KORN frontman Jonathan Davis has defended BABYMETAL against online criticism, saying that the Japanese pop metal act is "entertaining as hell."
Established in 2010, BABYMETAL is the offshoot of the Japanese pop idol group SAKURA GAKUIN that performs a distinctly Japanese mix of schoolgirl J-pop and heavy metal.
BABYMETAL's members — Suzuka Nakamoto (a.k.a. Su-Metal, who handles vocals and dancing), Yui Mizuno (a.k.a. Yuimetal) and Moa Kikuchi (a.k.a. Moametal), the latter of whom both scream and dance — admit that they had never listened to metal before joining the group. The girls wear gothy schoolgirl costumes, do choreographed dance routines and bang their heads violently.
Many heavy metal fans have been reluctant to embrace BABYMETAL — which also includes producer Kobametal and a backing band of corpse-painted virtuosos — with some Internet forums calling them "the definition of a gimmick", "awful" and "metal for hipsters."
Speaking ot Germany's MusikExpress, Davis stated about BABYMETAL (see video below): "I dig BABYMETAL. It's just wrong on every level. It's just entertaining as hell. The whole Asian pop mixed with metal and the dance they do, it's just… I mean, how can you not be entertained watching that? It's the whole vibe, just the whole thing — it's not necessarily the music or the girls themselves or what you're looking at. It's the whole package, it's the whole thing."
He continued: "When I first heard them, I was, like, 'Oh, this is amazing!' 'Cause I like things that are different and go against the grain. And everyone was flipping the hell out, freaking out about it — hatin' it or lovin' it. It was one way or the other — you either love or hate it. I thought I'd seen it all, but after I saw them, [I was], like, 'Wow! This is pretty intense.'"
Asked if he can understand why some people believe that BABYMETAL is destroying music, Davis responded: "It's just closed-minded people. I mean, from both sides of it — there's purist metal people that are just pure about their music and want this, and it's gotta be a certain way. And then there's the other people that just… It's music, and if you dig it, you dig it. Who cares? It's not that big of a deal to like something like that. Calm down."
BABYMETAL was one of the support acts on KORN's "The Serenity Of Summer" tour, also featuring STONE SOUR, YELAWOLF and ISLANDER.
KORN guitarist Brian "Head" Welch joined BABYMETAL on stage — his face painted in the same white-and-black makeup as the Japanese act's backing band — on June 25 at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa, Idaho.