BUCK-TICK vocalist Atsushi Sakurai has passed away at age 57 due to a brainstem hemorrhage, according to the official statement from the band. Sakurai was hospitalized on October 19, when he was rushed to the hospital after a concert in Yokohama after feeling unwell. He passed away at 11:09 p.m. that same night. BUCK-TICK’s statement to fans comes on October 24, apologizing for the delay in publication out of respect for the family’s privacy. A private funeral with Sakurai’s close relatives has since taken place.
BUCK-TICK marked its 35th anniversary this year, returning to Sakurai’s place of upbringing in Gunma this September for a concert. The statement goes on to say a public memorial service will be held with the date to be announced later. “We are truly grateful to all the fans and associates who supported Atsushi Sakurai until now,” the statement concludes.
There was an outpouring of sympathy on social media from those whom Sakurai has influenced. His close friend and band member Hisashi Imai posted a heartfelt message on Instagram coming to terms with the ordeal. “I thought we would be a 5 person band forever,” he says. “But I knew from the start that it would be “impossible” for that to happen. I knew this day would come someday soon. I always wanted to play guitar by Acchan’s side. But hey, we’re pushing forward ♪✌🏻 It’ll be alright.“
As Imai alludes, the 5-member formation of BUCK-TICK has remained effectively unchanged since they debuted in 1983 — a rare feat in the music industry, and certainly giving the sense to their adoring fans that they would last forever. Sakurai departs BUCK-TICK having written most of their songs on their albums, many of which have gone Top 10 on the Japanese charts. BUCK-TICK’s influence extends to anime, including songs for xxxHolic and Trinity Blood, and is widely credited with helping to popularize the Visual Kei aesthetic that fans in Japan and internationally have come to love.
Source: BUCK-TICK Official Website