Kemonotachi no Yoru/RONDO Feature

PHY vol. 14
June 2019

Photography: Hirano Takashi
Interview: Ishii Eriko, Kanemitsu Hirofumi
Hair & Makeup: Tanizaki Takayuki, Yamaji Chihiro (FatsBerry)
Styling: Shimizu Kenichi


As long as we think that something is interesting, all 5 of us will be looking in that same direction. We can do anything
After all, there’s no discomfort within the band; we’re a cluster of potential. Regardless of how old we get
– Imai Hisashi


As they welcome their 31st year together, BUCK-TICK announces a new start with the release of their double A-side single, “Kemonotachi no Yoru / RONDO”, on the 22nd of May, and their live concert, “Locus Solus no Kemonotachi” which will be held on the 25th and 26th of May at Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Halls 9, 10, and 11. One is a significant single while the other is a live show which holds much meaning.

Even after their 30th debut anniversary concluded last year, they show no sign that their activities are slowing down. Why has this rock band, BUCK-TICK been able to thrive for 30 years without any change in members? And furthermore, open new doors even now?

Their story has often been put away with the cheap assumption of “a miracle”, but that is not the case. Just one part of the “reality” is that they have acquired all of this because of the implicit trust that they (the members) have in the band. These interviews with each of the members done right before their live performances, once again, confirm that fact.

Come now, it’s a party for deviants. It’s time to rip through the curtain and let the night begin*.

* Reference to first 2 lines of Kemonotachi no Yoru.





Individual Interviews


Sakurai Atsushi

I suppose these words came about because we had a concert like the one last year
To say that I’ll be there until the end, whether I’m laughing or crying, I’ll stay until the end

Interview by Ishii Eriko

―― Did your feelings towards concerts change after getting admitted into hospital last year?

Sakurai (S): Ah, I feel that yes. Like, “I can do this.” When I was younger, I used to have frivolous thoughts like, “The heck, I have to perform today?”. There was some defiance and I’d go up on stage without giving it much thought, though. But even before I got hospitalised, during these few years, I’ve been as conscientious as possible (about the things I do). Including recording, I have been thinking that I want to do things conscientiously, you know? For example, even if it’s painful, I’d want to bring out the vibrato just a little before that pain. Or, although this (part of the song) is of a key that’s right at my limits and I can’t always sing it, I want to somehow use my body to convey it. Something like that. That’s what I’ve come to feel.

―― Even with your actions, you’re conscious of your every move.

S: That’s true. Moment by moment, (with thoughts like) maybe if I paid a little more attention to this fingertip here it’ll look even more beautiful, and so on…… Although, I might also forget the lyrics.

―― Fuhahahaha.

S: In my case, that will happen if I think too much, though. But (I’d still find myself thinking), since the light is this colour now, if I go there my complexion will turn into that colour, and so on. I think I’m happiest when my brain works at full capacity while thinking about these things with each passing moment.

―― To even consider something like the angle of your fingertip is very meticulous of you indeed, but do you think the content of your performance changes when you put your heart into it and pay attention to those areas?

S: Yes. I believe it does change. Of course, 0 can only be conveyed as 0. I think if I were to (successfully) convey that, the receiving party probably has a very active imagination though. But if I were to go for 100, I can convey that through 1 or 2, and if (what I do) can resonate with those listening or watching…… That’s a really lucky thing, isn’t it? Because if (what I do resonates with them when) it’s 0, then (this result is) just a fluke.

―― So, the present Sakurai-san feels that in any case, he wants to conscientiously bring out that 100 even if he only conveys 1 or 2.

S: If possible. Of course, I don’t expect to attain 100, but…… I do aim to get around 95 points.

―― In terms of album releases, around when did you start keeping conscientiousness in mind?

S: Quite recently, actually. During the album Arui wa Anarchy, I did think that it might be nice should the particularly conscientious areas overlap with the spontaneous things. But we talk about works prior to that, when I listen to them, I do get a sense of, “Well, look at that, I’m capable of it, aren’t I?” But when I watch the live footage and listen to the live audio again…… I feel that it’s a mess (wry smile).  Well, being in the heat of the moment is good, but if I listen to it on my own when I’m composed, there are parts that leave me disappointed. (I would think,) if I pushed a step further and held that lingering note for a bit during that difficult moment at that particular point in time, if I could use vibrato, I would be able to (perform) to my satisfaction. During recording, I can keep redoing things numerous times so that’s fine, but it’s the unfiltered things which I do live that shows the level of my actual ability, right?

―― In these statements, too, I can sense the weight which I felt from the lyrics “Tonight you stay on that stage till the end” and “Yes, that’s you*” in Kemonotachi no Yoru.

S: Yes. This is what I’m saying to myself.

―― It’s not “go on stage”, but rather, “stay on that stage till the end”.

S: Yeah. Well, I suppose these words came about because we had a concert like the one last year at DiverCity. To say that I’ll be there until the end; whether I’m laughing or crying, I’ll stay until the end. This comes from what I’ve experienced.

―― You’re making a strong statement with those lyrics, and they don’t tend towards hesitation or sadness or (self-)pity, do they?

S: That’s right. I wonder if I’ll exude that even if I kept quiet. My own personality. Because I think that mingled feelings of joy and sorrow are exuded with a single mention of the word “clown”, or pierrot. I’ve made it such that it won’t be explained any further than that.

―― Does Sakurai-san consciously desire to play the role of a pierrot?

S: That’s right. That’s because it’s a professional job, so to speak. To play the role of a clown or a pierrot as a part of BUCK-TICK. This is definitely not in the sense that we’re making fun (of these professions), but rather, it’s with respect (for them). To have such an ability to make people laugh while crying. I think it would be nice if I could (embody) such a role in spirit.

―― So you consider bringing laughter as part of your role too.

S: …… In my case, (people will) naturally laugh for me, so.

―― Hahahaha. You’re definitely aware of that.

S: (They would,) right?    I think.

―― Yes (lol).

S: “Yes,” you say (lol). I have no intention of making people laugh. Also because it’d be really boring if I’m trying to make people laugh, right? In my case.

―― Yes…… is not something I can say, is it? (Lol). The stage where a pierrot belongs is, of course, the circus, and I can sense your yearning for it only grows stronger year after year. 

S: That’s true. I suppose it’s the atmosphere that it possesses, or perhaps the unique appeal that it has. There’s the front stage that focuses on how they will entertain the audience, but there’s also a backstage where things are absolutely frantic. Of course, the front stage is where there won’t be a single hint of that franticness at all, though. And people from all over are gathered on this one stage. That’s similar to a concert where everyone is very excited and fired up, but time passes after all, and what’s left after that are seats without an audience and an empty stage…… Such moments are, again, melancholy. Even though that was where the spotlight shone, it ended up lonely in the end. I think that this feeling is even more depressing than a concert when it comes to a circus. Like, when there was a big top in this place just yesterday but now it’s already gone.

―― Because it’s turned into a vacant lot surprisingly quickly, right? And the troupe has already moved on to somewhere else.

S: Yeah. Really. That feeling which you get; as if that was all just a dream. It’s nice, isn’t it?

―― That’s different than the admiration that one might have for a rockstar who travels around the world on their private jet, isn’t it?

S: That’s right. A rockstar…… What’s that like? I wonder.

―― For example, the Rolling Stones, where the sight of their signature mouth logo** makes all their fans go crazy.  And being able to sell a ticket for tens of thousands of yen just because, “Mick and Keith*** will be playing, it’s the real thing!”  That side of the entertainment industry is distinctly different than that of a circus.

S: Yeah, yes. A rockstar…… That can’t be me, and I can’t describe myself as one either.

―― You still say that even though you’ve been in a band for 30 years?

S: I just can’t think of myself as someone like that at all. I’m not very good at meeting people, and even if people are going “kyaー kyaー” for me…… Well, it’s just for those two hours anyway (lol).

―― It’s probably those who want people to go “kyaー kyaー” for them throughout 24 hours who can stand before others as a rockstar.

S: That’s why I’m the opposite. I’m more of a “please leave me alone” type.

―― Yet despite this, when you put on the pierrot’s makeup, you’ll be able to stand before others without hesitation and stay on stage until the end.

S: That’s right. It’s like flipping a switch. But well, if you ask me what I’m capable of, or what is it I enjoy, that’s really the only thing. Maybe it sounds cool if I say, “The only thing I have is singing,” but that really is the only thing I have. In the end, being able to go up on stage and perform is all there is. Song by song, playing the different main characters in different settings. Performing until the very end and hoping that I managed to ignite the imaginations of those who were watching.


I can’t exactly make a decision on my own accord because we’re a band
I want to keep going for as long as all of us still want to keep performing together


―― Though, if I may, I believe there are people who are of the opinion that if a rock band says that they are “performing”, then, to put it bluntly, “They’re not being real.” How would Sakurai-san argue against that?

S: No, well…… I won’t argue. Because I don’t want to fight (lol).

―― I see (lol).

S: But everyone does things however they see fit, don’t they? So, I think that’s perfectly fine. I respect them, those people who have always done what they love. No matter the style, I think it’s alright as long as the person’s heart is in it.

―― Indeed. Also, the Sakurai Atsushi who Sakurai-san performs as is certainly no lie. No matter the song, you’re immersed in it and I think that’s great.

S: I don’t have the dexterity to detach myself to that extent.

―― And the other song, RONDO is already being aired on Gegege no Kitaro, but was it only composed because of the tie-up?

S: It came about because of the tie-up, yes. I think Imai-san was probably aware of that too and ended up composing the song for it. When I heard (that we were collaborating with Gegege no Kitaro)…… Well, I guess I’m like a yōkai too so I thought that would be interesting.

―― And as a result, you have two songs of beasts and yōkai.

S: Hahahahahahah.

―― But it certainly is a very beautiful song. Was it the melody which triggered the image of dancing endlessly in a dream for you?

S: That’s right. It’s because I wrote the lyrics while listening to the melody without really thinking about the yōkai. I thought that this, too, felt like one of the many sides of BUCK-TICK, like a signature song. Though in the beginning, I was worried about whether it was alright to go about it like this or whether I should twist it a bit and change the vibe instead.

―― But you wrote it in a straightforward way in the end.

S: That’s right. In the end, it was straightforward. I did try a few different ways, though. But I felt that this one fit best. Simple and like our typical selves. The working title had always been RONDO right from the start, so I simply wrote in consonance with the original image without needing to forcefully twist and bend it towards another direction. But then I thought that I should keep the words very simple. It feels as if I meandered through twists and turns and then came back to the starting point.

―― For many years, one of the themes that Sakurai-san has depicted (in your lyrics) is the sense of dreaming, or being in a dream that one cannot wake up from.

S: I suppose…… it’s because I’ve always been escaping from reality since I was young. (Diving into) things like worlds away from reality, fiction, fantasy, and that imagery of the Kitaro which I watched when I was a child. I was definitely immersed in it, that mysterious atmosphere, because I was a child. Because the old Kitaro was much more horrifying.

―― That would normally scare people, wouldn’t it?

S: Yeah. But (to me), it feels like that’s still better than reality. That said, although this isn’t my true starting point, I wrote the lyrics by returning to how I felt when I used to watch Kitaro.

―― Did you love it?

S: Yeah. That original touch of Mr. Mizuki’s^. There were quite a lot of tales of yōkai in the late 1960s and early 1970s^^. I loved those yōkai stories so I watched it a lot.

―― So before music, you were captivated by a mysterious, slightly scary world. What’s learned in the cradle is truly carried to the grave^^^.

S: Yes. I suppose that appears to be so.

―― And now, this single is leading into the 2-day event at Makuhari Messe. What is going to happen here?

S: Our staff came up with a variety of stunts based on things we haven’t yet done thus far. Though we ourselves are still kind of unclear about things (lol).

―― Does that mean that you’ll be preparing something that goes above and beyond what we would expect of a typical concert?

S: No?    It’s a regular concert. However, there will be things that we have never done before. Though I think fans may have never seen it before either.

―― I wonder what it is. Can you give us a hint?

S: A hint……… But if I say it, I’d get in trouble if we end up not doing it during the concert (lol).

―― Ahh, as in, there’s quite a lot going on so you can’t do it in the end? (Lol)

S: As in, I think there might be some grown-up business` (in the way) (lol).  Well, but, presentation style, you know? (That’s) one of them.

―― And now that your 30th anniversary has passed, does it feel like yet another fresh start, or perhaps, like you’re heading towards something new?

S: Mm…… Well, whatever it is, that’s what it’ll feel like in the end. Though it was a little bit irregular since 4 dates of our live house tour ended up getting pushed to this year. But, well, guess this year does have (the significance) of a fresh start and also a beginning after all.

―― The band will, of course, keep on going in future too, but honestly, have you thought about how much longer that can go on for?

S: …… Well, as long as my body and my voice can. Though I’m thinking that it would be nice if I could keep going until 60.

―― That’s a specific number, though.

S: Ah, noー, it’s just that when I get asked about it, that’s the nice, round number which comes to mind. That’s all. Of course, there are also people who are still going strong even at 70, so it’s not as if it’s a complete stop once I celebrate my Kanreki“, though.

―― Anii-san is also almost 60.

S: …… Ah, I guess it’s about time for us to get a red chanchanko`“ (for him).

―― (Lol) I suppose, with such an unprecedented existence, you no longer know how to end it, do you? Like, do you draw the curtains by your own hand, or do you keep going while you still can?

S: Well, because we’re a band, right? I can’t exactly make a decision on my own accord. But, well, my ideal is that I want to keep going for as long as all of us still want to keep performing together.

―― Is it scary to think about the end?

S: …… I can’t imagine it. I’ve also been sick before but…… There’s no other way I can put it except to say that if it happens, it happens. Though on the topic of dying, I think I’d prefer to be the first to die.

―― Ah, because you don’t want to be left behind?

S: Yes. It’s the same between a married couple, right? Where you’d feel that it’ll be more painful to be the one left behind.

―― But that, I think, is how everyone feels.

S: Hahahaha. That might be true. If that’s the case, then I’ll stay behind (lol).




* I usually take lyrics translations from This NOT Greatest Site, but for this line, I went with a more literal translation to fit into this context. The original text is “それがお前だ” (Sore ga omae da).

** This one.

*** Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

^ Mizuki Shigeru is the manga artist behind Gegege no Kitaro. He passed away November 2015.

^^ More specifically, 1965 to 1974. This period was referred to as the 40s of the Showa era.

^^^ The phrase used was “三つ子の魂” (mitsugo no tamashii), the shortened version of “三つ子の魂百まで”(mitsugo no tamashii hyaku made).

` Saying something is “grown-up business” may imply that something is “none of your business’” and is pretty much a pretext for not revealing something.

” Kanreki is the celebration of the 60th birthday. The 60th birthday of a person marks the end of one cycle in the zodiac calendar. which signifies returning to your birth year and beginning a new cycle. Part of the celebration includes the wearing of the red chanchanko (mentioned later) and cap by the person celebrating his 60th. Just imagine our old men wearing this.

“` A chanchanko is a sleeveless haori worn by children and the colour red is believed to have an effect of protection in Japan and people would put red clothes on newborn babies. In line with the significance that the 60th birthday means the return to your birth year.



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Imai Hisashi

“Locus Solus” gives the impression that we’re non-conformist, but on the other hand, we make our own way
When such people gather, it’s quite something, isn’t it?

Interview by Kanemitsu Hirofumi

―― You’ve still got rescheduled concerts left to perform, but it’s about time for you to start rehearsals for Makuhari, isn’t it?

Imai (I): Mhm. Right now, I’m in the midst of arranging songs for the Makuhari live. About 3 of them.

―― Oh! You’ve decided to do a variety?

I: While having decided to include unusual songs that we haven’t performed recently, we also thought of trying arrangements that are different than what we’ve done thus far.

―― Did you intend to hold such a live performance from the very beginning?

I: Nope. Initially, we gave it a title which inspires intrigue and thought that it would probably be good if we could get an idea of what the live would be like from there.

―― I see. So, you expected something to come from the title of Locus Solus no Kemonotachi.

I: Yeah. And then our staff offered a lot of ideas which made us feel that things could definitely get interesting.

―― So, there’s no special meaning or anything like that attached to the title.

I: No, no. However, it’s not a tour anyway…… Well, the postponed concerts have been (added into this year’s schedule), but originally, it was a performance that was supposed to happen suddenly over 2 days in May, so I guess you could say that we wanted it to correspond to that. Like, I guess we wanted to make it feel like it’s something enthralling.

―― In other words, there’s no profound meaning behind “Locus Solus” in the title?

I: I just thought that it sounded intriguing. There’s no special meaning behind it. That book was published as a hardcover edition when I was in my 20s, and I thought that it seemed interesting so I bought it from Roppongi’s WAVE*.

―― Roppongi WAVE!    How nostalgic.

I: There are a few volumes in that series but I was intrigued by the call of Locus Solus so I bought that one.

―― You know, I have an acquaintance who works in Heibonsha** and they suddenly called me and asked, “You know BUCK-TICK?”

I: Hyahahahaha, for real!

―― Apparently, it caused a stir because this foreign literature whose stocks don’t really move suddenly started receiving a ton of orders and they got wondering, “What happened?” (lol).

I: I heard about that (lol). It’s hilarious.

―― I also read Locus Solus when I was in university, but I gave up soon after I started. It was impossible to understand what the hell it was going on about.

I: It’s like it doesn’t really have a storyline and neither was there anything particularly interesting in it. No matter how much I read, I still didn’t quite understand it. But (the more you read it) the more it overflowed with images, like it exceeds your imagination. That’s why I think that it isn’t necessary to start reading it from the first page. I think you can just open a random page and look at what’s written there. 

―― In short, are you saying that what’s interesting about “Locus Solus” is the way the sound of it makes people wonder what it is?

I: Yes, exactly. I didn’t know what it meant, so just as I was thinking that it would be good to use as the event title, I went to look it up. And it says that it means, “a solitary place”. I felt that it could also imply a non-conformist connotation too, so that was interesting.

―― Like a generic term which includes both BUCK-TICK as the band and the fans who follow you.

I: Exactly. It also gives the impression that we’re non-conformist but on the other hand, we make our own way.

―― But being non-conformist, doesn’t it bother you that you can’t really assimilate with those around you?

I: Not particularly. Isn’t it good? Non-conformity.

―― Do you feel that you’ve always been like that?

I: Nope, not at all. I might’ve noticed something before, but I don’t think I’ve thought of being in such a position in particular. But when such people gather, it’s quite something, isn’t it?

―― Indeed. And now, what you’re feeling and visualising from the words “Locus Solus” has been projected into the songs.

I: Exactly. Because we have 2 days (of performances). We want to have different setlists and try doing what we’ve never done before too.

―― But last year-end, Sakurai-san took ill and you had to postpone your tour.

I: I was shocked.

―― Was there no sign of it?

I: Not at all. My room backstage was separate from Sakurai-san’s too.

―― Right, you do that to focus.

I: Though, when we passed each other right before the performance in the corridor backstage, he had a hand on his hip. And I got the feeling that he seemed to be pressing heavier than usual. I did wonder, “Huh, what’s with him?” but he didn’t say anything, so I didn’t give it much thought. But the moment the performance started and he sang, I thought something was weird.

―― It was obviously different than usual, wasn’t it?

I: Like, he wasn’t quite pushing himself as hard.

―― I was worried.

I: Because (his condition is) something that only he would know best, right? It isn’t something that will somehow remedy itself just because you work hard, and I did consider that maybe we might have to stop halfway, and even if we did, it couldn’t really be helped. But that particular day, he said, “I’ll do this.”

―― It’s as if his will was just that strong.

I: I guess he didn’t want to feel like he messed up. I think he hated the idea of finishing only the main set and then making an announcement to forcibly bring the live to a close by skipping the encore. You see, we could only leave that decision to him. I guess, perhaps he felt that he could somehow make it to the very end.

―― Having such an incident occur, does it make you uneasy?

I: For the future?    Well, maybe such things would happen. I suppose our physical strength would decline on its own anyway, and it’s only natural that the substance of our exterior would deteriorate too. But I haven’t gotten the feeling that my senses are waning yet, anyway.

―― Ahh, I see.

I: Well, I guess we can’t neglect our health (lol). But although I don’t really think about it, I suppose I’m alright. Because bands can take any form no matter how old we are.


Things I want to do come to me, and I’d wonder, “What should I do with this?”
But I have the confidence that if it’s us, we’ll be able to give it shape.

―― And you’ll be releasing a single. RONDO has a tie-up where it’ll be used as the ending theme song of Gegege no Kitaro, but what was your concept for Kemonotachi no Yoru?

I: This was in my stock. It’s completely different now, but the demo which was made from that riff was there. From start to end. But I completely forgot that it existed. I opened a folder in my PC and saw it, then when I wondered what it was and opened it up, this was in there (lol).

―― Right. Listening closely, this song is made of the one same riff going on from start to end. I thought that it’s got quite a crazy composition and it really turned into a good song (lol).

I: I thought, “Oh, right I made that. Ah, this is cool.” And making use of that guitar riff and the vibe of that demo, I redid it from the start and turned it into Kemonotachi no Yoru.

―― You completely forgot about its existence.

I: But that’s because the original melody was utterly uncool. I thought it’s a good thing that I didn’t forcibly turn that into a song and release it (lol).

―― Hahahahahaha!    When was this demo from?

I: Probably STEPPERS -PARADE‐ (released January 2014) or sometime around there, I think. I thought maybe there was a bit of a riff left behind, but when I opened up the data, the whole song was there. When I listened to it, I thought it was reeally cool, and then I wondered if there might’ve been songs that I forgot about so I went looking around, but there wasn’t anything else (lol).

―― Hahahahahaha!

I: It’s the same with RONDO. This song had a previous melody too. But I completely changed up the tempo and all that, flipped the chords around, and redid it from scratch for it to be used for Kitaro. There’s no longer any sign of its original self though (lol).

―― It’s a song perfect for Kitaro, isn’t it?

I: Yeah, I didn’t expect it to fit so well. When I first heard that it was going to be the ending theme song, I got stuck wondering how we should do this, but after thinking about it for a bit, I realised, “Ah, this is something only we can do.” After realising that, I really wanted to do this.

―― Is it because the worldviews that you have are very similar?

I: Though don’t you think it’ll be really fun if we did the opening theme song instead (lol).

―― Hahahahahaha!

I: With an arrangement similar to DIABOLO’s (lol).

―― I’m imagining Sakurai-san singing “Ge, ge, gegege no geー” ^ (lol). Did you use to watch Kitaro a lot in the past?

I: It’s not as if I had to catch it, but I watched it. It’s the same as Sazae-san^^, like it’s only normal to watch it.

―― The characters look funny, or rather, they have a kind of cuteness to them, but there’s an air of creepiness in the background, like there’s a Japanese-style terror sleeping underneath.

I: That’s what I like about it.

―― It’s just like how BUCK-TICK sounds pop but there’s a creepiness somewhere in there, right?

I: I guess that’s how it’ll seem if you twist it that way (lol). Also, I was absolutely sure that it would be aired in the evening so I was surprised.

―― Ahh, that it was being broadcast at a time slot that’s more like Sazae-san’s?

I: Because I assumed that it was going to be during that kind of a melancholy time slot. But then it ended up getting broadcast in the morning. Quite a lot of kids watch it, don’t they? When I went to kindergarten to pick the children up, kids I didn’t know at all started coming up to me to say, “I watched Kitaro!”

―― Hahahahahahahaha!

I: So many of them started talking to me (lol). I never expected to get such a reaction from 4 year-olds.

―― You’ve opened up a new fan base (lol). Though, when we consider Sakurai-san’s lyrics too, I’ve said this numerous times, but there’s a sense of creepiness there and something similar to terror in the back, which makes it typical of BUCK-TICK, doesn’t it?

I: I knew that if it was Sakurai-san, he would fit in lyrics with a great vibe, so I wasn’t worried at all.

―― Did you intend right from the start to have Kokusyoku Sumire take part?

I: Not in the beginning, but after making the demo, I thought it might be better if we had a violin and an accordion in it as well. So, there wasn’t anything else to do except ask Sumire-san. Though, what I failed at was that I forgot to tell them that this was going to be the ending theme song for Kitaro (lol). Then I worried that they might insert something different (than what we were aiming for). But we liked it a lot in the end.

―― And for Kemonotachi no Yoru, it might’ve turned out the way it did as a result, but it seems like it was meant to be Makuhari’s theme song.

I: Uhhuh. I really like it.

―― What do you think of Sakurai-san’s lyrics?

I: I think it’s already a perfect fit. In the beginning, the working title for the demo was “Autobahn”. Then even after Sakurai-san gave it those lyrics and finished recording the song, it was still “Autobahn”. So I was getting worried about that. And then Sakurai-san said to me, “Hey, this isn’t going to be called ‘Autobahn’, is it?    I think the lyrics are completely different (from that title) though,” and some days after that, I changed the title.

―― I see (lol). So after you release this single and finish the performance at Makuhari, what do you intend to do?

I: Huh, hasn’t our schedule already been decided? (lol)

―― Hahahahaha!

I: Though I’m wondering about what we should do about our album. Like, what’s next? Just vaguely. I do have the desire to compose. (I’m just wondering about) what we should do following No.0, and how we should include the two songs from this single in the next album, and so on.

―― I think that No.0 was quite a masterpiece that fully brought out a certain side of BUCK-TICK, though.

I: I think so too. But I also think that we can soon do something from a different angle, or do something that goes beyond it. It’s always been like this, but I guess it’s because even after 30 years, all sorts of things I want to do just keep coming to me be it with a whisper or all at once. I suppose we can probably do something (else) soon because I get that.

―― When you shape those feelings, do you often feel that those can’t be executed unless it’s with the band?

I: That happens a lot. I’d wonder, “What should I do with this?” But I have the confidence that if it’s us, we’ll be able to give it shape.

―― You mean, you’ll eventually be able to shape things through the band?

I: It’s the same with our band sound and programming. Because the feeling that “we have to do this (or it wouldn’t work)” disappears. I get the feeling that we can do it.

―― “Why not?”, right? But isn’t the case that in a band, everyone’s style is basically aligned?

I: I don’t know, but there are those who absolutely hate programming, aren’t there? But for us, from some point onwards, we just felt, “Oh, well then, I guess we’ll use programming.” We came to accept that and started to think about how we’re going to present that sound when playing as a band and how we can make it work. As long as we think that something is interesting, all 5 of us will be looking in that same direction. I think that might be our strongest point.

―― So, although having a sense of it is the most important thing, it’s only because you can perform it with the band.

I: Of course, that’s very important. We can do anything. Besides, although we’re a band whose members are all above the age of 50, we wrote the ending theme song for Kitaro, didn’t we?

―― Hahahahaha. That is indeed so.

I: That’s why I think we can do anything. After all, there’s no discomfort within the band; we’re a cluster of potential. Regardless of how old we get.



* I managed to find a picture of it:

** A Japanese publisher.

^ From the opening theme song of the original run of Gegege no Kitaro.

^^ Sazae-san is a Japanese yonkoma manga series written and illustrated by Machiko Hasegawa which was turned into an anime in 1969 and currently holds the Guinness World Record for the longest-running animated television series.


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Hoshino Hidehiko

Now, we’re going on long tours but
I’ve come to wonder more often…… how long we can keep travelling like this

Interview by Kanemitsu Hirofumi

―― This is probably considered as something from quite a while back, but to start, please tell us about last year’s No.0 tour.

Hoshino (H): The hall tour was very fulfilling. We’ve always been doing this, haven’t we? Sticking with the stance of completing the worldview of the album through a tour after we’ve produced one.    This time, especially, gave me a strong sense of fulfilment. I’m very satisfied.

―― That’s because the album, No.0, was one which aroused the listeners’ imagination more than the usual production, right?

H: BUCK‐TICK has always done that since our early days but I guess this time, we managed to show it in an especially conceptual manner which included comprehensive visuals too.

―― Considering the video footage, that does indeed seem so.

H: And I think during the second half, the live house tour, the conceptual part of the performance was even more vividly expressed live.

―― But with an inconceivable incident, it made us realise that what this band expresses was something very real indeed.

H: That’s right. Well, a lot has happened (lol).

―― I was shocked.

H: But thank goodness that we were able to get through it all safely. There are a few more rescheduled performances (note: the interview was held on 19 April), but it looks like we’ll be able to do those well anyway, so they’re still good live performances even though they were rescheduled.

―― When did you realise that Sakurai-san’s condition wasn’t too good?

H: Vaguely, I did get the notion that he didn’t look well. When I saw his face during rehearsals, or when we met backstage before the actual performance, (I’d get a sense of,) “Huh? I wonder what’s wrong.”

―― I suppose he looked like he was having it rough.

H: But the tour was long too, so there were always minor worries like, maybe his throat is a little sore today, or, maybe he’s feeling a little feverish, and so on. But once the live performance started, the sight of a Sakurai-san I’ve never seen before, be it his movements or the way he sang, struck me and…… I was worried. When we withdrew offstage for the encore, we stood in a circle and it was said that apparently, his condition wasn’t so bad to the point that he can’t perform. That’s what I understood.

―― Knowing that, what did you think?

H: Honestly, I thought that even if we halted the encore, it wouldn’t make a difference. I thought that it would be better to ask Sakurai-san himself, because it could be that, probably, he wasn’t in a state where he can’t perform. But he said that he wanted to continue as far as he possibly could, so.

―― Perhaps he felt a sense of duty of having to finish “Kodou”, otherwise the worldview of No.0 would not be expressed in completion.

H: Perhaps. But I think, on the inside, he felt that he could do it since it was only 3 more songs. Though, that’s a question that only he himself would know the answer to. It’s not something that we can judge on our own, is it? Because you see, everyone has prepared themselves in their own ways before they perform.

―― The tour had been rescheduled following that incident, but situations which required such measures haven’t happened recently, have they?

H: Regarding postponement…… This might just be the first time when we had to reschedule the remaining dates when we’re in the middle of a tour. Though I think we did postpone a tour right before it started in the past.

―― That was when Sakurai-san had an intestinal blockage overseas, wasn’t it? But having had such a thing happen, does it make you feel that you all aren’t as invincible as you used to be?

H: That is something I especially felt recently. Now, we’re going on long tours but I’ve come to wonder more and more often how long we can keep travelling around like this.

―― That said, it appears that since the start of the year, a number of things happened to Hoshino-san too.

H: I’ve been sick in bed the whooole time, you know. Since the New Year.

―― You’ve even lost weight.

H: I’ve lost weight…… Maybe?

―― No matter how I look at you, you’ve lost weight. I was shocked when I saw your photos.

H: My condition isn’t particularly bad, but I can’t gain it back, my previous physique. Though I thought that’s fine anyway (lol).

―― What happened?

H: After our year-end live concluded, I thought of taking it easy during the New Year holidays, but on New Year’s Day, I passed bloody stools. So, wondering what that was about, I went to the hospital and then got diagnosed with ischemic colitis.

―― What kind of illness is that?

H: It’s not as severe as Sakurai-san’s, but it’s when the S-shape in the colon gets injured and it starts bleeding there. It wasn’t so severe that I had to get hospitalised, but I had to stay at home and live on porridge for quite a while.

―― Because you had to recuperate.

H: I just kept sleeping the whole time. I had to rest, so I couldn’t do anything, and my stomach hurt too. Then, when I felt like I was getting better from that, I went out to watch a movie since I haven’t yet caught Bohemian Rhapsody. I guess I let my guard down a little or something. And just as I thought that it was about time to start songwriting, some sort of rash started breaking out all over my body. It got me all lethargic so I went to the doctor’s, and this time, it was slapped cheek syndrome*.

―― Slapped cheek syndrome; isn’t that a common infection in children?

H: That’s true, but apparently, there have been more and more cases of adults catching it too. I think it’s probably something I caught at the hospital or something, though. My cheeks turned red and it wasn’t going away at all. So, because of that, I kept sleeping while sick in bed.

―― Your room had to be isolated too, right?

H: Exactly. Because it’d be awful if others caught it too, right? But the rash gradually went away, and I had a mild fever throughout the whole time too, so I thought that I would probably recover soon and get back to normal life, but at the very end came influenza (lol).

―― That’s a triple combo of illnesses (lol).

H: That’s why I’ve been sleeping and stuck in bed for almost a month. That was my situation in January. Well, since I’ve been a-year’s-worth of sick, I’ll just take it as a sign that perhaps I won’t get sick any more this year (lol).

―― You’ve rid yourself of misfortune (lol). But that was tough, wasn’t it? I heard that you had a meeting last year-end about the single and Makuhari, but in the end, you couldn’t do anything.

H: Yeah. It had been decided that the single was to be a tie-up, so I thought that I’d have to start songwriting once the New Year passed. Because we also spoke about producing demos and song selection. However, I was stuck in bed sick throughout the whole time in such circumstances, so without being able to do anything……

―― It was all left up to Imai-san.

H: Even though I wanted to compose. But, well, it couldn’t be helped, could it?


Living life without regrets is important, but everyone will definitely meet their end, won’t they?
That’s why it’s very much like BUCK-TICK to finish up whatever we can do now

―― What did you think of RONDO and Kemonotachi no Yoru when you heard them?

H: It was confirmed that RONDO would be a tie-up with Gegege no Kitaro, so I thought that it really matched the anime’s vibe. Then again, I guess to BUCK-TICK, that’s a genre that’s our forte (lol).

―― Hahahahaha.

H: When I watched the anime, I was surprised by how modernised the characters had become (lol). But it’s somewhat eerie, or peculiar. That part remains the same. And I thought that suits the band very well.

―― Does that mean that even if Hide-san was present, you would’ve emphasised on that vibe?

H: Rather, I think that no matter what we do, it’ll turn out like that so it’s something that we’d compose without needing to think too much about. It wouldn’t feel good if we forced ourselves to lean towards such a worldview anyway, and I suppose we were naturally interested in this tie-up.

―― Was that how it felt since the demo stage?

H: Exactly. Kokusyoku Sumire’s accordion and violin had yet to be added but we’ve already said that we wanted those included since the demo stage, so there was already a sense that we could already envision its completed version.

―― What about Kemonotachi no Yoru?

H: It’s the opposite of RONDO, isn’t it? The vibes are completely different. I don’t know whether Imai-san consciously did that or not, but in the end, it’s great, isn’t it? The title of the song drew attention to the Makuhari live too, and we were also able to give it the perception of a kind of theme song. Even though they’re contrasting songs, both are BUCK-TICK-like, aren’t they?

―― Indeed. A song that goes round and round in circles while latched onto that which one can’t rid themselves of, and a song that says ‘this is where it begins’ and signals hope for the future. I guess we could say that it unexpectedly depicts the two sides that make this band.

H: So, don’t you think that this timing is just right? Initially, we thought that perhaps RONDO felt more like the lead track since there was a tie-up to go with it, but Kemonotachi no Yoru has a sense of speed too, and it was also a BUCK-TICK-like song, so that led the conversation to, “Why not make it a double A-side single?”

―― I think it’s especially meaningful that this single has turned out to be one that shows both sides of BUCK-TICK at the time when your live, Locus Solus no Kemonotachi (Locus Solus Bestia) will likely be a significant point for the band.

H: Exactly. The timing is perfect. Don’t you think it’s a good thing that I was stuck in bed sick? (Lol)

―― That’s not what this is supposed to mean (lol).

H: Also, for this single, there’s another mix of Kemonotachi no Yoru too. The single has Cube-kun’s (CubeJuice) version on it, but there exists another album version. That has yet another different vibe, so, I guess, maybe that might turn out to be a comparatively enjoyable song.

―― Eh, are you already looking that far ahead towards a new album?

H: Though it’s not as if we’re going to release it so soon, you know (lol). But after Makuhari ends, I expect we’d want to compose and start recording anyway.

―― Though, honestly, with your health in consideration too, don’t you think that it’s alright to take it easy for a little longer too?

H: No, no, we’re alright. Last year’s tour was lengthy, but the live performances were mainly held on the weekends anyway. In the past, we used to perform like hell**, so it’s not like this is anything to cry*** about. Being able to constantly release albums like this, to perform it on tours, to have people who await our activities; these are all great blessings.

―― That’s true.

H: I don’t think I’m that busy, so it’s alright. On the other hand, I think having things going at this pace is good for the elderly.

―― Don’t call yourself elderly (lol).

H: So, after Makuhari concludes at the end of May, I think you can probably assume that we’ll be composing and going into the studio for quite a while. After working for a bit more, maybe I’ll go for a vacation overseas (lol).

―― Hahahaha. But composing like that has become natural, hasn’t it?

H: You know, maybe it’s because I don’t want to break this present vibe. We celebrated our 30th anniversary and managed to carry out very fulfilling activities. And our 31st year has also started off well. It’s not that I’m affirming our intentions, but I think, within everyone, there is a desire to continue like this. If we wanted to rest, I suppose we would, but I want to cherish this band’s vibe.

―― Do you get the feeling that you have to perform whenever you can?

H: Ahh. Because we don’t know how long we can keep doing this considering the fact that band members may fall sick?

―― Yes.

H: I guess not. It’s natural. Though I do think that maybe I should raise my health examination rank^ (lol).

―― Hahahahaha.

H: Living life without regrets is important, but everyone will definitely meet their end, won’t they?    That’s why we’re not rushing to do (more), neither are we particularly mindful of that, I think. Those days will eventually come, but they won’t be here until they’re here. I guess you could say that it’s very much like BUCK-TICK to finish up whatever we can do now without being affected by such things.

―― I think that’s probably something that you can feel because you’ve been working with the same members for more than 30 years without a break.

H: Perhaps. Probably because we don’t feel that that there’s an end. And I think things would surely remain like this from here on.

―― And so, to prevent that, you’ll have to raise your health check ranking (lol).

H: I’ve been working at it properly every day for these past 10 years so it’ll be fine (lol).

―― Yes. I’m sure you’re looking forward to Locus Solus no Kemonotachi.

H: Because, although we’ve performed at Makuhari Messe before at LUNATIC. Fest, this is the first time that we’re having a one-man there, right? Since we’re going to do this, we thought of trying things that we haven’t yet done after performing for over 30 years, and we’ve also been thinking about various stunts, so I think that this might be something that leaves quite the mark in the history of BUCK-TICK’s live performances.

―― Like, getting suspended by wires and flying through the air.

H: You mean Yuta, right? (Lol). We intend to make it something special, something that is different than THE DAY IN QUESTION and CLIMAX TOGETHER. So, I hope that everyone will look forward to it. Like our single, I believe that this live performance would evoke a sense of “Now, BUCK-TICK sets out again”.




* Slapped cheek syndrome, also called fifth disease or parvovirus B19, is known as ringo-byou in Japanese (lit. apple disease) because of how the patient’s cheeks would turn red from the rashes like an apple.

** The literal phrase would’ve been “performed (or worked) like a workhorse/carriage horse”, where the main implication is to mean that they were worked like slaves lol.

*** The original phrase was onomatopoeia for a baby’s wailing (ヒーヒー).

^ Annual health examinations are done in Japan. A grading system is used to denote the condition of each aspect of your health (e.g. weight, blood pressure, hearing, eyesight, etc.). The ranking ranges from ‘A’ to ‘H’, where ‘A’ means that everything is as per normal, and ‘H’ means that you’ll have to visit a specialist for further treatment.



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Higuchi yutaka

I guess there’s a sense that it’s another start from here on. Like the direction that we’ll be headed towards
What will happen to us, or an indication of that

Interview by Kanemitsu Hirofumi

―― What does Yuta-san think of last year’s tour for your album, No.0?

Yuta (Y): I mean, it’s something we do every time; this is how it’s always been where we basically have our hall tour and then make our rounds at live houses, right?    Even though the same album remains as the theme for both tours, the presentation style will be different. A live which creates a worldview together with the set, and a live which lets (the audience) feel the band’s visual side more strongly. I think (we do this) because by performing these two sides, the songs in the album become complete. This time, since No.0 is quite a conceptual album, we were able to execute a different style of presentation for the live houses, so I guess that made me feel that it really turned into something amazing.

―― Indeed. Within that, last December, when you were left with 4 more performances to go, Sakurai-san took ill and the performances had to be postponed.

Y: I was surprised. I thought, we really have to take care of ourselves. Especially considering that for this tour, the second half was a bit tough. Maybe that fatigue had been building up in him.

―― After having such a thing happen, what came to mind?

Y: It’s of course, but my first thought was, “Is Acchan okay?” It was the 2nd day of our performances at Zepp DiverCity, right?    Right before our performance, he certainly didn’t look too well, and even if he doesn’t typically show those mannerisms before we go up on stage, I could tell that he was in bad shape from the first song on. He kept withdrawing off-stage numerous times too, didn’t he?

―― The way the four of you followed up with that situation on stage was impressive.

Y: Because we got the feeling that Acchan most definitely wanted to see it to the end. When I heard that he went straight to the hospital after the live ended and immediately got hospitalised, I was extremely worried.

―― And then, you rescheduled 4 shows of the tour.

Y: Because it’d be better to perform in good health. It’s not good for us to make others worry while performing too, right? Though that caused a lot of trouble for our staff, thank goodness that they were able to hold down the venues for us and let us reschedule our performances.

―― Because you had to do them ahead of the Makuhari live too.

Y: I’m really grateful. That’s why things are no longer like how they were when we were young. That’s what I’ve been telling myself (lol).

―― But Sakurai-san was able to recover without complications too, and made his comeback at your annual 29th December performance at Nippon Budokan. There, you announced that you’ll be holding a 2-day performance at Makuhari Messe in May. And along with that, the announcement of your single was also made.

Y: Yeah. I think the songs turned out great on the single. I heard that (our song) was going to be the ending theme song for Gegege no Kitaro, and I felt that RONDO fit that vibe better. On the other hand, per its title, Kemonotachi no Yoru seemed like a song which was meant to be the theme of our Makuhari event, so I thought that it was being released at just the right time.

―― Well then, let’s talk about Locus Solus no Kemonotachi at Makuhari. What meaning does this live hold for Yuta-san?

Y: Well, let’s see…… Since this isn’t a live performance that’s being held around the period of an album release, I guess I’d want to do something special. We’ve always been holding such lives, haven’t we? THE DAY IN QUESTION is one that has always been going on, while CLIMAX TOGETHER is done once every 12 years. We’ve also had THE PARADE where we celebrate our anniversary with everyone, but we thought of doing one more other live where we can express ourselves.

―― It sounds like this live would be the one that has been put in that important position.

Y: That’s what we’re aiming for. We’re thinking of trying out stagings and presentation styles that we’ve never done before too.

―― Like hanging Yuta-san on a wire to fly through the air (lol).

Y: No, no (lol). That’s one thing that various people have been asking me about, but what the hell!

―― It’s a rumour (lol). But it looks to me that Locus Solus no Kemonotachi is turning into quite a significant turning point for the band, isn’t it?

Y: I don’t know whether it’s going to be a turning point, but I guess maybe there’s a sense that it’s another start from here on. Maybe, like the direction that we’ll be headed towards going forward, or what will happen to us, or an indication of that. BUCK-TICK has conceived a lot of songs in our 30 years, and among them, there are songs which we want to try playing once more. Considering that as well, I guess we want to make this a live where we, ourselves can also understand our flow going forward. You could say that we want to make this a significant live as the start of all that.

―― I see. So, Yuta-san has been in a band for over 30 years now, but going forward, what do you hope to do? What do you hope to become?

Y: Hmm. I guess I want the 5 of us to create something new. It sounds vague, but this is something that I’ve always felt.

―― Something new?

Y: Yeah. We’re not clouding over what we’ve done thus far either. We always want people who listen to us to realise, “Ah, there are songs like these too. Ah, there are songs like those too.” Because we also want to find something new, you know.

―― So, presenting that, are you going to make the old songs sound fresh once again?

Y: Yeah. We’re looking forward to it ourselves too. I think there are a variety of different ways we can do them. But I suppose we also have to create something that will be our core.


If we can continue as a band with the same members
And bring people joy by doing that, that’s the happiest thing for me
There’s nothing more valuable than that, is there?    I don’t know any

―― Well then, how did the recording for the single go?

Y: I guess it wasn’t that tough. The songs were more or less done in January anyway. And we even had the leeway to listen to the songs ourselves and then tweak the riffs a bit too.

―― What did you think of RONDO the first time you listened to it?

Y: I thought, “This is Kitaro.” (Lol) For Kemonotachi no Yoru, it was, “This will certainly shine at our live.” Just as I thought that it sounded like it could be Makuhari’s theme song, it turned out that the song title leaned towards that too (lol).

―― It sure did.

Y: Also, I felt that this song lets the listener feel the strength of the band. That feeling of, “Let’s do this!”.

―― I guess it’s the kind of thing you can’t lose, or rather, you’ve always had it in you, right? Also, the lyrics in both of the songs are, in a way, BUCK-TICK’s royal road, expressing the midpoint of it all.

Y: I guess Acchan really thought of it all. Especially for RONDO, it matched perfectly with the image of Kitaro, which we were doing the tie-up with. Or rather, maybe there’s a part of Gegege no Kitaro and BUCK-TICK’s worldviews which are pretty close.

―― I guess it’s the way it’s a little eerie yet it’s pop and the way the theme of life and death sleeps (beneath the exterior).

Y: It overlaps with the worldview of Acchan’s lyrics, doesn’t it? They both have their own unique worlds and I guess what comes through from that matched up. I suppose life and death is an eternal theme for us human beings after all. Besides, don’t you think that the love which is included within this is something that the anime is trying to show as well?

―― That’s true. So, what about Kemonotachi no Yoru?

Y: As I’ve said earlier, it’s like the theme song for Makuhari. I wonder if Acchan wrote it that way with Makuhari in his sights. That’s why this time, the single can be seen as something that was done in conjunction with both Makuhari and Kitaro, you know? I thought it was great timing-wise too.

―― I see. Following your release of No.0 last year, you went on a tour that had quite a number of shows, but are you able to see the vision that you have for the future?

Y: We’ve often been told, “Wow, you don’t take time off at all, do you?”, but in the end, it’s because we want to do live performances, isn’t it? It’s especially so now, I suppose. I think the groove that we 5 have now is very good, and it feels great, so the more we perform, the more enjoyable it gets. But as expected, it won’t make sense for us to go on the No.0 tour another time, right? (Lol).  Besides, we perform old songs every year during THE DAY IN QUESTION anyway, and I expect that we’ll perform quite a number of (those) songs for this time’s Makuhari performance too. That’s why we’d end up (thinking), we have to produce an album. That has been repeating these days.

―― Your activities have been uninterrupted, haven’t they?

Y: Because we, ourselves, have the desire to do it. Furthermore, each time is a little different from the last, isn’t it? For example, during the No.0 tour, even if we did recent past songs, the approach that we performed them with has changed.

―― What do they turn into?

Y: You know, they start to give the sense that they’re agglomerating. It feels like the more we perform them, the more it feels like our 5 parts are becoming one, rather than just being the vocal and the guitars and the bass and the drums. That’s why you’ll never get tired of it. Because it lets people feel that there is no doubt as we keep performing these songs, they turn into something great.

―― It’s amazing that you’ve continued to do that.

Y: Also, it’s because it’s fun to have everyone come together and create music together…… What are we, high schoolers? (Lol).

―― Hahahahaha. But isn’t that good!? 

Y: That’s true. Because there’s no stress with regards to our activities recently, you know? The only thing I can say about it is that it feels good (lol).

―― That’s why it’d be great if that situation can remain as such.

Y: Yeah. That’s the dream (lol). That’s why I have to pay attention to my health.

―― Because you’ve also arrived at a ripe age too, despite being the youngest (in the band).

Y: It’s not something that I started thinking about following Acchan’s incident, but to keep the band going, to make sure it can keep going on is tough, and recently, I’ve often thought, “That’s not something we can easily do.”

―― I see.

Y: Because I still want to keep doing this.

―― That’s a dream that you absolutely have to fulfil, isn’t it?

Y: Yeah. I want to play in a band with everyone more, to play more great music, to go to all the places around the country where everyone is waiting for us, to have fun with everyone…… This is my biggest dream, or rather, it’s what I want to do most. There’s nothing greater than that. As long as I can live well and enjoy a little drink.

―― Because desires like vigorously earning money, or becoming famous, and so on don’t exist in this band, right?

Y: We’re fine with being ordinary people (lol). I’ve said it numerous times, but as long as we can continue as a band with the same members and bring people joy by doing that, that’s the happiest thing for me. There’s nothing more valuable than that, is there?    I, at least, don’t know any.

―― Well said!

Y: But even though we’re often called a miracle, I don’t feel that way, you know? It’s the same with Great-kun’s (Great Maekawa) Flower Companyz, but we like it, without a doubt. Forming a band with your friends, performing live. And there’s also something that only those who have come this far know of. So, although it’s difficult to put into words, what’s for sure is that as long as you keep at it, you’d arrive at where we are today.

―― That’s the honour that you’ve acquired by continuing with one thing until now.

Y: That’s why I suppose I can only say that we’ll continue to do our best going forward (lol). In future, for sure…… We’ve also been doing this thus far, but I think the band will continue to evolve into something new.

―― I suppose you’re right. Staying the same is tough, after all, and on the other hand, you’d become a falsity, wouldn’t you?

Y: Since we’re doing this with documentation, I think that’s alright. Compared to what we were like 30 years ago, back then…… For example, we play songs like HURRY UP MODE on occasion, don’t we?    It’s of course, but both the speed and the tempo are different too, aren’t they? But I think for us, because we’ve been playing that song all this time, it’s not the form, but the flow that has been developed. That’s why we can do it without feeling uncomfortable too. Like, (the song) is good as it is.

―― Even when it comes to your sound, be it new wave, or techno, or gothic, you have a flow that has always been there, so you can do anything and everything.

Y: Exactly. It’s fine as long as it brings out what makes the 5 of us, and as long as everyone thinks that it’s cool, it doesn’t matter what we do.

―― Maybe about 20 years later, you might perform cool enka music, and that’s also a possibility in itself, isn’t it?

Y: I don’t know about enka, though (lol). But if everyone thinks that way, that’s fine, isn’t it?    Because the direction that everyone faces towards (in unison) is definitely a cool one. And that has never been wrong, has it?

―― Though, of course, if you perform the songs the way you played when you were in your 20s after you’ve turned 50 or 60, that’s probably not cool, is it?

Y: I guess you could say that in our present document, we decided that we’d perform without straining ourselves, without aiming too high. Because to do that and have various people listen to us and say that we’re wonderful or we’re cool is the best.

―― Today’s Yuta-san is so cool (lol).

Y: But, you see, people think that the present us who isn’t aiming too high is cool, right?    That’s absolutely wonderful, isn’t it? That’s why we have to take care of our bodies to make sure that we can continue as long as possible, even if just by a little.

―― That is true. Considering that Sakurai-san and Hoshino-san have both fallen ill too.

Y: Put health as our top priority (lol). Because if we don’t properly care for our bodies, we’d end up losing the ability to do whatever we want, won’t we?



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Yagami Toll

We don’t feel that being in a band has become a tedious routine, so we don’t become interested in other things
We were made in such a way that such a thing would never happen in this band

Interview by Kanemitsu Hirofumi

―― You’re almost done with the rescheduled concerts, aren’t you?

Toll (T): We are. It was the Fukuoka one the day before yesterday so…… We’re left with Kyoto, I think. That was long. This isn’t exactly a tour, so the flow got interrupted and there were some areas which turned out to be a bit of a strain, but we were able to pull it off nicely. Everyone’s really looking forward to finishing off this tour properly and heading towards Makuhari Messe, you know?

―― How did you feel about the postponement of the 4 dates from last year-end’s tour and Sakurai-san’s condition?

T: Well, it’s got to do with his health, so. Since it happened, it can’t be helped, you know? Acchan fell ill before in the past too, so we know that he’s someone whose internal organs aren’t that resilient. But, really, thank goodness that it didn’t turn into anything big. It’s a good thing that it wasn’t a serious illness.

―― You’re, firstly, relieved.

T: Yeah. You could say, it’s a case of “good things tend to be followed by bad”. The state of the band is really great now, so we have to be careful. To add to that, we’re already a band whose members are all in their 50s. We can’t feel like we did when we were young forever. We’re a band that goes in for the attack at the very last minute. So we can’t afford (to take risks), you know? I think that showed a bit.

―― Indeed. But the songs that Imai-san composed, although I think those feelings could be sensed somewhere in them, they are also free-spirited, more youthful than any band, aren’t they?

T: Those parts, I think they’re amazing because Imai doesn’t run out of it. I’ve known him since we were in high school and it’s been such a long time, but I think he’s been becoming more and more exceptional as an artist with each year that passes. Musically, there’s no sign that he’s calming down at all, and it’s strange that he’s getting more and more playful but it can’t be helped (lol).

―― When a band has been around for 30 years, they’d usually settle down to a certain extent and (decide), “This is the kind of band we are”, though (that means) there are quite a lot of bands which no longer possess a sense of thrill, aren’t there?

T: But that doesn’t apply to this band. Don’t you think it’s quite something that we 5 are not tired of being in the band together? None of us has started investments, or started running shops, or going into producing for new bands. You don’t even hear of such things, and we’ve never even had the slightest desire to do any of that. It’s because we enjoy playing in a band…… That said, maybe I’m actually just unaware of those things (lol).

―― Hahahaha. Then again, Hoshino-san is the type who wouldn’t surprise us if it turned out that he had been renting out apartments this whole time (lol). I’ve never heard of such rumours before, though.

T: We don’t feel that being in a band has become a tedious routine, so we don’t become interested in other things. Because each time we find “Imai has yet again written some illogical song!”, it becomes a struggle here. When that happens, I get thrown back to how I felt in my teens, all the time (lol).

―― Hahahahaha. This might be too late now, but even though Yagami-san’s roots are in Carol* and Led Zeppelin and bands like them, I do think that you’ll be able to play songs like theirs in an interesting fashion.

T: Though there was a time when I would think, “Just tell me what you want me to do with this.” But, when I talk to other people of my age group, I often think that we were fickle with our taste in music during our era (lol). We listened to rock and folk and popular songs of the day too, be it Western or Japanese music. When I first formed a band and we couldn’t find people to join us, we would cover Yuming** while waiting.

―― You did your drumming research while listening to a variety of music too.

T: Yeah. Even if Imai brings me a weird song, he’d explain it to me by saying, “This is a song that’s something like this,” so I do get a sense of accomplishment from it, you know? In the past, there was a song with a completely incomprehensible rhythm which he gave the working title “Techno”. And when I asked, “What’s this?”, Imai explained to me what techno was from scratch.

―― Wahahahahaha.

T: I think it was Tight Rope. When I looked at the score recently for the first time in years, “Techno” was written on it too (lol). “Takahashi Yukihiro^ × Yamaki Hideo^^” was written there too. In other words, he meant that I was to drum cooly; without emotion. Also, “no groove” was also written there (lol).

―― Wahahahahaha, “no groove”!

T: Isn’t it the best (lol).

―― But to Yagami-san of those days, wouldn’t he have thought, “Telling me to drum with no groove, are you fucking with me!”?

T: Nope, not at all. Because instead, I wanted (those who heard it) to think, “These drums can’t have been played by Yagami Toll.” Because, you see, otherwise, it would mean that no matter what I do, you’ll be able to tell that it’s me, right?    I’m the kind of person who wants people to wonder, “Who the hell drummed this?”

―― Like, “Was this really played by Yagami Toll?”

T: Exactly. I want to be a chameleon-like drummer. Rather than say that I want to change depending on the song, it’s more like I want to play a variety of drumming styles. That’s why the rhythms that Imai brings to me are what I hope for and are what realise my hopes. With this single too, isn’t Kemonotachi no Yoru a show of that guy at his best?

―― It’s quite a crazy song, isn’t it? Normally, the composition of the song begins the guitar riff coming in at the start and then it all builds up, but in Kemonotachi no Yoru, if you listen closely, the very first riff just goes on and on endlessly. But despite that, it appears that it still gets properly composed as a song.

T: And that’s amazing, isn’t it? I don’t know if Imai himself did that deliberately or not, but ultimately it turned into serious pop music, didn’t it? (He) always gets me wondering, “What the hell are you?”

―― Indeed.

T: RONDO has a tango beat but don’t you think that it’s probably (the song that is) the closest to BUCK-TICK’s nuances thus far? On the other hand, with Kemonotachi no Yoru, I can’t help but feel that he really created something amazing there.

―― Well, I guess that’s because RONDO was to also be the ending theme song for Gegege no Kitaro. When we put that worldview into perspective, you get something that’s very close to what (the band) possesses too, but when we look at Kemonotachi no Yoru together with the composition of the riff, you could say it’s like you’ve gone on the offensive. It’s a song that tells us that such compositions still exist in your repertoire.

T: That’s why I said he doesn’t dry up, does he (lol). Besides, I think the contrast between the two songs in this single is great. They’re opposites, but both of them are very BUCK-TICK-like, and they’re pop, but if you listen closely, they’re sort of strange. That’s why you’ll never tire (of us).


Personally, I want to get our revenge on Tokyo Dome with the present quality of our band
It’s like saying, “That’s not all that BUCK-TICK’s got, motherfucker!”

―― In the past, were songs which left you thinking “What the hell is this?” after hearing it once?

T: I’ve probably mentioned it before but I think I did get that impression with songs like SEVENTH HEAVEN’s “MEMORIES…” and other similar ones. Probably even with Kemonotachi no Yoru, while (Imai) thought, “This is a nice riff,” he simply continued on just like that and it turned into a song. Like, there’s zero music theory (lol).

―― But that’s fine as it is.

T: It is. Because with rock music, it’s a win as long as it gets heard. You don’t need theory nor do you need to show off your tricks, right? People listen to it, and if the listeners like it, then that’s fine. Come to think of it…… It just came to me. We have a song called Kimi ga Shin.. dara, but after we were done with the recording and all, we kept wondering, “Is that song really alright chord-wise?”, and we had quite a debate about.

―― The whole band?

T: Yeah. Like, “Ain’t there something weird with this?” (lol). Though indeed there’s something to do with the song’s melody or the arrangement which made it weird.

―― I guess there’s some sort of distorted progression going on.

T: Back then, we kept wondering, “Is this okay?” (lol).

―― The only one who can find it in himself to say that it fits is Imai-san, isn’t it?

T: But isn’t that because he’s the one who composed it (lol). That’s why as long as it’s a good song, as long as it’s an interesting one, it doesn’t matter what it’s like, it’s fine. It’s got nothing to do with things like theory. It’s because we say such things that we’re being treated as non-conformists, though (lol).

―― So, about the lyrics that Sakurai-san wrote for Kemonotachi no Yoru, what do you think about them?

T: To me, I thought that (it was written with) a complete awareness of the performance that we were going to give at Makuhari. I suppose although Locus Solus no Kemonotachi is a title that Imai came up with for the event, Acchan visualised it and shaped the lyrics from that.

―― Indeed.

T: The lyrics are Acchan’s style, but his intention of “Let’s start here” can be seen, and that’s great, isn’t it?

―― Then, what kind of a live performance do you think Makuhari’s Locus Solus no Kemonotachi will be?

T: We’re going into a new era and kicking it off…… That’s what I think it’ll turn into (lol). Since it’s a live show, I guess there’s also the possibility that it’ll turn into a sort of milestone in BUCK-TICK’s career.

―― That’s what the other band members said too. That it’s not exactly any sort of particular milestone, but performing this Makuhari live feels like a new story has begun.

T: To me, I do think that it might turn into a live event that sits in a similar position as CLIMAX TOGETHER, though. Because although our schedule was packed with a variety of events last year, we spoke a lot with the stage production staff about the content for this event and we thought of doing something we’ve never done before. We feel that our fans will definitely enjoy it.

―― We have high expectations for it.

T: Then again, until now, BUCK-TICK has never used those rather classic productions or performance styles, have we? There’s also the fact that even if we do use special effects like pillars of fire or silver streamers, we’ve been able to employ those without making it look like we use it frequently and have held lives by playing simple performances. Having done that for close to 30 years, I think it’s pretty interesting doing it now.

―― But why didn’t you do that all this while?

T: Because, you see, when we brought it up back then, I think Imai said, “What the hell is that…… Rather, how tacky.” and it ended just like that (lol). I suppose even I thought the same.

―― I see (lol).

T: But as we aged, we’ve changed bit by bit, and when we start thinking about what we’ve never done before, or what we can do to surprise and bring joy to our fans, we’d come to think that tacky performance styles might be fun too. And the band is confident to a certain extent too, so you’d get the idea that no matter what we do, it wouldn’t be tacky or disappointing, right?

―― Does Yagami-san, too, have the desire to do as much as possible?

T: Of course. Because if you search for it, there will always be something that has yet to be done. Or rather, going forward, we would like to present yet another new side of BUCK-TICK.

―― So what do you think about RONDO?

T: That song is precisely what BUCK-TICK’s royal road is. Also, I think having Kokusyoku Sumire join in only added to the BUCK-TICK-ness of the song. The violin at the start is really amazing. That was improvised on the fly but I think the pressure of doing that doesn’t show up in the music at all.

―― That was improvised?!

T: Sacchan (Sachi of Kokusyoku Sumire) is really amazing. Whether it’s rock or pop, she’s really good at adapting (to the genre). I was surprised.

ーー I didn’t expect to enjoy Gegege no Kitaro this much.

T: Probably because you didn’t expect our BUCK-TICK-ness to be identical to it in that way. Also, it’s probably also a good thing that we came back to Victor for our 30th anniversary. Because it was thanks to Victor that this band was made known to the general public. It might be that we’re compatible (with this company).

―― If Makuhari’s Locus Solus no Kemonotachi is to be another starting point for you, what do you think BUCK-TICK should become from that point on?

T: Well, I do feel that it would be nice if we 5 could continue playing as a band even if just for a little longer, and I do want to perform live on only in Japan but around Asia too, and…… Can I be frank?

―― Go ahead.

T: As Yagami Toll of BUCK-TICK, having been in this band for over 30 years, there’s only one more thing left undone, one thing that I want to get back at.

―― And that is?

T: ………… Tokyo Dome.

―― Ooh!    You mean, you want to hold BUCK-TICK Genshou (BUCK-TICK Phenomenon) there once more.

T: Yes. That said, it’s not that I want a commemorative event or something like that. Rather, it’s just that I was disappointed with that performance. Although a ton of people came for the show, it’s the stage where we had our resurrection after a break in activities so, in other words, our sound was the worst. Due to the fact that it was when the Dome had just been built^^^ and the fact that we only had knowledge of putting on performances in live houses, we couldn’t even deliver the level of potential that we would normally perform at. The acoustics were just too horrible too.

―― This was something you’ve always talked about.

T: That’s why I want to get our revenge on Tokyo Dome with the present quality of our band. It’s like saying, “That’s not all that BUCK-TICK’s got, motherfucker!” (lol).

―― Hahahaha. I guess in other words, it’s something you want to clear from your bucket list. Or, that’s your dream or goal.

T: It’s what I want to get down properly before I drop (dead). I definitely want to perform at Tokyo Dome with proper production and acoustics. Otherwise, I won’t be able to rest in peace (lol).




* Carol (キャロル) is a Japanese rock band which formed in 1972 and disbanded in 1975. You will find that Anii mentions this band often. He covered their song, Funky Monkey Baby, in his first solo project album 1977 by Yagami Toll & Blue Sky.

** Yuming is the nickname of Matsutoya Yumi, a Japanese singer, composer, lyricist and pianist who is renowned for her idiosyncratic voice and live performances, and is an important figure in Japanese popular music.

^ Takahashi Yukihiro was the drummer and lead vocalist of the Yellow Magic Orchestra, and former drummer of the Sadistic Mika Band. He is currently a member of the group METAFIVE.

^^ Yamaki Hideo is a jazz drummer and percussionist who is known for being the long time drummer for the band Toshinori Kondo & IMA.

^^^ Tokyo Dome was first opened in March of 1988 and BUCK-TICK played there on 29th December of 1989, i.e. the first Day in Question.


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On Shiina Ringo & Sakurai Atsushi’s Kakeochi-mono (Eloper)

I thought I should struggle with all my might rather than sing it well.
Because I suppose what she might’ve been looking for was the passion which is derived from that

Interview by Kanemitsu Hirofumi

The formidable presence of these two rose to the top without any crossing each other before finally colliding together at the end. The song Kakeochi-mono, from Shiina Ringo’s album Sandokushi which features Sakurai Atsushi on vocals, has turned out to be an extra-dimensional duet song. And today, we ask Sakurai to share his thoughts about it.


―― How did you feel when you received the request to take part as a guest vocalist from Shiina Ringo-san?

Sakurai (S): Why me (lol). That’s my very first thought. Like, why? But when I heard that Ringo-san said, “I wrote this song in Sakurai-san’s image,” I felt very honoured, and that really got me motivated.

―― Indeed, Kakeochi-mono’s sound is quite out of Shiina-san’s context with its industrial yet gothic flavour, so it stands out even within the album. What was the first demo like?

S: In the beginning, I was given the demo that Ringo-san produced to listen to, but it contained her temporary lyrics, so I thought that this was a true rarity (lol).

―― A rarity (lol).

S: Like, it’s something that you never really get to hear.

―― So, it was after that when the lyrics were written?

S: Yeah. I wonder if she put a lot of care into it. Because it was a demo tape of very high quality. Ringo-san was also absolutely perfect with both our melody lines in both pitch and musical notation. It’s of course, but I could sense that she’s someone who possesses an immense talent.

―― How did you feel after singing the lyrics?

S: I was told that they were written in my image, but it’s a very passionate song, isn’t it…… Am I really such a passionate man? (Lol).

―― Hahahaha. But I think that you’re rather passionate when you’re on the stage we call the demon realm performing as BUCK-TICK’s Sakurai Atsushi.

S: I suppose so (lol). But I felt that (the lyrics) illustrated a passion between a man and a woman which is very uniquely Ringo-san’s style; of a story about a man and a woman sharing feelings so intense that there is no choice but to resort to eloping and committing a lovers’ suicide.

―― What do you think about the elopement theme?

S: It may not be realistic in this era of Reiwa but well, since I was also born in the Showa era (lol). To be forced into a corner, to feel as if there’s nothing else you can trust and it’s just the two of us against the world…… I feel like I understand that desperate, tragic romance and grief. But somehow, there’s also a sense of sadness in there. When Ringo-san sings it, it’s very energetic. Although it’s scary that you can’t see what’s ahead and there’s nothing else you can believe in, the passion that drives you to take your partner along with you overcomes all of that. And I think that’s amazing.

―― Were you able to immerse yourself into this story that has such a theme?

S: I guess, maybe I did? But I was very nervous. Since it’s a story that I absolutely have to go deeper and deeper into with the energetic Ringo-san too, I had to have the image running away while being pulled along by my hand.

―― Like you were getting swallowed up (by the narrative)?

S: Exactly. That’s why I attended the recording with the notion that I had to express a passion similar to Ringo-san’s rather than only sing (her lyrics). And to do that, an explosive power was required. Also, I wanted to express something that was above and beyond what Ringo-san sought. That’s why I thought I should struggle with all my might rather than sing it well. Because I suppose what she might’ve been looking for was the passion which is derived from that (struggle).

―― When I first heard about this collaboration between you two, I thought that it would be similar to her works with other musicians where there is a clear separation between each person’s part and they are still duets despite the intensity, but instead, you both were at it head-to-head from start to end. It was like (a clash) between a lion and a tiger, or a decisive battle between Goku and Vegeta……

S: I’m not familiar with Dragon Ball, but Ringo-san is a technically adept and talented person, so I suppose she would be capable of conveying the sense of a morose couple too, but to me, I felt that she likely sought passion and war.

―― But I get the sense that until now, Sakurai-san can’t really jump into things if (the person you’re working with is) not someone who knows you well, like Tsuchiya Masami-san or ISSAY-san  (Der Zibet). This time, even if feelings of respect were conveyed to you, I’d assume that this was an entirely unknown experience, though.

S: I guess that’s why I was nervous. Because even I found myself wondering why I was feeling so tense. She wasn’t a fellow dweller of the demon realm. Instead, it felt as if I was going up against a queen from somewhere. But it was an honour, and I really wanted to execute this at a standard that is above what she sought. This was a great experience for me.

―― Well then, if such an opportunity comes up again……

S: I’m of the mind that if I’m somehow good enough (for the work, then by all means).

―― Oh, you’re looking ahead, aren’t you!

S: But that is also something that I’ve only grown capable of after feeling the respect that Ringo-san has for me. She was very considerate. She came to the studio to say hi, and at first, I thought of singing an octave lower like one would with choruses, but she said, “Please try raising the octave.” So, I asked, “I think (doing that) will create quite a forceful impression. Is that okay with you?” And she said, “That’s my intention.” From then on, I went all out. Both physically and mentally. After singing 3 or 4 takes, I got the OK. Like a ‘thank you for the meal’ (lol).

―― Hahahaha. Well, I hope that there will be another opportunity for you (to do this) (lol).

S: Yes…… Also, lastly, Ringo-san, she’s a very beautiful person.

―― Hahahahahaha.

S: It’s something I’ve just got to say (lol).




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Translation: Yoshiyuki
Scans: spanielonthemoon on Tumblr


Lingua Sounda Special
Locus Solus Bestia Official Live Report

Lingua Sounda
21 May 2019

photos by 田中聖太郎写真事務所 (Seitaro Tanaka)
text by Okubo Yuka


On 25th and 26th May, BUCK-TICK’s Locus Solus Bestia (ロクス・ソルスの獣たち / Rokusu Sorusu no Kemonotachi) was held at Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Halls 9, 10, and 11 in Chiba. This was the first time that they were holding a solo event at Makuhari Messe.

Thus far, they have held other large-scale solo performances unrelated to specific works, like “THE DAY IN QUESTION” and the 12-yearly memorial “CLIMAX TOGETHER” and more. Those events have left their marks in legend but it can be said that this particular one, which was held over 2 days and saw an approximate 24,000 attendees, is a brand new monumental achievement comparable to events past.

Although this event is reminiscent of the imagery of the strange book, Locus Solus, from the 1910s, it was difficult to imagine what the content would turn out to be based on the title alone. It was said to be a mystery in itself, but what the audience gazed upon this stage was a never-before-seen version of BUCK-TICK.

Stage extensions were set up in three directions; left, right, and centre. A center stage set up at the end of a stage extension. Hologram performances. Marching through the audience to enter the hall. An acoustic set. The first performances of new songs and a setlist filled with rare tracks.

Stepping into a new phase after their 30th debut anniversary, they looked shy during the MC on the first day when they said, “Today, after 30 years, we tried challenging ourselves with a variety of things”. The audience was greatly excited by their new attempts. The elaborately planned stage production, the gorgeous yet dynamic lighting, and performances that captivate onlookers drew everyone into an unparalleled world during these two days at Makuhari Messe and this report will cover it all.






 Day 1 – May 25th

Before the performance began, the hall was overflowing with anticipation for the yet-unseen stage. Eventually, the lights went out and the audience stood up in the dark, drawn into a dusky forest in the large circular screen set up in the centre of the stage. Before long, the scene transitions to a novel-like invention of a steampunk video and at that moment, the members stepped onto the stage. Toll Yagami’s (drums) count started what can be said to be the theme song of this event, “Kemonotachi no Yoru (獣たちの夜)”.

How do I describe the explosive power and exhilaration that was felt when the intro started? It was as if like my heart squeezed tight for a split second before the blood rushed through the vessels in my body all at once. I had been listening to the studio version before that but those expectations I had were far exceeded by the absolute power of this first performance which floored me. The imposing vocals of Atsushi Sakurai (vocals), who wore a costume which made it look as if he donned the skin of a black beast, has kicked off the commencement of this banquet of the beasts.

The first person to step out onto the centre stage extension was Hisashi Imai (guitar). He rocked the floor with his guitar solo which was largely noise in the studio version but had been rearranged for the live performance.

Following a cat-like, “myaaan” noise from Imai, they transitioned into the heavy dance beats of the cat song “GUSTAVE”. The audience cheered loudly every time the members went down the centre stage extension with Sakurai doing so during the intro and Imai, Hidehiko Hoshino (guitar), and Yutaka Higuchi (bass) during the interlude.

From here on, the audience, who have been receiving greetings from the beasts over those two songs, will now be dragged off into a dizzyingly nightmarish world.

“Oh~ Champs-Élysées. Oh~ Champs-Élysées.”

The echoes of this phrase uttered by Sakurai which sounded so devoid of joy led into “PHANTOM VOLTAIRE”. Following this song, the plucking of a phrase from Erik Satie’s Gnossiennes by Imai brought them into “Lullaby-Ⅲ”, where Higuchi swayed to the rumba rhythm that he played.

After these two decadent songs, they continued into “Shanikusai -Carnival- (謝肉祭 -カーニバル-)” with flames which swayed and rose on the screen in the background. The ephemeral melody and Sakurai’s falsetto made it a beautiful midtempo song, with the rousing strokes by Hoshino and Imai’s guitar noises coming in occasionally as if cutting through the air to stir up emotions.

That last performance where Sakurai covered his face with a Venetian mask left quite an impression.

Next, in “Kirameki no Naka de (キラメキの中で…)”, the story unfolded to the beat of Toll Yagami’s rhythm, where the intertwining of the suppressed emotions in Sakurai’s vocals with the melody of Swan Lake was indescribably dramatic. When the song ended, Sakurai flashed an icy smile in the dark.

And then, they proceeded into a song that they were about to play live for the first time in about 16 years; “Aikawarazu no “Are” no Katamari ga Nosabaru Hedo no Soko no Fukidamari (相変わらずの「アレ」のカタマリがのさばる反吐の底の吹き溜まり)”. Projected on the centre screen was Sakurai looking as if he was singing in a fish tank while displaying the twin-vocal interaction with Imai on stage. This inexplicable scene was beautifully surreal.

After that, as if countering the reverberations of that performance, they went right into the industrial rock track, “ICONOCLASM”. When the lyric “Japanese Babies” got changed into “Everybody” at the 2nd utterance, it roused cheers from the audience on the floor.

Following this was “Future Song -Mirai ga Tooru- (FUTURE SONG-未来が通る-) which resonated with Yagami’s tribal rhythm. Sakurai and Imai’s duet raises the voltage higher and higher, undulating from it to Higuchi’s bass riffs in the sublime intro of “BABEL”. Raising an arm as if through the heavens, kneeling as if crumbling and falling; their performance which embodied the song was a masterpiece.

After a quick “thank you very much”, the striking ring of bells and Imai’s effects-filled guitar noises rang out like ripples, leading in to “Moon Sayonara wo Oshiete (Moon さよならを教えて)”. The circular screen turned into a large moon, and they sang and played as if huddling up together. For a brief moment, it felt as if the air had been cleansed, but Hoshino’s sultry guitar intro once again brought back the dark atmosphere for “Misshitsu (密室)”.

Projected on the screen, Sakurai nailed the expressions of being tormented by a twisted love and right after this, a short break.

“Next, we’ll perform one more new song for the first time on this stage. Everyone, do look around for a few things.”

As if covering this MC, Imai played a tune from the theme song of GeGeGe no Kitaro and from the left, right, and centre of the floor, the violins of the intro of “RONDO” rang out. Just as it did, holograms of the band members appeared. When Sakurai said “do look around for a few things”, it was these holograms that he was referring to. While unintentionally distracted by it, this was also the day of RONDO’s first live performance. The melody and refrain of lyrics which are set to the tango-like rhythm created an illusory world in a rondeau of wandering round and around between dream and reality.

Just as it begins to feel as if we were being invited into dreamland, the tropical melody that Imai plays tosses us into yet another parallel world where the morning sun shines on the seashore. In “THE SEASIDE STORY”, the mermaid princess sings with a threatening tone a song of an unhesitating passionate love despite fate.

After that, the crowd cheered the moment the intro of the future pop track “BRAN-NEW LOVER”, which was being performed for the first time in a long while, began.

As he sang “Someday, we people will meet our farewell”, it felt as if this outlook of life and death was connected to their latest work, No.0.

After this came the last song for this main set. “Thank you very much. You have all been wonderful. Thank you,” said Sakurai, expressing his gratitude to the audience, after which reverberations of timpani led into the ending song, “DIABOLO”.

Imai strutted down the stage extension as he played his guitar solo while Sakurai sang with a top hat atop his head and a stick in his hand. It looked as if they were a circus troupe sallying forth towards the next city, leaving behind pomp and ephemerality and just a touch of melancholy.

The band left the stage, and the calls for an encore was a little more like a rippling. The reason for that was the acoustic set which had been prepared on the centre stage. The audience was beyond excited when the band headed towards that stage and that is because to get there, the members were walking through the audience, touching the hands which stretched out to them from both sides as they moved.

On stage, the band members sat around Sakurai as if surrounding him. This is a sight that has been seen with other bands, but for BUCK-TICK, setting up such an acoustic corner is a first for them. And above all, it’s rather rare that we get to see Yagami’s drumming posture from this position since he is always in his fixed position and never moved from it.


“Today, for a change, we’ll be giving this a shot,” said Sakurai, and following his words, they began their performance of the acoustic arrangement of the rock song, “Suzumebachi (スズメバチ)”.

“Imai-san has arranged a few songs for us. We’re facing our butts to everyone, but I’ll try my best to spin around as much as possible, so,” Sakurai said as he turned around on the small stage.

“BOY septem peccata mortalia”, which had a Spanish-sounding arrangement added to it, was a real thrill. While “Keijijou Ryuusei (形而上 流星)” started out with a beautiful arpeggio intro. The simple sound of its acoustic arrangement elevated the song and made it even more outstanding than before. I believe that this acoustic corner was akin to the band’s attempt at acquiring new weapons which will, in future, aid them in the expansion of the world of BUCK-TICK. When the band members left the centre stage, they walked down the opposite side from where they entered, towards stage right to leave the floor. This little gesture was yet another display of their considerate selves.

When the band returned to the stage once more, Imai wore a unicorn headgear on his head. The audience grew excited at the sight of the item which he previously wore during the 1996 CHAOS tour and 2009 memento mori tour.

The hall went dark and what started was “Ai no Uta (愛ノ歌)”. It has been 16 years since this song was last played in the 2003 album tour for “Mona Lisa OVERDRIVE”. Riding on the heavy, bone-resonating rhythm provided by the rhythm brothers, the figure who sang loudly of love in the deep red illumination was a truly dignified one.

The next song that they played was “Sakura (さくら)”.

It appears that this midtempo number, which was filled with Sakurai’s personal thoughts from back then, has refined over time. At least, that was how I felt as I watched the performance under the sakura confetti which danced and fluttered down from all around.

Following the band members’ introduction, Sakurai spoke of his feelings towards this performance. “After 30 years, we’ve challenged ourselves with a variety of things today. A big thank you to all the staff who worked overnight to put this stage together. And above all, a big thank you to everyone who came all the way down to Makuhari in this heat for us.”

Closing off this special performance was “HEAVEN”. When I saw the two sets of stairs on stage connecting to the stairs leading into the heavens on screen, it felt as if it could be interpreted that the “beasts of Locus Solus” were in fact inhabitants of the skies. That is because, like the line “we scream, we laugh, we love, we fall in love”, this “HEAVEN” resonates with a warmth that loves and cherishes the workings of these beings.

“See you again, our wonderful fans,” he bade as he applauded the audience. And with that, the band members departed from the stage.


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Day 2 – May 26th

Just like the first day, the second day opened with “Kemonotachi no Yoru (Night of the Beasts / 獣たちの夜)” and “GUSTAVE”, pumping up the audience all at once.

Loud cheers filled the hall as the band members strutted down the stage extensions. During “PHANTOM VOLTAIRE”,  Sakurai’s laughter at the end of the song brought tension into the air.

“Welcome, welcome. Come, let’s start the party. Ladies & Gentlemen, Welcome, Welcome, Welcome*”.

From the dramatic greeting began “Lullaby-Ⅲ”. Continuing, this day’s “Shanikusai -Carnival- (謝肉祭−カーニバル−)” saw Sakurai putting the same mask on the mic stand and kissing it, giving the song an ending with a lasting impression. Following a rendition of “Swan Lake” which was played with an organ-like sound from the guitar synthesiser was “Kirameki no Naka de (キラメキの中で…)” and the audience steadily fell deeper and deeper into a deviant world.

In “Aikawarazu no “Are” no Katamari ga Nosabaru Hedo no Soko no Fukidamari (相変わらずの「アレ」のカタマリがのさばる反吐の底の吹き溜まり)”, newly rearranged together with a jungle beat worked in, the contrast between the sight of Sakurai’s phantasmagorical singing on the screen and Imai putting up his middle finger as he sang on stage was amusing.

When Sakurai returned to the stage, they performed iron-plated live song “ICONOCLASM” followed by the noisy digital rock song “Thanatos (タナトス)”. After dominating the floor with the intensity of a masterpiece “BABEL”, Sakurai went to the top of the staircase to the right of the circular screen and Imai sat on the left side staircase before beginning to play “Moon Sayonara wo Oshiete (Moon さよならを教えて)”. This worldview was then handed over to “Tight Rope”. In recent years, they have often chosen to play the rearranged version from 2007, but this time, they decided to play the original 1996 version of the song, a first in many years as Sakurai slowly walked down the stage extension, pantomiming the crossing of a tightrope.

Next, with acoustics coming from both sides and the hologram performance, “RONDO” was enjoyed both aurally and visually in a three-dimensional experience. Just as “THE SEASIDE STORY” and “BRAN-NEW LOVER” ramped up the euphoria, Yagami’s rhythm signalling the finale of the show rang out loudly, welcoming a spectacular end to the revelry of dreams with “DIABOLO”.

The encore was the same as the first day’s where the band members made their way through the audience to get to the acoustic set that was set up on the centre stage. 

“To those in the back, thank you (for coming). This is the furthest we can go,” Sakurai said, showing his consideration towards the audience on this day as well. 

“We felt that (it would be nice) if you could feel yet another different side of BUCK-TICK. So please listen to these few songs that have been transformed by Imai-san’s re-arrangement,” said Sakurai, thus starting the segment and leading into the performance of the acoustic arrangements of the three songs “Suzumebachi (スズメバチ)”, “BOY septem peccata mortalia”, and “Keijijou Ryuusei (形而上 流星)”.

Aside from the freshness that was brought by their first attempt at an acoustic corner, the other noteworthy thing about it was the peculiar arrangements. Till now, BUCK-TICK has always presented an electronica-infused band sound and by giving those songs of theirs a simple acoustic sound made the qualities of their melodies even more distinct.

In addition to that, the sounding of noises in the background of the music that the five of them played was so uniquely BUCK-TICK. The uptempo beats, “Suzumebachi” and “BOY septem peccata mortalia” which livened up previous stages had a secretive, closed-room ambience added to them, making them even sexier, while “Keijijou Ryuusei”, composed of simple sounds, resonated ever clearer in my chest.

The resurrection of songs which have not been performed for over 10 years, like “Aikawarazu no~” and “Carnival”, for the main portion of the show was also deeply memorable. The selection of songs for the first half of these two days’ performances was dark, but it definitely didn’t leave a heavy impression and that may very well be thanks to the three songs that were performed in the second encore; “Ai no Uta (愛ノ歌)”, “Sakura (さくら)”, and “HEAVEN”.

The approach of these three songs are certainly different in their own respective ways, but all of them were love songs. Looking at it all again from this perspective, it can be said that just about all the songs that they performed this time around were songs about the different forms of love. Perhaps this event itself might just be a message from BUCK-TICK telling their fans “We love you”. 

“Everyone, I wish happiness, happiness, and more happiness.” (Sakurai)

While hoping for the happiness of the people, the curtains descended on the two love and euphoria-filled days.

So, what was this “Locus Solus Bestia” that sent the audience into such exhilaration over two days?

Just as how “Locus Solus” is defined as “secluded location”, I believe that this is a place that can only be reached by BUCK-TICK, a band which doesn’t belong in any particular place and has continued to reign the rock scene with an existence unlike any other.

After the final performance, the music of “THEME OF B-T” reverberated through the hall as a film digest of the first day’s performance was projected, followed by the announcement of “THE DAY IN QUESTION 2019”.

It begins on Tuesday, 3 December at the Grand Theatre of Gunma’s Takasaki Arts Theatre and brings a total of 5 performances which ends with a finale on Sunday, 29 December at Gymnasium 1 of Tokyo’s Yoyogi National Gymnasium. Also, during the MC in the encore, Sakurai said, “We’ve welcomed our 30th year and everyone has celebrated with us, then comes our 31st…… Well, it’s a long time, isn’t it? But we’re motivated to create something wonderful again next because everyone (the fans) enjoys it.”

As long as this is how they present the future, I don’t think we’ll be waking up from the dream that is BUCK-TICK any time soon.


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* Italicised for emphasis that English was used.



Translation: Yoshiyuki


Lingua Sounda Special
Kemonotachi no Yoru / RONDO

Lingua Sounda
May 2019

text by Kanemitsu Hirofumi


“When I heard that Imai-san named the live ‘Locus Solus no Kemonotachi (Bestia Locus Solus)’ and considering that our single will be released around the same time, I thought that [it would be fitting] if I were to sing to the fans with the feelings of ‘Thank you for these past 30 years’ and to ourselves with the resolution of ‘We’ll continue going forward’” – Atsushi Sakurai

Just like he said, the double A-side single “Kemonotachi no Yoru/RONDO” which contain these two contrasting songs has turned out to be one of gratitude and resolve, and a work symbolic of the present BUCK-TICK.

First, Kemonotachi no Yoru (Night of the Beasts), per its title, strongly draws attention to the Makuhari Messe live, Locus Solus no Kemonotachi (Bestia Locus Solus), which will be held on 25th and 26th May. One may even say that it’s the theme song.

“‘Locus Solus’ was taken from a book by someone called Raymond Roussel which I bought in the past, but there’s no particular meaning behind that, neither is the book all that interesting anyway. But it gives the feeling that it inspires a lot of imagination*. That’s why I thought that it might be a good idea to use it as the live name, and when I looked it up again, it turns out that it means ‘a secluded place’. It seems like one can draw a nonconformist definition from that too, so I thought it was interesting” – Hisashi Imai

This song truly is the perfect exemplar of the mavericks in Japan’s rock scene. It has an upbeat sound but if you listen closely, the same riff repeats endlessly; a rather demented composition. And with the lyrics “Tonight you stay on that stage till the end”, it’s as if [he’s] strengthening his resolve and spurring [himself] on. This may seem like the materialisation of Atsushi Sakurai’s chagrin at the postponement of 4 live shows last year end when he fell ill during the tour, at the same time, it can also be interpreted as his resolve as the frontman of BUCK-TICK.

“I’m really disappointed with myself for getting sick and messing up the tour. Like, ‘is that all your resolve is worth?’. ‘To collapse on stage, to push to the end is Atsushi Sakurai’. These lyrics are like an admonishment to myself” – Atsushi Sakurai

This is one song that that declares once again that even though it’s been 30 years since the band’s debut, they have strengthened their resolve as a band and as a mode of expression to continue running forward from here on out. Both this song and Bestia Locus Solus do not signify an end, but instead, they tell of new beginnings.

And with RONDO, in the beginning, it was thought that this song was written with the tie-up with the TV anime ‘Gegege no Kitaro’ as it’s ending song in mind, and by capturing the concept of Kitaro being the equivalent of the mildly extraordinary appearing in the ordinary, it has successfully brought these two worldviews together into one.

“In the beginning, because RONDO had a tie-up, we spoke about how this one felt like a title song and how it would work out like that, but Kemonotachi no Yoru felt fast-paced, and it was a BUCK-TICK-like song too, so then the conversation turned into ‘How about making it a double A-side single?’” – Hidehiko Hoshino

A rondo where the melody of the chorus repeats over and over to a tango rhythm. The word “夢 (yume/dream)” is repeated numerous times in a world view where nostalgia comes surging through.

“It overlaps with the world view of Acchan’s lyrics, doesn’t it? [He] possesses a world unique to [him], and I think that it matches with what [he’s] always stuck fast to. The theme appears to [revolve around] life and death; the permeance of humanity, and the love that it also encompasses. Isn’t it something that the anime shows as well?” – Yutaka Higuchi

The violin and accordion by Kokusyoku Sumire further accentuate the evanescence behind the bewitchery, bringing to life a vista akin to a dream that one is unable to wake from. It is the complete opposite of Kemonotachi no Yoru, but this, too, is something that this band has always depicted.

Behind the joy of living exists the fear of death that will eventually come, and to negate that trepidation, we search for light. That is something that has always been present in BUCK-TICK’s songs. Reality dwells in their songs by their singing of these two sides. And this is the same. In the end, this single has turned out to be something that strongly represents these two sides that the band possesses.

“I think that the two contrasting songs in this time’s single are really great. They contrast each other, but both of them are very BUCK-TICK-like, and they’re pop, but if you listen properly, something’s off. And that’s why you won’t tire of them. It’s like, this is how we’ve always been” – Toll Yagami

That was once again asserted, and together, they will walk into the oncoming future together. The single “Kemonotachi no Yoru/RONDO” and the live “Bestia Locus Solus” announce this beginning.

While at the same time, praying that this goes on forever.







All song title and lyric translations come from This is NOT Greatest Site

* Strictly speaking, the phrase used here is イメージが溢れ出してくる感覚, i.e. the sense that [it] is overflowing with images (‘it’ being the words ‘locus solus’). I interpreted this part as the words giving Imai these ‘images’, so in other words, being inspired by the words.



Translation: Yoshiyuki


RONDO by BUCK-TICK will be Gegege no Kitaro’s ending theme song
from Sunday, 7 April’s broadcast!

Toei Animation
9 March 2019


BUCK-TICK, who had their major debut in 1987 and has been active ever since at the forefront of Japan’s rock scene without any change in members, has written a new song, RONDO, to be used as Gegege no Kitaro’s upcoming ending theme song! Huddle up to the world of Kitaro and look forward to the song that opens up a new world of BUCK-TICK’s!

Song info

Lyrics: Sakurai Atsushi / Music: Imai Hisashi
Arrangement: BUCK-TICK
(Victor Entertainment)




――Comments from the members of BUCK-TICK――


Sakurai Atsushi:
When I was young, I grew up watching Kitaro.
Kitaro taught young me about the weakness and the folly of humans,
sadness and pain, and life’s little joys.
I feel very happy to have the chance to sing this time’s ending theme song,
it feels as if I have become a friend of the yōkai.
Thank you, Kitaro.

Imai Hisashi:
Since I was a child, Gegege no Kitaro has always been a manga I know well.
I’m glad that I’ll now be a part of this dark, new world.

Hoshino Hidehiko:
Even now, I can still recall watching Gegege no Kitaro when I was young and feeling of being oddly attracted to it’s eerie atmosphere.
And that theme song that gets stuck in your head with just one listen. I loved it.
I’m very happy that our song has become the ending theme song.

Higuchi Yutaka:
I’m very happy and honoured that our song has been picked to be the ending theme song of Gegege no Kitaro that I used to watch when I was a child.
Thank you for supporting Gegege no Kitaro & BUCK-TICK.

Yagami Toll:
I’ve been watching it ever since it was first broadcast on TV, so I’m very happy that our own song will beused as it’s ending theme song.
It’s a song that has turned out nicely, so please do listen to it.


――Comments about the song from the members of BUCK-TICK――

Sakurai Atsushi: 
Is this a dream?
Where did people come from and where are they headed to?
Is the face under the mask smiling? Or is it crying?
A cute cat will lead you to the world of dreams.
Thanks to my cat daughter*, this has turned into a very romantic song.

Imai Hisashi: 
Let’s sing
Let’s dance
Here we go  The night has just begun

Hoshino Hidehiko: 
With a violin and an accordion added to our usual BUCK-TICK sound, we’ve made an even deeper, more profound song.

Higuchi Yutaka: 
I think it’s a song that delivers yet another new world of BUCK-TICK’s perspective.

Yagami Toll: 
I think we’ve made a song that gives a taste of BUCK-TICK’s gothic world view.






*ねこ娘 (Neko Musume) typically means catgirl or a girl who looks or acts like a cat. But I suppose at this point we can conclude that’s not what he’s talking about 🙂





Translation: Yoshiyuki



The Embodiment of No.0’s Cycle of “Love & Death” on a Simple Stage

BUCK-TICK Tour No.0 -Guernican Moon-
Standing Tour @ Toyosu

Excite News
20 November 2018

photo by Seitaro Tanaka
text by Yuka Okubo


BUCK-TICK’s nationwide tour, TOUR No.0 – Guernican Moon -, which began on October 13, stopped over at Toyosu PIT for their Tokyo show on Saturday, the November 10, the night of the crescent moon.

They will perform at 19 different locations nationwide, with a total of 21 shows for this standing tour, which includes songs from their album, No.0. In their hall tour, BUCK-TICK 2018 TOUR No.0, which ran from March to July earlier this year, the band used an impressive stage set along with videos that brought colours into the songs to draw the audiences’ hearts into the story of No.0. But this time, in this standing tour, although the theme has not changed, a witty set list and spacious staging has turned this into something that allows the audience to experience this world together with the band.


The synchronisation of clapping in “Hikari no Teikoku” and the frenzy of the cat paw dance in “GUSTAVE” were further intensified, for example, and even though I, as a reporter, remain calm, as the audiences’ cheers grow ever louder with each of the band members’ movements, I can’t help but feel thrilled. As the cadent drumming of Yagami Toll (drums), the song-like bass lines by Higuchi Yutaka (bass) that brings such a groove, the edgy guitar riffs from Hoshino Hidehiko (guitar), and the noisy yet emotional guitar sound of Imai Hisashi’s (guitar) meld together, the euphoria in the venue gets raised even higher. The expressiveness of Sakurai Atsushi (vocalist), who sang in the spotlight and performed as if he was a part of the videos in the hall tour, has become even more refined and with just his emotional vocals and more aggressive performance, they have shown us the embodiment of the iconic world of No.0 on this simple stage.

As the tour is still ongoing, details will be withheld, but like the name of this tour, the setlist, which was put together with a focus on No.0’s songs, appears to revolve around the keyword “moon”. As if watching over them, the “moon” was present in both their performance of the cries of a high-minded fool in “BABEL”, and their expression of an ephemeral life that seems as if it was about to disappear before our eyes in “Moon  Sayonara wo Oshiete”. Since ancient times, the waxing and waning of the moon along with life and death have been associated with each other and expressed in a variety of ways. That was exactly how they were linked, beginning with the feeling of life coming into existence to the dynamic sound of “Reishiki Juusan-Gata ‘Ai’ ”, and ending with the calls of love filled with open emotion during a person’s final days in “Tainai Kaiki”. Yet, without leaning towards the serious, it appears that the sublimation of the “joy of life” is the heart of this tour. Although his words may differ, here and there, at different points in time during this tour, Sakurai appears to be implying “I wish everyone happiness”, and those feelings of his are, once again, unforgettable.

This tour will continue on until their performance at Kyoto’s KBS Hall on December 22 (Saturday), followed by their performance under the waning moon on December 29 (Saturday), entitled “TOUR No.0 -FINAL-” at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan. I do hope that we will be able to experience this exceptional, jubilant time together.







Translation: Yoshiyuki


Full details on their new signature models have finally been revealed

GiGS no. 467
May 2018

In Russian


Upon receiving the very first reports in last month’s issue that Imai & Hoshino’s new guitars have finally been completed, we immediately went to visit the two of them.
And what awaited us were the models that blended the paths they have carved out thus far together with their present modes.
This time, we bring you an interview about their newest equipment, along with another interview about their latest work, “No.0”.
So what are the guitar build techniques behind these two, who have spent 30 long years together, for eagerly-awaited new models in this upcoming tour? Let’s unravel them through the words of these two men.



New models loaded with the two men’s current concepts

First, let’s check out every nook and cranny of the new models. Both Imai’s “Maimai”, rigged in a new form, and Hoshino’s model, which possesses the element of surprise, will grab your attention!



A new model that has inherited the Maimai Shape, the most popular Imai model. Maimai is equipped with a passive humbucker, and finished with one side planing off, as if to border the body, and the other side with a fragment. With a body made of a maple top and a mahogany back, one can see that in terms of the specs, it follows much of the DAZZLER that was created in 2011.

Body: Maple Top, Selected Mahogany Back
Neck: Maple
Fingerboard: Ebony
Scale: 628mm [Medium]
Joint: Bolt On
Pickups: VooDoo HB 57’s x 2
Control: 2 Vol, 1 Tone, Mini Toggle Switch

Both the front and back PU are vintage type VooDoo HB 57’s. Creates strong low mid-range sounds and gorgeous harmonics.

The controls, which are also characterised by a drop around the knobs, consist of 2 Vol, 1 Tone, and a Mini Toggle Switch type PU selector.

Body Paint
The leopard print design on the body was handled by Shin, the same airbrush artist who produced the “Coffin Guitar” in the past.

A bolt-on joint with 4 bolts. The joint area was shaved off so as to improve performance in a higher position.

Here, we have a picture from the manufacturing stage before painting was done. It can be seen that Maimai’s iconic cutaway was exquisitely processed.

This is one of the pieces that were in the midst of being painted. The back of completed body is red in colour, however, this rare picture from the manufacturing process shows that the bottom still white at this point in time.



Hoshino, who has amassed a number of original shape models so far, has produced a TL style guitar, the first since his major debut. However, when one pays attention to the details like the PU installed and the extra long neck scale, one can see that instead of a traditional model, it is a guitar that is packed with a variety of ideas. Additionally, there is also a black version of this guitar.

Body: Light Ash
Neck: Maple
Fingerboard: Rosewood
Scale: 666mm [Extra Long]
Joint: Bolt On
Pickups: TV Jones TV Classic CR [front], Lindy Fralin Broadcaster Bridge [rear]
Control: 1 Vol, 1 Tone, CRL 3-way Selector

The PUs are a set of TV Jones, the same as those used in Gretsch guitars, and a vintage type Lindy Fralin.

The controls are made up of simple specifications, with 1 Vol, 1 Tone, and a 3-way PU selector.

With the neck, he sought reverberating bass notes and a good pitch, and uses a 666mm extra-long-scale.

Body Material
This is the body material before painting. After playing and comparing it with Alder wood, he has decided to use light Ash wood.

Incorporating opinions from the staff on guitar tech, he decided to equip medium jumbo type frets.





Imai and Hoshino talk about the concepts that went into their new signature models

From here on, we asked both Imai & Hoshino about their design aims for their new guitars.
Through their words, you’ll be able to feel their intentions, as guitarists who are still exploring evolution even as they celebrate their 30th anniversary since debut.

About Imai’s New Model
Reflecting his own sensibilities with both sound and looks

ーー While this looks like a new Maimai model, when we look at the specs, its a model that’s almost like a Dazzler, isn’t it.

Imai (I): Well that’s because it isn’t a single coil to begin with. Since it’s becoming a type with a spiral shape, I wanted to make it the newest version.

ーー And your pickup is a vintage type?

I: Since Maimai has a single coil, there’s no need to go with that either, and anyway, I wanted a slightly “thicker” sound too.

ーー When making this guitar, what was the one thing that Imai-san placed the most emphasis on?

I: For sure, the looks. If you were to describe all the previous Maimai’s till now as anime versions, you could say that I wanted to make this one the live-action version.

ーー With regards to the Maimai that’s almost a flat top, you’ve added a dip in the controls area and have had the outer periphery of the body shaved off, making it more three-dimensional. So what about the leopard print?

I: Somehow, when I woke up, it suddenly popped into my head that “this might be good”. Initially I was thinking about the stabiliser or something but I kept feeling like I wasn’t sure. In the midst of that, I thought of this, and it all clicked.

ーー What about the words “BRAVO TANGO” on the back of the neck?

I: With the ABCs, they can be specifically referred to in a way where B is “Bravo”, C is “Charlie” and so on. So if we switch B-T with that, it turns out to be “BRAVO TANGO”.

ーー I see. I believe that this guitar will be actively used from this tour onwards but do you have an image of which songs you’ll be using it for?

I: I haven’t decided yet but if we’re talking about songs from “No.0”,  then I suppose “美醜LOVE (Bishuu LOVE)” and “GUSTAVE”.

About Hoshino’s New Model
The best sound quality with close attention paid to the smallest of details

ーー A TL style guitar is one that you used when you debuted, right?

Hoshino (H): Actually, I used a Telecaster quite a lot when it came to recording. Now, I don’t use it as often but there have been so many recent songs that are single-coil types that I’d think that 70 percent use Telecasters. So because of that, since it’s also our 30th anniversary, I thought it would be nice to come full circle and go back to the TL style.

ーー And in it, the first thing that catches your eye was the pickup.

H: I had tech listen in as I try out various ones, and in the end, this is what I went with.

ーーWhat was the direction that were you looking to take the character of your sound in?

H: Aside from the pickup, I also tried playing with a few different body materials to pick out the one that made the nicest sound to me but I did wonder if doing it like this would bring out it’s diversity. The front’s TV Jones creates a sound that’s like something in between a humbucker and a single-coil, while the rear pickup gives a slightly withered feeling. It gives the impression that it has a, perhaps, sharper, or rather a clearer sound, as compared to the SG style from before.

ーー You’ve also given it an extra long neck and bigger frets as part of its features.

H: These were also ideas that came from tech and the builders, but I’m glad that I gave it a go. Simply making the scale a little longer stabilises the pitch and the way the bass notes come out.

ーー The guitar has two colours, white and black, and a prototype of the black one has been used last year’s lives as well but for this tour and in future, what cases will this guitar be used in?

H: I think the white one might become the main guitar though. For the songs… I’ll probably use it  for “薔薇色十字団 -Rosen Kreuzer- (Barairo Juujidan -Rosen Kreuzer-)” and such.





No.0’s guitar sound,
an overlap of both men’s images

Finally, we’ll have Imai and Hoshino talk about their latest work, No.0, from their perspectives as guitarists. Just like we have with their signature models, we will draw closer to the depths of the guitar sound produced by these two, who continue to gaze upon new visions.

「If there is something that hooks into me Anything can develop from it」


ーー In your latest production, when did you start to foresee “the kind of guitar I’ll play”?

H: That happens before making a new song. It’s like this when I make my demos, and it’s also the same when I receive Imai-san’s demos. Because everything that I need to do will be in it.

―― I’m driving into this a lot but, when you’re producing the song, at which point do the guitars come in?

H: The demo is made in the form of drums, bass, synth, then both guitars, but on the other hand, there are are also occasions when we write a song, starting with the guitars. Like, when the intro’s guitars surface first. This time, all 3 of the songs that I wrote had the guitar parts done first at the start.

I: I, too, have quite a number of songs that were written with the guitar parts first. There are times when I develop a song from a chord progression that I like, or from a riff, or from a melody, or from a rhythm.

―― That’s everything (lol).

I: Because if there’s something that hooks into me, anything can develop from it.

―― When you get into the mood of “well then, let’s write a song”, is that how it always goes?

I: The “well then, let’s write a song” thing is an action pattern that I hate though. The best scenario is when “ah, (an idea) sprang up!”. Anyway, it’s troublesome to start from nothing (lol). Well, the more I work on it, it’ll somehow work out. Maybe fiddle with the synth a bit, if I get a feeling or something I’d develop it from there and so on.

ーー Do you have something like a collection of ideas that you keep?

H: If I’m playing my guitar in the studio and something I like comes up, I will definitely record it.

I: In the past, LUNA SEA’s J (B) said to me, “I put recorders in the various rooms of my house and if I think of something I’ll immediately record it. It might’a be good for Imai-san to do that too”. So I bought around 3 recorders and tried doing that, and before you know it, I’m even recording things that makes me wonder “Huh, do I really need to record this?”.

ーー Because you can record everything at anytime.

I: I even recorded things that would normally feel embarrassed about (lol).

ーー At which stage do you decide on which equipment to use?

I: That depends. There are times when I’ve decided during the songwriting stage that “I’ll use this guitar for that”, yet there are also times when I haven’t made a decision even right before we start recording.

ーー If it comes to you right at the start, is it often a individualistic guitar that is chosen?

I: If I want the sound of a guitar that has a modulator built in it (POT), then that’s the only choice that I have, or if I’m looking for a soft and distorted sound then it’ll be the ES-335, and so on.

ーー Looking at the list of equipment that you’re using for your new work, unexpectedly, there’s quite a lot of orthodox equipment, isn’t there.

H: That’s right. From that we’d choose, like “if I want a single coil…” or “if I want a humbucker…” and such. I’d refer to the sound of my part in the demos that Imai-san made. And after that, I’d go to the recording studio and try playing a few. For example, even if it’s a single coil sound, I’ll have to work out which nuances I want to bring out.

ーー If it’s your own song, will Imai-kun come along as well?

I: Yes. If it’s a demo I made at home, I can’t really express things like whether it’s a single coil or a humbucker, or if it’s clean or distorted.

ーー The song “Barairo Juujidan -Rosen Kreuzer-”, that was written by Hide-kun (Hoshino) is a good number that shows the contrast between both of your guitars, isn’t it. It creates a situation where you can hear Hide-kun’s exemplar, clean sound on the right side, while on the left side, Imai-kun’s almost extremely noisy sound.

H: That song was made from having a Telecaster cutting and melding together with a distorted bass. In addition to that, I thought of having Imai-san playing freely, so I used arming and delays in the demo, then put in a guide of Imai-san’s part. But it’s just that I played it so fittingly that it’s impossible to copy, so in the end, I could only add in a guide that says “something like this” (lol).

I: The bridge* and the chorus are the parts that I have to play and it was put into the demo properly but the verse* was absolute bullshit so I did it that way as well (lol).

ーー Though I believe that there are times when you’ll have to pull though your own songs all on your own.

H: When Imai-san shuts himself up at home and can’t come out, then I’ll be like “All right then, I’ll play all of it” (lol). But recently we’ve been doing it through exchanges with each other.

ーー Through email?

I: No, I’d receive CDs. With those I’d attach handwritten tablatures.

ーー Whaaat, to that extent!

I: Looking at that, I can check and confirm, like “Ah, so in this part I’ll have to press like that”.

H: Though he’d add one more line to the staff notation, then draw the shapes of the fingers on it (lol). There are quite a lot of open chords so I figured those had to be conveyed properly.

ーー And for Hide-kun’s songs, it also appears that there are many that become difficult with chord name notation.

H: That’s right. Even I, myself, don’t know the chord names (lol).

ーー What about when it comes to the chords in Imai-kun’s songs?

I: I’ll play in front of him and show him.

H: That’ll be my musical score.

I: He’s a special guy.

H: With notations that only I can understand (lol).

ーー I would like to hear about you actual sound production too. For example, what is the mechanical sound right at the start of the album?

I: I think we processed the sound from the BOSS’ SY-300 (guitar synthesizer)?

ーー The SY-300 was also used in other songs, right.

I: That, unlike other guitar synths that require dedicated pickups, you can use it as if it was an effector. You can just press the shield, play the amp, and the sound of the synthesizer will be made. I thought that this sensation is interesting, so I used it in the end.

ーー The normal synths are also often used but what segregates it from the guitar sound?

H: The order has the synth coming in after the guitars, so it’s done in a way that makes sure that it doesn’t clash with the sound.

I: Though in “光の帝国 (Hikari no Teikoku)” and some others, we mixed and re-mixed them over and over to get that balance between the guitars and the synth, didn’t we.

ーー As usual, the beauty of the reverb from Hide-kun’s guitar stood out.

H: Though, that might also be affected by the blending of the reverb from the effector and the ringing in the room?

ーー During the interview from last month’s issue, Imai-kun touched on a characteristic of the new work that you referred to as “a sound that protrudes”.

I: I’m constantly conscious of a protruding sound, a foreign body sensation. This time, that naturally came out when writing the songs. Things that made me think, “huh, why did I play something like that?”. That was a strange feeling.

ーー So, going forward, you’ll be playing this sound live then.

H: For me, I suppose so, to some extent. As long as the atmosphere of the song is maintained, I think we’d have no problems at all with the live versions.

I: Like having the sound source play from the computer, then playing the sound anew live, right. Also, I think the guitar phrases for “Barairo Juujidan -Rosen Kreuzer-” changes everytime. Like today, I’ll play this part, or something (lol).







Translation: Yoshiyuki
Scans Bad pics: Yoshiyuki



BUCK-TICK Announces A One-Night-Only Live Stream

30 May 2021



BUCK-TICK has announced a special live session entitled Misemono-goya ga Kurete Kara 〜SHOW AFTER DARK〜 which will be streamed in July. This is the second time that they will be holding a while new live show for streaming. The first, ABRACADABRA LIVE ON THE NET was held on 21 September last year to commemorate the release day of their album ABRACADABRA and featured the songs on that album played in accordance with the work’s tracklist. However, this time, it is a special one-night-only show with no accompanying release. Furthermore, this will also be BUCK-TICK’s first show in 2021.

The show will consist of two parts made up of a special setlist selected for this occasion from the many songs they have released over their 36-year career. Some of the numbers have been boldly rearranged to leave a completely different impression from their original versions.

Peeking into the tent of curiosities as the night deepens, you’ll find an unfamiliar visage on the BUCK-TICK you thought you knew well. Is it dream or reality, or perhaps, are they real or fake──. This will probably turn out to be a curious experience that blurs the lines between dreams and reality on this one summer night.

A new artist photo has been released along with the live announcement. Looking at the picture, we can expect a conceptual show to unfold.

More details, including the date, will be announced later.


■『Misemono-goya ga Kurete Kara 〜SHOW AFTER DARK〜』






Translation: Yoshiyuki

BUCK-TICK comments for Crystal of Re:union collaboration

12 April 2018


In Russian


Crystal of Re:union will be celebrating their 2nd anniversary with a new, second chapter with BUCK-TICK providing the theme song for it. Here are the comments from the members of BUCK-TICK regarding this collaboration.


――Comments from the members of BUCK-TICK――

(1) Having seen the PV where the song was used, how did you find it?

Sakurai Atsushi (S): I felt very honoured.
Imai Hisashi (I): I think it fits the song.
Hoshino Hidehiko (H): It was just like a PV, cool!
Higuchi Yutaka (U): We don’t really have animated PVs, so I thought that it was interesting.
Yagami Toll (T): It was wonderful.

(2) Do you normally play games?

S: Not really, but please do play Crystal of Re:union
I: I want to but…  a whole lot and throughout the day
H: Right now, I don’t have the time to relax and enjoy games.
U: Not recently.
T: I like “Ryu ga Gotoku” (the Yakuza series).

(3) I am curious about whether the dark perspective that one feels from BUCK-TICK’s music is something that is intentionally made or something that is naturally produced as it is. Please do tell us about it if you’d like to.

S: For me, Sakurai’s private world is the world that is most calming.
I: Both.
H: It’s something we have.
U: Based on the flow of the songs that we’ve written so far, I think it’s natural.
T: I think it’s both.

(4) The fact that the producer of Crystal of Re:union is a huge fan of BUCK-TICK has been revealed. What do you think of the profile icons that were made?

S: Thank you for depicting it so beautifully (youthfully). It’s wonderful.
I: Nice!
H: Thank you for drawing it handsomely,
U: Thank you for making it look cool.
T: It’s wonderful.

(5) What are your thoughts on the equipment items “Blood-soaked Guitar (weapon)” and “Heaven-Piercing Rage (headpiece)”?

S: I’m envious…
I: Interesting
H: Rage* (lol) That’s amazing!
U: I want an equipment item too.
T: It’s cool.

*Rage is written as “怒髪”. In its individual Kanji, 怒 means  “anger”, while 髪 means “hair”. In a literal sense, the equipment can also be called “Heaven-Piercing Angry Hair”, which is probably what made Hide ‘lol’.

(6) I especially respect the fact that you have continued working together for more than 30 years with the same members! Is there a secret to how you keep at it?

S: There’s no secret. But everyone loves music and we enjoy it.
I: I don’t think there is one
H: Not in particular…
U: Respect
T: There’s no secret. It is destiny.

(7) Please tell me about the highlights of the album, “No.0”, that the tie-up song is recorded in, and of the tour of the same name!

S: Intensions and extensions, also birth, and death, enjoy your story as you feel it.
I: I think that this is a cinematic and iconic album, so if you experience both the tour and the lives as well, it’ll be interesting.
H: The highlight is, from the opening to the ending  all of it.
U: It’s a wonderful album has been completed, it’s a tour where you’ll be able to see a variety of perspectives.
T: Also, the new music and visual are highlights.

(8) Please say something to the users of “Crystal of Re:union”!

S: Look out for me. Thank you, and do have fun.
I: Nice to meet you. Do come and have fun at our lives too.
H: Do have fun playing the game!
We’re in the midst of a nationwide tour. If we happen to visit somewhere near you, please do come and watch our Live too!
U: Both Crystal of Re:union and BUCK-TICK thank you for your support.
T: Do play it, and enjoy yourself.



Promotional Video








Translation: Yoshiyuki
Content source:
Image source:



Tour “No.0”, the culmination of BUCK-TICK 30th Anniversary Project, begins

Excite News
2 April 2018

photo by Seitaro Tanaka
text by Yuka Okubo



Pushing forth through the 30th anniversary of their major debut with their 21st new album release “No.0”, BUCK-TICK have started their nationwide tour “BUCK-TICK 2018 TOUR No.0” on March 31 (Friday) at Yokosuka Arts Theatre.

The world of “No.0” was densely represented in what was shown on the first day of the tour; births and ends; creation and destruction; love and death. Using stage sets and videos that visually expanded the world of their music, along with lighting that plays with darkness and light, and BUCK-TICK’s current sound, they brought this profound and universal theme to life.

In the scene of the members’ entrance, which made effective use of video and the stage set, a wave of loud cheers and applause erupted from the audience who were bursting with anticipation. For those who will be enjoying the tour at a later date, details will be withheld, but the setlist centres around the songs from “No.0” also has selected past songs added into it that connect deeply with the world of No.0.

As if in concert with our heartbeats, Yagami Toll’s reverberating rhythm pushes open their world with “Zero-Type Model 13 [Love] (Reishiki Juusan-Gata [Ai])”. In “Ophelia”, Hoshino Hidehiko’s guitar sings wistfully together with the song, while in “BABEL”, the presence of Higuchi Yutaka’s solid bass phrases was strongly felt. In the industrial number, “Nostalgia – Vita Mechanicalis -”, which was led in by the noisy guitar sounds played by Imai Hisashi, captivated the audience with a theatrical stage performance, and in “Moon  Tell Me Goodbye (Moon  Sayonara wo Oshiete)”, we were intoxicated by the beautiful band ensemble and Sakurai Atsushi’s emotional vocals.

Next, the story of “Night of Guernica (Guernica no Yoru)” that was spun with a video makes one forget to blink. Sakurai, who usually sings in a vocal style where he plays the part of the main character in a song, made “Return to the Womb (Tainai Kaiki)” a highlight, expelling a voice filled with naked emotion. The compulsion and tremendous energy conveyed from the stage overwhelmed the audience who were left absolutely still.


The main part of the show, which was put together without any MC, was serious and left a deep impression in everyone’s hearts, but when it came to “GUSTAVE”, dancing wildly in cat poses with Sakurai in the hall became another one of the tour’s highlights. It looked like the band members were also enjoying the world of No.0 that they have built together with the fans.

Looking around in the hall, men and women of all ages can be seen in the audience, and this “No.0”, which ranked number 2 in the weekly charts, can be said to be a work that once again vouches for the originality of the band who continues to refresh their masterpieces even as they celebrate their 30 years in their careers. As they continue the cycle of creation and destruction, BUCK-TICK will play a total of 29 shows, including one more show added for July 26 (Thu), at Tokyo International Forum Hall A.





Translation: Yoshiyuki


BUCK-TICK Interview
Closing in on the state of “oblivion” with an overwhelming persuasiveness

02 February 2018

Interview text by Kyosuke Tsuchiya



I personally felt that they were iconic songs

Following the conclusion of a series of performances celebrating their 30th debut anniversary, they announced the release of their new album『No.0』. While the simple title was surprising, it represented BUCK-TICK’s widely varied musicality, and in the content itself, their unwavering assertiveness.



──Preparations for this time’s『No.0』was ongoing in the midst of the 30th-anniversary activities, so it seemed to me that this wasn’t something that was produced based on a specific concept…

Imai (I): Yes. Like, we decided to create something great from what we’ve already made. However, looking at them after they were finished, I personally felt that they were iconic songs. I guess that’s kind of interesting. Also, I think we have become more capable of successfully incorporating things like discordant sounds and protruding sounds.

──Aren’t those things that have always been present in past works as well?

I: But personally, I felt that it was in this album that we were truly and comfortably able to work those in well. It’s not like there was a particular theme or anything like that though.

──What kind of approach did Sakurai-san take towards this?

Sakurai (S): One that’s sharper than usual, with the performance, carefully, even stronger, more beautifully… I seek stronger, more beautiful words, to bring things closer to the perfection that I can create within myself now. That’s why, for the lyrics and the singing… I normally do concentrate on them but this time, I was extremely focused on it, so that was quite tiring. Words that fit together more beautifully, words that are right on the verge of piercing into people’s hearts more deeply… Just so that it doesn’t cause hurt. I kept thinking and thinking about all those things in this manner. Even with the song itself I’m careful with the vibrato down to the last note, careful with the pronunciation too, and such. If I can do it to the point where I don’t feel regret when listening to it again at a later point in time, I think that the people who listen to it will be able to get the feeling of “ah, this is nice” from it. It’s okay if they don’t get the feeling that “this is amazingly good”. Just “ah, this is nice”.

──From Sakurai-san’s perspective, how do you view Imai-san’s recording scenes?

S: As expected, he’s been highly particular towards the sound with these few [songs], and he’s become rather strict with his orders and requests towards the sound manipulator Yokoyama Kazutoshi (lol). He’s both an artisan and an artist, and as each of the sounds get stacked up on each other, he doesn’t compromise. Poor Yoko-chan (lol).

I: Hahaha. I won’t give an ‘OK’ until the end (lol). That said, I don’t think that we’re doing anything difficult since I’m really just going along freely, as I please.

──After the『BUCK-TICK 2017 “THE PARADE” ~30th anniversary~』at Odaiba concluded, didn’t Sakurai-san say “I think that its an album where you’d feel like you like (the author)”? I seemed to me that there was a point made by Sakurai-san about the album in the root of that remark.

S: Was it not to your liking? (lol) If I have to say, I think that you’d like it if it’s as if the character is shrouded in smoke, flitting around here and there, making you wonder which is the real Sakurai-san (lol), I believe that’s why I said that.

──I see. Was there a song that became the key to this time’s production?

I: I don’t think there was anything in particular that was like that. But with “Guernica no Yoru (The Night of Guernica)” and “Reishiki 13-Gata ‘Ai’ (Type-Zero Model 13 ‘Love’)”, things like 6/8 and 3/8 time signatures naturally came out, and even I, myself, thought that that was interesting. Because that was a sensation that never came up before. I didn’t even think that much about the melody, and it just immediately came out smoothly. The songs that were written in the earlier stages were “Moon  Sayonara wo Oshiete (Moon  Tell Me Goodbye)”, “BABEL”, “Bishuu LOVE (Love the Beautiful and the Ugly)”, and the sort.

──Why was “BABEL” chosen as the very first single to be released?

I: During the point in time when the demos were made, I already had the single candidates in my mind but after we entered the studio and worked the sound in, I thought that this type of songs probably aren’t suitable to be used as singles, and while I was thinking about that… “Moon  Sayonara wo Oshiete” was also one of the single candidates but considering that this single would be the first one for our 30th anniversary, I also had the thought that a powerful song might be better after all. Following that, it wasn’t a challenge, but having a song like “BABEL” as a single is quite like us too.

──It sure is a song that can only be BUCK-TICK’s. Also, the theme of “BABEL” is one with profound meaning too.

S: “BABEL” became the working title of the demo, didn’t it. I felt the impact of it there, and it just so happened that there was Bruegel’s『The Tower of Babel』exhibition going on at the same time. It seems like it has been held overseas as well, but lots of fans said things like “Did you go for (the) Babel (exhibition)?” to us, and they even sent lots of gifts over. In such a situation, I got brainwashed (lol), and wrote my own interpretation of what “BABEL” is.

I: We’re worried whenever we set a working title. Because Sakurai-san can get influenced by it too (lol). However, in this case, the idea that the image of this song was “BABEL” just popped up and floated there. Then as when we were looking up what the general idea of “BABEL” is, it happens that『The Tower of Babel』exhibition was being held, I wondered if somehow it called out to us.

──So it overlapped with such coincidence. The verse《Call me Babel (Ware wa BABEL)》is quite powerful too, isn’t it.

S: Well, this is in the Tower of Babel story but in it exists the theory that aiming for the sky in an attempt to draw closer to God is a foolish endeavour. That’s to say that the symbol of that foolishness is me, its human.

──The words《I embody oblivion (Watashi wa nu de aru)》in the beginning leave quite an impression but the “oblivion (無*)” exemplifies Sakurai-san in recent years, doesn’t it.

S: Interesting isn’t it. It is as imagined. Because, instead of me explaining it, I want it to be something that belongs to those who have listened to it.

I want to say “anti-war” like it’s only natural to


── Once again, you’re shrouded in smoke… Was the decision to put “Reishiki 13-Gata ‘Ai’” as the opening song made early on?

S: That’s right. When the song came up, there was a conversation about how it would be nice if this was the first song, so I said: “Alright, I’ll write the song lyrics for that purpose”. This is a little off-topic but I thought that it would be good for “Tainai Kaiki (Return to the Womb)” to be the last song. Because of that, I don’t think that it’s far-fetched but if it is, then let’s make it the first song in the womb. Of coming into existence. I did wonder whether it’s also an intro with that kind of a beginning. I wanted the title to create a feeling that is similar to a take-off, that the first code from the uterus really came with the nuance of “It’s a new model!”.

──Much like how “BABEL” is about how foolish humans are, “Bishuu LOVE”, which comes after “Reishiki 13-Gata ‘Ai’”, questions just what love is, and I wonder if it could be preaching as well.

S: No no, that’s just presumptuous (lol). I suppose when you think about what makes love stand out… In the past, you’d talk about darkness and light and so forth, but don’t you think that love resonates more beautifully when there’s a great deal of darkness or the ugly. It creates an unpleasant feeling when something like that gets emphasised and love buoys up, making the basis of it difficult to see, doesn’t it.

──The beginning starts with sound effects that sound like you’re communicating with the universe, it gives a decadent spread of industrial flavours, doesn’t it?

I: Yeah. It gives a rather creepy feeling, I like it quite a lot. It’s not a discordant sound, but I wondered if I could construct something like a cluster of noises, like a bass riff clashing against a guitar.

──In the 3rd song, “GUSTAVE”, as well, you’ve woven together yet another different form of love. Furthermore, you even draw our eyes to true meaning hidden behind the pop style of the song. It’s the same in “Barairo Juujidan -Rosen kreuzer-” as well though.

I: With Hide (nickname for Hoshino Hidehiko), when it comes to his songs, I would receive things like the chord chard or the tablature from, then I’d make a copy of it and go into the studio but this time, he wrote “up to you” on areas like the intro and the verse (lol). Even though he says “up to you”, he’s already done everything up in a mess (lol).

S: For some reason, recently, we’ve put in one song that isn’t completely agreeable, and probably, I thought that I should mess up with the same feeling (lol). Like I even wanted to write the kind of the lyrics that would make you go “What the hell is this!?”.

──However, I think that “Bara (Rose/薔薇)” is a keyword that holds meaning, since it also appeared in the next song, “Salome -femme fatale-”.

S: Although the characters in the song itself are subtly different, there is love symbolised in the typical way, and in the case of “Salome”, it is a dangerous thing, or a dangerous person slipping into your chest and the like… Even in “Barairo Juujidan -Rosen kreuzer-”, there was the intention of wanting to create an atmosphere that exudes danger, that it really was an unrighteous, evil organisation.

──The existence of that Rosenkreuzer came from Germany, and through that, I can see that it is linked to “Guernica no Yoru”, which is reminiscent of Picasso’s masterpiece. The meaning behind that is not hedonistic either, is it?

S: Instead of having me explain it, I would definitely prefer it if you would feel it for yourself after all, but it’s not for sure that Rosenkreuzer actually existed. It was something that was going to help in a variety of areas, and I’ll be happy if you could imagine such a link while enjoying it.

──“Guernica no Yoru” is a song that you can’t listen to without tears, isn’t it?

I: As I passed it to him, I thought and hoped that he would do this song with the title “Guernica”… but I didn’t say anything about that. Personally, it was comparatively, I suppose, a masterpiece to me, and since it’s a song, I wondered what kind of lyrics he would deliver… and it was as expected of him (lol).

S: Thank you (lol).

I: It really felt like it was a dream or something, in our common ground it was like “ah, I see”. I think it turned out to be a good song.

──I’m surprised by Imai-san’s sense that he already wanted to give the song the title “Guernica” when he was writing the song, but with regards to the actual lyrics, we’ve clearly seen parent-child relationships, especially in the last few works, and it has once again become a major theme.

S: From the title, no matter how you try, Picasso’s『Guernica』will come to mind. As to why Picasso painted『Guernica』, I had a vague idea of what he thought, but as I went along digging deeper… Recently, this is indirect but, I want to say that I am against war, like it’s only natural to. I wondered how I should turn that into music, a song, as an opus. But you’d loathe something that’s too far removed from yourself, wouldn’t you? At that point, what I suddenly remembered was watching the very first movie that I ever saw in the theatre “Benji,” which is a film about a dog, in the one and only theatre in my hometown, Fujioka in Gunma Prefecture. It was the 3 of us, parent and children. But it played double features, and the other movie was『The Clocks Were Alive』, which about the bombing of Maebashi, and the impact was so great that it blew『Benji』far away to some other place, you could say I was almost frozen in place. It was as if I was experiencing sleep paralysis. In the past, we put provisional lyrics in our song “Kirameki no Naka de… (Into the glittering…)”(song from the album『darker than darkness -style 93-』, released in June, 1996)before, back then, I spoke of having watched a sad movie with my older brother. From those experiences, air raids, Guernica, my older brother, and the theatre got tied together and turned into this.

──So this song’s persuasive power stems from actual, personal experiences.

S: Yes. And that’s why, I, myself, am not making it in such a way that’s completely pleasing to the sense, you could say that I’m poking at the core of it. However, I put a lot of thought into the words as I chose them. To avoid creating unease, or to prevent misconceptions.

──This topic seems to be related to “Tainai Kaiki” as well…

S: No, I don’t have such an intention but we did also talk about how it might be nice to have “Guernica no Yoru” as the last song. But, no, since we wanted to end with “Tainai Kaiki”, “Guernica no Yoru” naturally became the second last song. That also happened naturally, didn’t it? It was as if it was meant to sit in that position.

I: When we were deciding between song during mastering, we also decided on the length of time that it would take the get back to the first song from “Tainai Kaiki” to make it feel like you can listen to it on repeat. I think that this turned out to be one interesting album.





Credits to This is NOT Greatest Site for the English versions of song titles and lyrics featured in this article.



* 無 can also be interpreted as “nothing/null/zero”


Translation: Yoshiyuki