Japan’s BABYMETAL is one of the biggest bands in the world right now, even if it doesn’t seem like it here in the states. Formed in 2010, the band is lead by three young women – Suzuka Nakamoto as “Su-metal”, Yui Mizuno as “Yuimetal”, and Moa Kikuchi as “Moametal” – who sing, scream, and dance, while a group of musicians called the Kamiband performs in masks behind them. It’s the kind of thing you need to see live to fully appreciate, but anyone whose heard the band’s most recent record, Metal Resistance, can undoubtedly attest to the fact BABYMETAL is the real deal. Their music is loud, fast, and wholly original, covering topics ranging from their love of chocolate, to the need to fight oppression in whatever form it may take. Even genre icons, such as Rob Zombie and Lamb of God, have been seen supporting the group in recent months.
We had a chance to meet and chat with Su-metal, Yuimetal, and Moametal when they stopped in Wisconsin to perform at Northern Invasion earlier this month as part of their current world tour. The group speaks very little English, so the interview itself was a bit different than most. For starters, we were only allowed to ask a handful of questions, and everything we wanted to ask had to be approved in advance. Once on site, our questions were relayed to the members of BABYMETAL through a translator who also had to translate the group’s responses to us. The entire thing was admittedly a bit strange, but in the possible way, and we walked away feeling like we understood the group and their motivations better than before.
You can read our discussion with BABYMETAL below. We’ve also included the audio from the interview if you’d rather hear the conversation for yourself. After you finish, head over to iTunes and grab a copy of Metal Resistance as soon as you are able. BABYMETAL are on tour right now, and as long as the Fox God wills it they will continue to perform all over the globe for the foreseeable future.
Subtream: How has you time in America been so far? I know you’ve been stateside in the past, but with all the attention surrounding Metal Resistance I have to imagine things are a bit different this time around.
BABYMETAL: One thing we want to stress is that our feeling toward what we’re doing doesn’t change. We’re the same group we always have been, But of course, this is our first extensive US tour, and we’re playing bigger venues with a lot more people, so in that sense it is different. The release of Metal Resistance has made a lot more people aware of BABYMETAL, and we are seeing more people at our shows. We’re hoping to find new ways to continue growing our audience.
Subtream: Su-Metal, you have spoken in the past about naming the album ‘Metal Resistance’ because you felt you were going into battle against some form of resistance every time you stepped on stage. As word of your work has continued to spread, and more people have heard your music, do you feel the response mp to Metal Resistance is helping win that war?
BABYMETAL: Every concert we perform is a different battle. We’re fighting against ourselves and any resistance or hesitation we may feel. The concerts help us to find ourselves and who we are supposed to be. As we’ve been touring for this release we’re seeing more people who know who we are and what we’re about, so we do feel like Metal Resistance is helping make a difference.
Subtream: The dedication of your fan base is incredibly impressive. A lot of artists struggle to convince people their music is worth buying, and as a result piracy continues to be a problem. To what do you contribute the fierce dedication to you, your music, and your message that your global following possesses?
BABYMETAL: We want to be something unique. We want to be the only one of our kind in music. We’re three girls working to fuse cute and metal, which definitely sets us apart. People see us and they’re surprised. They don’t know what to expect and it catches them off guard, which is probably a big part of the reason why they’re so taken by our music.
Subtream: Speaking of that fierce dedication, there has a been a lot of talk in the media about Rob Zombie’s comments regarding his support of your work. What does it mean to you to hear metal legends say they believe in your work?
BABYMETAL: When we were at Carolina Rebellion earlier this month Rob Zombie came up and asked for a photo with us. It’s not just him though, as we’ve received a lot of support from people in the industry. It’s all very encouraging for us, and we’re looking forward to becoming friends with the greater metal community.
Subtream: I know the English version of “The One” that appeared on the new record has drawn a lot of new people to your work. Do you hope to have more English songs in the future? Would you consider possibly singing in a third language?
BABYMETAL: When we first released “The One” we were nervous whether or not people would connect with it. People definitely took an interest in the song and it helped build our audience, which has been great. It would be interesting to release more songs in English or even a third language, but at the same time we want to remember our roots. We love the Japanese language, and Japan is our home, so it’s important for us to keep that connection strong.
Subtream: It was recently revealed that The Fox God is sending you to Download Festival. Beyond your world tour efforts, what else can you tell us about the Fox God’s plans for the future?
BABYMETAL (together, in unison): Only the Fox God knows.