Fish Tank 49
Interview with Higuchi Yutaka
Translation: Lola

In the Q&A section of the previous issue, when asked, 'If your mother had a flavour what would it be?' both you and Yagami-san answered, 'Kenchin Soup (1)' so I was wondering, what kind of kenchin soup do you mean? Like what's it made of?
It's not a miso base soup, it's a soy sauce base soup.

You can put all sorts of stuff in it right. There's sesame seed oil in it too.
Yes yes, you see the oil floating on the top *smiles*. Because it's not miso soup, can put a ton of ingredients in kenchin soup.

Generally speaking, how does recording go, what are the different parts involved?
Ah...of course we start with the drums but we can't record that unless...we have temporary guitar parts on the demo to follow and listen to.

You play while listening to the demo with head phones?
Yes, yes, and then once the good take is decided for the drums, that's what I work with. So until then I wonder, 'maybe I should do it like this?' you know because until then I have no real idea, even the guitars at that point are just temporary.

To some extent the demo is just one phase.
Yeah. So since it just has the main chords in it, it can throw the timing off.

What do you mean by that? It's just left up to you then?
Like for 'Iconoclasm'. Because it's a catchy song as it is, I won't change it. But usually with other songs there are parts can I say it? Like, the drums used in the demo is just a machine right. So it's missing the human factor. So then when you put in the real drums played by a person, it can throw things off and maybe you won't be able to do what you want with it. I mean it's not intentional but it happens.

A person will be different than a machine, of course.
Yes, so that's why a demo is just a demo. And we check things by rehearsing. More often than not it ends up different than how the composer imagined and then they'll rethink the song in the studio......that's usually how it goes.

Well then, we're doing an interview but you're in the middle of recording right now so how's that going?
I think we're about halfway? With the rhythm section. It's just a subdivision of the recording process. Since before we can complete all of the rhythm parts we need the top layer of guitars and stuff but we're steadily making progress with a number of songs.

So you do the rhythm, then the guitars, then the vocals then onto the next song.
Yes yes. Right now we still have temporary vocals.

Does it feel different than usual?
No but...I feel like we're making good time. You know since our manager Chiba doodled on the board I guess he's not completely displeased with us *smiles*. Plus I think Imai-kun's been really fast with composing.

Faster than usual?
Really fast!

What was your impression of the demo?
...I thought there was a lot of variations in it.

So far, what kind of album do you think it'll be?
No, I don't know. ...because as I said the guitar parts are likely to change from the demo. And you know that can really affect the tone of the song.

At this point, you're working on looping......
There's still two songs I haven't heard yet.

You haven't heard the songs?!
Because they're still in Imai-kun's head *smiles*.

Have you tried to do anything new for this album?
Oh, well the other day I held my bass vertically when I was playing, it's really big.

How was it?
It wasn't how I thought it'd be..... I just did it because I found the song monotonous.

And will we have the pleasure of seeing you do this during a live?
Nooo. *embarrassed*

How was doing the song 'Hamelin' for the memorial tribute album in honour of LA-PPISCH's Ueda Gen-san?
Yeah, I'm glad we did it. I've known LA-PPISCH for a long time. I mean we debuted at the same time so we seemed to be doing the same live circuits together and you know I'm lucky enough to be great friends with Magumi-san. So I'm really happy I got to take part in this tribute.

When I listened to the completed version of 'Hamelin' it felt like a Buck-Tick song to me.
Because it's a tribute, if we didn't put our spin on it, it wouldn't be good, you can't just copy a song right. I feel good about how we finished it. With Acchan's singing, it made it Buck-Tick's. Originally, Imai-kun said that it reminded it him of a parade so he wanted to give it the essence of '13 kai wa gekkou'. was a good song choice.

Since you have a break for Obon, do you have anything planned?
Obon...I don't know what I'll do...probably nothing.

Well then, why don't you go to Toshimaen *smiles*?
Toshimaen, you know once I was drinking in Roppongi and then rode the train all the way to Toshimaen, was drinking with friends. And we figured why not go to Nagoya and Okayama too *smiles*.

*everyone bursts out laughing!!*

What's your life been like since you've been recording?
My life...well right now, I've been getting up early. Like at 9 or 10 in the morning...that's when I've been getting up and just taking things slow. Usually I go to the studio around 2pm or 3pm. Since I have to wait for them to decide on the drum sound before I do my part. And normally the drums are done by 3pm. Well, it happens that sometimes it still has to be worked on. It has to be decided on the previous evening though so we can just record it right away the next day. If it is, then I'll come in around 2pm.

You haven't really been going out to drink while you've been recording have you?
Yeah I mean, if I'm recording the next day I've been fairly strict with myself about going out drinking....

It's a little early but, people have requested songs for the FC only lives.
*while looking at the top ten chart* There's a lot isn't there, well, that gives us some freedom right. Because we're not restricted by songs like during a tour.

But because you have the Day in Question right after the FC only lives there won't be that much difference between the shows right?
Not necessarily....... I mean, depends on the mood. Like if you think it'd be better to play more new you do that and then, what if no one knows them? ...everyone's like 'huuh?' wouldn't want a live like that right *smiles*. And you're limited by the number of songs too.

So you decided to do shows at the end of the year for the Day in Question in Budoukan and also for the first time in Kyoto and Hamamatsu.
Yeaaaah, but how can I say it? I think I said it before but you know, I don't really care about Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, I'd rather go to as many different places as we can but I know there are places that are impossible for us to go to because for whatever reason they're not suited for lives so we can't go. But we're getting there, little by little.

You'll be busy in November and December with lives but what will you do from now until then?
Nothing.......I mean right now my mind is so full with recording I can't say. I don't have any plans though. I don't have time to make plans yet. I don't even know what to do for Obon either. *smiles*

Finally, would you give a message to those awaiting the lives?
Because we didn't really have lives this year, the members and I are looking forward to them too...feels like a long time since you've come out to see us so if you do, I'm sure the lives will be good. I said it earlier but because this isn't a tour, we can do a variety of songs and that's sure to make it interesting.

(1)Kenchin Soup is a light vegetable soup.