Shinnosuke, Ryota, and U were excited to start their American tour in Atlanta. Having enjoyed a Braves game earlier in their trip, the guys were in a good mood and eager to talk about their music, their expectations, and their experiences. Since 2011, they’ve created music in different genres and a few of their songs have been used for anime openings or endings like “Complication” for Durarara and “For You” for Bleach. The day before they’d be playing for hundreds of Atlanta anime fans we asked them a few questions.
Interview with ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D at Anime Weekend Atlanta 2018
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?
A quick description would be multi-genre music. We’re inspired by different types of music, and we choose our favorite parts to make a song we like. Our style is always changing song-to-song.
You’ve performed in America before but, are you looking forward to anything new this time around?
Well, we got to see the Braves at the Braves stadium, that was new.
It probably won’t happen, but I’d like to make people do the Braves tomahawk chop because that’s something you can only do in Atlanta.
What’s everyone’s favorite anime?
One Piece, Hunter x Hunter
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… ah! Japanese anime? Dragon Ball… no wait! Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.
When was the moment you decided you wanted to devote your life to music?
When I was in elementary school and I saw L’Arc en Ciel perform at Tokyo Dome.
From the first time I tried playing drums, I’ve never experienced a more incredible rush. I thought if I could do this forever, that would be the coolest thing.
In high school, there came a time when I had to choose between music or college. But when I saw the band Air live, I decided I’d take a risk and go into music.
As opposed to doing a simple concert, what’s the appeal of doing an appearance at an anime convention?
Well in Japan, no one really performs at anime conventions, that’s more of an American thing. There’s not much of a difference, but one thing that makes us feel good about playing at anime conventions is no matter if someone is American or from a different country or not, they can still sing our Japanese lyrics. Even if we aren’t performing anisong [anime song], the audience is just happy we’re there and get really fired up! Another cool thing is there’s ALWAYS someone that comes up to us while we’re signing autographs or something after the show and tells us that we were their first live show. That makes us really happy.
It’s been a few years between your last album and ‘The Sun Also Rises’, what were the feelings and inspiration that went into this album?
For 10 years, we’ve had friends and supporters who helped us along the way. A lot of things were made possible by collaborating with people we met along our journey. Because of that, our songs are more diverse on this album compared to our last album and there’s more depth to the songs. It’s a very personal album for us, so please listen!
Which song on ‘The Sun Also Rises’ would you say is most representative of these feelings?
I think we’d all say Revival. Our friend Rockwell is a support guitarist who’d been helping us out for a long time and he contributed to Revival specifically.
What’s next for Rookiez?
After the world tour, we’ll be touring around Japan. We want to gain a lot of experience from this world tour and show our new power! And then next time, there won’t be a 6-year gap between albums.
Can you give a final message to your American fans, especially those at AWA?
We’ll be playing a lot of songs from our new album, so please look forward to our concert!
This is our first time touring around America like this, so to all the fans that are going to get to know us, please spread the word! We really want to come back again because it’s been a great experience thus far.
Performing in the United States is really special for me and I love all the energy from our fans. I want to meet your expectations. We hope to reach you through our live performances. Please keep supporting us from now on!
By the way they treat everyone from staff to fans, it’s clear the members of Rookiez really cherish the people who in any way have supported them. Their general friendliness, humility, and easy-going attitudes make them extremely likable, let alone their ability to rock the house! With their ever-evolving sound, ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D will surely appeal to most anisong fans especially if you like your rock with a little rap!
Hey friends! I reside in Georgia and use my degree in Japanese primarily to (barely) read doujinshi that hasn’t been translated. Beyond deciding who is best girl in whatever I happen to be watching, I really enjoy ballroom dancing, reading, crying over dating sims, karaoke, and being surrounded by beautiful things~ (You know, scenery, décor, boys, stuff like that). I also love talking about passions with others!