[Translation] ORICON PSP1800 vol. 022 feat. Tora (Alice Nine) x K (BORN)
Your first impression of him was a good, friendly person… …!?
— Well then. Last time in the conversation with Aoi (the GazettE), I was able to see an unusually nervous Tora. All in all, it was a fun conversation (lol).
[Tora] I was really nervous!
[K] I guess you were nervous, huh (lol).
— Between the GazettE and Alice Nine, there’s a one year difference in terms of when you guys entered the company. How far apart are Alice Nine and BORN?
[K] This is the third year from the day we entered the company.
— With that said, you’re 4 years apart?
[Tora] Oi oi. How the hell did you do your calculation (lol)!
— Ah, Alice Nine is 9 years old this year, right (lol). Okay so, you guys are 6 years apart!? 6 years!?
[Tora] You can say so. That’s amazing! 6 years is quite a difference. I’m getting old (lol).
— Surely, huh (lol).
[K] I actually went to see Alice Nine’s very first live. I saw Tora-san when he still had dreadlocks.
[Tora] Right. Those days existed (lol). I had dreads in those early days.
[K] Furthermore, Tora-san was standing on the bassist’s position during the lives. You were playing guitar on the spot where Saga-san is standing nowadays.
[Tora] That’s right. To say it frankly, I didn’t want to move forward too much. I thought that, Saga-kun had that certain aura so he should be on the front. But as a result, when I stood on the bassist’s position the sounds of the bass and drums were too harsh for me, so finally I took the left side guitarist’s position.
[K] No~ But honestly speaking, Alice Nine has always been awesome from the very beginning. You gave me such an impact.
[Tora] No no no, really, you shouldn’t say so much (lol).
— The reason you invited K-kun as guest this time?
[Tora] The reason why I invited K-kun, that’s because there’s a connection between us; he used to be in a band with our very own Hiroto.
[K] That’s right. We formed a band when we were still students. However, one day Hiroto said, “I’m going further up!” and then quit the band. Back then I was still attending school, but when I graduated, he had already decided to join Alice Nine. I was watching him rising up steadily. It was awesome.
— I see. When was the first time K-kun and Tora talked to each other?
[K] I think it was during Hiroto’s birthday party two years ago. There hadn’t been any chance for us to talk before that.
[Tora] We’re in the same company but we had never contacted each other.
[K] That’s right. Two meetings after that birthday party we all went for karaoke together; that time, Tora-san sat in front of me and then, all of a sudden, he was pouring alcohol for us, and said, “Kanpai!”. He poured me a glass to drink too. When I emptied my glass, he said, “Kanpai!” again (lol). I thought back then, so Tora-san was this kind of guy (lol).
[Tora] A useless adult, right (lol).
[K] No no, I actually thought you were a really nice, friendly guy! However, in that karaoke booth, while everyone was singing—AYABIE’s KENZO was also present, you see—and Tora whispered in my ear, “Let’s start a fight with KENZO (lol)!” (lol). I told him, no~ it’s impossible! (lol).
[Tora] Ahahahaha. I told you I’m a useless adult (lol). An awful guy.
— Where’s your apology?
[Tora] I’m sorry (apologizing).
[K] No, it’s fine (lol).
— So did you start the fight?
[K] I told him, no, sorry, it’s impossible! (lol) And then Tora said, “What the hell~ you’re so boring~” (lol).
[Tora] I’m so sorry (lol). But that was our first meeting, right? I’m so awful~ (lol). I’m really horrible whenever I drink alcohol. I don’t remember any of that (lol). I’m really sorry.
[K] But then we got along really well. He even invited me to go drinking at the beginning of this year. Hiroto was also present, and while we were drinking, we lightly greeted each other, “Happy New Year” (lol).
— What did the three of you talk about?
[K] I was invited to go see Alice Nine’s tour, so that was mostly what we talked about. This tour’s finale was really amazing.
[Tora] Thank you (lol). But, somehow, it’s not that nice to talk about music while you are drinking. That’s because Hiroto always talks about music even when he’s drinking (lol). That guy really loves music, so he keeps on talking about it while drinking. When I’m sober, I can talk about music as much as I want to, but when I’m drinking, it’s a lot more interesting to drink without thinking, be excited, and talk about perverted things or whatever. I’m the type of person who thinks so. But perhaps, as for guitarists, there are lots of them who like to talk about guitars when they are drinking. I guess there are a lot of maniacs out there. I often heard people holding bassist meetings or drummers meetings, but there haven’t been a lot of guitarists meetings. I wonder if there are many guitarists who gather in small groups of people. It seems guitarists meetings are happening more often lately. But I have never gone to that kind of meeting.
[K] I see. I’m a bassist by nature, a guitarist that is very much unlike a guitarist. I’m really rough at it. A man who is a natural-born guitarist would be more attentive, right. They’re really sensitive. I suppose there are numerous people like them who are in search of good sounds.
[Tora] I’m also rough. I actually wanted to be a bassist if I could. But I couldn’t, so to say.
— What happened?
[Tora] There were too many bassists around. And back then, when I went to the store to buy a musical instrument, I found that the guitar cost cheaper than bass (lol).
— Eh!? That’s the only reason!?
[Tora] That’s right (lol). That’s my only reason (lol). That’s the motive that made me start playing the guitar (lol).
[K] Ahahaha. So that’s it (lol).
[Tora] Right. That’s why I think people who are guitar maniacs are really awesome. I think Hiroto is a perfect example of a guitar maniac.
[K] You’ve got a point, Hiroto is a maniac. I also think he’s a natural-born guitarist. He loves his equipments too.
[Tora] True. In the mean time, I’m a guy who doesn’t even use a single effector (lol).
— You plug your guitar straightly to the amp!?
[Tora] Yeah. I’d only fuss with the volume, whether I want it to be loud or not. For me that’s sufficient. But during lives, I would cause the instrument staff a lot of fuss—asking them to bring me an effector and plug it up for me (lol). I’m that rough.
[K] In terms of a band with twin guitars, you two have absolutely different personalities.
[Tora] You’re right. Somehow it just naturally becomes like that, huh. But is it okay if this conversation is turning into a talk about our true characters (lol)?
Among Alice Nine’s members, Hiroto is popular… …
— Ahahaha. No problem, you can talk about whatever you want (lol). But during the photoshoot break, Tora kept talking about, “What kind of guy is popular?” (lol).
[Tora] Ahahaha. Right, right. That’s because that’s not something I usually talk about (lol). We have the best of fun when we’re talking about trivial stuff like that.
[K] I have great interest in that kind of conversation! What kind of guy is popular? I’m definitely not a popular guy, so I would like to know about that!
[Tora] Won’t that be guys like Hiroto?
— Hiroto is a popular guy!?
[Tora] He is~. He’s really popular~.
[K] He’s popular!?
[Tora] Yep. He’s very popular. As Alice Nine’s Hiroto he has his own popularity, but in private he’s also pretty popular, y’know. I think that, from people who handle interviews like this to the company officials, everyone generally likes Hiroto.
— Is that true!? Well, he does seem like a nice, amiable guy.
[Tora] Isn’t he? That’s what I mean. I think that is exactly his popular point. Of course, it’s also because he has a cute face, right. I think that’s the kind of face that makes someone popular. It’s so obvious.
— He’s kind of like a small animal, a squirrel or some kind?
[K] Ahahahaha. He surely does look like a squirrel (lol). But Tora-san is totally a handsome man!
[Tora] Nope, I’m different. My face isn’t the kind of face that girls like. I think they prefer a guy with a face like Hiroto’s.
[K] An androgynous kind of face?
[Tora] Hm~. Androgynous or not I’m not sure, but most of all a face like Hiroto’s will be popular, I think. I have friends other than my bandmates that are popular, and they all have Hiroto’s face type. That’s why I think that’s the kind of face that makes someone popular. In addition to that, Hiroto is really attentive to others. Girls love that. Hiroto will always say things like, “Your clothes today are cute”. He doesn’t do that to be popular, he just unconsciously says stuff like that.
— Ah~ Now that you mention it, he does say things like that pretty often!
[Tora] Right? An ordinary guy, when he sees a girl who has just gotten a haircut, will usually ask something like, “Have you cut your bangs too short?” But Hiroto will say something frank like, “You’ve cut your hair. Looks good.”
[K] I see, I see! Of course, a popular person is considerate toward others, right!
— Well, speaking of Hiroto, I don’t think he’s the type of guy who makes schemes and says that kind of things deliberately. But I think he’s rather spontaneous (lol).
[Tora] Right, right (lol).
[K] Ahahaha. Then, what kind of girl is popular?
[Tora] A popular girl? That’s a difficult question. The kind of girl that is popular? Won’t that be people with a nice attitude, and a neat way of eating? A girl who doesn’t seem boyish.
[K] I see, I’m learning so much. Can I ask another question? Tora-san, before you joined a band in the visual kei field, have you always liked the hard kei genre sound? Afterward, when you entered the visual kei scene, you had dreadlocks in the beginning, and after that you had a short cut hair with a punkish style. And during the lives, you’re the only one who ran and jumped around while making your entry on the stage. Was there any specific reason of doing such play style?
[Tora] Yes. I don’t really remember though (lol). I thought I’d just stick to my own way. When we decided to join this company we’re in now, I thought about keeping up a visual kei style. That’s why when I had the dreads, my hair was roughly close-cropped (lol). I figured this wasn’t acceptable (lol). So from that point on my style is changing bit by bit.
— But you got scolded when you got that mohawk style (lol).
[Tora] I did (lol). I really want to get back to that hair style I had in the past (lol). I did get scolded back then. But I guess the president gave up on me (lol). But if I didn’t do that, I didn’t think I would make any impact. If I had the courage and confidence, I might become like GOLDEN BOMBER (lol). And then, I thought it’d be good if I could go to the extent where I seemed cool.
[K] It’s important to have that confidence in ourselves.
[Tora] Yep. That’s right. I’ve been thinking that it’s fine even though I don’t protect my image. There’s no need to stay within the boundaries of “you can’t do it unless it’s like this”. Thanks to [NICONICO show] that is featuring us, I’ve learned how to talk. And also because of that, the style of our lives has gradually changed. That is also something good. I think that it’s great if I can talk freely with all my might in radio shows and the likes.
[K] Is there a gap?
[Tora] Yes, yes (lol).
[K] I see. So, what kind of a person is Tora-san in private?
[Tora] In terms of love relationship, I’m nothing but a domineering husband type (lol). Ah but there are times when I’m gentle (lol). I’m the type who comes to help only at the moment I’m most needed.
[K] Ah, is it at the moment when it has become too much for you (lol)?
[Tora] I wonder (lol)? I guess I’m the type who will let my partner do her best to the very critical moment, and that’s when I’ll abruptly say, “Leave that to me. I’ll do it.” (lol).
[K] Ah, isn’t that the popular type!?
— That’s right. K-kun is always very gentle. He’s gentler than Bufferin* if I may say so myself.
[Tora] Eh? What? Are you trying to say that his kindness is not half-hearted, but full (lol)?
— Just like that!
[K] Certainly. I’m always too gentle. I can’t let others struggle until the most critical moment. That’s why kindness has totally become my nature (lol). I’m not the type who can push my authority onto others.
— I understand. You’ve become accustomed to being gentle.
[K] Without a doubt, I’m that kind of person.
[Tora] In my case, whenever I’m in a relationship with someone, we talk a lot.
[K] Is that so!?
[Tora] Yes. Not that we’ll be fighting, but it’s more like, it’s going to turn into a meeting or some kind (lol).
[K] Don’t you ever fight with your lover?
[Tora] Rather than fighting, we’d be discussing our problems. Thoroughly. It would be the kind of discussion where we would listen to each other, where we could say how far we would forgive each other, how far we could accept what each other said.
— I see. You’re the type who would talk face to face with your partner.
[Tora] Yes. I suppose so. I can’t understand people who get angry over no apparent reason. I’m the kind of person who would like to know why exactly she’s upset. During these times, I’d ask why she was angry, if she could just try explaining it properly in a few sentences. For a man, that’s a troublesome way to behave. But I would like to know the reasons. Where is it not right, how does she feel, why is she angry? I won’t be able to settle my feelings if I don’t do a thorough analysis like that.
[K] I see. You’d want to listen to her explanation, so that you could understand what’s going on. But that can be rather troublesome. It’s awful.
[Tora] Surely, when a person is angry, they’d be like, “I have no idea why, but I’m so angry!”. So I’d try to take some time and tell her, “That’s why, think about it with a cool head, and then tell me what is making you so angry.”
[K] You’re such an adult. I’m no good. In that situation, I’d be like, “Why are you angry? What happened? I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” (lol). I’m that type of guy.
— Ahahaha. You’re the type who gets manipulated (lol).
[K] That type of guy is no good, huh (lol)?
[Tora] No, I wonder about that (lol)? But when it comes to that, do you have other choices but to turn into the person who manipulates (lol)? But if it doesn’t make me upset, I suppose it’ll be okay. When both parties get angry, then there will surely be a fight. I think that maybe it’d be best if we could see it all with a cool head. If there’s one side that will listen to the other, everything will work out fine, right? This doesn’t just apply to a relationship between lovers, but also to social disposition in general, I think.
[K] Absolutely. If you respond with emotion to someone who’s being emotional, nothing can be solved. That’s why this current talk with Tora-san has an amazing force of persuasion over me.
[Tora] See, if one side listens, the other side will gradually understand why they’re upset (lol). I think that if you can properly talk face to face, you can solve just about any problem. Then, in that case, you can make peace with your partner.
[K] I see! I’ve learned a lot!
— With all of that, our time is up (lol).
[Tora] Oh no. Okay then, let’s go drinking again this time!
[K] Absolutely! Thank you so much. I’ve learned a lot about human life from you!
* From http://www.oricon.co.jp/music/column/psp/vol022.html
* Bufferin = a medicine for headaches
* No, seriously, Tora. How could you even think girls didn’t like your face!? And how he treats his girlfriend… OMG WHYAREYOUSOPERFECT—okay sorry, I’ll stop.
* And GOLDEN BOMBER!TORA. Let’s just stop for a while and imagine him …………… No. Just… no.
* Translation by me, credits if used/posted/translated elsewhere.