Fish Tank 46
Interview with Sakurai Atsushi
Translation: Lola

How has the tour been going up till now?
So far, it seems very personal to me.

Is that different than how you usually feel?
....seeing as for me it's actually myself, my voice that is the musical instrument, of course I'm quite aware of it. If I don't put my whole heart into it then it won't really feel like it's the live of a rock band.

Was there anything that made your nervous on stage during the tour so far?
Not really, though I did pull a muscle towards the beginning of the tour...and after that I was worried about how many shows I wouldn't be able to move for but look, I'm already ok now. And I feel good.

I was relieved when I saw today's live and saw that you were moving normally again. Because before that I was at the live at the C.C. Lemon hall.
Ah, yes........that time. I had already gone to various places for acupuncture and electric therapy as various people had recommended and I was blessed to have an amazingly good doctor so that's why I think I healed so quickly.

I thought that since you wouldn't be able to rest at home because you had to be on stage that it would take you a long time to recover but it was fast.
I know, the human body is an amazing thing.

You're not doing a 'Day in Question' show this year but you still have additional performances at the end in Budoukan?
Well, that was inevitable.......When scheduling came up, mm, we were thinking about where to end the tour because we wanted to make sure it had a proper finale and so it ended up being in Budoukan finally. During the summer we were busy concentrating on events so now we want to focus on closing the tour properly.

Because you had such big events in the summer, you want to close the tour with something event-like too right?
Yeah, yeah. That's exactly how we feel. Because the summer ended with such a bang, we want to end the year on the same note.

So you already know what you'll do at the end of year?
Mm, well we have a meeting today actually about....the additional performances at the end of the year.

It seems there's always a different aspect to the stage with every show, will that be the case with Budoukan as well?
Yes. Our stage manager, Komaru-san, is very picky about that.... Well, we haven't done much until now so, I think he's really eager to do new things.

Looking back on 2007, it was your 20th anniversary but what kind of year did you think it was for you Sakurai-san?
We put out an album, had the 'PARADE' tour, then 'ON PARADE', did summer events and finally had the album tour. I feel like the year's been really complete, it's all flowed well. Well personally I think I'm a little worn out after running all over the place but it's been a rewarding year.

And how did you find doing the B-T fest for the first time?
I was amazed that so many artists wanted to participate. Our staff took such great care of them too. It's not that we didn't know what to do but......we were exhausted, in a good way *smiles*.

I thought the B-T fest this summer was a great success but how did you feel about it Sakurai-san?
I opened with Kiyoharu-kun and before we went out the staff was worried, wondering what to do. They were worried about all the fans standing out under the blazing sun all afternoon but we were blessed with amazing weather in the end which was good because preparing for a typhoon is really difficult. But when I saw everyone's faces in the crowd, I was so glad we did it. The artists that came got about 25 minutes on stage which was regrettably short but after they were telling us how much fun they had so I was really happy. We have our great staff to thank for that.

Would you want to do another B-T fest?
Because we've done it once, I think it's bound to have more substance the second time, because we know how much time it takes so I think if we did it again, it'd be good.

Did you get to know the artists who performed a little better?
Yeah. Well there was some who I met for the first time during the fest. Even though we do different genres of music, we understood each other and I think that's what made us respect each other.

How was collaborating on stage with Ken Ishii-san and MCU?
Mm, I think they put amazing care into it beforehand and now it feels like...they really tried to do well. But I think they try to do that for everything they do. Doing it and regretting it is still better than not doing it and regretting it. But of course, there were no regrets this time *smiles*.

Before the B-T fest you participated in the Rising Sun Rock Fest in Hokkaido for the first time, how was that?
Mm, well it was more fun as an event but it's such a big thing.......I had already thought I'd enjoy but once I went on stage and saw the atmosphere, I think I'd like to do it again if I was invited.

I heard that you guys really got people excited, what do you think?
We had quite the warm welcome, people were eager to greet us. I'm not saying this is good or bad but the main artists of the event weren't foreign, it's an important event for Japanese artists to do and it felt really good to be there. So I'm really grateful to Yamamoto-san who produced the event.

Then the album 'Tenshi no Revolver' came out and you've begun the tour, how do you feel this album's doing live so far?
Until I can get used it, it feels like I'm suffocating *smiles*.

I mean.......I'm not kidding......but I don't want you to get the wrong idea. Because this time the sound goes straight through me, quickly, song by's like I have nowhere to hide. So that makes me rather nervous sometimes. It's really like a rock band, it feels like we're doing lives that are rock. Everyday is different.

You said the same thing during recording didn't you?
Yes, that's right. It's not good to compare it to the previous album but I wonder how the people who saw the last tour will find this one. I wonder if they'll be really excited about it.

The place where you stand on stage during this tour has been elevated, how do you feel about that?
Hmm, at first I didn't know how it would be you know. Even though the stage manager, Komaru-san, had told what he'd done quite awhile beforehand. He said he really wanted to make my position in the centre more visible. Of course it was strange at first since I could see things that up till now I never did *smiles*. But I understand why he wanted me to do that, now I can really get into the performance, use things more fully like lighting.......and that's really effective.

Has anywhere left a deep impression on you so far during the tour?
Various places have left a significant impression on me this Toyota city in Nagoya where my leg really hurt *smiles*. Or in Tochigi, Gunma where I couldn't even move my right leg by a millimetre. And C.C. Lemon after I got acupuncture and electric therapy *smiles*.

Of course you'll remember that *smiles*.
It's things like that that you always end up remembering isn't it *smiles*. I sound like an old man whining about his ailments. Well that's how I feel anyway *smiles*.

You're doing a live in Okinawa early in 2008. How do you think the continuation of 'PARADE' will go there?
I want to make sure I do a proper fun live there. I've promised the Okinawan fans. And they're so beautiful!!! (1)

In closing, would you please say a few words to the fans?
.......everyone please continue to follow us during our 21st year together. With love, Thank you.

(1)The word he uses here is 'ちゅらかーぎー' which means 'beautiful face' or just 'beautiful' in the Okinawan dialect. ^-^ I thought that was rather sweet of him.