Babymetal talk Download festival, Rammstein and touring America


After headlining Wembley arena earlier this year, Babymetal have set their sights on the biggest rock and metal weekend in the UK – Download festival. Primed to lay waste to the main stage on Friday afternoon, we chat to Su-Metal about the upcoming show and everything else going on in the world of Babymetal right now.

You played Download festival for the first time last year. What was going through your mind when you stepped onstage?

“Last year we performed at Download festival for the first time in a collaboration with Dragonforce – it was also our first time to collaborate with another artist in a live performance. There were keyboards and instruments that Babymetal usually don’t use onstage; we were able to discover new aspects of music.”

This is the third UK festival you’ve played, what is it you love about them?

“In the UK, we’ve always had the honour to appear at the big festivals. At festivals, we have many opportunities to perform in front of an audience who don’t really know who Babymetal are. But seeing people react to our performance – starting with big question marks over their heads to enjoying our music as the show goes on – tells me that we are doing something right.”

What is the biggest difference between British festivals and Japanese festivals?

“The biggest difference is the way people react to new music. Japanese people are shy, so there are less people who express their emotions to music they hear for the first time. However in the UK, even if it’s the crowd’s first exposure to our music, if they like it they show their emotions straight to us.”

You’re playing Download the same day as Rammstein – who do you think has the better stage show?

“We’re looking forward to see Rammstein’s show at Download festival. I hope to perform well so that the people who came to see Rammstein’s show will think that Babymetal’s show was great, too.”

If you had the chance to put on your own festival, who would headline?

“Metallica and Bring Me The Horizon.”

You’re playing with Rob Halford at the AP Awards. What exactly can we expect from that performance?

“We have no idea how this is going to turn out, but I can tell you that the music made by the Metal God and Fox God is going to be great.”

Babymetal with their Metal Hammer Golden God award last year

Babymetal with their Metal Hammer Golden God award last year

Who is your dream collaborator, on record or onstage?


Who is the most surprising celebrity you’ve seen at a Babymetal show?

“Lady Gaga.”

You’ve been in America a lot recently, what has it been like?

“It was our first time touring the US on a full scale, and everywhere we went was enjoyable and exciting. And even though we were touring in just one country, it was interesting to see the different reactions in different states of the US.”

Why has the UK embraced Babymetal quicker than America?

“The first festival we performed outside of Japan was Sonisphere. I think it all started from the recognition we received at Sonisphere – the interest for Babymetal just grew from there, reaching out to other people in the UK.”

What’s your one festival camping tip?

“At festivals you enjoy the music so try to listen carefully to the sound of nature when you’re camping. It’s interesting to have a new discovery when you listen consciously to what you’ve been hearing casually everyday.”

Is there anything Babymetal can do to ensure it doesn’t rain at Download?

“Pray to the Fox God.”

Babymetal play the main stage at Download on June 10.

Babymetal announce 2nd Tokyo show

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.