If you enjoyed the report, please leave a comment! We've been so busy these days that we actually lost sleep over this because staying awake late into the night was the only way we could find the time to get it done...so if you enjoyed it, please show us some appreciation! It won't help us feel less tired, but it will make us happy.
Also, for those of you who hadn't noticed, also at long long last, we have added English translations to the most of the remainder of the songs on Lucy's album Rockarollica II. If you've never listened to this album, go listen to it. It's awesome.
Hi Blog-Tickers. We are here to announce a special offer from This is NOT Greatest Shopping Service!
Normally, we charge 700 yen per disc for custom orders from Tower Records, but this time, if you order BOTH The Mortal's mini-album Spirit and full album As Yet Untitled Album through This is NOT Greatest Shopping Service and donate your application tickets to the in-store event to NGS, we will cut the fee in half!
Also, you have our assurances that we will personally buy the copies of the album at Tower Records Shibuya, meaning that you will get the special bonus stickers which are available only at Tower. In addition, we will package your order in such a way as to avoid customs fees in your country, which CD Japan will not do.
Why are we doing this? Because with your application tickets, we have more chances to enter the lottery for admittance to the in-store event at Tower, and therefore to write a report about said event for NGS/Blog-Tick. So if you're interested in helping us, email Cayce at themadaristocrat at gmail to reserve your CDs today!
More big news from The Mortal! And before we start, we're going to go ahead and say that Blog-Tick is the only place where you'll hear it all in one place, because even the news from the official Japanese channels is scattered over about five different social media sites, each with slightly different, slightly-incomplete contents. So this is just proof of how much we love you: we trawled through all the various announcements in turn and collated ALL the relevant info right here for your viewing pleasure. If you heard anyone else say anything different than what's written here, they're suffering from a translation deficiency. This, my friends, is a collection of the official words (though Fish Tank told you never to trust fan blogs!) First of all, The Mortal's official website has opened up with content and an official artist photo, so go check it out here:
And for those of you looking for links to all The Mortal's social media accounts on one page, here it is: InstaBook / FaceTweet/TwitGram
After the launch of an official InstaFace last week, The Mortal have been teasing us with a nonstop stream of arty black-and-white photos from inside the recording studio. It's hot as the fires of Hell here in Tokyo right now, but inside the studio it's nice and cool, and that, my friends, is where our dear Mr. Sakurai is currently holed up, racing against the clock to get his album ready in time - because now he's got a deadline (as if mortality itself weren't deadline enough!) The Mortal's release schedule has been announced!
First, on October 14th, the band will release a mini album entitled Spirit (yeah Acchan-chan we know you are a Bauhaus fan and we see what you did there...also you're a bit late to the party as Hamlet Machine already had that one covered in the 90's...but we'll forgive you this once!) The album will cost 1800 yen plus tax, and include two original songs and three covers of songs by "Western rock bands." But all this information does is raise more questions than it answers - for one thing, will The Mortal cover This Mortal Coil with their mortal coils, I mean coiled guitar strings? Will the eponymous "Spirit" be on there? Will this Mortal "Spirit" be more spiritual than the "Spirit" of Hamlet Machine? (raise your hand if you know Hamlet Machine?) And hath this mortal spirit aspired the clouds which so untimely did scorn the earth? (Oh wait, that one was "Romeo and Juliet," not Hamlet...) Is there a battle of the bands waiting in the wings here? And will it be waiting in the wings, or will it be with YOU? And will it cut down the puppet strings?!?!? We can only wait and wonder. Following Spirit, a full album will be released in (early?) November. The exact release date for the album has not been set yet, and the title is listed as "As Yet Untitled Album," but unless Sakurai plans to pull another "Mudai" on us, I think we can expect that to change in the near future. Both records will be released from the label cutting edge, and the first-press edition of Spirit will come with a special first-press-only cardboard sleeve.
But wait, there's more!
Fans who purchase a copy of both the mini album and the full album will be eligible to enter a lottery for tickets to a special promotional event, to be held in the basement event space at Tower Records Shibuya on November 23rd. In addition, fans who purchase their copies of the albums through Tower Records will receive special promotional stickers and possibly other goodies, too. If you'd like Cayce's help with purchasing from Tower, send us an email at themadaristocrat at gmail!
There's no word yet on what the event itself will involve, or whether Mr. Sakurai himself will be present, but to pique our curiosity futher, the other band members have now been announced, as follows:
Vocal - Sakurai Atsushi
Guitar - Jake Cloudchair (Guniw Tools)
Guitar - Murata Yukio (My Way My Love)
Bass - Miyo Ken (ex. M-AGE)
Drums - Akiyama Takahiro (downy)
If these names don't mean anything to you - Jake Cloudchair worked on Sakurai's previous solo project, both as a member of the live band for the Ai no Wakusei Explosion Concerts, and as the composer and producer for the song "Neko." However, he's best known for his work with Guniw Tools, a band who the Buck-Tick members have known for many years and collaborated with on several occasions (Guniw Tools vocalist and leader Full directed Buck-Tick's "Candy" PV, while Imai wrote the music to the song "Grazing," which appeared on Guniw Tool's penultimate album, Dazzle.) Currently, in addition to being involved with Guniw Tools' sporadic revival project, Jake also performs solo instrumental guitar shows under the name cloudchair, and participates in a variety of other projects, including promotional advertisements for high-tech guitar effects...giving imai's Evl Gtr a run for its money:
Murata Yukio was also involved in Sakurai's previous solo album, as his band My Way My Love wrote the music for the songs "Hallelujah" and "Explosion." A veteran of the underground shoegaze/noise scene, Murata may not be famous on his own, but he's got a lot of goth cred under his belt. Here's an example of My Way My Love's work:
Meanwhile, Miyo Ken and Akiyama Takahiko have both worked extensively as support musicians for Kiyoharu and Morrie, who as we well know, are both good friends with Sakurai - clearly they got some good letters of recommendation.
In summary: these guys are pros. Whatever they come up with, it's sure to be good. As for who will write the music, according to the band bio (which Jake Cloudchair has already reposted to his blog), the band members are writing the music as an ensemble, with input from all five. Does this mean that Sakurai is writing some of the music this time, for more or less the first time in his career? Maybe so. We can only wait for more info.
And if you haven't gotten your tickets for the tour yet - there's still time! In fact...Cayce actually has an extra ticket available for the opening show in Osaka on November 17th, and there's another Blog-Tick with a number of available tickets for Tokyo, as well. If you're interested, send us an email right away, as it's safe to assume that tickets from the first-round lottery will have the highest chance of being good seats.
. I will post further info on Blog-Tick as it is announced.
One-of-a-kind rock band Buck-Tick got their start in the mid 1980's as an iconic product of Japan's "band boom." Maintaining the same lineup of members for the entirety of their 30-year career, Buck-Tick have had an enormous influence on the subsequent development of Japanese rock and rock-n-roll culture.
In 1989, the band scored their first chart-topping hit with their third album, Taboo. Just two years after their debut, they joined the ranks of Japan's top artists, playing to sold-out crowds at the Nippon Budoukan and the Tokyo Dome.
Never content to rest on their laurels, the band followed their initial success by deepening their pop sensibilities with a darker worldview, and expanding into more experimental territory, taking chances on radical new performance styles and technology in a process of continuing evolution.
In 2012, the band established their own new label, Lingua Sounda, in conjunction with their 25th anniversary. To celebrate the anniversary, the band held a festival on September 22nd and 23rd entitled "Buck-Tick Fest 2012 on Parade" in Chiba Port Park at an outdoor venue designed specially for the occasion. In addition to two hour-long headlining performances by Buck-Tick, the festival also featured a complete roster of artists who contributed tracks to Buck-Tick's second tribute cover album, Parade II -Respective Tracks of Buck-Tick.
In 2013, a double-feature documentary film about the 25th anniversary, The Buck-Tick Phenomenon, was released in cinemas throughout Japan to great acclaim.
In 2016, the band returned to their original label, Victor Entertainment, after 20 years of work with other labels. New World, the band's first single since rejoining Victor, was released on September 21st, followed by a new album, Atom Miraiha No. 9 on September 28th.
In 2017, Buck-Tick celebrated their 30th anniversary, and were awarded the Inspiration Award Japan, a special prize given to music artists who have had an outsize influence on the development of pop music in Japan. The band accepted their award on September 27th at MTV Japan's live music video awards show Video Music Awards Japan 2017 -The Live-,” where they also gave a special live performance.
On September 20th, the band released a 30th anniversary best album entitled Catalogue 1987-2016. Following this, on September 23rd and 24th, the band performed a pair of concerts, Buck-Tick 2017 The Parade -30th Anniversary, "Fly Side" and "High Side," at Tokyo's Odaiba Special Outdoor Event Area J, attracting a crowd of more than 20,000 people over two days. Then on November 15th, the band released its first 30th anniversary single, Babel.
Before releasing Babel, the band embarked on an 18-stop national tour, The Day in Question 2017, opening at Omiya Sonic City on October 21st and featuring a stadium performance at Takasaki Arena in their home prefecture of Gunma, before concluding with a pair of finale concerts at the Nippon Budoukan on December 28th and 29th.
In 2018, the band released another single, Moon Tell Me Goodbye, on February 21st, followed by a new album, No. 0, on March 14th. The band are currently in the middle of a new tour, Buck-Tick 2018 Tour No. 0, to promote the new album.
One-of-a-kind rock band Buck-Tick got their start in the mid 1980's as an iconic product of Japan's "band boom." All hailing from the small rural town of Fujioka, Gunma Prefecture, the five band members met while still in high school, bonding over a mutual love of records during informal gatherings at the home of band founder, lead guitarist and main songwriter, Hisashi Imai. Though the band's original lineup featured a different vocalist and Atsushi Sakurai on drums, after graduating high school and moving to Tokyo to pursue their dream of becoming professional musicians, the band soon switched Sakurai to vocals, and bassist Yutaka Higuchi recruited his older brother Toll Yagami to play drums instead. The band have maintained the same five members since that time.
After being signed to the indie label Taiyo Records, the band rocketed to stardom, making their major label debut on Victor Entertainment within a year, and taking the Japanese music scene by storm with their infectious punk melodies, spiky bleached hair, bold costumes, and theatrical stage shows. Within two years, they topped the charts with their third album, Taboo. Recorded in London, Taboo marked a turning point for the band, from a teenage pop sensation into something darker. Buck-Tick continued into darker territory with their next album, Aku no Hana (The Flowers of Evil), named for the poetry of Charles Baudelaire.
Never content to rest on their laurels, Buck-Tick followed their initial runaway success with a push into more experimental territory, spending many more hours in the studio to create ever deeper, more layered records. Koroshi no Shirabe -This is NOT Greatest Hits- (The Song of Murder), a self-cover album featuring heavily reworked versions of the band's earlier material, was followed by another album, Kurutta Taiyou (Crazy Sun), now regarded as a classic of Japanese rock and roll. From this album forward, vocalist Sakurai took a greater role in the band's creative output, penning darker, more introspective lyrics based on personal experience rather than the romantic fantasies of the band's previous works. While lead guitarist Imai remained the band's main composer and creative director, rhythm guitarist Hidehiko Hoshino also began to contribute more to the songwriting, cementing the band's mature sound.
Over the next two decades, Buck-Tick continued to evolve, exploring a diversity of genres ranging from new wave to industrial, shoegaze, punk, electronica, dreampop, surf rock, rap, Latin dance, goth, and symphonic metal. Drawing on both Western and Eastern influences, the band developed a unique style instantly recognizable despite their continuous genre-hopping. Layers of minimalist riffs, melodies, and electronic tracks synergize into an immersive, kaleidoscopic sonic experience far more than the sum of its parts. Tied together with the tight grooves of the Higuchi brothers' bass and drums and the bold simplicity of Hoshino's rhythm guitar, Buck-Tick's songs feature Imai's instantly memorable guitar licks like a second vocalist, even as Imai often adds eccentric backing vocals to Sakurai's rich baritone lead vocals. Cosmic themes of love and death abound in the piquant, poetic lyrics, which traverse as many genres as the music, overflowing with inspiration from art, literature, and philosophy.
The result is something utterly original, which continues to exert a tremendous influence on the progress of Japanese rock music to this day. Maintaining a large and wildly devoted cult following, the band continue to perform for sold-out crowds at Japan's most well-respected music venues, and are regularly cited as an influence by younger Japanese artists. A number of Buck-Tick's songs were also used as themes for popular anime series, expanding the band's fame internationally among fans of Japanese pop culture in dozens of countries around the world.
The band's recent achievements include establishment of their own new record label, Lingua Sounda, in 2012, and a 25th anniversary festival held in September 2012 at a special outdoor venue in Chiba Port Park, featuring an all-star roster of artists who contributed tracks to Buck-Tick's second tribute cover album, Parade II -Respective Tracks of Buck-Tick-. In 2013, a double-feature documentary film, The Buck-Tick Phenomenon, was released to great acclaim in theaters across Japan.
In 2016, Buck-Tick returned to their original label, Victor Entertainment, after 20 years of separation, releasing a single, New World, followed by Atom Miraiha No. 9, their first new studio album since 2014.
In September 2017, the band cemented their legacy as Japanese rock legends by celebrating their 30th anniversary with a two-day outdoor concert series, Buck-Tick 2017 The Parade -30th Anniversary, "Fly Side" and "High Side," held on Tokyo's Odaiba Island before a crowd of more than 20,000 people. The next week, the band took to the stage again at MTV Japan's Video Music Japan awards to accept the Inspiration Award Japan, a special prize given to music artists who have had an outsize influence on the development of pop music in Japan.
In October 2017, the band embarked on a national tour, The Day in Question 2017, performing a selection of hits from their back catalog to celebrate their anniversary, and featuring a stadium performance at Takasaki Arena, near the band's home town.
Entering their 31st year of major label activities, the band show no sign of slowing down. Two new singles, Babel and Moon Sayonara wo Oshiete (Moon Tell Me Goodbye), preceded the band's 21st studio album, No. 0, and the band are currently in the middle of a new tour, Buck-Tick 2018 Tour No. 0, to promote the new album.