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One from Consequence of Sound in which the interviewer explains the circumstances of the interview and politely bemoans the scripted nature of the interview while saying it was a great interview. I personally agree with his sentiments.
The second interview is an great interview from Revolver and features some great English from Su! She is a total sweetheart in this interview!
-As we are asking the members to appear one at a time we would like Nakamoto-san as the Student council president to introduce each member one by one.
Whoooa! Who should I start with?
-Well, how about starting from the youngest member, Ooga-san?
Eh? About `My Graduation Toss`?
No, that is not it (laughs)
-We are asking the Student council president to introduce you (laughs)
Ah, shouldn`t you ask me then?
You should ask Sakitei then.
So, I should ask?
Sakitei should do the asking then.
No, Su-chan will introduce you. She will introduce Saki-chan.
-OK, so please get started.
OK! Sakitei is definitely our younger sister character. And that is how it is. When we went to a candy store the other day we felt that we felt that we should recommend this sucking kind of candy (like a baby might suck on) to Sakitei. She is always called a baby by all of us.
She is thought of as cute and is loved by all of us. Her way of stammering with `Eito…Eito…makes us all a bit apprehensive, like are you OK? (laughs). She is a character that we like to jab at a bit. But she is always smiling and laughing. And she imitates me sometimes. (to Ooga) Right?
I do that?
Yes, when you introduce yourself as me. Even though you don`t resemble me at all.
She does my imitation thinking she is really good at it. She has that side of her-of being a real wild card.
-Ooga-san, is this true?
Ummm…well, yes! But I am more mature than that….
Look, everyone is laughing in an unsettled manner. Hahaha…(laughs)
-Can you introduce next, Kikuchi-san?
OK. Well, yes with Kikuchi-san I have a lot of time together with her as Babymetal. When there are just a few of us when we are together as Babymetal she is a real character. She is really talkative and noisy!
But when it comes to Sakura Gakuin she is active in teaching the younger students like Sakitei and surprisingly is very composed when we do interviews. But, she acts like a middle aged guy at times. (laughs)
-Yes, she is a member of the Koyajibu (middle aged guy club) (laughs)
Yes, that is right, the Koyajibu. Yes, she acts like a middle aged man at times. First of all she likes squid. And she also likes to relax on sofas like middle aged men do.
-We have a sofa here as well.
I was relaxing on it earlier. (laughs)
-Is that right? (laughs)
Conversely, she likes to roll into places that are not large but rather enjoys little places, you see.
Yes, small places like cardboard boxes. I feel really comfortable in them.
She has a very challenging spirit and loves to curl up under sofas, etc. `Eh, where did she go? Where is Moa? And we look for her and find her curled up in some small place. And she sometimes tries to make an appeal for finding big spaces we are provided with, with, `Hey, look this is so spacious`. Hahahaha…..(laughs)
That is the kind of girl she is. (laughs)
-Does that fit you?
Yes, that is about right.
-(laughs) OK, next how about Horiuchi-san?
OK. Horiuchi-san is a Fushigi-chan. (a girl who bewilders everyone) (translator`s note: Japanese Fushigi-chan are truly the funnest girls you will ever meet) She is the essence of the Fushigi-chan.
(laughs) Up to this year I had not really talked deeply with Marina-chan. But, this year with our relationship as Student council president and as Vice president there were many things I had to do to assist her, and so we spoke together often. Just being together with her one feels so relaxed and at ease and I felt like we were a married couple at times!
I think perhaps she has a kind of Wife-ish like gentle atmosphere about her.
Hmm..I guess that could be true.
-She listens carefully to what you say.
That`s right. When Su- is really nervous, just by looking at the the peacefully smiling Marina-chan I feel at ease. I honestly think that that is one of her roles to play in Sakura Gakuin.
Ah…My feelings were transmitted to you-ssu!
-When you became the Vice student council president did your way of thinking change at all?
Last year and before I would determine my goals based on my own perspective and I would do my best in regard to them. But with Su-chan being the only 3rd grader I began to realize that there were members who really wanted their opinions to be taken seriously when we would talk things over. I found that we could help and support each other when we talk things over amongst ourselves.
-One`s way of thinking can change with the times.
Yes, that is true and it is because we feel that we must do things through our own decisions and efforts.
-For this single you recorded a total of 3 songs so could you each introduce one song each? Do any of you have a song that you feel really close to?
–Kikuchi-san and Ooga-san raise their hands.
-That was a quick response! So, well, could you select for us, Student council President?
So, shall we go with Sakitei?
-Ooga-san please go ahead.
Saki, well, Saki really likes `My Graduation Toss` but, however, what I want to explain is `Magic…
`Magic Melody` has a very painful, lonely feeling to it, but Saki has you know, not had the experience of falling in love yet. So I was perplexed for a long time about just how I should sing it. The teachers told me to sing it with this painful, sad (Setsunai 切ない) feeling which forced me to think about how to sing this song. Around that time my mother was in the hospital and I couldn`t go and see her and that night I felt very lonely. So it was this feeling that I recalled to myself when singing this song. It seems to have gone well. I think I was able to put that feeling of painful sadness into the song. It is a song that contains a variety of people`s feelings about romance and since I haven`t been in love before I can only try to understand it by listening to the stories of others.
-Oh! Thank you. Nakamoto-san is there anything you want to add to that?
This song was a collaboration with iRando-san and in actual fact we recruited episodes from fans which were actually used in the creation of the song. This was the first time for Sakura Gakuin to sing a real love song and we were allowed to read each of the episodes one by one and since some of these episodes had parts that would under normal conditions be difficult to say to another we took it upon ourselves to sing as representatives for these fans` feelings.
-So the episodes that you all selected became the lyrics of the song. Thank you. So, next how about Kikuchi-san`s song?
I like `My Graduation Toss` the best. Up until recently, `Yume ni Mukatte` held a lot of feelings for me but ever since this song was created and I have listened it repeatedly I have come to like it the best. My favorite lyrics are in the main chorus part (said looking at the lyric sheet).
It is long, isn`t it?
Yes, it is really long. I like the part that goes, `If I tell you the feelings that I have wanted to convey to you for so long, these feelings that really can not be put in words, I will cry and so I am sorry that I could not be with you smiling to very end`. These words remind me of the feelings I had when sending off the graduates last year. Of course since at graduation the other students are spreading their wings and flying away so I shouldn`t be sad, but I always get a painful, lonely feeling and since I felt that this part of the lyrics matches that feeling and since we must graduate from Sakura Gakuin when we graduate from Jr. High school, I feel that this graduation song is one that can only be sung by Sakura Gakuin.
-In the solo part as well Nakamoto-san`s voice is really brought to life. What do you think about that, Student council president?
At this time last year it was `Tabidachi no ni`. It doesn`t really match up with these kinds of Graduation songs. Su-herself does not think so much about graduation. Maybe that means I don`t want to think about it.
(Kikuchi-san and Ooga-san can`t bear the seriousness of the atmosphere and break out giggling.)
That`s enough! Really! (laughs)
Alright, please go ahead. (laughs)
Everyone also are trying not to look at this feeling of graduating floating around Sakura Gakuin. Su-herself also wants to graduate with a smiling face. Because of the very fact that we are doing Babymetal I want to convey this to everyone at this upcoming Live performance. We have done these kinds of Rockish, cool songs in the past at Sakura Gakuin but this song especially delivers this amazingly cheerful but with a D melody message strongly with `Dear My Friends….I love you. I am so happy to have met all of you. I will take all of our memories with me. I won`t forget any of them`, but with a ballad type of feel. I feel that this too is a new type of Graduation song, and I want my friends at real school to listen to it as well. I don`t want to overstate it but this was created for Su- and it will will remain with me for the rest of my life as a Graduation song!
-Thank you. Next, Horiuchi-san could you talk about `Mezase! Super Lady`?
Alright! Mori-sensei, our homeroom teacher, wrote this song. It is a song that makes the most of our respective individuality when we do open classrooms. The various lines that we sing or say at actual open classroom events are real things that each of the members have said in real life before.
Some outstanding lines (laughs)!
This song that features self introductions that reveal the habits and characteristics of each of the members, and it became a 2012 Nendo-ish song that introduces the members in a fun way. I am sure that people who have come to the open classes will realize this deeply when they see the lyrics, and I am sure our characters will also reach those who have not come to open classes. I hope that people will listen to this and become interested in Sakura Gakuin and the history of Sakura Gakuin.
-When you recorded it, did you do it all together or was it one by one?
Both. There were times we we recorded one by one and times with all of us.
-The lyrics in the brackets are really powerful.
-It feels like you are speaking or performing at a live show.
When we took role call during an intermission we did a recording in one quick take with all of us along with Mori-sensei all facing the same microphone.
-During that intermission what is Ooga-san saying?
I am saying, `E-to` (laughs). I always screw up the lines so I say, `E-to, E-to`. There is something I would like to say about this song. When we were recording the line and such Mori-sensei was there but when we were doing long recordings Mori-sensei really screwed up his lines.
And so it was with much effort that the members were able to exhibit their individuality but I am not so sure if Mori-sensei was able to do so. (laughs)
And if I add a bit to that, it appears that this was like the first recording for Mori-sensei and he was so nervous! This time Mori-sensei wrote the lyrics but there are some members who are not too happy about that!
When we got the song and started the lessons for it, we were like, `Why is like this?`. We were told by the teacher who instructs us on daily living matters that we should ask Mori-sensei directly when he comes to teach and so when he came and we started working in the recording booth we were all saying all kinds of things to him. We said things like, `get your act together!` and things like that. In that kind of atmosphere we were recording the intermission parts so I was a little worried about whether we were recording the fun side of Sakura Gakuin or not. I didn`t particularly want to talk about Mori-sensei`s first recording experience here but…(laughs).
Also, at the beginning of the song Mori-sensei introduces himself. At first Moa and the others couldn`t hear it but if listen very carefully you can hear it and I hope that you do take a listen. (laughs)
Yes since he went out of his way to record it (laughs).
Coming from above, above (laughs)
From the bottom, the bottom (laughs)
-The brings things together nicely! Thank you very much. Nakamoto-san, Horiuchi-san and Kikuchi-san are all in clubs but Ooga-san you are not in a club, right? In your blog at the end of the year you said that one of your aims for this year was to join a club. If you have found one you are interested in, please let us know.
Hmm..well, yes.. I still haven`t yet decided on one, but what am I trying to say?
Of the ones that are available…?
I am not really sure. Saki wants to join a club that will show her a side of herself that is not there in the Sakura Gakuin version of Saki. I want to show a totally different Saki.
There isn`t one you want to join?
There are actually many that I want to join.
There are many? (laughs)
You are going to become a Babybones in Juuonbu, right?
Right! I want to be a Juuonbu skeleton. I want to be a Babybone and play in the air band!
In another interview Sakitei said that she is not good at speaking and wants to get over that. She was saying that if she is in a club since there are so members in each club that she would have to talk a lot. But if she joins Juuonbu and becomes a Skeleton she wouldn`t have to speak. And we were saying that a little Babybones would be really cute.
That is what I want to become.
You want to do that? (laughs) We have to make a Skeleton costume for you- a special Sakitei costume.
I am fine with it like it is!
It is very loose. (laughs)
-Personally I hope that you will bring back the Baton club.
There are a lot of requests recently for the Baton club.
Saki wants to join the Baton club!
Can you twirl the baton? The practice is very hard!
About the baton…! How in the world do they spin it like that?
-I heard that you actually got injured.
I had a lot of bruises.
(In a small voice)
That is amazing.
-I will keep hoping the Baton club makes a comeback! In conclusion, looking back on 2012 Nendo what kind of year was it for Sakura Gakuin, Student council president?
Summing it up I would say it was a Sakura Gakuin with the member`s individuality turned on full force. When I first became the president I thought at first that I would have to be like Ayami-chan. I felt that I would have to do everything perfectly like Ayami-chan or I would not be able to perform the duties of president and felt very anxious. But everyone taught me that it did not have to be that way. Everyone said to me, `Su-chan`s Sakura Gakuin is a lot of fun!`. I fell like this year I kind of ran things the way I wanted but when I was able to to read the letters written by everyone during the shooting of the album`s limited DVD I was able for the first time to understand the true feelings of all of the members. They said that it was enjoyable following along with the direction Su-chan took Sakura Gakuin and that they also enjoyed the crazy unexpected things that we did. So, how should I say it? My Sakura Gakuin……
-So you have no regrets looking back?
Yes, none at all! By becoming the president I was able to get to know everyone and get to know their individual characters and as I said before I was able to become good friends with Marina-chan! And so I think it was Sakura Gakuin that was really unified into a single unit.
-Thank you. I look forward to your graduation!
We will do our best!
Birthdate: 1997 December 20th
Likes: Stationary goods, Book covers one gets at bookstores
Birthdate: 1998 April 29th
Likes: Umeboshi, Madeleine, Marshmallow toast
Club: Science club, Going home club, Tennis club
Birthdate: 1999 July 4th
Likes: Doing an impersonation of Marilyn Monroe using the air from a dryer
Club: Juuonbu, Cooking club
Birthdate: 2000 April 11th
My pride: My 6-pack ribbed abs
Few bands have provoked online commentary quite as much in 2014 as BABYMETAL, the teenage Tokyo ‘kawaii-metal’ trio who exploded into global consciousness this year when their promo video for Gimme Chocolate!! went viral.
Following a successful European debut at this summer’s Sonisphere festival, and a series of US arena shows with Lady Gaga, the girls are set to return to the UK for a November 8 show at London’s Brixton Academy. Su-Metal took a break from the studio to speak with TeamRock about the craziest six months of the band’s career to date…
Q. The band have been busy since we saw you at Sonisphere: what have been your best memories of the past six months?
I think our experience at Sonisphere is something we will remember forever. It was one of our first shows outside of Japan, and there were 50,000 people there who’d never seen us before, and so we had no idea what to expect. We didn’t know if the crowd would hate us, or just start booing, so anticipation was high. I remember standing on the side of the stage before we went on and thinking ‘This might not be very good for us!’ But as we got into the set people started getting more and more into it, and we could see them singing along, and so that was just amazing, something I’ll always remember.
Q. You got to play with, and meet, Lady Gaga in August: how was that experience?
Well, obviously Lady Gaga plays these huge amphitheatres, and that was all very new to us, but Lady Gaga and her team were so welcoming and it was a really fun experience. Again, with this being a Lady Gaga crowd we weren’t sure how they would react to us – it’s a pop show, not a metal show, of course – and so it was a little nerve-wracking. But we did five shows, and as the tour went on we noticed more and more people in BABYMETAL T-shirts, and more people singing along, so we could see before our eyes that we were connecting with people who’d maybe never heard us before. It was an excellent experience.
Q. Did Lady Gaga have any advice for you? Or was there anything you particularly wanted to know about her when you met?
We’re fans of Lady Gaga, and her music, and her style, so we were able to tell her that, and that was nice. Lady Gaga told us ‘If you girls work hard and go after your dreams maybe we can share a stage again’ and hearing that was just great.
Q. Tickets for your first LA show were on on sale on Ebay for insane amounts of money: does knowing that there’s such huge excitement to see the band add any pressure to your live performance?
Well, we were a little bit nervous before we went onstage, but there’s no real added pressure, because we’ve noticed that once we step onstage the fans react in the same way that they do at shows in Japan. It’s not like we’re feeling that we need to do something special purely because it’s an overseas show, we always want to do the best show we can.
Q. What are you looking forward to most about returning to the UK?
We have a song called Akatsuki, which is difficult for even Japanese fans to memorise, so when we played in London last time I was just shocked at how many people seemed to know every word. There was one person at the front at the London show who was super into the song, and very emotional, and so I’m just wondering if I’ll see them again at the front at the next show!
Q. What can people expect from the Brixton Academy show?
Obviously it’s a much bigger venue than the Forum, where we played last time, so we want to deliver a bigger and more powerful performance, and try some new things. Again, we know that there’ll be people there who have never seen BABYMETAL before, so we’re just hoping to bring our very best show to Brixton. We’re really looking forward to it.
Q. What does 2015 hold in store for BABYMETAL?
Well, if you know about BABYMETAL you will know that we’re governed by the Fox God, so as to what lies ahead, we’d have to ask the Fox God. Only the Fox God knows!
BABYMETAL coming in France is not pretty common. So for its first (only one? Future will tell) coming to the capital, it’s out of question to miss a band we follow since its inception (as we’re true, us!)!
It’s thus in emerging victorious, thanks to the sacrifice of the Veryshow press officer, from a death match that saw the interview requests dropping from 20 to 7, and then finally to 3, that U-zine, the only one Metal media allowed this day, was able to meet at a press conference 3 Japanese teenagers accompanied by Japan FM and Orient Extreme.
U-Zine : Hello, we’re U-Zine, Metal webzine, the question I’d like to ask you is : in the beginning of the band, you weren’t listening to Metal, since that, you evolved inside it, thus the question I’d like to ask you is if now you’re listening to it and what are the bands you listen to and that you like to follow ?
SuMetal : Since we began BABYMETAL I discovered Metallica that I like a lot.
MoaMetal : I like Iron Maiden and Behemoth.
Yui Metal : Cannibal Corpse.
Japan FM : BABYMETAL managed to quickly interest an international audience since the band’s creation, now you’re making your first world tour, what do you feel ?
SuMetal : We did not expect so much support from the Europeans. We have seen many comments on youtube from foreigners, French, English… We’re therefore looking forward to seeing the public in Europe and how it will react during our live-shows, so I’d like a lot of people coming to our gigs.
Orient-Extreme : What kind of audience are you expecting in France , do you think it’d change from Japan’s one ?
Our music is a mix of Metal and kawaï, we’d like girls and children that don’t know about Metal to discover it. Our dancing is as well really cute and so in this way we want them to have fun and to bring them to our new music genus.
U-Zine : On your T-shirt, you take a lot of visual from many bands like logos from Behemoth, Metallica or even Devourment and you hijack it to the BABYMETAL style, is that to satisfy your dominance over the Metal genre ?
We’re looking for and we want to create something, from style to visual, that you don’t find in other Metal bands and Kawaï Metal is something really unique regarding other Metal styles.
Japan FM : You’re all three still very young, you were of you’re still a part of Sakura Gakuin. Will you still see yourself being BABYMETAL in 10 years or do you have any other dream for your future?
It’s always the Fox God that decides to our future activity.
Orient-Extreme : You announced that you’ll open for Lady Gaga for some dates in the USA, what do you think about this artist and what does that mean for you ?
We’ve still not realized this news that we didn’t expect at all, it was really surprising. Our friends were really excited and happy to hear this news, but we, we’ve still not truly realized.
Interview finally really short, from the promise 20 minutes to 10, what is not so much when adding translation time (double translation that can sometimes bring answer out of the subject). We were thus reduced to ask only two questions per media. Too bad but we don’t care ! We did it and the BABYMETAL are even more adorable in real life !
Obviously regarding the first question, we can have doubt about their frankness, the answer moving closer to already made sentences they learned, but then again, why not ?
While other kids are busy with their school work, the three young ladies from BABYMETAL are already idols of the metal industry. However, BABYMETAL are still not satisfied, they want to let their own created – kawaii + metal style be the new music trend.
Moametal、Su-metal and Yuimetal are members of Japanese idol group – Sakura Gakuin. And BABYMETAL are sub-unit of Sakura Gakuin (like Korea group – Super Junior -M and SNSD’s TaeTiSeo) Vocalist Su-metal is 16 years old, Moametal and Yuimetal are 14 years old.
The three ladies held their first overseas concert in Singapore last week and were interviewed by the local media
From strange to leading style
Although Babymetal showed their mature and strong stage performances in their music videos and live shows, the three ladies couldn’t hide their innocent feeling and thinking of youngsters during the interview. Moametal said she and her family didn’t know much about heavy metal in the first place, so they didn’t worry and complain about it, just felt surprised.
Su-metal said that participating in music festivals in other parts of the world and meeting fans have made her really happy, and she also receives metal music albums from the fans, so she can know more about metal. BABYMETAL combines both kawaii and heavy metal elements, although for most of the people it’s hard to accept at the beginning, Su-metal hopes BABYMETAL can become a new trend in the metal industry in the future.
Love local fresh fruit juice, hobbies are same as normal young girls
However, when they are not performing on the stage, the three ladies are same as normal girls. Su-metal likes singing, she sometimes even goes to sing karaoke on her own, she likes reading as well, this shows her quiet character.
Moametal likes idol drama and modern trend – Anime. She records the programs when she’s not at home, and plays them when she’s free. Yuimetal’s hobby is collecting stickers, she has her own sticker book!
It’s a rare opportunity to travel to Singapore, when the media talk about local food, yuimetal are same as other artists, loving the local chicken rice. Moametal has also discovered that there’re many Japanese restaurants in Singapore. Su-metal loves the local fresh fruit juice, has she started to take care of eating habits and body figure?
Reaching the big stage, hoping to achieve more
Although BABYMETAL has been formed recently, they have already appeared in many huge music festivals in Japan, and they will also perform in Taiwan too. They were also lucky to meet Metallica. Regarding to the touring performaces, the three ladies said they are good friends and they look forward to seeing their fans from worldwise. Su-metal hopes they can perform in more different countries in the upcoming year.
When they are asked about who they wish to collaborate with, BABYMETAL’s answer is surprising – they hope they can collaborate with Japan famous violist Taro Hakase.
The future: hold on to the dream, continue to perform
At the moment, Su-metal is the lead vocal for most of the Babymetal’s songs, but as Moametal and Yuimetal are growing up, Babymetal are expected to become stronger. What are the upcoming 5 years plans for the three ladies?
Su-metal said she will be an adult after 5 years, but will still love singing and hold on to her dream. Moametal will be 19 years old after 5 years, so she’d like to spend her last young ages wisely. Yuimetal is more like the others, she doesn’t have any clear future plans, but she hopes she can do what she likes, displaying an open attitude to the future.
Babymetal Official Website：https://www.facebook.com/BABYMETAL.jp
Thanks SOZO for organizing this interview. For more Japanese artists’ events, please enter SOZO official website.