Fish Tank 64
Interview with Sakurai Atsushi
Reporter: Ikeda Rumi
Translation: Lola

What did you do today?
What did I do today...? Work *smiles*. Did a solo interview and made plans for the Hibiya live and the [Tour Parade 2012].

So has everything been decided for the lives then?
No, not yet. Just the song choice. We still have to decide the staging.

What's the set list like?
We all took into account what we had done before for the previous outdoor live, and there were a lot of songs we did last year that we did so often we didn't want to do them again and another part is wanting to do songs that we haven't really done recently. Songs that fit summer, songs that suit the outdoors. So for instance, Yuuta suggested 'Nakayubi'. Hide said 'Gensou no Hana'. 'Kagerou-kagerou' was my suggestion. And Imai said things like 'Django~' and 'Speed'.

Yuuta-san was really worried the other day about how you will manage to balance the outdoor fest and all that.
Yeah but he's always worrying over things *smiles*. So let him!

Based on the song choice decided today, have you been thinking of what sorts of things you'll do for the fest and the open air show?
Yes, but it wasn't with any input from anyone else.

That was part of the difficulty with the Day in Question of 2011 right?
That was fine. Because everyone was kind enough to give their ideas to me.

Kind enough to give?
See, because I only got 88 *smiles*. So I must be given ideas by our 100 points Sensei *smiles*. I don't take ideas from losers *smiles*. (Please see the results of the Buck-Tick Test)

Right now you're in the middle of the promotion phase, does it feel different to you now, having changed labels?
Not really. Of course because the staff is so considerate towards me, it does make it incredibly easy for me to work. But the actual work itself hasn't changed for me personally. Though as I said, because the staff at the new label are so incredibly considerate, it does make things easy, truly. That and with Imai-san being much more active with the promotion campaigns, if I'm going to talk about easiness then let me say it is easier than it was before.

Is it so different when you do it by yourself Sakurai-san?
Yes, just having Imai-san there with me makes it easier. I mean before, I'd have to record dozens of promos by myself. And then my voice would die on me during some recordings *smiles*.

That's true *smiles*.
I think I want Imai-san to be the main promoter from now on *smiles*.

The 'Elise no tame ni' PV has been shot as well but how did you find filming it?
It's relatively straightforward, just a band playing music like a live and I think that really made the racing tone of the song apparent. It's been a long time since we did that sort of thing but not since 'Aku no Hana' did we do so many takes.

I wonder, what is your impression of the new album that is coming out this summer as a whole?
As with a number of our albums, a concept was sort of decided upon for this album but this time I think there's a great deal more freedom within it because we didn't decide on any set framework.

How has that affected things when it comes to lyric writing?
Because I've had a sort of plot and certain key words in my mind already since last year, writing has been going smoothly.... The kind of scenes I wanted to write had already been decided on. I think for many I was able to do them relatively as I first thought I would.

And the album title has been decided?
Yes. Just, maybe.

Really?! Wait, why are you saying "maybe"...? *smiles*
Because Imai-san just told me randomly so, so far, it's still just a secret between the two of us *smiles*. It always seems this way you know, Imai-san says something at random and then a whole concept forms around it.

Do you feel like you're going to have to rush to make decisions for the upcoming lives?
No. Not at all yet.

But the outdoor quite close though.
I've done it before so I'm sure I'll come up with something but as for the parade tour with all the other bands, because it's the first time for some of them and while some of them I've met but others it will be my first time meeting them and although that's part of the fun, I still have no idea how it's going to turn out.

The songs for the tribute album have been decided on but have you listened to them?
When they were completed I was able to listen to them. They're incredible aren't they. Of course as I expected, I heard some differences in some while others stayed faithful to our sound, probably out of consideration to us but one thing that was the same in all of them was the incredible love they put into it that I felt and for that I am truly happy. We asked them to please do as they see fit and it feels like everyone really did that. It's an incredible honor.

Finally, would you say a word to everyone awaiting the lives?
I am immensely grateful to everyone who has lent us their support these twenty five years. The artists we've worked with, the staff, the fans, I am so deeply grateful to all of you and I hope to keep making you happy. I thank you and really appreciate everything you've done for us.