Fish Tank 43
Interview with Sakurai Atsushi
Translation: Lola

How was "The Day in Question" this year?
I was really glad we were able to go to Kobe and Sendai...since usually we always just go to Budoukan, Osaka, and Nagoya.

Did anything leave an impression on you in Sendai?
Mm. Well we performed songs on stage there that we hadn't in a long time. After that...I happened to run into the painter Kamio Shojiro(1)-san and we went bar hopping to five or six places.

*smiles* What was that like?
It was interesting you know.

So you drank delicious sake with the painter?
Yeah. Sometimes he has exhibits in Ginza and I go to them. That's where we happened to meet for the first time...

How was Kobe?
Mm. I hadn't been to Kobe in such a long time. So of course the town had changed, it has become fairly had the energy and liveliness of a port town and I liked that *smiles*.

Is that a joke?!
I'm not talking about wild and uncivilized. I mean the good kind of liveliness.

During "The Day in Question" you played some old songs, everyone must have been surprised at first right?
Ah with the set list, yes.

And why did you choose to do this?
Mm. Why did we do that?! Mm....I wonder why we decided that? That's just BT's way.

To always change?
Something like that, even if it's just changing the stage lighting during songs. It ends up being something like a kaleidoscope...or like the movement of lights in an amusement park...I think that suits the set list exactly. And it's fun.

It had been a long time since you heard some of those songs too hadn't it?
Yeah it had. A good ten years at least...has it been that long? Yes, since I sang in that cute voice.

Are there any songs that even though you could sing them in the past, now you find difficult to sing?
I'm a little embarrassed to say this but if I can't sing it from the start then I just don't do it *smiles*.

*smiles* So I guess you make that very clear to the others then right?
Like Yuuta who said he wanted to do 'Sex for You'.

Budoukan is such an amazing place to perform in, you can really make use of the wall space and the ceiling for the show but was that your idea to do so?
No, well...while I was talking about it with the set designer maybe I told him too much of my personal preferences *smiles*...

Well, I was thinking about what the audience would see.

How did you spend the end of the year?
It was just really quiet and simple.... I greeted the New Year very calmly.

What? You said the same thing last year.
Because it was just very subdued *smiles*.

Did you visit a shrine?
I did. Uh, the Meiji shrine.

Was there a terrible amount of people?
Mm. I was already settled in my place when it became crowded. I came before the crowds and since I didn't move from my spot...I was able to move along.

Did you get a New Year's prediction?
That's not really my thing. It's just a way for the Shinto shrines to make money *smiles*. Really, I just go to pray for the health of my family.

When did you begin working on lyrics?
Since about November and December of last year but they really began taking form at the beginning of the year.

Did you stop working during the New Year's holiday?
Because we had a live in December we had to do rehearsals for the public performances...

When did you start work after New Years?
About five days after...we hadn't done anything until then, hadn't even thought about what we would do. Then when they start to work on the rhythm parts I slowly start to piece together the mood.

In regards to the lyrics, have you made much progress?
I only have three songs finished. Well five but one song we have to change the composition and the melody... We've been hesitating over which melody goes best with it you know.

What do you base it on?
What sounds better when sung. I end up thinking about it a little too much.

In regards to the completed song lyrics, what feeling did you make them with?
I don't really want to talk about the trouble I had writing them but, of course you know...because I was a little uncertain at the time, what I write and what would be good to sing are things I really have to think about, I have to go in that direction so in the end I can't simply enjoy myself while writing.

Was the song you sang during recording today one you wrote last year?
Last year...three songs generally took their form, well, it always ends up being done at the last minute that I think about it. For me to try to sing them, they first have to be finished.

What was the mood like when you began singing this time?
Really bad for me *smiles*.

Wha?! *laughs*
Because I'm nervous. That's all. Even though I've been doing this for years...even if it's just a tentative song...I'm nervous...wondering, will this be ok? is this good?

Right now, what sort of album do you think this is shaping out to be?
Mm. I'm not sure. I guess it feels 'free'.

Mm. Something like that...I'm not really sure *smiles*.

Because you can't see the full picture yet?
Yeah...well how to say it? to Imai's song writing Hide's is...not progressing at the same rate's difficult to really see the whole picture yet....

*smiles* I know we've just sort of talked about this but, when the album comes out what sort of tour do you think it will be?
....well, I think it will be free like the album. I guess to make it easier to understand let's say the feeling will be greatly different from the previous album '13kai'. I think these rousing songs will be wonderful live for a tour that feels free...

It won't be heavy?
Nope. Personally I want to enjoy myself in it...*smiles*.

*smiles* Last year was the anniversary of 20 years for BT but this year is another anniversary, 20 years since your public debut.
Ah, is that so?

You must have many plans for the coming year but you haven't spoken of any of them yet...
Did I have something planned?! What was it...?

*smiles* Hm? You don't have anything planned?! Perhaps it's because you have no free time *smiles*. Finally, would you please say a few words for everyone who is awaiting the new album and live tour.
We've been doing this for 20 years...and we and the people around us thank you for following us. This year is as I said the year for being free, I want to have fun in the tour. So no more frowns.

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