Fish Tank 68
Interview with Sakurai Atsushi
Reported by Kaneko Mayumi and Oguma Hisako
Translation: Lola

How did you find the whole year of your 25th anniversary?
Having everyone be so excited about it really made it a fulfilling year for me. But for better or worse what stands out to me is the outdoor live in Hibiya when it rained *smiles*. Then there's the event for Yagami-san's fiftieth birthday which, I found utterly delightful personally because I was able to just sit back and enjoy it without having to do anything. Then there was the fest which, we did with various other bands and that had such completely different weather on both days but, at least it was able to be a memorable summer for those who attended.

You had a long tour, were you ok with that physically?
I took on an attitude of defiance, you know, meaning I'd drink and sing *smiles*. I mean, I'm human and that's why I cannot be perfect every day and so, while there are times that I'm in great shape, there are also times when I'm not but, that is part of what makes it enjoyable.

Regarding your performance on February 11th, "Dedicate to......~gang 451~", it was done in memory of Yokoi-san, the former event manager for Greens Osaka.
Mm...... the thing is while he has sadly passed away, no matter how much you might grieve, it will never bring him back so, instead a bunch of us got together to perform a show that we thought would have excited Yokoi-san...... That was the atmosphere that day. I'm sure those watching were wondering, "What's with this lineup? Why are they doing a live together?" but, I felt those of us performing all seemed to be of like mind.

Were you able to talk with any of the other artists?
I occasionally exchange e-mails with Yanaka-kun from Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra so I had been looking forward to being able to actually meet him. And I enjoyed being with the sweet girls of ORESKABAND and being able to work again with Kishidan.

Then you had the live house tour, "TOUR 2013 COSMIC DREAMER" as well. For the Fish Tanker's only live you played "Speed" as the first song but on another day you changed it to "Kirameki no naka de...".
Well the thing about fan club only lives is when it comes to the set list, I try to think of songs that will make the fans happy and that's why "Speed" was the first song. But, for general lives I think about which songs will allow me to portray my kind of world. And usually I think about wanting to start off a live with songs that have an atmosphere similar to "Kirameki~" for that.

The finale was on March 7th at SHIBUYA-AX. That was also your birthday, Sakurai-san. The fans sang you "Happy Birthday", and Hoshino-san brought you a bouquet of flowers.
That sort of thing's ok once in awhile *smiles*. In the past, it would have embarrassed me a bit because it throws me off so I'd worry about whether it was ok but recently, I feel as though if it brings even just a little bit of joy to everyone then anything is OK. I had also heard what they were going to do, so I was expecting it *smiles*.

Then there was the live on March 11th, a charity live to benefit the victims of the great Tohoku earthquake. It was also your second time performing at the Nippon Seinenkan since your debut.
It was labeled as a charity live but, we just played a rock concert. Personally, I didn't feel it really came off as a charity live. The other members started to say things like, "What if we started doing charity stuff?" around the time of "Memento Mori" as well but, I think we just each have our own thoughts about what that entails.

During "Nocturne - Rain Song-" and "RAIN", footage of rain was projected on the screen.
Actually, during the live house tour, I had a whole downpour on me *smiles*. The thing about that was, well, I don't know if my message even got through but what I wanted to show people was that, no matter how hard it falls, there is no rain that does not end and one day, surely it will abate.

That day was also the last time BUCK-TICK's long time stage director Otaki-san would be involved in the stage direction as he has retired.
Of course being human, parting is inevitable. I think I am resigned to that by nature. But while I do think these things can't be helped, of course......I am sad about it, for sure. But I think he himself is the most sad about his decision to retire. Though he was doing his best not to be depressed about it.

Once your tour ended, you didn't even get time to rest as you were then recording the main theme songs for your movie, "BUCK-TICK The movie ~The Buck-Tick phenomenon~".
Imai said something like, "I want to go forward with this title but I'm not sure, what do you think about it?" and that's how the title of "Parade" came to be put forth. It gives that sense of, "I will go on enjoying the parade with everyone" and by using present progressive form, it demonstrates that it is continuing, it will not be stopping. On the other hand, the word "parade" also has this ache about it in the sense that once it's over you can't go back to it but despite that, we're saying, "let's go join in it anyway". So I went on writing words for the lyrics working from that theme. It felt like that's what Imai-sensei was telling me in a way, "I'm leaving it up to you to write lyrics within this theme!", so with that in mind *smiles*, I endeavored to do my part.

That's part of why I'm really looking forward to the movie.
I had asked the director a little bit about it as well and, he had told me how he wanted it not just to be a string of live clips but how he wanted to follow our every breath for a year......but once I pictured that, I thought we'd get tired of it, being watched all the time *smiles*. To which the director replied, "But the fans will be so into it, they'll completely forget to breathe!" *smiles*.

After that you have your end of the year lives as usual, which have been announced. This time you'll be in Miyagi, Morioka, and Koriyama as well as at the Nippon Budoukan on December 29th as is customary. Was it the decision of the members to have the shows mainly centered in the Tohoku region?
When we were on tour, we had hoped to visit all six prefectures of Tohoku, as we once did. And now here we are able to have shows in three of those prefectures, which is really amazing.

Finally, would you please say a word to all the fan club members?
I'm stating the obvious here but, it feels as though yet another end with our 26th year behind us. Personally my feelings have shifted towards the movie, and its main theme. With this year's tour ended, I'm allowed to have a fresh start once again, which will allow me to show yet another facet of BUCK-TICK so please, you must come, and join our parade.