The Poem of June ──
Interview with Hoshino Hidehiko
Ongaku to Hito
Text = Kanemitsu Hirofumi
Photography = Okada Takayuki
Styling = Yagi Tomoharu
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).
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).
—— 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?”
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).
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.
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.
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.
※ 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”.
Source: Ongaku to Hito