Fish Tank 68
Interview with Higuchi Yutaka
Reported by Kaneko Mayumi and Oguma Hisako
Translation: Lola & w_b

How did you find the year of your 25th anniversary?
At Budoukan, the year before last was when we declared our plans for 2012 and we carried them all out as planned during that year. I'm glad we were able to do everything we set out to do without any problems.

What was the most memorable for you?
The whole year was memorable but of course, the fest stood out. I'm truly grateful for it. But you know it couldn't have been such a hit if it was only us performing. I feel like, having the fest to celebrate our 25th anniversary helped us to hit the ground running into our 26th year. It all flowed well together, you know.

As for your performance on February 11th in Osaka, "Dedicate to......~ gang 451~", this event was made in memory of the former event manager for Greens Osaka, Yokoi-san.
I was really happy to have been invited to that event. As for Buck-Tick, Greens has been looking after us from almost the very moment Greens was created. And because Yokoi-san and Anii were the same age, he really became like family to me and he always treated me with affection. He felt very strongly about wanting to stir things up in Kansai. He was a warm and incredibly friendly man.

That's why you were so glad to be able to do that event.
Yeah. I think there were a lot of bands that wanted to be there. Like Kishidan, whom Yokoi-san had looked after since their debut. Yokoi-san was always telling me, "You know they really idolize Buck-Tick so I'm sure it'd be exciting if you ever did something together." And you know, it came true not just for this event but during the fest too, and I couldn't help but wonder if Yokoi-san was watching over us from heaven.

Then there was the last show of the "TOUR 2013 COSMIC DREAMER" at Shibuya-Ax on March 7th.
Acchan's birthday. *chuckles* I'm really glad we could celebrate it with everyone too. He says to me, "I know you got me a cake you know, just admit it already," *smiles*.

Sakurai-san said that? *smiles*
He said the jig was up *smiles*. Afterwards, during the first encore, the fans started to loudly sing "Happy Birthday" for him. And for some reason I decided to blurt to the fans, "Hey! Hold up! We're supposed to do that after!" and was so embarrassed after. Everyone laughed *smiles*.

Then you got hugged by Sakurai-san *smiles*.
Yeah, I went with it *smiles*. But Acchan was way taller than I expected so I had to rise on my tiptoes to hug him, which just made me even more embarrassed *smiles*.

It's heartwarming though *smiles*. Moving on though, on March 11th, you did a charity live at Nippon Seinenkan but you altered the set list a little from that of the tour.
Once we decided to do the live, we thought we'd like to change up the set list a bit. Our first live at the Nippon Seinenkan 25 years ago was actually put together by our current stage director and some of the same production people so, it's become this place associated with meeting people who are important to us and who have continued to be important to us. So I feel a strong emotional attachment to that place.

You even tried to capture the same feeling as you did back then, to have the same effect on people as you did 25 years ago.
Yes, exactly! *smiles* That's what someone from the production team told me, "It was so great! Just like 25 years ago!"

During the second encore, there was a moment of silent prayer. What were you thinking about at that moment Yuuta-san?
I was thinking about how back when we had only just debuted, most of our lives were in the Tohoku region. Amazingly, rock thrived there and we'd play in the area about once every three months or so. So I was recalling those times.

That day was also the final time your long time stage director Otaki-san would be there to oversee things.
Like I said before, the first time we met him was 25 years ago at the Nippon Seinenkan. From then on, he was always with us for our stage design...... To sum up, he was the guy we left everything to during lives. And he really always came through for us. And maybe that played a part in his final choices that day as well......but I don't know.

There was the surprise for him too.
Yeah, our final song was "SEXUAL XXXXX!" but we hadn't told Otaki-san about it. Even though he's the stage director! *smiles* And because he was always around, we couldn't even rehearse the song in the studio! *smiles* So we were all keeping quiet about it right up till that day *smiles*.

It was a message for Otaki-san.
Mm, because we have so many memories together...... And you know he'd been doing the job longer than we'd been around so he taught us a lot of stuff. I could probably tell you endless stories about him. Like how he'd drink, or how he got completely tangled up in a stage curtain and fell over *smiles*. But you know, I'm truly grateful to him.

Thank you for sharing that. Then there's the movie, "BUCK-TICK The movie ~The Buck-Tick Phenomenon~". Which as of now, you are recording the main themes for but tell me, what did you think of the demo when you heard it?
I thought both Imai-kun and Hide wrote great songs. They really fit the movie. I talked about it with the director, the thing about the movie is that, it's not the kind of movie that feels like it has an end because while he followed us around and filmed us for an entire year, the whole time we're always looking towards the next thing. And he said that's what came out in the songs. That sense of, it's not ending, it's actually the beginning.

And how is the recording going?
Smooth, smooth. I had wanted to write about it on my blog but our manager warned me that it was too soon saying, "Yuuta-san, it's still too soon so don't write about it yet." *smiles*

And I am told that the first screening shall be in Fujioka on June 1st.
Fujioka! But I'm from Takasaki! *laughs* I'm just super surprised the two cities worked together to agree to the preview of our movie but that's based on my memories of the place from when I was going to school there *smiles*.

The end of the year lives have been announced in this issue as well. You'll be playing in Miyagi, Morioka, and Koriyama. With the final show being at Nippon Budoukan.
While we wanted to have a live on March 11th, we also really wanted if possible, to have an end of the year live in the Tohoku region as well. And the good thing about "The Day in Question" is, we're not restricted to only performing songs from our latest album so, we're able to do a lot more and I think that's something that the people of Tohoku would be excited about and I just feel like it'd be great if everyone from all over the country participated together in bringing life to the Tohoku region. I'd be happy if we could make that a reality.

I understand. Finally, would you kindly say a word for all the club members?
I guess from now on we'll be wrapped up in the creation period but before that, we can meet you all for the end of the year lives and I'll be trying my best to make it enjoyable so please look forward to it!