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Interview:
Japan's One OK Rock has its eye on America
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

One OK Rock isn't exactly a new band.

The rock quartet has been around for 10 years and has released seven albums -- all Top 20 in its native Japan, with an equal number of Top 10 singles there. But "35xxxv" is the group's first-ever English album and U.S. release and the realization of "a dream come true" for frontman and group leader Taka.

"I wanted to reach more American fans, American people with my music," Taka (full name Takahiro Moriuchi), says by phone, with assistance from a translator, from a tour stop in Houston. "I love American music, obviously rock music to alternative. We just want to get across to more people here. We've had a lot of success in Japan so it's the logical thing to do."

Making music in English isn't the easiest thing to do, Taka acknowledges. "It's really hard," says the 27-year-old son of musicians. "My friends help me sometimes with the Japanese to English. It's really hard, but we're getting better at it."

Taka and the rest of One OK Rock will have plenty of practice, at least. The group is in the midst of its third tour of North America, with Europe looming next before trekking through Asia again. The U.S. will be seeing more of the band, too, Taka promises, and he and his bandmates have been heartened by the reception so far on these shores.

"People are really singing loud to us, which is a big help," he says. "Sometimes I think in Japanese but they know the (English) lyrics and they're singing them to me, which is awesome."

One OK Rock with All Time Low, Sleeping With Sirens and Knee Deep

Friday, Nov. 6. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center, 799 N. Hewitt Road, Ypsilanti.

Tickets are $35 and $30.

Call 734-487-2282 or visit livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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