|Date||August 9, 2012|
This time I’d like to ask you about your new single. But before that, I’d like to ask you a few things about the live movie (“残響リファレンス”TOUR in YOKOHAMA ARENA”) that went on sale in May. When in the second half “Nobody’s Home” was played, there’s this scene showing Taka covering his eyes, all of a sudden unable to sing, while Toru smiles. What happened?
Taka: Mah, well, that’s a scene where as usual I lost the lyrics (laughs).
Taka: I wrote that song for my family, when I sang it at the Budokan I had a different sensation inside me…. It’s a song directed to specific people, but at that moment I became fully aware it has become a song for everybody. When I thought ‘Ah, everybody is singing this song normally!’ I lost the lyrics. (laughs)
So when you lost the lyrics, you covered your face?
Taka: I guess so.
You guess? (laughs)
Taka: (laughs) I had this feeling of that many people singing one of our song. On top of that singing a song that I wrote for my family, not for fans, somehow it became a deeply moving emotion.
You entrusted personal feelings to this song and a large audience was singing it. In what way were you deeply moved?
Taka: Up till now our what drove us was frustration, the desire not to lose, to not be looked down on, those kind of feelings. Apparently they are negative feelings, but in reality in a band they are a source of power. Since the Budokan I realized that these emotions little by little have turned into something else. With that many people accepting us….the point wasn’t anymore being able to perform using only raging emotions, it was instead of gratitude, the feelings we had when we began turned into gratitude, something that wasn’t there before. Sure I don’t want to stop the band present energy and groove, but somehow it can become a support to make the power inside us even stronger. Yokohama Arena live was once again a confirmation of that.
It’s like Yokohama Arena live melted even more what was curdled inside?
Taka: It is just like that. Up till now I’ve thought only at how to live in ONE OK ROCK as a person. If I don’t will ONE OK ROCK progress? That’s because to the end I’m a member of a band. If it were only about me, maybe, somehow it’ll work out fine, but as band, what we do from now on it’s a serious matter.
I see. Toru, in that particular moment what did you think?
Toru: At the end of the story, I was obviously nervous, but I could calmly see everybody’s faces. After the beginning of the live, I remembered the band’s journey up to that point…..when I felt that the 2nd day (of Yokohama Arena lives) was ending, I was also very happy I was standing on that stage. Basically I was incredibly happy. I think when there was that explosion during that song I felt “thanks for coming!”
As a band after the Yokohama Arena lives you didn’t do others. But then on June for the first time you had an Asia tour. What are your sensations about this experience?
Taka: Actually, the Asia tour was a great surprise. I realized that there are that many people who know about us. I guess the only way they can collect infos about us is from our homepage or youtube, but they really know us well! They don’t feel away. Like home. It was a little bit different the way they enjoyed the live, more excited than in Japan. It felt like they have waited for us, the audience was a single mass and did a big chorus for us. It was shocking.
Toru: It was clear that they were waiting for us. But about the live itself, I think the reaction overseas and in Japan is the same, I didn’t think there were any walls.
Basically while you were playing you felt it with your body?
Toru: Yes. It was our first live overseas, it was decided all of a sudden to have a one-man live…..we didn’t have any experience of that. Besides, we didn’t release any CDs overseas so we didn’t know what situation was waiting for us. Instead it really felt like they were waiting for us. They were happy we came. They honestly enjoyed the concert itself. So I think it’s important for us from now on to keep going overseas.
It’s amazing that you decided to do a one-man live all of a sudden.
Taka: I was surprised that there were that many people. In my imagination I expected a hall completely quiet. We played the ballade “Wherever you are” because even overseas many listen to it or might have by chance, but the audience was singing so loud I couldn’t hear the music (laughs).
Taka: I had goosebumps. It isn’t a leading song, but they sang along from beginning to end. Somehow we felt that they listen to our music. I think it’s nonsense to make music just for Japan, we must go and reach out to everybody more. I don’t think it’s only because it was us that they accepted us. I’ve come to realize that there are many people asking for hard music.
Now, I would like to talk about you recent work, you finished yet another amazing composition. A sound perfect to bring you into the next stage, carving a new shape for ONE OK ROCK. When did you start working on it?
Taka: “The Beginning” was a demo made for our previous work “残響リファレンス”. We reasoned about when to release it. Then they asked us a tie-up (theme song) for the movie “Rurouni Kenshin”, and then I watched the movie, I thought that this song was just the thing. We had about 2 more songs as demo, but we chose the best fit. Even for us it was a new challenge, but I think we made a song that brings us to the next step.
Did the inspiration for “The Beginning” come completely from the movie?
Taka: I couldn’t write the lyrics at all, so in that regard the inspiration came from the movie. For the music, I used the piano and then arranged it for the band but it didn’t turn out so nicely. From that point I worked rapidly.
Did you use a different way to compose the music?
Taka: I’ve never composed a song with the piano and then brought it back to the band, except for ballades. In that sense it was refreshing, for me this song it’s perfect.
Taka: Yes. It’s a song where the tempo pushes all the key points I like. I thought I couldn’t do a song like that and then I did it. I’m really happy it was released at this time.
Surely it’s song with a kind of tempo that was never present until now. Too calm to call it loud rock, too aggressive to call it a ballade. It’s delicately dosed between the two.
Taka: It also has pathos, but in reality it’s a simple tune. It was all built on a 4 cords, very simple. And yet in that was the difficulty. Then we had 3 foreigner engineers working on it, we picked the better one. I’m very satisfied because we could work on the details to the very end.
You even fuss on the details.
Taka: I’ve been thinking about what kind of music would be better to do to move on to the next stage. The image I have inside me of ONE OK ROCK is the one from our 2 albums “Nicheシンドローム” and “残響リファレンス”. I think by taking in these 2 albums, will be able to show a new ONE OK ROCK.
Toru: I think it’s a song that can expand our world. It’s a very simple song, but much easier to communicate. We created a straight song that is like being suddenly thrown out naked. But there were difficult parts too, more than the making of the song. That we are releasing it at this time it’s maybe a big turning point. But I’m glad that though there are many elements present, we managed to win the challenge of keeping it simple.
It’s a melody that cleverly involves both aggressive and quiet parts without excluding neither of them. It’s a different approach that more than making the listener want to dive or mosh, shakes up something deep down inside.
Taka: My image is of a song where each person can get into it while calmly getting hyped up. But I think when they’ll hear it again live, it’ll be different. Anyway, managing this work for us was overcoming another challenge. Up till now we made either an aggressive song or a quiet one, it was one or the other, this time we managed to connect the two.
There is this feeling that you hit a great period with 残響リファレンス. It’s like the end of the 1st chapter.
Taka: It fits. With this feeling we can move on to the next one. From now on I’d like us to be active even outside Japan in the same natural and energetic way. Maybe this feeling is the sign that we have rapidly grown up? I want us to make music that we thing is cool.
Really, of what I heard so far, they are 3 completely different songs.
Taka: It feels good, doesn’t it? The single flows like a charm, but it’s also like you can listen to it over and over again, I like that.
In a way, more than before it gives the impression of being ONE OK ROCK’s essence, its core.
Taka: I think maybe we are succeeding in getting nearer to be genre-less. Basically I live by liking music, finding help in music, studying music. Especially of recent, I noticed that the music I like ≠ rock, but that I live my existence having a rock lifestyle.
Taka: I make music enjoying it as a band, at the same time my own environment work itself out, we have reached a point where we can create at 100% the music we want to make. Right now I’m living an amazing period of my life. That’s why, we have to express more in our music and lives this feeling of enjoyment. People of this period have to move through the world…..when you think about that, putting into music the joy you received from everybody, it becomes important to do your best.
I see. Let’s go back for a moment to the single, it’s clear how in all 3 songs you added strings and piano, like a story in chapters.
Taka: That kind of grandeur, it’s the resulting sound that we discovered at the Yokohama Arena lives. In that live, even if we were in such a large venue, I think it was still a bit like a live house concert. It made me want to write songs with a more different angle. We are not just about live houses, we want to go and play in big venues too, so I want to write music that hides many different possibility. I think it’s important that we create the chance for many people to listen to our music.
Toru: I’m happy if we can honestly reach out to our audience. I mean, really a single exists to move on to the next step.
I see. This time tour follows the single release and it is mainly centred on live houses. A lot of exposure.
Taka: There are places we couldn’t go recently, so we wanted to tour there as well. From now on I want every gig to matter, so by bringing around this single I hope we can clearly express the band’s present view of the world.
With the addition of these new songs to the setlist, I think even the atmosphere will change.
Taka: I guess it’ll be a different tour than the ones we did until now. In a single the leading song is 1, but in this tour all 3 will be central so you’ll be able to enjoy a yet new ONE OK ROCK.
I’d like to listen to the 3rd song, “Notes’n’Words, live.
Taka: For my birthday I received as present an acoustic guitar from Takahashi Yuu. I was so happy about it, I wanted to use it no matter what. So I tried to compose a song with an acoustic guitar to play it in our next tour.
When I listened to it, personally it reminded me of SKID ROW’s “I Remember You”.
Taka: Eeeh. I wanted to make an American song, a bit country. I think even smooth, simple songs are nice. I look forward to playing it live.