MERRY BAD END to Headline International Livestream Event: Digital Scene 4.0

MERRY BAD END has been invited to perform as the featured artist in the latest installment of streaming music and arts event, Digital Scene

Digital Scene is the brainchild of Baltimore-based OTS Productions and Montgomery Drive. As they describe it: “The concept behind Digital Scene is to bring people together by virtual collaboration from around the world. We strive to present different experiences with each edition of the series.” Version 4.0 featuring MERRY BAD END will be streaming on Twitch TV next Friday, July 24th at 8:00 pm EST (9:00 am JST).   Continue reading

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We Interview Idols: Broken By the Scream

Broken By the Scream is one of the most unique, talented and loud acts in alternative idol and, over this past Labor Day weekend, Saboten Con played host to their U.S. debut in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Although harsh vocals in chika idol have been normalized over the past few years, most groups still only use death voice elements to provide an occasional emotional emphasis or shock.  Broken By the Scream, however, has flipped this norm, embracing harsh vocals for the lead part in the majority of their songs. Having a dedicated screamer (Io) and growler (Kagura) also lends a signature contrast to the vocal delivery, oftentimes in a call-and-response style reminiscent of a collaborative rap.  In this harsh environment, it is the entry of the clean vocals of Yae and Ayame that oftentimes serve as a purifying and cathartic shock.

Towards the end of Saboten Con weekend, Team Homicidols was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to sit down and speak with the four talented idols whose singular voices combine to make Broken By the Scream the vocal powerhouse that it is. 

Broken By The Scream Homicidols Interview

Yae: This is a genre that you’ve probably never heard anywhere else in the world.

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Monster of Dolls interviews, Part 1: Sari

First, apologies that it’s a little short. Translation difficulties I alluded to elsewhere meant that the chat was not as free-flowing as I had hoped. But hey, isn’t this the first post-Necronomidol interview with Sari?I’m pretty sure it’s the first one in English, so let’s claim that.  Friends, Romans, countrymen: Homicidols.com presents…

THE FIRST POST-NECRONOMIDOL INTERVIEW WITH SARI (in English)!

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Making an Idol Monster: We Talk to the Creative Team behind Monster of Dolls

Just a few months ago, Homicidols published a profile of fans-turned-promoters bringing alternative idols to the Western World.  Looking back now, the article is a bit embarrassingly anglo-centric. Unbeknownst to us at the time, a group of Italian-speaking fans were putting the finishing touches on their own considerable efforts to launch an alt-idol festival in Italy. When the final lineup for the event was revealed in mid-February, it was clear that there was a new and significant player in the business of importing underground Japanese idol to the West.

https://twitter.com/monster_dolls/status/1096753534014578688

Seemingly overnight, the hardol diaspora had grown another tendril.

On May 11th in Bologna, Italy, Monster of Dolls will play host to alt-idol A-listers LADYBABY, the Western debut of JyuJyu, and an appearance by the legendary Sari of NECRONOMIDOL fame. The event’s biggest coup, however, is scoring the first ever overseas live for perhaps the hottest chika idol act in Tokyo: Melon Batake a go go.

The appearance of this top-tier alt-idol festival, seemingly out of nowhere, was the most pleasant of surprises. Our curiosity was piqued, not just about the cost of plane tickets to Italy, but also about the festival itself, the brains behind it, and about the Italian-speaking fandom whose presence we had been totally ignorant of until now. So we reached out to our new Italian allies in the quest to bring alt-idol to the West in the hopes that we could learn all we could.

We think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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We Interview Idols: YONEKO

In this current early 2019 period of disbandments, graduations and letdowns, a favourite from all the way since the birth of Homicidols has instead gone down an opposite route. Herself being a victim of the “start of the year curse” just last year, Yoneko has been buckling down hard to make sure there’s at least one idol providing consistent positivity through the tides of bad news from other performers. In just three months, Yoneko has graced us with a digital single, three CD-Rs, a fantastic collaboration with FEATURES and three music videos.

Most recently, she has been making a passionate effort to reach out to her fans outside of Japan, turning her into a beloved figure amongst the western idol fandom almost overnight.

She’s even going through the trouble of setting up a Bandcamp for overseas fans, despite the burden being so tedious it led her to drop a curse word or two!

https://twitter.com/naniyaraYONEKO/status/1100288638242283520

As she welcomed her overseas fandom with open arms, Yoneko expressed her interest in being interviewed by foreign blogs. And, well, as a foreign blog that has followed her career since 2016, how could we not take such an opportunity? And so, via a few email exchanges, Yoneko was more than happy to answer some of our questions. Continue reading

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Importing the Kawaii Underground

Meet the people bringing Japan’s most compelling music acts to the West

For those Westerners who have fallen down the JPop rabbit hole, there are a few common stages that just about everyone goes through. Somewhere after devouring any English-language sites Google can find and consuming all unblocked videos on YouTube, comes the burning desire to see our newfound musical idols live. North America and Europe have been fortunate the last few years to see almost annual tours by BABYMETAL, Perfume, One OK Rock and Hatsune Miku, but for those whose tastes are a bit less mainstream, the chance to see independent and alternative artists usually involves pricing plane tickets to Japan.

Fortunately for us, a small group of fans-turned-promoters have taken it upon themselves to bring live underground idol and alternative JRock to the West. A few of these intrepid souls were gracious enough to answer our questions about why they decided to jump into the business of international music booking and promotion, the biggest challenges they encounter, and what plans they have for the future.

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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

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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

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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

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