音楽と人 - August 2005
Interview with Imai Hisashi
Text by Kanemitsu Hirofumi
Translation: Lola

Yesterday the main tour came to an end in Sapporo. But there will be additional performances later.
Yeah *smiles* ............I'm really glad about that. I'm happy. About everything.

Everything *smiles*.
Well before the tour started I felt like oh god it's sooooooo long you know but now it's like huh? What? It's over already? As for the additional shows......because we'll change things up a bit I think it'll seem different once again.

The tour felt complete didn't it?
Yeah. That's what I think anyway. It was easy too. It felt like it just kept building up more and more as we went along......from the time we made the album, of course I thought of what direction it would take but, this was not what I had thought it would be......I didn't think it would feel this complete, at all *smiles*.

Isn't that because the world portrayed in the music is what you'd call 'gothic'? So as a guitar player, if you want to ad lib or really get into the groove you have to be quite precise about it for it to be perfect for the live right.
Right so......to some degree, I have to decide beforehand then when the live is over, it ends up being much grander than what I thought it'd be.

I guess it's like making the same model of a plastic airplane but on a different scale.
Yes. With more details put in into it. That way Acchan has much more freedom to do as he wants. That was much better than I thought too so I'm glad.

Because he had a broad range of expression within the image.
Well......it's not like I said go and do whatever you want but, as long as it fits the image given and follows through to the end then it's good.

You've spoken of this extensively during interviews about the album but, of course Sakurai-san has to carry the essence of what Buck-Tick is as a band when on stage and I found once again, because he is so strongly attuned to that world it came through during the tour you know?
Ah, I thought so too. He does it so simply too. Like, oh you want it like this? *smiles* Obviously for me, I had no way of knowing how it would go. I might have an idea in my mind but, the reality of the situation is something I didn't predict. That's something that I only came to fully realize while doing the lives *smiles*.

Then do you think, ah that's how I thought it would be?
No because from the time of recording, my feelings are so completely different then how I thought it would be.

Do you think realizing that will have an even greater effect on the band from here on out?
Yes I do.......I think I'd love to always do things like this.

Goth forever? *smiles*

No way right?
Well, I dunno.......I mean I'd say it certainly fits us really well *smiles*.

It's easy enough to say something's gothic but [Juusankai ha Gekkou] isn't strictly Goth right?
You're quite right though it is pretty close to being so. Looks that way on stage anyway. And from the album's CD jacket. It's basically something anyone can understand and was done so it would be insanely easy to get. So even if we did the same thing again, we'd have to fiddle around with it some more. But I think of this time as being kind of gothic rock.

Because it's direct and easy to understand right.
Yes yes yes.

Then there was the strong show element to the lives. Like with Sakurai-san holding the doll, and having a cane, while you put out cigarettes with your tongue Imai-san.......
I even did that in Lucy. It was a suggestion......I got recently which I planned to do in Kanazawa. An elderly local from there recommended that I do it and since it had been a long time since he'd come to see us I thought ok, and it sounded cool to have cigarettes on stage. But then even though I did it, the old geezer never saw a damn thing!

Ha ha ha. But actually trying to do that, fit the theme of the tour and really made it feel more complete, don't you feel that was the missing gap up till now?
I don't know......up till now, I've decided which direction the band will go in by just doing what I wanted but this time, I tried to join that with what Acchan wanted. And it just happened that wasn't a bad idea.

I'm repeating myself but that's exactly why I feel yet again that for Buck-Tick, Sakurai-san is its greatest strength.......
Yeah, it's amaaaaaaaaaazing......

So you're aware of it?
Very much so *smiles*. Like wow~ he's such a strong part of the band. Yes now, finally, I've realized that.

*cackles* Now you realize that, after 20 years together but I'm sure doing your solos had something to do with that right.
Yeah. So when I went to see Acchan's live I had this moment of, wha? heeeeey~. Ah, so then when we came back together I knew I wanted to make an incredibly beautiful album. Without a doubt. So I thought why don't we put Acchan at the heart of it for this?

So that's how it came to be in the end. Have you been thinking about which direction Buck-Tick will go in from here?
Uh.........during a tour I'm always thinking about what sort of album I'll do next.

I know you've said you get excited about various ideas while touring.
But this time I haven't thought of any~thing *smiles*.

Uwahahahaha! Seriously!

I guess it's because things were just too well done this time isn't it?

Except for one thing *smiles*, the fact that you had to do solo work to be able to see clearly.
Yeah.....I don't know what to do next now. I'm se~ri~ous~ *smiles*.

You can't not think about what to do next with Lucy either.
Hey, what the hell are you saying!? I know I'm doing [Rockarollica 2] with Lucy. I am! We're absolutely doing it! It's been decided!!

And have you already told Kiyoshi-san and Kacchan this?
Of course......I wonder what Yoko-chan will think?

You mean you didn't bring him along when you all went drinking? *smiles* Yoko-chan will cry now.
Ha ha ha ha ha. But you know, I think it was good that everyone went and did solo work. It made it more fun to return afterwards. It felt like coming home in a way you know. And it's what made me feel that hey, this guy is really amazing......yeah. I really felt it during this tour you know. Acchan's the type of person who can handle anything well......and this tour hasn't been no piece of cake! And the songs aren't any easier either! *smiles*

Well you wrote them *smiles*.
Hya hya hya hya!

So you came to see how good he was during the tour right. Sakurai-san governed the stage and owned Buck-Tick's image, even the other members seemed to finally realize that.
Ah yes, I think we all understand now. But now that I've said that, I want to try doing something that's completely in the opposite direction.............but it's probably better I don't go there *smiles*.

What's the complete opposite.......? Rap?
A-ab-solutely no way!

Ha ha ha ha.
He doesn't have the rhythm for rap.

Right *smiles*. But I think no matter what you do with this band, it comes across clearly.
Yes. But I hate having to decide these things. So for this tour, I don't think I really..............had a foundation or rather a base in mind. It was more like ok, the band is like this. So from there I wondered how it'd be if I used every member, used each part of the band, each individual sound and by doing that it feels like I returned to the sound of the band.

It's true.
It's kinda cliche isn't it? Our theme this time. It's simple enough that everyone seems to understand it. But, but you know, if I'm gonna continue with that well, then......I'd......um, probably wouldn't have noticed what was good about it. Or something like that. But because I did notice, now I can do various other things. Even though I was late in realizing it. But now it's like this band's fun isn't it? They've put up with me, and let me do my own thing and yet I wasn't able to give them 100%. Even though it was so easy by myself.

You weren't giving your all?
I wasn't. I figured it was ok I guess. But it was painful for me and I kinda hated it because I had no idea where to go anymore but I was rather relieved by that as well.

I see. Was it because of the band's pace? Up till now, you've been putting out an album a year so maybe with you doing Lucy and the others doing their own solo works, the perspective of the band began to change to the point where things were able to slow down a little......
No, if anything they've intensified!

Oh? *smiles*
We're going strong now! And full of energy! If you'd like I can call Acchan to prove it *smiles*? He lives close by.

.......please don't *smiles*.
It's ok, I'll call! We'll have a meeting! A band meeting! It's gonna be great!

Ok, ok, I get it! You really want to get into it no matter which direction you're going in right?

How do you plan on balancing both Lucy and Buck-Tick?
Well I'd like to keep both as they are. But......Buck-Tick is my home you know. My home that I entrust to Hide to protect in my absence. Whether I'm doing a solo or not *smiles*. It's like I've just gone to visit a relative's house *smiles*.

Well then you are devoted and want to do things with the band.
I do! With Lucy too. I'd do it even if Kiyoshi-kun didn't!

Don't say that just because you texted him to come drinking and he didn't come *smiles*.
Hya hya hya hya hya!