Originally published at straight-from-japan.com on December 23, 2017
Interview by John Winner
During NECRONOMIDOL’s US West Coast Tour, I was able to have a quick sit down with Ricky and the girls for a bit of chatting. I will tell you, the girls are pretty open and a real joy to talk with. And of course, Ricky is an absolute gem of a person. What follows is a transcription of the audio of that chat. Unfortunately the audio was not good enough to put out to the public, sorry about that.
On December 20th, 2017 and Studio Seven in Seattle, up in the bar section I sat down with Ricky Wilson, Himari Tsukishiro, Risaki Kakizaki, Sari and Rei Imaizumi. Ricky excused himself for a moment, I think he needed something from downstairs. This was a bit uncomfortable, I will admit, since my grasp of Japanese is pretty much non-existent. Lucky for me Sari came to the rescue with a bit of small talk in her best English. She asked where I lived and I responded. The others listened intently trying to understand what I said. Sari told them I lived an hour south of the venue. Risaki said “not close”, I responded, “No, not close”. After a couple more second of slightly uncomfortable glancing at each other and smiling Ricky returned and we started the interview.
All of the questions were asked and then translated by Ricky. The girls answered and Ricky translated back. There were tiny its of English by the girls.
Me: Do you ever feel you get more attention from western fans than from fans in Japan and is there a different way they show their support?
Ricky (Sari): So Sari was saying that kind of the path for idols, idol as a concept is already kind of created, or made in Japan, so the path to becoming popular as an idol and also the path to, or the way you support idols, the way that you show your support is set. In the west and over seas it is all open, its all kind of up in the air. Nobody has kind of made that one way to do things. There is not that one particular path to follow to success, so there is a lot more freedom. So there is a lot of freedom on our side for how we proceed as a group, and also on the fan side for how they show their support.
Me: Does anyone currently play a musical instrument in their spare time, or would they like to learn one?
Ricky (Himari): Flute
Risaki (in English): Me too, flute and piccolo.
Sari (in English): Euphonium
Rei: Trumpet to [and] piano
Ricky: Ohhhhh [surprised, he did not know about the trumpet]
Me: What interested each of you to audition for the group? And when you applied did you know how the group would turn out to be?
Ricky (Risaki): She was an original member so the group wasn’t actually put together then, all we had was a website. So she checked the website out, and she thought, oh this isn’t like other groups, this is kind of interesting, it looks like they are going to do some unusual things or some strange things. On the site in it said that the group was going to do black metal. She said, I don’t know black metal, but I know metal, Like I know heavy metal, so it will probably be like BABYMETAL. You know, like popular music that is going to be easy to sell. Then I actually came in for the interview and heard the music we were doing, and thought, this sounds more like a funeral than anything else. So she had to stop herself for a couple minutes there, but through actually singing and actually performing that music she came to like it.
Ricky (Himari): For Himari, she joined after NECRONOMIDOL had already been going for a while, and she was used to more of the more of the major poppy idol groups. But she saw NECRONOMIDOL before she even joined and thought, I really like the feeling, I really like how this is different than most of the other groups out there.
Me [To Ricky]: I knew she was in a group before, I own the CD.
Himari: [covering face in giggling embarrassment] Ahhhhhhhh
Ricky (Sari): For Sari initially she didn’t actually plan to become an idol, that wasn’t something she wanted to become. But, when she was looking through an audition site for places to perform she saw the NECRONOMIDOL listing on there and the listing said things like abandoned buildings and ghosts and things like that which were a bit closer to her milieu, closer to the things she was interested in. She didn’t think it would become this kind of project that has gone on as long as it has, but that was how she got into the group initially.
Ricky (Rei): She had actually been an idol fan for a long time and the idols she was a fan of, the groups she was a fan of were much more popular groups, like normal pop idol groups. Cute girls wearing cute clothes, smiling and just dancing on stage. She saw the NECRONOMIDOL audition page and so she checked out some of the videos we had up online and thought, oh wow, there are groups like this out there, this is something new. Initially she didn’t really see herself meshing with that, she didn’t see herself as part of the group, but once she joined it all clicked together.
Me: Do you have any backstage rituals or warmups that you do before you go out on stage?
The girls put all there hands in the middle of them and do a little up down motion.
Ricky: Before the girls go on stage they all join hands together and say group suicide.
A short exchange between Ricky and myself about Yukueshirezutsurezure and their similar pre-show ritual.
Me: Is there something you always carry with you on tour?
Himari claps her hands and yells “Hai!”
Ricky (Himari): She always brings a plush from her favorite anime. Pio-chan.
Me: from which anime?
Himari (in English): Secret
Ricky (Risaki): She always brings her red towel, so when she dyes her hair pink or has to replace the pink in her hair, she doesn’t want to dye the towels in the hotel so she brings one with her.
Ricky (Sari): Xylitol gum
Ricky (Rei): She as a travel protection amulet that she attaches to her suitcase.
A brief discussion between Ricky and myself about the similarities between that and a St. Christopher’s medal which he then explains to Rei.
Me: NECRONOMIDOL is always pushing the idol genre in new directions musically and stylistically, is there anything they would like to explore that they have not had the chance to yet with the group?
Ricky (Risaki): An idol song with no vocals.
A bit of confusion….
Ricky (Himari): A song with no singing but just words.
Me: like a poem?
Ricky: Yes, like a spoken poem.
Me: Like Maison book girl does?
Himari [surprised I know who Maison book girl is] agrees.
Me: If you could recommend one song that expresses your personal character well, what song would that be?
Ricky: From NECRONOMIDOL?
Me: From anything.
Ricky (Sari): Erik Satie the composer [Sari, in English] classical music.
Ricky (Himari): Himari has a part at the beginning of SARNATH and she would like to become a person more like that. That is the path that she would like to follow as an idol. There are still some elements of that she is not living out, but she would like to try and bring that forward more.
Ricky (Rei): Rei’s is a secret
Ricky (Risaki): Ahe does not have one particular song, but every song in Necroma’s repertoire that she has a big solo part or strong part, she always tries to live that out in the midst of the song.
Ricky (Rei): Inside of Necroma’s own set list, probably psychopomp is the closest for her because when she is feeling like weak, or when she is not strong it shows in the song. Or when she is strong she is able to be more expressive, she can bring more to her performance of the song as well.
Me: Who puts together the choreography?
Ricky: Yuko is our main choreographer. But, sometimes for example, Kakizaki did the choreography for ABHOTH and also puella tenebrarum, but everything else is by Yuko.
We all exchange thank yous and I was off to wait for the show. This interview was pretty nerve wracking even though I had already met and talked with the girl several times before. Sorry if it seems disorganized and a bit shoddy, I will have better equipment and organization next time I do a face to face interview. This was my first one after all.