Young Guitar released its May 2016 issue on April 9 featuring BABYMETAL in the cover, a special photo session with the girls and a very extensive interview with the girls. The first part of the interview features the girls talking about what they have learned from Metal music and an overview of their activities so far. Interview translated below.
BABYMETAL interviewed on Young Guitar Magazine May 2016
Overview of BABYMETAL activities so far -
--Two years have passed since the release of your debut album. Since then, you took the world by storm.
Su-metal: "We understood the immensity of that once we started our first world tour. Before touring, anything happening overseas meant a story only on TV. On tour, we came to understand that there were people who knew us and people who liked our music. Audience reactions are rather honest at festivals. If they find something interesting, they respond right away. They reacted to our music because they found it interesting. That’s something we could find only by touring overseas."
--My guess is that, to you, some vague concept called “metal” has become real by touring and meeting many people there.
Yuimetal: "To me, metal is a genre that gives me opportunities to find my new identity. When I stand on stage as Yuimetal, I can do things I wouldn’t normally do. I become more confident there than I normally am. Really, I can do anything with this team. I can go anywhere with this team. Really, I feel this way, really. Combining kawaii and metal, that’s BABYMETAL, and without it, I can do none of that."
Moametal: "Here is what I have learned from these activities. Metal is something we shouldn’t lose interest in. Some people kindly told me, “BABYMETAL have initiated resurrection of the popularity of metal,” and I truly hope we will. The reason I say this is that… after I got introduced to metal, I began listening to many genres of music. This itself is an achievement for me. Honestly, I didn’t know that music had things that were heavy and things that were light. Before that, I had only listened to things I had liked and I had only sung the way I had liked. Metal has changed the way I view the world of music. A large variety exists even within metal. Of course, there are things I like and things I don’t like, but I want people of various ages to listen to these things and cultivate their sensitivities."
--Wow, it sounds like you now want to promote this genre to people. Simply put, it is a genre you can safely say you love that much. Isn’t it?
Moametal: "Oh, yeah, I love it that much!"
Su-metal: "Before starting BABYMETAL, I’d never carefully listened to metal, of course. It was scary music to me… I thought the genre was like… a haunted attraction (Laughs). I’m not a type of person who enters a haunted attraction by myself (Laughs).
Once I got in, however, on the one hand, I found things just as I imagined them, but on the other hand, there were other things different from my expectations. I was surprised to know there was such a variety in metal music.
The first metal show I went to was Metallica’s. Before that, my idea of music was that it was something to listen to. After the show, I knew this idea was wrong. Their performance touched my heart. It was like… my heart got literally stabbed by their performance. I thought, maybe metal was a genre that had such strong power. I’d had this idea that metal was scary, but it truly isn’t, and instead, it contains the power that strong. Glad I came to know it. Like Yui just said, I think I also found my new self, my new identity, through the activities of BABYMETAL. There is this stronger self of mine; when we are on stage as BABYMETAL, I get this feeling that I can do anything… so much so that I have this feeling that I want to shout out, “Hey, you guys, shut up and follow me!” lol
It is a genre that gives me such confidence. It encourages me to move forward. How can I say… I have this feeling that it is a genre that disassembles my heart and lets all my honesty out. This power and its disorientating quality is what I think is great about the genre."
--I see. Now, heavy metal has something different, something pop music doesn’t have, whether it is speed, heaviness, or aggressiveness. Do you now accept these elements as well?
Moametal: "If you ask me, I prefer metal that’s melodic."
--Wow! You do?
Moametal: "Yes I do (Laughs) Having listened to a variety of metal, I still occasionally think, “What are they shouting? Huh? I wonder.” But I’m more willing to listen to it than before. Now, I’m like, “Well, maybe I’ll have a listen…” Before, I was like, “No, I don’t have to listen!”"
Su-metal and Yuimetal: (Laughs)
Moametal: "I’m surprised by myself… even I’ve come to understand that metal has subcategories (Laughs)"
Yuimetal: "Exactly. Before, I thought metal was all about speed and noisiness, with those singers just shouting about something. I thought there was nothing deep in it. Then I began touring overseas, began meeting people of metal bands, began watching their shows, and there was something about metal that touched me. I’m surprised that I’m beginning to feel something."
Su-metal: "Hehe. Finding and understanding metal changed what I used to consider the common sense of music. It changed the way I look at the world. Before, I had preconceptions of what music is. Now, I have the flexibility to accept things outside the preconceptions as music as well. This new worldview is refreshing. Through metal, I’ve found my new identity. Through metal, am I going to keep finding my renewed identity? It’s adventurous. It makes me anticipate and I’m excited about that. That’s metal, or my impression of it now."
--It sounds like metal is not just a genre or an idea, but to you, it’s more like something that encourages you, something that gives positive feelings to you. Today, your activities span all over the world. What are the difficulties you have encountered while touring overseas?
Moametal: "It’s a different environment. Once you get used to domestic shows, you go abroad and get surprised by sheer differences. In Japan, we dance on a floor that’s elegantly set up, but overseas, that’s not necessarily the norm… sometimes we dance on a bunch of plates that don’t look good enough for theatrical performances. But now I can say I enjoy it. Now I think that I like overcoming obstacles ourselves."
..You are a strong girl!
Moametal: "Now I like performing at unfamiliar places. Isn’t it surprising (Laughs)"
Yuinetal: "I agree… it’s often difficult to adjust to each particular situation. When I see our audience enjoying us, our staff working hard for us, though, I know I have to respond to them by a good performance. I do feel the responsibility. Without this feeling, I wouldn’t grow. It is the reason BABYMETAL will grow more, the reason BABYMETAL can grow bigger and wider.
We are going to embark on another world tour, and are sure to encounter more difficult obstacles. We are also confident we can overcome them. We are going to stay positive and move forward."
--What do you think, Su-metal.
Su-metal: "What’s difficult overseas is that nothing repeats. It’s always different every time. Moametal already said it, but a different show means a different situation awaiting us, and we can never know what to anticipate about audience reactions. In Japan, we can safely anticipate when in each song our audience reacts with most excitement. Then we go overseas, and we get an audience excitement at an unexpected time. I’m like, “Huh? Now?” On one occasion, an entire audience receded into total darkness. I was like, “Where the heck did everyone go?” And there, a huge wall of death appeared in front of me (Laughs). I was like, “Whoa! Is this real?“ (Laughs) On another occasion, everyone squatted down. I was like, “Huh? Are they like, bored?” Then, boom! Everyone started jumping (Laughs)"
--That’s something we often see at shows of loud music. Interesting they did that without your cue!
Su-metal: "Oh yes that was surprising. I can never know what to anticipate about audience reactions overseas. Overseas audiences are honest. I’ve come to enjoy their honesty now, but before I got used to it, I was often worried during a show, like, “Huh? Are they like, bored?”
Translated by: Bebiimetarudesu
Scans of BABYMETAL special feature on Young Guitar, click here.
Read: Young Guitar review on "Metal Resistance, click here
Read: BABYMETAL talk Tokyo Dome, ambitions and dreams, click here.
Read: BABYMETAL talk "Metal Resistance" & importance of Kami Band, click here.