Linkin Park's Chester was the reason I became a rock vocalist, says ONE OK ROCK's Taka

Japanese rock band ONE OK ROCK. (Photo: JulenPhoto)

Japanese rock band ONE OK ROCK has had a tight relationship with Linkin Park, with the two even scheduled to go on tour together before the death of singer and songwriter Chester Bennington in July 2017.

Lead vocalist Takahiro Moriuchi (known simply as “Taka”) posted several emotional Instagram posts after the news was released, and performed at a tribute concert for Bennington in October.

ONE OK ROCK was to be the opening act for several stops of Linkin Park’s “One More Light” tour in North America and Japan in the latter part of 2017.

Ahead of the band’s concert in Singapore, Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore caught up with Taka to talk about the band’s upcoming show (their biggest in Singapore yet), their music and how they’ve been affected by the death of the former Linkin Park frontman.

The 29-year-old Linkin Park fan said learning about Bennington’s passing “was extremely sad”.

“But on the other hand, one of my dreams (to perform a tribute for Linkin Park) had also come true, so my emotions were very conflicted,” he told Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore in an email interview.

“Chester was the reason I decided to be a vocalist for a rock band and he will remain in our memories forever,” he said.

The band, who previously highlighted Linkin Park as one of the influences for their music, released their eighth and latest album “Ambitions” in January 2017.

Their evolving music style has led some fans to feel that ONE OK ROCK seemed to be more influenced by American rock music rather than Japanese.

“That’s definitely true,” Taka said when asked about that.

“But, we’re still Japanese, and we will never be able to detach ourselves from what makes us essentially Japanese,” he said. “That’s what makes ONE OK ROCK original.”

When asked to recommend tracks to new fans, Taka said each and every one of the band’s albums were “totally different”.

“I think what’s important is people should be able to find an album that they like and come watch our show because of that,” he said.

And would the band ever go back to the era where their whole album is all in Japanese?

“Japanese is our native language,” Taka said. “But we love the Western sound. We have yet to achieve the ideal Western sound that we are working towards.”

“But once we reach that, we will start writing in Japanese again!” he assured.

ONE OK ROCK’s performance at the Singapore Indoor Stadium will be their largest concert in Singapore to date, but Taka definitely isn’t intimidated.

“We won’t know until we try, but we definitely want to make this show an awesome one,” he said about the upcoming show.

When asked about his memories of previous shows in Singapore, Taka said that Singapore fans “are very welcoming and the shows are always really fun”.

“We’re really happy to be able to come back to Singapore again! Let’s make 20 January the best day ever!” he said in a message to the band’s fans.

Japanese rock band ONE OK ROCK. (Photo: JulenPhoto)

The concert in Singapore is part of their Ambitions world tour. They were last here for their 35xxxv Asia concert tour in 2016.

After performing in Singapore, the band will be headed to Taiwan, the Philippines, Hong Kong and South Korea.

Related stories:

Follow Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore on Facebook.