Fish Tank 66
Text by Rumi Ikeda & Takahiro Chiba
Translation by Lola

Imai Hisashi

(About the SE)

Let's go from the Fest on the 22nd and 23rd of September... so at the time of the previous issue, you had said, "I'll have to compose the SE for that" so I'm guessing that after we spoke, you went straight into working on it?
Yeah. I did. It was kinda last minute. But you know, the whole process took about two days. Once I already have the basic form of it... there's the mixing and balancing which Yoko-chan does for me after.

You were quite flustered about the whole thing.
Well yeah. Because there was the other one too!

Huh? Which one?
We started to work on the B-T theme...pretty close to the deadline but I had wanted to change the tempo of the first half of it...make it something that would be instantly inspirational. And ultimately it turned out to be a powerful SE.

(About Costume)

I was surprised by the costume you wore.
Why? What was wrong with me wearing that?!

Nothing *smiles*. I only meant I was surprised that you actually requested to wear it.
Huh? But I really wanted to! I mean when I was getting ready for the show AA='s Takeshi was there and I was so insanely jealous of what he had on. It was just so cool! So I was like, hey, I wanna wear that too!

(About the Fest being two days)

Five years ago, the Fest was only one day but this time it was split over two days so how did you find that?
Well it was incredibly enjoyable. I'm really glad it went so well.

You posted a lot of pictures of it on your blog.
Yeah, I'm really glad I did that.

The only ones you didn't get photos of were MUCC.
I know, that's the thing.... It's why it was decided that I absolutely had to go out to eat with Yukke at some point afterwards.

(About the different performers at the Fest)

Watching the fest, I was amazed at how there was such a variety of inspiring performers.
I know, right. And everyone was so different from one another. That's what made it so incredibly interesting, and exciting.

Were you able to catch a glimpse of everyone's performance?
I watched every band from the side of the stage.

(About his birthday)

During the hall tour, it was your first time performing in Shiga and it was your birthday.
I suppose I should say something like...having my birthday celebrated there and being welcomed in Shiga for the first time brought me great happiness *smiles*.

How proper of you to say that *smiles*. And what was your impression after performing in Shiga, Saga and Tokushima for the first time?
There were some great, super energetic kids. I noticed there were a lot of guys too. And I didn't really see many people with makeup or all dressed up in the current fashions so there was this sense of individuality. And you know, that's something I get. It's a great feeling.

I heard there was some banter between you and Sakurai-san when he told you to blow out the candles and you said, "Huh? Me?".
*smiles* Ah, yeah, that. Because after he said that, I figured, ok, I'm sure Hide will play "Happy Birthday" for me now but then he didn't play a single note! So I thought wait, am I supposed to play it...?

What?! Are you saying you actually ended up having to play "Happy Birthday" for yourself?!
Yeah and I played it acoustic on top of that *smiles*. ...because I had just used it for "Coyote". I just figured ok, well this will have to do and started to play "Happy Birthday" but then I stopped halfway through.

Did you tell Hide-san to play it? *smiles*
He wasn't doing a damn thing!

So, you didn't actually tell him to play it?
No. But it was just, when I was playing I looked over at him and he gave me this wry grin *smiles*.

Sakurai Atsushi

(About his hair at the Fest)

So you had hair extensions for the first day of the Fest.
I had it done two nights before the fest and it took about four hours.

Huh? So they were already in when you came to the venue?
Yeah, I just had my hair tied up in the back. I had almost forgotten how annoying it was, having such long hair *smiles*. I mean it's been some decades.... It was a long time ago, but I remember back then, when I'd walk by, grade schoolers saying things like, "That woman's humongous!" from behind me *smiles*.

I'm sure they did say stuff like that *smiles*.
And once I had the extensions removed, I felt so light. I mean they made me so crazy itchy...*smiles* It just got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore and so I went to the nearest hairdresser's to have them give me a wash and rinse. Having someone shampoo your hair usually feels nice right but I mean this time, it felt truly heavenly! It was some beauty salon close to the Chiba harbor...anyway, I owe them, they have my sincerest gratitude.

(About the weather at the Fest)

The weather was completely different for the two days of the Fest, which made for two very different impressions.
I know, right. But I mean really, not much you can do about that sort of thing... but I still felt so bad for those who came on the second day. And for the artists that day too. It was so awful. A whole deluge of rain.

The rain turned the ground to mud so fast it made the ground where the audience was standing seem like rice fields.
I know, it was so terrible.... I'm sure it was just horrible for those who were there from morning until night and I really, I have to say that I'm grateful that they stayed.

(About touring in different places)

You toured in some prefectures for the first time, was being in Shiga, Tokushima and Saga any different from when you tour in other places?
It was...I ended up giving really good service.

Really?! Any specific examples?
To put it simply, I just ended up chatting a lot.

Right, you did more MCs than usual.
Yeah...things just turned out that way for whatever reason I guess...but, well, there's nothing you can do about it, that's what happens when you do a live.

(About Imai's birthday)

Your first time in Shiga fell on October 21st, which is Imai-san's birthday, so how did that turn out?
Absolutely great! Even after all these years, we still enjoy being able to celebrate like that on stage.

I heard that when you gestured at Imai-san to blow out the candles, he responded with, "Huh? Me?" *smiles*.
*smiles* Right, meanwhile I'm like, well yeah, who else? He totally didn't get it though *smiles*.

(Plans for after the tour)

Do you have any plans for once the standing tour is over?
After the tour...I'd love to go on vacation *smiles*. It would be so nice to rest *smiles*. I've had to work every weekend this past year so...yes, I would like to go on vacation afterwards *smiles*.

Hoshino Hidehiko

(About the Fest)

It's been five years since the last B-T Fest, so how did you find it?
We had a heavy downpour on the second day so you know, because of that...well, I have to say initially I was just relieved to have it all end without any mishaps but then again I was also filled with so much gratitude for all those who stayed up till the very end through all the rain.

Five years ago, there were fourteen performers in one day, this time the performances were split into two days. How was that, in your opinion?
I think allotting more time to all the bands allowed both them and us to perform longer.

(About his book)

Seeing as sales of your book, "Simply Life", have been promising, could you tell us a bit about the response it has received?
The response? ...I guess it's been pretty typical. But I guess you mean in what way is it typical? *smiles*

Yes, in which way? *smiles*
Well, you know I'd come in to the office and have letters and e-mails addressed to me...that sort of thing, which is a fairly normal way to respond. (Although e-mails get to me faster, there's no time delay.)

And people responded the way they usually do...? But they talked to you about a variety of things didn't they? Things like their early childhood which is not something they would normally discuss with you.
Well, yeah I'd get responses like that too. You know where they start by talking about their childhood and then suddenly they recall something so they tell me about it...of course, with some parts abridged though. It feels normal to me though you know, for them to recall something and then tell me about it.

Fans were surprised by the part about your hearing....
Yeah. Well it's not like it was something I was trying to hide, I just never had the chance to talk about it till then *smiles*. Anyway, it came out in the end.

And how about another installment of "Simply Life"?
Another installment? You know, I'm not sure *smiles*.

(About touring in new places and Imai's birthday)

You played in Saga, Tokushima and Shiga. How was your first time performing there?
Mm. They were all so beautiful and you know it was Imai-san's birthday live in Shiga, and that was really incredibly exciting *smiles*.

But you know...Imai-san told me, "Hide didn't play a single note for me!" *smiles*.
*smiles* No, no, it wasn't like that! The thing is, it was during the first encore and the staff and the other members and I, we had decided not to do anything then. But then the fans started clapping and calling out "Happy Birthday" I figured, ok, we'll just ignore it for now. But then birthday man starts hurriedly playing Happy Birthday *smiles*. But I'm there thinking, ok, just keep ignoring, keep ignoring *smiles*. Because see, we had planned on bringing out the cake for the second encore....

And so, did you play Happy Birthday for him during the second encore?
Yeah. Just the last phrase though. But I doubt anyone really noticed *smiles*. Oh right, so before we went out for the encores, I noticed he (Imai-san) had his cell in his back pocket so I thought oh, hey, I'll take his picture with his phone. I figured it'd be fine since we have the same phone but then he had all these apps on his and I was like, which is the camera? *smiles* But it's not like I had all day to be fiddling with it, right *smiles*.

Ah, so the photo that Imai-san posted on his blog that day was taken by you then?
Yeah, yeah.

It was good. But you know, because you didn't caption it with anything, all we get is Imai-san's comment on it, which made you out to be quite the scoundrel *smiles*.
No doubt *smiles*.

Yagami Toll

(About the Hall Tour)

How has the hall tour been going?
I think it's been getting better and better as it goes. I was in top form at the most recent live. It was the other day in Kobe, and I felt like I was really at my best, very controlled. I mean, because we all came together so well, it came across in the sound. For me anyway, that live the other day was our best so far. Almost no mistakes. And yet still some people were griping on the survey....

About what?
They wrote things like, "Were you tired today?" and "You sounded off to me, like you were trying too hard".... And here I am thinking I was so great you know *laughs*. It's funny though that that's how it seemed to those watching. And that they wrote that *smiles*.

It is. But that's a pretty shocking thing to write in a survey isn't it?
Well you also have to consider where people were seated in the venue too. Because if you're seated along the edges, the sound can be bad. So there's that too. Well anyway, Inoue-san's the one who's got the best seat in the house for the sound.

(About quitting smoking)

Speaking of things that have changed recently, how has quitting smoking affected you?
You'd think it'd be great for me but it's actually had some terrible side effects that are kinda it's totally changed how I drink and it's weird for me, to be drunk like that.

Like you get drunk more quickly?
It's like I don't know how to pace myself anymore, with my drinking *laughs*. Since I'm not smoking, there's no moment when I don't have a drink in hand so I just keep drinking steadily and then suddenly I'm completely smashed...and I often don't remember anything *laughs*.

Do you feel any difference when it comes to doing lives or eating?
It's made lives easier for sure. Because my heart and lungs are stronger right. So I could do more because of that, like in regards to playing, I could think about all the details.

You quit smoking at the beginning of the tour right?
Well, actually I think I was still smoking opening night in Yokosuka.

Oh! It really is a recent thing then. So do you feel like you'll never need to smoke again?
Yeah. Like during the after party, even though people are smoking around me, it's not like I'm envying them or anything like that you know. I can definitely say that, this past year or two I really...wasn't enjoying smoking at all, it was just a bad habit. I was just used to it you know, eat, have a cigarette, wake up, drink tea, have a cigarette.

Don't they say that when you quit smoking, you gain weight because your mouth wants something in it?
Yeah. It's so weight did fluctuate. But I have a strong stomach, it's happy with what I take in *laughs*.

I guess you're not that worried about it then. Do you feel there's something you would have rather quit, other than smoking?
Not really but...if I quit drumming I'm sure I'd smoke *laughs*. It's all for the drums!

Higuchi Yutaka

(About Buck-Tick's 25th Anniversary)

Looking back on Buck-Tick's 25th anniversary year, what kind of year has it been?
On the whole, it felt great to be so welcomed by everyone, and I mean a great part of the year was devoted to lives right and we talked about what to do for the fans with everyone, like which songs should we do...and you know it's not like while performing I suddenly got all these memories rushing back but like...during the Fest when we played "My Eyes & Your Eyes" it made me think back like, "Ah~ this song~"...and you know I wasn't dying but it felt like my life was flashing before my eyes *laughs*.

It's rare that you let yourself get lost in sentiment during a live.

(Plans for after the tour)

The lives for March have been announced but once those are all finished, what will you do?
Hmm! ...not sure *laughs* ...I dunno yet *laughs*. But it's not like I'm thinking about wanting to go on vacation or anything in particular like that but...I would like to try to do something.

So you're not thinking about wanting some time for yourself, to relax?
It's not something I really think about I guess. Maybe it's just because we've had such a variety of shows, you know it's been awhile. It felt like a surge *laughs*.

(About Toll quitting smoking)

As for recent changes, your older brother, Yagami-san has quit smoking.
*laughs* It was so funny you know, he's like I have made the decision that from today, there will be a day when I've quit smoking and from that day I will state that I've quit, this way I can take quitting slowly *laughs*. But from that day, no more. I'll quit, you just wait and see! *laughs*

He's certainly smoked for quite a while though.
But as of now, he has quit. And it wasn't because someone told him to either, he just decided himself it was something he would do and I think that's admirable.

Twenty five years ago you were all heavy smokers and now you've all become non-smokers which I think is pretty incredible too.
But we were heavy smokers then because it was the thing to do in those days....

(Message to the fans)

Well, since you still have some lives to go, would you please say something for the fans awaiting the shows?
Our current album, [Yumemiru Uchuu] doesn't have that many songs so we've had to combine it with older songs...and I think that we've done so successfully...and the atmosphere will be completely different between the hall tour and the standing tour all means! Please! Do, do come!!!!