"I don't want people to treat me like a god," says Keiji Haino, chuckling. "I want to be a bad boy, right until the end."

An audience with the 65-year-old iconoclast, a towering figure on Japan's underground music scene, is always memorable. When I meet him at a coffee shop in Kawagoe, ostensibly to talk about the vinyl reissue of his 1981 studio debut, "Watashi Dake?" ("Only Me?"), the conversation sprawls for well over two hours.

With the patience of a Zen master tutoring a slightly dopey pupil, Haino explains his singular philosophy in a series of bold pronouncements and unlikely analogies, comparing it to birds, eggs and coffee beans.