With the recent release of OIRAN – EXTENDED EDITION, we got to interview NEMOPHILA about the journey to this point in their career and what they hope for next. So far they have ranked up millions of view counts on their YouTube channel with original songs and creative covers, as well as partnering with JPU Records for overseas distribution of OIRAN. Now, we chat with the ladies about fan reactions, performing in the rain, and how they find a good work-life balance.
Our readers are happy to hear from you and often refer to NEMOPHILA as a “supergroup”. Are you surprised at the level of success you have had? How did you meet and start the band?
SAKI: I don’t think we’re a “supergroup” haha. We’re a band with a long way to go, but I am very happy and surprised to receive such reactions! Originally mayu put the call out to musicians to jam together, and after the session, NEMOPHILA was formed! That was around two years ago.
Recently your big single, OIRAN, was extended and released as a full album that was internationally exclusive. That is an uncommon method for distribution, but overseas fans are grateful for this! What’s your impression of this approach of an exclusive release?
HAZUKI: I often see comments from overseas on social media and YouTube. We always feel so supported by the comments and likes! I’m very happy that our music will be released overseas!
For sure you wanted to give back to them. Also, we’d like to highlight that OIRAN is a very popular song worldwide. It’s an impressive feat! What do you think about its success outside of Japan?
HAZUKI: It’s no exaggeration to say that this song represents NEMOPHILA. The word ‘OIRAN’ is unique to Japan, and there’s also part of the song that’s very Japanese, like the “Soiya! Soiya!” part, which is a chant used when people carry the Mikoshi at a traditional Japanese festival. I think the phrase “music has no borders” applies to this song as many people from around the world have been enjoying it, despite many words that might be unfamiliar to listeners!
And people can certainly get more of that as this edition contains all of your original compositions! What was the process like of composing these songs?
HARAGUCHI-SAN: The tracklist for OIRAN – EXTENDED EDITION includes songs composed by SAKI and lyrics by mayu. But, most tracks were composed by Akiyama-san! Then for the lyrics, they’re decided by an in-band competition!
Well then, SAKI must have won the competition for the English version of DISSENSION. Yet mayu, what was your experience like for singing in English? How was it compared to Japanese?
mayu: When I finished singing the English version it was much better than I expected, and I thought the lyrics were really cool. But… I haven’t used my brain that much since school exams!! I’d see the word, practice its pronunciation, give it a go, notice that it was a little different, and then repeat until I got it right. Recording took so long! I was so tired by the end that I forgot to take my big backpack home and left it in the studio, so I had to return to pick it up and everyone was laughing at me!
And you probably needed that backpack for your performance at “SHOW-YA PRODUCE NAON no YAON”. What feelings did you have from that?
SAKI: It’s an event I’ve always wanted to be part of. A week before the show they decided it will be a no audience show, and it started raining cats and dogs on the actual show day, so my feelings were up and down. But I was really impressed with how many cameras and lights were in front of us and following us while moving from side to side of the large stage. The lights made the rain sparkle, it was a beautiful moment that I hadn’t experienced before.
I think HARAGUCHI-SAN was particularly nervous out of all the members. She was fidgety and couldn’t calm down in the dressing room, but the moment we hit the stage I could see that tension instantly turn into passion.
We hope you have that passion to tour abroad once the pandemic is over. Where would you like to perform? Any particular festivals?
HARAGUCHI-SAN: I wanna do an overseas tour!! I would love to visit the UK for sure, but I want to visit as many places as possible! It’s a big ambition, but my dream is to one day appear at KNOTFEST!
Have festivals like that inspired your presentation in cover songs? Such as putting on KISS makeup for Detroit Rock City music video. Who chose this song and who is the biggest KISS fan in the band?
Tamu Murata: mayu chose that song. It was really fun to shoot! KISS is famous and popular in Japan and I think all members like them.
We saw pictures from drummer Tamu Murata who recently had a baby! Congratulations! Being a mother is hard work, so could you share with us what it is like balancing motherhood with music and your career?
Tamu Murata: Thank you so much!!!!!! Since becoming a mother, the time spent on drumming and practicing alone has been reduced to about a tenth of what it was. Yet, people around me have been saying that my drumming has improved. Maybe because I don’t think of music and motherhood as different things. Motherhood is a good inspiration for music, and music is also a good inspiration for motherhood. When you’re faced with many things to take on, I realized that it’s not that hard to increase what you’re capable of. Of course, thanks to the support of having the best band members, staff, and family. Thank you everyone for this opportunity!!!
— むらたたむ (@tamu_murata_dr) July 27, 2021
And a final message for your overseas fans.
SAKI: I’m really happy to be able to release a CD overseas! This release happened because of requests from overseas fans. Thank you for the reaction videos and comments on social media! I am looking forward to seeing you all.
As NEMOPHILA continues to bloom like the carnation of their namesake in a heavy metal garden, watch them grow! Check out OIRAN – EXTENDED EDITION from JPU Records.