SAKURAI | IMAI | HIDE | YUTA | TOLL
At the time we started that band, I was putting my hair up, because I wanted to stand out, so a regent-ish hairstyle was cool for me. But because I was a slob, I didn’t really care about “Ahh, I’ll do it like this”, I didn’t really care about my hair. But, in that case, it was too bothersome to do.
Also, in the early days, as for my stage outfits, I wore what I thought would suit me, but I knew nothing. I would just wear anything that I would feel like wearing. But as I realized that I was in a rock band, I thought that I must not wear that stuff.
When we started, we liked putting our hair up, even off stage. For example, during interviews we would put our hair, up, but it was becoming a pain. “B-T is that band where they all have their hair up” was how we were described as, and this sort of image was turning a little troublesome for us. So, when I started wearing my hair down, I thought that in this way we could do so many things, in a visual style, it was a considerable change.
There are times when I have also thought about stopping wearing make-up. But it feels very strange to change and not wear it. But in reality, I am still doing it up to this moment., I’ll do it if I want to, and if I don’t want to it’s also ok. Now that we understand what to express, and how to express, we don’t want to put weight in other things. But, when we started going forward to our own nucleus, it’s inevitable to go for a more natural image to our make-up and hair styles.
As for artists of the ‘visual’ variety, the one I like the most is David Bowie. I don’t feel like I’m obsessed, but I really wanted to be like him. Enjoying yourself while doing something heavily visual, I really like that sort of thing.
As for movies that left an impression on me, at the time of “狂った太陽” I was very into the images of both “Pierrot le Fou” and “Plein soleil”*. These two movies are not related to music, and even though I often do not watch movies, I like watching them. I like movies that have a certain ‘coldness’. Whether they have a story or not. If I had to say, I like movies that most people wouldn’t consider fun(laughs).
*The title of these two movies in JP are 「気狂いピエロ」 and 「太陽がいっぱい」, respectively。 If you join some of the words together, they will resemble 「狂った太陽」 which is the title of their album.
This time, in the live video(Climax Together), there is an atmosphere of a story. Personally, the chosen songs are ones I really like, so my own character easily shows in these performances. Also, this time I wanted to get rid of our ambiguous image, so we didn’t want to do our faster songs, but the band’s characteristic is still there. I think there’s a lot of energy worked up in the concert itself, so it looks really cool on the TV screen.
When it was completed and I could watch it calmly, I thought “Is this really my face when I sing?”(laughs). I’m satisfied with how this concert turned out to be, it’s interesting to watch everyone’s facial expressions during the live. The staff also helped us out with all of their strength. There is this excitement and synergy stirring up the stage. The camera work and editing was a really well done job.
InfluencesDavid Bowie: In the early 1970’s he was a Glam Rock idol. He is an artist who has many characters and sound styles, and he continues to change. Nowadays he is in the band Tin Machine*.
*Please keep in mind this is just the translation, not any up-to-date info. David Bowie is not in this band any more.
Pierrot le Fou: A work by Jean-Luc Godard, from 1965. It’s an anarchic type of movie, but there is a form of beauty in it. The last scene is considered to be the highest point of this movie.
"My biggest influence is BOØWY but in the beginning I tried to do my make-up like Kiyoshirou-san.”
When we were amateurs, I used to borrow clothes from my friends and buy second-hand outfits too, because I had no money. As for influence, my biggest was BOØWY. I still keep my fashion very much in the same sense of punk/new wave atmosphere as it is. Make-up is very influenced by Hotei-san, as usual. In the beginning I guess I tried to do my make up like Kiyoshirou-san. In that way, it wasn’t something very flashy, and my hair, I felt it was suitable.
After that, I gradually went for a new wave look, more like a Boy George imitation. But I kept changing all the time. Well, I thought it was a cool thing for others to see, and I thought it wasn’t unreasonable, since B-T started, we all were wearing make-up, it felt like we had to do it before going on stage.
Because I used to do so many things to it(dye, products), my hair simply got so damaged that it wouldn’t stand any more like it did. So, with a ‘discerning eye’, I just concentrated on the parts where the hair could still stand up. In the end, I cut all the damaged parts. And it did it really become short. Well, not short enough to the degree of a monk cut*.
*A monk cut is a very short haircut, it’s almost shaved, similar to what monks wear.
Fashion is something that I’m always changing too. I dress in a way that is according to moods, and for service too. I also want it to be something that can make people surprised and that I can have fun. It’s like that. I want to have many versions of me, I have a lot of hair styles and outfits, and there isn’t just one thing that I can say ‘This is my favorite’. I do not particularly have any ‘standards’, so I have no choice but to believe in myself.
In order for me to wear shorts on the stage, in the beginning, I used to wear materials like thin leather and thin vinyl, but it was pretty hard to move in, and it was too hot. I also tried to wear fishnet stockings and knee-high socks. I simply tried out many things. As expected, I decide what I will wear on the stage. Moreover, I also mix up eccentric with strange designs. But simple materials like leather and vinyl are what look best on stage. I also like black suits.
The shape of the guitar I use now, it was newly made for me. At the time I thought ‘Let’s create something original’. That is, the shape is also suited for when I play it with a violin bow. It was just really only made for that(laughs). I thought Fernandes would refuse to do it. But, I thought that they would do everything, since the design was a completely different thing too(laughs). I can’t get tired of it at all, a different thing I wish for is it.
This time on the live video(Climax Together), I wore a helmet, that was another idea I had. That helmet, I saw it as decoration at a show window. When I looked at it, I thought ‘Ah, I should wear this’.
It gives of a ‘dangerous’ feel and also an impression of ‘speed’, I think.
As for this live video, the way songs are ordered is that so it has a lot more mood and atmosphere, I think.
Regarding this live’s technical aspect, the overall mood, as we always try to do, in this recording we tried to reduce much as possible any error tones, but with the exception of that, everything is unchanged. ‘Let’s try this out’, we said. However, the opening song 「Jupiter」 starts differently from what we did until now, so, on the first day we were nervous. As this opening ended, we just played the same way we usually do.
InfluencesHotei Tomoyasu: More known for playing in BOØWY. Imai received a great influence from him, of course in guitar playing but also hairstyle and make-up.
Kiyoshirou: The vocalist of RCサクセション. During the late 1970’s, he wore flashy make-up and costumes. In his high school days, Imai listened to this band a lot.
Boy George: The vocalist of Culture Club but has a solo career too. He had a dreadlocks hairstyle and is also very well known for loud make-up. In the early 1980’s he was a part of the New Romantic scene.
John Lydon: Originally in the Sex Pistols, is the vocalist of PIL. Imai has seen their live videos many times. Imai has many favorite songs by them, he likeｓ John’s way of singing。
”Simple is the best!
That’s why my colors are black & white.”
I don’t think I can say that I have received much visual influence, but I can say that my hobbies and interests have changed a lot, I think. That change of heart was violent(laughs).
When we started doing the band, I began listening to a lot of punk bands, but we weren’t really a real punk band. We were adding studs and rivets to our leather jackets and things like that. In the beginning, we were a Stalin copy band, and the vocal guy wore amazing make-up, but I wasn’t wearing any.
At that time I started truly liking positive-punk more than punk. It was all in an instant(laughs). But, right now, I have only one favorite guitarist, which is Daniel Ash. I like the visuals and sounds, Something different in the atmosphere is what I like. Even though he wears simple things, there’s a peculiar side to it. I also like Robert Smith. But I don’t really like his messy fashion style.
As for myself, I like simple outfits. When I’m performing on stage, I’d like to wear something that gives the impression that these clothes were made for me. During the indies time, because I didn’t have money, I just wore casual clothes on and off stage. I used to buy cheap clothes from Harajuku tailor’s shop.
But, since that time, I have always liked the colors black and white, that hasn’t changed. Black and white are the colors I wear best. Besides, in that way, you can explore your imagination. I like stylish, but plain looking outfits. For stage, I’d like my costume to look like it has a lighting effect. I think the color red is one of the colors that do not suit my personality. I guess it’s not a choice at all(laughs).
In my high school days, all around and within my friends, it was popular to wear tokkoufuku**, but I don’t think I was wearing it.
*This is a long, biker style jacket, usually considered a gang/delinquent thing.
My hair was also in regent style, but it doesn’t mean that I was a delinquent.
As for materials, I like leather. But because it gets too hot on stage, I don’t wear it. I don’t wear leather when I have to spend a lot of time wearing it（laughs）.
Recently, I’m into french-like things, like Agnes B. Still, simple things are the best. Perhaps, among B-T members, I think I would be the most plain one. Personally, I prefer it if we don’t have to appear on album covers. I also would like if all our photos could be monochrome. But, when watching videos and PVs, I think it being like KLF* is better.
As for an impression on people, I think mine would be very strange or something(laughs).
When we were in England, I also didn’t change my way of dress, I still dressed very simple then.
InfluencesThe Stalin: Lead by Michirou Endo, is one of Japan’s finest punk bands, one of the more truly punk bands. Their songs, lyrics, the way they are like around media… is all very cool.
Robert Smith: G&VO of The Cure. His hair, eyeliner and red lipstick are trademarks. The Cure are originally an english band.
Daniel Ash: Bauhaus’ guitarist. Shaved eyebrows, tattoos, eyeliner are part of his devilish, sharp image.
“While my aim is to have a refined look, I am attracted by crazy things.”
One of the first bands to get my attention were te Sex Pistols, so of course my influence was from Sid Vicious. I used to buy t-shirts in Harajuku and then rip them, I wore dog collars and things like that(laughs). I watched their live videos and thought “Oh! But I play so bad”, I thought(laughs). But it was their fighting spirit and their ‘you can do anything’ attitude that were my biggest influences.
As for japanese bassists, Asada Takeshi of SHEENA & THE ROKKETS and Matsui Tsunematsu of BOØWY, I thought that the way they played is really elegant! But I can’t be elegant.
I understood that when I saw our live video 「Climax Together」(laughs). I think it’s because of my personality. But I think that you can see my style, it’s also a part of my individuality.
Another bassist I think is cool, is The Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ bassist Flea. There is no other way to describe him other than ‘mad’(laughs). The first time seeing their live videos, it was like flying. This guy is like the chief of madness. And because of that, his bass playing is a bit incoherent. And that is wonderful. But I don’t think it would suit me(laughs).
As for my stage costumes, I have to be a little careful, since they seem to be tight sometimes. Because I have a small build, loose and big clothes are awful to wear. That’s why before I only wore jackets from Just West. The material I like the most is leather, but it’s really hot.
Before, I’ve worn an outfit on stage that was embossed leather, and I liked that outfit very much, but it was so hot that I thought I was going to pass out in the middle of the live. I think the best color for me is black. White is an ‘expanding’ color, so I avoid it at all costs.
An actor I think is cool is Nakadai Tatsuya. There’s a poster of him on the stairways of a bar I go drink often, he’s really elegant. His pictures are really cool. “Aah, If I could be like this” I often think, but it’s impossible(laughs).
As for casual wear, I often wear suits. I have many Gaultier suits. I also like the brand Y’S but their sizing is too big. The shop assistants always say “But it suits you well”(laughs). Some time ago I was wearing women’s clothes for the smaller sizes, but it made me embarrassed to go out to buy.
I really like Godard’s movies. The actors in “Pierrot Le Fou” were really cool. But it’s a crazy movie, as expected(laughs).
From now on, I’d like to go for a more elegant direction, I think. From the beginning I was always charmed by things in the style of the Sex Pistols.
InfluencesNakadai Tatsuya: An eccentric but elegant and mysterious actor. He does TV drama, theater plays and various movies, like “鬼龍院花子の生涯” [“Onimasa”].
Sid Vicious: Bassist of the Sex Pistols. Even though it’s said that he didn’t know how to play bass, he was really cool at doing it. He usually wore ripped up t-shirts and dog collars.
Flea: Is the bassist of The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. He has a Jimi Hendrix tattoo and his hairstyle is usually his entire head shaved.
”I say that I’m going to put my hair up until death.”
Before I joined B-T, I had a mohawk. In the beginning I also had a ‘regent’ hairstyle, because I was playing in another rock band. After that, I joined a punk band but wore my hair down. And moreover, I started getting into positive punk and went back to doing the mohawk, but this time I had permanent curls(laughs). I think it’s because I lived in the countryside, it’s a place where anyone who stands out from others wins. When B-T was starting I wasn’t really putting my hair up, so I was still using a regent-ish hair style.
As for fashion I used to wear mostly things like neckties and suits. If it’s natural for someone, then it won’t feel like you are copying or imitating someone else.
In my case, as for receiving influences, I started liking Bauhaus and thought they were quite stylish. After that I started listening also to Japan.
During our indies time, my outfits were relatively very varied, but when we became a major band I started wearing more black. And because it makes you look thin. I never really wore white that much, but Acchan used to, in the early days. After black, another color I like is red. Because I’m behind the drums, it’s a color that catches everyone’s eye. If when you are at the back and wear something dark, you become invisible.
As for designs, recently, I’m into just simple ones. I have a little of resistance to it, but it’s because of my age, I’m not a kid(laughs). So, I haven’t been wearing anything very showy. If you feel vulgar because of something flashy you wear, it’s a frightening feeling. But to some degree, it’s ok to wear something more showy.
As for my hair style, I think it looks admirable when it’s just simply very long, so that’s why I’ve let mine grow considerably(laughs). Our fans have gradually been doing their hair like ours, they have to let their hair grow, or otherwise it won’t work. But right now I’m wearing mine in a disorderly fashion. It looks a bit wild(laughs).
Putting my hair up is already a habit for me. It’s like if I don’t put it up, I don’t have the courage to go on stage. It’s like I don’t have my war gear with me. If I do my hair and put on the make-up before a live, it’s like I’m truly ready to go for it. If I didn’t, I guess it would just feel like a rehearsal and not a live. And I think the audience thinks of me as ‘that person with the hair’. So, I can’t change much, either. I am a fan of Yazawa Eikichi-chan, so when he changed his regent hairstyle, I hated it too. It didn’t suit him at all. I say that I’m going to put my hair up until death. And If I go bald, I will wear a wig and put it up(laughs).
So, this time on the live video, I guess I behaved myself far well, on the first day I was very nervous. I didn’t pull any pranks this time. I think this time I did my best with the rhythm. I think I understood my state of mind when I watched. Still, watching it, I have no objections. When I saw the completed video, I thought the movie-like image quality is very stylish, very cool.
InfluencesBauhaus: Peter Murphy is the vocalist. This band was very popular because of their dark tones, theatrical style and pitch-black visuals. The hard sound in B-T’s album 「悪の華」 was influenced by Bauhaus.
Yazawa Eikichi: He was originally in the band CAROL. A lot of people say that he is this generation’s best rock singer of Japan.
Japan[band]: In their early times, this band had a very glamorous fashion style, but in their later years they had more of a New Wave sound approach. They have much influence over many visual bands today.