Eau de Mortalité: Review


Coasting on the runaway success of qüan vie nnâ sigue eÿe, more commonly known in Buck-Tickistan as Eau de Buc-Tique, Acchan-sama And His Band have upped their toilette game with the release of The Mortal, more commonly know in Buck-Tickistani as This Mortal Fragrance, or Eau de Mortalité

In the Fish Tank newsletter last year, Mr. Sakurai all but stated outright that he was the one who rendered the final aesthetic judgments on Eau de Buc-Tique - and no wonder, given that Pisceans are reputed to be unusually sensitive to the sense of smell. Whether or not that's true of Pisceans in general, it's surely true of Mr. Sakurai - if you don't believe me, just take a look at the number of references to scents in his lyrics. "Smell" is just the beginning! With Eau de Buc-Tique, Mr. Sakurai demonstrated that he's got a fine nose for perfumery, so it only made sense for him to broaden his olfactory repertoire by trying again this year, and since with The Mortal, he's the one calling all the shots, this time, he's free to sink as deep as he likes in the luxurious black mud of gothic decadence, with a new scent aimed squarely at the sad, jaded, and elegant gothic lady, dressed to the six-nines in mouldy frills.

Eau de Mortalité offers a far deeper and more sensual experience than Eau de Buc-Tique, starting with the packaging. While Eau de Buc-Tique stayed mod and minimalist with a classic, simple box design and pillar-shaped bottle, Eau de Mortalité isn't afraid of going a little over the top, as dedicated goths are wont to do now and again (or, let's face it, all the time.) Eau de Mortalité comes hidden inside a silky black cardboard coffin printed with different pictures on each side. The front features an oval cameo version of the poster from the PV set, with Mr. Sakurai holding up the skull in front of his face - you can't get more obvious than this, but you also can't get more honest, and the lovely composition and lighting of the image make it compelling rather than depressing - points for the homage to Victorian remember-me mourning lockets. The back of the box features a grayscale closeup of the skull with some blurred patterns reminiscent of the backdrop effects on the live tour...more on this in my forthcoming live report. The sides of the box feature the band's logo surmounted by a skull. You can't get more goth than this, and since that was the point of this whole Mortal project to begin with, this packaging easily earns full marks from us.

The Eau de Mortalité bottle itself is also silky, shiny black, with pleasantly rounded corners that give it a softer, more alluring appearance and feel than the sharp-edged frosted glass of the Eau de Buc-Tique bottle. The Eau de Buc-Tique bottle fit right in with Buck-Tick's Anarchy-era theme of Constructivist geometry, but Eau de Mortalité begs you to run your fingers over its gentle curves as you ponder the sweetness and pain of your brief passionate life - though mind you don't leave fingerprints, as the finish of this bottle is as shiny as a mirror (then again it's a perfect place to catch the fingerprints of your beloved, if you feel so inclined.) The sensuality of the bottle continues with the nozzle, which is finished in shiny gold that glows invitingly through the crystal clear cap like that dream you just woke from. Truly, this perfume just gets better the deeper into it you go (that's what he said!)

On the front, the bottle features the band logo in white letters, surmounted by a skull and five lily of the valley blossoms, one for each band member. For those of you who were curious about the reasoning behind the fact that lilies of the valley appear throughout The Mortal's visuals: in the Victorian flower language, lily of the valley means "return of happiness." It was a symbol of both the Virgin Mary and of Jesus Christ, and is still commonly included in wedding bouquets in both France and England - most recently, Kate Middleton held a bouquet of lily of the valley blossoms during her wedding to Prince William. It is also said that when Mary cried after the death of Jesus, her tears turned into lilies of the valley, which is why the flower is also sometimes called "Virgin's Tears" - a nice allusion to the mother imagery that runs throughout the I Am Mortal album. The flower also appears in the line from the Song of Solomon, "I am the rose of sharon and the lily of the valley" - and for those of you not familiar with the Song of Songs, it's just about the smuttiest smut that ever did grace a religious text. Then take the following quite from the Christian bible:

"And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."

In plain English: lilies don't need to wear clothes, so why should you? The deeper we go into the symbology of this flower, the more appropriate it comes to seem...and it's also worth noting that lily of the valley leaves and berries are poisonous and if you eat enough of them, you will die.

Anyhow, back to Eau de Mortalité. Though the choice of name was obvious, given the number of Shakespeare references embedded in The Mortal's work to date, we prefer to believe that the name was inspired in part by the following quote from Shakespeare's tragedy "King Lear":

GLOUCESTER: O, let me kiss that hand!

LEAR: Let me wipe it first. It smells of mortality.

We know that all y'all fangirls would kiss those Acchan-hands no matter what they smelled of (and frankly, that's just gross, y'all) but if you get Eau de Mortalité on your hands, they're sure to be three times as kissable! Though one might guess that a fragrance with such a funerary name might smell of roses, wet earth, swirling mists and cold salt tears, from first blush, Eau de Mortalité is nothing of the kind - and neither does it smell like lily of the valley, though that would be lovely in its own way.

Instead, rather than smelling like the graves of the nearly and dearly departed, Eau de Mortalité smells like all those things you think about when you pour your hot blood over your candles and pray at night: thick, velvety, and sexy as hell. After the initial alcohol vapor vanishes like a ghost, a spicy head of jasmine and pikake rises up out of a mist of vanilla musk, but it only lingers for a brief time - perhaps an hour, at most. As the scent settles, it flits through a subtle sweet incense phase before settling into full-on rich vanilla which spreads out and then turns darker by the hour. 

Depending on your biochemistry, you may find Eau de Mortalité heavier and longer-lasting than Eau de Buc-Tique - when we tried it for ourselves we noticed that though it appears to vanish after a few hours, the base note has a tendency to sink into the pores and return again later after a shower or a good sweat - Eau de Mortalité's undead! By the time this happens, the vanilla has developed shades of sweet tobacco, like the inside of an old cigar. Probably not the scent of choice for the average person, but after a long night spent swooping about the city, drinking blood and having sexy fun times with your candelabrum, it can be wonderful to retire into your coffin at dawn and find that the scent is still caught on you like the shadow of love. In fact, you may even still smell it in the folds of your cape the next evening, and we say, so much the better!

Eau de Mortalité is not a particularly original or innovative scent, but it doesn't need to be - it's classic. Though the copy on the band's website describes it as fruity, don't be fooled - this perfume is no fruit and in its early stages it has some serious throw. Eau de Buc-Tique works well for daily freshening up, but Eau de Mortalité, as might be expected, is a night fragrance. So if you're going to wear it out during the day, make damn sure you wear black, kids. This perfume is no hipster, it's a vamp: thirft-store granny dresses and Uniqlo puffer jackets need not apply! And if you're wearing this fragrance and you're a man, we expect you to show up with freshly done eyeliner.

In short: we love it. But if you say "Siouxsie who?" when we say Siouxsie Sioux, you should probably skip it. In fact, you probably should have skipped the entire Mortal tour. Go goth or go home!

Live report coming soon.



These Mortal Lyrics, part 2


In case you hadn't noticed, I have posted translations of all but the final three songs on I Am Mortal over on This is NOT Greatest Site (the final three will be coming soon!) Since NGS doesn't allow comments, please leave your comments here.

As you can perhaps imagine, I spent quite a dear bit more time writing the notes than writing the translations...so if you enjoyed reading, please leave a comment to give me some reason to carry on living before the mortality angst swallows me whole.



Tower Records...


Thanks for all your good wishes!

They paid off.

Report of The Mortal's Tower Records mini-live, coming soon.

P.S. I have no idea who the person in the photo is. But congratulations, now you're famous.


P.P.S. I know the stage was low, folks. I know the band were quite literally close at hand. In fact, we saw what you did there. We saw your hands attempt to go all over said band...and by band, I mean, one man...you know which one! But know this: that man wears pasties on his nipples in preparation for situations like these, so no matter how much your searching hands try to pinch them, you will never find them. You search in vain.



寿記 13.11.15 Fine, a Supplement!


Today, there was a meeting

And afterward, when we'd all said goodbye and I was preparing to go home,

One of our staff members stopped me.


Staff Member: "...some fans who have been reading your blog have sent inquiries..."

Me: "...inquiries?"

Staff Member: "Yes...um...about your last post...things like 'who is the person next to you,' 'is it your wife?' 'I'm shocked!' ...we've gotten a lot along those lines."

Me: "Whaaaaaaat~~!? What do they even mean?"

Staff Member: "What shall we do?"

Me: "What do you mean what should we do. There's nothing to be done. We'll just tell them who it is. I'll say it on my blog."

Staff Member: "Roger."

Me: "God, I really can't believe this. This is insane. There is no way in hell that is my wife....honestly!"

This is pretty much how I felt as the staff member reported to me on all the various comments which had come in.


Why is why I'm going to tell you straaaaaaaaaaight.

 It's Fujii Maki, with whom I am currently working on the Schaft project.

Schaft had a video shoot~.

For a PV, and other stuff~.

And we took the photo as a joke during the shoot~.


Ah, this is a pain in my ass.



By the way, the PV is gonna be awesome!!


IMAI 23:53

Cayce, to Imai: I couldn't love you more if I tried.

And to the rest of y'all fangirls: please. For the love of fuck. Kindly stop being so incredibly fucking stupid, all the goddamn time. I'm feeling dangerously close to the verge of literally not being able to even, and it's all your fault.

Check out the picture here.


We Are Mortal


Tonight was the night, folks, and as we made our way to Tower Records beneath the picture-perfect roiling clouds and rain-soaked sky, the first thing we noticed upon arrival was this sign over the door (salaryman shown for scale.)

Yes, that's right, folks. Not only did it rain in a deliciously languorous and existentially despairing sort of way all day long, tonight was a Tower Records party in The Mortal's honor! The display advertising the new album was right smack in front of the main entrance, thus:

The writing beneath the 3D foam core cutouts of the band members reads, "The Mortal's Long-Awaited First Album: aesthetics to the max! The dark and altogether too-gorgeous songs are so sexy you'll tremble!" Somebody at Tower is a major Mortal fanboy, and I kind of think it's the events coordinator.

But that wasn't all! On the wall facing the CD displays was this larger-than-life mural that filled the entire wall!

And if that picture doesn't convey how big it is, maybe this one will! (Mysterious hooded goth figure shown for scale.)



But perhaps the best moment of the night was when we returned home and attempted to rip the album to our computer using iTunes, and the Gracenote database came up with the track information. The listed genre: "Religious."

Welcome to the Church of Acchan-chan, y'all. Just stand under the rain, think about cats, look up at the moon, dream a dream, fondly remember your mother, devotedly kiss your pet skull, grab your own balls, feel vaguely aroused, and feel the prayer. PRAISE BE!


In other news, The Mortal have announced a new tour goods item: The Mortal Eau de Toilette. Ladies and gentlemen, I once again sincerely apologize for failing to predict this, as it's entirely too predictable. And congrats to Mr. Sakurai, because he's on a roll here - this will be the second corpse-themed perfume he'll have released in the past year, and I'm doubting even Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab can out-goth that one (n.b. to those of you who are currently in goth school and taking the elective course Image & Appearance 315 "Scents and Sensibility: A Guide to Gothic Perfumery" - this might...just MIGHT...be on the pop quiz tomorrow. You've been warned.)

From The Mortal's official site:

Eau de Toilette "The Mortal"
price: 6900 yen
volume: 50 ml (1.70 fluid ounces)
ingredients: alcohol, fragrance, water
made in Japan

To express, in a scent, the sensibility of The Mortal with Sakurai Atsushi at its center, Eau de Toilette "The Mortal" was born.

As time passes, the fruity, inviting scent transforms into a luxurious floral note underneath, with musk plucking the main melody on the strings of this sensual fragrance.

*Supplies at the live dates will be limited, so we recommend that customers order through the B-T web shop

What follows is an impressively long list of disclaimers advising that the perfume cannot be returned unless the item is faulty, that the perfume is flammable and thus cannot be shipped by air mail, and that fangirls should absolutely definitely most certainly not use this perfume if they have allergies, sensitive skin, or other relevant problems.

Sadly, due to Japanese law regarding transport of dangerous substances, this perfume cannot be shipped through the international post. Why is the perfume dangerous, you ask? Well, it's basically a DEATH IN A BOTTLE, you know. The name ought to speak for itself! Also, it contains alcohol and therefore they are afraid you might drink it (the Japanese postal authorities are well aware of the fact that all Buck-Tick fans are incurable alcoholics. They're remarkably thorough that way.) Also, this perfume is literally so slitheringly sultry and sensual and sexylicious that the authorities are afraid it might inadvertently turn into a SEX bomb and BLOW blow up any plane carrying it. 

So, sorry, fans. If you were hoping to buy this EAU DE MORTALITÉ so you could smell like Acchan-chan's armpit hair, you are out of luck. If you are were hoping to buy this so you could smell like the inside of Jake's moist and steamy knickers, you are out of luck...probably. But if you really, really want it, go ahead and send us an email and we'll see what we can do. International perfume couriers have been known to pass our way from time to time. Depending on what country you live in, we may be able to swing it.


That's all for now, more soon.


Schaft News


Not wanting to be upstaged by The Mortal, Schaft has released a whole slew of new announcements!


First, for those of you who didn't catch Schaft during their first tour back in the early 90's due to still being nothing but a latent possibility and vague tingle of lust in the gonads of your parents, now is your chance to make up for lost time! Schaft will be releasing a limited-edition box set of their old work. The box will contain FOUR whole discs, including one DVD with live footage from the first Schaft tour. While this footage was, I believe, available on VHS back in the day (omg guys remember VHS tapes???), this is the first time it has ever been released to DVD, so this is big news not only for fans of Imai and Fujii Maki, but also for fans of Raymond Watts, since he was heavily involved in the band's original lineup.

The box set will be released on January 20th, and cost 7000 yen including taxDetails of the contents are as follows:

Disc 1
A remastered version of Schaft's first album, Switchblade, first released in 1994

Disc 2
A remix disc including the following:
- All the tracks from Schaft's first remix album, Switchmix, first released in 1994
- The original version of Schaft's first-ever song, "nicht-title," originally released on the omnibus album Dance2Noise001 in 1991
- An all-new remix of "nicht-title" by Fujii Maki
- "SuperSchaftTrack," the remix offered by Schaft in 1999 for the zilch remix album
- A remaster of Raymond Watt's remix of "THE HERO INside"

Disc 3
A live CD recorded at Schaft's live show held at the Shibuya Kokaido on September 26th, 1994 (released to CD for the first time ever!)

Disc 4
A DVD version of Schaft's live video Switchblade -Visual Mix- (released to DVD for the first time ever!) The DVD also includes a bonus track of the PV for "Arbor Vitae"...and all I have to say is, fangirls, this collector's box is worth buying for the "Arbor Vitae" PV alone, because this is surely the only chance you will ever have to own a bona-fide DVD copy of Imai's one and only video appearance acting the role of a snuff-porn videographer. And if you don't find the very idea of that strangely titillating I suggest you leave the Buck-Tick fandom now.

As you can imagine, the box set will also come with an extra-super-duper-fancy booklet, though there is as yet no word on whether the booklet will include outtakes from the highly homo-erotic photoshoot of Imai and Fujii twined around each other wearing skin-tight ribbed tank tops that appeared back in the 1991 issue of Rockin' On Japan (the same issue also featured the now-famous photo series of Mr. Sakurai as pearl-clutching Yoshiki's personal European Nazi executioner/torturer as well as Issay dressed in a bedsheet doing a strip tease and a capsule behind-the-scenes anecdote in the back about Yoshiki locking himself in the dressing room to prepare, while Mr. Sakurai ranted to the photographers that he had been mistakenly labeled as the man in a tabloid scandal photo of a man and lady coming out of a love hotel, declaring "that guy isn't me, he looks nothing like me!" - as you can see folks, the 90's were exciting times so track down this magazine if you dare!)


Second, the release of Schaft's new album has also been announced! The album will be titled Ultra and in addition to Messrs. Imai and Fujii, it will also feature Yow-Row from GARI (best known to Buck-Tick fans as the dude who did the mixing for "Melancholia -Electria-"), Mr. Ueda from AA= (who performed at Buck-Tick's 25th anniversary festival), and Yukihiro from L'arc-En-Ciel and acid android (who I think we can all agree is much better when he's not encumbered by Hyde's icky twinkiness...sorry, Hyde fans.)

The album will be released on January 20th, same day as the box set. As usual, it will be released in two versions. The limited edition will include a bonus DVD and cost 3780 including tax. The regular edition will just contain the album and will cost 3240 including tax.

Also, regarding this album, Schaft would like you to know that they most certainly very definitely DID NOT steal the title from Depeche Mode. Who would ever do a thing like that. After all, it's not like Mona Lisa Overdrive was the title of novel by William Gibson or anything.


Third, in addition to the three tour dates already scheduled, Schaft have announced that they will be playing an additional two shows, as follows:

Sunday, January 24th - Yokohama Bay Hall (open 5PM/start 6PM)
Monday, January 25th - Liquidroom Ebisu (open 6PM/start 7PM)

For those of you who were twisting yourself into knots trying to skip work because all the fucking Mortal gigs AND all the fucking Schaft gigs are on fucking weekdays, now is your chance to see Schaft on a Sunday...but act fast! The pre-sale ticket lottery through Schaft's official website will be taking place between November 6th and November 16th, and this will be your best chance to get tickets, especially for the Liquidroom show, as it's a tiny venue and likely to sell out immediately.


Aaaand...that's all for now. But there will surely be more to follow soon. If you would like Cayce's help or advice with ordering the tour tickets, the box set, or anything else, email us at themadaristocrat at gmail.

And yeah, I get it, folks. You don't care much about this, because you only care about Acchan-chan so as far as you're concerned Imai on his own is nothing but a weird guy who kind of looks like a potato who woke up in a dumpster after spending a whole night listening to a lot of bleepy-bloopy music that only really makes sense if you're high on acid. But if that's your not-so-secret opinion, shame on you. You should care about this. Because in addition to being a dumpster-clad acid potato, Imai is a once-in-a-generation genius and this is probably Schaft's swan song so it's well and truly history, and since someday, if you're lucky enough not to die young, you, too, may wake up in a dumpster to find yourself old and wrinkly and friendless, so the time to live is now, my friends. You should care.

Let's see some love for Imai in the comments section.



Mr. Sakurai on the Dave Fromm Show

The entire interview, by popular request.

Normally, I never have time to do translations this long anymore, so please feel free to share this, but do not, do not, do not repost this translation elsewhere. Instead, share by posting a link back to Blog-Tick! Thank you.


Dave: Now it's time for Joe's Corner, where we welcome a special guest!

Joe: That's right!

Dave: I'm sorry, Mr. Sakurai.

Joe: What for?

Dave: For relegating you to this weird section of our program...

Joe: What are you saying, just the other day, Mr. Sakurai was...you remember?

Dave: But this corner is the least important part of the show!

Joe: Which is exactly why we had Mr. Sakurai show up, to make it cooler!

Dave: But this is the corner where we play tracks just because the record label promoter thinks they're cute, or something!

Joe: But that kind of corner is important, too, isn't it? I mean, it led to my second marriage!

Dave: What are you saying? It's been a while!

Sakurai: Nice to see you.

Dave: It's been...over a year, hasn't it?

Joe: Yeah, it's been that long since we had Mr. Sakurai on this program...though we have given Mr. Sakurai a few prank phonecalls from time to time...

Sakurai: Yes, yes, I'm sorry I couldn't give a better answer...

Dave: We'll be waiting for your answer from now!

Joe: No no, I don't think you should answer calls like that.

Sakurai: No, I believe that if you call me, I really ought to call you back...

Dave: So, how have you been?

Sakurai: I've been fine, though I have been busy. I'm working.

Dave: Yes, I hear you've been working on a new project?

Sakurai: That's right. 

Dave: And you're on our program now to promote it.

Joe: Of course!

Sakurai: Thank you for having me.

Joe: You haven't just come on here to talk about booze.

Sakurai: No.

Dave: 'The Mortal'! Is this a band, or is this your solo project?

Sakurai: Well, basically, it's a band.

Dave: And the members are decided.

Sakurai: Yes.

Dave: Vocals, Sakurai Atsushi. Guitar, Jake Cloudchair! Guitar, Murata Yukio. And on bass, Miyo Ken. And on drums, Akiyama Takahiko. These are the members, am I right? How did you find these band members in the first place?

Sakurai: Well, eleven years ago, I did a solo project, so some of the members were people who wrote songs for me that time, or members who played in my live band that time, but the drummer, Mr. Akiyama, is someone I'm working with for the first time, this time. Anyway, we had those connections, so that's why we're working together this time.

Dave: So you were the one who brought these members together, then?

Sakurai: Yes, that's right.

Joe: If he said 'no' that would be weird!

Sakurai: Well, there is a producer working on this, too.

Dave: When did you start thinking about doing this project? Were you already planning it the last time you came on the show?

Sakurai: No, not at all. 

Dave: You weren't thinking about it at all?

Sakurai: No, it really started in April or May of this year, and I met the members in June, and then we put the whole thing together with very little time to spare.

Joe: But last time you did a solo project, and this time you're doing a band...do you have a specific reason for that?

Sakurai: Hm, well...

Dave: Because you're lonely by yourself?

Sakurai: Yes, I am.

Dave: (laughs) You are, are you?

Sakurai: Yes, I'm lonely! But really, when I did the project by myself, there was too much variation in the types of songs, so this time I thought it would be better to have a more solidified format.

Joe: Oh, I see...and then the central theme of those songs is gothic and rock, right? This mini-album that you just released includes three covers out of a total of five songs, and this week for Joe's Selection I focused on gothic rock and played the original versions of the songs you covered, including Siouxsie and the Banshees and Bauhaus.

Sakurai: You can play those songs on this program?

Joe: Yes, I played them.

Dave: And actually there was a surprisingly good response on Twitter. There are actually a lot of core fans out there. And for you, Mr. Sakurai, these are favorites of yours, right?

Sakurai: Yes, that's right. But Dave doesn't really know about this genre, right?

Dave: Well, I've heard it a bit...but that's about it. So I guess it was good that I listened to this program!

Joe: Normally you'd never play songs like this!

Dave: So first, let's play a song. This song is called 'Spirit.' Why did you choose to cover this song, Mr. Sakurai?

Sakurai: Well, Bauhaus is a band that I've liked since I was in my twenties, no, in my teens, and of their songs, I'd say that this one is the most...outward-looking, you could say, so I think it's the easiest to understand.

Dave: Please listen to 'Spirit' by The Mortal.

[song plays]

Dave: That was The Mortal's 'Spirit.' And we've gotten a lot of mails from our listeners. From Tomo: 'I listened to Spirit. It's a very intense song and the first time I heard it I just felt like I was being overwhelmed, but after that I got hooked on it and listened to it on repeat again and again.' Also, 'the whole image seems to be full of black and darkness, but even when the song is about death, I feel that there is also a ray of light somewhere in there, especially in "Yume." When Mr. Sakurai writes lyrics, he seems to always include some hope or wish, something positive...am I right in thinking this?'

Sakurai: Well, as this listener just pointed out, I wanted to delve into the darkness or whatever you want to call it, make everything pitch black, and I suggest that you keep going to a place where you have no choice but to find your own light.

Joe: What a sadist!

Sakurai: What I want is for you to search for your own light.

Dave: I see...so, from some more listeners, 'Goth-Goth Deca-Deca-san' and Akiyama-san, 'I don't think there is a dress code for the live tour, but probably most fans will come wearing black clothing, because Mr. Sakurai said that "black is charisma!"' Apparently you said that, Mr. Sakurai? 'Most people also wore black to Buck-Tick shows back in the day. I want some motivating words on Mr. Sakurai about what I should wear to the concerts this time.' I got some emails like that.

Sakurai: It's fine if you dress casually. Wear whatever you want to wear. It's fine if you don't want to wear black.

Dave: It is?

Joe: Mr. Sakurai, is there ever a time when you don't wear black?

Sakurai: Of course, I'm a normal person!

Joe: I always wear black myself.

Sakurai: Yes...yes, well, I always wear black when I'm at home.

Joe: So, do you wear pajamas?

Sakurai: Oh, yes. They're black, of course.

Joe: Black pajamas! But black pajamas are really...I mean, I usually wear black sweats.

Sakurai: Honestly, the idea of going outside wearing a color other than black is scarier to me.

Dave: Mr. Sakurai, do you believe in reincarnation? In past lives?

Sakurai: I believe...I mean, I want to believe...but, who knows.

Dave: But have you ever, you know, I mean, I have, gotten someone to look into it for you, see what you were in a past life and such, have you done that?

Sakurai: I have, a long time ago.

Dave: So what were you, in your past life?

Sakurai: I was an executioner, apparently.

Dave: What, really?

Sakurai: I was a person who administers torture...

Dave: Where was it? Like what country?

Sakurai: As you might guess, it was in Europe, apparently.

Dave: Yes, that's what I would have thought, for you.

Sakurai: But apparently that spirit is still alive in me today.

Dave: And even on the radio, Haru-san says that he saw Buck-Tick's performance at The Solar Budoukan and he was completely floored and became a fan. 'Makka na Yoru is the best' he said. Then last year, when Buck-Tick debuted Arui wa Anarchy, he went to see the show you played with Mucc, and then to the Lunatic Fest. So now he asks, about The Mortal's tour next month, there are going to be standing shows and seated shows, but will you change the staging or costumes for each type of show? Of course, he will be going to both and is looking forward to it.

Sakurai: Thank you very much.

Dave: So from the Solar Budoukan...I saw some kind of hand print, I think it was from that...is that right?

Joe: Yeah, I saw it. In the backyard they that this place where they were getting hand prints from the artists. Probably it was published somewhere, that would be my guess. 

Dave: Anyway, about the difference between the hall and the standing shows?

Sakurai: Well, it won't be that different from the perspective of the performers, but depending on whether there are seats or not, the mood of the crowd is very different.

Joe: That makes sense, of course.

Sakurai: There are many more rules in halls. If you don't follow the rules they get mad at you...

Dave: So for The Mortal, what kind of live shows would you like to put on?

Sakurai: Hmm....mmm...well, the sound is very hard, the songs are very hard rock, but on the flipside there are also quiet songs, there's a kind of quiet darkness, too, so I'd like to draw a contrast.

Joe: And your tour is already starting from next month.

Sakurai: Yes, that's right.

Joe:  You're still in rehearsal then, right?

Sakurai: We just finished the wrap party for the recording, so we haven't started rehearsing yet.

Joe: And of course you drank a lot, as usual.

Sakurai: If all I do is drink, I'll come to nothing.

Dave: Is there a contrast in your life routine, between when you're on tour and not?

Joe:  Is there a secret light and happy Mr. Sakurai?

Dave: Well I've met you many times, and basically, this is your natural pace, am I right? 

Sakurai: Yes, I'm often told that I'm slow and calm, but there are times when I get impatient, too. Today I got stuck in a traffic jam and I was just sitting there feeling totally pissed off and irritated...

Joe: I don't want to meet Mr. Sakurai when he's angry!

Dave: Do you ever watch sports and get all worked up and shout, go for it, go for it! Or anything like that?

Sakurai: Congratulations.

Dave: You never go see a game at Jinguu Stadium and sing and dance?

Sakurai: No, I don't. Basically, getting together in a big group and making a lot of noise is probably something I don't like very much.

Dave: Let's go together! I'll bring a black umbrella. [Note from Cayce: people often bring miniature umbrellas in team colors to baseball games, to wave and cheer with when their team scores a point.]

Joe: You'll stand out too much that way! People are going to wonder who the hell you're cheering for if you've got a black umbrella!

Dave: From listener 'Mohawk Samurai': Congratulations to The Mortal on the release of their first mini-album. Of course, I bought it immediately and have been listening to it all the time. It's a very intense album. The Japanese lyrics for the cover songs sound totally natural and flow along with the original melodies. So I'd like to ask Mr. Sakurai, is there any difference between writing lyrics for Buck-Tick songs and writing lyrics for The Mortal?

Sakurai: Well, this time, I wanted to really channel all my feelings, channel those dark feelings and crash into them...with Buck-Tick, there are all kinds of different songs, up-tempo songs, so it's much more colorful, in a way.

Dave: So how was it, to just crash into nothing but blackness, as a policy for your writing?

Sakurai: It became a bit trying for me, psychologically.

Joe: I can imagine it would!

Dave: Now, from listener 'Nikuban-san,' when the members of The Mortal drink together, what kinds of things do you talk about? What do you get excited about besides music?

Sakurai: Honestly, we haven't had that many chances to go drinking together yet. That's all yet to happen. So the members are still a little shy I think, and mostly they're speaking to me in keigo...

Dave: Really?

Sakurai: They're still using '-san' on me.

Joe: So they call you Sakurai-san, then?

Sakurai: I told them to feel free to call me Atsushi or Acchan, but as yet I can't get them to actually do it...

Dave: You just have this aura, it's hard to do that without knowing you for a long time! I mean when we first met you, and even at the Solar Budoukan...

Joe: Yeah, it was like you had beams of light shooting from your eyes that would make Dave grow hair again!

Dave: You really had such an aura...

Joe: But of course, Dave still failed to grow hair.

Sakurai: Really, I had beams coming from my eyes?

Dave: Now, from Kuroneko Rumi, in Tokyo. 'I have a question for Acchan.'

Joe: Acchan! Haha!

Dave: 'Lately, what kind of alcohol do you like drinking? Is it still sweet potato shochu, 25%, as always?'

Sakurai: That's Acchan.

Dave: You like sweet potato shochu?

Sakurai: Yes.

Joe: Really, sweet potato shochu? I thought you must prefer champagne or something like that...surprising!

Sakurai: That's me, normally I just mix sweet potato shochu with soda water and drink loads of it.

Dave: Wow, I wouldn't have expected that.

Sakurai: Well, I like wine and I like champagne, but that kind of bubbly stuff...if I don't drink a whole lot of it, I don't feel it! I'm a bad habit.

Dave: So, your live information - November 16th, Osaka Namba Hatch, November 17th, Osaka Orix Theater, 19th, Shinkiba Studio Coast...and this is an extra performance, by the way...then November 25th, Tokyo NHK Hall, November 26th, Tokyo NHK Hall.

Joe: If you don't play a show on the weekend, Dave and I can't go see you...

Dave: I'm going to leave partway through.

Joe: You are?

Dave: I'm going to get someone to do the show for me...Mr. Sakurai, do you know anyone?

Sakurai: It's fine, I'll do it!

Joe: But then what will The Mortal do? Dave can't sing for The Mortal!

Dave: Now I'd like to play another song. 'Cities in the Dust,' by The Mortal.

[song plays]

Dave: That was The Mortal's 'Cities in Dust.'  So I imagine you've been listening to these songs a lot...what do you think about when you listen to your own songs?

Sakurai: I think...god, it's so dark!

[everyone laughs]

Joe: Because it's beyond dark.

Dave: So now we'd like to take ten minutes and do another corner on the show...but Mr. Sakurai is going to stick around to answer some more of our questions, so those of you who still want to send in questions and messages, you still have time. Now, a short break.


Dave: The Dave Fromm Show, we bring you Mr. Sakurai Atsushi, and he's been waiting for us to come back!

Joe: So we just played a song by Taiji-san...on your first album, for your solo first album, Taiji-san wrote you a song, right?

Sakurai: Yes, that's right.

Joe: A song called "Taiji".

Sakurai: Yes, that's right. That was the first time I met Taiji, eleven years ago, and I thought he was a very lovely gentleman.

Joe: With the two of them it's like light and dark lined up side by side...they have completely different auras...

Dave: Yes, completely different.

Sakurai: Yes, we talked about that when we met.

Dave: So what brought you together in the first place?

Sakurai: Eleven years ago when I was doing my first solo project, Mr. Tanaka, the producer, who is also producing The Mortal now, suggested that it might be an interesting partnership, and Taiji said, 'I'm Utopia, but Sakurai-kun, you're Deathtopia, aren't you?'

[everyone laughs]

Dave: So since when did you come to represent Deathtopia? From the time you were a child?

Sakurai: Yes, that's right. My way of thinking was always Deathtopia. Like, 'what's with this world?' you know.

Dave: What's with this world? But seriously, if you looked at earth from outer space, you'd surely say that the world today is a terrible place. Don't you think so?

Sakurai: I do.

Dave: In all sorts of ways...nuclear accidents, wars, we're covered in darkness...so I'm sure you were in a better place in one of your past lives. Don't you wonder, how the hell did I get to a place like this?

Sakurai: It's hard to live.

Dave: Hard to live!

[everyone mutters agreement]

Dave: From Kazu-san: I listened to your mini-album, all the songs, including the cover songs, and I listened to the original versions of the cover songs, too. I really enjoyed The Mortal's arrangements of the cover songs. And 'Yume' gave me a very poignant, sad feeling, of the brevity of life...I love this feeling that it's corroding into your body. [Note form Cayce: What you did there. This corrosion. I see it!] You release your full album on November 11th, but I would like to ask, is there a specific song on the album you are particularly fond of? If so, what is it?

Sakurai: Well, this is sales talk, but...they're all good!

Joe: I listened to all of them.

Dave: You did?

Joe: Yes, I interviewed Mr. Sakurai for Rolling Stone Japan, so I listened to all the songs, and this isn't sales talk. They're all good! But I think that incorporating three covers into the mix was a good way of showing your own originality and style.

Sakurai: That's right. I just thought, if we really tried to do some serious covers of goth songs, what would it be like? I thought it would be fun. So in part we did it to have fun.

Dave: From Yuki-san. Last year, I was in an accident, and now I'm listening to The Mortal while I'm in the hospital for my fifth surgery since then. I also bought a ticket for the last show on The Mortal's tour. I bought the new album, 'Spirit,' but the hospital is far away, so I haven't received the actual CD yet. If you have any words of encouragement for my recovery, I would be happy to hear anything you had to say.

Sakurai: Well, I feel that even if I were to encourage you, what would it do...but please, get well soon, really, they say you have to focus 100% on your treatment, so hang in there...or rather, get well soon.

Dave: Have you ever been hospitalized?

Sakurai: Yes.

Dave: It's quite lonely, isn't it? I've been hospitalized twice.

Sakurai:  Yes, that's true, it's like being isolated from society.

Dave: And the food is terrible.

Joe: God yes, the food!

Dave: What kinds of food do you like, Mr. Sakurai?

Sakurai: I like sushi, yakiniku...all stuff like that...stuff with lots of calories.

Dave: But you'll never get fat eating like that!

Sakurai: No, well...how do I say it...it's so unhealthy that I don't get fat!

Joe: Isn't that bad for you?

Sakurai: Maybe so.

Dave: Do you do any special sort of exercise, for your vocals, for your voice...I get asked that a lot, but I don't do anything in particular.

Sakurai: I don't do anything, either.

Dave: I just drink booze and smoke cigarettes, but somehow I get by.

Sakurai: Before a tour, there are times when I get moving and go to the gym, but drinking alcohol probably negates the benefit...

Dave: So you do go to the gym, then?

Sakurai: I was going, but this year I've only gone a few times. I've constantly been in recording, so I haven't had time for anything. My legs were shaking while I was in recording.

Dave: Because you haven't been moving?

Sakurai: Because I keep standing up and sitting down.

Dave: Are there times when you realize you need to rest your voice?

Sakurai: Of course. During the tours and recording, I try to stop eating spicy food, and I should stop drinking but if I did, I'd just get stressed out, so it might be worse if I didn't drink.

Dave: Oh really?

Sakurai: Yes.

Dave: I feel the same way.

Joe: Dave is exactly the same! But this time, you've got two shows two days in a row...isn't that tough?

Sakurai: Well, I do take care. At the after parties, I don't talk much. I shouldn't be laughing in a loud voice or anything like that. It's boring, but I don't talk.

Dave: So you should wait till after the tour to come drinking with us, then.

Joe: Yeah, come out with us!

Sakurai: Even if you invited me, it's the Dave Show, so...[everyone mumbles about inviting Sakurai out drinking]

Dave: Now I'd like to play one more song by The Mortal. 'Shadow of Love.'

[song plays]

Dave: That was The Mortal's 'Shadow of Love.' Mr. Sakurai, do you spend a lot of time on recording? Do you do a lot of takes?

Sakurai: I wonder. I don't really know how it is for other people, but I don't usually do more than ten takes. Usually it's about ten, and then we pick the best take.

Dave: So basically, the producer chooses which take to use? Or do you choose it yourself?

Sakurai: The producer chooses. As a third party, he can look at it more objectively.

Dave: I see. How much time did you spend recording this new album?

Sakurai: I wonder. Everyone's professional, so in one day we can get the drum rhythms and basic bass and guitar for three songs, so really, we did it in about two weeks or so.

Joe: So the mini-album came out on Wednesday this week, but on November 11th, you've got a full album coming out. Did you record these two back-to-back?

Sakurai: Yes, we did. We just had our wrap party the other day. The whole thing took three, four, five months in total.

Dave: From Miho-san: if you do anything to improve your English on a daily basis, please tell me what it is! Also, are there any other languages you want to learn besides English?

Sakurai: I'm not studying English at all...I just listen to the Dave Fromm Show!

Joe: Thank you! That's the best possible advertising you could give us!

Dave: From Rain-san: Looking carefully at the album jacket for Spirit, the mini-album you just released, I noticed there's a cat on there. Is it a real cat? If you have any interesting stories about the photo sessions, I want to hear them.

Sakurai: The kitty was photographed separately.

Dave: Separately? So you didn't just turn around and find that there was a cat there?

Sakurai: Well, maybe there was.

Joe: Mr. Sakurai, you're really a cat maniac, aren't you?

Sakurai: A cat maniac? Is that what you call me.

Joe: Don't you just love cats?

Dave: And you have cats, too, don't you?

Sakurai: This year, I'm dealing with pet loss, so...I had cats for almost twenty years, but right now there nothing but a hole left.

Dave: But...do you plan on getting a new cat at some point?

Sakurai: Mmm...yes, I do, but when you deal with that sad parting, you can't see to the next one right away.

Joe: I see.

Sakurai: But they are so cute.

Dave: How long did you have them? Did you just have one?

Sakurai: I had three, so I had them for a total of more than twenty years, and I was living with cats that whole time, so now my house feels eerily quiet.

Dave: Cats...cats...it takes courage, doesn't it?

Joe: I got chased by a dog when I was a kid...so since then it's been it for me and animals, but Dave, you had a rabbit for a while, didn't you?

Sakurai: Oh that must have been cute.

Joe: But it followed Dave out of the house, and Dave tried to catch it but it jumped into the road and died.

Sakurai: Because it wanted to be with Dave.

Joe: Then Dave's daughter burst into tears and wouldn't stop crying. But Dave is the kind of guy who has an attitude like, caring for this rabbit was getting to be a pain in the ass, so maybe it's for the best that it died...but your daughter didn't take care of it at all, anyway!

Dave: Cats are better. They take care of themselves, go to the toilet on their own and such.

Sakurai: Yes, that's right.

Dave: I won't have a rabbit again. They poop and pee all over the place. It was a pain.

Sakurai: They say that rabbits die when they're lonely.

Joe: They do say that about rabbits.

Dave: Is that really true? But you know...how do you say it...it didn't come and show me affection at all! It never cared about me, but I had it out on my veranda, and what was weird was that in the middle of the night, when I would get a cigar and go out on the veranda to smoke the cigar, it would come over to me. It was very strange.

Sakurai: I guess it likes cigars?

Dave: It seemed it liked cigars. It would come over me and look very excited. At any other time it would run away from me. Isn't that weird? A rabbit that likes cigars?

Sakurai: Maybe it liked Dave when he had a cigar.

Joe: Very strange.

Dave: So Mr. Sakurai, the program is almost over, but there will be another special program featuring you...

Joe: That's right, there will be another special program!

Dave: Another special program, he says, just doing it for the money...

Joe: Hey, I don't get paid very much, so there has to be another special program!

Dave: It will be at 8PM, on November 11th, the full album will be released on that date, so Joe and Mr. Sakurai will be bringing you another special program. I was also supposed to appear, but I have to go to Kobe right after that.

Joe: Oh, that's right...

Sakurai: There's someone waiting for you in Kobe.

Dave: Yes, they're waiting for me. [repeats The Mortal's tour schedule] I'll try to skip work and go to at least one. They start at 7PM, right?

Joe: Usually, right? About 7?

Dave: I think that's right.

Joe: So at the live shows, in addition to the songs from the mini-album and the album, will you be playing anything else? Any other covers or anything?

Sakurai: We'll try to get it together and practice something.

Joe: The shows start at 6:30. That's too early! It's like you're telling us not to come!

Sakurai: No no no, that's not it.

Dave: Now, one more song before we say goodbye. This is the last one.

Joe: Yume?

Dave: Yes. The special program is on at 8PM on November 11th! The full album will be out on that day so, give it a listen! And here we go, before we listen to The Mortal's 'Yume," thank you again, Mr. Sakurai. When the live shows are over.

Sakurai: Yes yes, send me an email.

Dave: I'll go to your neighborhood.

Joe: Please invite us!

Sakurai: See you then.

Dave: Thank you very much!

Sakurai: No, thank you!


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