This is only a translation of the SU-METAL and MOAMETAL interview, as the title says. Though, the magazine includes a lot more things (some yet to be translated) they include:
- Interview with KOBAMETAL
- Interview with Bring Me The Horizon (about BABYMETAL)
- METAL GALAXY review
- Talk about EPISODE VII and VIII, The Forum, tour, etc.
You can order it on Amazon Japan. (￥1,080)
Credit to GESOMETAL for the translation! You can find further discussion in the comments of the original post on Reddit. Full scans of the feature — Better quality pictures from the photographer, Allan Abani.
The interview took place prior to their US tour.
Their answers to questions were grouped in themes by the translator, and their order changed. The contents of the answers omit some small parts, but they are otherwise unedited.
Itallics are the traslator’s note.
Metal Resistance Episode Vll to Episode VIII
MOAMETAL: There were a lot of things we had to consider during episode 7, and there were times I was hurt by the audience’s reaction. But when we reached episode 8, I feel like a lot of people approved of our determination, including our decision to keep BABYMETAL going instead of taking a break.
SU-METAL: We had been operating as a group with the same three members since we formed, raising a “Metal Resistance” banner to show people “This kind of metal exists too”. There weren’t that many tracks, so BABYMETAL evolved by repeating the same tracks. One of the results of that was our “1+1+1=100” [formula], which became emblematic of BABYMETAL. That was all possible because of the miracle that happened when the three of us worked together, so I don’t think carrying on that legacy with just two people would be right. That’s why I consider this a starting point.
MOAMETAL: During Episode 7 we deeply reexamined ourselves, and discovered what it was we needed to be doing, and were able to understand more about each other as well. I think now is the time to show what was fostered to the outside.
SU-METAL: We restarted BABYMETAL as two people in episode 8. That means we had to break down the old BABYMETAL and rebuild it.
MOAMETAL: Episode 8 starts the Avengers Series, and there’s still a lot to learn. I’m eager to continue learning.
MOAMETAL: There’s a lot (to learn from the Avengers). Each of them has such overwhelming character, and we change our tone based on each Avenger. I also try to adjust my dancing style to match them. There are various challenges. I’m learning about the same amount as I did in episode 7.
SU-METAL: A new wind is blowing. They’re a great inspiration, and there’s a lot we can learn from them too. We’re enjoying this current situation, and I think fans will enjoy it as well. For example, if the band’s guitarist changed, the whole sound would shift a little. I think people can appreciate that sort of new aspect of BABYMETAL now.
SU-METAL: I think it’s different from BABYMETAL works up to now. The range of music has broadened, and I’m confident that we’ve broken down the old image of BABYMETAL and built up a new one.
MOAMETAL: When I try to listen to the tracks on this album objectively, it makes me think stuff like “This doesn’t sound metal” or “What a unique track this is!”. Put simply, it’s an interesting album. Like SU-METAL said, though it might have tracks that are pretty far from BABYMETAL’s image, that’s the current us, so I want everyone to be able to listen with an open mind.
SU-METAL: Metal Galaxy is the starting point, and we want to start making a new BABYMETAL with the album.
MOAMETAL: There are various different genres…
SU-METAL: Yeah, it has many different kinds! While I was watching the tracks come to life one after the other, I started to worry if the album would feel cohesive… Especially because of how scattered the genres are. When I listened to Brand New Day for the first time, I thought, “this is metal?”(laughs).
MOAMETAL: I was really surprised when I first heard the version of Shanti Shanti Shanti with SU-METAL’s vocals. I was surprised by SU-METAL’s wide vocal range, and it has this strange Indian-ish melody. I found it really interesting.
SU-METAL: There’s a lot of playfulness too, and a lot of respect towards metal. You can see it in stuff like Elevator Girl, where there are mature elements in addition to the Kawaii factor.
SU-METAL: That was my first rap experience. For most of my recordings up until now, I would sing “la la laa” to create a sort of vocal line, and then lyric writing began based on that.
Typical J-Pop recording has the session singer record demo vocals once the arrangement, lyrics and melody are finished. Then the group uses that demo as a guide to do their recording. BABYMETAL doesn’t record in the J-pop style, they do it like a rockband.
SU-METAL: But it was different for this track, they had a backing track and lyrics, and then told me to try rapping. So at first I was still trying to figure it out. In hiphop they call it…it was like…ah, I forget!
MOAMETAL: Wasn’t it…f-…fall?
SU-METAL: Uh…what was it…
KOBAMETAL, who happened to be there: Flow?
SU-METAL: Flow! (laughs) To get a feel for the flow, I made a lot of different attempts to figure out what would be good. Like how to descend and ascend in pitch, and which timing would be the best to try the pitch changes. Even for the same phrase I’d try going a little ahead of the beat or a little bit behind it, while keeping the whole track’s balance in mind.
Tak Matsumoto featuring in DA DA DANCE
SU-METAL: I was really surprised
MOAMETAL: I was like, Are you sure about this?
Featured guest Tak Matsumoto is a composer, and guitarist for J-Rock duo B’z. B’z has sold a total of 35,969,000 singles, and 46,655,000 albums. He won a grammy in 2011 as “Larry Carlton & Tak Matsumoto”.
He has said he went to Ozzfest 2015 to see BABYMETAL, and sang their praises.
B’z – ULTRA SOUL (LIVE)
SU-METAL: I feel like there have been a lot of BABYMETAL tracks like “Megitsune” and “ Karate” up until now that aimed to spread Japanese oriented culture to the world, and I think Da Da Dance is that same type of song. It mixes the 90s Japanese sound and metal, and being able to collaborate with a top level artist who’s been active since that time is a huge honor.
MOAMETAL: We haven’t had an album before with this many guests…though we only have three albums(laugh). I’m really grateful.
SU-METAL: We made the offers with low expectations, and the guests themselves ended up responding directly to agree, so we’re really happy about that too.
They talked about how they’ve only met Joakim and F.Hero.
In a Kobametal interview he mentions that everyone who received an offer agreed to collaborate
MOAMETAL: Give me five minutes!
– 30 seconds later –
MOAMETAL: I just realized something while checking the lyrics.
Interviewer: Right now? (laughs)
MOAMETAL: Did you know the line was “偽善者なんて KILL 捨てちまえよ[gizensha nante KILL sutechimaeyo]” in Distortion?
To the Japanese, this line sounds like “偽善者なんて 切り捨てちまえよ/ gizensha nante KIRIsutechimaeyo”. The meanings are similar, but there is a slight difference. This is likely intentional.
SU-METAL: I knew that (laugh)
MOAMETAL: I only just realized (laugh)
Interviewer: Do you not look at the lyrics?
MOAMETAL: I’m the type of person who grasps a song’s lyrics by listening to it. To be honest, I don’t really look closely at their details and stuff. I just learn them through SU-METAL’s singing. But when you finish an album, you get a lyric sheet, you know?
SU-METAL: Ahh(laughs). Mine is Pa Pa Ya!. We have fun swapping the PA PA YA part out with different three syllable words.
MOAMETAL: You can do anything with three letters. Like “ごはん”[gohan].
SU-METAL: It’s like, you just say whatever you can think of. I liked it because we could play around like that.
Gohan means rice, but is used to mean meal. They probably sing something like “go go gohan” when they eat. It’s easy to imagine them singing something like “sa sa sayashi” and “mo mo momoko” too.
Interviewer: You took a picture with Billie Eilish
MOAMETAL: She said our outfits were cute. Something like “Your outfits and hair are cute. Do your best, okay?”(laughs)
SU-METAL: She probably thought we were younger than her(laughs)
Interviewer: Except Billie is 17.
SU-METAL: But she has this air around her
MOAMETAL: It’s overwhelming.
Interviewer: You meet with a lot of non-metal artists at overseas fests don’t you?
MOAMETAL: That’s definitely true for Glastonbury. Our only allies are Bring Me the Horizon.
SU-METAL: Allies (laughs)
MOAMETAL: Bring Me was there. It was really reassuring.
SU-METAL: There are a lot of irregular time signatures in metal music. We feel really confused when we start creating the choreographies, but then the sound and movements gradually merge together, and we get addicted to the uniqueness of it. It invokes a mysterious feeling. I guess the synchronization between the irregular timed metal guitar and our dancing makes people feel like “Wow! Whatever this is is awesome!”.
SU-METAL: Lately I’ve been told that the Pa Pa Ya! dance during the hook is fun. Even the BMTH members were imitating it. The dance comes from Japan’s Bon Festival dance, so I think it’s something that feels fresh.
Difference between Su & Moa and SU-METAL & MOAMETAL
SU-METAL: I separate the me on stage and the everyday me distinctly, as if they’re two different people.
MOAMETAL: I feel the same way. I’m not cognizant of it so I’m not switching on purpose, but when the music plays I automatically become MOAMETAL.
SU-METAL: I sort of see BABYMETAL as a musical. There’s this program called BABYMETAL and a person called SU-METAL stands on a stage, and delivers her song to people all while she grows. I think the everyday me is better off not being involved in the program. I only want the cool SU-METAL to be there.
MOAMETAL: It feels like we’re growing along with the fans. The MOAMETAL on-stage is growing, but when I step off of the stage the me as a normal person is influenced by MOAMETAL and grows.
METAL GALAXY WORLD TOUR
SU-METAL: We’ve never done a tour this long. The Red Hot Chilli Peppers had told us about how they go through these long tours, and those conversations led to me wanting to go on a long tour one day too. I’m happy that we’re finally able to do it.
Motivation to keep going
MOAMETAL: There’s a lot of things, actually. First of all, I love the BABYMETAL team. It’s warm and cozy(laughs). Then we have all the fans that support us, that’s a huge motivation. There’s also the fact that I can encounter all kinds of music. Thanks to BABYMETAL being so prolific, I get to meet all sorts of different people. That’s how we met BMTH and RHCP. We got caught up with RHCP when we met them at Summer Sonic recently. And best of all, I get to eat all kinds of delicious things overseas.(laughs)
SU-METAL: That’s motivation!(laughs)
MOAMETAL: I’m blessed.
SU-METAL: For me, first and foremost is that I love to sing, and knowing that my singing is actually resonating with people is the number one motivator for me. Then…I learned about metal through BABYMETAL, and all kinds of music through metal, and I learned about a whole new world through that. Lately I’ve felt that the amount of people in generations younger than us who think BABYMETAL are nice are slowly growing, and I can feel it in the live performances in and out of the country. I want us to be a medium that we can convey the interesting parts of Metal music and the charms of Japanese culture through, and we are actually a sort of bridge between different points. Realizing that we’re doing that is a motivation for me to continue with BABYMETAL.