Mother Rock: It's [my] first time to have a lot of time to talk with you. I have plenty of chances to see you onstage. But when I look at you closely, you're more handsome.
Takuro: Thank you. I'll take that.
MR: In addition, you are so tall. Did you play any sports?
T: When I was a junior highschool student, I played soccer. But at the same time, I liked the Beatles and I came to play music. When I had to choose between a Beatles radio [song or program] or a soccer game, I chose the Beatles. Then I quit soccer.
MR: Really-you are serious about music.
T: I was blamed for my decision. I was a regular player in the team, but I chose music.
MR: You might be playing in a professional soccer team now if you had continued playing soccer.
T: It will never happen. But if I had not listened to the radio, I would not be in a band.
MR: After we make a serious decision, we sometimes think that our decision was right when we are doing it well. If you had chosen the soccer game, your life would be different.
T: I would say that music was my hobby. But I was so serious about music and my mother liked "chanson" music so she always sang some songs while she was cooking. So for me, choosing music would be a right decision. I can still sing the songs that my mother sang at the time, songs such as "rokudensai", "mekemeke" or "Que sera sera."
MR: Amazing. You were influenced by your mother.
T: My mother often says to me, "Your music is just noise to me, but you have a lot of fans who support you. You have to treasure them as much as you can because your music is so important to them. When I was sad, I tried to sing my favorite songs so that I could forget my sadness and I could raise you."
MR: It's great.
T: I always think about the power of songs because my mother influenced me. Rock music needs a beat. Songs sometimes spread out in people's minds differently from what I expected, so that I have to have a responsibility for the songs I write. And I want to make better songs and I think that is my obligation.
MR: I think that your songs contain not only beauty, but also a message. In a magazine interview, you talked about your friend who was killed by terrorism.
T: Yes. I cannot allow myself to write a song just about love. I cannot be allowed anything (just) because I am a famous musician. I am just a 25-year old man. I have to do something as a person, like ordinary people. I also want to participate and contribute to society. I don't trust the songs which only refer to dreams and an unrealized world. I don't think those songs help the growth of the band.
MR: So you always gain the truth from society and put it into your songs.
T: Yes. If I were a solo singer, my feelings would reflect my songs more strongly. I like to talk to people. I don't believe that music, movies or art have a stronger impact on me than that of relationships with people. I will never be more influenced by music, pictures or any art than by conversations with people.
MR: I see. I heard that the song [Glorious] came from the birth of your friends' children.
T: Yes. It is a song for their children.
MR: It is a good idea to write a song for your friends.
T: It has more of an impact than reading 10 books.
MR: I agree with that. I am sometimes asked, "What kinds of books influenced you the most?" But I have no answer because my job is to report real incidents. I go there and report it. It is more than books. So I would say that there is no book that influenced me.
T: I have the same idea.
MR: So I am very curious to know what kind of incidents would influence you the most in the future. I am looking forward to seeing you in the future.
T: I want to write songs in which I have to cherish something even if I am the worst person. If we become more successful in the future, I never want to forget the bottom line (i.e. Their spirit, which they want to keep forever).
MR: I see.
T: If you notice that we are forgetting the bottom line, please call us.
MR: I will.
T: As you know, we made our debut from Yoshiki's production two years ago. Many people and a lot of staff supported our debut. But, we were so serious about music; we paid more attention to taking further steps. Actually, we took the steps gradually. During the March concert in Shibuya, I think I could finally deliver my true message to my fans.
MR: I think so, too. I saw so many bands in Shibuya, and different bands have their own personalities. GLAY's concert in Shibuya was different, [it] had a stronger impact. It was so cool. That's why I am wearing gray suits.
T: Thank you.
MR: The gray suits which you wore for the first song [in] BEAT out! was so simple but cool. I was so excited by your suits.
T: I chose those suits on purpose as if somebody had picked up the wrong suits[?]. I was confident that if you listened to my music, I am sure you would become my fan.
MR: From your songs, [Trouble on Monday] is great and makes me feel peace.
T: It is about Mondays in which you always have trouble. To be honest, when I got here for the first time, my life was always Monday. I had a lot of hardships in Tokyo in the beginning. I saw bad things and good things in Tokyo. Most of the time, I felt the bad Tokyo. That song is about those days when I came here for the first time. Are you from Tokyo?
MR: I am from Urawa in Saitama.
T: Really. I used to live there for 3 years.
MR: You're kidding!
T: I call those days the "Dark Period." No one came to our concerts and we were so busy with part-time jobs.
MR: What kinds of jobs did you have as a part-time job?
T: First, I worked as an assistant for a construction company. After that, I worked as a security guard. After half a year, I was promoted. I was asked to be an interviewer for that company because I worked too hard.
MR: An interviewer?
T: I worked as an interviewer for 2 years. There were many strange people who came for an interview because there was a recession at that time. They were workers who got fired or who were students. I learned a lot of things from them by working with them. I was a kind of bridge between them.
T: I don't want to sing songs which are about dreams. I can't ignore reality in the world. It is wrong.
MR: You wouldn't know unless you get involved in that reality.
MR: Your songs include those kinds of realities which you experienced. I am proud of you because you don't know how to avoid reality. You should be a journalist.
T: Ahaha. Let me sing a little bit more on the stage.
MR: GLAY has a strong bond.
T: We are really getting along well. Yesterday, I took them home after work.
MR: [All of] them?
T: Yes, each of them.
MR: You look like a manager.
T: Yes. When we stopped at a red signal, we were almost spotted by some fans. It is not good for us because our image would be corrupted.
MR: If they saw all of you in the same car, they would be surprised. But it is necessary to have a strong bond to continue the band.
T: Yes. I want to see what we can create with reliable staff and members. If we have a blue pen and can draw a blue sky with the blue pen, we don't do that. We would rather draw a mountain with the blue pen. I think we have different thoughts from other people. We are really free from expected thought.
MR: I see.
T: If you see us, you think it is a compromise, but it is important to continue doing lives.
T: I am still single. I cannot allow myself to have a wife and children crying beside me.
T: If I had a family, I would do music from 8am to 5pm. But I concentrate my energy into writing music. And after 5pm, I would work as a security guard to make money for my family. I would be that kind of man.
MR: I see. Living is the reality. You have to eat.
T: It is not cool. There is a difference between reality and the ideal music world.
MR: If you put them together, you would ruin your life. I really think that you are so mature.
T: No, no. But it annoys me.
T: Because people think I am much older. Someone says, "Are you twenty-eight or -nine?" How rude!
MR: We can have hope in Japan because you are so serious even though you are just twenty-five.
T: I am glad to hear that.
Takuro: The most interesting place in a party after the concerts is the seat between me and Hisashi. We talk about what happened to us in school, which we never talked about before. If you are there and listen to me, you would burst out laughing.
Mother Rock: Ahaha. Is Hisashi a funny guy?
T: We are a nice couple. If you're in a party, don't stay away from us.
MR: Okay, I will stick to you (guys).
T: There are many funny things that have happened in GLAY, too. One of the stories is, after Teru attended a party, he was attacked by guys who were drunk[!]. He was bleeding and bloody on the face. Teru was taken to a hospital because he said he couldn't see anything. But the hospital we took Teru to couldn't take care of him because (there was) too much blood. So they called an ambulance to take him to another hospital. And when the ambulance arrived, Teru mistakenly took the seat next to the driver.
T: The driver said, "You should be in the back."
T: I want to publish a book about his funny story. There are many to tell you.
MR: I will be responsible for publishing the book about him. I thought he was a quiet guy. But that is so funny!
T: He is quiet. But there are many crazy vocalists.
MR: He's similar to a crazy vocalist.
T: I think so. Because he has to be seen by many people on the stage.
MR: Teru is a good vocalist. His voice is so clear.
T: I have never told anyone this, but I asked him to be the drummer at first.
T: I went to elementary and junior highschool with him. But not highschool. When I started my own band GLAY, there was a rumor that Teru started playing the drums. So I asked him to join as a drummer.
MR: I see.
T: We didn't have a vocalist, but we continued to write songs and make some tapes. Then one day, I forgot the tape at Teru's house. He put his vocals on the tape by using a Karaoke machine at his house. When I listened to his voice-of course it wasn't as good as it is now-I thought that he should sing. And I asked him to be the vocalist.
MR: You are a really good producer. You found his talent.
T: I had the same feeling about Hisashi when I asked him to join the band. At that time, he was playing in another band, "ARI."
MR: ARI? Ahaha.
T: No one could read the Japanese character for ARI. "Semi" or "Ga" and so on. Nobody understood how to read it.
T: I thought that if he joined the band, we would become popular. I heard that ARI broke up so I immediately asked him to come to our band. We became popular. After half a year, our fans became two-fold.
MR: I think your talent came from your job as an interviewer.
T: I also had the same feeling about Jiro. He became the most popular person in our band in half a year. It is the greatest thing to have them all together in the same band.
MR: It is great.
T: I don't think I could ever find any other players like them.
MR: Is there any difference in life from the old days?
T: The basic thing does not change. Even though we had a hit album, we drive home together as always. I sometimes think that rock music is not a big deal. But onstage, I feel that rock is the greatest thing to do. I like this big difference.
MR: (As) GLAY, how far are you going?
T: Well, every half-year, we change our thoughts. Yesterday we had a meeting in which we talked about what we were thinking these days. Hisashi wished to play as long as he could in GLAY.
MR: I see.
T: I have the same feeling. I want to play in GLAY as long as I can. But we have to do better in the band as long as we are in the music world. Sometimes I feel like I want to give up, but the other members try harder.
MR: They are making a continuous effort.
T: That's right. Hisashi is different from the old Hisashi in ARI.
T: When we were highschool kids, we went out for dinner. He asked me what we were going to eat. So I thought he was going to treat me. But when we finished dinner, he said that he didn't have any money.
T: But now he wishes to play as long as we can. I am so glad to hear that.
MR: It' been 8 years since you started GLAY.
T: But it's only been 2 years since our debut (in 1994). We will have a 10-year anniversary after 2 years.
MR: You have to do something for that.
T: I guess we will have a small party at Teru's house. That's it! But Teru is a good cook. His food is great. When we go there and have fun, Teru is always in the kitchen making more food.
MR: Wow, I would love to be in a TV cooking show with him.
T: I learn from other cooks.
MR: He is talented, genius!
T: Genius... I remember something about Hisashi.
MR: Tell me.
T: When I visited Hisashi's house at midnight, he didn't wake up. So we put a funny (mark-probably a mustache!-on the picture of) his favorite female vocalist. When Hisashi's brother and I were eating breakfast, we heard a scream from his room.
T: He said, "Something's wrong! Something's wrong!" We always did this.
MR: You revealed your secrets. I thought you were a cool guy. I thought you wrote songs in silence.
T: I do!
MR: Of course, sorry.