Lingua Sounda Special
Kemonotachi no Yoru / RONDO
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.