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Does anyone still remember Closer To Ideal pamphlet? I am not done with it yet! But I getting closer to the end ;D

The second part of the Closer To Ideal consists of four interviews of the band members with a partner of their choice. Hizumi chose editor-in-chief of Zy. Seiichi Hoshiko, Karyu - his friend and ex-vocalist of his first band Taka-chan, Zero - his bass teacher Toshihiro Nara, and Tsukasa - his friend Kohei, who is a drummer too. Here is the first interview in the series: Hizumi x Seiichi Hoshiko.

Same as before:
I will appreciate any help if there are any mistakes or something needs to be corrected ;)
Please do not repost it anywhere. I prefer to keep the translations to my own dark little corner and be responsible for my mistakes and the words I choose.

text: Reiko Arakawa
translation: notafanboy

D’espairsRay 10th anniversary Special Talk II
Someone I want to meet now.


HIZUMI × Seiichi Hoshiko (Zy. connection)
I cannot take money with me to my grave, but I can take my memories.

Q: Hizumi’s partner for our interview today is Mr. Hoshiko, a head of Zy. connection and a former editor-in-chief of SHOXX. When did the two of you meet for the first time?
Hizumi: Did we meet when you were working for SHOXX?
Hoshiko: Didn’t you just start when I was with SHOXX? I worked for them until the beginning of 2000.
Q: I doubt you met then considering that D’espairsRay started their activities in 1999.
Hizumi: No, we didn’t meet then.
Hoshiko: We met when I had already started Star Child company. Didn’t you begin to participate in the events we organized? I think you used to play at SHOXX AGE. I forgot things that happened so long ago.
Hizumi: I forgot too. After that one way or another we got to know each other, right?
Hoshiko: Yeah.
Hizumi: Probably, because we took part in the lives you organized.
Hoshiko: Yeah, you often played at the lives we organized… and you opened your hearts to me.
Hizumi: You also participated in one of our lives, didn’t you?
Hoshiko: Ah, that’s right, there was something like that.
Hizumi: I was like: “Daddy!”
Hoshiko: Yeah, you said that all of sudden and all of sudden I got on the stage… That happened somewhere, that’s right.
Hizumi: People got suspicious: “Is that Mr. Hoshiko’s illegitimate son?” And I was like: “…me?”
Hoshiko: There was nothing of the sort! (laughs) Well, joking aside, for example, an episode that happened just recently: I went out with several guys with completely different occupations. It was a heavy metal party and the guys who came were all in their 30s and 40s. One of them was a section chief of an insurance company, another was a head of an IT company and somehow I got caught in the middle and they invited me. In the beginning it was just an ordinary party, but then we went to karaoke! We blasted loud music like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest in a small karaoke bar (laughs). And UFO after I said: “Let’s sing something older.”
Q: Like “DOCTOR DOCTOR”?
Hoshiko: Exactly.
Hizumi: I have no idea what you are talking about (laughs).
Hoshiko: You don’t?
Q: Normally nobody knows those bands.
Hizumi: The first Western band I listened to was Iron Maiden. I liked their bassist so much.
Hoshiko: Steve Harris?
Hizumi: He was so cool, that’s when I started to think that I’d like to play bass.
Q: (laughs) But you failed, didn’t you?
Hoshiko: As far as I remember, you are not a bassist, right?
Hizumi: No. As far as I remember I am not. If my memory is correct (laughs).
Hoshiko: Did you play bass in front of an audience?
Hizumi: No, I did not. Maybe only once?
Q: That one time, when you were so~ tense playing.
Hizumi: Yes.
Hoshiko: Did you play bass before D’espairsRay?
Hizumi: No, I joined my first band because I wanted to play bass, but right away I was told: “Wouldn’t it be better if you sing instead of play bass?” So I switched to vocals.
Q: You played bass on September 9, 2008, during a “part change” encore, but you struggled so much.
Hizumi: I looked so desperate (laughs).
Hoshiko: What songs did you play then?
Hizumi: D’espairsRay’s “BRILLIANT” and “Fascism”.
Hoshiko: You don’t play bass anymore?
Hizumi: I cover songs sometimes.
Hoshiko: I see. Abruptly changing the topic, as I said earlier, I have a feeling you lost weight.
Q: Now that you mention it, I think Hizumi did lose weight.
Hizumi: Did I? That’s because I am stressed (laughs).
Hoshiko: Did you tone up?
Hizumi: No, it is all stress! (laughs)
Hoshiko: Maybe you got thinner, because D’espairsRay toured abroad a lot.
Hizumi: Well, we have been playing one live after another.
Hoshiko: I wondered if you had a plastic surgery.
Hizumi: No, nothing like that.
Hoshiko: I said that to make you laugh, but it was no good (laughs). How is the band doing?
Hizumi: Things are really good between the four of us.
Hoshiko: The members of D’espairsRay have been getting along really well since long ago. How many years have you been together?
Hizumi: Ten years.
Q: It must be difficult to keep the band going for ten years.
Hoshiko: Yes.
Hizumi: How many years was “A horse and a carriage” active?
Hoshiko: Keep quiet! (laughs) Nobody knows about that band. “A horse and a carriage” existed for a year.
Hizumi: One year?
Hoshiko: I was only a stand-in member.
Hizumi: (laughs)
Hoshiko: I was really just a temporary member, I was told: “You only have to play with us for now”.
Hizumi: Did you break up?
Hoshiko: We did.
Hizumi: Why did you break up?
Hoshiko: Uhm, because everyone started looking for a job.
Hizumi: That was your reason for the break-up?
Hoshiko: I was the only one who hadn’t decided on a job, so I was worried.
Hizumi: Could it be that you broke up because of your musical differences?
Hoshiko: No, not really.
Q: What on Earth is “A horse and a carriage”?
Hizumi: It was Mr. Hoshiko’s band.
Hoshiko: Only very few people know about it. Sugizo is one of those who know about it and he always makes fun of me. I played in the band very long ago, when I was a high school student.
Q: I see, so you played in a band in the past.
Hoshiko: Yes, I did. However, I was a temporary member. The bass position was open so they asked me to join them. I played guitar from time to time and since bass has two strings less I thought that even I would be able to play it (laughs). But once I tried, it turned out to be unexpectedly difficult.
Hizumi: It is difficult.
Hoshiko: Because bass is a root part of a band, it becomes obvious immediately if a bassist messes up even a little. If a guitarist messes up, he can cover it up, but a bassist cannot do that.
Hizumi: There was that too, so I couldn’t move even a little that time I played bass with D’espairsRay (laughs).
Hoshiko: If a drummer is not good, it is difficult to play bass and, if a bassist is not good, it becomes difficult to play guitar. In that sense isn’t a vocalist the one who has it the easiest in a band?
Hizumi: No~, I think being a vocalist is the most difficult part in a band. One way or another. I learned a lot, when we played the “part change” encore. In short, the so called superior instruments guitar and vocals cannot be a foundation of a band, because they cannot be a support for the others (laughs).
Hoshiko: Because they always ride on top of the supporting instruments.
Q: Mr. Hoshiko, did you also want to become a musician?
Hoshiko: Yes, when I was in high school… I thought: “I am going to make my living with this!” That’s why I thought it was my chance to make it, when I was invited as a temporary member, and I jumped at it. But the other guys…
Q: What kind of a band did you want to be like at the time? I guess someone like DEEP PURPLE?
Hoshiko: At the time I liked the bands like DEEP PURPLE and CREAM. Well, I guess people don’t usually know them these days. But in fact the songs I played with my band were folk songs (laughs). I had an electric guitar at home and a small amplifier so I could practice. However, during a lunch break at school I played a folk guitar (laughs). I had a double one.
Q: A double guitar? (laughs)
Hoshiko: I have been working in the visual kei scene for nearly twenty years now and I think in my own way I understand the troubles and dreams, good and bad things about the musicians and bands. Because I did that once myself. Even when they don’t talk to me about the details, I get it somehow. We always communicate like that and it hasn’t changed even now, because that’s my roots.
Hizumi: If one is not a musician themselves, they won’t even think about working for a music magazine in the first place, right?
Hoshiko: Yeah. I didn’t think about it at first too. It’s just I hadn’t had a job and I was really worried about it. At the time the previous company I worked for sometimes published advertisements about recruiting staff for their editorial department and, when I applied for it, they hired me. I didn’t think that I wanted to do editorial job at first. But the more I worked there the more I got into it. I failed as a musician myself, but this way my work was still related to music, right? And I thought: “So there is also this way to go about it.” But though I work as an editor I really hate writing articles.
Hizumi: (laughs)
Hoshiko: I have always hated it.
Hizumi: I have never seen you writing any article~.
Hoshiko: That’s because I don’t write any.
Hizumi: I would like you to.
Hoshiko: I am fine when I talk, but I am bad at writing.
Q: Didn’t you write when you worked at a Western music editorial department?
Hoshiko: Yeah, I was also asked to write liner notes. I didn’t write much though, but there were articles about Rainbow or DURAN DURAN. I did only one interview of a visual kei artist – HIDE. I was told: “You’ll be fine, you can do it” and I was like: “What the hell is that? Why me?” I have never done any other interviews after that and I don’t write articles. What I hate the most is an editor’s column I write for Zy.
Hizumi: It is like a column we write for a magazine (laughs).
Hoshiko: It is such a bother.
Hizumi: I know what you mean!
Hoshiko: I always think: “”It is that time already~”, but that’s just something I cannot ignore. If I don’t write it a white space will be left in a magazine where my column is supposed to be (laughs). It is the only thing I write since it cannot be helped.
Q: Over many years you have seen different bands in the visual kei scene. What kind of a band do you think D’espairsRay is?
Hoshiko: D’espairsRay is a rock band. Their music has a lot in common with the music I like.
Hizumi: (laughs) You mean the kind of music you played on a folk guitar?
Hoshiko: No, no, no. The music I played was folk, but I love rock. From the very beginning I thought that D’espairsRay was a rock band. But I also thought that it would take you a long time to make it, because there was nothing showy about you. Especially since you are a part of visual kei scene. But I thought that you created your own style. Also I thought you would make great drinking buddies (laughs).
Q: What do you mean when you say that you thought it would take them long time? It is true though that it took time for D’espairsRay.
Hoshiko: It took them too long!
Hizumi: I am sorry.
Hoshiko: I am kidding (laughs). After all you have your own original style, but creating it takes time. You make great music and create a new era with it, but you are not showy about it. I think it is something you ourselves aimed at.
Hizumi: Yes, that’s right. I also know exactly what you mean, when you say that there is nothing showy about us.
Hoshiko: Even when it comes to your personalities, no one of you is flashy.
Q: That’s true.
Hizumi: How should I say it? We all like black and white more than colors. We really like subdued hues a lot more, be it our photos or anything else. I wonder why. I guess flamboyant style does not suit us…
Q: The same is true about your sound…
Hoshiko: Yeah, it is the same as your personalities. I think that’s something that hasn’t changed about D’espairsRay. You don’t act like famous rock stars. Well, I guess you haven’t lost the ground under your feet. It is true about both the artists and our magazine, I want us all not to lose sight of the ground under our feet.
Hizumi: I agree.
Hoshiko: No matter what you are doing, no matter where you are going. When you are about to head in the direction you want to go, look at your feet. That’s something I want to always remember. I tend to forget about it at times and then unconsciously I rush forward. I am just a kind of a guy to run around. Sometimes my staffs tell me: “Please watch your step”.
Hizumi: (laughs)
Hoshiko: You think you can rush towards you goal making two steps, three steps at once. But it does not work that way, you have to climb the stairs one step at a time, that’s how I do things. I have seen a lot of things and whenever one suddenly rises they always fall. It is true both about the bands and businesses as well. It is how the world works. I often compare it with baseball, if a player throws a ball high up it flies high, but it falls soon and it does not fly far. Do you understand what I mean?
Hizumi: Yes.
Hoshiko: Because one rises high, they have power to get earnings, but they don’t have the strength to continue for a long time. The best angle to go is 45 degrees, right? The ball does not rise high, but it flies a long time and covers a long distance. But it is tough, because the earnings part is not much (laughs), it is tough all the time (laughs).
Hizumi: Then I guess we are going at a 30 degrees angle. It is really tough for us.
Hoshiko: No, you are alright. That’s how it is, when one can do what they love for a long time. But because they will never earn a lot of money, there are a lot of hardships and tough decisions. But that’s my… I consider visual kei my life work and if one thinks about it that way, I think it is better not to rush to the top. If an artist wants to have a long life, they are better not to aim at the top right away, but to go at 30-45 degree angle. Then they can keep going for a long time. This is the so-called “Zy. theory” (laughs).
Hizumi: “Zy. theory”? (laughs)
Hoshiko: It cannot be helped about the money one earns, but for me happiness is to be able to do what I love for a long time. When I lay in a coffin, instead of saying: “I have earned thi~s much money,” I want to say: “I had fun.”
Hizumi: I see.
Q: Because one cannot take money with them to the grave.
Hoshiko: Yes, I cannot take money with me, but I can take my memories. I said something good!
Hizumi: Yes, you did. We will you use it as a title: “I cannot take money with me to my grave, but I can take my memories”… Uwah~ this is really good!
Q: It’s like the interview turned into a lecture by Professor Hoshiko.
Hizumi: I am absolutely going to say this line at a party one day (laughs).
Hoshiko: Of course! (laughs) I use “Zy. theory”.
Q: By the way have you ever done anything with D’espairsRay, for example, something like a Zy. photo shoot?
Hoshiko: I worked on outfits for them.
Hizumi: Yes, together with Ms. Ooba and Mr. Nonami. We had always said that we wanted to work with Mr. Nonami.
Hoshiko: We made it happen.
Hizumi: Aren’t both of them masters at what they do? The master of styling Ms. Ooba and the master of photography Mr. Nonami… we had original outfits made for that photo shoot. It was fun.
Hoshiko: It was a lot of fun. But we went so much over our budget and got in the red.
Hizumi: (laughs)
Hoshiko: We ignored the budget back then. I still have those outfits.
Hizumi: Eh? Really?
Hoshiko: Because we had Ms. Ooba make those outfits specifically for us, I can’t just give them away. No way can I sell them on Yahoo auction (laughs). I can neither sell nor throw them away (laughs).
Hizumi: Either way you have thought about disposing of our outfits, you are horrible (laughs).
Hoshiko: I would like to put them to some practical use (takes out an old Zy. magazine). What year is it?
Hizumi: 2004 (flips through the magazine). This is nostalgic~.
Q: The cover of the magazine is as expected from Zy.
Hizumi: Let’s do something absurd together again (laughs). Let’s go in the red!
Hoshiko: I am going to cut your budget, it will be a very pragmatic move (laughs).
Hizumi: That’s not very rock’n’roll of you.
Hoshiko: Wait. Aren’t you going to be on Zy. back cover?
Hizumi: Yes, we are on a back cover of the next issue. Have you seen the photos?
Hoshiko: No, I haven’t. These days I am leaving everything to the staffs working on a photoshoot site.
Hizumi: They are very good.
Hoshiko: Really?
Hizumi: Yeah, really good.
Hoshiko: That’s good to know. My genes are being inherited.
Hizumi: Actually, how much do you earn from one issue of the magazine?
Hoshiko: I am in the red every time.
Hizumi: Seriously?
Hoshiko: I am kidding, but the situation with the magazines is tough right now.
Q: That’s true, I think in comparison to the past people do not read magazines that much now.
Hoshiko: Probably a role of magazines has changed. Back when I worked for SHOXX, of course, there was no such thing as Internet, so first thing people did was buying magazines to get new information, then they bought CDs and went to lives. Right now it is the other way around. The first step to get information is free papers or websites, in short, one can get all information for free. After that people go to the lives.
Hizumi: Yeah.
Hoshiko: Then people buy goods there and CDs and if they really like an artist they buy magazines, it is like they go very deep into it. So these days magazines moved to the deepest level.
Hizumi: In the worst case people just read magazines in the book stores.
Hoshiko: Please don’t do that! (laughs)
Hizumi: I suppose there are people who are satisfied with that without buying the magazines.
Hoshiko: I always say to our editorial department: “Do not make a magazine that people would buy in order to get information. A magazine is something that promotes artists featured in it. Create a magazine that promotes artist’s brands.” In the age when magazines do no sell, I do not allow things like reducing the quality of the paper at all. We publish a lot of photos and I would really like to reduce the cost of the issues, but I can’t really do that, right? Because I want us to make something good. I have never told my staffs to make a magazine that would sell.
Q: Do you tell them to make a good magazine?
Hoshiko: Yes, I have always been saying that.
Hizumi: It is true about any genre.
Hoshiko: Because that way things you do will last. If you think only about making money you are going to get weird in the head. Making a good magazine you cannot win huge circulation like in the past, but you can create a brand product that promotes artists featured in it. In the past I think magazines were a tool for artists to gain popularity, but it is different now. Rather than gaining popularity, magazines are used to promote artist’s brands now. That’s the standpoint of Zy.
Hizumi: That’s amazing~.
Q: I would like to hear from you the hopes you have for D’espairsRay and Hizumi.
Hoshiko: I mentioned it before the start of the interview, I went to karaoke with a huge D’espairsRay fan once and we sang heavy metal songs. That person had bought about ten copies of D’espairsRay albums. I wondered what (s)he would do with them and it turned out (s)he just gives them to people for free saying: “It is a very good band, please listen to them.” I thought it was amazing that there are people like that too… It is not exactly a grass-roots movement, but when I met an earnest fan like that, for the first time I realized that because there are fans like that the band can go on making music for a very long time. It’s been ten years already, right? It is amazing that there are still such ardent fans.
Hizumi: We are grateful to them.
Hoshiko: Anyone can be that kind of a person, but it was the first time I met someone like that and I was surprised. For me D’espairsRay is a band that is supported by people like that and because the band has such fans, they can continue making music for a very long time. I also think that not only D’espairsRay, but the whole visual kei scene is supported by really good people. That’s why it is also being recognized abroad as a part of Japanese culture and D’espairsRay as a part of it too. I would like you to do your best.
Q: Do you have anything to say about Hizumi personally?
Hoshiko: I think he is a great guy and, when we are drinking together, he never makes a racket. He never puts on airs while drinking and then he always goes home normally (laughs).
Hizumi: There are people who get really excited when drinking, right? But I can’t drink at that pace at all.
Hoshiko: I mentioned earlier about joining a party of my friends in their 30s and 40s and singing heavy metal songs at a karaoke bar. Next time I go to that party I would like to bring you with me, Hizumi. When we go to karaoke, I think we are going to get you to sing D’espairsRay songs for us.
Hizumi: There is absolutely no way I am going to do that (laughs).
Q: Hizumi, do you have anything to say to Mr. Hoshiko?
Hizumi: Mr. Hoshiko, you are someone who both has been playing in a band and making a magazine… it is two different things, but in the end you have always wanted to make something good and I would like you not to destroy that… though I don’t know how many years you have left (laughs).
Hoshiko: I knew you’d say that!
Hizumi: I would like you continue what you have always been doing.
Hoshiko: I will do my best.
Hizumi: Also please have a long life.
Hoshiko: I will live long (laughs).

Comments

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
b_charcoal
Jan. 22nd, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC)
this is really good, thank you!!
notafanboy
Jan. 23rd, 2011 06:27 am (UTC)
You're welcome ;)
(Deleted comment)
notafanboy
Jan. 23rd, 2011 06:29 am (UTC)
You're welcome ;)
I am glad you enjoyed it, I was afraid people would not find it particularly interesting for that very reason, though personally I really liked it.
akai_byara
Jan. 22nd, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
thanks for translating!
notafanboy
Jan. 23rd, 2011 06:29 am (UTC)
You're welcome ;)
silentcarnival
Jan. 22nd, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks a million for translating! <3
notafanboy
Jan. 23rd, 2011 06:29 am (UTC)
You're welcome, I am glad you enjoyed reading it ;)
millenniere
Jan. 22nd, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
LOOOL Hizumi called him "daddy!"... that must've looked weird ^^

Is it just me or does Hizumi sound pretty glum? All the stress and saying that things are tough.. awwwe! I just wanna give him a hug :)

anyway thanks for translating, I'll look forward to the rest :)
notafanboy
Jan. 23rd, 2011 06:32 am (UTC)
ahahaha Yeah, I wish I could see that too! I actually saw Seiichi Hoshiko once at a Zy organized live D'espa participated in 3 years ago and he seemed like a funny old man ;D
He didn't seem particularly gloomy to me, more like he laughed it off about stress, but he must have been exhausted and really stressed considering when these interviews were conducted.
You're welcome ;) You probably will not have to wait too long for Karyu, it is done I just need to proof-read it a few times ;)
(Deleted comment)
notafanboy
Jan. 23rd, 2011 06:32 am (UTC)
You're welcome ;)
vampelody
Jan. 22nd, 2011 10:27 pm (UTC)
thank you so much for this :D
notafanboy
Jan. 23rd, 2011 06:33 am (UTC)
You're welcome ;)
hi_chaan
Jan. 23rd, 2011 10:15 am (UTC)
thank you soooo much for transalting this <333
notafanboy
Jan. 23rd, 2011 12:58 pm (UTC)
You're welcome ;)
signorpompelmo
Jan. 23rd, 2011 07:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you for translating. :D
notafanboy
Jan. 24th, 2011 01:36 am (UTC)
You're welcome ;)
narugakaruga
Jan. 24th, 2011 01:56 am (UTC)
Thanks for translating! I can't wait to read the other ones :D
notafanboy
Jan. 24th, 2011 10:16 am (UTC)
You're welcome ;) The second part will probably be up soon, but the other two will take much longer.
yuuchi_9082
Jan. 24th, 2011 04:24 am (UTC)
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa thank thank thank thank thank

you're awesomeeeeeeeeeee

hahahahahaha =)))))))) Hizumi : Daddyy! Hoshiko-san : Ehhh??? Everyone : His sonn????

=))))))
notafanboy
Jan. 24th, 2011 10:16 am (UTC)
You're welcome ;)
i_am_kenryoku
Jan. 24th, 2011 06:02 am (UTC)
This interview is really great. It feels as if we were allowed to listen in to a private conversation between Hoshiko and Hizumi. I sense a few inside jokes between the two. The interviewer must have felt like the same way, he was not leading the conversation, rather he was just a dumbfounded spectator to all that silly banter.

Q: What on Earth is “A horse and a carriage”? - laugh out loud on this one.

and this too:

Hoshiko: (...) You don’t act like famous rock stars. (..)
Hizumi: I agree.

Only because this interview is another proof that D'espa is a bunch of really cute dorks :)

As usual thank you for your generosity in sharing with us this interview. Looking forward to the rest. Can't wait for TSUKASA's.

And for some reason, I await Zero's with trepidation.
notafanboy
Jan. 24th, 2011 10:19 am (UTC)
You're welcome, I am glad you enjoyed reading it ;)
I am afraid Tsukasa will be the last ;P Karyu will probably follow within a couple of days, but Zero and Tsukasa will take time. You will have a chance to steel yourself before reading them xD
i_am_kenryoku
Jan. 24th, 2011 11:09 am (UTC)
Ah no worries. They would no doubt be worth the wait. If the Zero interview would not contain anything indecent, I would be hugely disappointed with it XP
notafanboy
Jan. 24th, 2011 12:53 pm (UTC)
I forgot if there were any indecencies, I read it too long ago. But I think he behaved, he was talking with his bass teacher after all. So you might be disappointed lol
Blue_Bridesmaid
Mar. 1st, 2011 10:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. I really love your work!!!
notafanboy
Mar. 2nd, 2011 01:14 pm (UTC)
You're welcome, I am always happy to know people enjoy reading my translations ;)
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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