Magazines: H'evn Another Side vol. 008 feat. D=Out, Kouki

Wooowwwww, how long has it been since we had a magazine translation?? I'm not even going to put a date because it'd be embarrassing to admit.

With the American Thanksgiving in my lap, I want to show grateful I am for a break from my 3 jobs by putting up a project! Thanks for being so patient and still following us! I promise that we've got more projects coming up, and we've got some dramatic news on the way too! ;)

At any rate, this piece is from volume 8 of H'evn Another Side. Kouki reveals his first love and talks about how he was a sports freak when he was a kid. If that isn't enough for you, then you definitely have to read about why he couldn't date until high school--even though I'm pretty sure he had girls falling all over his feet.

If you're still interested in getting the magazine, it's available at CD Japan!

And on to monk-like Kouki we go!



--What kind of kid were you back then?

Kouki: My dad was a track and field coach and he was always training me. I remember when I was in kindergarten I always won first place in the foot races. There's a beach called Suma beach. I always trained there and always got first place. It was sort of like if I didn't get first place then I had failed something. (laughs)

--Did you go to supplementary after-school lessons?

Kouki: In elementary school I was in the little league baseball team. I took abacus lessons starting from the 3rd year of elementary school to about 6th year up to level 2. Baseball was also from 3rd year to about 6th year.

--Did you also join the baseball club?

Kouki: Baseball was more or less like softball, but I wasn't a good player. I got 3s in almost everything on my report card except Physical Education, which I got a 5 in.
5 being highest, 0 being lowest

--Did you have a favourite school subject?

Kouki: Art and social studies. I was really bad at math though.

--I hated math too. It's like, "Isn't it enough if we can do addition, subtraction, multiplication and division?" (laughs)

Kouki: And you keep thinking about it, right? I was really bad at home economics too. There's always a girl that's really good at that class. I either got the group leader or someone really good at it to do it for me.

--What kind of personality did you have at the time?

Kouki: I guess you can say I wasn't a very bright kid. There were kids who are really good at sports that always get the top places, and kids who are good at studying always study a lot for some reason...By the time I entered junior high things suddenly changed. I was quite a mischievous kid. To put it in a more modern way I was “Oraora type.” (laughs)

--Who was your first love?

Kouki: It was Ms. Kimura, a new kindergarten teacher at the time. I still remember it, even now. But when I think back, she was really young--in her early 20s. I guess that means I was mature for my age (laughs)

--Where did you go for school trips?

Kouki: I went to Ise. For fifth years, there was something like a week-long camp at an eco-institute that was a lot of fun. We had a camp fire and even played dare. For some reason someone dared me to play a ghost (laughs). Then I thought I could probably run off to do something else if I was a ghost because I'd be a ghost wandering around (laughs). I'm the type that likes to scare people, and usually I'm in the right place at the right time to do that.

On the other hand, the school trip was 2 nights and 3 days and as a group we visited famous places. I got stuff like a toothpick holder in the shape of a fish bone and brought back souvenirs that had nothing to do with Ise. I gave my grandma a picture of rocks from Ise and the fact that she still has it for decoration makes me happy. After that, I started listening to music around 6th grade. Before that I had absolutely no interest in music. Every time my mom watched those music programs, I'd think, “Hurry up and change the channel.” But around 6th grade I started liking Nagabuchi Tsuyoshi, CHAGE & ASKA, and B'Z and after that I was completely into music.

hevn 008 kouki by Mou Ichido on Grooveshark

--What instrument did you play in elementary school music festivals?

I played the pianica. And the recorder had the most people because it was a group of people who couldn't play anything, but I played the pianica (laughs). I still have it at home with my name written on it. I still use it when I want to play music.

--Do you remember what you wrote for graduation?

I wrote about my parents. “My Dream” was the title but, because my parents were always playing sports and also taught baseball, my dream was to become a baseball player. Up till then I was having fun learning baseball so for the time being I wrote that because I wanted to be like my parents. After that, I also wrote “and pro baseball players can earn millions of dollars.” (laughs)

--Did you still play baseball in junior high?

I did. I was completely sure that I'd become a baseball player. When I was a 1st year, there was a really scary 3rd year. He was seriously like those gangsters in mangas. Elementary kids know nothing about a hierarchy, right? It's after you get into junior high that you come face to face with it. But I questioned it and there was a period of time when I resisted it. It was like, the guys better at it were at the top, right? They weren't selfish and they got along with their team mates. At that time I even bullied the seniors. I was a bully (laughs). I really liked going against people stronger than me. Kids in their third year are really scary, huh.

--By the way what was your uniform?

I wore a Gakuran. Blazers aren't common in Kansai, you know. Most of the schools wear gakuran.

--You still didn't start music in Junior High?

Not at all. I didn't even think about music. Baseball was really tough and I was immersed in it. Which is why even dating was after the third year of junior high after the baseball club finished. Before that it was all about baseball.

--Where did you go for that school trip?

We went skiing in Nagano. I've skated before, but skiing was a first. And there wasn't a lot of time, so when I finally improved, it was the end of the trip. But it was fun though.

--Do you have any memories from your graduation ceremony?

In elementary, junior high and high school I cried. I cried really hard, especially in junior high, because everyone in the baseball club made a promise to stay together, but we all ended up separating.

--Was music after entering high school?

It was still baseball in high school. In junior high we were only allowed to have a sports cut on the team, so in high school nothing but buzz cuts were allowed so I had to cut it too.

--3 years of intense baseball?

It was 2 years, and honestly I was really bad at it. In the first year I was allowed to play but I wasn't motivated at all and my team mates weren't either...During junior high I was too into baseball but I felt really unsatisfied. Despite the strict relationship between the seniors and juniors in the club, I couldn't really get used to it. The 1st and 2nd years used a storage place as a clubroom, but a proper clubroom was only for the 3rd years. We ended up throwing away the captain's uniform and gloves and quitting. (laughs) A friend and I quit but in the end the captain couldn't put up with the situation either. In my 2nd year I didn't join any clubs. It was after 3rd year of high school when bands were popular and then it started when I was said, “Hey, let's start a band!”

--Did you start off with vocals?

True Love by Fumiya Fuji on Grooveshark

It was the guitar. After school I went and bought an acoustic guitar and played Fuji Fumiya's “True Love.” I didn't feel like I was improving so I kept practicing. When I was in a band there were 3 people on guitar, and we didn't have anyone on vocals. And just as I was getting better at the guitar, we decided that "the person who isn't as good on guitar will be on vocals for now". It was obvious that I wasn't very good, and that's how I became the vocals.

--What made you decide to continue with vocals?

Same as baseball--when I start one thing, I don't do anything else. I'm the type that gets completely absorbed in what I'm doing and I got into vocals pretty quickly. Despite the fact that we were a cover band in high school, I thought I could make a living out of it (laughs). That's how I started with vocals.

--And that's brought you to where you are now, right?


--Lastly, a message to the fans please.

It's the first time I've talked so much about myself. Even though it was all about baseball and not really about music, I wonder if it was because of those circumstances that I got to where I am right now. It's really a privilege for us to have a relaxed performance at Liquid Room. I always thought doing lives as usual was for the best, but for D=OUT lives are really competitive. This live for D=Out is going to be a gamble, so at the Liquid Room, even if I'm the only up there, I want everyone who has even a slight urge to see to come and watch us.

Wow, can anyone imagine Kouki with a pianica? Every time I see one of those, I think of Nodame Cantabile. Someone should totally convince Kouki to do a concert with his pianica.

Anyways, tell us what you think of Kouki with a buzz cut! Also, what do you think of Kouki's taste in music? I didn't really listen to B'z before working on this post, but now I think I'm becoming more and more of a fan of them!

If you liked this interview, it's still available for purchase at CD Japan.

If you like Kouki with a pianica, then don't forget to follow MICHIDO with a Email Subscription.

If you prefer him as an "oraora kei," then you definitely need to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr!



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