Fish Tank 61
Interview with Sakurai Atsushi
Translation: Lola

Please tell us what's going on as of now?
Right now...well for about a week or so, I've really started... to jot down a few words for the new album...which is something I've never really done before up till now as a way of starting.

So you came up with a few key words to be expanded on with the music?
Yeah. Well, if they expand on those words that would be great. Well the idea behind it's not lyrics or even poetry yet, I suppose it feels more like a short story you can consult.

So you're saying, there's no music but you've written out some key words that could in a way be the basis for the new album and from that you've made a story?
Yeah, I have. Though now, thanks to vodka I've pretty much forgotten it.... Also part of putting words together like that sometimes I happen upon something interesting. Of course, sometimes it ends up not being interesting too. I'm glad when things turn out well just as I thought they might but...what I find even more interesting is when it turns out unexpectedly, and I think how did this happen?!

How do you put the words together then? Is it just individual words? Or do you try to write them a little bit as though you were writing a poem?
Both. I am a little restricted though...because I know they have to be lyrics right so, I have to keep the rhythm in mind and things like that. There are of course various ways of doing that while still keeping it interesting though. But right now well, I'm at the point where I honestly have no idea how it will turn out.

So now do you feel like you're waiting for an array of songs on a demo based on your words?
Well, the image does not have to be connected to the individual words but perhaps to the phrases that make up the story as a whole.

Next year will be Buck-Tick's 25th anniversary since their debut. Have you had the chance to talk about it with the other members at all?
Nope *smiles*.

It's the 25th anniversary. How do you feel about it?
Hmm, I'm not sure you know? We always say this but, it's true, I never imagined we'd reach this point.

The number of people who come to lives as a family has increased as well. People that were born at the time of your debut are 25 now.
You're telling me...because it's incredible right? Right? *smiles*

It most certainly is! There are two generations, parents and their children, joining the fan club.
I mean look, even with you telling us that right now I'm baffled, I feel like 'huh? wha?' *smiles*. When you ask me how I feel about it, it's like it's happening to someone else so...I don't really know what to say. I don't understand why it's so amazing but, it does make me happy to hear of course. What really makes me happy is that even though there is a generation gap, our values are...well, how can I put it? I mean they find value in our music and they like it and that's really incredible.

This is also about the time you start working on things for DIQ so what sort of things have you been talking about for the lives?
Mm. About that um...I'm leaving it all up to Hoshino and Higuchi so you can go to them for the details *smiles*.

Hide-san and Yuuta-san have a great deal to say about it this time don't they.
*smiles* I can't exactly say they have too much to say about it considering....

Don't you always end up saying how difficult it is?
Of course if I have my own vision about what I want then, that's what I want them to do *smiles*. Well in order not to be irresponsible, um...up till now given that I thought I couldn't say what I wanted to say, I would just butt some things in. Now I really want them to do what they want *smiles*.

Um...won't that make things weird between you *smiles*?
No it's ok. It's ok *smiles*.

Aren't there songs that you would like to do Sakurai-san?
There are, yeah *smiles*. But I think since I want them to do as they please, perhaps it would be better if they think of everything.

It was decided you would do a DIQ at Zepp Sendai after the earthquake....
Right after the earthquake, I think everyone really wanted to know what they could do since at the time there were those who hadn't seen us yet. And then the response came right away, "You can do a show in Sendai". Then when it came time to pick a hall, I thought Zepp Sendai had suffered great damage as well but since it turns out we would be able to use it I think we all thought well, if we're going to be there, we're going to make everyone have a blast. I would rather everyone be unable to stop themselves from being pulled into the mood than have them just stand there unmoving because that know. I think somehow, that's how everyone feels, mm.

And for the first time you'll be trying out doing a DIQ in a live house as well.
Yeah. So this time the DIQs are quite important, which means that good content is an absolute necessity.

Will it really be ok?
*smiles* Well~ look, if I'm leaving it up to Hoshino and Higuchi it's because I have complete faith in them *smiles*.

I'm really going to print that you know *smiles*.
*smiles* That's ok. I know the staging will be wonderful.

I know even now you've continued with your charity work by painting things but where did you learn to paint like that?
Ah well, nowhere really.

Is it self-taught?
You could say I'm self-taught yes, but there's no real technique to what I do. Well I mean, I like it. One of things I like about painting is that I can draw things from an imaginary world. And because it's my own work, I can put things in it that are from my imagination which, of course I like would be great if I could become good at painting those things.

Do you usually paint during the day? Or at night?
Mm. Recently I've done a lot of painting at night.

This time your painting of cherry blossoms was made into stationary.
I used watercolours for it too. And since there's no real deadline, I'm al~ways working on it *smiles*. It's split up into about three days of painting, then letting the paint dry and then applying another coat.

Will you continue to do this type of charity work from now on?
I would like to in some form like this yes. But I mean the truth is it's because of everyone, all the people who participate and play a part. The fans play a major role.

So do you think raising charity awareness is something you will continue to do?
Um...well...I know I cannot really do great things. But perhaps what I can do will be enough.

Finally, please say a word to everyone awaiting the postponed shows and the DIQ lives.
Soon...I can sing songs that I love. Step by step that day is coming closer. And of course everyone is kind enough to be looking forward to that day...but I think I wouldn't mind doing nothing again... as I have these past three months. It would be better if... I could quickly get myself to feel pumped for the concerts every day and try to tell myself indulgently 'Am I to be on stage today as well?'. Slowly would be good too actually. But this year we will play twice in Sendai so, thank you Tohoku. And after begins the year of our 25th anniversary...and of course that's not only limited to Sendai, once again along with Tohoku, we will tour Hokkaido, Shikoku, Kyushu and Okinawa. I want to tour the whole country. Thank you.