AsiaOne has a interview article on BABYMETAL, entitled Cutesy all-girl trio BABYMETAL on standing out from the pack
And therein lies the magic formula to their showbiz success. Unlike their fellow bubblegum J-pop and K-pop counterparts, the Japanese doe-eyed teenage trio with funky stage monikers – 15-year-old vocalist-dancer Su-Metal, dancers-screamers Moa-Metal and Yui-Metal, both 14 – defy pigeonholing. They might dress and act cutesy (read: perfectly plaited pigtails, red ribbons in their hair, matching schoolgirl outfits), but watch them deliver their fast and ferocious headbanging tunes and it is evident that they identify more with Evanescence than AKB48.
Granted, none of them play their own instruments – on their live tours, they are backed by a band decked out in skeletal costumes – but surely, to be able to dance and synchronise hand gestures to power metal is a rare feat in itself. Formed in 2010, Babymetal have released four singles to date. One of their biggest hit singles, titled Ijime, Dame, Zettai, sold 19,000 copies in its first week, debuting at Number 6 in the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart. Ahead of their first full-length concert in Singapore later this month, the girls tell M in an e-mail interview that they hold their unique identity in J-pop close to their hearts.
“We are aiming to be the ‘one and only’ group in the J-pop scene (who do what we do),” said Su-Metal. “When it comes to influences, we are influenced not just by Japanese and overseas metal acts, but J-pop acts too. “One Japanese rock band we’re particularly fond of is Seikima-II. “We were attracted by their brand of devil imagery and of course, their high-quality musicianship.” Seikima-II, active in the 80s, were known for their painted black and white faces and were often touted as Japan’s answer to US classic rockers Kiss.
Adding to Babymetal’s heavy metal cred is the fact that they found themselves an audience in US legends Metallica. “At this year’s (renowned rock festival) Summer Sonic in Tokyo, we had a chance to meet Metallica. They also came to watch us perform and we took photos together,” gushed Su-Metal. One thing led to another and shortly after their encounter with their heroes, Babymetal were chosen to record the promotional video for the Japanese release of Metallica’s 3-D concert film Metallica: Through The Never. The girls couldn’t have been happier.
“We felt a lot of power through Metallica’s movie,” added Su-Metal. They might look like bona fide metallers, but away from the limelight, Babymetal are ordinary teenagers who share a tight camaraderie. “We always compete for bento boxes and refreshments by playing a game of rock, paper, scissors,” said Moa-Metal. “When we stay in hotels, we share the same room. Also, Yui-Metal and I often borrow books from Su-Metal to read.”
So, have they ever got into squabbles or arguments? Never, claimed Moa-Metal. “All three of us are on such good terms that we have never fought.”