Open Letter to Fish Tank

First of all, I'd like to thank all of you for your contributions to the discussion on the previous post. There was some disagreement, but everyone who contributed wrote in full sentences and largely refrained from ad hominem attacks, insults, or flames in general. Thank you for demonstrating that the internet doesn't have to be a mindless chaos of shrieking trolls.

I was hoping that the Russian commenters who accused me of "breaking the rules of Japanese etiquette" in my open letter to Fish Tank would respond to my queries and tell me what "rules" they think I "broke," exactly... but it doesn't look like that's going to happen, so for the rest of you, I offer an English translation of the letter, just to clear up any confusion.

Here goes:

To Fish Tank:

The number of B-T fans is increasing in various countries around the world. These fans discovered B-T by finding photos of the band online, watching PVs on YouTube, etc., then looking up English-language information about the band on fan sites aimed at foreigners. Most overseas B-T fans can't speak Japanese, so if it weren't for overseas fansites, it's unlikely that they would ever have become B-T fans at all. When overseas fans share B-T-related content on the web, it's not because they want to spread pirated materials, it's because of the simple fact that it's basically impossible to access Buck-Tick CDs, goods, and related information overseas. Fans share content because they want to learn more about the band and enjoy them better.

Some overseas fans come to Japan to see B-T live, but it's very expensive to travel to Japan from overseas, and many fans are also held back by school, work, and family circumstances. Even if fans think, "I wish I could make the trip to Japan to see Buck-Tick live!", realistically, many of them can't manage this. Also, many overseas fans are significantly younger than Japanese fans, and many are students with limited ability to travel.

These fans want to support B-T, but for the most part, B-T's CDs and DVDs are not sold overseas, and when they are, shipping costs and customs duties mean that they cost much more than in Japan. Furthermore, since most overseas fans can't speak Japanese and can't attend live shows in Japan, they feel that there is little point in becoming members of Fish Tank. However, if B-T songs were available internationally via digital downloads via iTunes or similar, or if there were an English-language version of Fish Tank, we overseas fans would happily spend money on such services to support the band. We urge you to consider our suggestion.

Overseas fans love B-T as much as anyone, and we don't want B-T's management to think of us as enemies. But... sing and spread the love. Love your enemy, can you do it? 


The final line is, of course, a quote from the lyrics to "Kyokutou Yori Ai wo Komete." I included it very deliberately, to underscore the point that whatever Buck-Tick's management thinks, the band members themselves support an international, pluralistic world. And I can further say that I've seen it in person at countless live shows - the band members always look fucking delighted when they see foreigners in the audience. Look at it from their perspective: people from other countries are flying all the way from Japan, just to see them play! If that's not flattering, I don't know what is. Japanese fans who get bitchy about this are just jealous. Ignore them.


  1. Thank you, Cayce. You're wonderful!

    And yes, I'm one of those people who always dream about seeing Buck-Tick live just once...

  2. Thank you Cayce!

  3. Well, there´s a reason those people saying your letter wasn´t polite didn´t reply with their reasons for thinking like that...-
    Your letter expresses exactly what most international fans feel and want, and I think it should be taken as an example by the fans who want to write to Fish Tank (by that I mean, the way you deliver the message, with respect).
    I am one of those fans who has waited for years to see the band live, and my dream is slowly becoming a reality.

    1. They finally replied. Apparently they are still studying Japanese, and also they think I painted y'all as being pathetic and pitiable for not having the cash to travel to Japan... which sort of makes me wonder why they're still in Russia if they're flush enough to fly to Japan at any minute. Actually, come to think of it, I wish I had the cash to fly to Russia, because it's fucking hot in Japan right now and I could use a chill. Unfortunately, instead of paying for a plane ticket to St. Petersburg I had to pay taxes and insurance to the Japanese government so they can continue allowing TEPCO to dump tritium in the ocean (I hear radioactive fallout is a precious tenet of Japanese culture!!!1)

  4. Well I think we don't have anything more to say but everyone who wants to write to fish tank, please do. And if somebody don't want it then don't. I personally will write them.
    Best regards for all

    P.S I did notice the reference to Kyokutou Yori Ai wo Komete and I found it fantastic.

  5. Apologies for being out of topic but is there any news of "The parade" concert on 23rd & 24th Sep having guest performers or just Buck Tick being the only performers? I ask this because "The Parade" was previously associated with the cover albums and concerts with guest bands and I'm still on the fence to fly all the way to Japan to catch this concert. Any insight would be much appreciated; thanks!

    1. Yeah, previously there were guest artists at The Parade, but sadly, this time it's just Buck-Tick. Maybe they didn't want to deal with the logistics of booking lots of artists, or maybe they didn't want to have to deal with lots of whiny fangirls who don't care about seeing other bands, I don't know. But it is what it is.

    2. Thanks for the reply! Well, at least I know what I'm jumping into when I plan for the trip heh.

      One last question which I forgot to ask in my earlier inquiry; Buck-Tick don't really change the setlist in back-to-back concerts (at the same venue, on back to back dates), do they? That's what I noticed when I look through their setlists; maybe a difference of 2 or 3 songs at most? Cos I'm gunning for the 2 'The Day In Question' concerts in Budokan at the end of the year but if they play largely the same setlist, I might go watch another concert (HORRORS OF HORRORS!) instead heh

    3. I guarantee you that the set lists at the festival will be different each night. They wouldn't have sold two-day passes if they were going to play the same set list each night. They know a large portion of their fans will go to both shows. They played different set lists at the 25th anniversary festival for the same reason. They'll probably play a few of the same songs, but mark my words, most of the songs will be different.

      The reason why they play the same set list on back to back dates during tours is because they assume a lot of people will only be able to make it to one date or the other, due to busy work schedules and high ticket demand. Also, tours are held to promote new albums, and so inevitably, most of the songs are from the new album anyway. But the festival is a special case.

  6. hi! I just wanted to say, I totally support your position about sharing content for overseas fans, needless to say that's exactly how I got hooked up on Buck-Tick. It continues to amaze me why such simple things are still not obvious to everyone. To me, there is no discussion, I'm conviced that it's good for all parties, in both, cultural and economical senses.
    As for upcoming 30th anniversary shows, believe it or not, it feels almost like physical pain, knowing that it's unlikely that I be there. Consoling myself with promises of better days to come.

    Anyway, if you were thinking on going to Russia, now it's good time - it's cool and raining in St. Pete. You can wear heel length coat all summer (well, I do) :-)
    Our кошки say hello.


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