Fish Tank 63
Interview with Higuchi Yutaka
Reporter: Ikeda Rumi
Translation: Lola

Please tell me about what's happening currently.
Yesterday was the first day of recording.

Ok, well I'd like to backtrack a bit to the lives, how did you find the postponed lives went?
They were great. Though at first I was all nervous about it...I was going in circles in my head worrying and telling myself that it's ok, it'll be exciting and in the end it was so I was happy. Because there were people who had been kind enough to wait to see us.

And the set list was the same as before....
Yup. Because of course, there were those who had been really looking forward to seeing our "Utakata no RAZZLE DAZZLE" show.

Did anything leave an impression on you during the postponed performances?
What really struck me was how clearly I could see everyone's smiling faces.

The whole atmosphere was very warm wasn't it.
Yeah, I'm glad. I think it really was because of everyone who had been waiting to see us and because of the staff too you know, we were all glad we hadn't cancelled the shows completely.

For the Day in Question, you and Hide-san had the main idea so how was it, doing a set list you planned?
The truth is, Hide and I thought of songs based on what everyone discussed, it was more the order of the songs that was really our idea. I'm glad it turned out so well given that it was our first time doing something like that and using the old footage too. We didn't do things like that specifically because it was our 25th anniversary, it was more about wanting to express how we all felt about the year. It was a good way to start our 25th year together but I think if we had just made it about the anniversary, it would have felt less special.

It was an amazing set list. You took a song from each album right?
I did but some other members thought it would be better to change that so we did it through trial and error.

Because at first they didn't know if it would work right?
Right. So first we decided to start with [HURRY UP MODE] and go all the way through to [RAZZLE DAZZLE] picking songs from in between so that the whole concert would flow. But I didn't want to just end up only doing singles. That wouldn't really feel right for a 25th anniversary live you know. I really thought we could do a lot more than that. I mean we put out 18 albums right? And I thought a show for our 25 years should show just what we can do.

The first DIQ was in Sendai.
I was really glad we were able to do that. We had asked the production staff if maybe it would have been possible for us to do a show there and they told us there was a date available so, I would like to thank the staff for doing that. I'm happy we were able to go ahead and do it. We knew the show would be in December and we knew that all we could do is give them a concert but at the same time, we wondered if a concert would actually help? But since it was something that we could do, we were all really glad to be able to do it.

It was also the first time you had a standing live for DIQ.
That's true. But of course the reconstruction of Sendai was the most important thing. I'm really grateful to the staff because the venue was completely different you know, I figured it must have been hard on them. And yet in its own way, the concert ended up feeling the same as always.

Speaking of DIQ, it was also the first time to have one in Fukuoka and Hiroshima so was there anything that left an impression in those places?
We got a lot of letters from fans about it and you know I think this time, more than ever, we really didn't want to just only do a DIQ in Tokyo, we wanted to try as many places as we could. When we tour with an album, of course that album's atmosphere is what comes through and it sort of colors the whole tour and given that each album has a different image, the lives end up being completely different. And I think because of our plan for DIQ this time, that really came through for the audience.

The DIQ at Budoukan was also live streamed for the first time so how did that affect you?
I don't really know how it affected us *smiles*. I mean for sure it's not that I was completely unaware of it.... But you know, it's not like it was airing live on TV, it was only people who wanted to watch it that were watching so I think it's ok.

There were about 100 thousand people who watched it that day.
I'm so happy about that. It feels fitting given what we wanted to do for everyone. Now it really feels like what we do has meaning you know.

So you ended 2011 on that note.
Well, while I was happy once the live was over, I think it felt more like a beginning to me than an end, especially with the announcement at the very end.

It was astounding wasn't it. Seeing the entire schedule all the way to December 29th of the next year.
See, we wanted to take the opportunity during the live to show that things are really just starting, they're far from over. And they'll go on for our 26th and 27th year and's really only just beginning.

Were you able to have a leisurely New Year's holiday?
No, not leisurely at all *smiles*. Had to do things like complete Imai-kun's songs. And basically as soon as he was done, it was a rush to get into recording.

I see. And then you start off the lives with the outdoor concert in June so you really do have an incredible amount of stuff lined up after that.
We'll have to do our best. It's been a long time since we've had an outdoor concert but I think we'll be able to pull it off.

There was special footage that came with the sale of the [CATALOGUE] on March 7th but was there anything you found interesting about the old clips?
At the Japanese Youth Centre, our positioning was different. I didn't have my usual platform. Anii was elevated super high and because I was in the dead centre of the stage, I was hidden by Acchan so you couldn't tell if I was there or not *smiles*.

How did it come about that you stand where you do now?
I think I asked if I could. Like hey, would it be ok if I had a platform to stand on? And everyone ended up liking how it turned out.

It brought back memories, seeing everyone with their hair up.
I guess there are people who didn't know we looked like that. So it's something new for them to see.

Then there's the DIQ footage from Ariola.
They had been filmed previously but not released till now *smiles*. We've had a lot of memories with our old label since it played such a big role in our development. So I hope everyone enjoys it.

What's the current recording situation like?
We're just getting into it really. Since it's going in various directions though I think it will turn out to be really interesting.

So the chaos of 2012 has begun, how do you think the rest of the year will go?
Yeah. It feels a bit like a year long festival you know with all the stuff we're doing. I want everyone to look forward to it and you know, I'm looking forward to it too!

Finally, would you way a word to everyone who will be celebrating your 25 years with you.
For me things really kicked off for our 25th anniversary starting with last year's show at Budoukan and I'm super excited for everything that is to come so please, look forward to it. And I'd love to see a lot of people so you've just got to come see us!!