Exclusive Interview With One Ok Rock Frontman Taka

We chat live collaborations and Warped Tour.

By Elizabeth Smith - Apr 14, 2016
Photo by John Crisp
Interview with Japanese rock band One Ok Rock's frontman Taka. We chat live collaborations and Warped Tour. ONE OK ROCK

Celebrated Japaenese rockstars ONE OK ROCK have been making waves in America over the last few years. Fresh off their first English album, 35xxxv, we caught up with frontman Taka to discuss touring in the U.S. and all things Japanese. Check out the interview below to find out what you should do in Japan, and if they'll ever return to do another Warped Tour.

We also got the chance to see the rock band play live in Baltimore, Maryland on April 9. Check out the photo gallery after the interview

How is touring in the US different from Japan? Are the crowds different?

Yea, totally, crowd is totally different. When I'm doing a show in Japan, they're sometimes really quiet. But here, they're always louder and singing too. So it’s a little different, but I like both actually.

So then, what’s your favorite venue to play when you’re home in Japan?

I don’t know. I like the outside like a super bowl? And we’re in stadiums in Japan, really huge shows, but it's always a really good crowd and I think those are my favorite. In the United States it’s House of Blues, maybe.

What about if an American band is new to touring in Japan, like it’s their first time, what would you recommend they do?

Uh, sushi! [laughs]

If you could put together your own festival and you could pick any artist to be on the bill with you, who would you pick?

Linkin Park, Good Charlotte, and Issues.

When you’re about to go onstage, you’re about to perform, how are you getting ready for the show?

Just relax actually. I’m not doing warm ups, not really, not usually. So just relax. Sometimes I’ll listen to music, just to relax and then "Let’s go, let’s do the show."

What was the moment for you when you knew you wanted to be the lead singer of a band?

There is a Japanese band we call Rize. The lead singer is half-American and Japanese, his name is Jesse.

I think one of your first tours here in the U.S. was Warped Tour, how crazy was that experience? And would you do it again?

Yea, Warped Tour is like, sometimes super dirty and then every place is super hot. But, Warped Tour is super fun and we can meet a lot of American bands and then obviously like other country's bands too. So, our first time I was super confused, because doing Warped Tour for the first time I couldn't speak English very well. I tried to do Warped Tour this year but we couldn’t make it. So maybe next year or two years later I’m gonna try one more time.

So on 35xxxv, you had Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens feature on your song "Paper Planes". So I was curious, if you could do another collaboration with an artist, but live onstage, who would it be?

Uh, that’s super difficult question for me. [laughs] But maybe All Time Low. Yea we had a show already in Japan and the in United States too. So I like [the] guys and then they're super dependable and then obviously, they’re almost the same genre as us. So that’s why maybe next time, All Time Low.


No upcoming concerts. Track ONE OK ROCK on Bandsintown to see when new tour dates have been added!

Elizabeth Smith

The first concert I ever went to was Christina Aguilera. Now, I’m equally at home at a country concert in cowboy boots or a rock concert in combat boots. Either way, I have a love affair with boots and live music. I speak fluent pop culture, yell at the TV when I watch football, and always have time for a dance session.


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