Exclusive interview with photographer Dana (distortion) Yavin

You probably see this marvelous photo everywhere (the one above) on social network, forum and web community if you follow every news about the band BABYMETAL.

Even the official BABYMETAL Twitter account has tweet this photo taken at the last BABYMETAL concert at the Nippon Budokan. The photographer behind this remarkable piece of art is Dana Yavin and babymetal.net (the number one unofficial fan site) have an exclusive interview with her! And YES we have a never seen before photo for you at the end of the interview 🙂

Can you introduce yourself to our readers? And for photography fans out there, what kind of gear did you use for the Budokan show?

Hey, I’m Dana Distortion. I’m a music photographer from Brooklyn, New York.

To shoot the show I used a Nikon D700 and a Nikon D4, these are the two cameras I use for every show. I use all kinds of lenses and I switch them during the show according to what happens on stage.

Did you know about BABYMETAL before the Budokan concert?

I did know about them. I checked them out online when I was invited to shoot the show. Let’s just say that even then I didn’t expect to experience what I did…it was almost shocking. Actually, not almost, it was shocking!

Dana (distortion) Yavin
Dana (distortion) Yavin

How did you get there? And how were you contacted to go to Japan and take pictures of the BABYMETAL concert? Were you aware of the kind of concert you’d see that night?

I got to Japan on a plane and to Budokan on a train (laughing). My friend hooked me up with BM’s manager and we were invited to the show. I came to Japan for the Rolling Stones shows at the Tokyo Dome, but BABYMETAL was sure an amazing show and I’m so happy I got to watch and shoot the show. I didn’t expect it to be as powerful and as professional as it was. These girls are just amazing! The crowd was so into it…I really didn’t see it coming.

Did you see the second concert at Budokan? If you were only at one, which one?

I was there the first night. I had to go to Osaka the second night and I was very sad about it. I would have loved to see the show again.

After seeing the concert, what do you think about BABYMETAL as a professional photographer and as person who meets many music industry people and musicians?

I think these girls are just amazing. Their show is great and super exciting. Very high level of performance. I think they will be superstars all over the world. Even if one is not a big metal fan, it is a show anyone can enjoy. It’s so unique and refreshing. There is really nothing else out there like it.

Dana (distortion) Yavin  Babymetal

Do you think that BABYMETAL is a real phenomenon, or only a trend that will die in a few months or years?

I don’t think its a trend. They are super talented and it seems to work very well. The crowd is super into them but I don’t know what’s gonna happen when these girls are not babies anymore… are they gonna change their name to TEENAGEMETAL??? (laughing)

Did you meet the girls before or after the concert? Do you speak Japanese? And was this your first time in Japan?

I did meet the girls backstage before the show. They were excited that I’m from America. I don’t speak Japanese unfortunately, but my friend translated to them. They were very sweet and I heard they really liked my photos from the show, so that’s always a big compliment. I also took photos during soundcheck, so seeing this production come to life was very special and fascinating for me.

At the first concert, did you see Yui fall off the stage during the song “Headbanger”? If yes, do you have pictures of the incident?

I might have photos of that. I didn’t notice her falling off the stage during the show, but I did hear about it after the show when I was looking for the girls backstage hoping to shoot a portrait. With that said, even if I had photos of that I wouldn’t publish them or show them to anyone. It’s just not my style. I respect the artist’s privacy. I don’t think Yui would want anyone to see photos of that. These girls really give their heart and soul on stage. She moved on and showed up like a trooper to the show the next day that’s really all that matters.

How many photos did you take?

Not sure…I never really count or notice. I don’t “motorshoot” (just hit the shutter fast to try and capture something). I really think of the shots I take so it’s not as many as you would think. I think I sent about 80 final (and my favorite) photos to their management after the show.

I have only seen two or three photos so far from this concert. Will the others be published one day?

Not sure where and when they will be published, but there are more and they will be out there at some point.

Finally, what is your next concert photo shoot?

Elvis Costello and The Roots, then a few other shows in New York. Then I will be heading to the Coachella Festival in California. The fun never stops now, does it?

Dana (distortion) Yavin  exclusive BABYMETAL live at Nippon Buodkan
Dana (distortion) Yavin exclusive BABYMETAL live at Nippon Buodkan