• 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.

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