BABYMETAL interviewed on Mondo Sonoro from Barcelona, Spain. The Spanish site did an exclusive Email interview with BABYMETAL to talk about the FOX GOD, the new album "Metal Resistance", "No Rain, No Rainbow" from the new album. their connection with Kami Band members, favorite bands, support from artists and more! Read the full interview translated below.
BABYMETAL on Kami Band: "Help us continue to pursue our sound and music"
First of all, congratulations for you new record “Metal Resistance”. I would like to ask you a few questions. -As a first question, I want to know who is the Fox God and what represents for Su-metal ,Moametal and Yuimetal.
"He is our spiritual overseer and we believe in him because during our concerts, we feel how he descends upon us and gives the power and strength to do things we never thought we were capable of. He leads us along our journey. Without him, we would have never achieved such a great success, like going overseas, increasingly enlarging our fan base, performing at the Wembley Arena…It’s all given by him. Kobametal (our producer) is the only one that can receive messages from him. Only the Fox God knows what the future holds."
-Your first album was a total success in Japan and also outside your country. Can you explain me why people outside your country love your music? Also these last days we saw a great reaction also from USA audience on a TV show. Did you expect this kind of success outside your own country?
"Not at all. I guess we are making huge efforts to be a one-of-a-kind band, mixing cute and metal, pop influences and making heavy metal music. This is our reward. It’s impressive that our fans overseas and our fans in Japan react in the same way to our music and shows. Our non-Japanese speaking fans even know every word from our songs so that’s definitely astonishing. A lot of our fans even learn Japanese because of us; we break language barriers through our music. We specially feel this with US audience."
-Talking about the album I found in “Metal Resistance” more heavy metal tunes than the previous album. It will be easy for metal fans accept your sound? When you were at Download festival in UK last year what was the reaction of the metal audience?
"We actually were a bit afraid before performing of what the reaction of the audience would be. Five minutes before stepping on the stage, we were thinking that maybe it wasn’t a good idea. But ten minutes after the concert started, we could see the audience singing with us, dancing with us and even doing our fox sign. We love coming to the UK, we call it our second home and we have achieved success here that is very close to our hearts.
It is very cool seeing how J-pop and Metal fans come together at our concerts, sing along to our songs and have fun together. With this “Metal Resistance” sound, we want to keep bringing together these two different worlds. We are very proud of the album and every of its songs are very deep and powerful."
-Also in “No rain, no rainbow” you cut this intense sound with a ballad. For non-Japanese speakers, can you explain me a bit more about this song?
"Sure! “No Rain, No Rainbow” might be the least metal song of our repertoire and it’s been with us for three or four years now. This song is a total fan favourite though. You can interpret it in a romantic way but we like to think about it in a more open way. It is about simple human feelings of love and loss and how the value of certain things we have in life is only perceived in dark moments. At the beginning, we admit we couldn’t completely understand the deep meaning of this song. But this song has helped us develop not Su-metal vocal techniques, but also our way to express our emotions through this song the more we performed it."
-This is the first time you sing in English. The song is called “The One”. It can be possible that Babymetal will sing more songs in English in a near future?
"Indeed, it was very interesting for us how much attention “The One” attracted, as the song helped us enlarge our audience. We don’t dismiss the idea of releasing more songs in English. Nevertheless, we love our language and our culture, this creates our brand, it’s part to us and it’s essential not to forget our roots. The idea of our tour is to bring everybody, no matter language, nationality or culture together through music as “one”."
-Talking about the lyrics, I’m sorry but I don’t know Japanese language. Pop songs and Metal songs usually have different kind of messages in their lyrics, from talking about dragons and love to talking about society problems. Can you explain me which kind of lyrics we can find on Babymetal songs?
"The range of our lyrics is pretty wide, since we can be one minute singing about our love for chocolate, and the next minute encouraging people to fight against oppression. I think this is given by our pop and metal heritage and our continuous efforts to empathise with our beloved fans."
-Kami Band are the musicians that help you in your live shows and on the recording of the records. Can you tell me anything else about them?
"Yes. As you said, they are the band that progressively have been performing and recording with us since 2012. Before that, we used to have another band in the background mimed their instruments to the playback. But since Kami Band took over, all our performances and songs are 100% live. They are summoned by our Fox God to help us continue to pursue our sound and music. They all represent this metal concept and image of corpse paint makeup. It is very cool and contributes to our looks and visuals.
The band is formed by 6 members: Takayoshi Ohmura, Mikio Fujioka and ISAO, who play the guitar, BOH playing the bass and Hideki Aoyama and Yuya Maeta who play the drums."
-In your live shows or your promo videos I can see a lot of designed choreography and a lot of theatricality elements (like Suzuka Nakamoto Crucifixion). Where the girls learn all this? I would like to know if any of you are into Alice Cooper music and shows because a few of your live elements remindof his acting.
"Oh, we love Alice Cooper! We had the opportunity to meet him; we even took some pictures with him. The fact that out performances may remind people of his work is a great compliment.
We have got a lot from J-pop, which represents Japanese pop music culture so much and theatrical element and choreographies are very popular. Additionally, our fans love us doing that, and this is what Babymetal is, it is who we are. Also, we have learnt a los of thing during our past shows that we are always adding something new. However, we know we have a very specific look and theme concerning our visuals. We also like mixing red and black to express cuteness and heavy and hard like metal. However, the presence of black is more visible now as symbolises our growth and maturity."
-I would like to know if Babymetal as a band know or has a heritage from big bands in Japan like X Japan or others like Malice Mizer (visual kei).
"Of course you may find some parallels between us all. Bands such as X Japan, Dir En Grey or Malice are pioneers of the visual kei style and have succeeded abroad our natal Japan. Their examples definitely encouraged us to try to find a larger fan base outside our country.
However, we’re trying to differentiate ourselves by creating our own signature, our own brand, not looking to Western trends and bringing Japanese and foreign cultures together."
-I’m more into metal than pop music and I would like to know if you girls have any preferences in metal bands from your country like veterans Loudness or extreme metal bands like Coffins.
"We like both genres. We are trying to learn the most from metal, including extreme metal, so every little counts, every bit is helpful. Not only Japanese, but also from abroad."
-I read that Suzuka and the rest of the girls listen to heavy metal. Which are your favourite bands?
"Of course we listen to heavy metal, as we try to become friends with the metal community and learn as much as possible. At the beginning, metal was pretty new to us and have learnt a lot from it.We absolutely love Metallica and Iron Maiden. We also like Judas Priest, Rob Zombie and Lamb of God among others. We have even been receiving a lot of support from them, which is very encouraging! Marilyn Manson is also very inspiring to us.
However, we are open-minded in terms of music. For example, Yuimetal’s favorite singer is Ariana Grande. She was so happy when she got to see her at Summersonic Festival in Osaka. We also love Lady Gaga. All Time Low, we are good friends with them."
Interview by Eduard Tuset of Mondo Sonoro.
Interview in Spanish on Mondo Sonoro, click here.