Just doing my part spreading the word of the Fox God! A collection of BABYMETAL interviews translated either by myself or my partner Capable-Paramedic are collected below for your amusement.
If you have any suggestions or corrections, please feel free to leave a comment!
(NOTE: Interviews translated solely by Capable-Paramedic are marked with an asterisk *)
2020 Kadokawa 10th Anniversary Special Issue
Su & Moa talk about the early days of BABYMETAL, what they were thinking as they began to establish their legendary status around the world, and memorable performances like the Budokan.
The girls share about some challenging shows, performing with legends like Lady Gaga and Rob Halford, a special birthday for Moa, and how hard they worked between shows to get used to demanding performances and environments.
This chapter covers the 2016-2017 time period, including performing with Rob Halford and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tokyo Dome (with some pretty interesting stuff about Tales of the Destinies), and the Five Fox Festival.
This chapter covers the most difficult time in BABYMETAL's history: 2017 through 2018, focusing heavily on the Legend S performance where Yui-metal was unable to attend, and the following Dark Side period.
This chapter covers the 2019-2020 time period, as the girls talk about MOAMETAL's special Legend M 20th birthday performance (including Moabanger and Shine), the Trilogy of Lights, the U.S. tour of 2019 that concluded with a thrilling finale at The Forum, the packed EU tour prior to COVID taking over the world, and their best wishes to the fans. If you are interested in learning about how the girls have grown and flourished since recovering from the Dark Side, this is an excellent interview!
MIKIKOMETAL is responsible for BABYMETAL’s choreography. How did she create unique and catchy choreography that contrasts with metal's stylistic beauty while at the same time adhering to it? We catch a glimpse of SU-METAL and MOAMETAL through the eyes of someone who has worked with BABYMETAL since their formation, as she shares the growth she has seen through the years.
Kobametal (BABYMETAL's producer)
A parallel interview with Koba provides a different perspective from that of the performers, giving us more insight about the production aspects of the group over the past decade.
Koba explains how the concept of BABYMETAL came to be, establishing the group as one that existed simultaneously in both the world of reality and fantasy, and how the members matured both in real life and as performers.
Koba talks about how BABYMETAL concerts were designed as "one-shots" because of the real-life considerations of the members, responding to festival invitations via Google Translate, overcoming technical problems at festivals, meeting and learning from legendary performers, and gradually realizing what a global phenomenon BABYMETAL was becoming.
Koba talks about the members growing up and taking charge, leaving more and more aspects of the performance up to them as they gained confidence to take on any challenge.
Koba talks about the Dark Side concept, the difficulties they encountered and had to try and overcome during BABYMETAL's most vulnerable and difficult period, and truly realizing what was important to the group, and what needed to be flexible.
Koba explains the idea behind the "Avenger" support dancer system and the return to the triangle formation, how BABYMETAL would move forward into the next era, and more.
*YOSHIKI talks about BM
The legendary lyricist, composer, and performer YOSHIKI of X JAPAN talks about how BABYMETAL is an amazing representation of Japanese culture; unconventional yet overflowing with quality.
Yamazaki Hiroko, a journalist on music and voice, provides a technical analysis of SU-METAL's evocative voice, her chemistry with MOAMETAL's, and the combination of the clear and expansive high and low pitch with a dignified core.
10 BABYMETAL LEGENDS Book
This book gives us an insightful behind-the-scenes view starting from the very beginning, taking us all the way to the 10 Budokan shows. We learn why BABYMETAL's events were designed the way they were during different time periods, how they would adapt the "story" of BABYMETAL lore to fit real life circumstances with a lot of care and creativity, and how this effort to always maintain the highest standard of quality has remained strong for 10 years.
Divided into 10 chapters that correspond to different stages in BABYMETAL's career so far, the book has over a hundred pages of stories, some of which we're well familiar with, some of which may be new to us.
Because of the length, it is split into chapters, and the link above will take you to the index page which you can then follow to each respective chapter.
2021 Rockin'on Japan FebruarySu & Moa
Rockin'on Japan has a unique in-depth interview style that tends to focus on going behind-the-scenes and into the mindsets of artists. This interview with Su and Moa is no exception!
This interview is a 10 year retrospective, including: their first solo show at the Rock-May-Kan and their thoughts on the beginning of the project, what their relationship was like at first, how things changed with the Kami Band, what it was like to boom in popularity and take on the challenge of foreign shows, dreams and reality becoming intertwined and what it means to be this kind of unique group, overcoming the challenge of YUIMETAL's departure and how they were able to grow from the experience, transforming and steadily advancing towards the future (but don't say they're "back"!), their different roles in the group, and more!
2019 Rockin'on Japan November (Vol. 513)
In this in-depth interview, Su and Moa speak for a total of 20,000 characters about the past three and a half years, including the departure of Yui. In my opinion, this is arguably the most "out-of-character" interview I've read from them, as they talk not just about performing, but also about personal growth and struggles as a person. We learn how they see BABYMETAL, and more importantly, how they see themselves.
"I'm afraid of losing sight of SU-METAL, probably more than losing my voice to sing."
"I can tell what song SU-METAL is going to sing next by the sound of her inhaling. I'm sure that absolutely no one else can do that.
2020 Anan Magazine No. 2230
In contrast to most of their past interviews, Anan magazine is targeted at females in their 20s, covering topics such as fashion, lifestyle, and relationships. The interview discusses the upcoming Best Album, their thoughts about BABYMETAL, their feelings towards one another, and what they think is special about the group. Spoiler alert: shippers delight!
2019 Hedoban #24
After the shocking "Dark Side" era that followed the Yui's departure and Mikio's death, BABYMETAL took on a completely new form in 2019 with their 3rd album Metal Galaxy. In their first interview with Hedoban magazine in three and a half years, they talk about this new beginning, and the meaning of the album in this super in-depth 20,000 character interview!
Chapter 1: June 28-29, 2019: BABYMETAL Awakens - The Sun Also Rises - Yokohama Arena, Kanagawa Prefecture
Chapter 2: June 30, 2019: Glastonbury Festival / July 2, 2019: O2 Brixton Academy
Chapter 3: July 6-7, 2019: BABYMETAL Arises - Beyond the Moon - Legend M, Port Messe Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture
Chapter 4: August 17, 2019: Summer Sonic 2019
Chapter 5: about the 3rd Album Metal Galaxy
Chapter 6: about the songs on Metal Galaxy
Chapter 7: Metal Gods
Chapter 8: BABYMETAL’s dreams and future endeavors
BABYMETAL's producer provides one of the most definitive behind-the-scenes interviews explaining the making of the groundbreaking 3rd album Metal Galaxy, taking up 22 pages in the original magazine.
Read about the charm and magic of "DA DA DANCE" from the Metal Galaxy album in an article that takes us on a mint-flavored time machine back into 80s and 90s Japan, where the song was conceived! (plus more on the Moa rap and "Whoo!")
Hitomi (Jazz Pianist) and Saki (Guitarist, Mary's Blood/Nemophila) share a unique personal and professional perspective on what makes BM very special to them! From the visuals, to the lore, to the mixing, to the difficulty of the songs; they talk about it all. It's a really great interview!
2020 Hedoban #28
Hedoban Magazine has been one of BABYMETAL's strongest supporters since their debut. Due to their long relationship with the group, Hedoban consistently features insightful long-form interviews with a lot more substance than usual, and this one is no exception!
Su talks about the highlights of their 10-year career thus far, an interesting discussion about how different audiences are attracted to different parts of the same song, her thoughts on metal, how they've gotten inspired from other metal legends (including Rammstein and Metallica), what she thinks about BABYMETAL haters, and more!
In this interview, Moa talks about listening to their young voices on the Best Album, memories of recording Doki Doki Morning with Yui, her favorite song on the Best Album, songs that are easy and difficult to dance to, how her approach to dancing has changed over the years, working with the Muscle-Metals and Avengers, her most memorable live show, and more!
Moa also talks about their most memorable performances, how Su is an old lady, being inspired by Korn, the metal songs she enjoys listening to, her response to BABYMETAL haters, her long-distance relationship (clickbait!), and more!
2020 PMC Vol. 18
In this fascinating interview, the girls talk about the 2020 European Metal Galaxy tour, their reactions to fans freaking out to BxMxC, performing Shanti in Cardiff (a city with a strong Indian cultural history), Moa going overboard on sweets and desserts on the tour, the difference between performing with the Western and Eastern Kamis, their desire to be stronger than ever, the effect of fancams and Youtube on their performance, how each girl thinks the other has evolved, what they think of performing older songs, their thoughts on the pandemic and the 10-year anniversary, how they prepare for performances, a message to their fans, and more!
Koba talks about BABYMETAL's relationship with video works! We get some insight into how they use video effects during live performances, the difficulty facing artists in an era of distractions fighting for a viewer's attention, comparing live and video performances, and more!
As BABYMETAL navigates this world in which touring and live concerts are severely limited, it is rather interesting to see how they may be thinking and trying to adapt.
This issue of PMC also included a "10 Video Selections" section, in which Su & Moa, Kobametal, and Mikikometal were interviewed with discussion centering around 10 different Music Videos or video performances.
Su & Moa discuss: filming "Iine!" with extras that had no idea what BABYMETAL was, Su finding it very hard to headbang while wearing a neckbrace, Moa tearing her costume and just rolling with it in Megitsune (and the production team keeping a blooper of hers), Moa watching Jackie Chan movies while preparing for "Karate", Su's changing interpretion of "Starlight" and the loss of Yui, Legend Metal Galaxy raising the bar for future performances, becoming a backup dancer for Joakim Broden, and more!
The renowned choreographer for BABYMETAL (and many other legendary Japanese dance groups, including the Olympics) talks about: how the "BABYMETAL (side-to-side) headbang" came about, the girls creating dance moves out of instinct that she would use in the choreography, the humbling Wembley Arena experience, cheering for the Tokyo Dome show while working in Rio for the closing ceremony of the Olympics, Su & Moa growing through adversity, how dance is different for a teenager vs an adult, her thoughts on music, imagery, and dance in the new era of instant celebrity and COVID, and much more!
Koba talks about: adding the "whoa~" section to "Road of Resistance" at the last minute, the meaning of the "Distortion" music video, why he doesn't like to explain things too clearly, anticipating how fans might react to certain songs, how impressed they were at how quickly the audience learns the choreography, how "BxMxC" is BABYMETAL's version of "8 Mile", the making of various live music videos, and more!
2020 Legend Metal Galaxy - The One Limited Edition - Special Interview
This is an in-depth interview with SU-METAL and MOAMETAL regarding the Legend Metal Galaxy album, dance, and performances, and the ultimate guide to their latest album.
2021 Young Guitar Jan. Issue Special Interview
The format of this interview regarding the 10 BABYMETAL Years Best Album was rather unique - they extracted a symbolic lyric as a keyword from each song of the Best Album, and asked the girls to talk about everything they could based on the 10 themes inspired by these keywords. Overall, it goes in-depth into BABYMETAL's present and past decade.
The keywords chosen were: "Hurry Up" (Doki Doki Morning), "Night of my fifteen" (Headbanger), "We all get badly hurt" (Ijime, Dame, Zettai), "Always women are actresses" (Megitsune), "I'll eat just a litte bit" (Gimme Choco!), "This moment right now, living together" (Road of Resistance), "Making everything sharper" (Karate), "Hand in hand" (THE ONE), "Distorted body cries out" (Distortion), "It's a festival!" (PA PA YA!!)
In this fascinating interview, Koba talks about how BABYMETAL's songs are formulated, using completely different performers for the recording of studio tracks, how they go about designing a song, musical influences, and more! For those that are interested in the musical aspect of BABYMETAL, this is a must-read!
2021 Young Guitar Jun. Issue Show Report
Comprehensive show reports for the 10 BABYMETAL Budokan shows, including a 8000-character piece by veteran writer Yosuke Hayakawa, who is also responsible for some of the best in-depth BABYMETAL interviews available, including Su & Moa interviews in Young Guitar January 2021, Kadokawa Extra Issue, and The One exclusive edition of Legend Metal Galaxy.
2021 Young Guitar November
You've got questions, the Fox God has answers!
Well, kind of. Similar to the "10 BABYMETAL LEGENDS" book talking about BABYMETAL's amazing live concerts over the past 10 years, Koba goes in-depth about the production of the 10 Budokan shows in this issue of Young Guitar.
He talks about how the songs were selected, how they would review and refine the performance after each day, the special care put into recreating the crowd cheering effects using audio from past performances and adjusting it in real time, and more.
In addition, Koba also shares his thoughts on how the relationship between artists and supporters is changing, cool new things in the metal scene, what defines a great artist... and most importantly, finishes with a bit more clarity regarding the "sealing". It is quite clear that the current sealing is not intended to be a disbandment, but rather a "break between seasons". They just decided to do something special (and considerate) by announcing this break beforehand compared to the past.
2021 Nylon Japan February
This photoshoot differs in style a bit from their more common music magazines, and the interview that came with it is no exception! As a female-oriented magazine, Nylon takes a slightly different approach from music magazines, which is quite fun. In this interview, the girls talk about:
Enjoying a professional photoshoot, what they think of their costumes and accessories, where they want to visit the most after the pandemic, the music they like to listen to, each song on the Best Album, their first performance of Doki Doki ☆ Morning, and the audience's reaction, freaking out when a fan climbed onto the stage, their favorite costume, the 2014 Budokan performances, differences between performing in Japan and abroad, collaborations, how they stay fresh and constantly evolving after 10 years, and more!
2012 Marquee Vol.91
The girls talk about what it's like in the "Heavy Music Club", and things they enjoy about BABYMETAL songs - of which, only "Doki Doki Morning", "Iine!", and "Ijime, Dame, Zettai!" had been released at that time. (this interview was part of the publicity campaign for "Headbanger!!", which would first be performed on June 23, and released as a single on July 4)
It is striking how very "baby-like" they still were at this point in time, in contrast to the poised young ladies they are now.
2013 Hedoban Vol.2
Summer of 2013 saw BABYMETAL's first major festival tour, including a wide variety of festivals throughout Japan, ranging from metal to pop, from Hokkaido in the north to prestigious rock festivals like Inazuma Rock Festival, to Anime Festival Asia in Indonesia. For many viewers, this was the first time they'd ever seen BM perform.
BABYMETAL's summer of 2013 was arguably their first major step transforming them from "idol novelty" to legitimate metal act. The "May Revolution" series of shows saw the Kami Band begin to perform entire sets, and BABYMETAL began drawing the attention of legendary metal bands like Metallica.
In this insightful interview, Koba talks about:
The importance of transforming BABYMETAL from backtrack to live band, the challenges they had finding Kami Band members, Yui's cover of "Chokotto Love" and Moa's cover of "Love Machine" and the Legend 1999 birthday shows, BABYMETAL's ability to interest fans of all different genres of music at festivals, the difficulties of performing at festivals, what impressed Koba the most about the girls, meeting Metallica randomly for the first time, and the legendary photoshoot, and more!
2013 Hedoban Vol.1
In this in-depth interview, Mikiko-sensei talks about how her total lack of experience with metal helped her create BABYMETAL's unique choreography, and how she worked closely with Koba in the early days to understand how things worked in metal. It's fun to see her in the early days, trying to figure out how to create the things that BABYMETAL would become known for later on.
BABYMETAL is an anomaly in many ways in the Japanese entertainment industry, making them of particular interest from a business perspective.
In this three-part series, Koba was interviewed by a business-oriented outlet, discussing the future of the live entertainment business, how BABYMETAL's fusion of metal and dance became such a hit, and dealing with the business aspects of entertainment. It's interesting to observe how BABYMETAL is seen from an "outsider" perspective, as poeple try to work through what makes it work, from an analytical perspective!
Perhaps more interesting at this time of sealing (late 2021-2022), Koba discusses new possibilities for performance in the COVID era, leading us to speculate what new options may be considered for BABYMETAL moving forward!