Learn from BABYMETAL, Japan’s First on the Cover of METAL HAMMER
On the 18th, Japan time, Babymetal became the first in Japan to be the cover of the English magazine METAL HAMMER. Babymetal has been highly praised by Lady Gaga and, as artists, have sparked a fire of popularity overseas prior to gaining popularity in Japan. With all the news coverage, there are probably many of you who already know them. That’s why today we’re going to write about our thoughts from a Japanese person’s perspective.
They’ve just reached a pause to their overseas performances. These shows have been a huge hit in every country. From the Japanese national character it’s hard to imagine these high school-aged kids doing such flashy shows abroad. To the contrary, it may be precisely because they’re so young.
And they’ll have shows for about a month in Japan in July and August, then continue onward to Germany and England…
But the best thing is the strong support they’ve received from actual metal fans. I can’t express how difficult it is in the highly rigid world of rock to bring a new style and make it stick. I’m also not saying that originality is better. This probably applies to many industries.
While they look like an idol group, they actually have few “idol otaku” fans. To the contrary, their main fanbase is with people who had no interest in idols. This is probably evidence of these girls’ actual abilities, including that of the back-up band.
There’s a “freshness” to foreign cultures, and as such it can sometimes bring forth a large reaction. On the other hand, we realize everyday that there are many cases when the audience holds no interest at all. Results aren’t everything but if there aren’t any then a good service won’t continue. Especially when introducing something new, there are many hardships and you need to continue forth as you grope along in the land not knowing whether you will see results or not. Plus, you have to spend a lot of time and money on a future that you can’t see.
These girls, being so young, have traveled through this difficult road. And they’ve gotten the whole world excited. It’s often reported in Japan that they’ve broken several records held by the idol group Momoiro Clover Z for being the youngest-aged group. The vocalist, SU-METAL, in particular, has a long career which began with modeling at the age of 3. I believe she’s had more than her fair share of hard work and hardships.
I’d like to also get in on it while cautiously following them and expecting them to make further jumps ahead. I expect they will be a source of many inspirations for us in the future. Goin’ Japanesque! Yusuke
Those who’ve never heard of Babymetal before should check out these videos.
Road of Resistance