#BABYMETAL's #Sumetal and #Moametal sit down with @grahamwire to talk about #Yuimetal's departure, their new #Avengers, the #MetalGalaxy album and more.
Just about everything in Babymetal is named after metal — the band, its two members Su-metal and Moametal, its previous album “Metal Resistance,” its upcoming album “Metal Galaxy” and its songs “Babymetal Death” and “HeadBangeeeerrrr!!!!!”
Yet until 2010, Suzuka Nakamoto and Moa Kikuchi had never heard the genre and found it “scary,” as they once told an interviewer, full of “chaotic visuals or unique outfits that some metal bands wore.”
Back then, a talent agency, Amuse, put the young Japanese singers together and fused a musical concept that, somehow, nobody had ever thought to try: Intense, hardcore thrash at the bottom and high-pitched, lighthearted pop vocals at the top. And it worked. When Babymetal clicks, on singles like “Gimme Chocolate!!” and this year’s “Pa Pa Ya!!,” the band pulls off a hybrid of novelty-metal master Andrew W.K. and Japanese punk heroines Shonen Knife.
“We are aiming to create a one and only new music genre that exceeds the limits of pop and metal music,” says Nakamoto, better known as Su-metal, by e-mail at her request, due to the complications of finding a phone interpreter. “In the beginning, Babymetal received critical comments since the genre was new, but now we have an impression that Babymetal’s music is getting accepted and spreading as one genre of music.”
Part glitch metal, part idol group — in other words, curated and manufactured Japanese talent — Babymetal took to the Fillmore on Wednesday night in support of their upcoming record, Metal Galaxy, due out next month.
Like any respectable metal band, Babymetal does not answer to the traditional Western god, but they also don’t spit goat’s blood in the name of satan.
No, Babymetal is ruled by their master, a very cute fox god named Fox God. Swedish metal band Avatar was also on the bill.
With their third album, Metal Galaxy, set to arrive next month, BABYMETAL have embarked on their first proper headlining tour of the United States. The Japanese band’s combination of J-pop and heavy metal has cast a wide net in terms of a following. Fans entering New York City’s Terminal 5 on Sunday night ranged from young women emulating the band’s style to 40-year-old metalheads who would fit right in at a Slayer concert. Adding to the theatrical vibe of the night, Swedish metallers Avatar would open the show with a vaudevillian set.
Taking the Stage: Wearing menacing masks that made them look like a cross between Slipknot’s Mick Thomson and the Nameless Ghouls from Ghost, the instrumental members of BABYMETAL’s band launched into “Megitsune” from 2014’s self-titled debut album. The band’s three Avengers, as they are called, then took the stage, with original members Su-metal and Moametal joined by a third mystery Avenger. Since Yu-metal left last year, the band has been employing various dancers to serve as the third Avenger (a Google search will turn up their identities for those who are curious).
From there, BABYMETAL performed the first of several Metal Galaxy tracks of the night, the high-energy “Elevator Girl”. The song shows the two extremes of the band’s musical spectrum, at times super poppy and at times as heavy as can be. Other Metal Galaxy songs performed throughout the night were “Distortion”, “Kagerou”, “PA PA YA!!”, “Shanti Shanti Shanti”, and “Starlight”.
What’s striking about a BABYMETAL show is the amount of preparation that must go into their concerts. Each and every song has its own unique dance choreography, meaning the three Avengers must spend hours upon hours rehearsing before setting out on the road.
While each member of the band is vital to the look and sound of BABYMETAL, lead singer Su-metal shines in the spotlight. Her singing has gotten stronger since the band started out nearly 10 years ago. Now 21 years old, she is a seasoned pro, delivering impressive vocals while dancing alongside the other two Avengers.
The Japanese metal band Babymetal has announced its Metal Galaxy World Tour in 2020, including the following U.K concerts.
Wednesday February 19 - Glasgow Barrowland (7 p.m.)
Thursday February 20 - Cardiff the Great Hall (7 p.m.)
Saturday February 22 - Manchester 02 Apollo (7 p.m.)
Sunday February 23 - London Eventim Apollo Hammersmith (7 p.m.)
Tickets for these concerts, both standard and VIP, are available from the myticket.co.uk website
The group's second album, Metal Resistance, charted on the U.S. Billboard's Top 200 at #39 in its first week on April 1 2016, making it the first Japanese album to chart on the U.S. Billboard Top 40 since Kyu Sakamoto's Sukiyaki and Other Japanese Hits in 1963.
It’s a Saturday night, I’m at Myth Live and I’m surrounded by metal fanatics of all ages, all excited to see Japanese kawaii metal group BABYMETAL. The group rarely comes to America on tour, and when they do it’s usually in California. So the fact that they’ve made it to the Midwest feels too good to be true.
I’ve known that I wanted to see BABYMETAL live since 2016. This was when I first saw them appear on the Alternative Press Music Awards (APMAs).
Never before had I seen an artist combine so many creative elements into one fantastic gimmick. I couldn’t believe how well the brashness of metal music and the sweetness of little kawaii Japanese girls mixed together.