BABYMETAL was featured on Hysteria Magazine issue April 2016 release on April 2 featuring BABYMETAL girls in the cover of the Magazine and a very extensive interview with BABYMETAL's leader Suzuka Nakamoto while she visited Australia in December 2015 to record vocals for "Metal Resistance". She speaks in depth about Metal Music and what is for her "It's not as simple as putting on a black t-shirt", learning from Metallica, her impressions about playing for Lady Gaga's audience, and she explains what is the Idol Culture. Very interesting interview where Su-Metal speaks freely and openly about these issues with Hysteria Magazine. Also the post includes HQ captures of the online Magazine featuring beautiful photos of the girls and live performances!!
Suzuka about Metal on Hysteria: "It's not as simple as putting on a black t-shirt"
Tokyo is a sea of grey, penetrated by a big orang Tokyo Tower, from Space, Tokyo looks just like any other metropolis, on the ground, coloured lights play off Harajuku faces, kids duck and weave through Akihibara arcades. Drunk salarymen wander down to Shinkansen at midnight as home beckons. The image of Japan we foreigners see is a blur of Kawaii (Cuteness) and the bizarre. A confluence of kombini and deference to the old ways. To the westerner, BABYMETAL is part of that image. It's reflected back by Manga, Anime and insame game shows. You know the kind, it's fire, its cuteness; it's red, black and dancing all over. It's BABYMETAL. It's taking the Pop and Metal World by storm.
ENTER THE FOX GOD:
"Since the first time BABYMETAL came to be, the FOX GOD was always showing us the path to go to", big sister and BABYMETAL leader Su-Metal says through the interpreter. It's like talking down a tube, hearing two Japanese ghosts converse until a replay comes back in English. "Kitsue brough revelations to us, telling us what is going to come in the future. That's why we believe in the FOX GOD, although we're not sure who he is."
Has faith carried BABYMETAL to internation superstardom?
"Every time a new revelation is brough to us from the FOX GOD, sometimes they are really big, big events or revelations. Sometimes BABYMETAL isn't sure if we're able to overcome it or if we'll be able to do it but because it comes from the FOX GOD. It give us the courage to actually pursue whatever it is the FOX GOD tell us."
In a recent interview with Fuse TV, Kobametal told doubters it's their choice to believe in the FOX GOD or not. If the FOX GOD is real, he's used divine provenance convincing riff and thunder-worshipping metalheads to crssover into commercial pop's evil realm.
"People who come to watch BABYMETAL or listen to their records, some of them come from the Metal background, some come the Pop music background and it seems that because of BABYMETAL, Metal fans are now listening to Pop. The Pop fans are starting to listen to Metal and the same goes for kids their age, wo are exposed to, just as they were, to Metal music... which they have never been exposed to before. The inclusion of both genres is helping each other grow stronger."
POMP AND KAWAII PAGEANTRY:
If you're in a heavy metal band, or longed being in one, your goal is becoming the biggest metal show on Earth. Iron Maiden reveals their majesty in a mesmerising full arena show. Pyramids, Sphinxes, a nine-foot-tall mummy mascot Eddie stalks the band as they play Powerlslave; that's the metalhead dream made flesh. BABYMETAL bypassed slogging it out in dingy clubs and sleeping on dirty van floors. With deep pockets backing them, the elements of dense minerals are all there. Elaborate stages with Egyptian and industrial themes. Fire, wind and thunder. Volume just below the threshold of pain. It's the same principle, dressed up in frilly red and black dresses.
"It's not as simple as putting on a black t-shirt. Our main colours for example are red and black which has been very prominent from the start, even in Metal. We wear skirts, which is very girly. At the same time we wear studs and some elements on our costumes that do represent something that's more, not masculine, but more metal. It's something that represent us which is a combination of something very hard, with something cute or more soft."
Su-Metal about Nippon Budokan in 2014:
"For a Japanese artist, Budokan is a place that everybody wants to play", says Su-Metal. "When I was younger, dreaming of becoming an artist, it was always a dream to perform at Budokan. We really ddin't grasp the reality of it even when we were on stage. Looking out into the crowd, a sold out audience, we only (then) realised we were at Budokan. It was very surreal."
Remember, this is a "metal" band plucked from obscurity. It's a band with an averga of 17. Before BABYMETAL, Su-Metal didn't know what metal was. She had to learn on the job. Lucky or her, she learned from the best.
"The first inspiration for me would be Metallica. It was the first time I saw a metal band live. It was in 2013 at a Festival in Japan called Summer Sonic. It was very different experience because looking at the legendary stars on stage, they are on a very different level. The music just hit me. have to thank them for a lot of the inspiration to continue to do what I am doing in BABYMETAL. To try to live up to I guess, where Metallica is."
The ArtRave experience supporting Lady Gaga in 2014:
"People were there for a Lady Gaga concert, not BABYMETAL concert", Su-Metal says. "We did feel that, okay, these people are not really warming up to us. As we performed, we started to see people in the crowd holding up the FOX Sign. We always hold it up during our dance performances and always to the fans. Even during the Lady Gaga show, halfway through the show people were holding up the FOX Signs or even singing along, even though they didnt understand what we were singing about. It was just overwhelming for us to be accepted by the fans at Lady Gaga's show."
JUST ANOTHER BRICK IN THE LANGUAGE BARRIER:
As Su-Metal says, not many westerners know what BABYMETAL is singing about. Sung entirely in Japanese (with the occasional English phrase), song meaning fly out the window. For Japanese fans, it's all about positivity. Single "Ijime, Dame, Zettai" isn't regular heavy metal fare.
"There's a lot of messages in our music that helps to motivate our listeners. Usually metal lyrics are very dark or depressing -we try to run away from the conventional and do something that is unique to us. That's achieved by having positive messages in our lyrics, which is maybe not so common with metal artists."
"Our music is catchy. Music that's vey easy to get into. That all sums up what BABYMETAL is, including our lyrics being more positive our motivating. That's probably why some fans who are so use to the regular or the traditional etal would be interested in BABYMETAL because we are different."
BABYMETAL was supposed to appear at this year's doomed Soundwave estival disappointing fans and rubberneckers alike. Will they ever make it ot Australian shores?
"Only the FOX GOD knows", Su-Metal says. "Obviously the FOX GOD is the one who determines where we go. But we hope so."
WHAT IS THE IDOL CULTURE?:
"It's true that Japanese Idol culture is probably something that is not very known abroad or it's something that's very special to Japan," Su-Metal says. "It's basically Japanese Pop culture which is known as Idol culture. It's something special to BABYMETAL because of the combination of both something that's unique to Japan with Metal that is known across the world."
Interview by Hysteria Magazine from Australia.
Transcription by: Maik Gianino
Screenshots by: MissingReel.