Fish Tank 45
Interview with Imai Hisashi
Translation: Lola

How have yesterday's and today's rehearsals been going?

Other than that, you don't think you had too little time?
Time?! As in period of time? Well until Sakurai-san's stage appearance roughly comes ah, we do one song and then it's about...well mostly the songs recently that he's done have also been always the same so yeah.

You've had two open air events with the Rising Sun and the BT fest in September but while you were invited for the Rising Sun, the BT fest was sponsored for you... Did you find that played any difference...?
Of course there is a difference. The Rising Sun festival had that casual feeling. We could just be bums with no neckties and it was ok. What? *smiles* ...well it was something like that. There was no real dress code for it. But the BT fest was the complete opposite. It gave me that tingling feeling.

Both had good staging but is there any part that stands out for you?
They put a lot of great effort into our 20th anniversary show...we even had an old man offer us a blessing *smiles*...then Buck-Tick's granpa fans ...were cheering us on...and......I just didn't get it. I still don't get what they were doing.

Who did you talk about sharing the stage with during the BT fest?
I thought I'd perform together with Asaki-chan and AGE of PUNK. But I didn't know how it would turn out after.

During the tour 'PARADE', Michirou-san came onstage in Fukuoka.... How did that come about?
We had talked about that for a long time.

So what, Michirou-san just said 'Let's do it' and that was it?
Yeah. Well, it was more that he didn't refuse.

I see. So did you meet that day for rehearsals?
Yes yes. Just in case I brought the CD with me, just in case, you know, for confirmation. Of course I already knew but I just wanted to be sure.

Were you nervous?
Yeah. I was so nervous. Just before I came out...about a minute before, my heart was suddenly pounding. But it was a good sort of pounding...

When you see pictures of it, Michirou-san has this giddy smile on his face the whole time he's on stage.
Aaaaaaaaah. Looks like it. Hee! But I couldn't really see that at the time.

Michirou-san has great musicianship of course but it's rare to see him smile on stage and yet with you he was beaming from beginning to end.
Yeah. I like seeing that.

Now letís talk about what happened on the ferry. There were so many various guests but who did you actually see in person?
I saw them all. I also watched their rehearsals, and their performances, well, ok I wasn't able to watch every single song but, of course I wanted to. But everyone saw me in the flesh. I was wearing a bright yellow t-shirt.

On June 16th in Sendai J-san's live had such an amazing feeling, he really drew me in.
J's great isn't he? Um, how can I put it? He's a really good master of ceremonies? Well he is but that's not quite what I want to say....ah...I have great admiration for how he entertains. For his vitality when he performs *smiles*.

Even Buck-Tick fans who were far away were straining to see him on stage...
Yeah, that's so amazing to see. He's so cool, exhilarating and thrilling to watch. When I saw him from the second floor I cheered.

It was also Hide-san's birthday that day.
Was it?! Oh yes he turned 43.

What?! *laughs* You're just adding years as you feel like it. It was the first time Hide-san had a cake on stage.
Ah...oh, yes that's right, a cake was brought out.

Yes. Sakurai-san drew his likeness for the cake.
Yeah, yeah. That, if I remember correctly, he did a little while before when we were drinking together. That's when Sakurai-san drew it. When we were together. He was so drunk *laughs*.

The picture was faxed to the company. Then a picture was taken of it and sent to the cake maker.
Faxed, photographed, mailed, that picture went through all those things *smiles*.

Did you celebrate Hide-san's birthday at the close of the show?
We did. We ate the cake.

During 'PARADE' your show in Okinawa had to be postponed due to bad weather.
Yeah, yeah yeah. Knowing Okinawa, when I heard that at first I thought it'd still be ok to fly but at the same time I knew that if I flew, I'd regret it...At first I was glad I wouldn't have to fly but I had to in the end and I really regret it. The turbulence was just...

It makes you never want to take a plane again.
More and more yeah *laughs*. I've started saying 'I don't wanna fly to Okinawa~'.

Don't you like Okinawa?
I love Okinawa. But my hatred of flying wins over my love for Okinawa. ...or maybe not. Since I still end up going.

*laughs* There must have been some silver lining to the dark cloud of postponement Imai-san.
Um....ah! I'll be playing with AGE of PUNK in January. Since...things didn't work out with 'ON PARADE'. It'll be fun, I think it will be very special so in the end I'm glad things happened how they did.

Any special memories from the live...?
What will happen after 'ON PARADE' *smiles*. It's in January isn't it? Okinawa in January.

From midsummer in Okinawa to midwinter in Okinawa.
I won't remember what kind of clothes to bring *smiles*.

But finally didn't that idea get suspended? When you first had the meeting about the postponement you said you wanted to go to Okinawa with AGE of PUNK but the proposal was rejected?
Huh?! Ah ah ah, oh yes, right, that meeting. No see things were already postponed then. It's not that they were suspended, it was that they absolutely had to be postponed.

I thought that since things didn't work out with Okinawa for 'PARADE' you had ideas for somewhere else like Tokyo.
I thought both sides had already agreed when the idea was dismissed *smiles*.

You were just set on Okinawa in your heart weren't you Imai-san.
Well just because things get postponed...doesn't mean we have to go to Tokyo. So at first I wanted to continue with Okinawa as planned.

You said during the Okinawa live on July 15th that you ate Okinawan food, how did that day go?
Hm? That day? What was I doing back then...? I was...oh! I think I went to eat at an Okinawan restaurant with Kacchan. I'm not sure if it was the same day as the typhoon but when I was with Kacchan there was this lukewarm wind howling through the town.

When you were at the Okinawan restaurant together....?

Even before 'ON PARADE' you spoke with various people like on Hisashi's radio show from Glay. I heard that was the first time you spoke to him properly.
Yes, that's right. Until then we could have met so easily, we had plenty of opportunities but we'd just greet each other in when I was on that radio show it really felt like it was our first meeting.

I listened to you on the radio but it seemed like you gave up on trying to answer the questions, did you just not have enough time?
No but that wasn't it~ I wasn't prepared at all. I was thinking.

*laughs*. I understand but Hisashi-san had to cover for you to fill up the pause... It was fun to listen to the show for your pauses while Hisashi-san tried to continue properly.
He gave me a copy of the recording but I haven't listened to it yet *smiles*...I'm a little afraid of listening to tell you the truth.

Didn't they take your picture or something at the end when you went home?
When the show finished, yeah.

So, what's your impression of Hisashi-san?
We're already friends. *gives the thumbs up*

*laughs*. Then the other day you had a chat with Nishikawa-san and the other members of BT for 'CD Data' and since you've known each other for along time you were able to take your time and be at ease right?
That was actually a first for me. I didn't....really have a chat like that before.

But you had that live at Zepp Tokyo where he was a secret guest...
Ah yes, that. That was fun.

When it was over did you guys become friends?
It felt like it.

Did you exchange phone numbers?

When you announced the release of the new album, you had already been recording for about a year...
Yeah it's amazing when I think about it. It's because our manager is the type to rush *laughs*. That's why we began recording a year before.

Finally, how do feel about it when you listen to it?
Mm, I think it's pretty cool now that it's done. It's perfect! *gives the thumbs up again*

After I listened to all the songs, I'm amazed that you chose 'Alice' as the single.
Ah, that was Anii's choice. But he wasn't very calm about the August release, he thought that we should have a song with a guitar riff or something like that.... As for myself, I just kept mulling it over daily. Until finally our manager came to hurry us along and said 'Please decide on a single today'. So then I thought hm...ok, 'Alice~'. ...I think...this is maybe the first time my lyrics have been chosen for the single!

Never before?!
I don't think so...

Well there was 'To Search'...
But that was indies. Well anyway I just thought that was interesting. And yet nobody has noticed.

Huh? Really?
It's ok, but it seems like they didn't notice. They wonder what and why but...*smiles* I don't understand fans. I still don't get what they gossip about.

So the new album was released in September and then you're on tour until the end of the year.
I know!!

What are you thinking about the lives?
For the tour? We arranged a meeting to discuss the stage plan and set earlier since, until now there's been no set...I kinda find it cool like that...

Well it seems like a lot of stuff is happening now and the whole tour is really coming alive.
Yeah. It's really coming together. Before band rehearsals, when I'm rehearsing at home I check how it sounds in my room. You know I wonder which way I should play and which counter melody I should play.

Little by little plans for the tour have begun and I barely noticed since it's so soon after the BT fest...
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because of that I'm not really sure when things start *laughs*.

You have to remember.
I know, I know.

Please answer this question for the fans, 'What do you call each member now?'
Well Anii is Anii, Hide, Yuuta...Sakurai-san.

Whaaaaat? *laughs* Sakurai-san....? Are you calling him that on purpose?
No, I've always called him that *smiles*.

Finally, could you say a few words for everyone awaiting the lives?
I'm looking forward to a long tour and I'm looking forward to having fun with everyone so please come and have fun with us.