"I was so nervous that I was slightly shaking.” New Babymetal member Momometal on the moment she was officially announced as part of the band

Momometal throwing the fox sign
(Image credit: Susumetal (Progress-M))

New Babymetal member Momometal - AKA Momoko Okazaki - has revealed her immense nerves at being officially announced as the newest addition to Japan's kawaii-metal superstar band. In an exclusive new interview with Metal Hammer, the singer explains that, despite having performed as one of Babymetal's backing dancers for years by that point, her official confirmation as a full-time member of the core band at Yokohama’s Pia Arena on April 1 this year left her momentarily racked with anxiety.

“I was most anxious about if I would be accepted or not”, she explains. "A lot of thoughts ran through my head, and I knew that to try and be suddenly accepted through the course of Babymetal’s long history was going to be very difficult. I honestly had absolutely no confidence whatsoever, and couldn’t quite really believe that I’d be an official member until the exact moment of the announcement. I remember I was so nervous that I was slightly shaking.”

Momometal's addition to the fold means Babymetal are now finally a trio again following the departure of Yuimetal in 2018. Unsurprisingly given that she's been part of the Babymetal family for four years at this point, Momometal's 'upgrade' was given a rapturous response from those in attendance in Yokohama that night.

“The moment it was announced, it totally blew me away that the fans roared and shouted with such excitement," she tells Hammer, "and not only did I feel relieved, but it was also as if our fans were relieved, and to me, it felt like they had been waiting for this moment to happen for such a long time.

“Hearing the fans’ excitement helped me gain confidence in myself and I felt very proud to be named Momometal”, she adds. “Since that day, everything has been incredibly exciting for me.”

Babymetal's latest studio album, The Other One, is out now. You can read the rest of the band's interview with Metal Hammer in their latest issue, which is out now and comes with a free giant Babymetal poster.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.