Interview with Japanese "kawaii-metal" pop group BABYMETAL

Three young Japanese girls have recently been causing a stir, not only in Japan but across the globe with their new twist on Japanese pop culture that fuses earth-shattering heavy metal riffs with bouncy cute melodies and perfectly crafted dance routines. BABYMETAL recently performed their first UK concert to a sell-out crowd in London following a fan campaign to bring them to the British edition of the Sonisphere festival, where they also appeared on the main stage. Performances in France and Germany were also added, creating the start of their World Tour 2014. We managed to catch them before their concert in London for an exclusive interview.

Congratulations on your first World Tour! When you started singing and dancing to ‘heavy metal' music, did you ever imagine it would become so popular all over the world?

[SU-METAL] I couldn't imagine at all how popular it would become. At the start, when I first listened to metal music, I thought it sounded interesting and as things began to progress it was more like we were just having some fun! I never expected that it would become such a fully fledged thing!

What do you think it is about BABYMETAL that appeals to so many people, even outside of Japan?


Photograph courtesy of Dana (Distortion) Yavin
[SU-METAL] What is it I wonder...? Via Youtube, there have been many people that learnt our dance moves. I think that being able to dance along to our songs is one merit!
- For many British people I'm sure it must be their first time to experience dance routines put to heavy metal music!

What are your expectations for your concert in the UK?

[SU-METAL] When we announced our first ever UK concert, the tickets sold out straight away! And at our performance at Sonisphere, the audience were really getting into it, so we are very much looking forward to performing in London! There will also be a live viewing in Japan - we haven't perfomed there since our concert at the Tokyo Budokan (in March this year). It's been a long time, so we thought we would like to give our fans in Japan a chance to watch us perform in the UK!

How was your experience playing at Sonisphere?

[SU-METAL] For us it was the biggest stage we had performed on - infront of the biggest audience so far. I was overwhelmed! At first I think the audience were a bit stunned, but they started to get into the music more and more, and by the time we finished the applause was so loud - I was so happy!

Have you been to the UK before? What are your impressions of the country?

[SU-METAL] Not just the UK, it's our first time to visit Europe! In particular, I think the buildings here are really lovely and stylish...

[YUI-METAL] I really enjoyed having afternoon-tea!

[SU-METAL] Oh yeah! We had an authentic afternoon tea - it was great!


Photograph courtesy of Dana (Distortion) Yavin
I’m sure you must be studying English as part of your school studies. Have you been able to use it on your tour so far? Are there any English words that you like?

[MOA-METAL] Of course we are studying English at school so I'm trying to use it little by little. During our performance, we do a 'call and response' with the audience in our song "Gimme choco", so we've tried to do it in the language of the country we're performing in to communicate with our fans.

- So you did that in French and German too? That's great! (Babymetal performed in France and Germany earlier this month.)

[MOA-METAL] For English, I like "Have a nice day!"

Do you have any free time during your tour to go sightseeing? Is there anything you would like to see in particular?

[YUI-METAL] We did some sightseeing yesterday and I was really excited to see Big Ben as I've seen it in the film Peter Pan! It was so beautiful and huge - I took so many pictures!

[SU-METAL] We travelled around so much yesterday and did a lot of shopping. I was really happy! We also went to Buckingham Palace - and by chance, just as we arrived the guards started a parade (changing of the guards) and we were able to watch it from up-close. It was great to see!