Musica Magazine Interview with OOR - Jan 2014 Edition
I finished translating! Took so long because I didn’t know most of the kanji…. my brain hurts now….
Some parts were a bit strange, but I’ve translated the best I could and tried to make everything sound a little more natural :) Enjoy! _______________________________________
In name and in reality, they are considered the “representative of Japanese rock bands”, and currently completely throwing themselves into the overseas market, armed and ready to advance to America - standing at the door to their dream.
March saw the release of their album “Jinsei X Boku =”, which ranked 3rd in the yearly Tower Records chart (1st was Maximum the Hormone’s album “予襲復讐”, and 2nd was Arashi’s “LOVE”) and on top of those sales, ONE OK ROCK clearly defined themselves from other Japanese rock bands by the strength of their sound and the scale of emotion contained in their compositions. In name and reality, ONE OK ROCK project the existence of this country’s (Japan) rock scene. They are a loud declaration, and the proof is in their work.
However, from my understanding of their answers in our previously published mail interview, ONE OK ROCK isn't content with these achievements alone. Borrowing words used by Taka in their interview for the September issue, he said they had just narrowly climbed Mt. Fuji, and their essential goal is to stand on the summit of Mt. Everest and go beyond. He said they have one goal, to enter the worldwide market and succeed there.
From October, ONE OK ROCK toured Europe and Asia, with each location attracting thousands of people, and although proving their steady ascent had begun, everything will speed up in 2014 for sure, as ONE OK ROCK advance to the US. As far as this country’s rock goes, it is just a needle and a means to gaze at one’s future dreams.
1. What kind of a year was 2013 for ONE OK ROCK? Taka: It was the year we started doing the things we've always wanted to do. Toru: It was our starting point abroad. Ryota: It was a year where there was incentive every day. Tomoya: Year of lives (live shows).
2. What kind of a year was it for yourselves? Taka: A year of perseverance. Toru: A rich year (can be translated as passion, tension, concentration…) Ryota: A year I came to like music more. Tomoya: A drumming year.
3. Throughout the year, what was the biggest thing ONE OK ROCK gained/acquired? Taka: Music potential. Toru: The affection of fans from around the world. Ryota: We were able to experience lives with people who listened to ONE OK ROCK but weren't from Japan. Tomoya: Gained live show power/strength from our tour.
4. From now, what are things ONE OK ROCK wants to experience or needs to experience? Taka: Band growth (this could mean in general or into adulthood). Toru: There’s a lot. It’s better to complete one thing at a time (soundly). Ryota: I want to go to more different countries. Our necessary thing would be learning English. Tomoya: To get more and more into the groove (This was a bit weird…he basically said he wants to acquire more ‘groove’?).
5. From October you had your first proper European and Asian tour but we haven't heard much feedback yet, what areas do you possibly want to look at/work on? Taka: There are so many people that love ONE OK ROCK outside of Japan. We need to work on band growth/maturity. Toru: I think I want to go overseas more quickly. I was so surprised by the amount of fans we had. For a Japanese band to become natural on a global scale, I think we have to do more live shows. Ryota: There are so many fans. I was really happy. I think English study is essential. Tomoya: I was continuously shocked by the lives. It was an amazing feeling/experience.
6. When you were on the front cover in August you said “We’re still on the road, on our way, the worldwide challenge feels like a rugged skin, but we want this challenge.” In the beginning of the New Year, in February, you have your first live shows in LA and NY. Please tell me about what you’re looking forward to in 2014 and about your mental state for 2014. Taka: I will give my all. Toru: Because I think 2014 will be a year of many new meetings and new experiences, I’m looking forward to it. Ryota: Generally speaking, I will do my absolute best at live shows. Tomoya: I won’t give anything less than before and I want to be stoic (??? A bit of a weird answer since stoic means indifference to both positive and negative things…). That’s all really.
7. At the moment ‘rock’ music isn't mainstream in the Japanese music scene. Your foundation as a rock band are your strong, to the point messages, and from this you collect a lot of support and wild enthusiasm, and I strongly feel that your music has a lot of meaning/significance. What issues concerning the band, the ‘rock’ sound you make, and other things do you think about? Taka: Existence/Life. The personal growth that there’s still left for me to do. The things I continue to receive, the amazing experiences. Toru: Fighting against something I fear. Ryota: Always using one’s full power, doing my absolute best. Tomoya: Expressing my own truth.
8. In your own opinions, what is the existence of ONE OK ROCK? What would you personally like
to express? Taka: Without ONE OK ROCK, I would be an ordinary trash bag (this can also be translated as shithead… as well as a lot of other not so nice names for himself, lol… Be nicer to yourself, Taka). I want to say that with ONE OK ROCK I become a cool trash bag. Toru: I’m in the same boat. We can create and produce things we think are cool. Ryoto: It’s family. Tomoya: It definitely won’t crumble.
It’s Wherever You Are. Because I can listen to it always, no matter what mood I’m in. It can be either heart-warming or heart-crushing depending on how I feel. And I love each new live version of it. Like with time it gets better and better, has something new and surprising into it. Taka’s vocals also get softer and richer. The latest one from “Jinsei x Kimi =” tour beats everything else, seriously. I couldn’t listen to other versions of this song because they weren’t just good enough compared to that one. Taka’s vocal skills at it’s best (he was showing-off, really, but he totally has the right to imho) with just acoustic guitar. It has an even more intimate feel to it.