Fish Tank 50
Interview with Yagami Toll
Translation: Lola

Recording is almost complete, and the singles have been decided on for this year....
This year was full with recording. I find the whole album this time has a pop feel. So there were a lot of songs we were considering as singles. That's what made Imai push for [HEAVEN]. But personally I thought another song would have been better.

You filmed the PV for the [HEAVEN] single the other day.
And I caught a cold *smiles*. I was bedridden for about three days.

*smiles* You had to meet quite early that day so did you get any sleep the night before?
I couldn't really get any sleep no, and then when I was in Tokyo I had on light clothes and that's what I was wearing when we went to the mountains where it was col~d *smiles*. But you know, I was told to wear that for the shoot so I only had that on. And no matter how cold it was I couldn't wear my coat during filming. So I caught a cold all for the sake of beauty *smiles*.

Other than having issues with the cold for the filming of the PV, how did you find it once it was completed?
But it's not right, because you can't tell at all how cold it was from watching it, and that annoyed me at first when I watched it *smiles*.

It certainly doesn't seem cold it's true.
See. And on top of that, because we were in the mountains it would suddenly start to drizzle. And that really made me feel the cold you know. I was kinda surprised. My body warmers weren't warming me. (1)

Were there any other PVs that gave you as much trouble as this recent one?
Yeah. It was like [Kyokutou yori ai wo komete].

Then it was decided that [GALAXY] would be the second single.
That song was more popular with the staff than the band. Like with our promoters in the record company and with our old producer, from our Victor days who helped us grow, Tanaka-san. We listened to their opinion. Of course, those who made the song couldn't understand why. But when we all meditated on it, everyone agreed because it was a sweet song. That's why it's important to listen to the opinion of the staff, because they can be objective in deciding which song is good or bad for a single.

What's your impression of the album as a whole?
I said it awhile go but, I find it's quite pop. That's probably in part due to Tanaka-san coming to help us with it this time so I feel good about it.

Do you really think the album being pop as a whole would change if you had a different producer? Even though it'd still be Imai-san and Hide-san's compositions?
The drums change. You wonder how well, thanks to Tanaka-san participating, the way of recording changes. During the recording phase, he's the kind of person who, if he thinks something will be interesting to try out, he'll do it during recording. So that's completely different from how we do things when we self produce. He'll record until there's a fresh spin with the drums, and then he'll do the processing. The feeling is that, the image is already there during recording so you've already put in the effect you wanted. That's how Tanaka-san's methodology works see. Of course I'm just happy to be able to try and do things with Tanaka-san. After all, it was greatly due to Tanaka-san's efforts that Buck-Tick did well with our debut. And I'm grateful he helped us long ago.

During recording, because everyone listened to Tanaka-san, even I could see how much better things worked with his participation. Incidentally, which song took the longest to record this time?
Basically the rhythm section didn't take that long. But that's just because I had a hard time during rehearsals.

You just couldn't get into the songs or something?
Yes yes yes, that's it. Like with the mood. That was the problem.

Yagami-san, do you personally have a favourite song?
I like them all but, when it comes to drum sound there is one that I like best of all, [Suzumebachi]. Because the drums are like Zeppelin *smiles*.

Is that so? *smiles*
It sounds silly when I say it but I find there is a Zeppelin nuance with the drums. Even with the way we recorded them by mixing the sound with the microphone on and off to create that sort of resonance.

When you were choosing songs for the FC only lives and the Day in Question there were some songs that you haven't played live in over ten years Yagami-san and I heard you backed those requests for old songs.
Because Chiba, our manager said that it's not something to listen to during a live. And I said then it will seem like new since we never really played them. So, we picked up some old songs.

For this FC only live everyone has also made selections from the costume design contest that we had. How did you find the designs that were submitted?
Some were ridiculous, and some were well thought out, there was a variety you know. Like there were some that I couldn't actually drum in *smiles*.

The result being that you picked a lovely chequered one with a hat that looked like something you had already done before.
You know the person who designed that chequered costume wasn't only picked by me.

Imai-san and Hide-san picked that person's designs too didn't they.
But, it was interesting seeing all the various costumes. So I thought I'd like to pick two and wear one outfit for the FC only live and the other for the Day in Question.

As this is the last interview of 2008, I'd like you to look back on this year.
Looking back completely? But we have lives after this *smiles*. It felt like we were recording this whooooooooole year.

And going into 2009.......
2009 will be about the tour right. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone who can make the trip to come see us. Please come see how old Buck-Tick is doing *smiles*. Because you know, we're getting older. And older!

What are you some elderly band now? *smiles*
It's bad but that doesn't mean anything to young folks *smiles*.

Seems that way, yes.
I feel like such an old-timer when I say things like please come and enjoy yourself *smiles*.

Oh come ooooon, what are you talking about *smiles*.
Because within band circles, I am an old-timer. But I'm no match for the Stones.

Right, so you shouldn't say such things.
I'll try my best and aim to be like the Rolling Stones!!

(1) Body warmers, for people who live in hot climates and don't know, are usually little patches that you can put on your body and they keep your warm. Very useful when you have to be out in the cold for long stretches. I'm sure they're made much better nowadays but when I was a kid they were just these pouches that you put in your boots or in your gloves.