Fish Tank 45
Interview with Sakurai Atsushi
Translation: Lola

I would like to ask you about what's going on right now.
Today is August 14th...and we just finished rehearsals for the Rising Sun festival in Hokkaido.

Do you find that you had too little time to rehearse?
No, it's just like an extension of the 'PARADE' tour...

You're playing the same songs?!
With some extra ones. Like we added 'Alice~'. Because we have a little less than an hour on stage, we don't actually have a rehearsal the day of the show at the place it's at and we don't bring complicated equipment with us.

So is everything already prepared?

So many things are happening at once right now and everything is progressing quickly but what sort of things have you been doing on your own Sakurai-san?
Lately I've been going with Yuuta on promotional campaigns.

I heard your manager wasn't around for awhile *smiles*.
Something like that yeah, he just randomly disappeared in the airport. I thought he would have stayed to see us off.

Well you can see the planes take off from the parking lot.
True. After that, I was waiting for quite a long time and I realized that hey, it's night and anywhere I looked it kept saying our flight was greatly delayed. It's always like least one day out of ten during a campaign. Then in strolls our manager coolly, telling us to move from one place to another while all this time I had to endure being hungry as the sun rose *smiles*. Well, it was fun.

And in the end did you get to eat something delicious?
Yes, I went to a ramen stand.

Besides that you had to work on other things at the same time didn't you?
Well there's the fest in September of course, and the album tour. Deciding on things like the set for the stage...

This year, Buck-Tick is involved in two outdoor shows, the Rising Sun Rock Fest that you were invited to and then the second one to celebrate your 20th anniversary. Do you feel there's a difference between the two?
To say it plainly, it's relaxing when you're invited.

I see. For the B-T fest do you plan on participating on stage with anyone except for Buck-Tick?
If I said I'd do something then yes, I'll do it.

Is there anything specific you'll try to do for the B-T fest?
If it happens that I can promote it, I will. If my voice can get one or two more people to join in the event and to come see us then it's good. I'll try my best to get the people around me to come.

In June and July the tour 'PARADE' took place, do you have any lasting impressions of those lives?
Of course, for me sharing the stage with Tsuchiya Masami-san was an exciting moment.

BALZAC agreed to share the stage with you in Osaka.
It was nostalgic, having that nervous feeling again.

Wasn't BALZAC-san nervous?
Yeah. I felt nervous too. However when I think about it now, I saw that he was nervous so I had to make him try to relax.

Was it the same for you with Tsuchiya-san?!
Maybe...when we were together. I was nervous but in my case it wasn't really nervousness over being introduced. But you know even though I was ridiculously nervous people thought I looked bold *smiles*.

I find it so interesting how gentle-mannered Tsuchiya-san is.
I think it's been quite a long time since Tsuchiya-san has appeared as the main act, usually he plays with other people on stage.

Were you nervous while you were waiting for Tsuchiya-san to call you onstage?
Yeah. Even though it was our song.

Who decided that you'd come onstage like that?
Well for September and also for the 'PARADE' tour in June they basically told me I could do as I please, it was really up to me. Then Tsuchiya-san asked 'Well, shall we do it together then?' and I was worried and I asked 'but how?' and he was nice enough to play guitar for me, I was so deeply moved.

Didn't he give you a standing ovation?
Yeah. Tsuchiya-san spoke with his band about it, got them to do it because he's such a gentleman. He stood up and said, 'Sakurai-kun is really wonderful!'.

And then Nishikawa-san came out as a secret guest but you guys know each other from the office. How was your talk for the magazine 'CD Data'?
It was fun.

During 'PARADE' your Okinawa show got postponed due to a typhoon.
I think that was a good call.

How did you feel during the meeting about whether to postpone or suspend the show?
I only thought about postponement. I kept thinking of when it'd be good to do it during the year but I didn't have our whole tour schedule yet, which was rather inconvenient so that's why it ended up being set for January.

I'd like to ask you about what happened on stage in Tokyo *smiles*.
You know I take careful consideration about what pants I wear on stage for how my silhouette will appear. Also I have to think about not getting stuck in them if I sweat. Anyway my belt got caught on the monitor somehow and tore my pants in the worst possible place. All of a sudden I just thought I felt a draft. When I realized what happened I didn't know what to do, it was only the first song too.

Did you think to put something behind you?
I thought all sorts of things in that moment. When it was time for the interlude in 'Angelic Conversation' I took off my jacket right away and tied it around my waist. It was important that I hide...things, since I didn't have an extra pair of pants I could change into. From now on I'm never buying anything from Venus Fort again. They deceived me.

After 'Rendevous~' you'll be releasing 'Alice~'. There was such a slow tempo to the filming of the 'Alice~' PV.... How did you find filming a PV like that?
I thought it went well with the cute parts of the song, it was done in high spirits.

I saw the whole thing recently, I checked my monitor to see if it was at the right speed. I found it quite gripping.
Of course I don't do anything just for fun, the result has to be interesting for everyone when they watch it.

What are your thoughts on the completed PV?
Mm. It's good don't you think? I liked the idea.

You're even coming out of a corner of the jacket cover for the special version of 'Alice~'.
Not fair~ I haven't seen the photos for it yet.

*laughs* What did you have in mind when you discussed it?
We got the designer of '13 kai~''s jacket, Akita-san, to do it for us. I thought it'd be sweet if there was a little girl in the role of Alice with little animals around her. When I got there I asked, 'the nice girl isn't here?' and they said, 'she's here, she's in the house!'.

She was very friendly. But I heard you were still nervous.
Mmmm. Well it's sad you know. I wanted to let her go home.

Saying that really reveals your true nature Sakurai-san, if given the choice you'd always be at home.
I'm only comfortable at home, in public I'm so reserved. Of course I love being at home. When it came to choosing the cat, Boo, we didn't know what was better a long or a short haired cat to give off that magical but strange image. We decided it had to be a long haired cat. You know I have two American short hairs at home but I had this feeling that if I let them out they'd never come home. Because of that, the quiet girl chose the cat with the longest hair.

Sakurai-san, didn't you take the audition photos of the cat?
I'm so happy Boo got the part...I say that I'm so happy and I feel like a parent whose child is a TV star.

It was a rush to get Boo on the scene though right?
Yeah. I had to make sure there was no sand from the litter box and then I had to think about what kind of picture I was going to take. I was thinking more about Boo than myself.

Since you returned home things have gone back to normal?
Yes we're back to being ourselves.

The 'Cat Boo' is even on the back of the CD jacket.
Aw really?! I didn't see that yet.

Sakurai-san, I'd like to ask you something about how people perceive you. Your fans' children find you look like Willy Wonka from 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', what do you think about that?
Ah, well, in that case perhaps it would be better if I had bobbed hair.

What do you mean...?
The world of 'Alice~' is one of the gothic Lolita. In regards to that I believe such hair would be perfectly suitable to that image.

It would fit, true. Right so you've announced the release of a new album 'Tenshi no Revolver' and you've decided on having a tour for that album but it seems like it's happening right after the fest and 'ON PARADE'.
I know~. At the end of summer.

You also announced that you wouldn't be having your usual end of the year concert 'The Day in Question'.
At this point we were thinking of the best way to conclude the tour I feel that having a few shows at the end is the best way.

Please answer this question for the fans, 'What do you call each member now?'
The members? Yuuta is 'Yuu', Anii is 'Anii', Hide is 'Dehii'. But I only call Hide that about once every ten times. And Imai-san is 'Imai-san'.

What's with the two of you recently? Both saying 'Imai-san' and 'Sakurai-san'. It's like you guys don't care about each other.
Ah just because we don't call each other 'Imai' and 'Acchan'? It gives the impression of a strained relationship *laughs*.

What's your message for all those waiting for the tour and the fest to come?
It's been 20 years since our debut and even we're rather amazed by it. How was everyone's summer? I dislike the heat but I worked on something during that time didn't I? Summer is a time for fooling around I guess. Our tour will go from the end of summer, through fall and winter...this year's tour reveals Buck-Tick unadorned, I think the shows will be lively so please keep us company until the year's end. Let's have fun together forever.