This is a brief report of panel discussion by editor, photographer, and writer of “HEDOBAN” magazine.
Date: Aug. 28, 2014
Venue: Tower Records, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Time: 21 – 22:00
“Hedoban” or “Head Bang” magazine is a heavy metal music magazine published in Japan. It is well-known among BABYMETAL fans especially in Japan that, in the past issues, Hedoban provided EXCELLENT interviews and reports of BABYMETAL.
So far, regular issue was published 4 times, a special issue once. This talk show was held in commemoration of the special one. In the past, I posted on FB partial translation a couple of times to introduce some of awesome interviews and articles from the magazine. Vol. 1 of Hedoban was sold out, got some premium, and is sold at very “good” price on internet lately. The reason why they are extremely knowledgeable with BABYMETAL is simple and crystal clear – editor in chief is a huge fan of BABYMETAL. So are editors and writers. In this panel discussion, they discussed mainly what was not written in the special issue.
The writer who was one of the panelists said he always tries his best in writing, and is always crying when writing article. Of course, nobody knows if he is actually crying, but we can feel his emotion and high spirit between the lines of what he writes. When BABYMETAL went to Europe in July, Hedoban formed a team of as many as seven guys that was composed of editors, writers, and photographer. Usually, to report festival in overseas, they team up with local staff externally, but, for BABYMETAL, they sent the whole team to Europe from Japan. Photographer mentioned that, usually, there are some best angles with any artist, which means the pictures taken from other angles than the best ones should go to trash bin.
However, in case of BABYMETAL, he could use any pictures that were taken from any angle. The girls were genuinely photogenic. I strongly agreed with the photographer, because when I capture screen shot of BABYMETAL from DVD or YouTube, they look always brilliant regardless of angle at any moment Chief editor and writer witnessed the show at Sonisphere. When the girls appeared on stage while Kami Band was playing “BABYMETAL Death”, they saw that Su looked over the crowd and then quietly smiled. That was the smile like the one when martial arts fighter encounters his opponent on the ring, according to them. Photographer teased chief editor and the writer, and asked if that actually happened or not, because he could not confirm it by any fancam video. The guys strongly insisted that it was a true story.
I personally would like to trust those guys. Photographer said that he could tell if the artist on stage was in tense or not based on his experiences. He told that the girls did not seem to be nervous at all, rather, they looked totally relaxed at the opening. At Sonisphere, he was allowed to photograph basically during the first 3 songs. That was the case with all the bands there including Iron Maden, Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, etc. But, for some reason, in case of BABYMETAL, all the photographers were allowed to take pictures only for the first 2 songs. At The Forum in London, chief editor thought BABYMETAL were excellent as always, and he was strongly impressed that the crowd there was awesome, and said he was really happy to be there. Seeing the girls in Japan and in UK are different because the audiences are different, according to him.
Yoshiki who is a leader of a very famous Japanese rock band, X-Japan, was in the crowd at The Forum. BABYMETAL’s producer, Kobametal was greatly influenced by X-Japan, and it is said that so-called “dame-jump” during “Ijime, Dame, Zettai” is an homage to X-Japan. While BABYMETAL was performing on stage at The Forum, the photographer was watching Yoshiki carefully and found that he was smiling grimly at “dame jump”. Chief editor strongly felt that the shows at Sonisphere and The Forum would be the legendary shows in BABYMETAL’s history, and be a point of departure for them to go to the world, which I thought was totally right, together with the shows in Paris and Cologne.
Overall, it was a very good panel discussion in a sense that it was informative, stimulating, interesting, and funny sometimes. I just want to thank all the panelists there. There has been a rumor that there is something “sensitive” in relationship with heavy metal magazine “B” that is published by the same company as Hedoban. Actually, during the discussion, I felt that once, but, it’s irrelevant here, so let me put it aside.
I love Hedoban magaziine, anyway. For me personally, photographer’s comment “The girls were photogenic from any angle” was most impressive and 200 + % agreeable
Volume 5 of Hedoban is now in progress according to chief editor. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be awesome.