BABYMETAL was interviewed by MTV81 before they go on tour this May. Su-Metal, Yuimetal and Moametal share their thoughts about their favorite memories about the BABYMETAL World Tour 2014 but also talk about the experience with metal band members during the international festivals, their future plans and Road Of Resistance. Read the full interview below.
Metal Idols BABYMETAL Headbang Their Way Around the World, Again
It has been an extremely busy year for teenage trio BABYMETAL. The group, which caught attention in Japan several years ago by blending the peppy sounds of idol pop with heavy metal, went viral in the West thanks to the live music video for their song “Gimme Chocolate!!”
Currently sitting at over 26 million views, the clip attracted constant media attention and allowed the group of SU-METAL, YUIMETAL and MOAMETAL to play festivals and solo shows around the globe, including in the U.S., Germany, the U.K. and many more. Along the way, they even crossed paths with members of famous metal bands such as Slayer, Anthrax and Metallica.
And now, after constant travel in 2014, BABYMETAL are prepped to do it again this summer. Starting in May, they’ll embark on a second world tour, with stops in countries they’ve never been to before such as Mexico, Switzerland and Italy, along with return trips to many nations. They cap it off with an appearance at England’s famous Reading/Leeds festival in August.
Before they packed their bags, MTV 81 caught up with the group to talk about the last year, how they are preparing for their next tour and hats made out of tortilla chips.
When we caught up with you at the ROCK IN JAPAN festival two years ago, BABYMETAL had only played one international show in Singapore, and you told MTV 81 all the places you wanted to go. Well, BABYMETAL managed to go to all of those places in the past 12 months. How did the last year feel for each of you?
MOAMETAL: "It has been really exciting to get the chance to go overseas. It has been a good experience for me to travel so much. I really, really liked Germany!"
SU-METAL: "My favorite moment was at the Sonisphere Festival in England, a heavy-metal fest. There were around 50,000 metal fans in attendance, so I was a little bit scared
to perform at first. But as the crowd’s energy started to build up, and they started yelling stuff like “come on!” and cheering us on, it became a lot of fun."
YUIMETAL: "We get lots of fan letters from people all over the world. It gives us the opportunity to exchange ideas and make friends with people from all over the world. And when I’m on tour, I get the chance to talk with camera people and translators, and become friends with them. I’m fascinated by other countries… I’m happy that with my experience with BABYMETAL I’m able to see the world, and it has really made me interested in seeing more of it."
So with all this traveling, how is your English these days?
YUIMETAL: "Errrrr, we are still studying. SU-METAL is the best" (laughs).
SU-METAL: "No, no, no!" (laughs)
BABYMETAL started huge buzz overseas last year with the video for “Gimmie Chocolate!!” Was there a moment when you realized how big it had gotten?
SU-METAL: "Before we went out on tour, we would look at all the comments on YouTube. We were surprised at all the different languages the comments were written in. When we were on the road, seeing how people had learned Japanese just to sing along with our songs was a great feeling for us."
Can you pick out a few favorite moments from your last world tour?
YUIMETAL: "All of the shows were fun, of course, but being able to see lots of sights in every country we visited was also great. In Germany, we went to Cologne and saw the Cologne Cathedral. It had a lot of stairs, and we all decided to climb to the very top, but it was really tiring. But we did together, and the view at the top was amazing. And we went to Universal Studios in California!"
What was your favorite memory, SU-METAL?
SU-METAL: "In the airport at New York, there were people waiting for us to get off the plane and say hi. That was incredible. And when we were walking around the city, people would say “Hey, your BABYMETAL!” That doesn’t really happen in Japan that much, so it made me feel happy."
MOAMETAL: "It was great seeing sights I’d only seen on TV before in person. But I loved (American supermarket chain) Whole Foods. It was such a huge store, and they had a big underground area. And so much food! The salad bar was massive, every time we went we would load up."
Besides Whole Foods, when you go abroad you tend to meet a lot of famous members of heavy metal bands, such as Anthrax, Slayer and Metallica. What was that like?
YUIMETAL: "We met (Metallica guitarist) Kirk Hammett at the Heavy Montreal festival, but we had a chance to meet him again outside the festival. It wasn’t before a show, so he was wearing regular clothes. Later, we went to an actual Metallica show and saw him in his whole get-up for the concert, and we realized the gap between the two worlds. With Anthrax, during our show, I’m pretty positive that I saw one of the members of the band waving at me. I was like, “Ahhhh, he remembered me!” That was a really memorable experience."
They’re all legends! Did any of those bands give you heavy-metal advice?
YUIMETAL: "We didn’t get advice per se, but we had a chance to watch their shows and learn from them. Generally, it was the way they would rile up the audience and build up energy. But when we saw Slayer sticking out their tongues while playing, we thought that looked cool. We might try to incorporate that into our show!" (sticks tongue out)
You recently worked with the group DragonForce on the song “Road of Resistance.” What was it like working with those guys?
YUIMETAL: "It was the first time we worked with melodic speed metal group. At first, I couldn’t believe how fast it was. Just seeing that happen was a pretty amazing experience."
BABYMETAL is about to set off on another world tour, starting this May. How are you preparing?
SU-METAL: "Right now we are in the middle of building up our energy by building up our bodies for touring. When we rehearse, we do full rehearsals, just practice the show from start to finish. That gets us energized – and fit!" (laughs)
MOAMETAL: "We dance a lot." (laughs)
On your next tour, where are you most excited to explore?
MOAMETAL: "In a movie I like called “Despicable Me 2,” they eat Mexican food, and at one point they have a hat made out of tortilla chips, and the dip is full of sauce. When we go to Mexico we want to see if we can find one of those chip hats."
YUIMETAL: "We are going to a lot of countries for the first time, so we are excited to discover lots of new things. Specifically, it might be nice to see Niagara Falls."
What are the challenges of being on the road so much? How do you cope with all that travelling?
YUIMETAL: "Eating a lot and sleeping a lot, that’s the first important thing we keep in mind! During our performances though, we always try to push ourselves beyond our own boundaries. We get energy from the crowd, and push past our limits."
Are you hoping to meet any more music legends at your upcoming festival gigs?
SU-METAL: "There’s a Japanese classic violinist named Taro Hakase we’d love to meet. He works in a completely different genre than us, but we would love to work with him in the future. That’s something we’ve talked about before. We have the “kawaii” and rock elements, it would be fun to throw in classical as while. Plus I’m just a huge fan of his!"
After the upcoming tour, what’s next for BABYMETAL?
MOAMETAL: "Only the Fox God knows what the plans are for us next…"
YUIMETAL: "We will have lots of work to finish up during the summer break, but once we do all of that, I really want us to go to a lake or a river and have a barbecue together."
SU-METAL: "We are about to start our world tour, and visit a lot of places. However, even in my free time, I want to travel to even more countries in my free time. I really love traveling!"
What are your dreams for BABYMETAL in the future?
SU-METAL: "BABYMETAL is a combination of idol music and metal music, so it’s a really new and unique sound. Our hope in the future is we want more people to listen to our sound, and we want what BABYMETAL does to become its own genre!"