BABYMETAL “Unmasked”, front page, feature & interview on Kerrang! Magazine
BABYMETAL got their chance to appear in the front page of Kerrang! Magazine from United Kingdom. Their first big feature in this magazine includes a long article and interview with Su-Metal, Yuimetal and Moametal along with Kobametal talking about Tokyo Dome, Wembley Arena, the influence of the FOX GOD prophecies, performing with Rob Halford and the future of the group. Check the full content and a summary of the article which includes the full interview, please notice.
BABYMETAL talk Tokyo Dome, Rob Halford, FOX GOD prophecies & future on Kerrang!
BABYMETAL on Tokyo Dome experience and playing at Wembley Arena:
"The day before, I went to the venue and saw it, and I got really nervous — until the show started" recalls YUIMETAL today, of the last time K! saw her and her band. "My heartbeat was really vigorous. I'm not even sure if the word nervous would express my state!" For MOAMETAL, "Just thinking of performing there, sometimes I couldn't sleep. I tried to calm myself, my mind, but my body was getting nervous" MOAMETAL had previously been there to see Japanese band Exile, while YUIMETAL and SU-METAL had once seen girl band Perfume there.The latter informed YUIMETAL that, when she stepped out onstage, she would be "engulfed" by the venue. It was a prophecy that turned out to be quite true. "I realised how small I am in existence — I thought I would be swallowed up!"
In a year where they released an enormous-selling second album, Metal Resistance, and became the first Japanese band to headline the SSE Arena, Wembley (something not even legends X Japan, Tokyo's answer to Guns N' Roses, have managed), all three agree on a trio of points about that fateful night Firstly, that everything else this year had been like a preparation. Secondly. that for all the nerves and sleepless nights. The Fox God had prophesised that they would play and so they knew they had it within them to succeed. But it's the third point that strikes the loudest chord. "I never thought of performing there before, and I used to think that would be my goal;" reflects MOAMETAL. "But after doing the shows I thought that BABYMETAL could do more. It's just a starting point". Fox knows what could be bigger than that but in the world of BABYMETAL, you quickly start to believe that literally anything could happen...
The girls about their role outside BABYMETAL:
Even the prospect of spending five hours in the photo studio, a stone's throw from Tokyo's ultra-cool Shibuya district (where, K! is delighted to report, we witnessed Mario Kart characters driving down the street), is treated with a casual air of fun. As each member sits down individually to talk with Kerrang!, even the slightly Junky method of asking questions, having them translated into Japanese, the band answering, then having chose answers translated back to English, feels like a breeze. Talking to the band like this — at length, in a casual environment — is an opportunity not often afforded to journalists. It gives a unique chance to actually get to know a little more about YUIMETAL, MOAMETAL and SU-METAL. Because, incredibly, for a band so huge and in the public eye — while an admittedly large cult concern in Europe and America, in Japan BABYMETAL are front-page news, A-list stars, bigger than Jesus —there's not really that much about the trio out there. And then MOAMETAL drops a surprise truth bomb. "I never get noticed if I go out in public", she grins. "Actually. I think sometimes I want to be noticed. I think that may be cool, but at the same time I think it's also cool to not be noticed. Perhaps if I'm out and I'm eating a lot and someone sees me and realises that I'm MOAMETAL, that would be really embarrassing!" Showing herself as MOAMETAL onstage, and having a public persona through the band, is cool because you can control what people see of you, she says. But, really, it doesn't take much to step into BABYMETAL mode. More a change of facial expression than a crafted mask. "It's complicated, because MOAMETAL onstage and me in ordinary life is the same person," she explains."So it's hard to actually tell which from which, but one thing that I know is that BABYMETAL is special because the three of us are together. If I was doing it alone this wouldn't have happened, and we wouldn't have been able to have come this far. Meeting SU-METAL and YUIMETAL has brought me so many things, and new opportunities to meet other people." Ask what she'd be doing if the Fox God hadn't chosen her to become a rockstar — and even taken in its most grandiose terms, this is a word that somehow seems inadequate for capturing the multi-coloured explosion of what BABYMETAL do — and she replies that she'd probably be "running around the park, doing kid stuff". In the same hypothetical circumstance, SU-METAL would be singing —"I've always loved to sing," she says,"I'd just do it anywhere around town" — while YUIMETAL says she'd be an ordinary high school student,"maybe getting interested in acting." But that's just what such things will remain, a hypothetical circumstance. Because the three members of BABYMETAL have been chosen by the Fox God to do this.
The prophecies of the FOX GOD:
"The prophecy of the Fox God is always crazy and unimaginable:" says SU-METAL, now 18 who was 12 when she received the BABYMETAL equivalent of an owl from Hogwarts."But at the end we achieve the goals, so the larger the goal, the more we try to put in our effort. So I'm actually grateful to the Fox God to have those crazy prophecies and a big goal:" "The prophecies are unimaginable" admits YUIMETAL "Most of them are huge, so I'm always surprised, and always anxious if I could achieve them" "The Fox God always gives us new prophecies at really surprising times, but I think I enjoy the prophecy, in a way." adds MOAMETAL who, like YUIMETAL, is 17, 13 when she was chosen."The Fox God knows everything about BABYMETAL, and I believe that the Fox God knows which path we should take. I also have faith in the Fox God, and I feel that the Fox God has faith in BABYMETAL, too. So there is nothing that can't be done, we can accomplish anything". She pauses for a moment "But, if the Fox God asked us to do a live show with a ghost, I would really say no, with all my energy":' Why's that? "I hate ghosts!" she laughs, "Can't stand them!" SU-METAL, would you ever say no to the Fox God? "Never! Haha!" she replies.
"I think that the Fox God has faith in BABYMETAL, so he always prophesies challenging goals", explains SU-METAL."At the same time, I think that BABYMETAL fans are also looking forward to hearing the Fox God's next prophecy. Actually, when we receive the prophecy, it happens at the same time that the fans hear about it. Last time, when we were prophesied to perform at Tokyo Dome, it was also when we were with our fans. So after the prophecy, the fans also cheered us to go to the next step at the venue. I also think that not just the Fox God is pushing and challenging us, but also the fans are supporting us." But would the Fox God ever try to change BABYMETAL? He is, after all, the divine deity that created the band — do they ever wonder if he'll go too far? Hip-hop BABYMETAL, maybe? A split seven-inch single with Cannibal Corpse, perhaps? "Maybe having that type of prophecy about actually changing would be interesting," muses MOAMETAL "After all, the Fox God prophecy makes us put more effort in becoming bigger and bigger. I would do anything that the Fox God asks. I have confidence in him." "I think anything is possible to come as a prophecy. because doing metal is already new for me," explains YUIMETAL"It was new for me at first so I'm always surprised by what the Fox God tells me to do next I expect that If he asks me to do something. It's something that only YUIMETAL will be able to do." "Everything depends on the Fox God — everything." says SU-METAL "So whatever the Fox God tells me to do. I'll do it But I think that what the Fox God believes in is what we believe in, it's the same, so we will just do what we're prophesied to do. Also, at the same time, I have so many crucial things that we thought of in this way, so if the Fox God tells us to actually change, that's going to be a big problem!" None of BABYMETAL have ever met the Fox God. And indeed, nor have we (we did request a meeting but were told it would not be possible). But as his disciples and doer of all things Fox-metal related, we have to ask what does the Fox God look like? "Obviously he must look like a fox," laughs MOAMETAL,"but a really kind fox,a gentle fox, because I have faith in him. I feel his love through getting all those challenging prophecies and goals. Usually,foxes in Japan have mean eyes but I think he really must have nice, beautiful, kind eyes, but actually I don't want to meet him. I want him to be as a God all the time,and kept in my imagination." SU-METAL has a more practical response. "The Fox God is really like the God, so I imagine he's looking from way above. But at the same time I feel he's really close, like a mascot maybe if there's a mascot doll I could carry it! And that way we could talk more!"
BABYMETAL shares about playing with Rob Harlford:
"When I was told we were going to play with Rob Halford, I couldn't really believe it for a moment": recalls SU-METAL, whose duet with the big man on Painkiller is enough to make hardened metal warriors weep with jealousy. "Also, I was worried, because it was Judas Priest's song that we were going to perform, and the song was also in English, so there were so many things that I had to do for the first time. But when I met Rob, he told me to just relax and enjoy it" "I realised that the Metal God is actually really gentle and really kind," is how MOAMETAL remembers it. "Before performing with Rob he gave me a bracelet as a present, and I thought he was really warm. The way he cared about other people was really impressive. I wish we could do something with him again, if we have the opportunity." As well as inspiring SU-METAL MOAMETAL and YUIMETAL, Halford also had an impact on one other member of team BABYMETAL, KOBAMETAL, the main brain behind everything, charged with putting the Fox God's prophecies into action, writing the music and pushing everything up, up. up. Upon meeting backstage at a European festival, Rob's advice to.
KOBAMETAL was to simply "Stay Metal".Which, even though he doesn't perform onstage with the band, doesn't appear in pictures and generally operates in the shadows, is advice KOBAMETAL has heeded. Almost as stringently. In fact, as his instructions from the Fox God. "I've never actually talked with the Fox God",- he admits, before explaining, "get the prophecies like everybody else. Do I feel pressure about having to work with what the Fox God tells me? "No. Actually, it shows what he's supposed to do, and so there's not as much pressure as you think. The prophecies specify the vision of what kind of step I should take next and how to approach it. And actually, he doesn't really see what's coming next. Sometimes he does, but basically he doesn't! And because all kinds of things happen spontaneously. Things are often surprising. For instance, collaborating with the Metal God was one of those cases, and also going overseas and performing with Metallica, or Iron Maiden. That's like a dream. You could imagine that, but it's not easy to make it come true": But that's what KOBAMETAL has to do. As important to BABYMETALs success as SU-METAL, YUIMETAL and MOAMETAL, albeit in a much less visible form, he's the man who makes the music, the vision and the prophecies around the band come to life. "He's modest, but he's also immensely proud of BABYMETAL's achievements. A little surprised, too". "Performing at Wembley as the first Japanese artist is one goal that I decided to do, and after having that goal we started thinking about how we would actually make that happen", he explains."Also, Tokyo Dome. In Japan these days it's really rare for a metal artist to have sold out two days there. The new album, Metal Resistance, made the UK chart in the Top 15, and that was something new for Japanese artists. I've always thought of making new history and that kind of vision, having a vision and making it come true and putting in effort is the whole thing."
The future his hopeful, many legends to come:
And whatever the Fox God has in store next will be beyond even KOBAMETAL's wildest dreams. "Performing at Wembley as the first Japanese artist was a big achievement," says SU-METAL. "So I think after doing Tokyo Dome we would have to do new things that no other Japanese band has done yet" "The most important thing for BABYMETAL is to keep challenging", says KOBAMETAL "There are many legends, for instance Iron Maiden, but Iron Maiden can't dance! What's important is always to be the only one". "When we performed at Tokyo Dome, we thought, It's not the end, it's the beginning," concludes YUIMETAL."We haven't received a new prophecy yet, but I have confidence to go further. I want the next thing to be something even bigger" Whatever it is, only the Fox God knows for sure. But you'll want to be there when it happens.
Interview and photos by: Kerrang Magazine.
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Scans thanks to: Indra De Ridder.