The Japanese band, who recorded their latest album in the US, returns to Bangkok for a sell-out show
BACK IN Thailand as part of their “35xxxv” Asia Tour, J-rock outfit One OK Rock had fans screaming and applauding as they took the stage of Thunder Dome, Muang Thong Thani for a concert that featured most of the songs on their latest album from which the tour takes its name.
The day before the show, the J-rockers sat down for a chat with XP.
YOU RECORDED YOUR FIRST ENGLISH ALBUM LAST YEAR IN THE US. WHERE DID YOU FIND THE NAME, “35XXXV”?
Taka: It was funny really but during our stay in the States, we kept seeing the number “35”. We thought it must be our lucky number, so we doubled up on it by adding the Roman numerals, “xxx” for 30 and “v” for 5.
YOU WORKED WITH ONE OF AMERICA’S FAMOUS PRODUCERS, JOHN FELDMANN. WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE HIM FOR YOUR ALBUM?
Taka: We’d wanted to work with John for a long time and were so pleased when that dream came true. Feldmann has all the sounds we need so our collaboration with him at the studio was bound to go well.
WERE ALL SONGS TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE TO ENGLISH?
Taka: Yes, they were, but we were careful not to lose any of the emotions.
HOW DID TYLER CARTER OF ISSUES AND KELLIN QUINN OF SLEEPING WITH SIRENS BECOME INVOLVED WITH YOUR SONGS, “DECISION” AND “PAPER PLANES”?
Taka: We met Tyler on the Warped Tour. After we’d talked, he listened to our song and liked it. He told us he’d like to be involved and we said yes. John introduced us to Kellin and he joined us in the studio for that song.
CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR TWO MUSIC VIDEOS, “THE LAST DANCE” AND “THE WAY BACK”?
Taka: “The Last Dance” was the first music video shot in America. We were thinking along the lines of prom night and were really surprised to see an alien appearing in the video. We didn’t really understand it but our producer assured us it would appeal to Western fans and we trusted him. “The Way Back” was mixed with reggae, a new music style for us.
WHAT INSPIRED THE LYRICS OF “MIGHTY LONG FALL” AND “STUCK IN THE MIDDLE”?
Taka: “Stuck in the Middle” is based on something that happened to me in real life while “Mighty Long Fall” stems purely from my imagination.
DO YOU ENJOY PLAYING IN FRONT OF STADIUM-SIZE AUDIENCES? I UNDERSTAND THERE WERE 30,000 PEOPLE AT YOUR YOKOHAMA STADIUM GIG.
Taka: It’s fun but we really have to concentrate on our performance.
WHAT NEW EXPERIENCES DID YOU ENJOY DURING YOUR US TOUR? AND WHAT INSPIRED YOUR NEW SOUND FOR THIS ALBUM?
Taka: It was such a culture shock spending time in the States. It’s very different from what we are used to. We spent six weeks touring by bus, which was a culture shock in itself. As for our inspiration, that came from everything around us and helped us make songs more similar to the American sound.
WHAT DID YOU WORRY ABOUT THE MOST, BEFORE MAKING YOUR DEBUT IN AMERICA?
Taka: Nothing. Really, we didn’t worry about anything.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FANS IN JAPAN AND IN AMERICA?
Taka: We liked the American fans. When we play ballads Japanese fans always go quiet. Not the American fans, they show their enthusiasm all the time.
WHAT ARE YOUR BEST MEMORIES OF YOUR AMERICAN TOUR?
Taka: I guess the chance to talk. We spent one and a half months together on the bus. We cooked our food on the bus and talked continuously and aimlessly, which we had never done in Japan.
IS THERE ANY BAND YOU’D LIKE TO PERFORM WITH IN THE FUTURE?
Taka: I love Linkin Park and 30 Seconds to Mars. Especially Linkin Park, I’ve listened to them since I was a kid.
WHO INSPIRED YOU TO MAKE MUSIC?
Taka: No one inspired me. Each of our albums has come from the different inspirations – some songs from the environment, others from other songs we liked.
HOW DIFFERENT IS THE MUSIC BUSINESS IN JAPAN COMPARED TO SAY 10 YEARS AGO?
Taka: Very different, largely because of the Internet and |the digital revolution. We’re |sorry that not so many people |buy CDs these days. However, |we have to accept the trend and go forward.