ONE OK ROCK, beloved at home in Japan and worldwide, will drop their first release in two years Renegades on April 16. This digital release will also premier its music video on ONE OK ROCK’s official YouTube channel on the release day at 21:00 (JST).
Renegades spurs a rallying cry to rebels everywhere who “refuse to allow their battles and passions to be ignored”. It addresses the global state of affairs, which can be extended to the global Corona crisis. It was produced during the pandemic lockdown but was delayed due to touring and promotional constraints.
Renegades was co-written by international best-selling artist Ed Sheeran. The rock quartet was invited to open for Sheeran on the Asia leg of his 2019 international tour. Over time, they became close friends. When Sheeran heard ONE OK ROCK was looking to record new material, he invited them to use his personal studio in London.
According to a recent interview, the band wanted to create something that was not trapped by their previous albums, but could only come from their experience in the UK.
Despite this, the band has not forgotten its roots. “I think we need to trace back to our early intentions”, says vocalist Taka, “I think anger can only be truly expressed in rock music. So it’s our duty as rock musicians to play rock”.
Taka, the vocalist, spoke about frustration built up during this pandemic, and how people do not have an outlet for their feelings. He hopes this song provides light and hope for those who are feeling defeated.
Renegades also serves as the theme to the climactic finale of the successful live-action movie series Rurouni Kenshin. Regarding this, Taka says the theme song relates more to the protagonist Kenshin than the plot. In spite of the constant struggles he has “A lightness, love, and hope that shines from within”, he says, “I think those aspects really connected with our band”.
We definitely hear that hope shining from within Renegades. Though it has a powerful backbone and compelling riffs, it’s softened by a chorus of united voices. The fists in the air will give you goosebumps, along with a sense of community and support.
Rurouni Kenshin: The Final is slated to release April 24, after a nearly four-month delay. Just like the song begins, “Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and get ready”, because you can watch the thrilling trailer below: