Atsushi Sakurai (櫻井 敦司 Sakurai Atsushi, born March 7, 1966 in Fujioka, Gunma) is a Japanese musician and singer-songwriter. He has been the vocalist of the rock band Buck-Tick since 1985, previously being their drummer from 1983. He released the solo album Ai no Wakusei in 2004 and was also a member of Schwein alongside Hisashi Imai (Buck-Tick), Sascha Konietzko (KMFDM) and Raymond Watts. In 2015, he formed a solo project called The Mortal.
I haven’t talked about it too much because A) very few people I know would even know who/what I’m so excited about, and B) I don’t wanna come across as a total fangirl (even though I am)… but I’m so happy I got to see <PIG> and meet Raymond Watts. It’s rare for me that I can be somewhere at an event, even when I’m really having a good time, and not have some small part of me that thinks, I want to maybe be somewhere else. But every moment I was in front of that stage, I couldn’t think of a single place I’d rather be. There’s something magical about hearing your favorite musician perform live. And it was honestly not something I’d experienced before – I’ve been to a fair number of shows, many of which were great, but I’d never seen one of my very favorite bands perform live before. And Raymond was so, so, so kind. I was so nervous to meet him and was afraid I’d get tongue-tied and shy, but he was so warm and friendly and I could tell he was actually hearing what I was saying to him, which is such a lovely quality in a listener. And I was actually able to look him in the eyes, which is hard for me sometimes under the easiest of circumstances. Anyway, I just… had a really great time and I love Raymond and <PIG> even more than I already did.
Song ask! Picked at random: 8, 16, 17, 18, 25, 27, 33!?
8. Go to sex song. Hahaha! All I’m gonna say is that if you can’t bone to “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails, you’re probably lying.
16. If you could have two artists create a song together, which artists would you choose? I would’ve loved if Trent Reznor and Raymond Watts, circa their 1994 Europe tour, had done a song together. I think their respective sounds at the time would’ve meshed really well together.
17. Which artist(s) do you want new music from? Um, all of them? I guess I’d most like to hear new stuff from Cubanate right now.
18. What song reminds you of your childhood? There are so many! “Birdhouse in Your Soul” by They Might Be Giants reminds me of when we got our first car with a CD player when I was about 7 or 8. My mom was excited to finally be able to listen to CDs in the car, so she bought a They Might Be Giants greatest hits compilation. We listened to it alllllll the time.
“Lake of Fire” by Nirvana from Unplugged in New York always reminds me of childhood, too. That’s the first “adult” album I remember hearing when I was little.
And the entire Beatles and R.E.M. discographies also really remind me of childhood, since my parents always kept them in heavy rotation.
25. What song(s) were ruined by a breakup? Well, I have a hard time listening to St. Vincent as much as I did back in the day, because I’ll forever and always associate her with an ex that left me some pretty lasting emotional scars. Which sucks, because St. Vincent is so amazing!
27. Your friend is driving you somewhere and makes you DJ, what 5 songs do you put in queue? Depends on the friend and how much tolerance they have for dudes shrieking in German over clanking metallic sounds, tbh. If I were DJing for you, I’d probably put on something like this:
“Fountain of Miracles” by PIG
“Less Than” by Nine Inch Nails
“Going Red” by KANGA
“My Name is Ruin” by Gary Numan
“Join in the Chant” by Nitzer Ebb
33. Top 5 concerts you’d want to see? Nine Inch Nails (duh), Rammstein (they put on a hell of a stage show), Sisters of Mercy (apparently they’re amazing live?), PIG (again, because it was my favorite show ever for a bunch of reasons), and I reeeeeeeally wanna see Front Line Assembly and Cubanate when they perform in Seattle this November!