Wednesday Campanella Interview

水曜日のカンパネラ インタビュー

Wednesday Campanella has completed their new EP `` Triathlon ''. This time, in addition to member Kenmochi Hidefumi, this is an ambitious work that brought in an external producer for the first time, and you can experience the surprising charm of ``Napoleon'' by OBKR and ``Uta'' by Oorutaichi.

Wednesday Campanella has rapidly gained attention in the two years since their debut. This time, we spoke to lead/singer KOM_I (Dir.F was also present) to trace their growth from past works to new releases, including changes in their musicality and live style. It seems like this is where his free-spirited style, which doesn't belong anywhere in the music industry, will come into its own.

2015.4.15 interview & text: Yuji Tayama photo: Masamasa Nishino (Portrait)

Musical style and live performance changed rapidly

--Since we first met in January 2013, things have changed a lot.

KOM_I : Really! I started singing before I had done any recording, so at that time I was wondering what to do.

--I would say the songs were even cooler. In that sense, at first I thought it was a line similar to the theory of relativity. The track is completely different though.

KOM_I : Yeah, the texture of the voice, the sense of temperature, and the surreal lyrics may have been similar. However, once she started singing in a rap-like manner and her facial expressions changed rapidly, her warm, warm-hearted personality started to disappear. As for the tracks, it was around the time when I was trying to release something ethnic music-like.

――In the early days, did KOM_I not express its opinion on Kenmochi's demonstrations?

KOM_I : No, it's not like that. As a listener, I was thinking, ``Isn't it a little strange?'' as far as wanting to change the lyrics here. I don't have the skill to do anything with my own singing ability, so I have no choice but to let the songs and tracks change. At first, there were three girls in the group, but I think she said it more than anyone else. Even though I'm a big talker, I feel like I'm the least motivated (lol).

--What kind of music do you like as a listener?

KOM_I : Connecting to Kenmochi-san, I really liked Rei Harakami when I was in high school, and I used to listen to ``Red Curb'' on my way to school. I also listened to CORNELIUS instrumentally a lot. I've always liked the songs by Naomi Chiaki and Ringo Shiina.

wednesday campanella

--I feel like the era doesn't really matter. When it comes to songs, do you like passionate vocals?

KOM_I : Ah, that's right. I feel like the things that remain inside me are like strong songs.

--But it's particularly different from your early vocal style, isn't it?

KOM_I : That's completely different. I think it's obvious, but when it comes to my voice, I rarely refer to the music I listen to. Especially female singers are not conscious of this, including their performance. There are times when I learn something from being a male artist. I watch live shows like Denki Groove, Yasuyuki Okamura, and Rekishi with the intention of stealing their performances.

--I wonder why.

KOM_I : Hmm, I wonder why? Maybe it's because I don't look like a girl inside. The staging was also not conscious of femininity. Women sometimes tell me that the more I make strange faces and movements at live performances, the more "cute" I look, but I look at those reactions very objectively and think, "Is that what it is?" (laughs) It's probably looked down upon by both girls and boys.

Dir.F : In terms of performance, there are so many groups these days, and there aren't many artists who stand alone on stage. I can't use it as a reference.

――Campanella has an amazing feeling of being alone when you stand on a huge stage. The back was completely empty.

KOM_I : It stands out. I think it's the same as being an idol or a DJ when you don't have support. However, since they sing and dance, they are completely idol-like, but I feel like they are actually in the opposite position. I don't know what to say...There are parts of the idol scene that I don't understand.

--What kind of place is it?

KOM_I : Of course, this doesn't apply to all idols, but when I watched underground idols, one thing I hated was that otakus didn't like the girls' growth. Even though it looks like he's rooting for her, he hates becoming an adult and is said to be a person who refuses to mature. It made me sad to see kids who were already smart and humorous start acting like babies. I know there is such a demand, but that makes it even more difficult.

--Excessive demands from customers can create an unhealthy situation. It's true that Campanella is the exact opposite, and I get the impression that fans want them to do new things all the time.

KOM_I : I think so. No matter what I do, he doesn't criticize me (laughs). The same goes for the staff team. They let me do what I want to do, I tell them to play as they like, and I'll take care of the rest. I make mistakes in public, but I enjoy that kind of environment.

Dir.F : To begin with, we started this unit because we wanted to do something that could cross over values and scenes that didn't exist before. Of course, each person has their own role, but we try to think and act as a team that removes barriers of age and position.

KOM_I : It doesn't really need to be aimed at music geeks; ultimately, we want grandpas, grandmas, and small children to enjoy it as well. Otherwise, it wouldn't be real.

--Did you start thinking that way recently?

KOM_I : Yes. It's also a coincidence. We started it because we wanted to do something that we liked and that was funny, but after we released our first album, ``Crawling and Gyakugaari,'' we felt that it wouldn't feel good unless a lot of people laughed and had fun. I was lonely. That's why we took a big turn with the second album, ``Rashomon,'' and evolved a new style until the fourth album, ``Take Me to Onigashima.'' After making that transition, I realized that this type of music would have a big impact on radio and TV, so I gradually started wanting to play pop music.

--I think at first I didn't like being alone on stage.

KOM_I : I didn't want to do the live performance itself. The first year or so it wasn't all that interesting. Even so, I felt like I had no choice but to do it, and it was mentally very tough... I've never had to do something I didn't want to do in my life. However, after I started looking back at live footage and trying to improve my performance, I started to enjoy it little by little.

--It was around that time that you started incorporating dance, right?

KOM_I : It's around "Mitsuko". Mr. Takemori (Note 1) is giving me advice on staging, and I think it started with training on how to place the center of gravity, such as learning how to move when you pull on what part of your body. I'm glad it wasn't a so-called dance lesson. If you show off your tricks, your true self won't come out, right? I think the strange movements of Mr. Mineta (Kazunobu) from Ginkgo BOYZ are much more attractive. It's better to extend the movements that come naturally.

(Note 1) Noriyoshi Takemori: Choreography, direction, and staging guidance. In charge of choreography and guidance for "Wednesday Campanella". Hosted by Power Generation NOTE.

wednesday campanella

--Do you do a lot of simulation before a live performance?

KOM_I : I don't decide on the MC, I just review the dance and vocalize. The most important thing is to have the excitement you want to perform live. Campanella isn't the type of person who can be satisfied with a set movement or song. Maybe that's what live shows are all about, but there's a lot of value that comes from having energy. From last year to this year, I've been thinking about how to improve my condition. There are many things that I don't understand even myself. Even though you slept well and ate a good meal, you still feel a sense of emptiness. I think it's true for everyone. Sensitive people know when they wake up in the morning, "Today is just like this." I really enjoyed facing it.

Dir.F : Lately, I feel like I've started to understand how to find my own pace, right?

KOM_I : Yes, quite a bit. That's why I'm consciously cutting down on live performances. I've been performing quite a lot, so now that the period of performing a lot is over, the challenge from now on is how much I can put into each live performance.

-- So you've entered the next stage.

KOM_I : Yeah. Also, it is easily affected by the size of the box and the density of people. I really don't like the airtight feeling, and I think I'm probably a plant-like type (lol). You can stretch your wings better outdoors, such as in a hall or at a festival. Everyone says they're worried because they're alone, but that's not the case at all, and I'm more excited about being in a bigger place. It's something you're born with.

Is “triathlon” a good time for shock therapy?

--I'd also like to hear about your new EP "Triathlon". All three songs are really great. The story from "Rashomon" to "Take Me to Onigashima" was a kind of extension of the story, where you refined a single weapon, but this time you're starting over again, right?

KOM_I : Yes, I wanted to start over again. Actually, I wanted to change that with ``Take Me to Onigashima.'' In the end, it turned out to be a very strong album full of great songs, but I felt that in order to become even stronger, we couldn't just push in this direction. I tend to get bored easily, so I've reached my limit (lol). Kenmochi also wanted to learn more, so I thought I'd leave it to a different producer. It's like going on a journey.

Dir.F : If we were producing just one song, Kenmochi would have time to do something new, and I thought it would be good for KOMI to work in a variety of production environments. It would be strange to say that I'm saturated, but even if I do it in the same place, I'll grow in the same way, so I think if I had a different experience, I would become even more powerful. I wanted to reach people who didn't know anything about it. For this work, I wanted to completely destroy the image of Campanella up until now.

--What specifically did you want to change?

KOM_I : I wanted to change the tone. Kenmochi-san was limited in the tones he could use. Also, I think...I think the CD's sold steadily after releasing the fourth album, but on the other hand, I started to get concerned about people outside the band. I was like, ``Wednesday Campanella is kind of a subculture, right?'' and I wasn't interested in it, and I kept drifting away from it. I watched the PV only once and never checked it again. Even I felt like I was on that side. That's what I wanted to incorporate. I understand how people feel when they listen to it and end up saying, ``It doesn't feel like this, I get it, I get it,'' so I wanted to somehow convince them. If you don't have that strength, you'll never be able to reach the top.

--Changing the producer gives you an opportunity to listen to it again. As a result, I think people will be interested in something that makes them feel strong.

KOM_I : However, when we released the music video for "Napoleon," people who had liked previous works like "Momotaro" reacted like, "That's not what I was looking for," which was surprising. I was surprised. That's why it was dangerous! If we didn't change now, we really wouldn't be able to make it in time. I thought we were going to do a lot of different things and that we were being asked to take on challenges, but the listeners were becoming stiff, and the danger I mentioned earlier was beginning to emerge. So, I feel like I can give everyone shock therapy at the right time.

wednesday campanella

--In that sense, these are the best three songs!

KOM_I : It's like, "Don't blame me!", really. These are three songs that express the will to "become something even more amazing."

--Let's start with the first song, "Diablo." Kenmochi-san was also like, “What the hell!”, right? It starts off with "It's a good hot water," and it's a little shaky for a moment, but the tempo change and the stormy developments are super cool.

KOM_I : That's right! It was finished last, but during that time Kenmochi-san watched the production process of the other two songs, and I think he was inspired by it. This is my favorite song by Kenmochi so far. What's more, when I was on tour for ``Demon Extermination Pilgrimage!,'' I became addicted to public baths (lol). Before a concert, I take a hot bath to feel better. As I walked in, I said, ``What should I do today?''

--Not after it's finished (lol).

KOM_I : I'll go in front. However, I didn't know that I was into public baths; Diablo just happened to be created.

--Hahaha. Well, Kenmochi's lyrics don't always think about KOM-I.

KOM_I : That's good (lol). There are so many things I don't understand. When it comes to the lyrics, I don't explain them or anything, and once I start, there's no end to it.

Dir.F : I feel like I've given up on listening lately.

--Regarding "Napoleon" and "Utah," what was different from Kenmochi's work, and what was different about it and what was new about it?

KOMI : With OBKR and Oortaichi, we thought about how to exchange songs and lyrics from the beginning. "Napoleon" was recorded in a recording studio for the first time. I usually worked in a room-like area (lol). ``Yuta'' went to Taichi's house in Nara.

--These two songs have a deep sound, but they sound pop-like.

KOM_I : Hmm, I don't know if it's me. I'm just doing what I love.

--But isn't it okay to have any of these three songs be the A-side?

KOM_I : I had a lot of trouble deciding which song to choose for the first song. Each of these three songs is a test given to me, and in the sense that I'm competing in three events, it's a "triathlon."

--It seems like "Napoleon" is difficult to sing. I think this song can be called a test in terms of singing. Lyrics that flow smoothly like never before.

KOM_I : It's true that singing was difficult. But the first time I heard it, I really liked the song, so I started singing it all the time while walking. It felt like I learned how to rap that way, rather than putting in the time to practice.

-- "Napoleon" is hip-hop, right? The lyrics say "My Men," and the content is ambitious. The sharp tone of his words, such as "me" and "da!", made me fall in love with it all over again. What about "Utah"?

KOM_I : Actually, "Uta" is the most me-like song out of all the songs I've sung in Campanella so far. This is how I feel. The words don't have much meaning. This is originally a sacred song from Miyakojima, but I really like cultural anthropological themes like that, as well as indigenous songs and languages. Having the sound flowing into the scene is the closest thing to me. I feel safe when I'm close to the ground. There's joy in being able to express to the world in my work a part of me that connects with my roots.

--I don't think there are any opinions about the power of the sun in "Utah" that say, "The previous one was better."

KOM_I : It's just the power of the sun, isn't it? ``Utah'' feels like a sunny island, village, or land. ``Napoleon'' has a dark, urban, and shadowy image.

--Finally, please tell us what you think of the current Wednesday Campanella.

KOM_I : I think the pace of the live performance is very healthy. Now that everything is finally in place, I don't have much to worry about as I start selling things again. I now know how to improve my performance. I know what to do. There are more people on the team besides the three, but the balance is good.

Dir.F : When I look at these three songs released with the feeling of starting over again = “zero,” I feel like I can do anything.

KOM_I : It's really ideal that this is the first national release.

1st EP “Triathlon”

1st EP “Triathlon”
Release date: 2015.4.15
Price: ¥1,111-+(tax)
Product number: TRNW-0090
Available at: CD stores nationwide

【recorded music】
1. Diablo
2. Napoleon
3. Utah

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