Meet Ladybaby, the Japanese musical group that will make you look twice. Featuring Ladybeard, the east’s most hirsute crossdressing entertainer, this band’s debut song blends infectious Japanese pop with bizarre, energetic heavy metal vocals.
Released on July 4, “Nippon Manju,” which translates roughly to “Japan Bun,” has been assaulting the senses of tens of thousands of YouTube viewers and counting. The catchy song showcases Tokyo and encourages the listener to “enjoy and taste many Japanese products.” Ladybeard and his two bandmates sing while wearing matching frocks.
Ladybaby consists of Ladybeard and two “junior idols,” or teenagers pursuing careers in Japanese stardom early in life. Rie Kaneko is 17; Rei Kuromiya is just 14. They add a dose of cavity-inducing cute that balances out Ladybeard’s explosive metal sound. Japanese music afficionados will certainly notice the similarities to Babymetal, a music group of three teen girls who blend the “idol” and metal music styles with cutesy looks and extreme metal vocals.
Babymetal are a trio of schoolgirls that have turned traditional J-pop on its head and merged cheesy dance routines with screaming, pyrotechnics and guitars that will make your eardrums combust. And trust us – it's as bonkers as it sounds, but totally amazing. The group consists of 17-year-old singer Suzuka Nakamato (know as Su-metal), 16-year-old Yui Mizuno (Yuimetal) and 15-year-old Moa Kikuchi (Moametal), with the latter two screaming and dancing as Su-metal takes over vocals.
The trio aren't exactly schoolgirls gone rogue – all three wanted to be popstars, and joined talent agency Amuse Inc to join several different girl bands. However, their manager Koametal decided that it would be a tad different if the adorable teens shunned the usual saccharine pop standards to dress in gothic tutus and rock out on stage with thrash guitars. Hilariously, none of the ladies had even heard of death metal before forming the band, with Yuimetal admitting: "I’ve never been in a moshpit. I think I’d get smashed to bits."
Babymetal have become hugely successful in the metal world, with the wonderfully insane video for Gimme Chocolate! gaining over 28 million views on YouTube. They have also won various awards, including the Breakthrough gong at the Metal Hammer awards and the Spirit of Independence at the Kerrang! Awards; while a 2014 concert in Brixton resulted in a queue of metal heads winding around the corner.
Lady Gaga handpicked Babymetal to support her on several dates on her tour in America, introducing thousands of Little Monsters to the mishmash of cuteness and thrash guitar. And the girls are UK bound once more – they'll be entertaining the crowds at Reading And Leeds Festival this August.
Everything you need to know about the new issue of Metal Hammer
By now we're sure word has spread across the length and breadth of the internet and into your eyeballs that Babymetal are on the cover of Metal Hammer.
We spent 72 hours with the Japanese sensations to find out just what the hell is going on and why they're so controversial. We chat to the band, the mastermind behind it all, their label, their peers and many more to get the ultimate story on the band you either love or hate.
Plus we get the story behind Iron Maiden's artwork for new album The Book Of Souls from noted British historian, writer and Mayanist Simon Martin. What does it all mean? Should we be scared? Is there a secret message detailing the oncoming zombie apocalypse? We find out!
We catch up with Bullet For My Valentine ahead of their new album Venom to talk about the new line-up and their new attitude toward heavy metal and their band. Plus we talk to new bassist Jamie Mathias about slotting into one of Britain's biggest bands.
We take you behind the scenes at the biggest and booziest bash of the year – the Metal Hammer Golden Gods! From the HMS Hammer to the award ceremony to the live performances – we have it all! Get the full lowdown of what happened on the most metal day of the year. Our livers still hurt thinking about it...
Since time immemorial, the three girls from the Japanese phenomenon Babymetal did not really know what is actually metal. That has now changed! The three Japanese women of Babymetal who may learn at their many concerts with metal bands now, what genre they actually carry on their behalf since. This and many other things they betrayed now in an interview with loudwire.com.
"When we started, we had no idea what Metal Music is " admits the singer MoaMetal. " But thanks to the possibilities that we had since then, we could play at many festivals and look at so many metal bands not only live, but also with them occur together. This has really helped us to learn more about metal and also in what we do to get better."
Only three years ago Babymetal have played their first gig as a headliner in a small shop in front of about 300 fans. Since then have been many changes: " at that time were still primarily "Idol" fans in the audience", reveals Su-Metal. "Idol" or "Kawaii" means in Japanese pop culture especially between 16 and 24 young women who owe their notoriety a particularly cute looks and thus gain fame.
BABYMETAL has signed with RAL/Sony Music Entertainment for the U.S. release of the band's 2014 critically acclaimed self-titled debut album. The CD features two bonus tracks and was made available digitally on May 12 and physically on June 16.
"Babymetal" was released via earMUSIC in Germany, Sweden, Finland and Spain on May 29, in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Holland, Poland, Switzerland, Norway and Denmark on June 1, and in Italy on June 2. The European release was made available as the standard edition as well as a deluxe edition that includes a bonus DVD compiling six music videos from BABYMETAL.
Since forming in 2010, BABYMETAL — the young trio of 17-year-old Su-Metal (vocal, dance) and 15-year-olds Yuimetal (scream, dance)and Moametal (scream, dance), backed by a four-piece band packing a heavy metal arsenal — has already achieved two major debut singles — "Ijime, Dame, Zetta!" and "Megistune", both of which ranked in the Top 10 Oricon Chart in Japan. Their first studio album, "Babymetal", also earned the #1 spot on Japan's album chart and Billboard's World Album Chart. The official live music video for their debut album's lead single, "Gimme Chocolate!!", has garnered over 31 million views on YouTube.