1991.10.21 | COLUMBIA TRIAD
思春期 ⅠⅠ – Downer Side –

Words by ISSAY

Music By Hikaru

Japanese

 

水の濁った街で
アレルギーの子供達
胸の中でつぶやいてる
「夢をわけてくれないか?」

赤い地下鉄の中で
溺れかけた酔っぱらい
真黒な窓に声かける
「時間を止めてくれないか?」

Good Night for Bad Day
そのままおやすみ
Good Night for Bad Day
産まれてきた水の中で

壊すには年とりすぎ
あきらめるには若すぎて
疲れはてた兵士が祈る
「もう一度ママに会いたい」

孤独に負けそうな目には
醜いものばかりが見える
すれ違う影がゆれている
「夢をわけてくれないか?」

Good Night for Bad Day
そのままおやすみ
Good Night for Bad Day
産まれてきた水の中で

Good Night for Bad Day
そのままおやすみ
Good Night for Bad Day
ひとみをとじて
Good Night for Bad Day
産まれてきた水の中で

 

Romaji

By: Andy

Mizu no nigotta machi de
Arerugii no kodomo tachi
Mune no naka de tsubuyaiteru
Yume wo wakete kurenai ka?

Akai chikatetsu no naka de
Obore kaketa yopparai
Makkuro na mado ni koe kakeru
Jikan wo tomete kurenai ka?

Good Night for Bad Day
Sono mama oyasumi
Good Night for Bad Day
Umarete kita mizu no naka de

Kowasu ni wa toshi tori sugi
Akirameru ni wa waka sugite
Tsukare hateta heishi ga inoru
Mou ichido mama ni aitai

Kodoku ni make sou na me ni wa
Minikui mono bakari ga mieru
Surechigau kage ga yurete iru
Yume wo wakete kurenai ka?

Good Night for Bad Day
Sono mama oyasumi
Good Night for Bad Day
Umarete kita mizu no naka de

Good Night for Bad Day
Sono mama oyasumi
Good Night for Bad Day
Hitomi wo tojite
Good Night for Bad Day
Umarete kita mizu no naka de

 

English

 

 

 

1991.10.21 | COLUMBIA TRIAD
思春期 ⅠⅠ – Downer Side –

1992.05.01 | COLUMBIA TRIAD
Selected ’90-’91 BEST

Words by ISSAY

Music By Hikaru

Japanese

 

Good-bye Friend 時を見つめて
Good-bye Friend 夢を感じて

忘れたりしないさ壊れていきそうだった自分を
ノートからこぼれたコトバはため息をついてた
ママとパパはいつもケンカしていた
部屋の中で夢ばかり見ている僕の事を

Good-bye Friend 時を見つめて
Good-bye Friend 夢に抱かれて

忘れたりしないさ不良にすらなれなかった自分を
あてのない夜道をふらふらしていたあの頃を
何をすればいいのか分らなくて
いつだって未来は手垢にまみれて僕はとり残されてた

Good-bye Friend 時を見つめて
Good-bye Friend 夢を感じて

  新しい風が吹いてきたから
果てしない道を歩きはじめる
きのうより少し大きくなった体で
まっすぐ ゆっくり 振りむかずに

Good-bye Friend 時を見つめて
Good-bye Friend 夢に抱かれて

  Good-bye Friend

Romaji

By: Andy

Good-bye Friend Toki wo mitsumete
Good-bye Friend Yume wo kanjite

Wasuretari shinai sa kowarete ikisou datta jibun wo
Nooto kara koboreta kotoba wa tameiki wo tsuiteta
Mama to papa wa itsumo kenka shite ita
Heya no naka de yume bakari mite iru boku no koto wo

Good-bye Friend Toki wo mitsumete
Good-bye Friend Yume ni dakarete

Wasuretari shinai sa furyou ni sura nare na katta jibun wo
Ate no nai yomichi wo furafura shite ita ano koro wo
Nani wo sureba ii no ka wakaranakute
Itsu datte mirai wa te aka ni mamirete boku wa torinokosareteta

Good-bye Friend Toki wo mitsumete
Good-bye Friend Yume wo kanjite

  Atarashii kaze ga fuite kita kara
Hateshinai michi wo aruki hajimeru
Kinou yori sukoshi ookiku natta karada de
Massugu Yukkuri Furi mukazu ni

Good-bye Friend Toki wo mitsumete
Good-bye Friend Yume ni dakarete

  Good-bye Friend

English

 

 

 

The Poem of June ──
Interview with Hoshino Hidehiko

Ongaku to Hito
July 2020

text by Kanemitsu Hirofumi
photographs by Sasahara Kiyoaki_L MANAGEMENT

 

20 Years of Poems¹

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

―― Hahahahahaha.

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

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

H: There you go again (lol).

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

H: If only things would settle down, right?

―― Of course.

H: How’s Ongaku to Hito coping?

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

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

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

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

―― What do you do at home?

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

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

H: Likewise (lol).

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

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

―― What did you do?

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

―― A hammock for the veranda!

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

―― It’s the same in my house (lol).

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

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

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

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

H: I heard he is.

―― Do you check his Instagram account?

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

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

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

―― An invitation from Hoshino-san?

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

―― Hahahahahaha.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

―― What about Hoshino-san’s songs?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

H: What are they referring to?

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

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

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

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

―― What a family man³!

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

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

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

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

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

―― A battle against yourself!

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

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

H: Shonan⁴ is good enough (lol).

―― What.

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

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

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

―― Yes.

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

―― Ah! Now I remember (lol).

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

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

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

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

H: I suppose that’s true.

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

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

 

 

 

 

Notes:

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Scans: Patowinds on Tumblr

The Poem of June ──
Interview with Hoshino Hidehiko

Ongaku to Hito
July 2001

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

—— Fuhaha, daytime dramas.

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

—— On Hoshino-san’s song?

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

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

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

—— So about SCHWEIN, what do you think?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—— The conventions within the band itself?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—— So you’re just acting (lol).

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

—— Wahahahahahaha!

H: I care on the inside (lol).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—— From 15 years ago? (Lol)

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

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

H: The Galápagos Islands (lol).

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

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

—— Right?

H: It’s so weird~.

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

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

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

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

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

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

—— Fuhahahahaha.

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

—— Is it the vibe? (Lol)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—— Deliberately?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—— Right.

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

 

 

 

 

Notes:

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

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

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

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

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Source: Ongaku to Hito

DER ZIBET

Pati-Pati Rock ‘n’ Roll
October 1987

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

Hikaru and Issei are a bit irritated.

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

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

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

That being said.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

―― Why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

Notes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Scans: morgianasama on LJ

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

GQ JAPAN
September 2021

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

Music rejuvenates me

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

PROFILE
Sakurai Atsushi

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

 

 

 

Notes:

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

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Source: GQ JAPAN

BUCK-TICK — Uta/Kimi e Review

Pati-Pati Rock ‘n’ Roll
April 1995

Text by Onojima Dai

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

But, a problem lies in the sound balance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RR97 Coverage Report:
Sakurai Atsushi/BUCK-TICK

ROCK AND READ Blog
07 September 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Translation: Yoshiyuki
Scans: ROCK AND READ BLOG

 

 

Somewhere Nowhere 1995 Live Report

Pati-Pati Rock ‘n’ Roll
July 1995

Photography by Inoue Seiichi
Text by Oshibe Keiko

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Notes:

¹ Now known as Orix Theater.

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

 

 

 

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

 

Related articles:

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

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

 

Outpouring from the heart

Pati-Pati Rock ‘n’ Roll
July 1995

photography Hitoshi Iwakiri (岩切等)
hair & makeup Takayuki Tanizaki (谷崎隆幸)
styling Tomoharu Yagi (八木智晴)

 

The last issue featured a special segment for BUCK-TICK’s latest album Six/Niɴe, but due to space constraints, we could only publish half of the interview with Atsushi Sakurai, even though he made the effort to share his true feelings with us. And so, this time around, it’s the continuation. Through this interview, I hope you’d uncover the key to the change they displayed in the contentious Six/Niɴe.

 

Read part 1 here

 

 

And so, here is the second half of Atsushi Sakurai’s interview. It’s a continuation from last month’s issue, so please give that a read too.

 

In the end, (music) is just entertainment, isn’t it?
I’m just very happy that I can simply entertain.

 

S (Sakurai): It’s all sorts of things. Like…… Hmm…… Someone who says they like me? For example…… It’s like…… In the end, it’s entertainment, isn’t it? Like, I’m just very happy that I can simply entertain, and things like that.

―― So, even if you’re not doing anything that doesn’t satisfy the world, you’d be happy as long as you can feed yourself.

S: Yes.

―― I suppose that’s for sure. I guess you could also say that it doesn’t matter at all whether everyone here (the artists, the manager, the journalist, the writers, etc.) are here or not.……

S: I wouldn’t go as far as to say that, though (lol). Well, I guess you could say that it’s the first time I felt like this.

―― Feeling grateful for that kind of happiness?

S: That…… what do you call it? You know how people often say, “First of all, I want to thank God,” or something like that when they receive some sort of an award? That sounds textbook, but there are times when you feel like that’s all just a lie. Somehow, the more someone says it, the more fake it sounds.

―― You mentioned someone who said they like you. Do you mean like a girlfriend or something?

S: Could be a girlfriend, or, well, fans or siblings, yeah. Someone important. Well, it could be people you work with, or you date. It’s just the people you’re together with, like, close friends and the like.

―― Hm. But that’s a very big change of heart, isn’t it?

S: That’s true.

―― In the past, you definitely gave off a stronger sense of “I’m alone”, right?

S: Well, that I’m alone, I think that was how I presented myself.

―― How you presented yourself.

S: Like, drawing sympathy [to myself], like begging for it.

―― So, that’s what you called theatrics earlier on, like a false pretense.

S: And all that other…… My apologies to others who are doing similar things, please don’t misunderstand, but if I was begging [for it], then I must be thankful, or rather, I want to be grateful [for what I received]. Or something like that.

―― And that state of mind has influenced your lyrics?

S: I suppose that’s where it seems to have started for me, personally.

―― But considering all those feelings, that actually makes it feel heavy on the whole, doesn’t it?

S: The sound?

―― Sound, lyrics. They certainly don’t have that bright, letting-go feeling.

S: I guess, isn’t that some sort of simplicity? Living and dying, likes and hates.

―― What artists have you been listening to lately?

S: All kinds of things inspire me. Records do, and movies, and manga, and so on. In this album, ISSAY-san (DER ZIBET) participated as a guest vocalist and I got to have a nice chat with him about his approach, the way he works and all that. So, you could say that I was influenced in that manner too. Having read the books and manga that were recommended to me, those he said he liked quite a lot, that also really influenced me significantly. It’s like that with movies too. Just, anything. Like a snatch thief, because I’m hungry [for more]. Even people watching in a place like this (the pub where this interview is being held) can inspire me.

―― And doing this makes you come out of your shell more and more until those false pretenses fade away along with the negative parts of you. So, do you get the desire to try and create something where you’re in complete control of everything just so that you can show 100% of who you are as you gradually revert to being your natural self?

S: That’s plain troublesome.

―― (Lol) That’s the only thing that doesn’t change, is it? For you. Since the beginning.

S: That sort of thing, working the musical instruments, it’s such a pain that I just can’t.

―― But you don’t have to play the instruments. You can just give instructions, right?

S: Mmm…… But I don’t think I can convey [my ideas]. Because I don’t know them. The technical terms. Not one bit. I don’t even know the processing for voice effects and all that. But I want to change that. A bunch of things.

―― Like?

S: Limitations like being required to finish producing an album by a particular date, things like that. Like, promotional strategies. If these things can be changed, I’d like to do it myself. For about a year or so.

―― Album production. Well, certainly it’s probably good if you could spend more on it.

S: We can’t do that.

―― But with BUCK-TICK’s present position, the mixed-media portion of your promotional strategy has grown to comprise quite a large percentage of it, right?

S: Yes.

―― Do you understand those things?

S: Yeah, I do.

―― It makes me wonder if you truly feel that it doesn’t matter whether or not your album sells. Even if you do say that, wouldn’t you still question in the back of your mind whether it’s good or not if it won’t sell?

S: No, I don’t really feel that way. It’s just that, even if it’s unpopular, we won’t have the time [to dwell on it] anyway.

―― I spoke to Imai-kun just now, and he said that it’s ultimately the buyers who judge your releases. So, this can only mean that the indication of their verdict will depend on how well your records sell. That is what was said, but does Sakurai-kun really feel that way?

S: But even if you like a particular song a lot, doesn’t the opinion change from person to person? Even if you’ve made a very good something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be popular. For me, I really love ambient music that doesn’t have singing voices. But even though they make me think, “This is so good!”, it doesn’t sell very well.

―― Ah, that’s about music other than your own, though.

S: You’re talking about my own music? Ahh. I’m not particularly interested in those kinds of things. This’ll probably make me sound like I’m just being cool but the number one thing [for me] is to like what I make. Well, it’s even better if it sells well too. I’d think everyone feels the same way.

―― But frankly speaking, BUCK-TICK does sell. If you’re someone who’s living from hand to mouth, you’d probably have a desperate desire for [your music] to sell. Depending on the person.

S: Right. I suppose so.

―― For a musician, I’d assume that you’d keenly hope that if you release a record, you’d want to sell enough to at least fund your next work, or enough that you don’t have to work extra jobs. So, saying that you’re not concerned [with sales numbers] is.

S: Mm, the privilege of those who do sell well.

―― But there’s also the fact that because you’re someone whose records sell well, you must produce things that you like.

S: I think we’re doing that.

―― Right. Listening to this album, I felt that it’s an album that makes you want to listen to the next one as soon as possible.

S: Ah, really?

―― Somehow, this one gives me the feeling that you’ve yet to decide on what you’re going to do next.

S: I suppose that’s because it’s volatile, this album.

―― Probably, yes.

S: So, you want to listen to something stable?

―― Rather, your last album and even the one before made me want to take a careful good look at this world, but this time, in comparison, left me restless instead.

S: Oh, yes. I get it. But I think Imai wanted to demolish that expectation that you can listen and feel at ease.

―― Ah, there’s that too.

S: Whatever we’ve done so far has always been for ourselves.

―― Yes. But this changing direction somehow feels like a result of all the members going down different routes. That’s why I’d find myself wanting to listen to the next release as soon as possible where, hopefully, all the members would have settled on one direction and gone with it.

S: I don’t know whether we can (lol). I’d expect that we wouldn’t communicate enough again anyway.

―― But haven’t you learnt your lesson?

S: Buーut, I don’t think we ever will.

―― Hmm, based on my earlier conversation with Imai-kun, it’s not very……

S: He hasn’t leant, has he?

―― But it’s not right for me to be the one telling him that it’s not good for him to be slow with the song composition.

S: But you should’ve said it.

―― No way (lol).

S: Please tell him, it’s not fair (lol).