NOILION is a new and unique trio produced by the electronic musician TeddyLoid. It consists of the bilingual high-tone vocalist LIO, the mysterious disc jockey (DJ) KILLIT, and the skilled video jockey (VJ) REAK.
With help of cutting-edge technology, the group is able to express its concept “Live On in the Noisy World” spectacularly, thanks to its wide range of skillset.
The debut digital single “3” was released on January 5 and was selected as the opening theme song for ULTRAMAN Season 2 on Netflix. A show from a beloved and nostalgic franchise that tokusatsu (special effects) fans worldwide have loved for over 50 years!
We sat down (digitally) with vocalist LIO to learn more about the unusual line-up and their interesting concept, but of course, we also wanted to explore more about their music!
Also known as the guest singer of Void_Chords. With her native fluency in English, her phenomenal vocals surpass all borders. Skills fostered throughout her life have blossomed her into this world-class singer.
Mystery surrounds everything about their existence. Linked to TeddyLoid somehow.
Ultra JAPAN and COUNTDOWN JAPAN are some of the big festivals his VJ performances have been experienced. ZORN, AKLO, KANDYTOWN, and YENTOWN have worked with REAK as the video director for live performances.
He has been in charge of the video direction for apparel brands such as A BATHING APE, Dr. Martens, and Tokyo Collection, as the producer of “REAKS”. As the video producer of NOILION, this noteworthy creator leading Japan’s club scene visualizes the group’s sound in their live performances and music videos.
As a new unit, you’re already starting out strong with producer TeddyLoid on your side, and creating the ULTRAMAN Season 2 opening theme song “3”. But before all this, how was the group formed—considering how the modern line-up is quite different from the norm?
LIO: Thank you so much! It was indeed an irregular start. NOILION is a project that began in 2021, and we create and deliver music and visual content.
We met through the director of Void_Chords, who initially inspired me to start my music career as LIO in 2019. We were discussing how we could express our music to the world in a unique and authentic way, and came up with the idea of creating our own visual content to go with the music. This would allow us to create content that stays true to our group’s core message. It also makes sense since [the video platform] YouTube strongly influences the music industry.
The concept of NOILION, “Live On in the Noisy World”, is said to “embrace the warmth of being a human, through the noise and distortion of the digital age”. Why is this mission important to you?
LIO: Needless to say, technology has advanced and many things have become virtualized and convenient. Although there are obvious advantages to this, the fact that we mainly communicate through texts on smartphones and computer screens can create a feeling that we’ve lost a sense of truth, as we are not together in the same space. From this, we believe that false images and negative emotions are amplified, which can lead to misunderstandings and distortions of expression.
While we recognize and accept that we are living in a unique era, we also believe that all of humanity was born with warmth and emotions. Our mission is closely related to encouraging people to be truthful to themselves, to understand and accept others, to illuminate the future, and inspire others to follow.
Let’s jump over and talk about your song “3”. Being a debut song and a work that is played for a worldwide audience for a well-known franchise, was there anything in particular that you were extra attentive to?
LIO: We were particularly careful about how we linked the song’s message as a theme song of the beloved ULTRAMAN series and as the debut song of NOILION.
We were greatly inspired by the storyline of the six Ultramen with their respective backgrounds gathering together to battle against a mighty enemy in ULTRAMAN Season 2. It felt like fate, as it was similar to how each member of NOILION gathered as a group to start a new journey together.
We created “3” with the spirit of resilience in the face of adversity, bravery, and hope with fellow members of the team.
Did you grow up with Ultraman, and did any of the nostalgia incorporate into the song itself?
LIO: I did have an Ultraman phase in elementary school. I was heavily influenced by my dad who watched it on TV growing up. He would tell me stories of how he used to get in trouble playing Ultraman in the house and accidentally kicking a hot iron off the iron table.
Now that I think about it, the song does have some nostalgic elements, but we were more future-oriented when we made it.
Moving on to your first EP “Digital Mask”, what was the idea behind this work? The song and music video for the title track is also quite impressive we must say!
LIO: Thank you! “Digital Mask” was actually the first song that we created as NOILION. Embracing the warmth of being human with a hint of warning to the distortion of truth in virtual communication and expression.
The music video director, Atsunori Toshi-san, said that he wanted to express “LIO getting lost in a digital cyberpunk city. The idea is to change the various worlds reflected in the crystal-like balls with music”.
I was also trying to embody anguish and desperation to find the “truth” in the music video. What I mean here is, for example, our social media is filled with disturbing fake news and gossip that is essentially very insignificant to our everyday life. This is the “noise” in our concept “Live On in the Noisy World”, which brings us back to the EP.
Each song of the EP is about the journey of finding oneself or the “truth” in this digital era. I feel that the emotions and the scenery that the songs express are relatable to many people living in this digitalized era. (Like how I wish we could’ve done this interview in person! Hehe, maybe someday!)
As opposed to a modern wide cinematic aspect ratio, the music video seemingly applies a more square (4:3) aspect ratio. What was the idea behind this, and does it somehow connect to NOILION’s concept?
LIO: It’s insane how you noticed this… Bravo to JROCK NEWS! I’m not gonna lie, I had to ask Toshi-san [the video director] this question and he gave me an answer that deepened my understanding and love towards this music video.
He said, “Easy, computer monitors and TVs were 4:3. This aspect ratio expresses ambiguity as to whether it’s taking place in the past or the future”.
Each member in NOILION plays a vital role that translates to not only the sound but also the visuals. Being a group focused on the digital age, how do you approach your work in order for it to stand out, and at the same time, enhance each member’s traits synergistically?
LIO: When expressing ourselves as a group, we share what we want to convey in terms of creativity, concepts, and messages, and then start working on the songs, lyrics, and videos. We always talk about different approaches we could take to best deliver the message, such as sound choices, performance methods, etc.
Going forward, what type of unique auditory and optical work can we expect from NOILION?
LIO: We will be developing more creations that integrate music, video, and performances based on our message and concept! You can expect advanced music production by TeddyLoid and videos by REAK using the latest technology!
Please leave a message to your overseas fans!
LIO: Thanks for reading this interview! Stay tuned to our latest music and videos, and we hope to see you very soon!
With a strong message and belief, NOILION’s concept is more than meets the eye. From all of the interesting answers received, we feel like we ended up with even more questions than when we started.
Their work, while intricate, is also deliberate. We’ll definitely have to keep a steady eye to see what more intriguing things we’ll see from the unit!