Fish Tank 44
Interview with Imai Hisashi and Yokoyama Kazutoshi
Translation: Lola

Since this interview is taking place in the studio after work, Mr. Yokoyama the manipulator is joining us today.
Yokoyama: Thank you for having me. Hope I don't get in the way.

Please tell us what the current situation is like.
Imai: It's the second day...of TD. Today 'Zekkai'(1) is complete. Is it just that song? The only one with the rhythm loop?

I know you've taken a long to time to record this time but does that bother you at all? That it's taken more than half a year?
Imai: Well we did lives in between.
Yokoyama: And you also changed the computer system.
Imai: Yes, yes. It ended up that...I had to change my home system as well...
Yokoyama: I helped a little with that *smiles*.

Yes. Please tell us about that.
Yokoyama: By the end of last year Imai-san had two new songs done. When he was working on those songs at home, he was using a really old fashioned computer. Since it wasn't in good condition he bought a new one. So then he resumed working at home after New Year's on the new system he had. He was working on arrangements or something...
Imai: Yes, yes, for 'Beast'. While I was recording it last year I thought the arrangement wasn't that great so I re-recorded it.
Yokoyama: You say that and everyone tenses *laughs*.
Imai: Yeah that's because I'm not sure yet if it's good enough *smiles*.

Just because you changed the computer system?
Imai: No, not just that. There are other reasons...

Like your opinion of it changing with time.
Imai: Yeah yeah.

Wasn't it troublesome to change systems in the middle of work?
Imai: Yeah, well.... Well, I think it was ok really.
Yokoyama: No it wasn't, how many times did you end up calling me early in the morning?
Imai: *laughs* Oh yes. In the morning...what, around 6:30, somewhere around then I called Yoko-chan *smiles*. And he'd take the call when he saw it was me so I'd be all elated and he'd sound so sullen. But he still answered my questions properly.

That's nice of him.
Imai: Yup.
Yokoyama: I didn't know if he was calling to invite me to go drinking. With time I realized it was because of problems with work.

Did Yokoyama-san install the new system and help you with it?
Imai: Yes. After, I even got a new computer because Yoko-chan told me it would be better to change it. So since I remembered him telling me that I did but then I realized that actually I had no idea how to use it, he hadn't taught me everything yet.

Did he in the end?
Yokoyama: Well, I did but...of course it's easier when we're together.

Did he lecture you on the proper way of operating the system?
Imai: Yeah. But I didn't get it at all. So he explained it to Kacchan instead.

That's very typical of you isn't it Imai-san, just like how you don't really care if it takes a long time to record things.
Imai: You know we had lives at the same time too. But if I think back on it, then I'll realize hey~ that took a long time. But we had a lot of stuff going on, lives, then New Years *smiles*. Then I was composing for one week. It wasn't really a tight schedule...but these things take time you know. It also took long because I was working when it was horribly cold.

You started at the beginning of autumn, through winter and spring all the way to early summer. So now...are things rushed?
Imai: They're a little rushed. You know...that's because our manager is the impatient type.

*laughs* In what way? Does he email you all the time, or call?
Imai: How? He just has that rushed air about him *smiles*.
Yokoyama: Since he's impatient, are you in a hurry?
Imai: No I just ignore him *smiles*.

What made you select 'Rendezvous~' for the single?
Imai: I wanted a type of song that we hadn't done before for a single. So basically, a pop song. ...uh? We haven't done that yet...right?
Yokoyama: He's asking you a question!

Imai: *smiles* That's what I thought but you made a face just now. You looked pretty spaced out.

*smiles* I'm sorry, for awhile now I've had 'Zekkai' stuck in my head.
Imai: Ah, it's a powerful song isn't it *smiles*.
Yokoyama: It's the power of your famous music.
Imai: *bursts out laughing!*

Ok, ok *laughs*. So, Imai-san, you also thought 'Rendezvous~' was good as a single?
Imai: Because it flows well as a one shot. There were others that were good too but this was the best market wise I guess.

And you paired it with the 20 year old song 'My Eyes & Your Eyes'. Is it different changing the arrangement for an old song as opposed to a new one?
Imai: It was fun working on the rearrangement at home. When I was working on the B melody around the main melody, amazingly I remembered something from the original recording that Tanaka-san, the director of Victor, told me about that part. He said, "Wouldn't this chord fit better with the melody?".

You remembered that?
Imai: I remembered but it just came to me suddenly. I changed the chord and then realized that hey, that's what Tanaka-san told me to do. But at the time when he told me I told him no, I like it the way it is and so did the version you hear on 'Sexual XXXXX!'. And now I changed it sooooooo readily *smiles*.
Everyone: *smiles*
Imai: Isn't that always the way *smiles*. I was young then *smiles*. Anyway the difference in the melody is small but people who know the song will get it.

You changed the arrangement for another old song too.
Imai: Ah, M & T(2). Isn't it interesting that it was decided from the beginning *smiles*.

*laughs* So M & T was your choice.
Imai: Yes, yes. Completely. Well, 'My Eyes~' has always ranked highly with the fans so....

You played it during 'The Day in Question' but you only changed the arrangement after the live right?
Imai: Hm? Yeah, we played it during the second half. I think 'Tightrope' was in the middle *smiles*. When we played 'Tightrope', the guitar sound was very straight and I thought it'd be good to focus more on the feeling of the chords with the melody.
Yokoyama: I think people will be surprised. When they first hear it.
Imai: Ah, when Yoko-chan listened to it for the first time he laughed. He said, 'That's so daring!' *smiles*.
Yokoyama: No no, *smiles* I thought it was the epitome of song arrangement, really.
Imai: When it changed to the B melody you were all, 'Eh?!' *smiles*.
Yokoyama: Because it went away from the original image of the song. It was really like listening to a new song. And that's so~ amazing.

Since you've started the track down, it seems like you're having so much fun working, it's a different atmosphere from when you were doing sound recording, it's like you're out drinking.
Imai: It's a sudden change isn't it *smiles*.

I keep thinking how different it is.
Yokoyama: It's because we don't really have the chance to go out drinking during recording.
Imai: True we don't. Especially during the latter half. Hey, I've grown up.

You filmed the PV for the single the other day, any lasting impressions of it?
Imai: Um, I thought it was interesting how we were filmed from behind while we were performing.

That's right. The set was completely arranged backwards.
Imai: Even the amps were turned around *smiles*.

The Dropz CD came out in April, did you listen to it?
Imai: I did. The first time I listened to it I was with Yoko-chan and he said, 'That's so simple'.
Yokoyama: What? *laughs* I don't think so.
Imai: *smiles*.
Yokoyama: Whenever I listen to it, I'm not thinking about how long the recording took, or how many years passed. Those things don't matter, it's timeless, no matter when I listen to it I think it's good. So, I have nothing bad to say about it. It may be what some people call standard but I don't think that's a bad thing here.

What a wonderful comment.
Imai: See, he's saying it's simple.
Yokoyama: No I'm not *laughs*.
Imai: Well, even the grinding guitar sound is so Hide you know. I wonder if he'll do a second album? I think it'd be good if he did.

He said he'd do another live ten years from now *smiles*.
Imai: Guess he's not really burning with the desire to do it is he *smiles*.
Yokoyama: Figures.

Since it's June, the BT fest is coming soon.
Imai: It's going to be such a cool event. It wasn't easy to gather everyone.
Yokoyama: It's going to be amazing.

You'll have everyone from your sempais to your kouhais.
Imai: You know, when I heard Tsuchiya-san and Michirou-san were coming I was so~ happy!

It's going to be during midsummer.
Imai: Because I like the open air.
Yokoyama: You just love summer period.

What sort of things do you think of for the live?
Imai: How fun it will be, I want the content to be powerful, I want it to be a success....

You decided to perform at the 'Rising Sun' as well.
Imai: Yup. The Fest in Hokkaido's gonna be a few days. That's going to be fun too.

Finally, for all those waiting for the live and the album to come out would you say a word?
Imai: Yoko-chan, would you say the album's energetic?
Yokoyama: Of course.
Imai: It has a band sound.
Yokoyama: Definitely. But uh, I didn't really notice so much the band sound when I listened but it's still good, it's got spice I think.
Imai: It's a rock and roll album. As for the live, I want it to be good.

(1) It's a song title that roughly translates as 'Severing Boundaries'.
(2) M stands for 'My Eyes & Your Eyes', T for 'Tightrope'.