Fish Tank 64
Interview with Imai Hisashi
Reporter: Ikeda Rumi
Translation: Lola

I would like for you to tell me about the current situation.
As of this moment...I'm composing stage music.

You've also been doing a lot of other things like filming....
Oh, right. Yeah, there's that, I'm so completely out of it *smiles*.'s all the promotion stuff.

So in between all that you've been composing?
Yeah. Amidst all the commotion....

This time both singles were your songs and both had your lyrics as well, was it just by chance that it happened to be that way?
It just happened that way, yeah. Once the songs were finished...I knew they'd fit well as singles. From the moment we recorded the vocals.

It's rare isn't it? That two singles in a row are both lyrically and musically yours?
Yes. Recording them I, well how should I put it...? Even I was worried it wouldn't be a good balance you know. But I think the songs really fit the right atmosphere to be singles.

Regarding the title 'Elise no tame ni', of course it's a title that everyone knows but it's...
Oh... I haven't talked about it yet in here?

No, you haven't. Are you tired of talking about it after explaining it in other magazines? How about giving us the abridged version? *smiles*
Uh, is that ok? Well anyway, um, I wrote all the lyrics...and then I was wondering how I should title it. It's actually unusual for decide the title last. But even in the midst of writing the lyrics, no words came to mind for a title and just when I was wondering what I should do, I realized that the point of view expressed in the song was the same as RC Succession's 'Elise no tame ni' and so that's how it came to have that title.

Previously, only the title of the song had been released and so afterwards, many were astonished when they finally listened to it....
Because with only the title, you imagine something relatively floaty and dainty in feeling....

That's why everyone who listened to the song was surprised.
Yeah. But I thought that was interesting.

Writing the lyrics proceeded smoothly then?
Yeah. Right, yes...before I wrote them I discussed the matter with someone...well not that it was a super serious talk or anything, we were just drinking and so talked about different gratitude towards our mothers, the bonds we form with others and more and more I was thinking about all that in the context of lyrics. I do...realize though...that mine are much more rock oriented, more coarse and risqué. Anyway, that's what I remember about how the lyrics came about. Lyrics came about naturally after that. Mind you it's completely different from writing prose because I have to take the melody, the cadence and the rhythm into account so...yeah. It's hard, writing lyrics.

Which is more difficult lyric writing, or composing?
They're both hard *smiles*.

Not counting the self covers, how were the four songs for the two singles chosen?
More and more I had a certain image in mind as I completed songs and so...from those I had finished, we chose which would be singles.

Did anything memorable occur during the filming of the PV for 'Elise no tame ni'?
It was exhausting.

I heard you got yourself worked up into quite a huff during the filming Imai-san *smiles*.
It wasn't like that...I'm sure it might have looked that way but, it really wasn't about the number of takes at all.

Um, I'm not sure I follow *smiles*.
I couldn't stop myself from being irritated about something else *smiles*. I know everyone thought I was being irritable because the filming went on for so long but...I couldn't bring myself to explain it was because of something else *smiles*. I was like, just leave me alone already *smiles*.

But I did hear it took over 30 takes....
That's not what was bothering me at all! I swear!

You know the PV's director will probably be relieved to read that.
What? You think he thought I was irritated with him too?

I think everyone might have thought that....
Really? But that's not true!! Make sure you write that down with some moxie in it *smiles*.

Ok *smiles*. So do you have any feelings about the album as a whole?
Just that this time there really isn't a conceptual theme you know but...I think we did something new.

And the recording in retrospect was...?
Well we had some guest musicians so that made things interesting.

Were all the members there at that time?
No, just me. But Yoko-chan was there too.

You introduced SOIL & "PIMP" SESSIONS on your blog and your two friends from the horn section participated in the recording. Did your request anything of them during recording?
No. Just left them to do something that had the same sort of vibe as what Yoko-chan had improvised on his synthesizer.

How did you find it when you heard it with the real sound? Did it fulfill your aspirations? Or did it become something else, something even more interesting than you had imagined?
What do you think? *smiles*
Yokoyama: Of course the real instruments are better! The sound takes on a life of its own!

After this, you will be continuing with lives so have you been giving that any thought?
Ah. Not yet... Uh, you mean the outdoor live...? Well when we did it the last time, the feeling was so now I'm not sure what we should do this time. I mean part of making the choice for a song is the feeling it gives right...and that's just one of the things we'll be thinking about.

And the curtain rises 30 minutes earlier on the second day, at 5:30 pm.
*smiles* That's so early. It'll be bright out the who~le time....

So who will be choosing the songs this time...?
Meh, guess we'll go with the common mode.

Common mode??? *smiles* So, you mean Sakurai-san?
Maybe I do.

You have a tribute album coming out too but have you listened to it?
I haven't listened to all of it yet.

How was what you heard?
I found it interesting. Everyone surprised me...a lot.

You also composed stage music for studiolife-san's play 'Tenshu Monogatari'(1) but how did that come about? How did you come to be told about it?
From... Uno Akira-san(2). While we were eating together one day...we talked about writing stage music...Right, yeah, so this is how 'MISS TAKE ~boku ha miss-take~' ended up as music for a play, anyway, after that conversation I went to see studiolife's previous production and while I was watching the play ideas for lyrics came to my mind...and I thought, ok, I already know what I'll do.

So you were inspired while watching the performance?
Yeah, exactly. I already had a title...and the outlook for the song decided and the image was decided while I watched.

And did you have the song itself?
Well no, not all of it at that time but...I knew what I would do. So then I wrote the music and the lyrics.

And so that's how we got 'MISS TAKE~'. That's so incredible! Did you tell the people at studio life about that?
Well no, not in so many words but...I talked about it a little bit during a talk show.

Come on, I want to hear more!
Usually when you write mistake in English, it's written mistake right but as you see that's not how I spelt it in the title. I split the word in two, into miss, as in to mess up something and take, as in take one, take two. Anyway the reason I did that was when I was watching the play, an actor had the word 'mistake' in his lines but when he delivered it he paused in between so it didn't come out as 'mistake' but 'miss' and 'take' and it just sounded incredible delivered like that. I thought it was so cool. It was just like wow, I get it! So that's why I gave it that title.

Knowing that makes me want to reread the lyrics to 'MISS TAKE~' again. But going back to your story about it being stage music...
Right, so anyway Uno-san invited me to do all of the stage music. ...and from the way the conversation was going it sounded like I'd be on stage too (as an actor)...and I was kinda freaked out about it like, no no no, no way. But I had to tell him it was an impossibility due to my schedule being full with the outdoor live and all that.

So if your schedule hadn't been full, you would have had to be an actor as well?
*smiles* Well, I'm kinda conflicted about that, I mean you know in some ways I'm kinda glad my schedule was full *smiles*. But at the same time I feel like...had my schedule been free...if I didn't think I'd suck at it then, yeah, maybe I'd give it a shot.

Because you'd want to challenge yourself?
Yes. But you know even if I went on stage as an actor it's not like my role would have any lines, I'd just have my instrument so.... Um. Yeah.

Perhaps someday Imai Hisashi will be able to be seen on stage performing as an actor. Going back to songs though, I know you're working on some now but how many do you have done so far?
Three. Well, I'm still...putting things together but it's moving swiftly. I have a meeting about it tomorrow though so I guess that's when we'll work out the details like how many songs they want and all that.

As opposed to just writing a theme song, are you writing the entire score for the play?
Well, I'll do the opening and closing numbers...and a few other pieces. The theme is 'Tooryanse' (3) so I've been arranging the songs to go with that but you's a little weird for rock.

What's it like for you, composing songs for this play as opposed to composing for Buck-Tick?
Buck-Tick songs involve all the members, as a team. I have to align everyone's parts. But for the stage music, it's just me so I quickly end up hiding's kinda like...when you hide away at home during a rainy day to spend it reading and writing. And I absolutely love that feeling.

Once you were done, Yokoyama-sempai (4) came to discuss it with you?
Yeah. He asked me a lot of stuff. Like, what was it like working on it and all that.

In order to hear your songs, people just need to go see the play right?

And have you seen it, Imai-san?
Nope *smiles*.

What?! *smiles*
I will though, I will *smiles*.

And if you should be requested to write a musical score again?
Oh, I'll want to do it right away!

You really have a lot going on this year, so what's your message to everyone awaiting the lives and the album?
Well...we've got a lot going on so...please hang on and wait.

Notes: (1) I explained this fairytale in detail in my notes for the song 'MISS TAKE~'.
(2) Also known as Aquirax. He's the artist who did the cover of B-T's [RAZZLE DAZZLE] album.
(3) This is a type of traditional children's song, like a nursery rhyme. Children sing it in the same manner as 'London Bridge is Falling Down'. Two children form an arch that the others pass through while they sing, then when the song stops, whoever is caught in the arch takes the place of one of those who had previously formed it and the game goes on. Also, interestingly, it is this tune that plays at some crosswalks in Japan so the blind know when it is safe to cross. The lyrics of the song are about being able to pass through, as the title would suggest.
(4) Usually Yokoyama would not be considered Imai's sempai. However, in this case, when it comes to theater, Yokoyama has more experience than Imai, that is why, for this occasion he is termed Imai's sempai.