Colin McQuistan of The Huffington Post conducted an interview with BABYMETAL — the offshoot of the Japanese pop idol group SAKURA GAKUIN that performs a distinctly Japanese mix of schoolgirl J-pop and heavy metal — before the band's sold-out July 7 concert at the Forum in London, England.
BABYMETAL kicked off its world tour with a headlining show on July 1 at La Cigale in Paris, France and will support pop superstar Lady Gaga on five shows in July and August.
Asked how physically draining BABYMETAL's live performances are, one of the band's three members, Yui Mizuno (a.k.a. Yuimetal), said: "When I first started, my stamina could not keep up. I did not know what metal was, so I never headbanged before... I used to have muscle pain that lasted three days... but now I am used to it and I have more stamina now." Her bandmate Moa Kikuchi (a.k.a. Moametal) added: "When [I first became part of the band], I had not danced before [to heavy metal music]. I did not know how to make the choreography look good, and like how Yuimetal was saying, I did not know metal, so the choreography was hard to understand; my neck started to really hurt, it was difficult. But now I have got used to it. I like feeling one with the audience, making the whole venue feel like one, it makes me happy."
BABYMETAL's Suzuka Nakamoto (a.k.a. Sumetal) spoke about the unexpected differences between different European countries, telling The Huffington Post: "Every country, the atmosphere is so different. Like in France, how do I say this... I like Japan or I like 'Idols' fans, but in Germany there were a lot of metal fans. The most shocking moment was at Sonisphere... the stage was so big... and the audience 50,000? We have not stood on such a big stage before... it was our first time. At first, [we thought] 'they won't be able to understand us' [and] 'they will not know what we are saying,' [and it] was making us very nervous. But when we ended the performance, the audience was like this, 'Waa' and clapping; that made me very happy."
BABYMETAL released its debut album on February 26 via Toy's Factory. The effort was made available in regular and limited editions. The CD includes five of BABYMETAL's singles that were released in 2011 - 2013, from "Doki Doki Morning" (digital single) to "Megitsune", their B-sides and three new songs.
"Babymetal" made it to No 3 on iTunes' U.S. rock chart and was in the Top 10 in six other countries, including the U.K. The band's video for the song "Gimme Chocolate" has received nearly 10 million views on YouTube, and BABYMETAL was featured on the cover of the U.K. weekly rock magazine Kerrang!
The band's first major single, "Ijime, Dame, Zettai", sold 19,000 copies in its first week and debuted at No. 6 in the Japanese Orion weekly singles chart.
BABYMETAL released its first-ever concert Blu-ray, "Live ～Legend I, D, Z Apocalypse～", on November 20, 2013 (the limited-edition DVD box was issued on October 19). The set contains footage of the band's performances at Shibuya O-East (October 2012), Akasaka Blitz (December 2012) and Zepp Tokyo (February 2013).
"Gimme Chocolate" video: