We Interview Idols | NECRONOMIDOL

Tis’ the season of NECROMA.  

We have been blessed of late with a bountiful harvest of offerings from the divas of darkness. In August, NECRONOMIDOL graced us with their presence at East Meets West Music Fest in Anaheim, California alongside Hanako-san, Yanakoto Sotto Mute and stalwart metal acts including the venerable Abigail Williams.  

Now in September, NECRONOMIDOL is mere days away from releasing their third full album, VOIDHYMN, on September 29th.
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Daemon Interviews Idols: SENANAN

Daemon‘s had himself one hell of an idol-meeting August, friends, and the still-not-last entry from his fine run of work is this interview with SENANAN. Kudos to D, thanks to Hailey at Chaotic Harmony for booking and translating, and of course big thanks to Senanan!

There is a Circle K in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, down the street from the Sheraton Grand Hotel that hosts Saboten Con each year over the Labor Day weekend. Many customers and con-goers who happened to pop into the convenience store during this past convention encountered a stunned clerk who could not stop telling each and every one of his customers about his unforgettable encounter with an energetic young Japanese woman who had reacted to the place like it was a Disneyland theme park. He would tell how she had come into the store like a tornado, about her joyful exclamations in Japanese to all the glowing lights and colors, how she marveled at the 12-foot-long fountain drinks bar before purchasing a mountain of Monster energy drinks, all pink or blue food items on offer, and then bounced off into the darkness.

The young woman the clerk had encountered that night was Senanan (stylized, SENANAN), who also documented her Circle K adventure on her Twitter feed. That this five-minute encounter turned into an unforgettable moment the clerk was compelled to share with anyone who would listen (possibly, to this day) should not be surprising. While Senanan is a singer, DJ, model, fashion designer, and social media personality, at her core she is primarily an unstoppable ball of charismatic energy.

Fans of chika idol may have become aware of Senanan because of her connections to the creative team supporting kawaii-punk idol unit Candye Syrup. She is highly active on several social media platforms, often with (former) mermaid-blue member Mai-chan in tow. She is also a manager and buyer for Candye Syrup boutiques and well known for cultivating a unique fashion footprint in the hyper-competitive world of Tokyo Street fashion. Senanan’s aesthetic infuses traditional Chinese fashion elements with Western sportswear and yume kawaii. It’s a unique, and comfortably wearable, combination of Western kakkoii and Japanese kawaii with the Chinese elements providing a playful, throwback twist. Continue reading

Candye Syrup, the Final Interview

In one of the weirdest honors ever accidentally given to anybody, fate just so happened to twist in a direction by which Candye Syrup’s final-ever media appearance happened in the United States, and in a Homicidols sit-down executed by your friend and mine @DaeMetal

Idols are illusionists. Continue reading

We Interview Idols: 14th Generation Hanako-san of the Toilet

This past weekend, our man Daemon hit up the East Meets West Music Fest; with Monsterpanda in tow as translator, he sat down with literally three of this site’s all-time favorite idols. Today, we have his report back from crossing paths — and surviving — with Hanako-san.

On the morning of the opening day of the East Meets West Music Fest, we are directed to a rehearsal studio that sits among the warehouses of industrial Anaheim. Far from Disneyland but about a mile from Chain Reaction, site of festival itself, the studio’s walls are plastered with photos of The Dickies, Agent Orange, Voodoo Glow Skulls and other indie icons of Orange County. Over a door with a hand written sign that reads “Control Room” is a doodle signed by Derek Riggs, the artist who created Iron Maiden’s mascot “Eddie”. While the place doesn’t exactly feel haunted, we are led through the door next to the control room to conduct a face-to-face interview with a blood-drenched ghost visiting all the way from Japan.

14th Generation Hanako-san of the Toilet is a 404 year-old youkai (ghost) who haunts fourth-floor bathrooms and performs as a solo punk idol. As she explains in the intro to her shows by holding up sign boards to the audience: “My head has been cut off. I cannot speak. But I can sing.” And sing she does in a brittle, child-like voice, but more significantly, she screams. Of all the harsh vocalists in chika idol, Hanako-san is perhaps the most natural screamer. Her screams are primal and ferocious and seem to come out of her more effortlessly than clean vocals.

Upon introduction to Hanako-san, she comes across as schoolgirl-cute in her signature red and white complete with a shiny red randoseru (the iconic backpack for Japanese schoolchildren). She is as unfailingly polite as any Japanese idol would be and often bursts into sincere giggles. The only indication that we are in the presence of something more ominous are her bandaged neck, blood-red eye and eyepatch, and the bloodstains patterning her white shirt and socks.

Hanako-san’s visit to America is not only the first time that she has been outside of Japan, but the first time she has ever been on a plane. My first question to her is to see how she is adjusting. Continue reading

We Interview Idols: Papermaiden Meets Koutei Camera Girl Drei

A few weeks ago, Steven Tanaka’s good tastes and altruistic hobbies graced Canada again in the form of Next Music From Tokyo volume 12. This edition’s lineup was a “best of” of sorts, having three bands from last year’s 10th edition, as well as newcomers Lucie, Too and Steven’s favourite idol act Koutei Camera. Koutei Camera Girl Drei (Twitter) was also part of the pan-Canadian tour for their debut this past October, and this time, we managed to interview the group and their manager.

Before leaping to the interview, I would like to thanks my dear translator and friend Hazuki S. for her interpretation and translation, as well as Jas, Ramy T Talata, Catch my Heart and Pacio to ‘npa for graciously taking the time to answer our questions.

Jas, as we start, I have a small question: I was wondering what are the current member colours of Kouteca?

Jas: There are no colours.

Well, that was fast (laughs). I guess I will have to update the fan wikis with that information. On that same topic, Ramy, you were initially announced as a member of Koutei Camera Drei under the name “Sharapova” but I have never seen you use it for your social medias (Twitter and Instagram), is there a certain reason for this?

Ramy T Talata: I don’t use it anymore

Jas: Actually, it was only at the beginning, when we didn’t reveal her face yet. “Sharapova” was a completely different person, who was later replaced by Ramy.

You’re an important part of the Kouteca history, both in the original group (briefly), the first spin off (Gal) and now in Drei and Gal concurrently. What is your take on the difference between “Girl” and “Gal”?

Ramy T Talata: I feel that the music is different even though both are rap music. It’s a little difficult to explain, they’re so different. I’ve changed between groups many times.

Catch my heart: Gal is more hip-hop, a music style that the crowd can get into with us. It’s not us trying to act like we’re cool, but we try to make it into something we can all enjoy and connect to together. Drei has more of a performance to show. Gal is mostly rap, but Drei has more singing in it.

Jas: Pacio joined because she loves music, Ramy and Catch joined because they love to sing. They didn’t know about rap. They listened to it for the first time after joining.

Why did you decide to join this particular group?

Ramy T Talata: I found out about it through a friend. Actually, she was invited by someone that used to be in the group but wasn’t really interested in the group’s style. When I told her that I wanted to become an idol, she brought me with her and introduced me to the company. My interest grew after hearing about the group.

Catch my heart: I’ve always loved singing, and always wanted to become an artist. My friend in Tokyo, who is also an idol, told me about the auditions, so I went for it.

This is your second time in Canada. What was different about your debut in Canada compared to the one in Japan?

Catch my heart: My very first live was in Canada. Everyone was so energetic and cheered along. I made some mistakes but it was really fun so I didn’t feel like it was a failure. In Canada, everyone has fun even if they don’t understand Japanese. When we went back to Japan, there are more people who understand, so the crowd can get really excited or really cold when they notice the mistakes. However, our debut was great in both counties.

Ramy T Talata: I never believe in my life that I would debut overseas, just the thought of leaving Japan never even crossed my mind. I wasn’t sure what to do. I wondered if I would be able to convey my feelings and messages in a completely different place. I was very anxious because I didn’t even know what kind of country Canada was. In Japan, many people already loved the first Kouteca. We were going to be a new group with new members, whose charms were very different from the original ones. I had to climb over that obstacle and the expectations. There was a lot of pressure. Many fans of the original group came to see us and were very happy. This pushed me to work even harder. I became more motivated.

What were you looking forward to do in Canada?

Catch my heart: With Pacio joining our group, our image became cooler. It’s our first time to show this image in Canada, and I was looking forward to how it would be received. On a personal side, I was excited to see the people I met last October again.

Ramy T Talata: Although we came back with the same group, this time we have a new member. I feel like the three of us are a great representation of Koutei Camera Girl Drei. I was really looking forward to show the new Drei, or rather the new lineup. There will be people who will see us for the first time, and those who have already seen us. It may be difficult to ask them to come see us in Japan, but I really want to be able to reach them, to have them know about us and be interested. Even if it’s just one person. I’m really excited to show everyone our performance.

The previous Kouteca was more colourful, whereas Drei has a polished and darker image. How would you describe, in a word, the concept of Kouteca?

Catch my heart: I think “cool” would be the right word.

Ramy t talata: I want us to be able to reach that “cool” image.

pacio to ‘npa, welcome to Kouteca! How do you feel about touring overseas for the first time?

pacio to ‘npa: How do I feel?! (hysterical laughing) Hm… How do I feel? I’ve really been looking forward to it.

Were you a fan of Kouteca before joining the group?

pacio to ‘npa: No, not at all!

Looking at your Instagram and Twitter, I noticed that you do a fair bit of modelling. Can you tell us about your work as a model?

Jas: She worked as a model when she wasn’t involved in any other activities. She wasn’t working as a professional model, and it isn’t something that she would be pursuing as a major job. She may model in the future if the offer arises, but her main job is concentrated on music.

What is different during lives in Canada and in Japan?

pacio to ‘npa: The people are different. They cheer and sing at different points and timing during the songs.

Jas: We don’t expect anyone in the crowd to follow any set rules, we don’t have any. We want everyone to enjoy their experience how they want to, to have fun, and to not trouble those around them.

Jas, I’d like to hear more about your process. How do you come up with your song titles?

Jas: There is no link with the lyrics and the title. I like it better that way. Having a love song titled “Love Song” is just too normal. I want people to feel the song, the title should just sound good to your ears. I believe that the title doesn’t necessarily need to have a specific meaning to it.

Would you like to perform in all the cities you have named songs after?

Jas: Not in particular. For Toronto, I wrote the lyrics at a shady Burger King around 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. “Toronto Lot” rolled off the tongue better. I don’t even know if it makes proper sense. I wrote this because I wanted to be in Toronto for a longer time. My inspiration was everything that happened to me in Toronto, but it’s not written as actual events.

As a foreign fan, there is very little information available in English about Koutei Camera Actress. Can you tell us more about their concept?

Jas: Koutei Camera is the name of all idol units under the Tapesok Records Label. They do a sort of underground club music that started with rap. Actress is under another management, but I still produce for them. The girls that are more interested in acting are in Actress, and if they would like to make music, they would join Tapesok Records. While Kouteca Drei is club music, Gal is more hip-hop, but I kind of do whatever I want to with their music. Actress are the ones that are closest to the “idol” image, they do pop music.

Kerrie Interviews Idols: Kai (Screaming Sixties)

What a wild ride. I only just recovered from Maison Book Girl last month, and now I’m back from hanging out with three other idol acts with barely any time to relax in between each one. I feel like I’ve ascended to a new plane of existence. A huge thank you to everybody who made this happen, from the Orion and show staff to Maniac and you guys, the readers (a couple of whom I even met on Monday! Sorry if I seemed awkward!) you’re the best.

Before Maniac changed plans to honor the new Oshi, this interview with Screaming Sixties’s very own Kai was the first of the week. Sadly, her partner in crime, Montero, couldn’t make it to the UK due to some last-minute visa issues, so Kai came completely alone this time around. But at the show, she promised to come back and bring Montero with her! Be warned, England.

Despite being nervous at going it alone, nobody would have been able to tell from Kai’s dominant energy and confidence once she was on stage. It was as if Montero was still performing for us, we just couldn’t see her. Like her spirit had possessed Kai to create one super-powerful being to make up for her absence. What I’m trying to say, is that Kai rocked it, and did an amazing job despite the unexpected setbacks.

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Kerrie Interviews Idols: Maison Book Girl

You know, it’s funny. The other day, I was looking at my old Maison Book Girl tweets. I was trying to find one specific tweet but I also found this, from almost two years ago:

Well, then. Imagine 2018 Kerrie telling naive “never attended an idol gig and probably never will” 2016 Kerrie that, not only did she get her UK tour, but she also got to have a chat with Maison Book Girl too!

It’s been two weeks since I attended the first leg of Maison Book Girl’s tour, at Birmingham’s Hare and Hounds. Hopefully, that was enough to process my feelings that wasn’t just “I would sell my soul for their smiles,” but really, it was such a wild ride. Arriving about four hours before showtime, I got to see the makings of an idol gig, somewhat. The soundchecks, the debates between the UK and Japanese staff, the occasional MBG popping in and out. As mundane as it probably would have seemed to a veteran, to me, it felt surreal and unforgettable. Up until now, I had only seen the public view of live shows.

I’m not too good at reviewing live shows, but I know that’s not really what you came for. Again, after witnessing the various test-runs beforehand, when I watched the final production come alive on stage, I was fascinated. Continue reading

A Very Homicidol Night with NECRONOMIDOL

This is all that I could muster after a night that confirmed everything that I’ve been doing about this whole idol business. In front of gods and man and maniacs, NECRONOMIDOL had not only taken the stage and wreaked absolute havoc, but had cut a very different jib in meeting with me, in person, and providing some great insights.

Oh, and Oshi put on the tiara that I gifted her, and all was well. Continue reading

Inside the Mind of NECRONOMIDOL – Interview with Richard Wilson — Straight From Japan

As soon as Terry mentioned it, I had a feeling that this direct connection with Ricky Wilson himself was going to be a good time. Ever wondered about the relationship between this bugfuck of a film, RHYMEBERRY and “DAWNSLAYER”? Read on!

With the recent release of NECRONOMIDOL’s new single “DAWNSLAYER” we decided it would be a good time to have a chat with Richard (Ricky) Wilson, the man behind the group. He was very gracious in providing us with some of his time and answering a wide variety of questions about both himself and NECRONOMIDOL.

via Inside the mind of NECRONOMIDOL – Interview with Richard Wilson — Straight From Japan

I Interview Idol (Managers): Daichi

I alluded to this one yesterday, team, and I’m still buzzing a little bit from getting a chance to have a real-deal conversation with the man behind Guso Drop, 2&, Hoshina Fumimi, Himegoto Zettaichi, ancillarily Screaming Sixties, formerly Poroporo Baroque, and so on. Folks have been dying to know the score ever since it was announced a few weeks ago that Guso Drop was going to disband, and, while Daichi has been pouring his heart out on Twitter, there have been oh so many questions.

Krv is the real hero here — because he’s friends with Daichi in addition to being a fan, he offered to hook up an interview, and then provided real-time translation over LINE, and at an ungodly hour for his timezone to boot. I have the patrons to thank, too, for providing a really good starting place in terms of questions and topics. I ultimately cut this about in half by combining thoughts and letting Daichi do some of the driving, but I hope that we were able to get to the gist of what you were curious about.

I was just hoping that I wasn’t going to offend anybody.

So! Have you ever wanted to get into the head of an idol manager? What about an idol manager who’s in the midst of ending his flagship project? Or an idol manager who’s always looked at himself as a musician first? Or even just a guy who’d say:

If he throws a dinner party with human flesh on the menu, I’d probably go along!

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