Fish Tank 69
Interview with Sakurai Atsushi
Reported by Kaneko Mayumi and Oguma Hisako
Translation by Lola

What have you been up to lately, Sakurai-san?
I really haven't been doing anything. I've been passing my days at home accompanied by the hum of the air conditioner *smiles*. I'd try to force myself to do things but, then even gave up on doing that *smiles*.

What sort of things did you think you should be doing?
I'm not telling *smiles*. For now please just write that I was sprawled like a lion in the zoo. Somehow I ended up drinking and watching a movie every day at home.

What kind of movies?
The kind that I don't have to take seriously. Like "The Discarnates"(1), and yesterday I watched that smart action film with John Travolta ("From Paris with Love"). Then I watched some thrillers, "Misery" and "Pusher". I also watched some Korean films, well, it wasn't like I had decided oh! I'm going to watch this! It just kind of happened that when I saw them ("Midnight FM"(2), "Poongsan" (3) and the like), I thought hey, they look interesting and so I lay about idly and watched them.

Hahaha. Speaking of movies, have you watched "BUCK-TICK the movie ~ The Buck-Tick phenomenon~"?
I watched it on DVD. Due to the way it was filmed, it would seem there are some people who quite frankly said they felt something was missing in it. I thought it really showed our true colors *smiles*. It's a bit disappointing though that they cut parts right when we were about to joke around *smiles*.

*smiles* But there still those types of scenes in the movie.
The person in charge of those scenes probably felt they should cut them because we were quite merciless to our bassist *smiles*.

One of the selling points is the scene where Imai-san stopped you from going in the wrong direction; I heard fans saying they thought it was cute.
Come on, don't be teasing the old man *smiles*.

But you weren't aware of what was going on, were you?
Well, the thing is, Imai was giving me such a strange look and since he was making such a weird face, I thought, "The hell is he looking at?". That's when I heard the stage director saying, "No! The other way!" and I was like oh! I get it now. Here I had just been wondering, "Oh god! Am I in the wrong place? Should I go back? What should I do?" when Imai came over, and so I decided, ok I'll go slink away and try to hide in his shadow *smiles*.

And you left together *smiles*.
I was too embarrassed to even talk during that scene, and there was no way in hell I wanted to admit to being wrong. But the worst part was Imai's smug face!

Ha ha ha ha ha!
He was smirking happily with this face like, "Sakurai totally fucked up!", and I was kind of mortified *smiles*.

After, before you went on stage there's a part where you are seen drinking something and people were saying, "It was impressive how he seemed to drink it as though he was partaking in some incredibly sacred ritual". So what were you drinking?
The blood of village girls!

Ha ha ha ha ha!
No, no, it was hot coffee that the staff was kind enough to bring to me.

But the scene that got the most reactions was the one where you spoke of your mother, people were saying, "The part where he's talking about his mother in Gunma really touched me".
It just flowed naturally that way. We were in Gunma for the latter half the tour relatively speaking and, usually I'm always alone in my dressing room; even Iwaki-san, the director, was kindly leaving me to myself the whole time but then, the thing was that there were no scenes with me backstage and out of concern for my feelings he asked, "Couldn't you let me have just a little scene with you?". And that's when we shared that sort of natural rambling talk, which was filmed.

Then there were also those who said things like, "I was totally gaping at Sakurai-san's legs when he was doing his stretches!" *smiles*.
Yes, because I'm sure it is such a fascinating thing to see an old man's hairy shins *grins*.

What about the new song that played during the ending credits?
Had we gone the orthodox way, the second song for the ending credits would have been solemn but, with the unending loop in the song, I found it gave that sense that it'd be nice to return. Because I had the idea in my head from the very beginning that it would go really well with the sound of the drums in Imai's song, I told myself I would write a story about setting out on a parade. Then as it turned out, his tentative title for the song was "Steppers" and he says to me, "Actually Acchan, I kinda wanted it to have the word "Parade" as a subtitle". Which ended up going perfectly with what I had already written in the lyrics.

You were both of the same mind. A lot of people were saying they found it moving.
When the parade comes, it's a fun moment but then it passes by. But, while the parade continues on its tour, there is the chance that you can see it again somewhere. That's what I pictured with the song.

Then on June 1st was the premier screening of your movie in Gunma's Mikabomirai hall, in which you all made a surprise appearance on stage. So how did that come about?
Well Imai had joked, "It'll be fine if we just send Hide" *smiles*. But then we came to learn from the mayor that next year is actually the 60th anniversary for the municipal administration of the city of Fujioka and so he had asked us if we would be so kind as to send flowers to show our support. Even Imai-san sent me a text asking, "Hey, what should we do about what the mayor said?". And I thought, hm, good point and then figured, well ok then, we'll all go!

You had aimed a comment at the second floor where your older brother was in which you said, "It's been a long time since some of you've been here, it's bringing back memories, mostly of being scolded for being bad".
I might have aimed it in that direction *smiles*. It was the first time in about two years that we'd seen each other. That was my response to him not really being able to come to concerts *smiles*.

Then in September you'll be performing in the Kishidan Expo.
Because we had received their cooperation previously. On the first day of the "BUCK-TICK FEST" in the rain, they livened things up for us and so I think we wanted to return the favor.

In addition, you'll be performing in "The SOLAR BUDOKAN 2013 in Nakatsugawa" as well. Had you received a message from Satou Taiji-san of THEATRE BROOK about it?
Taiji's been looking after me since the time of my solo. Since then I've gotten word from him at various times. Anyway, I'm just glad that this time I can make an appearance.

Regarding the excitement for the end of the year lives, in this issue we will be collecting requests from the club members.
Like songs they voted for? It's like using black money (4)*laughs*.

*smiles* And which songs do you want to do, Sakurai-san?
None at the moment. I think this year I'll have everyone think about it and will also take everyone's requests into consideration.

Finally, please say a word to all the club members.
I think I'll be going into recording now. While there are parts of "Yumemiru Uchuu" that we did to their fullest extent, even so I am not entirely content and so it is that that will drive me on to do the next album. I want to make an album that will be even more amazing and exciting. So please be looking forward to it.

Notes: (1) "The Discarnates" is a Japanese horror film.
(2) "Midnight FM" is a thriller.
(3) "Poongsan" is a thriller as well.
(4) Black money is income earned secretly that is not reported to the government, usually to avoid paying taxes on it. Here we'd usually say something like, "working under the table" to refer to the same thing.