Konnichiwa, my Titanium Toyboxers, if you’re still out there! Can you believe it’s been nearly 2 and 1/2 years since my last post 233? And nearly 10 years since my first post 001? So what’s the momentous occasion? Babymetal! Of course, it’s very possible that many of you have already discovered their music years ago. But, as for myself, the inevitable event finally smashed into me on March 25th, less than 2 weeks ago, as I’m writing this on April 5th-6th. Luckily, I discovered them in time for the release of their headbanging second album, Metal Resistance, on April 1st. Nice! But wait, what if you’ve never heard of them before? Well, if Metallica represents the metal gods, then Babymetal’s Su-metal, Yuimetal, and Moametal represent the metal demons. Or maybe the metal fox (kitsune) spirits!
Part 1 of 4 > Discovery
Before we dive into all of the Babymetal videos and wallpapers, let’s take a step back. How did I finally find out about Babymetal? To be fair, I think I’d have to rewind a couple months.
February 23. Here’s my February 23rd email to my brother:
Hey… I don’t know if you’ve followed Queensryche at all since Operation: Mindcrime (1988). For me, they kinda went downhill musically since Empire (1990), with the notable exception of the operatic Operation: Mindcrime II (2006). Since then, I forgot all about them.
Until last week.
In a random Amazon music recommendation, their name caught my eye again. Unexpected to me, their last two albums have garnered high ratings and glowing customer reviews. What? A new singer? Why? So I researched Wikipedia.
Apparently, the group finally fractured in an epic legal battle in 2012-2014 between the tyrannical Geoff Tate and the remaining members. The result? Basically, Tate has rights to perform Mindcrime, while the remaining members have rights to the Queensryche name and logo. Epic!
But after downloading and listening to the last 2 post-Tate albums of 2013 and 2015, I now understand the rave reviews for the reborn and unleashed Queensryche! Not only does the new lead singer does supreme vocal justice to both their classic and latest tunes, their sound carries a refreshing reminder of their pre-Mindcrime vision and power. Like I said, epic.
I hope I piqued your curiosity.
His email reply:
My interest has officially been piqued – I have added Mindcrime II, and the two post-Tate albums to my Queue.
March 23. The following month, I received the two latest post-Tate albums in the mail! Here’s my March 23rd text to my brother:
Hey bro, thx for the extending my birthday into a birth week. Queen of the Reich!
His text reply:
You got both?
Wound up listening to them myself a few weeks ago – quite a renaissance.
My text reply:
Yup, both!… Yeah, I agree, Renaissance! Listen to Mindcrime 2 too?
His text reply:
Yeah – but, was largely disappointed. I didn’t find anything new or vibrant in it. But, the next two – completely different story. Two of the best prog-metal albums in recent memory.
A few hours later, I emailed my brother:
Hey… Since your Queensryche gifts reminded me of prog metal in general, I checked out the Wikipedia article on its history. There are a TON of band names I’ve never heard of, like Fates Warning and Crimson Glory?! Including these, would you have any band recommendations off the top of your head? If it helps (or hurts), I’m partial towards Metallica-like and Rush-like explorations too. But nothing overly growl-y :)
March 25. A couple days later, his life-changing email reply:
Let’s see. I’ll give you very different four bands – which employ various levels of ‘prog’. This way, I can triangulate (er, quadrangulate, in this case) where you are, and calibrate further recommendations accordingly. They all feature actual singing (I’m not too big on cartoon-ish doom metal voices either)…
Baroness, Blue Record
Anathema, Weather Systems
Death Angel, The Dream Calls for Blood
A few hours later, my email reply:
Haha, I must say, after downloading just the first 2 of your recommendations from YouTube — Baroness: Blue Record & Babymetal: Babymetal — you’ve already triangulated a “bull’s eye” with Babymetal! So far, “Blue Record” hasn’t really connected with me yet, but as for the other…
Let’s rewind a bit. Maybe it’s my long wondrous history with anime. Take note that up until 2010-2011, I’d watched about 300 anime titles or seasons, from romantic comedies to action dramas to sudden tragedies, peaking briefly at about 40-50 titles per year. But since then, I’ve slowed down drastically, maybe a few titles per year….
So when I played the first few tunes of Babymetal, I felt this intense wave of nostalgia and emotional memories of all of the anime heroes and heroines who saved the galaxy or defeated the monsters from hell, because Babymetal reminded me of the same female-vocal heart-pumping music that fires up the opening theme and battle scenes of many anime over the last 5-10 years. I wouldn’t be surprised if tons of much newer anime are flooded even more with this prog-metal style. So it’s weird– I’m drawn to their music not so much because their sound is new to me, but because their sound reminds me of my wondrous anime days. Fortunately or not, I don’t have time nowadays to get re-addicted to anime, hehe. We’ll see.
Well, that’s my update. I’ll keep you posted. Thx again!
The rest is history! Am I addicted to Babymetal yet? Let’s find out.
Part 2 of 4 > Videos
Here’s a quick collection of Babymetal videos since 2012. Yup, since 4 years ago!
In short, a 15-year-old girl goes to the rock concert. It’s a special night of a special age.
This special night of my fifteen, I’ll never forget.
All the crybabies, get out of here!
With the legendary black long hair disordered around and gorgeously,
blooming crazy, this flower will soon disappear fruitlessly.
It’ll never come back again and it’s so short period.
I etch in my heart this special night of my fifteen.
I jump lightly and dance in the air.
In short, in a sentimental night, a girl runs away from reality. The party under the night sky.
So good. So good.
The party under the night sky.
So good. So good.
I’ll go brilliant.
That for now, moshing up.
Taking little by little is impossible.
It’s too transcendental. It’s perfect.
A gal must have
a dream which is surely
In short, teenage girls want to try things not meant for their age. OK, but hurry up to school!
Ring. Ring. Ring. Good Morning. Wake up!
Please! Please! Please! Wait a moment! Wait a moment!
Ring. Ring. Ring. Don’t be hasty! But hurry up!
A hectic, busy morning.
Ring. Ring. Ring. Take your time to make up!
Please! Please! Please! Wait a moment! Wait a moment!
Ring. Ring. Ring. Today I am updated.
A thump-thump-beating morning.
In short, we all get badly hurt. Say “Never” to bullying! Don’t be bystanders!
Bullying. [No!] Bullying. [No!]
It’s disgraceful. [No! No! No! No!]
Sometimes you get hurt, sometimes you hurt someone,
and we all get badly hurt.
Fox, [Fly!] Fox, [Fly!]
I’m sure you can fly.
Let your pain and sadness all go outside!
It’s OK because I’ll protect you.
Note: “Ijime, Dame, Zettai” is one of Babymetal’s signature “Wall of Death” tunes. “Road of Resistance” is another.
In short, girls are maiden-like foxes that, without intention, charm you into a sweet illusion.
Ah, it’s right. Always women are actresses.
We’re not foxes, not deceiving.
… shouldn’t be underestimated.
Ah, girls are becoming more like an ideal woman.
Continuously, to keep blazing,
we shoot up the fireworks.
Ah, blooming and falling is the fate for a woman.
Smiling at face, crying at heart,
we’re pure-hearted maiden-like female foxes.
In short, a teenage girl likes chocolate, but worries about gaining weight.
Atatata tatata taatatata zukkyun.
Wadadada daada daadadada dokkyun.
Zukyun. Dokyun. Zukyun. Dokyun.
Yet. Yet. Yet. Yet. Never. Never. Never.
Check-it-out chocolate. I can have a bit of chocolate, can’t I?
But my weight worries me a bit these days.
However, chocolate. I can have a bit of chocolate, can’t I?
But wait a while! Wait a while! Wait! Wait! Wait!
[[ Give me! ]]
In short, this song is typical of the theme songs of many Japanese battle anime.
Go for Resistance! [Resistance!] Resistance! [Resistance!]
Woh woh woh woh woh.
Our hearts are one.
If you believe in your way,
go on even the way without a path!
Forever! [Forever!] Forever! [Forever!]
Woh woh woh woh woh.
In the depths of our heart,
the hot Metal spirit is burning.
It is our Resistance.
Note: Until I watched their “Road of Resistance” video, I’d never seen a crowd-smashing “Wall of Death” before. Both terrifying and electrifying!
In short, this is a song of the fighting spirit.
Single-mindedly, seiya soiya, let’s fight on
with our fists more… with our spirits more…
with making all sharper.
[Wo’oh wo’oh wo’oh]
Still more, seiya soiya, let’s fight on
even if we get sad and unable to stand up.
[Wo’oh wo’oh wo’oh.]
[Wo’oh wo’oh wo’oh.]
In short, this song suggests the end of one path and the start of another.
We are THE ONE.
Together. We are the only one.
You are THE ONE.
Forever. You are the only one.
We are THE ONE.
Whenever. We are on your side.
You are THE ONE.
Remember. Always on your side.
Note: Yeah, why not? Let’s add Babymetal’s U.S. television debut on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”. “I’m not sure what I’m about to see, but I’m pretty excited about it.”
Part 3 of 4 > Wallpapers
Why stop with the videos? Here’s a quick collection of Babymetal wallpapers ranging from screenshots of their live concerts to promotional art, to fan art, to random photos!
Part 4 of 4 > Articles
To complete the experience, why not sprinkle some sparkling Babymetal articles?
July 10, 2014.
Our favorite Jap-pop metal trio, BABYMETAL (who if you’re really not hip to yet, check out our archives) have been on tour in Europe and naturally running into many other metal bands. As a result, their Facebook page has been constantly updating with photos of the trio with various metal bigwigs and I just can’t. Metal has never been so cute, everybody looks so happy and fun, it’s so un-metal that it goes back around to being metal again. Here are some of our favorite photos:
- (1) Babymetal meet Metallica’s Kirk Hammett,
- (2) Babymetal meet Slayer’s Kerry King and Gary Holt,
- (3) Babymetal meet Carcass’ Jeff Walker,
- (4) Babymetal meet Deftones’ Chino Moreno,
- (5) …and get photobombed by Anthrax’s Joey Belladonna,
- (6) Babymetal meet Trivium’s Matt Heafy, and
- (7) Babymetal meet Dragonforce.
November 6, 2014.
Since learning you were going to be a metal band, what are your favourite heavy metal and hard rock bands that you’ve discovered?
“One of the bands is obviously Metallica. The first real metal band we saw live was Metallica. The first time we met them, they were just really nice old folks, they we went to watch them and they were totally different to the guys we saw on stage. Their aura and stage presence had such a real impact on me. I was like ‘this is real metal’.”
What has it been like meeting metal icons like Metallica and Slayer?
“We were not fans of metal until Babymetal happened. We would be walking around the festival site, watching people and not knowing who they were. It’s still a learning process to get to know the metal scene, but everyone has been super nice and super supportive. It’s been great experience for us in the scene right now.”
If there is one message that Babymetal hope to represent to their fans, what would it be?
“The only thing we really want people to know is that we are striving to be something that is different, something that no one has experienced before, we are the only one. We hope that who ever is interested will continue to support us, as we want to try a lot of new things in the future and experiment with whatever will set us apart from everyone else.”
May 19, 2015.
Before your shows start, you play Metallica over the P.A. What do you like so much about them?
Su-metal: “It’s not only something for us, but the fans get excited when they listen to Metallica and, with Babymetal, it keeps with the rhythm. Before we joined Babymetal, we weren’t that familiar with metal, but we learned a lot from Metallica. Watching their shows and even meeting them, they were really nice to us.”
Did you get any advice from Metallica when you met them?
Moametal: “We never got any advice, but just watching their stage we learned so much. They separate who they are onstage and who they are backstage. That’s something we learned from them and we hope one day we’ll be able to reach that kind of level onstage that Metallica has onstage. It feels like they do receive power from the metal gods when they’re on because it’s amazing.”
What hopes do you have with the album reissue?
Su-metal: “Obviously, we don’t come to America often. It’s very difficult, you know, schedule-wise and everything. With this album finally being physically available here, I feel that, hopefully, the album will be the medium that keeps the fans close to us. They will finally be able to hold it in their hands. Even though we’re so far away, this album’s going to connect us with fans again and we just want to keep that relationship going.”
July 21, 2015.
Slash recently said that Babymetal is the most exciting thing he’s seen in the long time. How does it feel when a legend like him praises your talents?
Yuimetal: “I’m very happy. I’m very happy where we are now and we would love more legendary metal bands to watch our performance, and definitely we want to grow bigger and bigger.”
July 31, 2015.
Imagine being able to meet Metallica or open for Lady Gaga at stadium shows while still in your teenage years. BabyMetal have done just that, crossing the pop/metal barrier and becoming one of the most wildly successful acts of the 2010s.
We were thrilled to meet Su-metal, Moametal and Yuimetal, the three extremely charming young women who have led BabyMetal for the past five years. Along with an in-depth interview and round of ‘Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?‘, we spoke to the girls about some thrills they experienced in 2014.
When we asked BabyMetal about opening for Lady Gaga, Su-metal actually answered the entire question in English, explaining how the girls were nervous at first, but how fans opened up to the act once BabyMetal hit the stage.
As for Metallica, Su-metal explains how BabyMetal discovered the “heart of metal” through the thrash veterans while meeting them face-to-face and witnessing the band perform while traveling internationally.
You’ve played huge festivals with the world’s biggest rock and metal bands. Who were you most excited to meet?
Su-metal: “Metallica. They were the first metal band we watched. They definitely introduced us the heart of metal. When we played at Heavy Montreal, we met them again and were extremely happy to be able to watch their live performance.”
December 23, 2015.
If you could have any dream guest join you onstage, who would it be?
Su-metal: The artist we respect the most is Metallica, so obviously if the chance ever came, I would like for us to play with Metallica.
What metal band inspired you the most?
Su-metal: My answer is the same here—Metallica. Because the first time we saw a metal band live was Metallica two years ago in Japan. Watching Metallica perform, and the way the fans reacted and their aura on stage, was something that I can say is very ‘godly.’ They were also the band that helped us learn more about metal and made us want to learn more about metal. So yes, it’s Metallica.
Do you have any special message from BABYMETAL to the readers of AP?
Su-metal: In the past year, years actually, BABYMETAL has played some headline shows in America. The first two were in New York, L.A. We’ve also played some other cities and some festivals there, and we are just hoping and looking forward to coming back to meet all the fans in America when the chance comes up again. Also what I would like most to say is the biggest thing about BABYMETAL is coming to experience it live, so the next time we head over there, I hope that if you have even of the tiniest bit of interest in BABYMETAL to come to one of our shows and experience BABYMETAL with us!
After downloading 7 Babymetal “Legend” concerts from 2012, 2013, and 2014, and watching over 8 hours within 3 days, I’m totally blown away! Is this the future of heavy metal?
- Legend I, D, Z Apocalypse: 3 concerts performed in 2012-2013, where I, D, Z correspond to their song “Ijime, Dame, Zettai” (Bullying, No, Absolutely).
- Legend 1999 & 1997 Apocalypse: 2 concerts performed in 2013, where 1999 refers to Yuimetal’s and Moametal’s birth year, and 1997 refers to Su-metal’s birth year.
- Red Night (Legend) & Black Night (Legend) Apocalypse: 2 concerts performed in 2014, on 2 consecutive nights at Budokan.
But why stop at 7 Babymetal concerts? Here are a few more on my to-do list!
- World Tour 2014 Live in London: To support their world conquest, I ordered “Legend 1999 & 1997”, “Red Night & Black Night”, and “Live in London”. Can’t wait for “London”!
- Legend 2015 New Year Fox Festival: Although I’ve seen a low-resolution video of the second half, I won’t truly count this concert until I see the entire high-res version, haha.
In terms of storytelling, I’m fascinated by how the Babymetal “Legends” are almost biblical stories linking their odyssey and ascension from concert to concert, tour to tour, continent to continent. Like in countless modern anime, the Japanese reinterpretations of the Christian-Gothic theme extends that oddly refreshing mystical resonance with Western culture. Yet despite the ominous parables between tunes, Babymetal manages to make heavy metal playful even joyful! Heavy metal doesn’t always mean doom or gloom, does it?
In terms of performance, not only are Yuimetal’s and Moametal’s effortless ability to maintain such high-energy singing, dancing, jumping, and running around unbelievable, but Su-metal’s ability to just-as-effortlessly match their electricity while killing all of her powerful high notes is mind-blowing! How do they do it? Despite their human sweat, I guess the only explanation is that Babymetal are truly the metal demons and metal fox spirits!
Finally, here’s a fantastic shot of Su-metal performing during the “Legend Z Apocalypse” concert in 2013. With her microphone in one hand and her “kitsune” gesture in the other, she stands in front of the holy cross. Epic! Am I addicted to Babymetal yet? Do I have to ask?