*PATA??????????Jrock Revolution??載??????*
Our second X JAPAN interview is with the band's legendary guitarist PATA. PATA, who has been with X JAPAN since its infancy, is famously economical with his words--but when he talked with us at Jrock Revolution he definitely didn't hold back on some fantastic insights! What Jrocker does he think is a bit like a "mischievous boy"? What does he love as much as being in X JAPAN? And what are his hopes and dreams for the upcoming reunion show and beyond? Curious? Read on!JRR: Thank you for accepting our interview request. Congratulations on the X JAPAN reunion. PATA: Thank you. JRR: Before we start the interview, please let me explain that a lot of JRR's readers are more recent foreign Jrock fans, and they are not all familiar with the bands who have been around from the start. So please pardon us if we ask questions that everybody in Japan would know the answers to. PATA: That's fine. JRR: Now, your “ijou” (“that's all”) at the end of your initial greeting at the [Shibuya Tower Records on January 20th] Talk Live has become rather famous, but why did you say it that way? (Laughs.) PATA: That's on old habit of mine. (Laughs.) I've always done doing that; I haven't changed at all. JRR: Then everybody else started doing it, too... (Laughs.) To talk about old times, where did your "PATA" nickname originally come from? PATA: There is a manga called “Patariro”—this one (shows his Zippo lighter with the Patariro character on it)—with a character who's always teasing others and playing tricks on them. Back in high school, one time at an instruments store we used to hang out at all of the time, someone said, “You really resemble that character.” Then everybody started to call me “Patariro, Patariro.” Over time, that was shortened to PATA. When I joined X, it was “What name are you going to use on stage?” Well, my name is Tomoaki; Tomo is kind of boring, so I ended up going by PATA. That stuck, and so for the last twenty-five, twenty-six years, I've been PATA. It’s really a strange name, if you think about it. (Laughs.) Can't be helped, I guess. JRR: Maybe it's strange, but at least it has impact and that makes it easy to remember. PATA: That'd be good, if that's the case... JRR: I think so. Now, you mentioned joining X—but before that, you also had your own band? PATA: Yes... JRR: Can you tell us about that? PATA: That wasn't really anything special. Just one of those bands around. JRR: When and how did you first encounter X? PATA: The first time was actually in high school, too. I saw them in some contest. JRR: In Tokyo? In Chiba [prefecture]? PATA: In Chiba. I saw them there—then some time later [in Tokyo], my own band was without a drummer at one point, so a friend who knew YOSHIKI introduced us, saying that he should have time [since X wasn't performing at that time] because they had no members [aside from YOSHIKI and TOSHI]. I asked YOSHIKI to play support for us, and I think that he did that maybe three times. Then sometime after that, I ended up joining X somehow. JRR: Is it true that, before that, you asked YOSHIKI to join JUDY? PATA: Oh, yes; yes, I did. I asked him, and instead I ended up joining X a few years later. JRR: Why did you join X? PATA: By then, my own band had disbanded... One day, [YOSHIKI] called me. There wasn't any particular reason why I shouldn't join, so I did. JRR: Then, after ten years of X, the break up. After another ten years, the reunion. How does that make you feel right now? PATA: To be honest, I didn't thing of it as a reunion—more like, we're doing something [together again]. I guess I don't know how I really feel until we're actually doing the lives. JRR: So shooting the “I.V.” music video in Odaiba didn't leave any particular impact then? PATA: We did that, but—even then—I just thought that nothing much had changed. Well, except that someone was missing. Really, I think I won't know how I feel until we do the lives. JRR: You've still kept in contact with HEATH after the break up, correct? PATA: Not really all that much, no. Wait, we did DopeHEADz; I completely forgot about that. (Laughs.) Okay. We did that, that's true. JRR: What about Dope HEADz? The last news was of a “temporary break in activities.” Does that mean “break up” in kinder words or is there a chance you'll be doing something with it some time in the future? PATA: Did that stop with taking a break? (Laughs.) [Doing something more with Dope HEADz, I have] no idea about that. For now, there aren't any plans at the moment. JRR: But there might be some possibility? PATA: Maybe sometime, I don't know. Really, I've no idea at the moment. JRR: To go back into the past once more: on your first solo release, all the other musicians are non-Japanese. Did you do that for a special reason or was it something that was accidental? PATA: Is there any special reason I shouldn't have done it with foreigners? JRR: I just thought it was interesting—that, as a Japanese artist, you'd choose all foreigners to work with for your solo debut. PATA: Not that I was doing it just on a whim, but because it was my solo work, I did it with other guys who wanted to work with me. At that time, I was in LA—so that turned out to be musicians there. That's all, really, and that my recording engineer also was living there. JRR: You also participate a lot in other musicians’ work, starting with TOSHI and HIDE's solo tours. PATA: Ah, yes. JRR: Then there was the Tokyo Yankees album. PATA: Yes, that's something else I played in. JRR: Recently, you were in Nanase Aikawa's band—how did you decide to play with them? I mean, with HIDE and TOSHI, it is easy to see why, but what about the other artists? PATA: The Yankees were friends, so I played with them. With Aikawa… Someone asked, “Can you play this?” and so I played. No big deal. JRR: I have to admit that it felt a bit strange to see you in a Jpop band. PATA: I had friends among those band members, too. JRR: Like [SPREAD BEAVER keyboardist] DIE? PATA: Yes, DIE-chan is a friend, as is the bass player, and it's not as if I didn't know SHINYA [of LUNA SEA]. JRR: You've also played with MIYAVI, who's in YOSHIKI's S.K.I.N. PATA: MIYAVI, too, yes. JRR: What's your impression of him? PATA: MIYAVI? My impression of him? Like a mischievous boy. (Laughs.) But he's a good kid, really. JRR: Is there any band or artist you've worked with that has particularly impressed you? PATA: Not from the top of my head. Well, because I've worked with so many people, it's hard to say. JRR: You haven't played with them, but you did a “three guitarists” talk for a magazine recently with HIZAKI and TERU from VERSAILLES. After that, HIZAKI wrote in his blog that it was because of you that he started playing guitar. Did he tell you that in person, too? PATA: Not in those exact words, but something similar to that, yes. JRR: How did you feel about that? PATA: I was happy to hear it, naturally. (Laughs.) Sorry... (Ed. note: “Sorry" is something a Japanese person might say to apologize for something that might sound boastful or self-inflating.) JRR: Personally and with Ra:IN and X JAPAN, how would you like to influence your fans? PATA: Influence… I'm not sure I'd say that I want to influence anyone. If people just listen and like it, I think that's enough. JRR: If you look at the currently active young bands, do you think there is one that will leave a lasting impact? PATA: I don't know. JRR: Your own bands, after X JAPAN's break up, were P.A.F., Dope HEADz, and now Ra:IN. If you'll forgive me for saying so, those are strange names... PATA: (Laughs.) JRR: What is your inspiration for your band names? PATA: It wasn't me who named Dope HEADz. Ra:IN also was named by someone else, not me. Though, with Ra:IN, that really came from the English word “line.” Then it became, “Let's do something different with it.” and that turned out to be “Ra:IN.” JRR: Where does the “inspiration” part of “Rock and Inspiration” come from? PATA: A friend of mine came up with that—and also the way of writing it like that, with Ra:IN. JRR: So who in Ra:IN was that? PATA: That was a designer by the name of Sakaguchi. (Laughs.) We asked him to make us some kind of design. That's how the small “a” [and the colon] got in. That wasn't any one of us. (Laughter.) JRR: I see. With Ra:IN, you've done lives in Paris and Beijing. What were your impressions with that? PATA: Impressions… On the stage itself, it's not really all that different. But I was surprised how warmly we were welcomed. It was a first for me, too, after all. Paris. I hadn't been in Europe before that. It was amazing. I was really surprised. JRR: Why were you surprised? PATA: I hadn't expected anything [as enthusiastic a welcome] as that. JRR: The day before the Beijing live, there was that sudden X JAPAN recording session. Were you okay at the live despite that? PATA: Yes, no worries. Everything went great. JRR: Regardless of whether it’s with Ra:IN or X JAPAN, if you could perform in any place of your choice overseas, where would you want to play? PATA: In a number of places. However, it's not as if there'd be decisions on anything [right now]. JRR: I wasn't asking about any concrete plans, just what place you'd like to play if you could choose one. PATA: Any place... Antarctica would be a little cold, maybe. (Laughs.) London, I think. JRR: That's interesting. Why London? PATA: I admire British rock; that's how I started [as a musician]. I like Britain, and I like the bands there. JRR: What bands are those? PATA: Led Zeppelin. Other groups from that time, lots of them. So I'd like to play there once. JRR: Are there any foreign artists that have influenced you? PATA: I'm not sure. Maybe Led Zeppelin and Cheap Trick. JRR: Now that it's the other way around and Japanese music is becoming popular overseas, how do you feel about that? PATA: I'm amazed. But I'm happy about it. I wonder what the overseas fans like about it, though. JRR: That’s what I wanted to ask you next—what you think they like about it. (Laughs.) PATA: No, that's my question. I really have no idea. (Laughs.) JRR: It seems to have started with anime. PATA: It looks that way, yes. JRR: In the beginning, people came across Jrock as anime theme songs, and then began to look at the bands; by now, even though groups go to anime conventions, a lot of people are interested in the music for its own merit, not because of anime anymore. PATA: I'm glad they [are giving it a chance] and listen to it overseas. JRR: Overseas reminds me: did you have a look at the Jrock Revolution site? PATA: No, I'm sorry. I don't even have Internet connection at home. (Laughs.) JRR: You could look here at the office? But it’s no problem. PATA: No, really, I'm a dinosaur. Sorry. JRR: Really, it's okay. (Laughs.) It's not geared towards Japan, after all, and it’s all in English; there’s no reason why you should look. If I can change the topic to something different, you're rather famous as a Tokyo Giants [baseball team] fan. Is there any player you particularly like at the moment? PATA: A favorite player… I like them all. I don't have any particular favorite at the moment; I like the whole team. I love all of the players. JRR: Then I guess that we have to hope that the Giants don't play while X JAPAN does. (Laughs.) PATA: But they do play at the same time. I thought that I could go and watch on the second day [the 29th], at the very least, but we know what happened to that. (Laughter.) JRR: In that case, please do show up at Tokyo Dome! PATA: I will. (Laughter.) JRR: Please don't run off [to watch the Giants at Jinguumae baseball stadium]. PATA: I'll be there. I'll pretend I came because I thought there'd be a Giants games those nights. (Laughter.) JRR: You could have the staff put a TV into your dressing room? PATA: But they'll be playing their games the same time we'll be playing our lives... JRR: You and Tokyo Dome. It’s a place that's significant to you both for X and the Giants. What would you say about Tokyo Dome to someone who doesn't know anything about it? PATA: It's a baseball stadium? (Laughs.) Okay, I suppose that's not what you meant. JRR: What's Tokyo Dome for yourself? PATA: If it’s put like that, it’s my home ground. JRR: For both X JAPAN and the Giants. PATA: Yes. Yes, let's put it like that. (Laughter.) JRR: In regards to more old things, you used to like cats and Jack Daniels. Do you still have a cat? PATA: I don't have one now, no. But my mother does, at my parent's place. JRR: But you still like them? PATA: Oh, I do. Cats and dogs both. I'd really like to have one again. JRR: What about Jack Daniels? PATA: I still drink that, too. Though, lately, it's become shouchu more. (Laughs.) (Ed. note: PATA is implying that he's gotten old since shouchu, the Japanese version of vodka, is considered more for middle aged guys than rockers.) JRR: Incidentally, do you know that there is a livehouse with a huge Jack Daniels advertisement right in this neighborhood? We came across it on our way here. PATA: Actually, I've been to that place when a friend of mine played there. JRR: Really? And once again with old things: I remember a questionnaire in which you were asked what your favorite sport is, and your answer was “as if.” PATA: A favorite sport? That is, playing one? JRR: Yes, playing one. Not just watching. PATA: As if. (Laughter.) JRR: To go back to music, when I saw you at [a Ra:IN live at] Ueno Sensation (Ed. note: Ueno Sensation is a livehouse), I noticed that your guitars are still Gibsons. Have you ever played any others? PATA: Sure. Fender, some others. But mostly it's Gibsons. JRR: To switch from playing to listening, are there any artists you like right now? PATA: Right now, I haven't been buying CDs lately. I'm not really listening to music all of the time, so what I've been listening to is just what happened to play at bars and other places that I went to. Mostly only that. Also, we just finished up with something, so while we were recording, what I usually listened to was our work in progress. I didn't feel like listening to someone else during that. JRR: If you've been recording, I assume that means there will be a new release? PATA: When will this be published? JRR: The planning is for the middle of March. PATA: The middle of March, that's okay then. The release date for our new work is April 9th. That's the day it'll go on sale. We were told not to say anything about it until the tenth [of March]. But there are already preorders. It's like, what's going on here? (Laughter.) JRR: Can you tell me the title? PATA: The title is “METAL BOX.” It's an album. JRR: You've said that you haven't been listening to music much lately, but is there any band, foreign or Japanese, that you'd recommend to fans to listen to? PATA: Recommend... I've been mostly listening to Led Zeppelin lately, so I guess that... Also, I like the Kings. Actually, [I’d recommend for people to try] Ra:IN. JRR: Why do you like Led Zeppelin so much? PATA: Good question. Because they are cool? It’s hard to put into words why I like them. I can't really explain it. JRR: With or without Led Zeppelin, what are your five favorite albums? PATA: Anything from Led Zeppelin, Cheap Trick at Nippon Budokan, BBA Live, AC/DC's “Back in Black,” well, that's all I can come up with just now... JRR: In your own performances, what do you think about just before you go on stage? PATA: Think about... maybe the songs we're going to play. Or nothing in particular, really. Just relax. What I don't like is to chitchat. JRR: And who chooses your stage outfits? Do you do that yourself? PATA: I choose that. Whatever suits me at any given time. Well, in the old [X JAPAN] days, I used to consult with a stylist, but not anymore. With Ra:IN, I really don't give it much thought. I think of how to combine things already in my closet. JRR: Of all the lives that you've played, which has left the deepest impression? PATA: I enjoy every performance, so there isn't any one that I'd say has impressed me more than others. No two lives are identical, so I like them all. JRR: You are in a movie, as well. (Ed. note: “Attitude,” http://www.attitude-movie.com) Can you tell us what that is about? PATA: Actually, I've no idea myself. (Laughs.) JRR: Oh? PATA: I really have no idea. I think I'm in it having a drink somewhere. I'm not familiar with the details of the movie. JRR: I see. And the next upcoming thing is the Tokyo Dome Three Days lives. Fans have been delighted about the additional concert, but also worried a bit about the change from two to three days. How do you think it will go? PATA: I wonder about that myself. (Laughs.) I'll think about the details from now on. I'm sure it will be great fun. I'm really curious how it's going to be for myself. I guess that's what I'm thinking with: “Kyou kono goro.” (Ed. note: “Today as of this moment.” It’s a phrase PATA favors and is used a number of times at the Shibuya Tower Records Talk Live on January 20th.) JRR: Aside X JAPAN, you will continue Ra:IN activity, as well? PATA: Oh, yes. I'll continue that. JRR: What are your plans with Ra:IN for this year? PATA: We're releasing a new album [in April], and we'll go on a tour. Sometime, if we can find a good time for it, I'd like to play overseas once more. JRR: Would that be in Asia again? Or in America or Europe? Where would you like to play first? PATA: If we could, in all those places. JRR: Come to all of them? PATA: I'm not sure whether our new CD might be released in France at the same time [as in Japan], but I'd like to go to France again. And if we go there, then I'd like to go to other European locations, as well. I also want to go to Taiwan at least once. JRR: How about Los Angeles? PATA: I want to go to Los Angeles, too. So far, we haven't been to America [with Ra:IN]. JRR: As our last question, is there something—some type of dream—that you have and haven't realized yet, but want to? PATA: A dream I haven't realized yet? I'd be satisfied if I could just go on playing guitar. Well, the future isn't reality yet, so I suppose that could be called a dream not yet realized. Though if you're asking for some specific dream, I don't think that's been realized yet. JRR: What kind of dream? PATA: I am not sure myself. It’s just that not everything has become reality yet. Everything is still in flux, so I'm not sure. I can't really explain it any better. JRR: Is there a dream that has become true? PATA: Something that has become true... That I'm performing as I do at the moment, and that I am on stage with my bands now. JRR: All your fans are grateful for that. And could you give us a message for them, please? PATA: This is PATA today, as of this moment. I'm planning on visiting all your places sometime, so please support me then. This is Ishitsuka today, as of this moment. That's all. JRR: Thank you. 原內容網址:http://www.jrockrevolution.com/index.php/webzine/article/interview_pata_of_x_japan/interviews

 

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