Artist Spotlight: One OK Rock
One OK Rock is a Japanese rock band and hugely popular in their home country playing in venues like Nippon Budokan and Yokohama Arena. They've also made a big impression in the U.S. and beyond, having toured on the Vans Warped Tour in 2014 and other music festivals all over the world. They continue to gain popularity with American fans and their single, "American Girls" is garnering thousands of impressions at retail each week.
The band is vocalist Taka, guitarist Toru, bassist Ryota and drummer Tomoya.
How did the band form and what are the members’ backgrounds?
Taka: Toru was the one who formed the band. I was singing in a different band at first when he approached me. At first I declined, but he was so persistent that I ended up going to a rehearsal. I actually had a really good time at the rehearsal, and so I decided to join. Everyone comes from different backgrounds -- Toru and Ryota were initially dancers, I was singing, and Tomoya was in a band.
Who are your musical influences?
Taka: I was astonished when I first heard Linkin Park! Also, The Used, Good Charlotte, Story of the Year.
Toru: Linkin Park, Good Charlotte, Sum41, Hoobastank, Story Of The Year.
Ryota: Flea from RHCP. I discovered RHCP in high school, and was really taken aback.
Tomoya: The Used
Tell us about the single “American Girls” – where did the inspiration come from?
Taka: The song has a very different sound and feel from our previous works, but we were inspired to make a song where everyone can sing together.
Tell us about the band’s beginnings and where the name came from.
Taka: Our rehearsals started at 1:00 a.m., hence the name. In Japan, it's read “One O’Clock”. But for everywhere else, we’ve made it read how it’s spelled, “one ok rock”, expressing that some good rock started at 1:00 a.m.
You’ve spent so much time touring in the U.S. - What do you enjoy most about performing here? What goals do you have to still achieve?
Taka: Goals: We still need to do a lot of concerts / performances in the U.S. The audience always sings with us, which is awesome!
Toru: I enjoy when everyone sings together, and how the audience is pumped up and engaged during the instrumental performance parts. Goals: To spread our music to each country, each region, and to communicate there at each location with our live performances (concerts).
Ryota: Goal: To be able to do an arena tour in any country we go to.
Tomoya: Goal: Headlining Arena Tour