Luxury Disease

Luxury Disease

“We’re making a fresh start with the experience we’ve gained in the US,” Taka of ONE OK ROCK tells Apple Music. Luxury Disease is the band’s 10th album and first in three and a half years. “As I reflected on our past, I remembered that when we released our first album in Japan, Zeitakubyō [2007], we were in a similar situation where we felt uncertain about lots of things. So, this time, we’ve translated [the ethos of] Zeitakubyō into English to show that we’re determined to do our best on the world stage.” Taka says their previous modern pop album, 2019’s Eye of the Storm, played a huge role in getting to this point. “Years passed without a resurgence of rock culture in the US, and we wanted the emo and punk scenes we admired so much to make a comeback,” he says. “However, we felt that it wouldn’t make sense for us to suddenly start making rock music in the US, as we lacked the knowledge and experience to do so. Convinced that maybe rock could be revived once again, we wanted to make an album that captures the essence of rock music.” Luxury Disease was produced by Rob Cavallo, who has led Green Day, My Chemical Romance, and many other bands to worldwide success. Before recording began, Cavallo interviewed ONE OK ROCK about what kind of album they wanted and what message they wanted to convey. During these discussions, Taka recalls, he spent lots of time reflecting on the music. “It takes a lot of ‘rehab’ to swing so far from the pop style of the previous album to a new album with an extremely rock-centered theme like this one,” he says. “We were also influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, so we felt lots of emotions which were both negative and positive. It was important for the band’s future and for my own self to be able to face those feelings as we produced the album.” Although ONE OK ROCK is a world-renowned rock band, “we are by no means supermen or heroes,” says Taka. “Like everyone else, we started from nothing with a dream and we believe that if we keep on doing what we do, there will be something left as a result. Believing in this while doing what we do is what brings me joy every day.” He shares his thoughts about some key tracks from Luxury Disease below. “Save Yourself” “We’ve kept this song for quite a while, but it was rather difficult to produce and a lot of trial and error was involved. I was already thinking about making the album in a rock style, but creating this song really sealed the deal. We decided to make this the first single from the album, with the hope that everyone would get the message that ONE OK ROCK has made a comeback with this one.” “Neon” “I co-wrote this track with our labelmates Panic! At the Disco’s Brendon [Urie] and his producer Jake [Sinclair]. We make our recordings at the same place as they do, so when I happened to bump into them one day, I shared this song with them to see if they had any interesting ideas, and they came back with a completely different chorus. It was also their idea to put the word ‘Shibuya’ in there. The word was included to show how the glittering, neon-lit city of Shibuya has become very quiet since the pandemic happened.” “When They Turn the Lights On” “I kept musicals in mind when I sang this song. Rob is a legendary producer who is well-versed in Queen and 1970s and 1980s rock, so I knew he liked operatic songs like this one and I knew I’d get a good reaction out of him when I made it.” “Let Me Let You Go” “This song came from sessions with Colin [Brittain], whom we’ve worked with for quite a while; Ashton [Irwin] from Five Seconds of Summer, whom we toured with; and more. Ashton is actually a close neighbor in LA. I remember Colin calling me and saying, ‘Dude, we have to make a session. Let’s write a song together.’ I was like, ‘Sure, let’s do it.’ The songwriting session was very exciting and I got great rock ’n’ roll vibes from them. After finishing the song, I felt if I did more writing sessions with various rock musicians, I could succeed in making a rock album that was full of good vibes.” “Prove” “Failure is always part of pursuing a dream, so there’s a risk when claiming something will succeed, since it might very well fail. However, I think people can really grow and develop when they use strong words and actions, and doing this can help them keep their motivation high. When I sing in this song, I’m partly singing it to myself, and I hope that I can give something back to our fans by showing them how we’re moving towards our goals.” “Mad World” “Now that I’ve had enough time to resolve the issues, frustration, and despair I had when I was about 15 years old, I decided to look back on my old self and take on the challenge of writing the story. As a musician, I think it’s important to cherish the fragile nature of adolescence. I, too, always refer back to the impact that rock music had on me and I try to include elements of that when I perform onstage.”

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