Yutaka Higuchi

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: Yutaka Higuchi

nickname: U-ta (pronounced Yu-ta)

instrument: bass

first band: Buck-Tick

date of birth: January 24, 1967 (Showa era, year 42)

hometown: Takasaki, Gunma prefecture

siblings: deceased older brother, older brother (drummer Toll Yagami), older sister who is married with children

marital status: never married

education: graduated from Gunma Prefecture Fujioka Senior High School in March 1985

first record bought: "Let It Be" by The Beatles, to give to his older brother (now deceased)

first concert attended: Pink Lady

favorite...

artist: James Jamerson

color: black

cigarette: Marlboro Medium (previously Seven Star)

drink: full bodied red French wine, oolong tea, water (when performing live)

food: fish, vegetables, sushi

movie: Bladerunner

season: spring

sport: if playing it, baseball (his favorite team is the Hanshin Tigers from Osaka, the rival team of his brother Toll's favorite team)

thing about Buck-Tick: playing live

favorite / influential albums:

(this information was compiled from various books and interviews)

favorite album Pornography by The Cure
U-ta started to like Bauhaus and The Cure at the same time and this was probably his first Cure album

favorite albumDeep by Peter Murphy
U-ta has liked Peter Murphy since he was the vocalist of Bauhaus and likes this album best

favorite album Express by Love and Rockets
U-ta likes Daniel Ash a lot and thinks this album is very easy to listen to

favorite album Tin Drum by Japan
U-ta can only say that Mick Karn is amazing; even if he's a different type of bassist than U-ta, the sound is astonishing

favorite album Bestial Cluster by Mick Karn

favorite album Word of Mouth by Jaco Pastorius
U-ta started listening to this around the time the band went pro and he was blown away by the cover of The Beatles' "Blackbird"

favorite album Porcupine by Echo and the Bunnymen
U-ta likes the bass a lot and often copied it

favorite album Purple by Stone Temple Pilots

favorite album Space Oddity by David Bowie
U-ta loves Bowie and thought that Atsushi would name Ziggy Stardust as one of his favorites, so U-ta decided to choose this one

favorite album Vienna by Ultravox
U-ta likes the guitar, bass, and synth on this album a lot

favorite album Doubt by Jesus Jones
U-ta likes this so much that he started to wonder if the next thing he does should be like this album

favorite album Billy Idol by Billy Idol
U-ta thinks this album is so good, he doesn't even have words to express it; he copied this one a lot; even when he listens to it today it still sounds cool

favorite album A Wizard, a True Star by Todd Rundgren
U-ta thinks this album sounds like The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper and loves the melodies

favorite album Night Time by Killing Joke
most Killing Joke fans don't like this one for the band going pop but this is U-ta's favorite

favorite album Abbey Road by the Beatles
U-ta listened to this a lot with his older brother

favorite album Synchronicity by the Police
U-ta has liked the Police for a long time and thinks highly of this album

favorite album MCMXC A.D. by Enigma
U-ta thinks listening to this album is very relaxing

favorite album Dress For Excess by Sigue Sigue Sputnik
people love them or hate them but U-ta is pretty impressed by them

favorite album Singles 93-03" by The Chemical Brothers

favorite album A Secret Wish by Propaganda
U-ta didn't like synthesizer bands until he heard this album

favorite album Armed Forces by Elvis Costello
this is one U-ta got from his brother Toll; he's liked it since high school

favorite album Black Sea by XTC
U-ta thinks this is high quality and likes the drums and rhythms

favorite album Pop Art by Transvision Vamp
this was from around the time Buck-Tick recorded in London and U-ta enjoyed the combination of rock and pop

favorite album Mother's Milk by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
U-ta thinks they are funny live and likes the bass

favorite album Never Mind the Bollocks--Here's the Sex Pistols by the Sex Pistols
When asked who is the one artist that changed your life, U-ta declared it was the Sex Pistols.

favorite album Rage Against the Machine by Rage Against the Machine

Asian Dub Foundation

Equipment Overview

Skip ahead to basses used in the mid-1980s (Indies days), late 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s.

U-ta used a black bass with white paint marks on it in the early days of Buck-Tick. His main bass then became a black Greco until touring for Aku No Hana when he switched to a Spector maple body. He sometimes switched on stage with a Greco fretless. U-ta then switched to using Music Man Stingray and Sterling in the early 2000s. Since 2005, his main bass has been a Greco Zemaitis copy and switches on stage with a Landscape Swing upright bass. In 2012, he began using an actual Zemaitis.

trace elliot amps

U-ta has been using Trace Elliot amps ever since Buck-Tick played the Touhoku Rock Circuit Tour with Rogue, whose bassist used Trace Elliot amps and U-ta decided to get them too. He used a AH500X amp head with four cabinets. During Sexy Stream Liner he kept using Trace Elliot amps for his fretless and used SWR amps for his main bass. As early as Six/Nine he had been using Trace Elliot with SWR but I do not know the details of which amps were used for what. I need to research when and to which amps he switched to but since he's been using Music Man basses, he's also been using Music Man amps. (HD-210 and HD-212 cabinets)

sexy stream liner pedal board

U-ta has been basically using the same equipment for his pedal board, just modifying things a little bit, such as adding a Korg G5 midi bass processor during the Somewhere/Nowhere Tour (Six/Nine). (That effect was later used for the song "Heroine" for example.) Here is a diagram of his setup in 1995. Pictured above is his pedal setup during Sexy Stream Liner. Please note that whenever U-ta has 2 of the same item, it is because 1 is for his main bass and the other is for his fretless. He has 2 Korg AT-1 tuners. He also went from using 2 FV-100L volume pedals to one FV-100L and one FV-300L. He uses a Rocktron Midi Mate for his foot controller which controls the Rocktron Patch Mate.

Aku No Hana recording effects: Boss volume pedal, Boss tune, Boss C chorus, Guyatone power supply.

sexy stream liner rack

His rack has also been basically the same. Pictured above is the Sexy Stream Liner setup. It consisted of ETA power distribution, 2 Alesis Quadraverbs (multi-effector), a Rocktron 300G (compressor/limiter), and 2 SWR SM-400 preamps. He also uses a Flip Valve BB-1. His wireless system is Ex-Pro1 (not pictured). U-ta has specific settings for: "Victims of Love", "Lion", "Kirameki No Naka De...", and "Jupiter".

At first, U-ta would play with a pick but then in the 1990s he began playing with his fingers. He alternates between picking and fingering, depending on the song. He tends to put the pick in his mouth when he plays with his fingers so if you ever see a small black object inbetween his lips, that would be his pick. All the pick users in Buck-Tick constantly have custom made picks and models are sold to the public.

U-ta practices to the beat of his electric metronome, Boss Dr. Beat DB-66, much to the annoyance of Hisashi. U-ta feels that sometimes a song is fast and since everyone is operating at a different pace, he doesn't want to slip out of time.

Boss Dr. Beat DB-66

Equipment: mid-1980s (Indies days)

1986 bass U-ta's bass in 1984
specs unknown, appears to be black with bare wood headstock

1986 bass U-ta's bass in 1986
specs unknown, appears to be black with black headstock

indies bass U-ta's bass during Indies days
specs unknown
white paint splatter motif inspired by Tsunematsu Matsui of Boøwy

sexual main bass Fender Japan PJ-555
U-ta's main bass during the Sexual XXXXX! period
black with white paint splatter design (inspired once again by Tsunematsu Matsui)
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

greco Greco (model #?)
(photo from Aku No Hana recording)
pickups: EMG
nut and bridge: brass
controls: he had the master volume knob moved down so he wouldn't hit it while picking
usage: this type of bass was U-ta's main until 1990
this was mass produced and sold to the public as the PXB-800 Phoenix bass AKA U-ta model
Greco PXB-800 specs:
body: sen or alder
neck: maple 3 piece
fretboard: ebony, 26 frets, 30R, 432 scale
pickups: pro-duce Px1, pro-duce Jx1
controls: volume, balance, tone, middle shaper switch
circuit: middle shaper active
finish: polyester
hardware: brass
notes: can be seen in the music videos for "...In Heaven...", "Just One More Kiss", "Misty Zone", "Physical Neurose", "Romanesque", "Victims of Love"; can also be seen in the Sabbat live concert video

Equipment: 1990s

spector Spector NS-2J Jazz J type
pickups: EMG
controls: there is a balance knob for each pickup and he had one of them turned into the master volume
usage: used during the Aku No Hana Tour

spector Spector NS-2A
same specs as the previous bass except for the following
pickups: EMG type PJ (notice that one is a split pickup)
nut and bridge: changed to black parts instead of brass
usage: used during the Aku No Hana Tour

greco pxb fretless Greco PXB Fretless
it appears to have frets but in actuality the frets were removed but the lines remain
usage: it was used to record the following tracks on Koroshi No Shirabe: Victims of Love, Jupiter, Taboo

rickenbacker 4003 Rickenbacker 4001
usage: it was used during the recording of Kurutta Taiyo

rickenbacker 4003 Rickenbacker 4003
body: maple
neck: maple
fingerboard: rosewood
bridge/tailpiece: RIC/RIC
pickups: single coil
controls: 4 controls, toggle switch
usage: it was used to record the following tracks on Koroshi No Shirabe: Iconoclasm, Speed, Love Me

greco geb-100 acoustic Greco GEB-100 acoustic/electric
it appears to have frets but in actuality the frets were removed but the lines remain
usage: it was used to record the following tracks on Koroshi No Shirabe: Do the "I Love You", Jupiter
please note that this model is probably GEB-1000, which has an arched top and 1 volume and 3 EQ controllers on the side of the bass

spector Spector NS-2OIL
body: maple with oil finish and gold hardware
pickups: EMG
controls: volume, treble, bass, pickup balance
usage: main bass from 1990 onwards (then it was apparently used for songs in D tuning)
it was used to record the following tracks on Koroshi No Shirabe: Aku No Hana, Oriental Love Story, ... In Heaven..., Moon Light, Just One More Kiss, Hyper Love.
can be seen in the music video for "Itoshi No Rock Star" and in the Climax Together and Warp Days live concert videos
notes: at least one magazine claims he had another copy that was fretless; the fretted version was used to record the following tracks on Six/Nine: Kagiri Naku Nezumi, Aikawarazu No "Are" No Katamari Ga Nosabaru hedo No Soko No Fuki Damari (please note that only one magazine I have that I can recall stated there are 2 copies of fretted/fretless so I have some doubts until I see pictures of both or re-read the magazines and compare)

fender jazz Fender Jazz
usage: this was in the studio during the recording of Koroshi No Shirabe but never made it to any tracks; used to record Six/Nine's "Itoshi No Rock Star"

gibson les paul Gibson Les Paul Triumph
U-ta acquired this 2 weeks before the recording of Koroshi No Shirabe and was really excited about it but it apparently never made it to any tracks

l2000 G&L L2000
pickups: 2 magnetic field humbuckers
usage: main bass used to record Six/Nine: Kimi No Vanilla, Kodo, Rakuen, Hosoi Sen, Kick (Daichi Wo Keru Otoko), Uta, Mienai Mono Wo Miyou To Suru Gokai    Subete Gokai Da

fender jb62-65fl Fender JB62-65FL
fretless bass used around the time of Darker Than Darkness

fender precision freedom Fender Precision Bass with Freedom neck
Freedom necks are slimmer for Japanese hands
usage: one article did not have a photo but mentioned a Fender Precision Bass was rented and used to record the following tracks on Six/Nine: Love Letter, Detarame Yarou
(picture from 2012 article so it may different than the rental or he bought it)

thunderbird copy Greco Thunderbird copy?
usage: can be seen in the music video for "Uta"

freedom custom Freedom Custom Guitar Research Antique Series PB type
body: alder
pickups: voodoo

greco fretless Greco Pegasus PS-850 U-ta custom fretless
(another article on U-ta's gear lists it as model PS-900MEB, perhaps it was a typo or he has both models and they look alike to the untrained eye?)
body: white ash
neck: maple
fretboard: rosewood with ebony
pickups: Powerstorm
controls: volume, treble, bass, pickup balance
with Pro-Tech active circuit
this is U-ta's fretless bass--it appears to have frets but in actuality the frets were removed but the lines remain
usage: used to record Six/Nine's "Misshitsu", Sexy Stream Liner's "Kimi Ga Shin..dara" and "Kalavinka" for example
can be seen in the music videos for "Dress", "Hosoi Sen"

greco 5 string Greco Phoenix PXB-1600
5 strings
body: walnut/maple/mahogany/maple/walnut (5-ply)
neck: maple/bubinga (5-ply)
fingerboard: ebony
pickups: two EMG 40J
controls: volume, treble, middle, bass, pickup balance

greco 5 string sub Greco Phoenix PXB-1600
5 strings
used as a substitute for the 5 string above
pickups: two single coil Powerstorms

greco main Greco GPB-800AM
body: ash
neck: maple
fingerboard: ebony
front pickup: Powerstorm PB
rear pickup: Powerstorm JB
bridge: J-510
controls: volume, pickup balance, pro-tech active 3 band equalizer (treble, middle, bass)
usage: this was U-ta's main bass during Sexy Stream Liner
can be seen in the music video for "Sasayaki" and in the Sweet Strange Live Film and One Life One Death Cut Up live concert videos

greco main sub Greco GPB-550
pickups: Powerstorm PJ type
usage: this was a substitute for U-ta's main bass above

greco mirage Greco Mirage MSB-1000 baritone guitar
pickups: humbuckers
scale: 385mm
control: rear pickup tap switch

Equipment: 2000s

bass (I think this is a Music Man Stingray)
usage: used during the Mona Lisa Overdrive Tour; can be seen in the Warp Days live concert video

music man sterling Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling
body: maple, graphite acrylic resin coated body cavity, gunstock oil and hand-rubbed special wax blend finish
neck: sculpted neck joint
fingerboard: maple or rosewood, 34" scale, 22 frets
pickups: Music Man humbucking with hum cancelling phantom coil
controls: 3-band active preamp (volume, treble, mid, bass), 3-way pickup balance
tuners: Schaller BM
truss rod: adjustable
scale: 34"
radius: 11"
headstock: 7-5/8" long
usage: used during the Mona Lisa Overdrive Tour; can be seen in the Xanadu and At the Night Side live concert videos

vigier excess Vigier Excess VE4EC F fretless
body: maple
neck: bolt-on 10/90 neck system (10% carbon, 90% maple)
pickups: Vigier single coil hum-cancelling
controls: volume, balance, bass, treble
machine heads: Schaller custom
bridge: quick release
usage: can be seen in the One Life One Death Cut Up live concert video

Greco GZB-2100 Greco Zemaitis GZB-2100EMG Prototype
these were licensed to Greco to make a copy of Zemaitis
U-ta has 2 of these with near identical specs and these were his main bass and sub starting around the 13th Floor With Moonshine Tour
body: mahogany
neck: mahogany, set-neck
fingerboard: ebony, 22 frets
scale: 812mm
bridge: GZB-1
pickups: EMG (later changed to Seymour Duncan pickups)
controls: 2 volume, tone
PB type pickup is used as a finger rest
notes: the Zemaitis model can be seen in the music videos for "Rendezvous", "Alice in Wonder Underground", "Heaven", "Dokudanjou Beauty", "Kuchizuke"; can also be seen in live concert videos since 13th Floor with Diana

Greco GZB-2100 Greco Zemaitis GZB-2500
same specs as above but with DiMarzio Model P& J pickups

Greco GZB Custom Greco Zemaitis GZB U-ta Custom Fretless
fretless version

Greco GZB Custom Greco Zemaitis GZB Custom (2005)
returned to GZB-2100 style with EMG pickups
PB type pickup is used as a finger rest

Greco GZB Custom JJ Greco Zemaitis GZB Custom JJ layout (2007)
body: shell inlay with abalone
neck: thinner than custom model above
nuts: brass

landscape swing bass Landscape Swing Bass Artist
usage: upright bass used on "Coyote" (Memento Mori); can be seen in live concert videos since Tenshi No Revolver

Equipment: 2010s

Zemaitis Zemaitis B22MT MCPJ BLK
metal front bass
body: mahogany
neck: mahogany usage: this has become his main bass since the Yume Miru Uchuu Tour with the previous main Greco Zemaitis bass taking the sub position
can be seen in the music videos for "Elise No Tame Ni", "Miss Take", "Climax Together"

pick pick pick pick pick

[this page was last updated on 2016.03.03 @ 00:27:06 CST]