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.
From his thoughts on the group’s success so far to their plans for the future, as well as how he manages to juggle producing one of the darkest Idol groups around and day to day family life. We hope this interview provides a window into the inner workings of not just NECRONOMIDOL but what it is to be a producer and we thank Ricky for taking the time out of his busy day to answer our questions.
DAWNSLAYER was produced by MR.Perkele part of the NECRONOMIDOL Band. How did that come about and how did bringing in someone new affect the release?
It’s a bit of a winding story but Mr. Perkele used to play in the same band as Yuji “Rerure” Kawaguchi, our drummer. He introduced him to us early in the year and became a regular member of the NECRONOMIDOL Band soon after. He’s done songwriting for some other groups in the past and when I heard his demos I knew we could do something really, really cool together. NECRONOMIDOL is known as a group that doesn’t really follow the trends when it comes to our image or our songs – most of our metal songs in particular have a more retro feel and production to them. While that’s a really important element of our sound I also like more modern metal and wanted to bring a bit of that in as well – I think he was really able to bridge the gap successfully with DAWNSLAYER!
Credit Leo Berne
(We do too! DAWNSLAYER ROCKS!)
The MV for DAWNSLAYER looks like a much bigger production than past NECRONOMIDOL MVs. What was the recording process like and how did it compare to prior NECRONOMIDOL productions.
Some eagle-eyed fans may have seen me appear in Rhymeberry’s music video for Tokyo Chewing Gum.(Indeed we did!) They had a really great crew assembled for that shoot and through that I got to know the director a bit. When we were gearing up to do the video for DAWNSLAYER I knew that we needed to do something a bit more dramatic and larger in scale than our previous videos to fit with the scope of the song. I got in touch with Fukushima-san and we had a few meetings discussing ideas for the video. I really wanted to do something very broad and almost “legendary” – my main inspiration for the themes of the video were Jodorowski’s Holy Mountain (although I don’t know how much of that came through in the finished MV!) so we needed to really stretch ourselves in terms of sets and costumes. As always, though, budgetary constraints and schedules come into play so we needed to find a way to make it work within our own limitations.
Fukushima-san found some great studios that already had plenty of set dressings we could use but they were a bit more European/gothic than I had initially imagined. Fortunately we were also able to work with some designers that Sari has connections with to use some awesome costumes that really fit with the overall theme and visuals of the locations. I think the final MV is a really cool step forward for NECRONOMIDOL but we all still want to go a bit further, a bit more extreme with the next one…
On the set of the DAWNSLAYER MV. Ricky pictured back left.
(More EXTREME?….I can hardly wait!)
To date what do you feel has been your biggest achievement with NECRONOMIDOL? A moment that really made you think, okay now we are getting somewhere!
Every time we do a one man its always a cycle of being insanely busy and feeling like you’re not making any progress at all up until the day of the show, really feeling a lot of uncertainty as you head to the venue in the morning. Then the hall slowly fills and usually right about when the opening music starts playing you realize “Wow, this place is pretty full…” and the crowd starts going crazy. That’s always a huge boost for me – really hoping for an even more extreme version on the 30th of this month!! We also received a very kind comment regarding our new single from someone I consider a real legend – to be honest it was crazy just to think of this person actually listening to a song I had produced. Hopefully we’ll be able to share that along with some other comments soon!
(We hope so too! Wishing you all the best for your show on the 30th!)
How do you feel the dynamic in the group has changed since Himari and Rei joined?
Things have felt much more stable in a very good way – I really feel like we’re all pointed in the same direction and working towards the same goals. Its very unusual for an independent idol group to stick around as long as we have – there are very, very few groups that started at the same time as us and are still going – so its incredibly important to have a strong foundation to work off of. I feel like this year has really been a year of growth all around for the group and now we’re ready to take on some much bigger challenges.
(Stable is what we like to hear, everyone can feel the groups solidarity! It really shows)
Rei not long ago started solo activities as well as performing with NECRONOMIDOL, how did the idea come about and are there any plans for Rei to release songs in the future?
I actually suggested the idea to Rei and the other members. Rei is a really hard worker and very talented but her personality just isn’t as in your face as the other members. The analogy I always use is if NECRONOMIDOL was an RPG, Rei would be the healer. And when you look at the characters who get the most attention in an RPG its usually the fighter, the black mage, etc. I wanted to give Rei a chance to show off what she can really do and shine on her own in a slightly different setting. That’s why the shows she usually plays solo are more traditional idol bookings. We don’t have anything completely set in stone yet but she’s got some really good original songs and it would be a waste to have those go unrecorded…
(Indeed it would! She is the Yang to NECRONOMIDOL’s bucket loads of Yin, the bringer of balance…and smiles!)
You recently finished a short European tour, everyone is eager to know how it went for you and if you feel it’s opened up more options for international performances in the future?
The tour was great!! We’ve toured in Asia and some other countries before but the reception in Europe was way, way bigger than we were anticipating. I feel like we really found an audience that “gets” NECRONOMIDOL. I do think it has opened some new doors and hopefully more will be opening up in the near future. We’d love to get back to Europe and we’ve also had a ton of requests for the US/Canada. We are 100% committed to regularly touring overseas so if there’s any way to make it happen we’ll be back over as soon as possible.
(I hope so! The London date was an amazing night, people can’t wait to do it again!)
I know for most idols international fans are something they know exists but don’t really think about, what were the girls reactions and feelings to seeing that they really do have a fan base outside of Japan that wants to support them?
We’ve got a great group of fans in Japan but NECRONOMIDOL is kind of a niche group – we’re never going to have as broad an appeal as something like MomoClo or AKB48. That’s just not what we’re going for. So sometimes the members can be a little downcast when they feel like they’re giving their all to a show but the audience just doesn’t get what they’re trying to do. So its a huge encouragement to see fans from other countries who really understand and appreciate what we’re going for. The members actively check Twitter and read comments sent their way (even if they can’t respond to all of them) and it really is a big source of encouragement for them. I really do want to say thank you to all the fans for your kind words and support!!!
(Your too kind, I’m sure the fans want to thank you just as much for creating NECRONOMIDOL!)
As producer and manager, you are not only the creative lead who decides the creative direction of the group but as a manager you are looking to get the best opportunities for the group while handling the day to day business side of things. How do you manage your time between these two important jobs?
This is always a tough one for me. As anyone who follows NECRONOMIDOL can tell I’m not a pro at sales and marketing – to be honest I’m much more interested in putting the group together and handling the creative side of things rather than the more business oriented side of things. But I’m also a realist – I’ve seen so many groups with real potential go down in flames because the management team focused entirely on the creative side and not on the business end and I’m determined to make sure that doesn’t happen to us. To be honest my main motivator to stay on top of the business side of things is the creative aspect – there are so many things I want to do and places I want to go with the group that I want to make sure we have the resources we need to make it all happen.
(Sounds like a real balancing act, we are glad NECRONOMIDOL is in such good hands!)
Do you ever have a day where you don’t handle anything NECRONOMIDOL related?
Not one that I can remember! Outside of the group I’ve got a wife and a two year old daughter so one of the other big challenges is actually finding time to spend with them – its been a long, long time since I’ve had a full day morning to night to just spend with my family. Usually the best I can do is spend the morning/afternoon with them and then head in to do work in the evening. They’re both incredibly patient with me, though, and I do try my best to at least disconnect as much as possible when I’m with them.
(Totally! family is so important, Its hard to focus on work if things aren’t going well at home! Glad to hear they understand and support your commitment to them an NECRONOMIDOL.)
After this single, what are your plans for NECRONOMIDOL for the remainder of this year? Any big plans on the horizon for next year?
The year for NECRONOMIDOL isn’t over by any stretch of the imagination. The next 3 months are going to be really exciting. There’s not a lot of specifics I can give at the moment but we’re working on a few things that should make international fans happy as well as some things that I think will surprise NECRONOMIDOL fans both at home and abroad. To put it simply, I’m not planning on taking any days off any time soon…
Interview by: Terry Wilkinson
Originally published: September 12, 2017 on https://straight-from-japan.com