Buck-Tick Club #26
August 30, 1994
Photo/Writer: Hitoshi Ojima
Translation: w_b

June 15th
6:55pm. Arrived at Heathrow 25 minutes later than scheduled. We were held up at customs for a bit but got through without any problems. Local staff members Lin-san and Kikugawa-san greeted us at the airport then joined us as we set out for our new home, a flat in Maida Vale. (We're the Imai team: Kubota (Victor's director) and Ojima.) Later we met up with the Maki team for supper at a spaghetti place, then went back to our flat and over a few drinks had a meeting about the coming days. Then bed.

June 16th
Got up at 11am. We had today off so we went shopping. We went to record shops in Soho (Virgin, among others) where Imai-kun splurged on CDs. Then the two of us went looking for a costume for the PV but we ended up wandering about for a long time without ever finding what we had talked about. We ran into the team of Oohashi-san (assigned to "B-projects" at the S.B. office) and Maki-san who had been out shopping on King's Road since 10am, so we went together for tea (beer). Next thing we knew it was 7pm (at 9pm in London it's still as bright out as around 6pm in Japan). We'd had enough for the day so we stopped by the super market, bought ingredients for curry and returned to our flat.
Back at the flat, we were looking through the CDs we had bought when Kubota-san called to say that he was at Raymond's (PIG's Vocalist) place and to come join him. So the two of us took a taxi to Raymond's. We had a meeting concerning the coming days over dishes prepared for us by Raymond's girlfriend. Halfway through I stepped out, leaving Imai-kun and Raymond alone. Poor Imai-kun had a rather hard time since he was forced to communicate all on his own. Around 1am we took a taxi back to out flat, had one drink and went to bed. Recording starts tomorrow.

June 17th
Got up at 11am. Maybe it's because of the time difference, but even Imai-kun had an easy time waking up. Around 11:30am we left and took a bus to the studio. The album's guest vocalist Susanne was already there when we arrived. We were exchanging courtesies when Maki-san made his appearance so we exchanged greetings, then had lunch. After lunch we went to the mixing room to greet Helen, the sound engineer.
The recording of vocals was progressing well when Imai-kun was forced to return to the flat to work on lyrics. On our way we bought ingredients for supper at an Indian store, then once we got back Imai-kun prepared a curry soup while I made spaghetti in a white wine sauce and we ate together. Imai-kun's cooking is delicious. I did the dishes and when I returned to the living room, Imai-kun was napping. I left him there and went to get some work done, and when I came back to the living room 3 hours later he was still asleep. I guess he was tired? He fell asleep early today.

June 18th
Got up at 11:30am. Left for the studio around 12:15pm. When Raymond arrived at the studio after lunch we checked Imai-kun's lyrics and had a meeting in preparation for the PV.
It seems that due to Raymond's work we wouldn't be recording Imai-kun's guitar parts today so we relaxed in the 2nd floor lobby instead. Then, after 3pm, we went to the electric appliance store with Raymond's manager Hoshina-san. The radio-cassette player she had bought yesterday was broken so she was hoping to get it exchanged. While we were on our way I think a car must have run over an old lady in a wheelchair because her leg was bleeding. When we got back Steve, the guitar player from Raymond's band was at the studio. There's a small billiard table on the 1st floor and Steven was there, playing billiard and making lots of noise. I've heard he's been working at the studio for the past 3 months.
At any rate, we haven't done any work since coming here. I'm pretty worried about it since we're on a tight schedule.

June 19th
Got up at 1:30pm. Imai-kun wasn't working today so we had the day off. We went all the way to the Oxford Circus to shop but most stores were closed because it was Sunday. FUCK! We stopped for supper at an Italian restaurant then took a taxi back to our flat.
When Kubota-san came home at 11pm we had a drink while listening to a tape of what they had recorded today at the studio. A little while later we got into a game of Black Jack, then bed past 4am. More shopping tomorrow.

June 20th
Got up at 12:30pm. Shops were open today since it's Monday. We went out together, all the way to the Oxford Circus. We had decided to go to the Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, King's Road and Sloane Street but we had so many shopping bags after the first stop at Oxford Circus that we went home. On the way back we had curry at an Indian restaurant but Imai-kun's was so fiery that he had a hard time eating it.
We had drinks again this evening, Raymond happened to drop by so we drank together and went to bed past 3am. Now, the real work will start tomorrow.

June 21st
Got up at 12:00pm. Today Imai-kun will be adding his guitar parts to two songs that Raymond wrote, and Steven his guitar parts to Imai-kun's songs. When Imai-kun was recording his parts Steve kept exclaiming, "Great! Cool!" Then Raymond came to work while Imai-kun was recording the second song, and kept going "Great! Cool!" as he listened to Imai-kun's guitar. Imai-kun must be a great and cool guitarist then. Even Helen the sound engineer was constantly giving him a thumbs up. We wrapped everything up around 11pm without any incidents and returned to our flat. Alcohol awaits tonight as well.

June 22nd
Got up at 12:00pm. Today we were recording Imai-kun's vocals. We went to the studio around 1pm and had breakfast (lunch). Then I went to the bank to withdraw a large sum. Plus I had Imai-kun's exchanged cash on me so I felt incredibly nervous. At my return to the studio I saw that the recording of Imai-kun's vocals was progressing well. Apparently he didn't even have any trouble with the pronunciation. Maki-san came around 6pm and we had supper together. Then Maki-san went into recording until 8pm, at which point work was wrapped up for the day.
We barely got back to the flat at 11:00pm when Raymond and Steve came. Their girlfriends left the cooking of supper to Imai-kun and promptly split with a "Ciao". So it was just the three of us eating Imai-kun's dishes. It's truly a shame the girls didn't get to taste such delicious food.

June 23rd
Got up at 11:30am. Arrived at the studio around 12:30pm. Both me and Imai-kun have been wondering, how come it's so hard to get up when we sleep over 8 hours each day? We went to bed before 3am, only got up around noon, and yet....
Today we're recording guitar. Let's hope we finish quickly, we plan on going to "PRONG"'s live tonight.
I wrote postcards to the other 4 members and 2 managers. Their contents are embarrassingly silly and when I thought that these cards will be going all the way across the ocean to Japan, tears at the utter absurdity and grandness of it sprang to my eyes. I plan on sending them out tomorrow and how much more ridiculous it will be if they only reach everyone after me and Imai-kun have arrived in Japan.

June 24th
Got up at 11:30am. Imai-kun got out of bed around 12:30pm. Today is our last day in the studio. Imai-kun will only be recording his guitar parts in the evening so we'll go shopping for a bit.
Called the studio around 7pm, were on our way there at 8pm. Imai-kun had a bit of guitar left to record and with that, his recording in London was completed. Maki-san then sampled the recording and we thought the day's work was done when it was discovered that clicks weren't added to Raymond's songs, which means that Maki-san ended up working until morning. But since Imai-kun was done with his work for now, we went back to the flat around 1:00am.

June 25th
Today we got up a bit earlier and went to the Portobello Road Antiques Market. I was in a tight spot because I had to both do my personal shopping and buy souvenirs. We got a bit lost when we first arrived but we did find the market road. Walking around we came upon our goal, Rough Trade (a record shop), where Imai-kun splurged on CDs (Imai-kun has already spent around 700 pounds on CDs since coming to London). We went a bit further and found a vintage clothing store where Imai-kun bought two vintage leather jackets. Then before we knew it, it was close to 6:00pm and the stores were starting to close. By then our legs felt like lead so we returned to the flat. Soon after we got back a decision was made that we'd all eat together so we headed to Maki-san's flat, and then the 10 of us, including Raymond, went to a nearby Italian restaurant. I'm dead tired tonight.

June 26th
Believe it or not, today we ended up going to another antiques market. The Camden Lock Market. We had to get souvenirs for the other members today so we left right away. The things sold in this market were far better than yesterday in Portobello, there even were many Japanese people shopping. We immediately started searching for souvenirs. I bought some 10 antique lighters since it's better to get things that aren't bulky. Because I bought so many the clerk asked me whether I was going to sell them in my store back in Japan. Imai-kun spotted more leather jackets and spent forever trying them on but in the end he couldn't make up his mind so we left the shop without buying anything. We had souvenirs for the members and since there were less and less shops around we decided to go back to the flat for now.

June 27th
We were shooting today. I woke up at 11:00am, showered and woke Imai-kun up. I had a hard time getting him to wake up because he only went to bed in the morning. We called a taxi, headed over to Maki-san's flat and arrived at the Electric Studios in King's Cross around 1:30pm. Despite arriving late we were greeted warmly by Peter, the cameraman, and his crew. The place looked more like a warehouse than a studio, even the sign was simply propped up on the ground beneath the entrance. Raymond was already there getting his makeup done. Imai-kun and Maki-san got their makeup done as well and then went off to shoot, one by one. I stepped out on an errand halfway through but the shooting continued without a hitch and ended at 7:30pm, an hour and a half behind schedule. On our way back we stopped for spaghetti then returned to the flat. Imai-kun and Maki-san went out again around 9:00pm and headed to Raymond's house to discuss and combine their visions for the PV we'll be shooting the day after tomorrow. The meeting must have been quick because Imai-kun came back just past 10:00pm. Tomorrow we have the day off. I guess we'll go shopping again?

June 28th
Today we had plans for supper with Maki-san. I woke up past noon and by the time I got back to the flat after going to the post office among other places, it was 4:30pm. And yet, Imai-kun had just barely gotten up. According to him, a Victor staff member that had come to London on a different job would also be joining us in the evening, plus it also had been decided that in the evening we'd meet with John Fryer who had agreed to be our sound mixer. So at 7:00pm we left for the studio. The song that John Fryer was mixing needed numerous channels but since that was impossible at Master Rock, we were forced to make arrangements with a different studio. After we finished at 9:00pm we went out to eat in Chinatown with Maki-san and company. As usual I ordered too much and had a pile of leftovers. Then Maki-san and company dropped in for a drink on their way back home. Tomorrow we're shooting the PV. Waking up at 7:00am will be tough.

June 29th
Got up at 7:00am. Today we're shooting the PV. Yesterday we forgot Imai-kun's guitar strap in the studio so at 10:00am I headed over there and then to the shooting site. Neither me nor the taxi driver knew the area that well so I decided to get off in a convenient spot and call someone who could give me a lift. Upon my return, I heard that after I left Imai-kun borrowed Raymond's guitar strap and that his guitar scene had been wrapped up in a single cut. We had lunch around 12:00pm. Oohashi-san's team went to Harrods and bought us miso soup, bento boxes with sushi, and Japanese tea. It's been a while since we've had miso soup and this one was simply delicious, but it seems Imai-kun was in such a hurry that he added lukewarm water to his. After lunch we shot Raymond's scenes, then Imai-kun's scene in which he was taking photos with a large camera from a corner behind the bed. After that we completed Raymond's and Maki-san's scenes and proceeded to shoot the last scene. The one with a whole pile of foreign girls. At one point I thought I heard a cry of pain. We finished shooting at 7:00pm without any further incident. Then all of us including Maki-san and the staff went to eat supper at an Italian restaurant, but after two hours of waiting we had only received soup so we left feeling angry. We headed over to Maki-san's flat, ordered food and got back home around 12:30am. We drank a bit, then sleep at 3:30am. I'm absolutely exhausted.

June 30th
After being so exhausted yesterday I got up around 1:30pm feeling like I was going to die. I woke Imai-kun up around 2:00pm and we went shopping in the Covent Garden. There are sales all over London right now so you can get up to 30% off in some of the stores. Some 10 days ago Imai-kun had bought a "John Richmond" leather jacket, and the store we went to today not only had the right sizes but we discovered that the jackets had removable collars which Imai-kun's jacket didn't. Imai-kun really regrets his purchase now. Around 4:30pm we met up with Kubota-san and Hoshina-san at the Virgin Megastore and went for Chinese. After that we went to a CD store called "Mister Len" (1), splurged on CDs once more and came home at 7:30pm. I packed since we're going back to Japan the day after tomorrow, and ended up with 2 suitcases. I had brought one empty bag with me since I had a feeling that this might happen. I can't wait to get back to Japan.

July 1st
Got up at 1:00pm. Today's our last day of shopping. We checked whom else we had to buy souvenirs for and went to buy them. Neal Street, Piccadilly Circus, Knightsbridge, Sloane Street, Tottenham Court Road, Carnaby Street... Our legs felt like lead. We got home at 8:30pm because Raymond was supposed to come over for drinks around 9:00pm. At 9:00pm on the dot Steve arrived with three of his friends, then 10 minutes later Raymond arrived with his friends and his drummer Keith who in turn brought his friends. There were at least 10 foreigners in all. I got to witness all over again how loud foreigners are when they're in a group. Around 3:00am the foreigners started to leave and I thought I'd get some quiet, when Victor's Muragi-san came. At that point I decided I wouldn't bother going to bed today. It was our last night so we kept on drinking and it was around 6:00am when everyone finally went home.
Around 3:00pm Japanese time I called Hide and Yuuta. Yuuta started with "Welcome back~", and when I told him we were still in London he laughed and asked, "You're still over there?" Hide wailed at me, "Buy me a pair of jeans!" So I had no choice, at 9:00am I went into town and bought him some. I hope he's careful with them. It's 12:12pm now. Imai-kun is asleep, of course. We'll be leaving the flat at 2:00pm to catch a 4:30pm flight back to Japan. And I'll be able to have natto again.

1. I really am not sure about the name of the store. The katakana name isn't clear to me and I couldn't find any information about it online. If anyone's curious, the original reads "ミスターレーン".