Questions about the bandmembers’ private lives are swiftly struck from the record, to the extent where a seemingly innocuous enquiry as to how the girls’ friends view their lives in
Babymetal is shut down with the immediate reply, “We don’t like to feature their families or friends, so we’d like to not answer that question.” The girls, too,
know the drill: a question about Su-metal’s hobbies outside the band is met with the splendidly vague answer that she’s “interested in the kind of thing that young ladies
are interested in”, as if that actually says anything at all. This caution serves not only to protect the girls’ privacy, but also, crucially, to maintain some of the mystique that
Kobametal deems fundamental and intrinsic to the Babymetal concept. As with Ghost, say, or Kobametal’s beloved Kiss, or indeed Steel Panther, laying bare the
flesh-and-blood humans behind the art is seen as a distraction from the overarching concept. This being the case, though the members of the Kami Band are well known in Japan, and
their identities freely disclosed on fan sites, the musicians are not permitted to conduct media interviews on behalf of the band: similarly, enquiries about Su-metal, Yuimetal
and Moametal’s roles in the creation of the forthcoming Metal Resistance album are disregarded, as the official narrative maintains that the girls are but
messengers for the omnipotent Fox God who directs their every career move.
“Imagine if after Mickey Mouse at Disneyland came out and entertained the fans, he took off his suit and started talking to you like, ‘Oh, I’m so tired, I hate my job’,”
Kobametal explains via Nora. “That would break people’s dreams and destroy the fantasy.”
This being said, when interviewed individually today (a rarity, necessitated by the fact that when today’s promotional duties are discharged Su-metal must catch a flight to
Australia to resume work on the band’s new album), a more rounded picture of the personalities within the group and their individual aspirations emerges.
Beyond the imaginative myths surrounding the group’s origins, the roots of the Babymetal story can be traced back a decade to the moment when Hiroshima schoolgirl Suzuka Nakamoto
followed her elder sister Himeka in enlisting at the Actors School Hiroshima, a stage school founded in 1999, which has groomed students for Idol pop groups such as Morning
Musume, AKB48 and Perfume. Su-metal credits J-Pop trio Perfume as her inspiration for becoming a singer, noting “as I kid I was playing a lot of different musical
instruments, but I never continued with any of them except for singing.” Two years older than Yui and Moa, Su-metal is happy to acknowledge that she’s
the group’s ‘big sister’, and takes her role as the unit’s leader seriously... “I’m happy to know that there are fans out there who’re being inspired by Babymetal.”
“We never knew about metal music until we started Babymetal,” she states, “and to be able to reach out to people just like us is an amazing feeling. When we played
Reading and Leeds festivals, we were the opening act, and I remember clearly that there wasn’t a lot of people watching at first, but the field really started filling up when we started. I could
see people thinking, ‘Who are these people?’ but it was amazing to watch everyone react to the show. So to be able to go to a foreign land and know that we’re able to express who we are in front
of people who know nothing about us is something we can be proud of.”
For her part, Yuimetal happily admits that it was Su-metal who inspired her to become a singer. ‘I want to be just like her!’ Recruited
two years later for Sakura Gakuin, Yui laughingly reveals she went “ballistic” when she heard that she and her best friend, Moa, were going to
be joining Su in Babymetal: “I just thought, ‘This is going to be amazing!’” she recalls.
Moametal, cited by the other girls as Babymetal’s perpetual ray of sunshine, cheerfully remembers having “no idea” what to expect when first invited to join the
band. “I was told that the group would focus on more ‘heavy’ music, but I had no idea what ‘heavy’ music meant,” she admits. “Like, did it mean we’d be singing about subjects that were
heavy? So when I started being in Babymetal I realised, ‘Oh, this is what heavy music is! I was very shocked!’”
“It still doesn’t feel real,” admits Su-metal. “I know that Wembley Arena is a very legendary venue and so thinking about us playing there is a little unnerving. For us
to execute this show we’re going to have to come up with something legendary, too. The UK is a special place to us, and it’s always a place where we learn something new, and find something that
benefits Babymetal, so we think that something special is going to be created at Wembley. No one should dare to miss it!”
“What I’ve learned most about being in Babymetal is that if it’s the three of us together we can do anything and overcome anything,” says Moametal. “I’m not sure how much
our fans know about us personally, but it doesn’t really matter, because the most important thing is that they know our music.”
For now, however, and with no live shows booked until Wembley, Kobametal insists that the group focus is very much upon Metal Resistance, which will ultimately
hold the key to the band’s future.
“The debut album in a way was almost a ‘best of’ because they released many different singles before the album was put out, so it’s a collection of the songs written to that
point,” says Kobametal.
“But this album is going to be different, a proper studio album: the theme is all about this ring, this circle, The One, with everyone coming together, and the circle growing ever
It’s a concept that’s close to the girls’ hearts. “The shows this weekend made me realise, maybe for the first time, that Babymetal is not just about us, and not just about us and the
Kami Band – it’s about us and the band and everyone that’s present,” says Su-metal. “At the end of yesterday’s show when we got on the ‘triangle’ [flying around the arena],
that was the first time we were able to get that close to the fans and see all the smiling faces and see everyone putting up the fox signs and I understood the power of this,” she says
quietly. “And that’s what going to push us on for the coming year. We feel this will be an important year for us all.”
Why Nobody Can Stop BABYMETAL, summary is courtesy of METAL HAMMER.
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