BABYMETAL Kami Band God Of Drums Yuya Maeta was interviewed by Accordo from Italy to talk about his current activities including his role as God Of Drums in BABYMETAL as backup of Hideki Aoyama. He talks about the process of their rehearsals, learning the songs and playing with BABYMETAL. Interesting interview translated below.
Musicians from the world Yuya Maeta: Between Marty Friedman and BABYMETAL
Japan. We met the very nice Yuya Maeta, drummer by years in the broad view of professionals: Yuya has been a member for several years of The Blue Man Group, teamed up with Marty Friedman and lately is riding as substitute in exceptional staff of the surprising BABYMETAL. We change decisively the environment, traditions and culture than the overwhelming Indian atmosphere of Mumbai and here we are in Japan, more precisely in his musical heart button, Tokyo.
Tokyo has, in my opinion, all the charms of American cities, an already strange charm to our town planning idea, but without a whole range of issues, such as personal security and cleaning, in reality these characteristics of the whole Japanese territory.
I found myself several times to walk at night in the most diverse neighborhoods with guitar slung without even go to meet any kind of problem, but above all to have a hint of danger: a feeling of tranquility, this, you get used to quickly, and after that you pass relatively long periods getting used to the "real world."
Far from the neon and the mob of the most famous neighborhoods in Tokyo, in a cafe of intimate Shimokitazawa district, we met the very nice Yuya Maeta, drummer for years now so egregious in' broad view of professionals: Yuya's facts , big fan of Josh Freese (a Perfect Circle, NIN) has been for many years the Blue Man Group, teamed up with Marty Friedman and lately in the wave crest being substitute of honor the amazing Aoyama-san in the staff the very discussed-but unquestionably surprising - BABYMETAL.
And 'This is the first direct evidence that I propose the odd dynamics of Japanese musical culture in its terse and essential answers,Yuya gives us a curious logic as a key cultural exhaustive reading...
-Yuya-san, can you tell us about your professional drummer life here in Tokyo. First of all, if you want to work in the musical biz in Japan, the only choice is Tokyo, right?
Yuya: "Absolutely, I come from Tottori, a coastal city in the South-West, but I live in Tokyo from several years now; but for me it would have been more confortable and close to relocate in Osaka; but Tokyo surely is by far more propositive than any other japanese city; as a matter of fact it's the only true musical reality in our country. As a drummer, I have to be versatile, playing rock gigs, but also jazz and some latin grooves; I also work as a drum teacher in Kichijoji (a beautiful discrict in the north of Tokyo n.d.r). Moreover, in the several gig studios usually there is a recording area, using Pro-tools and microphones set and ready , giving me the chance to record for various artists on demand."
-Nowadays you are a celebrity in this musical area. How did you manage to arrive to this goal?
"You know, I'm a self-teached drummer, I would say specialized in "very fast heavy metal", a fan of the double pedal, and I made myself playng in many places, and tryng to get auditions. Now I am an endorser for Sonor, and this year also for Sabian... and I'm quicker when I was in my twenties! (laughs)"
-I feel obliged to ask you some tale about Babymetal. I had been invited to see one of their reharsals, and without doubt the Kami Band is incredible, and the perfection of performance is a must; but I felt a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere ... do you confirm that? Moreover I know you play with headphones, but not only the click is routed through those...
"Yes, definitely the atmosphere is "very happy". In the headphones we have the click plus the count-in in English, for the various section changes in the song. Plus, in my case, I ask to add a little more kick, because it is lightly heard during the stage performances."
-How it is the repertoire? Do you do many reharsals?
"Well, you know they don't give as the scores, but only some MP3 to learn our part: and usually I find that who arranged the drum midi parts on the Pro-tools platform enjoyed himeself to let you play parts that a drummer would never write... like "oh ther is a free sixteenth un this part, why not put there a tympanum sound?" (laughs) Moreover we do reharsals blocks of about 4-6 hours, usually playing all the concert, with the sound engineers on the stage and FOH: sometimes we play 3 entire concerts, 2 only instrumentals, and one with the girls. We record all and the management listens to it, give us some feedbacks. Fortunately we don't do reharsals with the scene makeup, I hate it expecially when the hair stick with the white makeup! (laughs)"
-Big question: in Japan is very common to find mixes of various musical genres, even the more different, in a single project, or eventually in a single song. From the "canonic" western point of view this should be theoretically impossible, and in the musical culture it is considered as a clashing thing. In your opinion, why here this genre separation is not considered, and on the opposite there is total freedom for the most bizarre mixes?
"For us this is normal, and I'll tell you my opinion about this: If you for example listen to Black Netal, like Decide, not considering the instrumental aspect, you know that the lyrics are about satanism, Antichrist or similar themes. A japanese guy listens to it and perceives only the enjoyment of the music, but he does not understand the lyrics! Nowadays, obviously, this language barrier is less steep, but for decades there has been no possibility of willingness to translate non-japanese lyrics. So for this reason we take this musical element from a genre, and this other from another genre, and here comes a new song! Add to this the strong tradition of Anime, with their fairy musical content, and poppish sound, and here it is how it does happen!"
Interview by: Accordo from Italy.
Follow Yuya Maeta on Twitter: twitter.com/yuya_maeta
Translation by: Leonardo Angelini.