Hisashi Imai

Much of the information here came from books (Hyper, Love Me, Hyp #3) and magazine articles. Naturally data from 20 years ago will not be up to date, such as their eyesight or favorite things.

Skip ahead to favorite/influential albums or equipment overview.

Profile

real name: Hisashi Imai

nickname: fans have given him many nicknames but most seem to call him Imai as is Japanese custom to address someone by their last name

instrument: guitars; noise

first band: Buck-Tick

date of birth: October 21, 1965 (Showa era, year 40)

hometown: Fujioka, Gunma prefecture

siblings: younger brother, younger sister, (plus a cousin he grew up with like a sibling)

marital status: married in February 2008 with birth of child announced in September 2013

education: graduated from Gunma Prefecture Fujioka Senior High School in March 1984

first record bought: "Technopolis" by YMO or "Nikumi Kirenai Roku De Nashi" by Kenji Sawada (depends on interview)

pets: Hisashi once had a beagle named "BJ"; he sometimes blogs about the French bulldogs named "Okayu" and "Piitan" but claims they are not his (must be technically his wife's dogs then)

favorite...

musical artists: Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, Robert Smith, John Lydon, Boy George, YMO, Kraftwerk, Ultravox (other major influences include various punk and techno acts)

fine artists: Mark Ryden (various Surrealists tend to creep up as references)

cigarette: he smokes out of habit (previously Marlboro Menthols and Salem)

color: red, white, black

drink: barolo, tomato juice (Del Monte) (previously Jack Daniels bourbon, Heartland beer, Corona beer, Wild Turkey & Four Roses bourbon)

food: Thai, Italian, fried chicken (previously sushi, lime, tabasco, watermelon, etc.)

movie: Stranger Than Paradise, Friday the 13th, Freaks

season: end of summer to fall

sport: nothing really, but he was forced to play rugby in high school for 1 year

time of day: middle of the night

thing about Buck-Tick: concerts are the easiest, most relaxed

favorite / influential albums:

(this information was compiled from various books and interviews where Hisashi talks about all-time favorites and recent favorites)

favorite album Night Music by Tones On Tail
Hisashi loves guitarist Daniel Ash [who was in Bauhaus and Love and Rockets] and considers this album to be "dark dance music"

favorite album Slug by Meat Machine

favorite album Hello America by The Cassandra Complex
Hisashi thinks this is very cool "hardcore body music"

favorite album Cream by Mean Machine

favorite album Methods of Mayhem by Methods of Mayhem

favorite album The Man Machine by Kraftwerk
Hisashi loves all of Kraftwerk's albums but a long time ago, he didn't like music with singing very much

favorite album Drukqs by Aphex Twin

favorite album Xtrmntr by Primal Scream

Evil Heat by Primal Scream

favorite album From the Double Gone Chapel by Two Lone Swordsmen

favorite album Express by Love and Rockets
this is Hisashi's favorite Love and Rockets probably because it's very "pop"; he likes the balance of psychedelia and darkness

Earth Sun Moon by Love and Rockets

favorite album Private Parts by Robert Ashley

Traktor by Traktor

favorite album Humanity by The Mad Capsule Market's
Hisashi is not sure if this could be called modern punk but he really feels their sensibility

favorite album First In Last Out by Stroke

favorite album Insiding by Bruce Gilbert
this is what Hisashi listens to when he wants to listen to something noisy; he wanted to put out an album like this

favorite album Normal by Ippu-Do
this is Hisashi's favorite Ippu-Do album and thinks it might be the one that showcases their techno-ish sound the most

favorite album Naked City by Naked City
Hisashi thinks the songs are tight, hardcore jazz

favorite album Taxidermy by Queen Adreena

favorite album Mechanical Animals by Marilyn Manson

Chairman of the Board by Frank Sinatra

favorite album The Attraction to All Things Uncertain by Tweaker

favorite album Summer Make Good by Mum

Finally We Are No One by Mum

favorite album BGM by YMO
Hisashi's favorite YMO album; he bought it in 10th grade (first year in Japanese high school) and has been listening to it since. When asked who is the one artist that changed your life, Hisashi declared it was YMO.

Technodelic by YMO
Hisashi bought this as soon as it was released and listened to it a lot

favorite album B-2 Unit by Ryuichi Sakamoto
at the time of release, Hisashi thought this was amazing

favorite album Neuromantic by Yukihiro Takahashi
Hisashi thinks that despite the dark sounds, this is romantic and is his favorite Yukihiro solo album

favorite album Tronika by Sketch Show

favorite album Zelda by Zelda
Hisashi loves the concept and Zelda around the time of this release

favorite album Playing the Angel by Depeche Mode

favorite album Stop Jap w/ Go Go Stalin (bonus single) by The Stalin
this is Hisashi's favorite Stalin album

Rock Swings by Paul Anka

favorite album Asect: Dsect by Richard Devine

favorite album The Unacceptable Face of Freedom by Test Dept.
this is probably Hisashi's favorite Test Dept. album; it's noise with a rhythm and he thinks that's it's pretty scary

favorite album Intelligence & Sacrifice by Alec Empire

favorite album Pretty Hate Machine by Nine Inch Nails
Hisashi had been listening to this a bit in 1991

The Fragile by Nine Inch Nails

favorite album Emilie Simon by Emilie Simon

favorite album Ovalcommers by Oval

favorite album Instant Love by Boøwy
Hisashi liked this in high school for its blend of techno and punk. He was also impressed that a Japanese guitar band was blending these sounds with new wave and guitar solos.

favorite album Planet Oz by Inga Humpe
it also has some house rhythms but Hisashi likes it for its gentle sound

favorite album OK Cowboy by Vitalic

favorite album Blue by RC Succession
when Hisashi's depressed, this album helps him to relax and feel better, like he's tripping

favorite album -1 by Gel

favorite album Mudai by Downy

favorite album The Swining by Pig

favorite album Arbor by Greg Davis

favorite album Atak006 by Yuji Takahashi

Real Time 7 ~ Ongaku No Oshie by Yuji Takahashi

favorite album Kick Up the Fire and Let the Flames Break Loose by The Cooper Temple Clause

favorite album The King by Teenage Fanclub
Hisashi thought the band was interesting for its noisy songs without vocals

Equipment Overview

Skip ahead to guitars used in the mid-1980s (Indies days), late 1980s, 1990-1991, 1992-1993, 1995-1996, 1997-1999, 2000s, 2010s, & side projects.

Hisashi's main role tends to be as lead guitarist and adding little pieces of phrasing while Hide keeps the rhythm going. As such, he rarely plays acoustic guitars but he owns a few and has played acoustic live.

Hisashi tends to use a lot of effects (in the first 10 years, namely Overdrive/Distortion and Harmonizer/Pitch Shifter). In the very early days, perhaps as late as 1988, Hisashi would use the standard individual pedals. In the studio, he continues to experiment with various devices but to keep his large sound palette manageable live, he switched towards incorporating midi and using foot controllers that triggered multi-effects in a rack system. In short, Hisashi's effects are complex. So complex that the guitar sound often cuts out during television performances so the band mimes to a recording whilst Atsushi sings live.

He has combined amps and there always seemed to be a Mesa Boogie among them back in the day. Currently he seems to favor Marshalls. It appears that he uses other amps with Lucy, notably Orange. Of course, in the studio many amps and effects not in his personal possession are used as well.

For guitar straps, a custom thin (leather?) strap with "Buck-Tick" in gold letters was created in the late 80s to early 90s that both Hisashi and Hide used. (This was sold to the public as Fernandes S-3500BT.) In fact, Hisashi has continued to use this type of strap even in side projects such as Lucy. This strap has been mass produced and sold in stores though the model number and some slight details of the Buck-Tick strap may have changed. Starting with the second Lucy album, Hisashi began to use a different strap for the first time. One was wider and had a cross on it and another was thinner with belt loop-like holes. These were probably used to coordinate with Kiyoshi as he had the same straps and they have matching custom Lucy guitars.

In the early 90s Hisashi used Ernie Ball strings. I do not know what strings he is currently using.

For guitar picks, all the pick users in Buck-Tick constantly have custom made picks and models are sold to the public.

As for setups, here are some examples. Please note that whenever 2 of the same items are listed, 1 is for regular guitar and the other is for midi guitar (synth guitar in Japan so I might use these terms alternately).

Seventh Heaven Tour period: Boss octave, Boss pitch shifter, Boss dimension chorus, Boss EQ, Korg compressor, Zip overdriver, Rat distortion, Yamaha EQ, Roland guitar synth, Maxon digital delay, Maxon EPP400, Boss volume pedal, Maxon HD1000, and Rexer wireless.

Aku No Hana recording effects: Boss wireless system, Yamaha graphic equalizer, Rocktron programmer, Rocktron compressor/expander, Maxon effects patching programmer, Maxon harmonics, Boss digital pitch shifter, Roland p/v synth, Maxon digital delay, Yamaha multi-effector, Rocktron prorax, Rane mixer, Cry Baby Jimi Hendrix model, Electro-Harmonix fuzz (pi), Boss graphic equalizer, Guyatone power supply, Rat proco, Rat turbo, boss volume pedal 2x.

Aku No Hana Tour setup: pictured below is the Rocktron foot controller.

aku no hana controller

Darker Than Darkness Tour setup: Roland FC-100MK II foot controller for guitar synth, Bradshaw:RSB-18F foot controller with a RSB-18R rack as his switching system, two DigiTech Wah WH-1pedals, two Boss Volume FV-200 pedals, and a Korg AT-1 tuner.

Somewhere/Nowhere Tour (Six/Nine) setup: wireless system and pedal switching system were the same except for one Boss FV-200, one Boss FV-300L (volume pedal), and DigiTech whammy pedal I & II. The rack slightly differs: two Juice Goose PD-2, Eventide H3000S, Sony DPS-M7 (chorus, pitch shifter, phaser, tremolo, etc.), Vital Eight Vital Audio, Sony DPS-D7 (stereo delay, feedback, long top, delay, etc.), Sony DPS-M7, Sony DPS-F7 (feeding, parametric EQ, dynamic filter, mono synth, etc.), Rocktron Patch Mate, Rocktron Bradshaw RSB-18R, Soldano preamp, Engl Tube preamp, Rocktron Progap, Korg Mir & Wavestation, Akai Midi Stereo Digital Sampler S1000, Roland GR-50, Rocktron G612 line mixer, Roland SDE-3000 digital delay, Roland SPV-355 (guitar synth), and H H Mosfet M900 power amp. Here is a diagram of his rack in 1995 as well as his midi setup.

cosmos rack

Hisashi's Chaos Tour (Cosmos) rack consisted of 2 Juice Goose PD-2, DigiTech IPS-33B (harmonizer), Roctron Patch Mate (loop switch), Sony M7/D7/M7 (M7 is modulator and D7 is delay), Eventide H-3000 S (multi effector), Rocktron Bardshaw RSB-18R (switching system), Rocktron Pro GAP preamp, Soldano (main amp), Korg Mir & Wavestation (guitar synth module), Maxdon DMD2000 (delay), Rocktron G612 (line mixer), Roland GR-50 (guitar synth module), Ex-pro AD-1 & four Pro-1 (wireless system), Roland SPV-355 (guitar synth), and MosValve MV-962 Tube Works (main amp).

sexy stream liner pedals

Hisashi's pedals during the Chaos Tour were the same as Somewhere/Nowhere Tour (Six/Nine) and his rack was also the same (except with Micro Synth and Big Muff). Hisashi's pedals during Sexy Stream Liner are pictured above: Rocktron footswitch, two Digitech Whammy-II pedal, and two Boss FV-300L (volume pedal). Again, when there are two pedals of the same thing, one is for regular guitar and one is for midi guitar (synth).

Hisashi's rack at this time consisted of seems to be similar but I will list out in full what was printed in a magazine: Sony WD-820, three Ex-Pro Pro-10 (wireless receiver), two Juice Goose PD-2, Eventide H3000 (ultra harmonizer), Sony DPS-M7 (sonic modulator), Vital Audio mixer, Sony DPS-D7 (digital delay), Sony DPS-F7 (dynamic filter), Rocktron Patch Mate (program system), Rocktron RSB-18R (switching system), Soldano power amp, Engel tube preamp, Rocktron Pro GAP (programmable preamp), and Ztar VRS sampler and effectors. There are also single pedals being stored, visible at the very bottom of the rack during Cosmos and Sexy Stream Liner: Electro Harmonix Big Muff (fuzz) and Electro Harmonix Micro Synthesizer.

Since Hisashi began blogging in 2009, he's posted glimpses of recording sessions, including effect pedals that were perhaps newly acquired. These include a Bleep Labs Thingamagoop and a Devi Ever Shoe Gazer and Bit Mangler. Blog posts during tours also reveal that he is still using a Bradshaw foot switch in 2012.

Main Guitar Summary

early days: Fender Tele he had painted over himself
late 80s: Fernandes copy of above in Strat form (sold as Imai model in plain white)
early 90s: series of custom guitars first created during the recording of Aku No Hana that became known as "mai-mai"
mid to late 90s: many different types of interesting models in use but more traditional rock type guitars were used along with custom ones (namely Jaguar and Strat copies as well as a hollow body, Les Paul, and Gibson V)
late 90s to 2000s: custom guitars "mai-mai" and stabilizer as well as "pot" seem to be the main 3 types
2000s: same 3 type of custom guitars, plus the new custom dazzler and signature models of other artists

Hisashi is not known to get rid of his guitars but I am not sure if he still has any of the guitars he first bought when he was learning how to play and during his days with Hinan Go-Go.

Equipment: mid-1980s (Indies days)

1984 tele Fresher
Strat style with 3 single coil pickups
custom paint by Hisashi
this is the first guitar that Hisashi bought while he was in high school; at the time, it was incredibly hard to find lefty guitars so he had to settle on this

1984 tele Greco
standard model that is modeled after the Les Paul style
custom paint by Hisashi
this is the second guitar that Hisashi bought and he apparently bought it off a friend

1984 tele Tele style with 1 single coil pickup
custom paint by Hisashi

midi Roland GR-500 & GS-500
(released in 1977, this is one of the first midi guitars)
Hisashi acquired this at a very good price in the indie days

fender Fender Telecaster
custom paint by Hisashi (later a more professional version was created for him by Fernandes)
this is probably what we could call Hisashi's first true main guitar
usage: can be seen in the music videos for "Dream or Truth", "Empty Girl", "Hyper Love", "Sexual XXXXX!"; can also be seen in the Buck-Tick Live at the Live Inn live concert video

Equipment: late 1980s

pproject P-Project STJ-BT white
pickups: 2 single coil
controls: volume, tone, toggle switch
usage: often, a main guitar at the time
P-Project did sell copies of this as the Hisashi custom model; P-Project is owned by Fernandes
can be seen in the music videos for "...In Heaven...", "Just One More Kiss", "Misty Zone", "Physical Neurose", "Romanesque", "Victims of Love"

pproject P-Project STJ-BT black
body: alder
pickups: 1 single coil (Fernandes VH-7), 1 humbucker (Fernandes VH-4)
controls: volume, tone, toggle switch
usage: rare

fernandes Fernandes Stratocaster STJ-BT
pickups: 2 single coil, synth (midi) pickup at the bridge
overall this is quite similar to the P-Project listed above
Fernandes sold this starting around early 1989 as the STJ-80BT Hisashi custom model but those were plain white and this one pictured is Hisashi's personal guitar with his custom paint job
STJ80BT sold to public specs:
neck: maple, bolt-on
fingerboard: rosewood, 24 frets
body: basswood or sen
pickups: FGI Technology-T
controls: volume, tone, toggle switch
bridge: combination-B
usage: can be seen in the music video for "The World is Yours"

fernandes Fernandes Telecaster TE-BT Proto black
pickups: blade (front), humbucker (rear)
usage: owned since around the time of major debut, rarely used live but this was the main guitar used to record Aku No Hana
when Fernandes sold the STJ-80BT as noted above, they were also selling Telecaster models of Hisashi (TE-80BT) and Hide (TE-75BT), which I believe this is the model it was based on)
TEJ-80 sold to the public specs (available in white only):
neck: maple, detachable neck joint
fingerboard: rosewood, 24 frets
body: basswood
pickups: FGI Technology-T
controls: volume, mini pickup selector switch, mini on-off switch
bridge: combination-B
this appears to be the TEJ-BT proto as listed in the Buck-Tick Guitar Archives book which statages that the single coil pickup is a Fernandes VH-7, the rear humbucker pickup is a Fernandes VH-4, and the body is made of alder

fernandes Fernandes Hishiza
this was Hisashi's first custom shape guitar and was later called the Tsuchinoko
body: alder
neck: maple/rosewood
pickups: two Fernandes FGI technology single coil
bridge: PR-9000
usage: this guitar is sometimes propped up by itself in concerts for easy access to another guitar without taking off the guitar Hisashi is currently playing
can be seen in the Sabbat live concert video during the encore, the music video for "National Media Boys", and Akuma To Freud -Devil and Freud- Climax Together live concert video

ovation Ovation Collectors Series 1988-P
6 string acoustic-electric guitar, lefty model
pre-amp: OP-24
notes: Hide has the same model guitar

Equipment: Aku No Hana period onwards

mai-mai white Fernandes custom BT-MM (black on) white #1
Hisashi designed this guitar during the recording of Aku No Hana in 1989. Fernandes workers who received the rough sketch apparently remarked, "what kind of shape is this?!".
The guitar and the subsequent copy models have become a staple in Hisashi's arsenal. The guitar has been nicknamed "mai-mai". The various versions are known as "mai-mai red", "mai-mai black", etc.
back of neck: "5 for Japanese babies" (quote from Taboo's "Iconoclasm")
Fernandes did sell copies of this as the BT-480MM Hisashi custom model but there was no writing on the back of the neck so some fans put it on themselves (available in white or red)
body: alder 45mm neck: maple/ebony pickups: two EMG-SA
bridge: Roland GK-2 guitar synthesizer
plugs: standard guitar jack and for guitar synthesizer
usage: can be seen in the music videos for "Dizzy Moon", "Sabbat", "Jupiter"

mai-mai white with whammy bar Fernandes custom BT-MM white #2 with arm
tremelo arm (AKA whammy bar) later added to a near identical copy of the original white version listed above
neck: long-scale
back of neck: "5 for Japanese Babies"
bridge: FRT-4 tremelo unit

mai-mai white with synth Fernandes custom BT-MM white #3 with synth pickup
synth pickup for MIDI capabilities later added on to another custom white model
this acted as a back-up guitar to Hisashi's main white mai-mai
back of neck: "5 for Japanese Babies"

mai-mai fretless Fernandes custom BT-MM (light gold on) green metallic fretless
fretless guitar that has been used with bow
body: mahogany
back of neck: "5 for Japanese Babies"
pickups: two EMG-SA and sustainer
bridge: Roland GK-2 guitar synthesizer
usage: rare but in more recent times he's brought it out much more, such as with side projects Schwein and Lucy; can be seen in Lucy's Lucy Show live concert video

mai-mai double neck Fernandes custom BT-MM W-Neck (light gold on) green metallic
double neck (1 with frets and tremelo arm, 1 without frets and no arm)
Hisashi also designed this one of course
body: alder
neck: maple
fingerboard: ebony
brdige: FRT-G tremelo unit
usage: used to record Kurutta Taiyo; can be seen in the Climax Together live concert video

mai-mai green Fernandes custom BT-MM (light gold on) green metallic
usage: extremely rare (I think the only time I saw Hisashi actually holding it was in a guitar magazine profiling his guitars)

mai-mai grey Fernandes custom BT-MM (red on) gray #1
body: alder
pickups: two EMG-SA
back of neck: "Koroshi No Shirabe" (in Japanese)
bridge: Roland GK-2 guitar synthesizer

mai-mai grey Fernandes custom BT-MM (red on) gray #2
body: alder
pickups: sustainer (front), THD-1 (middle), THS-1 (rear)
back of neck: "Koroshi No Shirabe" (in Japanese)
bridge: Roland GK-2 guitar synthesizer
usage: rare live I think but it was used heavily to record Darker Than Darkness
note: the Buck-Tick Guitar Archives book states that the below the sustainer is a THS-1 pickup and the rear pick-up is THD-1 (reverse of specs listed above)

mai-mai red Fernandes custom BT-MM (gold on) red #1
body: alder 45mm
neck: maple with ebony
pickups: at first FGI technology, changed to two EMG-SA
back of neck: "5 for Japanese Babies"
bridge: at first Roland GK-2 guitar synthesizer, changed to REM Power Bridge ST, Poly-Drive 1 system
controls: volume, tone, directional switch, pickup selector, guitar synthesizer volume, guitar synthesizer selector
plugs: standard guitar jack and for guitar synthesizer
usage: heavy, became Hisashi's main guitar after it was later given MIDI capabilities
can be seen in the music video for "MAD", "Candy", "Sasayaki", "21st Cherry Boy", "Alice in Wonder Underground"
the red mai-mai can also be seen in Schaft's "Arbor Vitate" music video
notes: Fernandes sold copies of this as the BT-120MM Hisashi custom model, but without the Roland pickup for MIDI and writing on the back of the neck
there also was a mini version sold during the 20th anniversary

speed cyber punk guitar
usage: can be seen in the music video for "Speed"

Equipment: Koroshi No Shirabe - Darker Than Darkness period

drill and bow Hisashi used a bow on guitars since late 1989 but only for a couple of tours, (the bowing technique has been forgotten as Hisashi no longer plays songs live by bowing the guitar). He than began to experiment with drills and other noise devices. The drill is made by Makita and has 3 picks on the end of it.

zo-3 Fernandes Zo-3 pink
these are the traveling/practice guitars by Fernandes with a built in amp and run off a battery
"Zo" means elephant in Japanese and when you think of elephants, you think pink, hence this pink model (I guess the body looks like an elephant ear)
this was autographed by friends and the Buck-Tick Guitar Archives book guesses that it was signed during the LSB Tour
(Hide owns a blue version as well as a red one)

monster the official name is TE-BT S or TEJ but this is more commonly known as Monster Attack Dynamite (M.A.D.)
body: alder
neck: maple
fingerboard: rosewood
pickups: sustainer CD-100F (front), VH-4 (rear), changed to LHM-2112
usage: used heavily to record Darker Than Darkness as well as live
custom decoration: the white was boring and Hisashi scribbled his hotel room # (602) on the guitar
M.A.D. doesn't stand for anything but is known as the anagram for the song "MAD" off of Kurutta Taiyo

monster Monster Attack Dynamite
tremelo arm (AKA whammy bar) (bridge FRT-4B) was added later and the writing Hisashi added has faded away significantly

fernandes Fernandes Stratocaster BT-ST
with guitar synth pickup
LED display behind the front pickup
LED display on the cutaway alters with the strength of picking
body: alder
fingerboard: ebony
back of neck: "darker than darkness"
pickups: three EMG-SA
bridge: Roland GK-2 guitar synthesizer
usage: can be seen in the music videos for "Die", "Kimi No Vanilla", "Kagiri Naku Nezumi"

fender Fender Stratocaster 1971 yellow
usage: used heavily to record Darker Than Darkness, noisy songs in particular; I believe this was also the strat used to record the following tracks on Six/Nine: Aikawarazu No "Are" No Katamari Ga Nosabaru Hedo No Soko No Fuki Damari, Mienai Mono Wo Miyou To Suru Gokai    Subete Gokai Da; the Buck-Tick Guitar Archives book claims that it was also used to record Kurutta Taiyo

steinberger Steinberger GL
body: (graphite and) carbon fiber
usage: can be heard on Darker Than Darkness's "Ao No Sekai"; the Buck-Tick Guitar Archives book referes to this model as the Steinberger Elite

gibson les paul custom Gibson Les Paul custom '73-'74 20th anniversary model ("black beauty")
black with black pickguard
specs: basically same as the original
usage: Hisashi acquired this in 1989 and began using it to record Kurutta Taiyo but it's usage increased later in the decade such as with Schaft. (I believe it's primarily used for songs in D tuning)
can be seen in Schaft's live concert video
it was used to record the following tracks on Six/Nine: Love Letter, Kodo, Kagiri Naku Nezumi, Aikawarazu No "Are" No Katamari Ga Nosabaru Hedo No Soko No Fuki Damari, Uta
(Hide has the same guitar but for right-handers, of course)

gibson les paul custom Gibson Les Paul custom #2 1980 model, gold hardware
body: maple top, mahogony back
useage: used during the recording of Koroshi No Shirabe

gibson les paul standard Gibson Les Paul standard 1991
black with white pickguard
usage: used heavily to record Darker Than Darkness; main guitar around the time of recording Koroshi No Shirabe
Hisashi acquired this roughly around 1991 and it has not been modified (a left-hander's model in black is supposedly rare)
please note that the specs are different than one above as this is the standard model

Equipment: Six/Nine - Cosmos period

ztar Starr Labs Star Switch Ztar VRS
midi guitar, custom made for Hisashi
Hisashi was renting a midi guitar while recording with Schaft and decided to purchase this
usage: this is used live and has often been on a stand (in particular it is the main 'keyboard' riff during "Kalavinka" and also in recent years during "Cosmos" and "Gessekai")
it was used to record the following tracks on Six/Nine: Loop, Somehwere Nowhere, Detarame Yarou, Kick (Daichi Wo Keru Otoko), Loop Mark II
can be seen in the music video for "Detarame Yarou" and in live concert videos since Sweet Strange Live Film

Fernandes RST Fernandes RST custom
body: alder
neck: maple and rose
pickups: three VS-1
usage: when Hisashi was playing midi guitar, this was on a stand for easy access to an electric guitar

talbo Tokai Talbo
body: aluminum
this is actually a right-hander's model but Hisashi plays it left-handed
what appears to be controls on the right are dummies
usage: this guitar has been used during recording ("Kimi No Vanilla") and a couple times live but you can see it more prominently perhaps in the videos the band did for the entire album Six/Nine ("Kodo", "Itoshi No Rock Star")

metal driver Metal Driver MD-USA
body: aluminum
usage: actually I'm not sure when Hisashi has ever used this

sitar Coral electric sitar
(Hide was the first to use this during recording)

jaguar Fender '65 Jaguar red
with floating tremelo arm (whammy bar) for right-handers (an oddity, which is probably why it was removed by the time this photo was taken)
(in the photo there is a sponge inbetween the bridge and tremelo unit)
usage: it was used to record Six/Nine's "Mienai Mono Wo Miyou To Suru Gokai    Subete Gokai Da"
can be seen in the music video for "Uta"
notes: Hisashi purchased this guitar in London in 1993 while recording Schaft's album

jaguar Fernandes JG-85BT orange #1
this Jaguar copy was custom made after Hisashi saw the originals in England
color: original orange
body: maple top, mahogany back
neck: maple (another magazine says mahogany, perhaps that was the version sold to the public)
pickguard: aluminum
fingerboard: ebony
pickups: DiMarzio Air Zone
bridge: GE-103B
controls: volume, tone, and pickup balance
note: the Buck-Tick Guitar Archives book claims that the pickups are DiMarzio Tone Zone
Fernandes did sell copies of this as the Hisashi custom model

jaguar Fernandes JG-85BT orange #2
backup for the main orange guitar above; the pickguard is noticeably a darker blue; on the back of the headstock is a piece of tape with "No. 2" written on it
fingerboard: rosewood

jaguar Fernandes JG-BT Proto
Jaguar copy also custom made
color: original violet
specs: basically the same as the orange one except it is fretless from the 13th fret up (you can see the marks where the frets were removed; this was inspired by Scott Ian of Anthrax)
pick guard: aluminum
note: the Buck-Tick Guitar Archives book claims that the pickups are also DiMarzio Tone Zone

anderson Anderson Apple
pickups: Hot Rail
usage: can be seen in the Climax Together live concert video
notes: This is no longer in Hisashi's possession as someone is 'borrowing' it. Hisashi had been actually borrowing this from someone else anyway.
(I think I've seen Hisashi with this as early as in the late 80s or early 90s but I may have confused it with the Hishiza.)

sound laser sound beam EMS Sound Beam and Sound Laser
These became one of Hisashi's favorite methods for creating funky sounds during this period. His live set-up become quite a sight with so many effects. However, it seems he abandoned these in favor of the theremin.
usage: the Sound Beam was used to record the following tracks on Six/Nine: Loop, Loop Mark II

theremin Theremin
usage: used for creating noise in general and specifically during "My Fuckin' Valentine" in concerts; he later had a theremin device added for the "Pot" model guitars created as a main guitar for the side project Schwein
can be seen in the music video for "Gessekai" and also in live concert videos since Sweet Strange Live Film

Sexy Stream Liner period - end of 1990s

fernandes stabilizer Fernandes Stabilizer prototype white
body: alder
neck: maple
pickups: sustainer CD-100F (front), VH-4 (rear)
bridge: FRT-4B tremelo unit
controls: volume, sustainer on/off switch, sustainer mode switch
Hisashi helped design this unusual body in 1996
customization: at one point Hisashi put what looked like police crime scene tape on it that read "High Noise AR" (black on yellow)
usage: first used live in August 1996; the Stabilizer model can be seen in the music videos for "Heroine", "Bran-New Lover", "Glamorous", "Zangai", "Rendezvous", "Heaven", "Galaxy", "Dokudanjou Beauty", "Elise No Tame Ni"
the Stabilizer model can also be seen in Schaft's "You're My Disease" music video and Lucy's Live at Unit live concert video
notes: along with the "mai mai", it has become one of Hisashi's main guitars
there exists at least 3 colors of this model and their details are below
Fernandes did sell copies of this as the Hisashi custom model (all 3 colors available as an option)

fernandes stabilizer Fernandes Stabilizer gun metallic
body is slightly bigger than the white prototype
body: alder 45mm
neck: maple, 648mm-scale, bolt-on
fingerboard: maple, 24 frets, 350R
pickups: CD-100F, FHM-2110W
controls: volume, 3-way toggle switch, machine gun push switch, sustainer controls
bridge: Schaller SFRT-2
features: Fernandes sustainer

fernandes stabilizer Fernandes Stabilizer gold
same specs as gun metallic version but with an on/off toggle switch

fernandes stabilizer Fernandes Stabilizer cream
same specs as gold version
usage: used to record "Check Up"

fernandes stabilizer Fernandes Stabilizer synth
same specs as gun metallic version but with guitar synthesizer
bridge: Poly-Drive 1 system

gibson Gibson The V
body: maple top and mahogany back
pickups: dirty fingers
usage: rare until the side project Schwein when it became a main guitar

burny Burny RLG-70
standard lefty model
Burny is owned by Fernandes

Equipment: 2000s

mai-mai red Fernandes custom BT-MM (gold on) red #2
back of neck: "One Life, One Death"
bridge: REM Power Bridge ST, Poly-Drive 1 system
this second copy of the red mai-mai was created around the time of the album One Life, One Death

gretsch Gretsch Tennessee Rose
body: maple
neck: maple
fingerboard: ebony with thumbnail position markers
pickups: two FilterTron humbuckers
bridge: Bigsby B6C vibrato
controls: 3-way toggle switch, master volume, master tone, neck pickup volume, bridge pickup volume
usage: used to record "Girl"; can be seen in the 13th Floor with Diana live concert video
notes: Hide has a similar guitar

gretsch bo diddley Gretsch G5810 (Bo Diddley Box Guitar)
body: semi-hollow, laminated maple top, alder back and sides
neck: maple, bolt-on
fingerboard: rosewood
bridge: adjustable
pickups: two high sensitive FilterTron humbuckers
controls: volume, tone, 3-way toggle switch
tuners: chrome-plated die-cast
usage: used to record "Rhapsody"; can be seen in the One Life One Death Cut Up live concert video

musicman silhouette Ernie Ball Musicman Silhouette Special
(specs from Music Man site)
body: alder
neck: maple
fingerboard: maple or rosewood
pickups: three DiMarzio custom wound single coils
controls: pickup selector, volume, tone
useage: used on "Barairo No Hibi"; also used to record with Schwein

gibson acoustic Gibson J-45 Modern Classic sunburst
6 string acoustic-electric guitar, lefty model
(specs from Gibson site)
body: back and sides mahogany, 4-ply top, single-ply back
top: premium sitka spruce
neck: mahogany
fingerboard: rosewood, 24-3/4" scale
pickup: active electronics with sound hole mounted volume control
bridge: traditional Gibson rosewood bridge
tuners: nickel grovers
pickguard: tortoise tear drop
usage: used to record "Nocturne -Rain Song-"; used live since Tenshi No Revolver Tour; this may have been the same guitar used in the Akuma To Freud live video (there was never a decent shot in that video to identify the guitar for sure)
can be seen in the Razzle Dazzle live concert video

mai-mai brown Fernandes custom BT-MM (funky finish) brown #1 (looks more red than brown)
body: 30mm light ash back, 15mm gilded maple top
neck: 5 piece maple
back of neck: nothing
usage: created for the major debut 20th anniversary, used since Tenshi No Revolver Tour
can be seen in the Tenshi No Revolver live concert video

mai-mai brown Fernandes custom BT-MM (funky finish) brown #2
back of the neck: "Serial Thrill Kisser" (part of title for song "Kuchizuke" on Razzle Dazzle album)
usage: this started as the backup guitar for the main listed above but became the main guitar during touring in 2012

mai-mai brownburst Fernandes custom BT-MM (silver on dark purply sunburst) brown #1
body: flame maple top, Honduras mahogany back
fingerboard: ebony back of neck: nothing
usage: created for the major debut 20th anniversary; this is a dark guitar that can appear black; best way to know the difference is that the S like design is silver and Hisashi's black guitar has the S design in gold

mai-mai brownburst Fernandes custom BT-MM (silver on dark purply sunburst) brown #2
back of neck: "TONIGHT, TONIGHT" (from the song "Razzle Dazzle")
usage: this was created as the sub to the guitar above but was used until 2011 as the main; this is a dark guitar that can appear black; best way to know the difference is that the S like design is silver and Hisashi's black guitar has the S design in gold

seagull Seagull
6 string acoustic-electric guitar, lefty model
pre-amp: Ribbon transducer interface by L.R. Baggs

Equipment: 2010s

dazzlerFernandes Dazzler prototype
body: semi-hollow mahogany
fingerboard: no elaborate inlay
pickups: two VH prototype
controls: 2 volume, 1 tone, pickup selector
notes: Hisashi modeled this on a mandolin, as if it were an old instrument and drew a couple of possibilities for the holes
usage: can be seen in photos for the album Razzle Dazzle, used live since December 2010
the Dazzler model can also be seen in the music videos for "Kuchizuke", "Miss Take", "Climax Together" and in live concert videos since Razzle Dazzle

dazzler Fernandes Dazzler #1
body: gilded maple top, mahogany back
neck: mahogany
fingerboard: ebony (elaborate inlay)
back of neck: "Django the Dazzler"
scale: medium 22F
pickups: two Voodoo-HB57
controls: 2 volume, 1 tone, pickup selector
usage: used live since December 2011

dazzlerFernandes Dazzler #2
same specs as the main above, used as a backup

les paul Gibson Les Paul Jr.
pickups: P-90
useage: used for touring since around 2010

Equipment: side projects

pot Fernandes BP-220HI black
this custom model is also known as "Pot"
he has this guitar in several different colors
the pot has the bottom of the body cut off and has an attachment "pot"; this model's pot has no function while other models have working attachments; "SCHWEIN" in white is on the black pot
body: alder
neck: maple
back of the neck: "Lard, Lips and I'll Lick Ya Baby" (from Schwein song "Lard, Lips, Liquor")
fingerboard: rosewood
pickups: DiMarzio DP196 and DP197
usage: this was originally built for use with Schwein but has become one of the main guitars for Buck-Tick shows, noisy songs in particular
the Pot model can be seen in live concert videos since Warp Days
notes: in a "Gigs" magazine special, it showed a total 13 Pots were made and each were numbered
in a magazine spread, it showed each pot and #1, #4, #9, and #13 were not shown, merely reserved for Hisashi, while the rest were available for sale, signed by Hisashi, and included a set of Schwein guitar picks
#2 was acryclic cobalt with "SCHWEIN"
#3 was acryclic lemon with "SCHWEIN"
#5 was acryclic smoke with "SCHWEIN"
#6 was enamel red with "SCHWEIN"
#7 was enamel black with "SCHWEIN"
#8 was enamel silver with "SCHWEIN"
#10 was aluminum (plain) with "SCHWEIN"
#11 was aluminum (line) with "SCHWEIN"
#12 was aluminum (plate) with "SCHWEIN"

pot Fernandes BP-220HI silver #1
back of the neck: "Fuckin' class hero ON THE BEACH
pickups: sustainer (front), FHM-2110W (rear)
attachment: Super Rand-O-Matic SB-101 moduled delay effect is mounted to it (8 switches to control speed, feedback, etc)
usage: first used live in June 2003

pot Fernandes BP-220HI silver #2
back-up for the main silver above, doesn't have anything on the back of the neck

pot Fernandes BP-220HI black with theremin
this has a special small theremin device built in with antenna and LED lights
back of the neck: "Lard, Lips and I'll Lick Ya Baby" (from Schwein song "Lard, Lips, Liquor")

pot Fernandes BP-220HI white with theremin
this has a special small theremin device built in with antenna and LED lights
back of the neck: "Buck-Tick Kyokutou I Love You" (Kyokutou is in Japanese)

Lucy custom guitar Fernandes Kanoke custom coffin guitar black
created in 2004 and has a cross decal on the body (Kan-oke means "coffin")
body: alder
neck: Honduras mahogany
fingerboard: ebony (12th fret has "Lucy" between two crosses)
pickup: Wolfetone Grey Wolf humbucker
controls: volume
back of neck: "Shout, Speed, Shake Your Rockarollica"
plug: the jack is on the back of the body
usage: this was made for the first Lucy album and Kiyoshi had the same in a right-handed model
can be seen in Lucy's "Bullets -Shooting Super Star-" music video and their live concert videos
notes: Fernandes did sell copies of this but as a mini model

Lucy custom guitar Fernandes Kanoke custom coffin guitar white
white version created in 2006 with same specs but with a more detailed cross on the body than black version done freehand via airbrush, gold hardware a bit more lavish indecoration (also has different Fernandes logo on headstock than black version)
back of neck: "Shout, Speed, Shake Your Rockarollica"
usage: this was made for the second Lucy album; can be seen in the Live at Studio Coast and Live at Unit live concert videos

zo-3 Fernandes Zo-3 Lucy
this was a present from the record company given to both Hisashi and Kiyoshi

mai-mai black Fernandes custom BT-MM (gold on) black #1
back of neck: "like the difference between heaven & hell"
fingerboard: rosewood
pickups: DiMarzio at the time of Lucy, changed to EMG for use with Buck-Tick
usage: this version of the "mai-mai" was created around the time of Lucy and used in Buck-Tick since then; can be seen in the music video for "Romance" and in the 13th Floor with Diana live concert video
notes: I believe Fernandes started selling this to the public as BT-180MM with slightly different specs than the one Hisashi owns

mai-mai black Fernandes custom BT-MM (gold on) black #2
substitute for the main black mai-mai above but without writing on the back of the neck

fender tele Fender telecaster - American standard
black with white pickguard
body: alder
usage: used with Lucy; can be seen in Lucy's Lucy Show live concert video
later used with Buck-Tick to record the solo for "Diabolo"

SG Tony Iommi signature model Gibson SG - Tony Iommi signature model (ebony)
1961 SG body construction with original style neck joint
body: beveled mahogany
neck: one piece mahogany "slim-taper", white binding
fingerboard: 24 fret ebony, sterling silver cross inlays
controls: 2 volume, 2 tone, selector switch
pickups: Tony Iommi signature humbuckers
graphite nut, sperzel tuners, ABR-1 bridge/stopbar tailpiece
chrome hardware
usage: used with Lucy; can be seen in the music video for "Double Big Bang" and in the Lucy Show live concert video
later used with Buck-Tick such as used to record "Romance"; can be seen in the Razzle Dazzle live concert video

Gibson ES-335 Gibson ES-335
2005 model, hollow body, sunburst with pickguard and f-holes
body: maple
usage: used with Lucy; can be seen in the music video for "Bullets -Shooting Super Star-" and in the Live at Studio Coast and Live at Unit live concert videos

Gretsch White Penguin Gretsch 6134 White Penguin
white with gold hardware, gold pickguard with penguin motif, winged logo headstock, "G" cadillac tailpiece
model: first lefty model
(rest of specs from Gretsch site)
body: mahogany with arched maple top
neck: one piece mahogany
fingerboard: 22 fret ebony
pickups: 2 DynaSonic single coil
controls: 2 volume, 1 tone, master volume, selector switch
usage: used with Lucy; can be seen in the Live at Studio Coast and Live at Unit live concert videos
later used with Buck-Tick since around Parade Tour time; can be seen in the music video for "Kagerou"

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[this page was last updated on 2016.03.03 @ 00:17:00 CST]