Fish Tank 68
Interview with Imai Hisashi
Reported by Kaneko Mayumi and Oguma Hisako
Translation: Lola

What was memorable for you during the year of your 25th anniversary?
The fest, for sure. That was the goal for the year right, to have various bands and artists come together for it and we even had some get involved for whom it was their first time meeting us. It was an intense year for us.

Regarding the February 11th performance in Osaka, "Dedicate to......~gang 451~", it was done in memory of Yokoi-san the former event manager for Greens Osaka wasn't it.
Yes. But I had intended on enjoying it as I usually would without focusing on that too much. But as the performance began, I was left wondering. You know, why is it four hours and fifty one minutes? When I thought about it......that's when I got it, right then, exactly as the show was starting, that's when I remembered why *smiles*.

Does 4 hours and 51 minutes mean something?
Doesn't it abbreviate to Yokoi? *smiles* (1)

Ah, now I get it!
No one said so though *smiles*. The after party was when I met most of the others for the first time, although I wish I had chatted more with the guitarist (Kato Takashi-san) from Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra.

Then on March 7th, the Shibuya-Ax live was the final show of the "TOUR 2013 COSMIC DREAMER". How did it go?
Oh, that was his (Sakurai-san's) birthday right? Well, I'd say it was exciting.

Afterwards, you wrote on your blog that it would have been better if you had added 10 more shows to the tour.......
Yeah......I meant it! It would have been good, for me anyway *smiles*. I was in great shape.

Any anecdotes from that night you can share?
I do have one from after the live. Once the live ended, we weren't really able to have a proper birthday party because first there was the after party for the live but once that ended, Sakurai-san and Hide went off......for karaoke I think. Yuuta said he was exhausted and then Anii said he was going home too so, we all ended up going separate ways. Meanwhile, Yoko-chan and I had already decided to go to another bar. And you know, at the time, he looked fine to me so I figured he was sober enough. But then afterwards, he ends up telling me how when he went home his whole body felt beaten and how he must have hit his leg on something because he had bruises and he was sure he must have fallen in a spectacularly big way. But he has no memory of any of it! *laughs*

Going back to the topic of lives now *smiles*. You had a live on March 11th at Nippon Seinenkan. It was a charity live as well and you changed up the set list too.
I thought it went well. I mean it had this feeling of togetherness that came in bursts. If I remember right, we put "Nocturne -Rain Song-" and "RAIN" on the set list. It was Sakurai-san who said he wanted to do those. But other than that, I don't think we changed it too much.

Proceeds from the tickets were contributed in full to charity then.
Yeah, we thought it'd be better that way, it's the least we can do really.

At the same time, that performance on March 11th was also the last time BUCK-TICK's stage director Otaki-san would be on site with you guys after many years of overseeing the stage direction.
Yes. Twenty five years ago, his first time as our stage director was at the same venue, the Nippon Seinenkan. So because of that, I think we were feeling it you know, that he was leaving us. Of course, when I was first told that he would be leaving I felt so desolate in a lot of ways.

That's why for the final song of the second encore you played "SEXUAL XXXXX!", which was unplanned.
That was fantastic.

Whose idea was it, to do that?
I'm not sure......I forget now but I think it was either Hide's or Yuuta's. We had been talking about what we should do to surprise Otaki-san. So when it came time to do the encores, we told Otaki-san that we'd be doing three songs for the first and then three for the second, meanwhile we told the other people that we'd be doing three, and then four.

Did you see Otaki-san weeping offstage?
Yup. But that's because I was the one standing closest to him *smiles*. Somehow, I felt it too you know.

*smiles* When the Nippon Seinenkan show was over, I believe you had some time off.
That's when I was polishing up my concept of the song for the end credits of our movie.

So then, you didn't go anywhere during your time off?
Like on a trip? Nope. Suffice it to say, the only place I went was to the Nezu-jinja Shrine for the Azalea Festival *smiles*. But I just drank beer outside.

In regards to the movie "BUCK-TICK The movie ~The Buck-Tick Phenomenon~", by the time this issue is sent out the movie will have already been screened but what prompted you to compose a theme song for it?
Well, we were talking and I said something like, hey, wouldn't it be better if I composed a new song for it? And they were like, yeah it would *smiles*.

What sort of song did you imagine?
I was thinking of that feeling of marching in a parade. And I imagined the feel of the guitar to be a little more old rock in sound as well. I think it came out great, because of how it matched the rhythm.

Were you able to do it quickly?
Well no, it took some time. It was completely different at first, it had this prancing 16 beat rhythm but you know I wasn't sure about it, it was so different from anything we've done. I was increasingly worried about it actually.

You're recording it now aren't you?
Yeah. It's going smoothly. Yoko-chan's synthing too *smiles*. I almost haven't found anything to criticize him for.
(Yokoyama: That is smooth! *laughs*)

What do you think the movie will be like?
Ah man, I haven't even seen it yet!

Perhaps you've heard rumors on the wind or something......?
I haven't heard a thing. The wind might be blowing but it's not coming my way, I can tell you that *smiles*.

The movie will first be screened on June 1st in Fujioka then.
Ah, I guess Hide'll go to that.

Of course you would say Hide-san's going *smiles*.
He's going and he's going to do the meet and greet!

Alright, you've promised then *smiles*.
......he might be going *smiles*.

As for the end of the year, you've included three shows in the Touhoku region as well. Are there plans for more?
Hmm, no, I don't think so. But we are making plans for recording. And for writing new songs.

Do you already have some new ones?
Just ideas for some right now but, I still can't really put it into words yet. But the ideas are there.

Understood. Finally, would you please say a word to all the Fish Tank members?
I hope you're all looking forward to all the things we have coming up!

Notes: (1) In Japanese, you often abbreviate numbers to one syllable to make words. It's a way to remember certain number combinations. In this case, they did the reverse. Yokoi = 451 because in Japanese, 4 is pronounced yon, 5 is go and 1 is ichi. If you combine the first syllables of each, with go becoming ko, you get Yokoi.