―― Is that undesirable?
Y: It’s not that, but I was hoping that I’d have a little more time to rehearse my part.
―― Wouldn’t you feel uneasy when you can barely see the big picture for this album?
Y: I was more or less uneasy, yeah. But there wasn’t really anything like changes in the organisation [of work] or anything like that [so it wasn’t too bad].
―― You’ve said before that it’s easy to see what Imai-kun wants to do with his songs, so it’s easy when it comes to figuring out the arrangement too, right?
―― Considering that, would you say that there’s likely a clear picture of the kind of album you’d be making in Imai-kun’s head?
Y: Hmm…… Probably.
―― Did he put that picture into words and share it with the band?
Y: Mmm…… There is a certain extent of communication with us when he’s done with a song so…… Yeah.
―― I wonder how he intended to bring out that sense of completeness.
Y: Mm…… I don’t know that much about it. About what’s in Imai-san’s mind.
―― Then, what does Yuta-kun think about it? As a member of the band.
Y: Like the vibe of the music. Since we had so many songs, I personally thought of suggesting to get rid of some if it so happened that things didn’t sound good together or anything like that. But it turned out nice when we tried lining them up anyway [so we kept them all]. It’s somehow like an atypical 2-CD set, isn’t it? The album’s got that kind of image.
―― What kind of role do you think this album will play in BUCK-TICK’s career?
Y: While we’re doing new things, this new album’s also still got the good parts of what we’ve done before. I personally don’t feel like we’ve used a different approach than our usual, so, yeah, we’re trying new things while taking all the good aspects that we’ve got since our very first album. That’s why I think it’ll be a very easy album to digest for those who have always been listening to our music.
―― So, you’re saying that’s what the album resulted in?
Y: Yeah. I think that’s unintentional.
―― When you say you’re doing something new, which songs are most representative of that?
Y: Probably these few, for sure (points at 9th, 14th, and 15th song). It feels like we’ve increased the number of different sides we have to us again. Compared to our previous album, we’ve completely switched up the atmosphere in this album, haven’t we? It feels like you can clearly see the vibe of each individual song.
―― I guess that might also be the result of the songs being worked on in batches rather than all together.
Y: I think that’s another big reason for it. We’re always working on one song at a time, but in the end, the totality of it, I suppose, turned out to be slightly different than our previous album. And this time around, the vibe of our previous album still remains in a good way. That’s why it wasn’t like we got rid of everything and started back from square one again. I guess you could say that it’s like our standard work but not quite.
―― A transitional album?
Y: …… I don’t know about that. Not yet.
―― How do you feel about making music with everyone again after 2 years?
Y: We make all sorts of remarks here and there so it was fun. I don’t quite remember exactly what they were if you want examples, though (lol).
―― Was it fun while playing too?
Y: It was. It’s just that there are too many one chord songs (lol). That’s why it can get a little bit boring playing bass, but on the contrary, I thought that made it more interesting too. Because then I could play it very thoroughly. I mostly played with my fingers this time around. I guess that was fundamentally different. I basically changed my play style. Deciding between my fingers and the pick is usually dependent on the vibe of the song, but this time, I felt that there were more songs that would be better played with my fingers so I naturally chose to go with that.
―― Which songs do you particularly like how you played?
Y: I suppose it’s these (points at 2nd, 14th, and 15th song). Ah, but I like all of them~.
―― No regrets?
―― You’ve done everything that you’re capable of at this point in time?
Y: I guess I feel that way too. But this time, I really felt, “Ahh, we’ve really made something great.” With the songs arranged in this order, it’s of course, don’t you think?
―― What do you think about the album title?
Y: It’s sleazy…… Actually, no (lol). What was it, something like, they’re actually the same even though they appear to be opposites. Like a sort of cycle.
―― Like a pattern?
Y: That can be rolled anyway you like. Like, something that has the same shape but turns into a completely different meaning once you roll it around. As to what it means…… I don’t know (lol).
―― Was there anything you’ve reaffirmed when you started recording again after that break?
Y: That Imai-san sure is a genius. That’s what came to mind. Because, although you’d get a particular vibe when you listen to this part (14th and 15th song), when you listen to the other songs, it’s a whole other feeling again. They bring something different that doesn’t exist in everything else you’ve heard. For example, if we look at Uta, it’s got a sound that’s unique to only Uta, right? That’s why I thought he’s really amazing.
―― So even if it takes time, it can’t be helped?
Y: Yeah (lol). Because listening to the 1st and 14th songs, you wouldn’t have thought that both were from the same band, right? It’s probably the same when we listen to the 2nd song too, though. That’s why it’s so much fun.
―― To me, I think that among the members, Yuta-kun is the one who is most aware of how people perceive you.
Y: Is that soー. I guess I am the type to care about how people see us.
―― Is it the one thing you think about the most?
Y: I wonder. But I think everyone wonders about how others perceive them, so I don’t think I’m all that conscious of it all the time, though……
―― You’re most in touch with the general public, right?
Y: But Imai-san’s the most popular, though?
Y: He’s popular. And he’s a people pleaser too. For me, it’s just because I talk a lot, right? The other members don’t talk at all but. Imai-san is a person who can explain things in 1 sentence where I’d take 10.
―― I see. Do you think that these 2 years were a needed break for the band to make this album?
Y: It was a good period of time for the band, wasn’t it? Not specifically because it enabled us to make this album. Well, I guess it plays a part, but I think it’s been a good 2 years. Besides, if we keep releasing things one after another, we’d look cheap. Although, if we really thought that it was good for us to release something every 3 months, then I think it’s fine, though.
―― As the big-name BUCK-TICK.
Y: We’re not big at all. We’re still rookies (lol).
―― But you’ve got tons of followers.
Y: I can’t say that. That’s for others to say. We’ve got our own hands full…… But that’s good, isn’t it? As long as everyone works hard.
―― As the headliners.
Y: I suppose so. Although we’re probably only ranked like maegashira-13¹ (lol). But I think it’s good enough if we feel that we really made a good album. Besides, this one’s got weight in it, doesn’t it? It’s over 70 minutes long. Quite something, isn’t it?
―― If you were to take a 70-minute train ride, you’d travel really far too.
Y: You’ll arrive at our hometown (lol).
¹ In sumo, maegashira is the lowest of five ranks in the top makuuchi division. All the makuuchi wrestlers who are not ranked in san’yaku are ranked as maegashira, numbered from one at the top downwards. 13 is just one rank under the rank (14) that allows a wrestler to be promoted.
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