BABYMETAL was interviewed on Rolling Stone Japan to explain their concept, why they are successful abroad but also about their experiences playing outside Japan and how they take the critics mostly from international media and its readers. Read the full interview translated below!
BABYMETAL's new challenge fighting in the world as a stage
--To begin with, what kind of group is BABYMETAL?
Su-Metal: "It's a combination of kawaii and heavy metal. Everything, including the compositions and the live shows, the costumes, is a concept whose activity aims to propagate a new genre called BABYMETAL. It's a new genre different from anything before, and I think it could be easy even for people who aren't used to metal to become familiar with it."
--Truly, it's easy to listen and to sing along. Is this the reason why it's popular also abroad?
Su-Metal: "Even abroad, at first people opened their mouths in surprise, some laughed, but in a way it's a new feeling, right? Many people could think it's interesting to see young girls dancing and singing to intense music, I guess."
--Do you have an actual feeling you have followers all around the world?
Moametal: "Yes we do. When we perform in live shows the capacity of the venues gets bigger but especially at festivals, I realize at first there were people who didn't care and this is changing. In the second half of the show everyone gradually started doing the kitsune sign, and knowing there was a BABYMETAL live they came to have a look in the middle of the show, when I see this scene from the stage I think, maybe the goodness of BABYMETAL was transmitted a bit, and I am happy."
--What kind of audience do you have?
Su-Metal: "Recently the age range is becoming wider, and I feel the number of females is increasing as well. And also, little kids come dressed in cosplay, some people take the whole family with them, you know."
--A heavy metal show you can enjoy with the whole family is something new, isn't it
Su-Metal: "Many times when I'm abroad I can see fathers carrying little kids on their shoulders, I think 'I wonder if they are OK!?' and every time I am a bit scared (laughs). But they are so kawaii that I also feel healed by that sight."
--Are there true metalheads among the fans of BABYMETAL?
Su-Metal: "There's a lot of them. In 2014 when we performed in Köln in Germany, at first there were lots of people full of tattoos and wearing metal T shirts and we felt a bit uneasy but they sang 'rin rin rin' together with us with a smiling face, that gap made our heart twinge (laughs)"
--Looking at the live videos I can see some heavy moshing going on, don't you feel disoriented?
Moametal: "Well, at fist we did. At our solo shows, the fact that just people who like us come and see us gives us a sense of security but especially at festivals abroad people who like bands such as Metallica and Iron Maiden come to see us, with a feeling of 'what kind of thing is this?' That felt a bit uneasy at first, but recently watching those people getting excited is fun and rather than feeling 'away' we enjoy ourselves now."
Su-Metal: "It's nice to be able to have fun in these 'away' places, and it can move the heart of people who see it for the first time."
--Your followers increase, and at the same time the chances to appear in domestic and foreign media have increased as well. Among them, I think there's also some critical opinions. What's your reaction to those opinions?
Su-Metal: "It's obvious people will have critical opinions when you do something new, if on the contrary everyone agreed wouldn't it feel bad? (laughs) When BABYMETAL was first noticed, they told 'what about these kids?' But, even being told that was a proof that we were getting attention, and when they told we were interesting, that was a nice thing. I always think I'd like to give an influence to people who watch us, I think that means being successful."
--You do talk like an adult (laughs) So you accept all the criticism as well?
Su-Metal: "Yes I do. Since there are such things I can think well, let's do it!"
--By the way, including the festivals you do a lot of live shows, do you ever have a difficult time because of the changes in the environment?
Yuimetal: "According to climate and elevation the environment changes completely, so it's a bit difficult sometimes, but we get power by eating a lot of the delicious specialties of each country."
--Don't you care about not understanding the language, and such inconveniences?
Yuimetal: "Almost not at all."
Su-Metal: "I wish I could be able to speak more, but I don't see it as an inconvenience. It's a pleasure to be able to experience several things, being able to see different worlds, and that includes the difference in languages."
Yuimetal: "In Japan usually when you do shopping it's over when you pay the bill, but when abroad the shop clerks are friendly, and they ask things like where do you come from? They start a conversation, that's incredibly fun."
Moametal: "Maybe the only difficult thing is the time difference, but I enjoy even that. When the time goes back, I have the feeling I had a profit (laughs). With these members anything would be enjoyable, I think it's a real blessing."
--Finally, please tell us your objective, when you act in the world as a stage.
Su-Metal: "I always liked music to begin with, so I've always wanted to become someone who can make people smile using the power of music. Since then many years have passed, and now with BABYMETAL I am traveling in many countries, and as long as there is music, things like different countries or differences in language have no meaning, I could perceive anew the feeling of being one. Therefore in such a way I guess my own dream is one step closer to being fulfilled."
Moametal: "Going through these tours abroad I've learned that music is an universal thing, maybe it could be a small power, but I would like BABYMETAL to become a bridge that connects the whole world."
Yuimetal: "As they have just said, I think BABYMETAL's music is something that makes us one, by crossing the national borders and language barriers, so from now on with self-confidence I'd like to widen BABYMETAL's circle. At first it might be a small power, but if we all join together it could become a big power I think. Eventually, if everyone in the world could become as one it would be a nice thing."
Interview by: Rolling Stone Japan
Translation by: gakushabaka