Interview with Kobametal Hedoban Vol. 10 (Part 2) 2016 April

 

Hedoban Vol. 10

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P. 51

Q:

You can hear them singing in the background, ‘Kattobase! Naranu Buttobase!’. (laughs)

Kobametal:

That is also a rhythm that matches well with the song so I thought, ‘it would be good to insert a feeling like that of a baseball cheerleading squad’ into the song. The choreography also has those and other similar elements entwined into it making this a song with a feel of, ‘What the heck is going on here!?’ that we haven’t had in a while.

Meta! Meta Tarou’-‘Babymetal children’

We want to raise up and foster the coming generation of Babymetal children

Q:

Do you, Kobametal-san, yourself listen to a lot of Viking Metal?

Kobametal:

I listen to bands like Turisas and Sabaton…And perhaps some more Forest Metal types of bands.

Q:

Like Koripiklaani?

Kobametal:

Yes, indeed. I find their music quite interesting. There are bands that are a bit more rugged and rough out there like Amon Amarth who have a manly, chivalrous feeling about them, don’t they? I wonder how things would turn out if a girl’s band did something similar? You know, that tough, manly and rather squalid feel. (laughs)

Q:

(laughs)

Kobametal:

Their MVs have by and large a feel of being in Europe in the Middle ages. If we were to express that in terms more familiar in Japan it perhaps be more like our Samurai TV shows. Men have an romantic ideal that they consider cool of shooting a MV with the actors dressed up in Samurai TV show types of fashion.

Q:

That is so true. It is a very thin line that separates Viking Metal from being either full fledged and cool or actually something that makes you laugh.

Kobametal:

Yes, that is right. It is not a simple matter to know truly what people were actually worshipping as expressed in the myths and legends of long, long ago.

Q:

Things could get quite interesting if Babymetal fans upon listening to this song begin to explore the world of Viking Metal.

Kobametal:

Interpreting things from a Metal outlook that would be in and of itself very interesting. From a Babymetal perspective there is also different sort of message embedded in the song. We are calling out to the ‘Babymetal Children’ with this song which also has a message meant for the upcoming generation of Babymetal. This doesn’t mean necessarily little children but rather is something of a message telling the listener to transform his or herself into a hero! For some that might be similar to Ultraman or Anpanman and for girls it could be similar to Pretty Cure or Sailor Moon. Speaking of myself, I am not exactly sure when it was or what made it so that I got into Metal but we want ‘Babymetal Children’ to know that what got them into thinking Metal is cool and coming to like it to be ‘Meta! Tarou!’. I want to raise up and foster the coming generation of Babymetal.

Q:

I had no idea that there was such a deep message in this song.

Kobametal:

(laughs) But in fact, it does have that kind of message in it. I requested Mikikometal to ‘make a choreography that would be easy for younger children to dance to’. This song is made to be easy for children to get accustomed to, a song that is easy to move to together with the girls and is of a rhythm that is easy to dance to.

Q:

And yes, there are more and more children in the fan base recently. Did you, Kobametal-san, lay out deliberately a formula that would make it possible to see an increase in children fans?

Kobametal:

I did not put too much emphasis on doing so. Our fan base has fans in the age ranges of those in their 30’s and 40’s and so by natural laws that means many of them will also have children. Fans of the age of being around during the time of Hi-Standard have come of age and many were actually kids riding on the shoulders of their fathers watching the shows of bands like Hi-Standard at the AIR JAM performances put on at Yokohama Stadium. For bands like X Japan and Luna Sea and others I wouldn’t be surprised if they even include areas at their concerts where fans can leave their children to be taken care of in a kind of babysitter service.

Q:

I have heard that Luna Sea offers that kind of service.

Kobametal:

I figured that they would. This all makes sense to me when I hear these kinds of reports. I think it is truly a good thing that Babymetal is supported by such a wide fan base spanning from children all the way up to the elderly.

Q:

When Iron Maiden appeared at Sonisphere families there together that spanned over 3 generations all of whom were fans.

Kobametal:

Yes, that is true! When I witnessed that at that time I had became implicitly aware of the fact that Iron Maiden is a band of the people. It seems that even small children and people who do not have any Iron Maiden Cds were saying to themselves, ‘Hey, have heard this before’-it seems like there songs are just known by people all over.

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Q:

The Metal band in Japan may be able to string together 3 generations of fans may in fact be Babymetal.

Kobametal:

I would be very happy if that was to prove to be the case. Recently we have seen an increase in lady fans and there are more and more teenagers around the age of the girls who are also becoming fans. There are young people admiring and wanting to be like Babymetal and we are even seeing more and more students putting on mock Babymetal performances and their school festivals and so on.

Q:

Do you mean they perform in front of a band of musicians and dance and the whole thing?

Kobametal:

That seems to be the case. I have myself seen them on YouTube. Of course from the outset playing the instruments is quite a difficult task and we have to take that into consideration, but you see them giving their all playing on double bass drums…and it really makes you smile. It is something that I feel very grateful about.

Q:

Syncopation

Q:

Lets talk about ‘Syncopation’. What I felt from listening to this song is that it is a Visual style of music.

Kobametal:

You are spot on with that (laughs). This is a song we had ready to go from 3 or 4 years ago. Hints as to what kind of music it is lie in the lyrics and as well when you listen to it you get a feeling of syncopation hinting at, ‘Ah, this has a Visual style of rhythm to it’, or at least that is how I see it. Bringing it all together it has an Emo or a Screamo approach building up in it. The initial version of it had a more Visual style of feel about it.

Q:

You can quite clearly hear the Emo feel to it. Were you deliberately attempting to put a Visual style into the lyrics as well?

Kobametal:

Yes, I was. There is a definite ‘loop’ like feel to it you could say…in a kind of Madoka Hiroshi way (laughs). Those who get this reference will get it and those who don’t, won’t (laughs).

Q:

A looping sequence like that with, ‘Tonde tonde, mawatte mawatte’! <flying, flying, spinning around, spinning around – from the song ‘Musoubana’> (laughs)

Also, the drum rhythm has a sound that is very representative of the Visual style as well, I feel. I feel that coming through in ‘Syncopation’ as well.

Kobametal:

It really does have a feel about it that is uniquely its own, doesn’t it? Kind of a jumpy feel you could say.

Q:

That feel is not present in X Japan, right? It seems like something that started with Luna Sea perhaps.

Kobametal:

I think that with X Japan you have more of a shuffle rhythm. With most 8-note feel songs Yoshiki played with more of a shuffle type of feel. Even playing a double bass drum he would insert a wound up 2-beat feel into things. Luna Sea’s drummer, Shinya has an extremely unique way of drumming with an exquisite way of accentuating the groove and a very tight way of finishing things up with the hi-hat. Artists who have been performing for a long period of time and able to do so because there is something they do that allows them to survive, some kind of amazing unique and individual characteristic. The people that so many want to copy or emulate have that something special about them.

Q:

Of all the songs in this album wouldn’t you say that ‘Syncopation’ has the most Japanese feel to it?

Kobametal:

Yes, I would agree to that. And that is why on the overseas edition we put a different song in its place. On the Japanese edition we wanted to present an ever more Japanese quality to it and so this song was included. On the overseas edition in place of ‘Syncopation’ we have instead included the song ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’.

Q:

What kind of song is that?

Kobametal:

It has a feel close to ‘Linkin Park’ or the recently popular, ‘Bring me the Horizon’. There are also aspects of EDM like sounds and a Skrillex feel as well. This song is one that is of a type totally different from anything Babymetal has done up to now.

Q:

I would love to listen to it (laughs).

Kobametal:

(laughs) It is a song that will make you sit back and go, ‘Eh, whoa, what is this?!’. The way Su-metal sings on this song is something totally different for her.

Q:

It seems to me that there is an introduction of the recent ‘Bring me the Horizon’ type of keyboard sound intertwined deeply into the song.

Kobametal:

We made use of a bit more emotional, symphonic feel you could say…We are also making use of a falsetto feel.

Q:

Ah, I see!

Kobametal:

That’s right. ‘Syncopation’ is also like that. I did not want to deal with it as a kind of bonus track type of treatment. With some albums they add on the final tracks as kind of a demo track addition, right? I am sure that that is a kind of fun thing for the fans to look forward to, but these are often not listened to so much. So instead of adding these kinds of tracks I thought it would be better to add this as a differing part of the story that begins with ‘Road of Resistance’ and ending with ‘The One’. I thought it would be interesting to change the central parts and so added it here in the middle.

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Q:

I don’t see many examples of this kind of approach.

Kobametal:

Yes, it is unusual. Most likely because it is troublesome to do so, I think (laughs). This is because you have to make many originals to do so.

Q:

For people of my generation we would recall the sense of a bit of strangeness we felt with the introduction of, ‘So What?’ in final part of the Metallica’s Japanese edition of the ‘Black Album’.

Kobametal:

That is right. Yes, that is so. (laughs) It was kind of like, ‘Why did you end the album with this?’. I personally did not want to create an album where the final song was a kind of bonus track. Additionally, with this album, we have 3 master versions of The One in and above the Japanese edition and the overseas edition.

Q:

That is not done normally (laughs).

Kobametal:

(laughs) Depending upon the song in question (laughs), there are cases where this goes totally unnoticed. I am fine with the idea of only those who notice it, noticing it.

GJ!

Q:

Next, lets talk about ‘GJ!’. This is a Yuimetal&Moametal Black Babymetal song. This is a further extension of their songs following upon ‘4 no Uta’ and ‘Onedari Daisakusen’.

Kobametal:

That is right. As they progressed in this series they have gradually gotten better at doing rap and so I felt that I wanted the 2 girls to move on to the next step.

Q:

You are so right saying that the two girls have gotten much better at rap!

Kobametal:

They really have. It may actually be that they are actually better at these kinds of songs than Su-metal.

Q:

Are you of the mindset of wanting to have Black Babymetal continue on for a long time into the future traveling on this path of Rap Metal?

Kobametal:

I think it would be wonderful for this to be one character in their repertoire. And the girls enjoy doing it. There are techniques that Su-metal is proficient at and for the areas that are not her specialty the two Black Babymetal girls are able to fill in the gaps with their own special abilities. I feel it is a great idea for these two to continue to do what only they can do. In fact these two girls are very adept at performing to the rhythm of these kinds of songs. The other amazing thing is just how incredibly they harmonize with each other. When we record in the studio they sing completely in unison without any kind of discrepancy at all.

Q:

So, they do the recordings together at the same time!

Kobametal:

In the majority of the recordings they sing together.

Sis. Anger

Q:

Next up is ‘Sis. Anger’ This is also a Black Babymetal song. And tying into the ‘Black’ reference this is a form of Black Metal (laughs).

Kobametal:

That is right (laughs).

Q:

This song also makes quite an impact. It also gives on the feeling of, ‘Wow, they have really gone and done it this time!’. (laughs)

Kobametal:

(laughs) We kicked around the idea of Black Babymetal doing a Black Metal song from quite way back. The members involved were also at that time goofing around doing Death Voices and things like that. You know, yelling out in voices screaming, ‘Beehh!’ (laughs).

Q:

(laughs)

Kobametal:

That was all cute and really interesting to me. But rather than just them screaming out, ‘Beehh!’ I felt it that if they were to sing Black lyrics we could create the ultimate in Black Metal including of course, Death voices.

Q:

I see!

Kobametal:

From one way of thinking it is as if their voices just as they are, are a kind of Death voice you could say. I thought, if we can have them sing in a manner that would knock us out we would have the creation of a true Black Babymetal style of Black Metal. In the beginning I was not by any stretch of the imagination sure if these lyrics were alright to have the girls sing or not. This was something I dealt with when making, ‘Ijime, Dame, Zettai’ as well. There was some deliberation about the pros and cons of making this available to the public at large. Once we made a trial recording I realized that this is something that, ‘We MUST release to the world’. Once we realized that everything gelled rapidly into the finished piece.

Q:

There are many songs on this album that have the feel of being first time ventures in Metal songs for you. Every time I listen to it I get the feeling of, ‘Wow, they performed this AND they did this other one as well!’. (laughs)

Kobametal:

(laughs) For myself personally as well, this is a song that I truly love.

P. 54

I think the sound is overflowing with the fragrance Northern Europe and comes across with a cool feel to it. I made a request to the songwriters to give the feel of having a, ‘blast beat and guitar sound built on chords that one can’t quite put one’s finger on’. I showed the songwriters the videos of ‘Immortal’, which is now called ‘Abbath’ and told them I wanted the guitar to be played in the same manner where they stick their tongue out and play the guitar like this. (laughs)

Q:

Right, in kind of a bowlegged manner (laughs).

Kobametal:

That’s right (laughs).

Q:

Now that you say that, I can see that it has an ‘Immortal’/’Abbath’ feel to it.

Kobametal:

I have long been a fan of Behemoth and Darkthrone and by putting in these kinds of sounds I think we have created a Black Babymetal style of Black Meta.

Q:

Listening to it I can envision snow capped mountains (laughs).

Kobametal:

Yes, that is true. (laughs) It has a feel that seems like they are playing almost naked out in the snow capped mountains of Northern Europe.

No Rain, No Rainbow

Q: Lets move on to ‘No Rain, No Rainbow’. This song was first performed in front of an audience in 2013 at NHK Hall.

Kobametal:

Right. We played it at NHK Hall and then at the BudouKan as well.

Q:

So, it has been performed just those two times, right?

Kobametal:

That’s right. Because of the style of the song it is a bit difficult to know what is the best way to present it especially when considering live performances. Since this album has a wide variety feel to it and since Su-metal has grown so much in her vocal abilities I felt felt that timing-wise now would be perfect to include it. It was a bit of a gamble. Considering things from the point of view of Metal singles it seems that there are many cases where the 3rd single is a ballad, right? Taking that into consideration amongst other factors I felt that the timing was right to include this song.

Q:

I think the timing is outstanding. Was the reason for not performing it at live shows for so long that it wasn’t ready? Or was it that it didn’t quite fit in with the feel of a live performance?

Kobametal:

Songs like this one can not be performed well with the singer just standing plopped out there on the stage-you need some kind of stage production to support it.

Q:

So, for that and perhaps other reasons you decided not to perform it since the BudouKan shows?

Kobametal:

Yes, that is right.

Q:

At the NHK Hall performance you had Yuimetal and Moametal play a crystal piano to accompany this song.

Kobametal:

Yes, that’s right. If the timing matches right in with the theme those kinds of performances are made possible.

Q:

Well, the title of the song is ‘No Rain, No Rainbow’ and the song itself certainly has a strong X Japan feel to it in the manner of their song, ‘Endless Rain’, right?

Kobametal:

Musically speaking, it was in line with Billy Joel, you know.

Q:

Whoa! (laughs)

Kobametal:

As we were listening to ‘Honesty’ I said to them, ‘This is how it should be performed’. (laughs)

Q:

I can’t believe it-Billy Joel’s ‘Honesty!

Kobametal:

We also gave a listen to some AOR songs as well. We tried out suddenly dropping into a minor chord and things like that (laughs). This song really was created as the result of us talking about all kinds of ideas for it. It contains quite a mixture of influences all blended together.

Tales of The Destinies

Q:

The 11th song on the album, ‘Tales of The Destinies’, to me is the highlight of the album and is the song that best symbolizes the concept of ‘Metal Resistance’. It is an extreme, almost overcooked kind of Technical Metal Progressive song that is…well, I must say, quite unusual. (laughs)

Kobametal:

(laughs) Upon opening the World map of Metal music, this song as well really made me stop and consider how are we going to deal with the genre of Progressive Metal represented by such bands that I love such much like Dream Theater. It took about 2 or 3 years to put it into the form that it is in now. As you can imagine, there were a multitude of hardships to overcome to do so. That goes for the performance side of it as well and we had to put it through countless, repeated changes to its arrangement to finally get it where it is now.

Q:

The performance side of this song is state of technical craziness that will go beyond that of even Dream Theater.

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Kobametal:

I think it will be quite a difficult task (laughs).

Q:

Do you have plans to perform it live?

Kobametal:

I am thinking that if we can pull it off we should (laughs).

Q:

I am sure this must have been tough for the 3 members of Babymetal as well.

Kobametal:

They said that they did not know how to correctly work with the rhythm. However, what is a amazing is that once they get used to it I’m sure they will be able to perform it without problem. I’m not sure, but their incredible potential in these matters may come from being so young. They are truly astonishing. (laughs)

Q:

That is also highly unusual (laughs). Because this song is a storm of irregular beats. So, it seems that Kobametal-san likes to listen to Progressive Metal as well.

Kobametal:

Yes, I absolutely love Dream Theater. I have enjoyed listening to the whole range of that type of music from ‘Yes’ to ‘Rush’, ‘UK’, ‘Emerson, Lake and Palmer’ and others of this genre. And I also like jazz. Even if the music does not have vocals in it I enjoy the emotionality of music that leaves you with a sense of thrill wondering where the new change in the development of the song is going to lead you. I would love to some day have us take on Progressive Metal, but it does sound like a very challenging prospect. (laughs)

Q:

Listening to it that really comes across strongly. (laughs)

Kobametal:

Yes, but it is so obscure that for people who don’t play a musical instrument it is a song that they may not be able to comprehend at all (laughs). That said, those who can appreciate and enjoy it, I am sure they will truly enjoy it.

Q:

Of all the songs on ‘Metal Resistance’ I think this is one that will really hit home with people who are deeply into Metal. Further said, wouldn’t you say that we are now seeing a lot of new generation Technical Metal bands?

Kobametal:

Yes, I would agree. This is not limited to Metal it is also the post-Rock people and the guitarists and all the people who really get into music at a deep, no nonsense attitude kind of approach have increased in number. In that sense I think this song will reach those kinds of people at a deeper level. Those who get it, will get it. This kind of ‘well, those who don’t get it, won’t get it’ is a Babymetal kind of attitude that is OK. Some of Babymetal’s songs are incredibly catchy and popish, some songs are only for music maniacs, some are ballads and some are even like this song ‘Meta! Meta Tarou’.

Q:

By putting ‘The One’ after this song I get the feeling that the album really comes together as a complete album.

Kobametal:

The two final songs do perhaps play that role.

Q:

In Progressive Metal there are songs that work as compilation songs. Some famous songs are labeled as part 1 and part 2. Was this something that you deliberately tried to achieve?

Kobametal:

You are spot on with that insight. The songs of ‘Tales of The Destinies’ and ‘The One’ were one single song. When I listened to the demo track I thought we should cut off the latter half and make a more medium tempo ensemble song that would play off of ‘Road of Resistance’ in musical meaning and so cut it off to create ‘The One’.

Q:

So, that means that it was originally quite a gigantic piece.

Kobametal:

Saying that it was connected refers just to the guitar melody part, the Rararara outro part, you see. I really love the melody and so I wanted to add lyrics and vocals onto the Rararara guitar phrase and so I just cut that part out to make a new song. To that I added an A verse and a B verse onto it and turned it into its own song.

Q:

Ah, and so the melodies are tied together at the end part of ‘Tales~..’.

Kobametal:

That’s right. Also, the opening guitar phrase of ‘Tales of The Destinies’ is the song melody of ‘The One’. We left that in there on purpose.

The One

Q:

So, we move on to the final song ‘The One’ that we now know is tied in to ‘Tales of The Destinies’.

Kobametal:

We had from before already had in mind the motif that forms this song, ‘The One’ in the form of the theme of the lyrics. This is a theme or you could say, a song that conveys a message that stands on the same level and as kind of a balancing song working with ‘Road of Resistance’. With that as a background we wanted to make a song that, while not being exactly a new version of the U.S.A. For Africa message song, ‘We are the World’, but one that would be in a similar vein to that kind of song. So coming from thoughts like that when I was thinking about just how we could create such a song I came up with the idea that it would be good to fuse together the Rararara phrase that comes up in ‘Tales of The Destinies’ just as it is with this lyrical theme. It was from that concept that we created the song.

P. 56

Q:

Now that you point it out, there is a similar feel to ‘We are the World’.

Kobametal:

It is a sense of coming together as a unified one with the 3 members of Babymetal kind of serving as the conductive medium for all of us.

Q:

With Babymetal appearing in these major Festivals that bring in fans in the scope of 10’s of thousands and with them now putting on arena class live performances of their own we can see that the scale of Babymetal is rapidly ballooning larger and larger. All of these experiences under these conditions, the creation of a song like ‘The One’ that creates the feeling of unification of tens of thousands of people gathered together at a live performance-does it seem to you that the consciousness and awareness of Babymetal is bit by bit undergoing a transformation?

Kobametal:

Yes, I think so. When they were playing at places like the RokumeiKan or Akasaka Blitz I talked with the members about someday playing at venues like Yokohama Arena or the Tokyo Dome and they were all of the opinion that those locations were just too big and they felt that, ‘We can’t perform at concert halls like those’. ‘No, way, Yokohama Arena is just too big…’. You know, we would go around and watch other artist’s shows for study purposes. At those times, the girls would be of the opinion of, ‘how in the world do they perform at places like these?’. What really surprised me is that at the final shows last year at Yokohama Arena the members looked around and said, ‘Hmm…Yokohama Arena is surprisingly small, you know’ (laughs).

Q:

(laughs)

Kobametal:

But that is truly how their perception of things has changed. That was quite a surprising thing to me.

Q:

What did the Yokohama Arena feel like or you personally?

Kobametal:

For myself as well it honestly felt smaller than I had expected it would feel. It goes without saying that it is obviously a big venue but after playing at Saitama Super Arena, Makuhari Messe and not to mention all of the overseas festivals one’s perception changes. Playing at those big overseas Festivals you experience a scenery that spreads out so far you can’t even see the fans way in the back.

Q:

Do you feel at times like you have arrived at a truly awesome situation?

Kobametal:

The speed at which it has all happened is amazing (laughs). What would take an average band to reach in 5 or even 10 years we have covered in a short span of 1 or 2 years. It would not be mistaken to say that it doesn’t feel real. It is like realizing something has happened after it has already come to a conclusion.

Q:

It is stupendous that in the midst of all that Babymetal has constantly put on shows and music that are always of high quality. That really hit home for me seeing the Yokohama Arena shows.

Kobametal:

In fact it is a truly difficult thing to do. There are so many things to take into consideration.

Q:

And now, this year again there are so many overseas Festivals and the World tour shows all filling up the schedule. It appears to be a very tough schedule.

Kobametal:

The members also say that it is not a good thing to have too big of gaps opening up without shows. They are of the mind that this makes it easier to maintain a good sense of tempo and to get in the right rhythm…. kind of like the mindset of a sports athlete I would say. It is like going into pre-season training camp and then facing periodically scheduled matches actually makes it easier to get into the best performance condition. It seems that for the girls having a constant line up of live shows is conducive for staying in top form. Conversely, if they have 2 or 3 months off they say it is a tiring process to return to good form.

Q:

They are at the level of top athletes.

Kobametal:

I am told that, ‘That is a rigorous schedule and things must be really tough!’, but it appears that this continuous flow of performing is actually the best way for the girls to stay in good condition. It is like players in school club activities or high school soccer teams that will appear in a semi final game followed up by the championship the next day, or where they might have to play two matches in single day.

Q:

From the perspective of the girls is it like they are of the mindset of ‘Bring it on! Give us more!’?

Kobametal:

They often say that they really love doing the live performances. Even when a show ends they keep themselves in an excited state of mind. They always seem to be saying, ‘We want to do another show!’. (laughs)

Q:

Looking at the current state of affairs of the overseas media at the moment…was the reaction, especially from the British magazine, ‘Metal Hammer’ something unexpected to you?

Kobametal:

Yes, you could say that. The response from people overseas through Youtube was quite something so I thought that there is something big happening in the reactions from the overseas fans but that said, I thought that making our way into the final stronghold, the final fortress that the Metal field is would be even more difficult than it proved to be.

P. 57

Speaking conversely to that however, I was ???? Many Japanese artists of previous generations in genres including, but not limited to Metal, attempted to become as big and respected as their Western counterparts in the States and Europe and would try to make a name for themselves overseas. So now that Babymetal has just kind of seemingly lightheartedly flittered over to these overseas venues and audiences it creates in you a mysterious feeling of kind of wondering if all of this is actually real, or is it in fact a dream? It is kind of like it has all just happened on its own (laughs). I say this because speaking basically, we did not make overt efforts on our side of things to make this happen.

Q:

(laughs) It is a certain fact that Babymetal’s dive into the Metal field was a historical event.

Kobametal:

That kind of entrance into the Metal field is not something that you can just take aim at and then achieve easily. If you don’t create something that lies outside of the norm, the Metallers and persons of concern on that side of things won’t give you the time of day. I personally was involved with bands that were aiming at making it in the overseas market but I learned that a straight, frontal attack kind of approach does not work. This is similar to what we were talking about with the Viking Metal world-there are so many historical and cultural factors to take into consideration. For example, if people living overseas think that their versions of the so-called Samurai TV shows are really cool, I may not see it that way. The people living overseas, outside of Japan, have their own way of seeing things and we in Japan have ours. From the outset we have different blood running through our veins. I have thought about this, and I feel in a certain sense, Metal is a kind of Soul music. If you just try to ‘do’ Metal you can’t quite make it into an authentic thing. It just turns into some kind of imitation of the real thing. We had to bring the game to them by doing something that the authentic artists and people in the Metal world could not do. All we could do was to hit them with something that was totally outside of the usual standards that was so amazing that they would be forced to raise their hands in surrender.

Q:

Babymetal truly does give the impression of having hit the overseas world with something totally new.

Kobametal:

And what’s more is that Metallica doesn’t dance when they perform on the stage (laughs).

Q:

They can’t-no way! (laughs) I don’t even want to entertain that thought.

Kobametal:

(laughs) It was in this way that changed the playing ground itself you could say. We approached things by not playing in the same field and rather we came at things doing techniques that are not in their range of capacity.

Q:

And now we come to the final question. The title of the album, ‘Metal Resistance’ is a real fastball, right?

Kobametal:

We had many other candidates for the title. We had ideas like going with ‘Babymetal 2’ in a vein similar to ‘Led Zeppelin 2’. However, if we did so things would get really confusing as the Babymetal ‘Metal Resistance’ is episode 4 in the saga and so as we progress along numerically an album with ‘2’ in it would makes things hard to understand. (laughs) When we were considering all of this the songs of ‘Road of Resistance’ and ‘The One’ served as kind of key words for us. The Babymetal of today has put out its first album, has carried out a couple of World Tours and have traveled down many and various paths to get where we are now. The best title, the best words to represent in an easy to understand manner the idea that Babymetal is about to venture out on a new start, on a new journey of training or you could even say a new battle proved to be ‘Metal Resistance’.

Q:

It seems that the word, ‘Metal’ is not so readily used in album titles these days. I thought the use of ‘Metal’ in the title has a rather chivalrous feel.

Kobametal:

I think there is a positive side and a negative side to using the word Metal. Using the word Metal will draw the attention of some people and yet conversely, it will repel others. So there is a bit of a risk in using it. But, with Babymetal, the word Metal is right there in the artists’ name. I think this title completely depicts the image of these 3 girls fighting with the world in the name of ‘Metal Resistance’. If that central axis wavers however the whole thing changes. While basing everything on the backbone of Metal and of taking on the field of Metal the girls can go on to explore and take on other fields such as popular music or whatever in both Japan and overseas. But by carrying the signboard of Metal in and above other titles gives a significance to the existence of Babymetal. And this is something important I feel.

3 thoughts on “Interview with Kobametal Hedoban Vol. 10 (Part 2) 2016 April

  1. I love these so much. Thank you for your hard work, I’ve followed you for almost four years now, keep it up!

    BM!!!!

  2. Respect to you Thomas and greatest thanks for collecting together and translating these wonderful interviews.
    These are truly the most inciteful and “in their own words” as opposed to much of the other shallow prepared standard answers to the usual interviewer questions.
    It certainly helps me to understand better why it is that I like Babymetal so much.
    Look forward to more as they continue on their amazing journey.

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