Fish Tank 63
Interview with Sakurai Atsushi
Reporter: Ikeda Rumi
Translation: Lola

I would like you to tell me about the present situation.
Right now recording has started, and I have some lyric writing to do which will take a few days for one song since I have to think about the lyrics being used for the single and then, after that I will record the vocals. But first, lyrics.

So the songs for the single have already been decided?
Well, it hasn't been absolutely decided yet.

Because you have to decide which songs will go together first.
Right, yeah. We'll also be covering one of our own songs too, for one of the songs on the single.

I'm sure you've heard the demo of it....
I'm about to actually. With the altered arrangement.

I'm gonna backtrack a bit but, I was pretty shocked by your hairstyle during the postponed performances.
Ah. Ha ha ha *smiles*.

So what was up with that?
Well. When I was alone backstage fiddling with myself, things went completely erect *smiles*.

That sounded a little pervy right now didn't it? *smiles*

I'm printing that *smiles*.
Well, I just did it on a whim really. You know I was feeling excited since it had been a long time since we'd done a live and now I was finally able to meet with everyone again. And I wanted to show how I was feeling...somehow. So then really, on a whim...when I was fiddling with myself...I felt like oh yes~ completely up~♡ *smiles*.

It really does sound perverted when you say it like that! Was there anything that left an impression during the postponed performances?
Of course, both the Osaka and Tokyo shows because they were fan club only. So naturally I was happy. And people seemed pleased by things like the commemorative photos. We discussed having an atmosphere that was incredibly different than usual and wondered about maybe having the fans closer that ever before and you know, that's the thing about being together for twenty years, we have lots of people offering ideas as to what we could do. And because of that, I really can see that people are might seem like it took us awhile to realize it but of course I was glad to have people so close.

There was such love in your MC as well Sakurai-san, and I felt like the whole atmosphere was much warmer than usual.
That's just how things came out naturally. Like...I was able to act naturally during the performance.

Right after the postponed lives you had the Day in Question shows, the first of which had been decided would be in Sendai right after the major earthquake happened but what was the atmosphere like in Sendai?
Of course seeing as it was the site of the disaster and that the place is still in a dreadful state, I imagined that......people wouldn't really have much spirit but it turned out that the people who came to see us, I mean really, there was no need for me to worry. They were full of energy, it really inspired me you know. It truly touched me emotionally. Sendai was incredibly great.

It was also the first time you had a DIQ in Fukuoka and Hiroshima so it was a little like a mini tour.
True. Up till pretty recently, we mostly only had the one show in Budoukan but some of us felt like it was a bit of a waste and little by little the staff came to feel that as well and when I heard how there are some who just can't come see us in Tokyo but were happy we'd be in Hiroshima, I mean that really struck me you know. That and being cheered on by male fans in Fukuoka and Hiroshima....

Did they cheer you on with passion in their voices?
The guys have been really energetic recently. And they were especially energetic in Hiroshima and Fukuoka.

The Budoukan show on the 29th was live streamed on the net so were you partly aware of that during your performance?
Very *smiles*.

During the niconico live stream, close to 100 thousand people tuned in for the show and the documentary.
A hundred thousand people? Wow~ that's amazing isn't it? *smiles*

Was there anything that left an impression from the Budoukan show?
During the opening sequence we were showing footage of our Indies days at the same time. It was a way to tie our 25 years together. As for the actual idea, there was a lot detailed discussion back and forth so you know, bits of the intro are from Imai-san, some are from Hide-san. So once we decided how we wanted the intro then, it was like, ok, and how about we project some old PVs at the same time?

Was it your idea to have the old PVs Sakurai-san?
I think so.

And you were ok showing old footage of you guys from when you were younger?
Yeah. Well I thought it would make things more amusing for sure. When I saw how my hair was spiked up I thought, ah yes, so that's how I did it. It's good for us when we're amused as well. And you know we felt like wouldn't it be even more interesting if we did the songs in the order of the albums?

As someone who has been listening to your music for a long time, hearing the songs in that order gave me goose bumps.
That's why it was done that way wasn't it? I think we all were really able to completely enjoy the four DIQ shows this time.

Actually, how much recording do you have left to do currently?
A lot. Come March we might be in dire straights financially.

I thought the four songs written last year would suffice.
Right. Well, because we have those I'm a little hopeful. I have about five songs from Imai-san but have only come up with lyrics for one....

So have you already completed that one song?
I guess you could say I have the general outline....

Talking about lyric writing...have you been writing by hand?
I have. That's what I do at first. Then when it's time to write a clean copy I type them into the computer usually but recently, I've been doing both. When it's on the computer, I have a fresh take on it and it looks different doesn't it? And I can just erase things right away. That's what's good about it and another point in its favour is that I tend to complete things more on the computer, whereas when I write by hand, I can throw in whatever I now, I do both.

And you're the one who types the final copy as well?
Yes. And right up until the last moment I'm wondering, "Is this ok?" *smiles*.

Does the album have an outlook as a whole right now, do you know which direction it will take?
At this point, there really isn't much I can say about it other than my personal perspective of the themes is that of saying goodbye to those who have passed on. But it is not the end but rather, a new beginning. And I wanted to sing about the sort of world I like too. I have the intention of doing what I want within the world that I like without being manipulated by anyone *smiles*.

What of the world you like?
There is always conflict and contradictions within me and I want to find enjoyment in that. That has always been at the base of my themes. Things like, "Happiness and Sadness", "Angel and Devil", things that are two sides of the same coin. That is always what I want to express, what I want to sing about. It's easy to understand right.

Finally, please say a word to the fans who will be partying it up with you for your 25th anniversary.
Thank you so much for these past 24 years. I hope you will stay with us for our 25th year as well. Next I will be waiting for you at the outdoor concert in the rain. Let's revel together again everyone!!