Friday, 01 May 2015 08:06

BABYMETAL!!! Featured

 Yes!!! That’s the name of the band. A new Japanese metal idol group is on the rise this era on a global scale, they are called BABYMETAL. The metal group compose of Suzuka Nakamoto, also known as "Su-metal", Yui Mizuno, known as "Yuimetal", and Moa Kikuchi, known as "Moametal". The entire framework of the band which creates its unique projection is a fusion of the metal and idol genres. The three teenage girls are not the only members that create the sound and appearance but a group of young metal lovers whom the Amuse talent agency is managing. Their debut album with the same name was realised on February 2014, which brought about mainstream fame to their talented selves.

As a subunit of the female idol group Sakura Gakuin, the band was initially formed in 2010. It aimed at realizing a "fusion of metal and idol ". Babymetal's producer, Kobametal, quoted that he had been envisioning the creation of a group around Suzuka Nakamoto's lead vocals ever since 2009. This was the time when Suzuka's group Karen Girl's disbanded. He searched for more members and finally concluded that it is because of Suzuka's unique stage presence, the other members should contrast her. "What if other children were dancing around her like angels?", was his thought process, and so he asked Yui Mizuno and Moa Kikuchi (both were just 10 years of age at the time) to participate. None of these three youngsters knew about metal music before the band emerged. “What the?!” was the reaction when they initially heard the idea of Babymetal, Suzuka Nakamoto said in an interview to MTV 81.

As per Kobametal, Babymetal's name evolved to him by revelation. It is a sync on the words "heavy metal", as, in Japanese, the word "baby" rhymes with "heavy" may indicate cuteness, "metal" – intensity. Also, he has come to like interpreting it as "newborn metal". In an interview for Razor TV while in Singapore in 2013, the members of the band also used the latter interpretation. They stated their brand of metal was a newborn genre and the word "baby" in "Babymetal" justifies that.

In November 28, 2010, the band gave their first live appearance, the first Sakura Gakuin's solo concert. Their first song, "Doki Doki Morning", was originally released in April 2011 on the Sakura Gakuin album Sakura Gakuin 2010nendo: Message. Later, a music video for the song was shot and in October 2011 released it as a DVD single intended for limited (live-venues-only) distribution. Being uploaded to YouTube in the same October, initially the video attracted only some Japanese fans of idols, but in about a month, fans started to emerge overseas with rather confused and shocked reactions. By December 16 2011, it was watched about 400 thousand times with most views coming, apart from Japan, from North America, Russia, Sweden and Finland. Most of the 1,300 comments were in English. Within a year, the video would total over 1 million views in 2012. Also, in July 2011 at a Sakura Gakuin concert, Babymetal premiered a second song, "Ijime, Dame, Zettai" ("No More Bullying", with lyrics against bullying), but it would only be released as a single much later, in 2013.

Lyrical themes for Babymetal's music are based on real-world issues and also typical idol-pop topics such as encouraging young teens to accept and stand up for themselves, the pressure put on teenage girls to remain thin and also bullying while they also sing about what it's like going to your first concert, the concept of an "ideal woman" and chocolate, subjects critics say are a step away from typical lyrical styles used by most metal bands.

Dancing is one of the unique things the trio do besides vocal performances. Su-metal is the main vocalist, credited on Babymetal's official site with vocals and dancing, while Moametal and Yuimetal are credited with scream and dance. These three metal girls usually dress up in punk lolita style outfits of red and black. Su-metal, the tallest of the three, is typically in the center, with the other two members positioned either side of her. In addition, Yuimetal and Moametal make up a sub-group called "Black Babymetal" (stylized as BLACK BABYMETAL). The dancing is choreographed by the trio's dance teacher Mikiko, who is renowned for her choreography with Perfume and owns her own dance company called 'Eleven Play'.

The band does not use horn signs. They use hand gestures of the fox (or more accurately the kitsune) to symbolise the band's divine inspiration. When asked about this divinity (the 'Fox God'), they replied, "We’ve actually never met the Fox God, but because of his blessing, we were able to become Babymetal."

In their live performances, Babymetal are assisted by a backup band. Originally, a band called "Babybone" who were dressed in black-and-white skeleton outfits, use only gesture and movement to act out playing instruments to playback. From mid-2012, a live band called Full Metal Band (who are also known as by the name, the "Gods of Metal" or "Kami Band") took over as musical accompaniments and  are now performing all music live at every Babymetal concert.

The members of the Kami Band:

Mikio Fujioka (guitar)

Hideki Aoyama (drums)

Boh (bass)

Takayoshi Ohmura (guitar)

Leda (guitar)

Hidefumi Usami (programming)

Yuya Maeta (drums)

 

Members:

Su-metal (real name Suzuka Nakamoto) ‒ vocal

Yuimetal (real name Yui Mizuno) ‒ vocal

Moametal (real name Moa Kikuchi) ‒ vocal

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