Wednesday Campanella Interview

水曜日のカンパネラ インタビュー

Wednesday Campanella has completed the new EP " Triathlon ". This time, in addition to member Kenmochi Hidefumi, this is an ambitious work that brought in an outside producer for the first time.

About two years after its debut, Wednesday Campanella has been attracting attention at a rapid pace. This time, we interviewed KOM_I, the lead/singer, about their growth so far, including changes in musicality and live style, following the flow from past works to new works (Dir.F was also present). The unrestrained style that does not belong anywhere in the music industry seems to be showing its true potential from here.

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

Rapidly changing musicality and live performance

――Since we met for the first time in January 2013, many things have changed.

KOM_I : Hey~ Really! I started singing with nothing but recording, so at that time I felt like I didn't know what to do.

――The song was also more chilled. In that sense, at first I wondered if it was a line of relativity theory. The track is completely different.

KOM_I : Yeah, the texture and warmth of the voice, and the surreal lyrics might have been close. But when she started singing in a rap style and her facial expressions changed, the yakushimaru-san (Etsuko)-san-ness that she had had a little bit disappeared. As for the tracks, it was around the time when I was trying to put out folk music.

--In the early days, did KOM_I not give his opinion on Kenmochi's demos?

KOM_I : No, not at all. I wanted to change the lyrics here, but as a listener I thought, "Isn't this subtle?" I don't have the skills to do something with my singing ability, so I have no choice but to change the song and track. At first, we were three girls, but I think I said it more than anyone else. Even though I'm picky, I feel like I'm the least motivated (laughs).

――What kind of music does KOM_I like as a listener?

KOM_I : Regarding Kenmochi-san, I really liked Rei Harakami-san when I was in high school, and I used to listen to "Red Curb" on my way to school. I often listened to CORNELIUS as an instrumental. I've always liked Naomi Chiaki and Ringo Shiina for singing.

wednesday campanella

――It feels like the era has little to do with it. When it comes to songs, do you like passionate vocals?

KOM_I : Oh, that's right. I feel like a strong song is something that stays with me.

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

KOM_I : It's completely different. I think it's obvious, but when it comes to voice, I almost never refer to the music I listen to. In particular, female singers are not conscious of it, including performance. There are times when I learn a lot from being a male artist. I watch the live performances of Denki Groove, Yasuyuki Okamura, Rekishi, etc. with the intention of stealing them.

――I wonder why.

KOM_I : Hmm, why? Maybe it's because my insides aren't girly. The staging is also not conscious of femininity. There are times when women tell me that the more I do weird faces or weird movements at a live show, the more "cute" I am. (laughs) I'm probably looked down on by both girls and boys.

Dir.F : In terms of performance, there are so many groups these days, and there aren't many artists standing alone on stage. I can't help it.

――Campanella has an amazing feeling of being alone when standing on a huge stage. The back is empty.

KOM_I : It stands out. I think it's the same as idols and DJs at the point where there is no support. But since they sing and dance, they are completely idols, but I feel like they are in the opposite position. I don't know what to say... I don't understand the idol scene.

――What do you think?

KOM_I : Of course, this doesn't apply to all idols, but when I watched underground idols, the thing that bothered me several times was that wotas don't like girls growing up. He looks like he's cheering for you, but he hates becoming an adult. Seeing things like how a kid who was naturally smart and had a good sense of humor started doing MCs like a baby, made me sad. I know there's a demand for it, but that's why it's so hard.

――The customer's excessive demands create an unhealthy situation. It's true that Campanella is exactly the opposite in that respect, and I get the impression that fans want him to keep doing new things.

KOM_I : I think so. No matter what I do, they don't bother me (laughs). So is the staff team. They let me do what I want to do. I've made mistakes in front of people, but that kind of environment is fun for me.

Dir.F : In the first place, it's a unit that started because we wanted to do something that crossed over values and scenes that hadn't existed before. Of course, each of us has our own role, but I try to think and act as a team that removes the barriers of age and position.

KOM_I : It doesn't have to be aimed at music nerds, but in the end I want grandpas, grandmas, and even small children to enjoy it. Otherwise, it's not real.

――Did you start thinking that way recently?

KOM_I : Yes. It's also a coincidence. We started because we wanted to do something interesting that we liked, but after releasing the 1st album "Crawl and Sakaagari", I felt that it wouldn't feel good if various people laughed and had fun. I was lonely. That's why, with the 2nd album "Rashomon", he made a big change and evolved a new style until the 4th album "Take me to Onigashima". After making that change, I thought that this kind of musicality would have a big impact on radio and television, so I gradually wanted to do pop music.

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

KOM_I : I didn't want to do the live itself. The first year or so wasn't that fun. Even so, I felt like I had no choice but to do it, and it was mentally very tough... It's never been my life to do something I don't want to do. However, after looking back at the footage of the live and starting to fix the performance, it became a little bit more fun.

――It was around that time that you started dancing.

KOM_I : Around Mitsuko. Mr. Takemori (Note 1) gave me some staging advice, but I guess it all started with training on how to position the center of gravity, such as knowing where on the body to pull and how it will move. I'm glad it wasn't a so-called dance lesson. If you show your art, you won't be able to show yourself. Rather than that, I think that (Kazunobu) Mineta of Ginkgo BOYZ is much more attractive when he moves strangely. It's cool to extend the movement that came out naturally.

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

wednesday campanella

――Are you the kind of person who does a lot of simulations before a live?

KOM_I : We don't decide on the MC, just reviewing the dance and vocalizing. The most important thing is to bring it to the tension you want to perform live. I'm not the type to be satisfied with a set movement or song, so I'm Campanella. Live performances may be that kind of thing from the beginning, but there's a lot of power to bring out the value. From last year to this year, I've been thinking about how to prepare my condition. There are a lot of things I don't even know myself. Even though you slept well and ate properly, you still feel a sense of emptiness. I think it could be anyone. Sensitive people know when they wake up in the morning, "Today is such a day." Enjoy facing it.

Dir.F : You seem to have learned how to find your own pace these days, right?

KOM_I : Yes, quite a lot. That's why I consciously reduce my live performances. I've done a lot of performances, so the time to do a lot is over, and now the challenge is how much I can put into one live.

- So you've entered the next stage.

KOM_I : Yes. Also, it's easy to be influenced by the size of the box and the density of people. I don't really like the feeling of being closed off, and I think I'm probably the plant-like type (laughs). Halls, festivals, and outdoors can stretch out your wings. Everyone says I'm worried because I'm alone, but that's not the case at all. I was born.

"Triathlon" is shock therapy at the right time!?

――I'd like to hear about your new EP "Triathlon", but all three songs are really good. It was said that from "Rashomon" to "Take Me to Onigashima", it was a kind of extension, and you polished up one weapon.

KOM_I : Yes, I wanted to start over. Actually, I wanted to change it with "Take me to Onigashima". In the end, it turned out to be a very strong album full of great songs, but I thought that in order to become even stronger, it would be useless to just push in this direction. I'm naturally bored, so I've reached my limit (laughs). Kenmochi also wanted to study more, so I decided to leave it to a different producer. I feel like I'm going on a trip.

Dir.F : If you're just producing one song, Kenmochi will have time to do something new, and I thought it would be good for KOM_I to work in a variety of production environments. It's strange to say that I'm saturated, but even if I do it in the same place, the way I grow is the same, so if I have different experiences, I think I'll be even more powerful. I wanted to reach out to people who didn't know me at all. For this work, I wanted to break down all of Campanella's image.

――What exactly did you want to change?

KOM_I : I wanted to change the tone. Because Kenmochi-san's tones were limited. After that... I think we released up to the 4th CD and it sold little by little, but on the other hand, people on the outside got interested. It's like, "Wednesday Campanella is like a subculture, isn't it?" Like watching the PV once and not checking it anymore. Even myself, I felt like I was on that side. I wanted to capture that. After listening to it for a while, I can understand the feelings of those who end up saying, "This is how it feels, I understand, I understand", so I want to somehow convince them. Without that strength, you will never be able to reach the top.

――Changing the producer will give you an opportunity to listen to it again. As a result, I think that if it is something that hits you, you will be interested.

KOM_I : But when we released the music video for “Napoleon,” people who had liked the lines of “Momotaro” had a reaction like, “I wasn’t looking for something like this,” which was unexpected. I was surprised. That's why it was so dangerous! If it didn't change now, it would have been too late. I thought I was going to do a lot of different things, and I thought I was being asked to take on new challenges, but the listeners were getting stuck, and the danger I mentioned earlier was about to emerge. So I feel like I can give everyone shock therapy at the right time.

wednesday campanella

――In that sense, the best 3 songs!

KOM_I : It's like, "Don't be silly!", really. These three songs are filled with the will to say, "Because we're going to become more and more amazing."

――First, the first song, “Diablo”. Kenmochi-san is like, “What the fuck?!” It starts with “It’s a nice bath,” and it’s a momentary disappointment, but the tempo change and the stormy development are super cool.

KOM_I : Oh yeah! It was finished at the very end, but Kenmochi-san saw the production process of the other two songs during that time, and I think he must have been inspired. This is my favorite Kenmochi song so far. What's more, I was addicted to public baths when I was on the "Oni Taiji Pilgrimage!" tour (laughs). Before the live, I get into hot water and get well. As I entered, I was like, “What should I do today?”

――So it's not after you're done (laughs).

KOM_I : Go in front. However, I didn't know that I was addicted to public baths, and I happened to come to "Diablo".

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

KOM_I : That's good (laughs). I just don't understand. When it comes to the lyrics, I may or may not explain them, and once I start, there is no end.

Dir.F : You seem to have given up on listening to it these days.

――With regards to “Napoleon” and “Yuta”, how different from Kenmochi-san were the difficulties and novelties?

KOM_I : OBKR and Oorutaichi thought about how to exchange songs and lyrics from scratch. "Napoleon" was recorded in a recording studio for the first time. I usually work in a place like a room (laughs). "Yuta" went to Taichi's house in Nara.

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

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

――But wouldn't it be nice if any of the 3 songs this time were A-sides?

KOM_I : I had a hard time deciding which song to start. Each of these three songs is a test imposed on me.

――“Napoleon” sounds difficult to sing. I wonder if it's a song that can be said to be a trial in terms of singing. Lyric that flows smoothly like never before.

KOM_I : Yes, singing was difficult. But when I heard it for the first time, I really liked the song, so I usually sang it while walking. Rather than spending time practicing, I feel like I learned how to rap.

――“Napoleon” is hip-hop, isn’t it? The lyrics say "my men", and the content is also ambitious. The sharpness of his words, such as “I” and “da!”, made me hooked again. What about "Utah"?

KOM_I : To tell the truth, "Yuta" is the most like me, among the songs I've sung in Campanella so far. I feel like this. Words don't have much meaning. This is originally a divine song of Miyako Island, but I really like the cultural anthropological theme, and the indigenous songs and languages. It's the closest thing to me that the sound flows in the scene. I feel safe when I'm near the ground. It gives me joy to be able to show the world a part of my work that connects to my roots.

――I don't think there's any opinion that the positive power of "Yuta" was "better before".

KOM_I : Exactly, it's nothing but the power of the sun. "Utah" feels like a sunny island, village, or land. "Napoleon" is a dark and urban shadow image.

――Lastly, please tell us how you perceive the current Wednesday Campanella.

KOM_I : I think it's very healthy, even the pace of the live. Everything is finally in place, and there are few things to worry about when it comes to selling a lot from here. I know how to improve my performance. I know what to do The team has more people than the three, but the balance is good.

Dir.F : Looking at these 3 songs released with the feeling of reorganization = “zero”, there is a mood that seems to be able to do anything.

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

1st EP "Triathlon"

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

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

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