Everything after Beam of Light is especially confusing. >.>;
- If J-rock is the way to go, why do you think the album became so miscellaneous with some mixtures and ballads?
Taka: Honestly, I wasn’t thinking about making a cool album. I mean, the me that does live performances, the me that’s with this band, thought it was cool. But when I said we’re performing songs and putting those songs into an album, I had a lot of guilt. The music I wanted to do was completely different. When I felt like doing it another way more, it didn’t work out as a band. [?]
- However, you played quite a few “Zeitakubyo” songs even at Yoko Arena, right?
Taka: We did. We wanted to give the fans what they want. Even if we didn’t want to play those songs. We definitely didn’t bring the band this far by ourselves. We’re really growing together. Like the girls who wear high heels for the first time, do their make up, wear coats, carry their bags, and take their places in the front row. When you think about that, our circumstances are totally different.
- Well, yeah.
Taka: I still think we’re growing with our fans. That’s why the thing I want to think about the most is what will make them happy. [?] Because of that, we still play the old songs. Nevertheless, there are also parts we can’t give up. There are still songs we don’t want to play.
- On the other hand, this album is extremely popular with the fans.
Taka: Yes, it is. It’s very pop-y and catchy. From our point of view today, it’s greatly different, but interesting.
- That album has a pronounced antithesis towards adults.
Taka: Yes. The things we thought, well, I confess. [?] They’re never going to change. At the time, we thought we had an overwhelmingly low number of supporters. I think rebelling became our driving force. Especially for me.
- That’s why even though the songs are so catchy and pop-y, the content is very dark.
Taka: (laughs) Yes, that’s right. There was only about one song that was cheerful.
- Right. And after that you had a tour, right? Did your circumstances change again?
Taka: They did. If I’m not mistaken, that was the Tokyo-Nagoya-Osaka Quattro Tour.
Toru: Yes, yes.
Taka: That was our first time playing at Quattro and going to Osaka and Nagoya. It was also the first time we had the audience on the dirt too. I guess Osaka and Nagoya were fine, but Tokyo was crazy. I mean, it was like impossible, and we had to put all of our energy into it. [?] I felt like I was singing on soul alone. My mom also came, and it was somewhat crazy, huh?
Ryota: It was. It was around that time that I started thinking, “Wow, this is fun!” When we watched the Quattro DVD, at the end, Taka and I hugged each other (laughs). I thought, “Oh, it was around this time that I started having fun. Things have really changed.”
Toru: It was the best, getting fired up at the live performances. Even at that time, I had the most impressions.
- Taka, you were wailing that day, weren’t you?
Taka: Yeah, I was crying. Crying even on stage. I was frantic. Quattro was extremely big after all. It felt like happiness and, later, a variety of emotions were all exploding. Also the feeling that we’d come this far but wanted to keep going forward. The meaning I was making in the band wasn’t 100%. [?] I wasn’t sure what I should do. I had the feeling that I’d be okay with a really vague sense of self confidence.
- And after that, at quite a fast pace, you guys came out with your second album “BEAM OF LIGHT.” It is, dare I say it, a puzzling album.
Taka: (laughs) Yeah, it is. Actually, we weren’t in the mood to make it. Because the point was to make songs. [?] The theme at that time was that we had to become a band. What’s a band? It’s punk! That was the only reason.
Toru: For the time being, we made a lot of songs.
Taka: If we didn’t record, we wouldn’t grow. We couldn’t make the sound sources we wanted. So what should we do? We couldn’t do anything but record, so we came up with a lot of sound sources, revolving around tours. So what’s a band? It’s punk. Then let’s make a punk album!
Toru: (laughs) Super simple
Taka: We did it indifferently. That’s why to us, that album isn’t an album. That’s why I hate it! I think I would be wrong to express that at live performances. [?] That’s why I still don’t want to play one song from it. Because we didn’t make it as a piece of work, we made it as a part of growing up. However, we released it as a work, so those who listened to it and said they liked it make me really happy. I feel like I wouldn’t for a moment seriously perform those songs at a live performance, and I dislike it. [?]
- But you know, it’s because of that album that I think of ONE OK ROCK as a real band (laughs).
- "What in the world happened?"
Taka: We were playing around. Suddenly, we can’t go there.
Taka: But it was in the plans from the beginning to release two albums in a year. That’s why in the previous album, we already had a perspective of the music we wanted to create and the direction in which we wanted to go. In order to properly see that kind of thing through once, anything was fine. So it didn’t have to be punk. All of it could have been ballads and that would have been okay.
- I see.
Taka: That album doesn’t say much.
- During the time of the first and second albums, the listeners’ reactions were also the same, but how did you experience the band’s reputation in your neighborhood?
Taka: Oh well, we were definitely just thought of as an idol band. But the one thing that gave me confidence was when they said, “You guys are good a singing.” [?] As long as I had that confidence, they could say whatever they wanted. Like, “Don’t stay with the amateurs around here.” “If we make a serious effort, what’re you gonna do?”
The other three: Hahahahahaha
Taka: It was like that, and I had my confidence. [?] Moreover, I was writing lyrics, and the parts I put to melodies, I was able to protect that domain. If someone else had written the song and lyrics, maybe I would have snapped at the voices around me.
- I see. You were okay because inside, you had your pride no matter what they said.
Taka: That’s right. And after “BEAM OF LIGHT,” we did AX. The impossible one. [?] That live performance was awful. And frustrating. We had to work a little harder.
Ryota: AX is the one where that incident happened, right?