In writing, the guys are with Issues and Crown the Empire for the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour. They were also part of the recent Self Help Fest held last March 19. ONE OK ROCK is very busy touring and making the new album. Always Coming Back topped Recochoku and iTunes JP ! Please stay healthy, boys. 35xxxv tour is just around the corner.
Now, we’re taking you to more exciting places! Today, Love for 10969 reached the US! I came across this post defending OOR from random judgemental people [on Tumblr]. Though it took Riz a long time to respond to my invitation, I am just so happy she remembered me and was kind enough to jump on the Love for 10969 train!
Q1: How did you find out about ONE OK ROCK & when was the first time you heard them? 🙂
I actually kept seeing their name mentioned online by friends and other artists that I listened to, but I did not really sit down to listen to them until 2013. At the time, Hongki (FT Island) was on a Korean television show and he called Taka during the show, so they aired a clip from ONE OK ROCK’s most recent music video at the time, which was “Clock Strikes.” I really liked the song, and I remember going straight to Google after the show was over to find out more about “Taka’s band.”
Q2: What is your favorite OOR song and why?
This is a very hard question! I think my favorite OOR song has got to be between “Wherever You Are” and “The Beginning.” They’re two very different songs, but that just shows the range OOR are capable of. They can handle touching ballads that showcase Taka’s vocal talents as well as the more rock sounding songs that showcase Toru, Ryota, & Tomoya’s skills.
Q3: Do you collect their merch? If yes, which ones do you have? If you haven’t started your collection, which ones do you plan to purchase first?
I don’t really collect their merch since everything is quite expensive to ship to the United States from Japan, but I do own some merch (recent albums, a few shirts, etc) because they brought it with them on some their U.S. tours. I would like to own some more of their physical albums if I get the chance though since I prefer them to digital format.
Q4: Who is your favorite ONE OK ROCK member and why?
Oh gosh, they are all so incredibly talented, it’s hard to choose a single member. I might have to choose Taka though since it was his voice that drew me in… He just has this remarkable ability to convey such depth and emotion in his voice that transcends languages. I know he and the other members are working on their English, but even when Taka sings in Japanese, I may not know what he’s saying 100% of the time, but I can feel it, you know?
I think that as the main vocal, he’s in charge of creating that connection with the fans and he does it very, very well. Not to mention the fact that he’s so petite, and he may look like this unassuming little boy, but the second he hits that stage, he commands your attention. He absolutely takes ownership of that stage the moment he steps on it. He’s like a whirlwind of energy and he manages to get the crowd all riled up every time. That’s a tough job and I admire him for being able to do it every single time.
Q5: How did ONE OK ROCK change your life?
Before I started listening to ONE OK ROCK, the only Japanese music I listened to was more electronic (like JPOP), but they’ve sort of caused me to branch out from that. I’ve been able to listen to more artists similar to OOR because of the artists they tour with or have collaborations with. For example, even on their U.S. tours, they tend to open for bands I don’t usually listen to or bands I’ve never even heard of. On top of that, I’ve been able to meet and connect with other OOR fans both online and in real life. It’s always nice when you can sort of bridge the gap between countries and cultures and interact with people that like the same things you like.
Q6: Have you watched any of their live performances before? What were your expectations before the live and were they met? Did you have your close ONE OK ROCK encounter and how did it go?
I have been fortunate enough to see them in concert three times. I saw their headlining concert in Los Angeles back in 2014. I was expecting to be blown away and I most definitely was. After that, I saw them on Warped Tour later in 2014, and on tour with All Time Low in 2015. I actually got the chance to meet and take pictures with them at Warped Tour. They’re all such incredibly sweet and humble guys! It was very nice to meet them!
I think one thing that sort of stuck with me though is that whenever I saw them interacting with fans – especially at Warped Tour, when they had more time to mingle – the fans would approach them speaking in English, and even though you could tell that the guys did not understand everything the fans would say to them, they were genuinely happy to see all of them. They’d take the time to try to understand what their fans were saying, or to take a picture, or sign cds, and it was really touching to see. Both because the fans got to meet them one on one and because you could tell that each of the OOR members appreciated all of the fans that approached them and tried to make each interaction memorable for the fan(s) despite the language barriers. It was really great to witness.
Q7: Will you watch them live again and if yes, where do you want to watch them again?
Absolutely! I will be seeing them again on the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour this month! I would however like to see them as a headlining act again. As opening acts, they get very short sets and sing the English versions of their most recent album which I am, admittedly, not all too familiar with. I miss hearing the original songs in Japanese and seeing them on stage for a full set.
Q8: what is your message for ONE OK ROCK in case they get the chance to see this interview? 🙂
I guess I’d like them to know that I appreciate all of the hard work they put into making music and their endeavors to cross into a worldwide platform – especially after signing with Warner. I understand how hard it is to learn another language – English in specific, since it’s my second language as well – so I know it’s difficult for them. But the fact that they’re still pursuing it and continue to work hard to be able to connect and deliver the same experience to their English-speaking fans across the world is commendable. So thank you, ONE OK ROCK! Keep up the great work! ^^
ONE OK ROCK is taking the US by storm… slowly but surely. Congratulations boys!