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The following is a translation of an interview of Sakai Izumi, lead vocalist of the group Zard, as recorded in the April 2000 issue of "Music Freak Magazine."

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  • Regarding Your Musical Roots:
          The first work I became aware of as a "piece of music" was Beethovan's "Fur Elise." In Elementary school, I had studied piano for 6 years, and the older girls would play "Fur Elise" last at the recitals. Incidentally, I played a song from "Brug Muller" (ed. note: I'm not a classical music expert, so I don't know about this). Because I hated practicing, up until then I was often scolded by the instructor, but from that time onward, I began to practice of my own accord. It was with a wholeheartedness that "someday, I want to be able to play 'Fur Elise' as well as that (older) girl!" My childish mindset received a shock, a strong impression that "music is wonderful."

  • Which artists have you received influence from with regards to writing lyrics?
          Ishikawa Kitsuki (?), F. Sagan, Iwadate Mariko (cartoonist), the works of Stanley Kubrick, etc... Actually, more than influences, these are more people I admire.

  • If you were to analyze on your own the works and artists that stimulate your heart-strings, what tendencies do you notice?
          I seem to be drawn to people or things that stir up my imagination, like an artist who lived a fervant life, or the world that remains unknowable, no matter how much you think about it.

  • Regarding CD works, what kind of tendancies seem prevelant? For example, the ration of men to women among the artists you like?
          Huh? I would guess that they're mostly men, huh? Though I don't really pay attention to gender differences, I have the feeling that songs women create mostly come from out of their everyday lives, and men create songs for the women they love, to woo them.
          This is just my personal opinion, but I think that women are slightly more realists, while men are more romantists, and they might be drawn to those things not logically, but innately.

  • Incidentally, there are many people who, when they find a nice song, will go back and listen to everything else by that artist. Would you consider yourself that kind of enthusiastic type?
          If I find that I like the artist, of course I'd want to collect everything by them. But... I would also want to know about that artist's personality and background, and I even have the urge to go ahead and imagine them for myself... (laughs).

  • There are times when buying CD's that people "buy the jacket," that is, they are drawn by the design on the jacket and decide to buy the CD. What do you think of that?
          Though I don't usually buy CD's for their jackets, long ago, I really liked the jacket of one of Yuming's (Matsutoya Yumi) album because it was so cool.

  • Lastly, talk about your goals for 2000
          I want to keep creating good music, the same as always. Everything else, while hiding my fighting spirit within, is a secret! (laughs)