Fish Tank 69
Interview with Yagami Toll
Reported by Kaneko Mayumi and Oguma Hisako
Translation by Lola

It's almost your birthday.
But by the time this issues comes out, my birthday will be past.

True. Speaking of your birthday, please tell me how it was decided that you'd do the "Yagami Toll ~51st Birthday Live~ [IT'S A NOW!] 2013".
Well, the manager basically said, "If you're going to do something anyway, why not do a live show?" *laughs*. But you know I'm an old man so, really what he's saying is he didn't want me getting rusty *laughs*.

And SHIME-san will be performing as a guest during the live, right?
I went to see a friend's band and it happened that he was performing as a vocalist for a different group. He's a year older than me, I think. Anyway, his repertoire of songs ended up being a lot of stuff from America in the 70s, which went perfectly with my preferences. And his voice is just fantastic. He has that same quality of voice as Matsuzaki Shigeru-san, and the late Ozaki Kiyohiko-san, I mean he's got their classical style you know and is equal to the American and European singers of that time. His pronunciation is so good that I was unsure of what he was singing *laughs*.

So you asked him if he would join you?
I did! I think that live when we first met was sometime at the end of last year. The two of us intend on focusing on songs from the 70s by bands like the Beatles and CCR.

Last time you had played songs by CAROL.
Because I had been playing as Yagami Toll & The Blue Sky that time. And this is more like a continuation.

The rainy season ended abruptly for us but only to subject us to some surprisingly intense heat. So how have you been handling that?
I'm fine. I've got the AC going in the house so I've been managing pretty well *smiles*. But I've been going to the gym once a week with Yuuta-kun and we walk all the way there. It's about a 20 minute walk. Usually we head out around two in the afternoon so then by the time we get there my t-shirt is super drenched with sweat *smiles*.

Ha ha ha!
But then once I get to the gym I change, then I sweat some more, and change again into another t-shirt to go home in but of course by the time I get home, once again I'm all sweaty *laughs*. I'm sweating more than I do during lives even. Since I quit smoking, I've been sweating quite liberally.

Other than that, have you been doing anything else to stay healthy?
If I had to say something, I guess it'd be that I'm always drinking Nanoclustered Water. And I drink it with a stick of hydrogen water in it. I take care to drink it like that. It really is better with the hydrogen stick. Because it seems that's what takes out the reactive oxygen.

Moving on, have you watched your film "BUCK-TICK the movie ~The Buck-Tick Phenomenon~"?
I watched it on DVD. It felt sort of weird for me, you know seeing what I do every day, what I see every day made into a movie like that. But those backstage shots are something that the fans don't ever get to see really so, I guess that's interesting for them right. But you know in the previous issue when we were all asked about what feeling the movie had, it's not like we could just say, "Well, it's kinda meh" *laughs*. But that's because you know for us, it's really just what we always see and do.

Were there any memorable scenes for you?
If I had to pick one, guess I'd say the footage from 25 years ago. The scene of us recording when we were indies.

I'm guessing your manager filmed that.
It wasn't our manager. Back then there was this group that wanted to put out an omnibus documentary, so they went around documenting various bands at the time and we were one of the bands filmed. I had heard that the Blue Hearts were supposed to be in it too, but that the plan to have them fizzled. And as a result, we were the ones who got to keep the footage.

Were you the one who had the footage, Yagami-san?
Yeah but that's just 'cause back then BUCK-TICK's office was actually just mine and Yuuta's room! *laughs*

I bet there's a ton of prized footage hidden away *smiles*. Afterwards, what did you think of the your new songs that played for the end credits?
I thought they fit really well, I think both Hide's song and Imai's song were able to showcase their personalities, and I think it was great that there was a contrast between the two you know?

A lot of people said that they were "moved to tears". What about you, Yagami-san, did you cry?
Uh no, I don't usually cry watching our stuff...... Oh! But a friend of mine from Gunma who was there for the premier did tell me, "Anii.....I totally bawled" *laughs*.

Right the premier screening was in Gunma's Mikabomirai hall, and you guys made a surprise appearance on stage.
Yeah and the audience was more excited than during our lives *laughs*.

They were greatly excited, yes. Because you were all on stage. A fan who was in the audience said, "Yagami-san's speech of, 'We'll do our best to do all that we can for as long we can, so I hope you will all continue to support us' was really moving."
Well I mean, I know we've been doing this a long time but, you know we can't quit this, not when we've been fortunate enough to be able to do what we want. And I think it's because we take everyone's feelings into account too. So I'm gonna do this till my body craps out on me *laughs*. That's why I said, "All that we can, for as long as we can".

I understand. And it's been decided that on September 14, you will be performing for "Kishidan Expo 2013".
Because they came out for us last year for the "BUCK-TICK Fest". And you know their leader told us how he's always been a huge fan of ours. So you know, all the more reason to pay them back twofold! I want to give it my all for them!

"Hanzawa Naoki", the Yagami Toll edition *laughs*(1). It was announced that you will also be participating in "The SOLAR BUDOUKAN 2013 in Nakatsugawa".
It's a traditional folk jamboree that has taken place in Nakatsugawa because it's sacred land. It's a real honor for us to be able to perform live at such a traditional place where our seniors have before us.

Turning to the end of the year lives now, are there no songs that you want to play, Yagami-san?
It's 'cause we've got some hundred songs! *laughs* So for now, I thinks it's better to let the fans send in their requests for what they'd like to hear..... but "UNDER THE MOONLIGHT" will get rejected *laughs*. It's 'cause we've only recorded it, we really never played it even once live. Which means you know, well, do you know why?

Uh no, why?
The thing about recording is, and you'll get it when you see the movie but, how it works is that we do the dubbing for each part. Meaning, while we're made to sound as one during recording, in fact, we've never actually performed the song together.

Oh! So that's why!
Yes. But Imai's stance on it is that it's always been like that so he feels we should just leave it. Meanwhile for me, now I'm wanting to hear it!

Finally, would you please say a word to all the club members?
Right, well......regarding the shows at the end of the year, please let us know what you'd really like to hear. And then come see us at the end of the year!

Notes: (1)"Hanzawa Naoki" is a television series that aired in Japan in 2013 about a banker who works for the Tokyo Chuo Bank. Part of the title of the first episode was "Payback in twofold!", which is the same expression Toll had just used in his previous answer. Apparently, the show was popular enough to be aired in other countries as well.