Hey everyone! I sat down with Spencer Hickman, the Creative Director of Mondo Music for a short interview about the new and upcoming Godzilla/Toho vinyl releases! Enjoy!
Chris Mirjahangir: How did this all come about? What was the initial pitch to Toho?
Spencer Hickman: I have wanted to dig into Toho’s back catalogue for years and thanks to the amazing work done by both our poster team and toy team on Toho product over the last 14 months that opened the door to Toho music , I pitched them 27 titles I wanted to work on and 17 were available, so we buttoned up the contract and were away! A real dream come true.
Chris: Is the entire Toho catalog going to be available for vinyl releases or just certain releases?
Hickman: As I say we have 17 titles, on the Godzilla side we’ll be focusing mainly on the Heisei era, which I personally don’t think gets enough love at all. We’re also working on several non Godzilla titles which is insanely exciting for me as I grew up watching all of these movies and it is a real honour to be able to add a little to their rich history (especially as some of these have never been released on vinyl before).
Chris: How are the designs for each release decided (vinyl design, etc.)?
Hickman: For each record I chose an artist and if they are interested they have free reign to go crazy, once agreed we send sketches to Toho for approval. I have to say Toho have been incredibly gracious and accommodating to us, they have been very open to our crazy pacing ideas (sound chips, pop up sleeves, black light print etc). Once the artwork is locked in I’ll begin to think about vinyl colors and effects, I like to tie then to the film if I can and we are lucky our plant can produce all manner of crazy colours and effects!
Chris: What is the source for the music? Was there a remastering process for the music?
Hickman: All music comes from the Toho vault and we have to work with what they have available (mostly digital sources), but we always remaster for vinyl to allow the sonic presentation to be as perfect as it can.
Chris: How are the titles chosen?
Hickman: Honestly? I just love these movies and thought well if we have the chance to do this we may as well go for it, so I requested as many as I could. I’m a huge Godzilla fan and have tons of sofubi and vintage toys and over the years I have collected Japanese pressings of a lot of the available Godzilla scores and just wanted to be able to bring a meaningful product to the market place that obsessives and casual fans alike would (hopefully) be into.
Chris: For fans who have missed a release, will there be a reissue of any title down the line?
Hickman: Yes! I want everyone to have a chance to own them! We always have a ltd numbered edition for the Mondo store but also a wider retail version that is offered to record stores so nobody should miss out.