The interview was held right after vocal-guitarist Toru’s 18th birthday. ONE OK ROCK, band whose members are all aged between 17 and 18 wrapped year 2006 up with their first one-man concert at Shinjuku LOFT on December 18. I asked them about the real daily lives of no-longer-a-boy-not-yet-a-man in such a susceptible period.
text : koichi kamiya | photo : araboshi
I’m of clingy nature so I always want to have someone else next to me – Taka
I’d like to take this opportunity to ask about your daily life and characters aside from music but first, I want to know what did you do recently.
Taka : Yesterday we had birthday party for Toru. He’s now 18.Toru : It doesn’t really feel different though.
What did you do for the party?
Taka : We called many friends and reserved a restaurant. We gave him presents and got hyped.
Toru : It was quite a surprise.
Alex : We gave him his personal belonging as presents LOL
Toru : There were about 10 people saying “Omedetou!” to me then all of them gave me my own stuffs LOL like slippers and necklace. But then they properly gave me birthday presents.
What did you get?
Toru : I got the shoes I’m wearing from Ryota and guitar soft case from Alex.
All members except Ryota are 18 years old. There’s not much difference between age 17 and 18 but how do you think?
Taka : I feel old. When I was seventeen, I was the youngest anywhere I go. Though people said “Are you really 17? Cool~”, there were younger people than me.
So you were already seen as a grownup. How do you feel as 17 years old, Ryota?
Ryota : I want to turn 18 soon. I feel incomplete being 17.
Theme of “Keep it Real” is “our grownup self” and you guys are getting closer to being adults. What kind of grownup would you like to be?
Taka : Lately I got many chances to go out for meals with older people and what I feel the most is that “each generation has their own stuff to think about”. There’s also rocker who’s around my dad’s age and forcing his own view on others. What he said was probably right but there are things that don’t fit our situation. The way we think would be different depending on age, so when I become an adult, I don’t want to shove my view down younger people’s throats. I’m sure that that rocker have already told those who are older than me. What a pointless persistence for doing that.
How about Toru, do you already have something in mind to think over when you’re a grownup?
Toru : I don’t really have it at the present, but when I was a kid I always dreamed to succeed so I could live in a fancy house. I never like doing routines. By doing song-writing, concert and recording, I can enjoy my life.
You seem thoroughly pursuing your childhood dream. How about Ryota and Alex?
Ryota : I’m always the youngest but when I ask opinion from older people, sometimes I kind of disagree just like Taka. I want to grow up without losing my way.
Alex : I’m not really aware of it. I think I’m going to grow up looking like this. I just want to be a good father. I find it fun to be with gentle soul, as I’m not really a violent type.
Talking about violent type, who is it in the band?
Taka : I’m short-tempered and self-centered individual LOL But it’s just people I really trust who can tell that I’m selfish. Thus, I’m so selfish to the other three members as I trust them.
The other members’ got in trouble LOL
Toru : He says himself that we gotta come early in the morning but he will take me out for dinner.
Taka : I have clingy nature so I always want to have someone else next to me LOL
But rockstar may need such character, especially vocalist, since I think there are many dominant ones.
Taka : I have no right to be dominant LOL
Well, you have to come up front LOL What about Toru’s character?
Taka : I think Toru will probably make the best dad of this band. He never gets angry. But since he’s unable to say anything, it might make his sons to lose temper LOL
Toru, any objection?
Toru : I’ll leave it to you LOL Also, I’m the type that thinks it’s impossible to write song without anyone listening to it.
How about Ryota?
Taka : He’s the coward LOL
Ryota : I would spend hours to get used to, so I never took part in song-writing at the studio for about a year.
Alex : Wiping himself off the song-making LOL
Ryota : There was still a lot of things I haven’t understood, so I had nothing much to say. I got used to it recently that I can make a suggestion for melody.
Taka : He seems the type that looks something from above and will get in if there’s a gap (chance). The one that hopes to succeed once he gets out into society LOL
Alex said that he’s quiet, but how’s he?
Alex : No, I said I want to be one, but sure I am not… LOL
Taka : However, he’s got the most unique personality. He does things as he likes.
Ryota : First time I saw him, I thought he was scary, but he’s actually childish LOL
Alex : I look approachable that even younger people would call me by first name LOL
Band just won’t work if everyone does thing as they like LOL In the band, who will pull the others to the song-writing or stuffs?
Taka : I’m the one who will make the other members running, since I’ve got the role to kick their asses.
From such standpoint, how do you see the band now?
Taka : Every person wants to do anything with ease, relaxes and seeks the real “comfort”. I think we’re struggling for that. We’re rushing while we’re young, just so we can relax later.
Like, currently writing a lot of songs?
Taka : Yes. When people stick together, they will reach into an agreement. In other words, we can make it as long as we do our bests and don’t forget the feeling of unity. That’s what I want us to do. Sure we have different characters but we give ideas at song-writing until all of us say that “it’s awesome”, and I think that’s great. Isn’t it killing to keep going on like this?
What do you think about songs you’ve made so far?
Toru : We’ve done sad songs in minor key and also took challenges.
Taka : We put lyrics as well as good feeling of singing it into our songs. I believe that listener’s will feel good listening to song that’s sung at ease. That is what band is all about.
Ryota : I feel nothing but satisfaction with all songs we’ve made. I want to level up this skill without breaking the bass.
Okay then, what do you want year 2007 to be?
Taka : It’s hard not to be defiant of circumstances as we’re only human but I’ll do my best keeping the present us.
Toru : 2006 is year when the band’s settled and our music changed a little. I think 2007 will be busy year where our scale should grow up so I’m looking forward to it.
Ryota : We had tour in 2006 and I think it was year where we grew up. I wish to learn more and shape up as band member in 2007.
Alex : Since we get the chance to do what we like, I want the “result” of our work as perfect. I’ll just give a good performance and write good songs this year.
From : B-PASS February 2007
Scans by : shinigamitabris at livejournal
As usual, apologize for any mistakes