Kobametal interviewed: BABYMETAL in the studio, popularity and negative press

BABYMETAL Producer Kobametal was interviewed by Colin of MyFoodeeBlog at the Brixton Academy in London, England on November 8 of 2014. Kobametal talks about BABYMETAL songs, working in the studio, future songs for Moametal and Yuimetal, popularity and negative press. Read the full interview below. 

BABYMETAL Producer Kobametal interviewed at Brixton Academy in London 

Does the sudden interest in Babymetal surprise you?

Kobametal: "It does. Mmmmmmmmmm. YES!"

But why does it surprise you?

Kobametal: "Well… I thought it might have taken a little more time. But the Internet, YouTube and more, the power of these things is so much I think. I was surprised that Babymetal spread so rapidly like, BOOOOM. Every audience knew even though we haven’t had a single live show there before."

There are many other Babymetal songs, but why do you think Gimme Choco proved so popular?

Kobametal: "Well it’s because – the lyrics have – English nuances? And the rhythm, the rhythm of the song is catchy? The lyrics in Japanese mean almost nothing. The song is almost just notes and a melody which makes its sound more enjoyable. So those characteristics might be why it was more accepted. And the dancing, or combination of the dance and melody might attract many fans."

When I first saw Gimme Choco, it was information overload and I couldn’t understand it at first. What are your thoughts?

[This gets slightly garbled by Nora, bless: when he watched a footage of Gimme Choco for the first time, he got interested because it was too complicated; there were too many elements tightly packed. What is it?… What on earth is it…? That’s the image he remembered the most]

Kobametal: "Well… Hum… that was what actually happened. But some of another songs by Babymetal are more complicated, even chaotic, so in my mind it is a simple one, I thought (laugh)."

Nora: He thinks that the band takes the visual side seriously. And there is a genre called Visual-Key, is it? Is Babymetal categorised as another form of Visual-Key?

Kobametal: "Yes, I think so."

Nora: Then, is there no influence from it?

Kobametal: "Hmm… well… some motives we took from it but Babymetal are different."

What did you first see in Yuimetal and Moametal that made you choose them?

Kobametal: "The reason…? Only the Fox God knows!"

As Yuimetal and Moametal grow up, how is the image of the band going to change?

Kobametal: I don’t know at the moment.

We heard that the song Megitsune took about 30 takes to get right. Is this because you are a perfectionist? And do you know how a song should sound when you first hear it or do you know when it’s right only when you hear the right version? [for Kubrik fans out there]

Kobametal: "Well, the retakes you mentioned are not about vocals but about the arrangements. We tried different arrangements again and again. It’s the our routine for all songs. Yes, we did arrangements again and again. It might be because Babymetal songs are different from others’; in the case of other Idol units in Japan, it’s often the case that one dedicated track-maker writes a song on their own, then the person hands it to a singer saying “Sing it, please.” Then the singer sings it just once and it all ends. That is a standard procedure.

But Babymetal build up all of their songs by all the band members via multiple sessions. We do that even when our band member don’t meet. Between some of our sessions we often communicate [via email or phone call, but the translation is ambiguous] like “Let’s change the drumming like this” and “Let’s change the guitar like that.” So it needs many arrangements. In a word, it is because we goes to our studio again and again and do a lot of pre-production work."

[Nora] With composers plus musicians?

Kobametal "Yes, yes. Yes, yes."

How did you select the session musicians and support members? They remind me of old rock guitarists like Yngwei Malmsteen and Joey Tuffola?

Kobametal: "There are different people song by song, in reality. So [I choose] those who have a close image to the song I get them to play."

Have you ever thought of extended Babymetal to a seven-piece with the Kami band merging with Babymetal in the future?

Kobametal: "Well… Only the Fox God knows!"

What do you think of some of the negative press that has been directed towards the band?

Kobametal: "Well… it’s okay. These responses are the result of their interest in Babymetal. It would prove that Babymetal touched them in some way. Not to be able to influence them at all is a real problem… the worst one. It’s like, let them through… they ignore Babymetal. So in a sense Babymetal is successful as it pulled the interests and hearts of people."

I heard that Herman Li from Dragonforce will collaborate with Babymetal. Is this true? [I know it’s true because I can see ‘new song’ tagged onto the set list on the wall behind Kai!].

Kobametal: "Only the Fox God knows (laugh). You will know in the near future. Very very soon!"

Will Moametal and Yuimetal sing more songs in future?

Kobametal: "This could be a possibility if future songs match their characteristics."

What do think is makes the band so popular?

Kobametal: "I think… it would rely on listeners. There are those who loves the melodies, others who love the dancing of the trio and others who love the performance of the band. Various people have various preferences and been hooked by various things. So I can’t say what is the answer. But I think this is the appeal of Babymetal, isn’t it? Various appeals are possible. Various approaches are possible."

The reason you started the band was that you saw the metal scene becoming boring?

Kobametal: "Well… I think… I myself have listened to metal for 20 or 30 years but… how can I say… it is… say every other genre is the same, I felt new things have been rarer each year. Yes there are big artists like Maiden and Metallica and I love and respect them so much. Then I thought about what type of metal they don’t play and I had an image of “All the best I can do in Japan now would be Babymetal,” and I began. The metal scene in Japan has been getting smaller, too. It is small now."

Thank you very much! 

Interview via: MyFoodeeBlog