Kobametal on Music Complex, “BABYMETAL have reinforced their power by overcoming many obstacles”
BABYMETAL's producer Kobametal was interviewed in the new issue of PIA Music Complex Magazine Vol.07 to talk about the recent BABYMETAL performances and World Tour 2016 Final shows at Tokyo Dome. He also explains how much BABYMETAL improved, UK Tour with RHCP and the Animated Series. Interview translated below.
Kobametal is interviewed on Music Complex Magazine Vol.07
Not Only about Story Development: "One-shot" Stage Direction as Beauty of the Style a la BABYMETAL
The two-day Tokyo Dome shows are over, how do you feel now, frankly?
KOBAMETAL: "From the initial stage of preparation till the end of the show, everything went so fast. That is my
When did you start preparing for the Dome shows? What kind of concept did you have in your mind, when you
took up the idea of setting "Red Night" and "Black Night" for two nights at the Dome?
KOBAMETAL: "We made the announcement about the Dome show during "BABYMETAL WORLD TOUR 2015 in Japan - THE FINAL CHAPTER OF TRILOGY-", at Yokohama Arena. Since we were to release the album METAL RESISTANCE and then to give a solo performance at the SSE Wembley Arena, before the Dome shows, I believe it was during the summer when we really got down to their preparation. The Dome shows were based on the theme of BABYMETAL overcoming the past, that is to say, overcoming the legends that BABYMETAL have created and making a new one. So the idea was that BABYMETAL think back on the path they have taken and show their increased power at the same time, by reintroducing the stage direction and stage set from solo lives in the past, thus paying hommage to themselves, so to speak."
After going on world tour and performing at four major rock festivals in Japan, what kind of meaning did you want
to put into those two-day Dome shows, within the ongoing story of BABYMETAL?
"Various legends have been born in the history of BABYMETAL, and the Tokyo Dome shows would be one of
those, I thought. I also considered the shows as a checking point on the way, so as not to put a special meaning to
them. Still, we tried to come up with a proper stage direction for that huge venue."
What was your intention in performing songs from the 2nd album at the first night and songs from the 1st album at
the second night?
"There are no "filler" songs for BABYMETAL, nor are MCs or encores during their live performance. So the
two shows are supposed to constitute one big story."
Since the Tokyo Dome is not a place for live music shows, I believe you had to build up everything from scratch,
as far as the sound and stage sets are concerned. What kind of ideas did you have on those?
"As you said, the Dome is a baseball arena. Any artists who perform there have to overcome so many obstacles.
Since the distance between the stage and audience seats is long at a large-scale arena like this, we started from the
idea of making the stage visible from any angle. In our case, we located the stage in the center of the field, set the
seats around the entire stage, and put an LED screen above the stage."
It was a great and touching idea to distribute LED neckbraces to the audience and let them glow during the final song. Do you have anything you want to talk about?
"Since we had that concept of self hommage, we wanted to give a more powerful performance by adding something to the stage direction from the past. As regards the braces glowing during the final song, of course, it was done that way considering the theatrical effect of the show. But at the same time, it was "one-shot" stage direction, that is beauty of the
style a la BABYMETAL."
How did you feel at the end of the first day, "RED NIGHT"? And what kind of image did you have when you were preparing for the second day?
"Since "RED NIGHT" and "BLACK NIGHT" are totally different from each other in songs and stage direction, we tried to
reset our mind and start from zero."
Are there any particular scenes from each night that made a deep impression on you? And what kind of occasion were the Dome shows for the team BABYMETAL?
"We did not know how it was actually going to be when the neckbraces glow from the metal power of the audience.
It really was a one-shot thing, and when they all really did glow, I thought "this is how it looks like!" The members could see the 360 degree scenery from the top of the stage, and they must have been impressed so deeply."
Was there any moment during the world tour or festival performances, when you considered it as a turning point? During the period of "METAL RESISTANCE: Chapter 4" since April, is there any event that you personally were most moved by?
"I believe that overcoming something one at a time would lead you the way, so in that sense, every moment and event
is impressive to me."
At "AP Music Awards" in July, you made the collaboration with Rob Halford of Judas Priest come true. How did you feel watching all of them perform together?
"It was a different stage setup, and there was little time for rehearsal. Yet BABYMETAL and Kami Band were as powerful as Rob Halford despite performing without rehearsal. I was so awed by them. I was also deeply moved by the statement from Metal God after the show that "there is a future of metal in BABYMETAL"."
When you look at the way BABYMETAL have been accepted abroad, I get an impression that England, as their "second home country", has been the emission source of fan enthusiasm which spread eventually to other coutries. What is your take on that, KOBAMETAL?
"We have been visiting England since we started our first world tour in 2014, and from our first visit until this
year many legends have been born there. In that sense, England is "the place for new legend." However, since there
are legends created in other countries as well, I look forward to seeing another legend come up anywhere."
Looking at the members from side stage this year, how have SU-METAL, YUIMEATAL, and MOAMETAL grown, in what way?
"BABYMETAL have reinforced their power by overcoming many obstacles through a world tour--their journey for
disciplining themselves. The experience they had, that is standing on the stage where few artists can, made them grow and change in the level of awareness, I think. Although that kind of change may not be easy for others to detect, I think the members now know what is coming in the future. So I--including the fans--feel necessary to update to a new version, without being bound by their past image."
In December, you will be going on UK tour as an opening act for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and one of the shows will be at the O2 Arena in London. What kind of experience would that be for BABYMETAL?
"It is an honor for us to get an offer from RHCP members to go on a tour with them. Going on a tour with world-class
artists and performing at a world-class arena, those things do not happen so often. So it would be a precious experience for us."
It has been announced that short film works on BABYTMETAL combining live action and animation are going to be produced in US. How did the project come up initially?
"For this project as well, we were contacted by Warner Brothers who took interest in us. I look forward to seeing a new development for BABYMETAL."
This year so far, you did a US tour, and the album was ranked on the Billboard chart. How do you feel about the response in US?
"In 2016 we released the album METAL RESISTANCE which went up on the chart and received a variety of response.
We did a US tour mainly on East Coast and West Coast, where every single show was sold out. It was particularly encouraging for us to see many people coming to our shows held at places other than big cities like New York and Los Angeles."
What kind of image do you have on the next goal for BABYMETAL?
"Only the FOX GOD knows!"
Interview by: PIA Music Complex Vol.07, get it here.
Translation by: Atmybabel
Read: Su-Metal interviewed on PIA Music Complex Vol.07, read here.