ISSAY Personal Interview
BUCK-TICK Club #29
ISSAY has taken part in the song, “Itoshi no Rock Star (愛しのロック・スター / My Favorite Rock Star)” from BUCK-TICK’s new album Six/Nine. His sudden guest appearance at Liquid Room on 14 May roused the audience and their eyes were glued to the bewitching performance on stage.
This particular interview was recorded before his performance at Nippon Budokan on 17 May and we were once again spellbound by their perfectly synchronised staging later on.
ーー What led to your participation as guest vocals this album of BUCK-TICK’s?
I got a call from Atsushi-kun (smiles).
ーー (Smiles). He personally… said he wanted you to do it?
Mmhm. There was a call which went something like, ‘I wonder if you’ll do it~”.
ーー Wasn’t that a time when you still didn’t know anything about the lyrics and all that!?
Before I knew anything about it… I said I’d do it, but since I haven’t heard what kind of song it is, I did say that I’d like to hear it once though.
ーー Have there been incidents when you decided “I apologise but I can’t do this after all” because of the lyrics?
If the lyrics are by Atsushi-kun that’s impossible though. … But Atsushi-kun was particularly concerned about that. Like I got a call where he said, “Maybe you might find the lyrics disagreeable”, and I said, “Anyway, if you show me the lyrics I’d be able to answer that for you, so”. Then, when he showed it to me, they were really great lyrics, aren’t they? Whatever Atsushi-kun wants to sing about now is being directly expressed and I thought that they were good lyrics. I was glad that he’d let me sing such wonderful lyrics too, you know. I immediately called him and told him that I’d be more than pleased to do it.
ーー During recording, did you think about how you wanted to sing it and things like that?
We didn’t think about anything at all in the beginning. Anyway, I was also really troubled over how we should sing it but… Atsushi-kun was also being thoughtful for me and he said “Please take it easy”, so… I thought, well, I’d take it easy too then. We did it a number of times, trying different singing styles, but… We thought of doing it in a very straightforward manner, and we recorded 2, 3 takes of singing in that straight manner… And then we gave that an OK. After that, they were combining those 2, 3 takes together, so I went to the bar room with Atsushi-kun and chatted with him while drinking, but just then, he said to me that he really liked the song “Itoshi no MAX” which I released as a single. He didn’t say much about that, so I asked, “Could it be that Atsushi-kun wanted to sing like I did in ‘Itoshi no MAX’?”, and he said, “It’s nice, isn’t it, that song” (smiles). So I said, “Well, let’s try doing that once then”. I told him, “We have the edited version anyway, so we can just give it a try and if it doesn’t work, just toss it out”. So we went back into the studio once more and I said, “Well, let’s sing now”. … The singing style for “Itoshi no MAX” is quite a playful one, so when we sang like that, it went well, we liked it, and we got an OK in one take. So those that we did before this one got rejected. Like, what? If he said so right from the start it would’ve been good (smiles).
ーー (Smiles). So I see. You appeared for a guest performance on 14 May at Liquid Room, but how did you feel looking at the B-T fans’ reactions from the moment ISSAY-san came on stage until you left? Did you feel discomfort or anything like that?
Nope, they were very friendly people, so I felt like I was welcomed there. The atmosphere just flowed along like that from the moment when Atsushi-kun introduced me, so it was really easy for me to step out… It was really fun. I thought that they were an audience who possessed a nice power.
ーー I see. Well then, a word or a message to Sakurai-san…
I’m very honoured and happy that you’d have me participate in this manner this time around and… I think that it’d be nice if we could have these kinds of back-and-forths with each other with more ease. Appearing on BUCK-TICK’s lives have been exceptionally stimulating too, and since we came to stand together on stage without any prior arrangements, we sang while looking into each other’s eyes, while watching to see what each other’s next move would be… We both performed with an extraordinary amount of emotional strength. I think that there are only a scarce few vocalists who possess a tension like that… I was really happy, and I’d like to perform such an enjoyable live again, so let us continue our relations.
ーー A word or a message to the members of BUCK-TICK’s fan club…
I’ve said this earlier as well, but I do think that the power of the audience when I performed at Liquid Room was wonderful. … Which is why I think that it’d be great if the audience took pride in that as an audience. And I think that BUCK-TICK, which has brought together such an audience, is a wonderful band. If there are any other opportunities [for us to meet] in future, please treat me well (smiles). And please listen to DER ZIBET too (smiles).
ーー (Smiles). And your thoughts on BUCK-TICK’s current album…
I think that this time’s album is one where a nice madness coexists with the spirit of rock. For them to do this with surging power and for the album to have something like that as a major release in this point of time, I think that it’s amazing and… I really like it.
ーー What about ISSAY-san’s activities going forward?
Our 11th album was released and the tour which followed has just concluded so… If there’s anything coming up… I hope you’d listen to it. … I think it’s a great album. After this, DER ZIBET will probably start recording for our next album, so I think that our next album will be released early next year. When that happens, again, please do listen to it.
ーー Will do. Thank you very much for today.
Scans: kamen of the BUCK-TICK Discord