One OK Rock talk new album Ambitions and working with 5 Seconds Of Summer and Avril Lavigne
As they release their new album Ambitions we speak to Takahiro Moriuchi, frontman of Japanese superstars One OK Rock...
When did you start work on the songs for Ambitions?
"We started in January 2016."
How did you want this album to move on from 35xxxv?
"35xxxv was the first album that we recorded in America, so we were really kinda figuring stuff out as we went along so it took us a little bit to get intro our grove. With this album, we were able to take everything that we learned and apply it to Ambitions. Of course we had many talented producers involved but “self production” was a big key word for us. We came in knowing what kind of album we wanted and what it was going to take to get us there."
You’ve got 5 Seconds Of Summer on the album, how did that collaboration come about and what were they like to work with?
"The 5 Seconds Of Summer collaboration came about because we toured with the guys and got really close. Towards the end of the tour, we talked about doing something together and so we sent them 'Take What You Want' and they really added their own element to it. I think it came out great."
There's a collaboration with Avril Lavigne on there too...
"Actually, we met Avril while on that tour as well. We had met her once before in Japan but this time around we had more time to just chill and talk a bit. After that we stayed in touch and I sent her a bunch of ideas for the new album and she liked 'Listen'. Come to think of it, everyone of our collaboration’s came about by meeting the people on tour and becoming friends with them. Its never forced, always really natural and I think that shows in the music."
What kind of album is this lyrically?
"I think the base of what we are trying to say lyrically and convey as a band hasn’t changed and we don’t plan on changing it. Maybe there are a few more songs involving more guy/girl/couple issues than normal but it just kinda happened like that."
When did you settle on title of Ambitions?
"Just thinking about our position as a band right now and where our mindset is at. We just singed to an American label and it`s our first release on Fueled By Ramen, so this album is in many ways it's a big turning point for us and I think Ambitions sums up that feeling."
Were there any other titles in contention?
"We started out with a lot of Japanese words, all with the basic idea of people singing together as one and also hope."
What was the song on the album that took the longest to get right?
"That would be 'We Are'. It started out with just guitar, vocal and drums and we really wanted to make it sound like One Ok Rock. So it took a lot of trial and error with trying new sounds and adding elements to make it sound like it does now."
And which came together most quickly?
"None of them really. All of them took time."
What are your plans to take the record out live?
"Yeah we have to take this album out on the road and perform for everyone we can. Most of 2017 will be us touring around the world."