER” that comes before it is a definite article in German that has been altered to an English reading. Germans wouldn’t know this word (lol).

―― So what about the single you’re releasing on 21 March?

I: It’s Only “You”, Only “Love”.

―― Why did you choose to make this the first cut?

I: Because it’s got good energy (lol). We really hope people will listen to it.

 

 

DER ZIBET is a band that has now just started to have a voice. Because they have finally broken out of their societal situation; of being too manic an artist. And also, because their self-titled album DER ZIBET will also be released on 21 March. The experimental approach that they have taken so far will probably continue in future too. But this attitude of ensuring satisfaction before moving on is, I believe, also one of the purest forms of rock ‘n’ roll history. I hope they will keep rocking forever with this purity. And also, that their live shows and albums will knock us clean out.

 

 

 

 

Notes:

¹ Lindsay Keith Kemp was a British dancer, actor, teacher, mime artist, and choreographer. He was probably best known for his 1974 flagship production of Flowers, a mime and music show based on Jean Genet’s novel Our Lady of the Flowers, in which he played the lead role of ‘Divine’. Owing to its homosexual themes and perceived decadence, reviews were sometimes hostile, but it was widely considered a theatrical and sensory sensation, and it toured globally for many years. He was also a mentor to David Bowie and Kate Bush.

² As in Charles Mingus, an American jazz double bassist, pianist, composer, and bandleader. A major proponent of collective improvisation, he is considered to be one of the greatest jazz musicians and composers in history, with a career spanning three decades and collaborations with other jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Herbie Hancock.

³ Salvador Dalí.

⁴ The original word here is クサイ (kusai) which is normally a descriptor for something that smells, or just to say that something stinks. But in this context, they’re obviously referring to some old slang interpretation of クサイ which no longer exists. I can’t think of any similar sort of slang/trend phrase in English, so I picked the rather questionable option of “rank”.

⁵ The word Mayumi used was “fascism (ファシズム)”. I didn’t use that direct translation because the implied meaning of it has probably evolved over the years to possess different connotations than it probably did back in the late 80s.

⁶ I don’t really know what he’s referring to but here’s the original text for your consideration:
あくまで、ひとつのフィー ルドでいいと……

⁷ Since this is an English translation, we know that’s not true lol. I believe he’s definitely talking about the word “Civet” but is just a little mixed up with the pronunciation of it.

 

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Scans: morgianasama on LJ

2013.12.25 | POP MANIA LABEL
NINE STORIES

Words by ISSAY

Music by HAL

Japanese

 

真っ赤なアンブレラ  闇に咲いた
蒼ざめた夜を  染めておくれ

滴るサングリア  胸に浴びて
デリバリーの愛を  待ちわびるのかい?

イカれたシャングリラ  探し回り
穢れた心を  浄めてやれ

壊れたシャンデリア  水晶の空
散り散りの星を  並べかえよう

 もしも僕が風になれたら
君を連れて飛び去ろう

Cry for love, Fly with me Radio 越しの真夜中
Cry for love, Stay with me 君をはなさない
Cry for love, Fly with me 孤独な君に歌おう
Cry for love, Stay with me
世界の果てから愛を込めて

 もしも君の夢で会えたら
涙拭い抱きしめたい

Cry for love, Fly with me 君の痛みが欲しい
Cry for love, Stay with me 二度とはなさない
Cry for love, Fly with me 孤独な君と踊ろう
Cry for love, Stay with me
世界の果てから愛を込めて

Romaji

By: Andy

Makka na anburera  Yami ni saita
Aozameta yoru wo  Somete okure

Shitataru sanguria  Mune ni abite
Deribarii no ai wo  Machi wabiru no kai?

Ikareta shanguri ra  Sagashi mawari
Kegareta kokoro wo  Kiyomete yare

Kowareta shanderia  Suishou no sora
Chirijiri no hoshi wo  Narabe kaeyou

 Moshi mo boku ga kaze ni naretara
Kimi wo tsurete tobisarou

Cry for love, Fly with me Radio goshi no mayonaka
Cry for love, Stay with me Kimi wo hanasanai
Cry for love, Fly with me Kodoku na kimi ni utaou
Cry for love, Stay with me
Sekai no hate kara ai wo komete

 Moshi mo kimi no yume de aetara
Namida nugui dakishimetai

Cry for love, Fly with me Kimi no itami ga hoshii
Cry for love, Stay with me Nidoto hanasanai
Cry for love, Fly with me Kodoku na kimi to odorou
Cry for love, Stay with me
Sekai no hate kara ai wo komete

 

English

 

2013.12.25 | POP MANIA LABEL
NINE STORIES

2020.11.11 | POP MANIA LABEL
21 世紀

Words by ISSAY

Music by Hikaru

Japanese

 

星淡く蒼く遠く光り
さあ、今宵も又幕が上がる

時間の舞台の上で主役よろしく歩きましょうか
いかさまな歩幅で

月満ちて欠けて朽ちて落ちる
そうさ、誰も彼もやがて消える

ワインのグラス傾けカサノヴァ気取り口説きましょうか
さかしまな台詞で

C’est la vie 出来の悪いコメディー
乾杯さ 幕が降りる時まで
C’est la vie ありふれてるトラジェディー
踊り明かそう どうぞお気のすむまで

夢熱く燃えてとけて醒める
そうさ、何もかもが目覚め浮かぶ

希望と絶望の狭間ロープの上でおどけましょうか
よこしまな心で

C’est la vie 出来の悪いコメディー
乾杯さ 幕が降りる時まで
C’est la vie ありふれてるトラジェディー
踊り明かそう どうぞお気のすむまで

Romaji

By: Andy

Hoshi awaku aoku tooku hikari
Saa, Koyoi mo mata maku ga agaru

Jikan no butai no ue de shuyaku yoroshiku arukimashou ka
Ikasama na hohaba de

Tsuki michite kakete kuchite ochiru
Sou sa, Dare mo kare mo yagate kieru

Wain no gurasu katamuke kasanova kidori kudokimashou ka
Sakashima na serifu de

C’est la vie Deki no warui komedii
Kanpai sa Maku ga oriru toki made
C’est la vie Arifureteru torajedii
Odori akasou Douzo oki no sumu made

Yume atsuku moete tokete sameru
Sou sa, Nani mo ka mo ga mezame ukabu

Kibou to zetsubou no hazama roopu no ue de odokemashou ka
Yokoshima na kokoro de

C’est la vie Deki no warui komedii
Kanpai sa Maku ga oriru toki made
C’est la vie Arifureteru torajedii
Odori akasou Douzo oki no sumu made

 

English

 

2013.12.25 | POP MANIA LABEL
NINE STORIES

2020.11.11 | POP MANIA LABEL
21 世紀

Words by ISSAY

Music by Hikaru

Japanese

 

猥褻な夢の中 恥知らずに踊ろう
ノイズのハーモニーで
夜を誘え

劇薬のような恋 一息に飲み干そう
宝石のような今
おまえがいればいい

 癒されない傷口
重ね合わせるのさ

星影淫らに  欲望のダンス

蒼白い首筋に 滴る赤いワイン
舌先で拭ったら 睫毛が揺れてた

汚れてゆく時間を いとおしく弄ぶ
灼熱のグルーヴで 唄っておくれよ 

 満たされない渇きを
ため息で濡らそう

星屑はサファイア  おまえが欲しい

ひび割れた夜空から
虹の涙が落ちる
愛の雫のように

星影淫らに  欲望のダンス
星屑はサファイア  おまえが欲しい

 

Romaji

By: Andy

Waisetsu na yume no naka Hajishirazu ni odorou
Noizu no haamonii de
Yoru wo izanae

Gekiyaku no you na koi Hitoiki ni nomihosou
Houseki no you na ima
Omae ga ireba ii

 Iyasarenai kizuguchi
Kasane awaseru no sa

Hoshikage midara ni  Yokubou no dansu

Aojiroi kubisuji ni Shitataru akai wain
Shitasaki de nuguttara Matsuge ga yureteta

Yogorete yuku jikan wo Itooshiku moteasobu
Shakunetsu no guruubu de Utatte okure yo

 Mitasarenai kawaki wo
Tameiki de nurasou

Hoshikuzu wa safaia  Omae ga hoshii

Hibiwareta yozora kara
Niji no namida ga ochiru
Ai no shizuku no you ni

Hoshikage midara ni  Yokubou no dansu
Hoshikuzu wa safaia  Omae ga hoshii

 

English

 

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

 

 

1986.05.21 | SIXTY RECORDS
Girls (Radical Dance Mix)

1993.03.24 | SIXTY RECORDS
Historic Flowers

1993.08.21 | SIXTY RECORDS
OFFICIAL? – live anthology –

Lyrics By ISSAY

Music By DER ZIBET

Japanese

 

ロシア 敗北の街よ
ロシア 冷たく 凍りつく
ロシア 愛は閉ざされる
ロシア 目覚めは遠いから
ロシア 麻酔をうたれ
ロシア 怠惰な毎日よ
ロシア 氷河期は近い
ロシア I can do nothing for you

ただ ひとつの 想いだけ
それすら持てず 全てが、夢

* we are “Russia’”
we are “Russia”
we are on the edge of knife
we are on the edge of knife

ロシア 理想の街角
ロシア くずれおちた街
ロシア 一つの罪 oh
ロシア 壁越しの Love song for you

白アリに食いあらされ
それすら知らず あなたの住む街

* repeat

Romaji

By: Andy

Roshia Haiboku no machi yo
Roshia Tsumetaku Kooritsuku
Roshia Ai wa tozasareru
Roshia Mezame wa tooi kara
Roshia Masui wo utare
Roshia Taida na mainichi yo
Roshia Hyougaki wa chikai
Roshia I can do nothing for you

Tada Hitotsu no Omoi dake
Sore sura motezu Subete ga, yume

* we are “Russia’”
we are “Russia”
we are on the edge of knife
we are on the edge of knife

Roshia Risou no machi kado
Roshia Kuzure ochita machi
Roshia Hitotsu no tsumi oh
Roshia Kabegoshi no Love song for you

Shiro ari ni kui arasare
Sore sura shirazu Anata no sumu machi

* repeat

English