Fish Tank 60
Interview with Imai Hisashi
Translation: Lola

Recently you participated in 'Guitar Rhythm' for Hotei-san's 30th anniversary album [ALL TIME SUPER GUEST] but how do you feel the recording was?
Efficient. At first the manager contacted me once he had verified things and said, "You'll be doing a 16 bar guitar solo and then the rest will be up to Hotei-san..." so I figured things may play out a little differently.

So the finished work I had the privilege of listening to was different?
Yes. Because we were playing it by ear from the start *smiles*. So I composed a 16 bar guitar bit but I was fairly certain I'd end up making various changes to it once I went in to record it. I was right. The four of us did it together.

Were you acquainted with the other guitarists, other than Hotei-san?
Yeah. I've met Masa-kun a couple of times. But I've only just met Nagai-kun from Soutaisei Riron in passing before. So was a very unique situation having the four of us work together *smiles*.

Usually such splendid people don't get together like that. How did you find it when it was finished?
I found it interesting! I texted Hotei-san right away to tell him I loved it.

How did you spend Golden Week?
Not any differently than usual really. Oh, I went to the Tsutsuji Matsuri (1)...but really other than that I didn't do anything. I was happy to go downtown and have hamburger steak and beer!

Feels like I've asked you this countless time before given that I interview you every year around this time but did you do anything that you do every year?
I've been to quite a lot of street stalls lately. There's so many different ones now like shops with fried beef entrails and beef tendon stew and there's all sorts of seafood things like grilled sweet fish......

Isn't that the point?
Huh? Of what?

The Tsutsuji Matsuri.
Oh *smiles*. Well, of course I love and enjoy the azaleas.... But all the shops are fun too *smiles*.

Because this is the first interview with you after March 11th, I will ask about that too. What were you doing Imai-san when the earthquake hit?
Because we had work planned for that day I was getting ready to leave the house. Then my books and things started rattling and a few smaller things fell off their shelves. The shaking was so great that I thought it would break the glass panes.

How did you feel about the response to your charity work? By the end of April the proceeds totaled close to 3, 650 000 yen.
It's because everyone helped us out. It's good. And I drew a bunch of pictures one after the other...

Your original illustrations were put up for a charity auction.
The proceeds from that surprised me too.

The total bidding on three of your pictures was 2, 230 000 yen. More or less.
It's amazing really. I sort of just thought when I did it that maybe if there are some diehard fans I might be able to get something like 50 000 yen. So I was completely shocked. At the total number in the end. And I am extremely grateful.

You updated your blog every day after the earthquake and I wonder what kind of Imai-esque posts you'll be updating with now so could you tell me something about them?
Well, not really, no.

What do you mean?
Well, it's no good if I tell you it all now. Mm, eventually. All in good time *smiles*.

Then when the time does come, please tell me.
Yeah. But when it's time go look at my blog.

You've been really into blogging lately. Like that clever post you made with the popsicle.
When it looked like the sky? You didn't get it at first?

No I didn't.
Oh, really. I guess because I was the one who did it? Even for me, I gotta say it was quite the masterpiece. Even as I was doing it I was thinking of all the possibilities you could get from it. That great masterpiece took me about four hours to create.

Oh my god *smiles*. You're so dedicated~
And no one even asked me to do it. I'm the one who wanted to do the blog myself. But, suddenly I'm putting all this effort into something that isn't even necessary *smiles*. But it's fun to do too.

Your April Fool's post was impressive.
I think I really tricked people.

Yes.... but I mean don't you get it? I understand where you were coming from with that but I wondered what the hell you were thinking.
Hya-hya-hya! I really thought it'd make fans laugh more than anything else. I never thought they'd take it seriously.

They reacted all right, just beyond your expectation....
Yeah, I wonder if I lost fans because of it. Ah, did you get the code?

I didn't even notice at first. Once I realized it was a joke, I was impressed.
I did it because I thought people would get it right away but because I wrote [BUCK-TICK](2) instead of [バクチク] and [解散] instead of [カイサン], when I showed it to people before I even uploaded it they told me they didn't get the joke at all. That's why I thought it'd be more obvious with the katakana.

My impression of you has changed little by little since you've started your blog. I don't think people who only know your stage self would get your kind of joke.
They wouldn't? But it's soooo me, isn't it. It's the second April Fool's since I began my blog. But last year, I let it pass without saying anything. And so then I decided that ok, next year I'm absolutely doing something! So I thought I'd make a joke about us breaking up or something equally simple but shocking. But I never thought I'd get such a serious reaction from people.

I got it right away. But there was a split fraction of a second where my heart jumped....
I bet it made you all queasy. Hya-hya-hya! I'm so doing this every year from now on!

There was quite a lot of discussion about whether the tour would be cancelled or postponed and in the end it was decided that it would be postponed.
Yeah well, it wasn't cancelled.

We couldn't book any real venues.
But we'll be able to book them again in time. Even if we can only get those places next year, it's ok.

Was there any place that left an impression during the tour up until the Nagoya show on March 6th?
Ah, when I put my hair up. The mobile users only live in Shinkiba and the FC only live in Nagoya.

That was when we took the group picture.
*looking at the picture* Yes, yes that time.

The night before Sakurai-san's birthday in Nagoya, a cake was brought onstage bearing your masterful artistry.
Right. I drew crocodiles a lot back in my teens.

That's how Sakurai-san knew the drawing.
Yes. But I kicked it up a notch.

I thought this new one that appeared on the cake was a little different.
I know right! Previously, when people threw me a birthday party, Acchan drew a picture for my cake right. So I thought I could get him back with this. But it ended up a little different in parts.

That's had the pastry-chef's own flair thrown in *smiles*.

Did you know POLYSICS before participating in the Ongaku to Hito event with them in February?
Yeah, I know them. I like POLYSICS. I already understood their kind of techno before being told about them. I even told Yoko-chan afterwards that we should go hang out with them.

What are your plans until the postponed lives?
Write music. After that there's a lot of things I want to do. When it comes to lyric and song writing.

Lastly, will you say something to everyone awaiting the postponed lives?
A great disaster has regrettably struck us but......we'll persevere! It's ok!

Notes: (1) The Azalea Festival.
(2) By writing the band name and the word for 'break up' in katakana -which is usually used to place emphasis on words- he thought it would be obvious that he was joking about it.