BABYMETAL: “Only the Fox God knows what will happen next!”

Few bands have provoked online commentary quite as much in 2014 as BABYMETAL, the teenage Tokyo 'kawaii-metal' trio who exploded into global consciousness this year when their promo video for Gimme Chocolate!! went viral.

Following a successful European debut at this summer’s Sonisphere festival, and a series of US arena shows with Lady Gaga, the girls are set to return to the UK for a November 8 show at London’s Brixton Academy. Su-Metal took a break from the studio to speak with TeamRock about the craziest six months of the band’s career to date…

Q. The band have been busy since we saw you at Sonisphere: what have been your best memories of the past six months?

I think our experience at Sonisphere is something we will remember forever. It was one of our first shows outside of Japan, and there were 50,000 people there who’d never seen us before, and so we had no idea what to expect. We didn’t know if the crowd would hate us, or just start booing, so anticipation was high. I remember standing on the side of the stage before we went on and thinking ‘This might not be very good for us!’ But as we got into the set people started getting more and more into it, and we could see them singing along, and so that was just amazing, something I’ll always remember.

Q. You got to play with, and meet, Lady Gaga in August: how was that experience?

Well, obviously Lady Gaga plays these huge amphitheatres, and that was all very new to us, but Lady Gaga and her team were so welcoming and it was a really fun experience. Again, with this being a Lady Gaga crowd we weren’t sure how they would react to us – it’s a pop show, not a metal show, of course – and so it was a little nerve-wracking. But we did five shows, and as the tour went on we noticed more and more people in BABYMETAL T-shirts, and more people singing along, so we could see before our eyes that we were connecting with people who’d maybe never heard us before. It was an excellent experience.

Q. Did Lady Gaga have any advice for you? Or was there anything you particularly wanted to know about her when you met?

We’re fans of Lady Gaga, and her music, and her style, so we were able to tell her that, and that was nice. Lady Gaga told us ‘If you girls work hard and go after your dreams maybe we can share a stage again’ and hearing that was just great.

Q. Tickets for your first LA show were on on sale on Ebay for insane amounts of money: does knowing that there’s such huge excitement to see the band add any pressure to your live performance?

Well, we were a little bit nervous before we went onstage, but there’s no real added pressure, because we’ve noticed that once we step onstage the fans react in the same way that they do at shows in Japan. It’s not like we’re feeling that we need to do something special purely because it’s an overseas show, we always want to do the best show we can.

Q. What are you looking forward to most about returning to the UK?

We have a song called Akatsuki, which is difficult for even Japanese fans to memorise, so when we played in London last time I was just shocked at how many people seemed to know every word. There was one person at the front at the London show who was super into the song, and very emotional, and so I’m just wondering if I’ll see them again at the front at the next show!

Q. What can people expect from the Brixton Academy show?

Obviously it’s a much bigger venue than the Forum, where we played last time, so we want to deliver a bigger and more powerful performance, and try some new things. Again, we know that there’ll be people there who have never seen BABYMETAL before, so we’re just hoping to bring our very best show to Brixton. We’re really looking forward to it.

Q. What does 2015 hold in store for BABYMETAL?

Well, if you know about BABYMETAL you will know that we’re governed by the Fox God, so as to what lies ahead, we’d have to ask the Fox God. Only the Fox God knows!

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.