The importance of BABYMETAL's Kami Band to be successful abroad

In the beginning BABYMETAL performed with backtracks, but everything changed in 2012, the incorporation of Kami Band changed the point of view of their followers, and called the attention of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal fans abroad. NPN Japan report talks about the importance of being a Japanese Idol with high quality musicians like BABYMETAL's Kami Band. Read a summary of the extensive report below. 


Facts that made BABYMETAL successful abroad, "go-getter musicians in the live band"

NPN's report starts highlighting facts of why BABYMETAL called the attention of fans outside Japan and why is over the Top as Idol group in Japan: 


"Now, the Japanese Idol became a content that leads the world. Such circumstances, dare to protrude from the "Idol", BABYMETAL is earning a worldwide high evaluation than any other Idol. Some argue that "whether Idol or not", when you consider the domestic Idol scene, the success of BABYMETAL became one of the focal points with any doubts. Calling the enthusiasm of abroad Fests, what is the strength of BABYMETAL"


The report continues with a brief historical information about BABYMETAL's beginnings from Sakura Gakuin, and information about Sakura Gakuin's structure as Idol Group. Until they make a separation between Idol Groups like Sakura Gakuin and BABYMETAL:

"Sakura Gakuin is a pure Idol group, from that the initial activities had been using backing karaoke sound source, initially BABYMETAL tended to be seen as "planed material". That changed rapidly in October of 2012, their first solo concert was held in Shibuya O-EAST. In that performance appeared in the encore the "GOD BAND" (Kami Band).


There are factors of the charm and success of BABYMETAL and of course there are theories from a variety of perspectives, but the live band of "go-getter" musicians dramatically leveled that up, and it's not even a doubt that was one of the possibilities of their expansion. 


The report moves towards a historic space featuring famous Japanese Idols, Momoe Yamaguchi and Seiko Matsuda: 


"In the 60s and 70s when Momoe Yamaguchi and Seiko Matsuda were active, the singer performed with the live band at the time to show the song, if you look at the music programs and variety shows, in the  back of the singer, there was the full band." 


In the other hand the report remarks that in the actual days Idols tend to perform mostly with "Karaoke Sound": 


"...In the background of the stage such raw technique accompaniment premise has changed with the rattle, the course has spread into the "karaoke". In 2010, in the TV, of course, Idols used live bands but less. Of course, not all, also there are "Idol + live band" in the recent years."

Report show us a couple of successful examples of Idol + Live Band in the actual days:


"...The senior of "Rock Idol" "Bouno!" (unit consisting in three members Momoko Tsugunaga, Miyabi Natsuyaki and Airi Suzuki) was playing a nationwide tour with the backing band of Dolce. Of the group AKB48, Kashiwagi Yuki is showing off a live band during her live concerts. The reputation of both is the best. Daily, also Idol fans appoint to those without live band, voices like: "I want to listen this song with a live band" are several. However, some cannot respond to their needs. Needless to say, the efficiency, is especially the cost of the problem. With Karaoke, the programmed sound source and sound staff has to put the number required in advance. To approach this with the use of a live band, includes having rehearsal, and an enormous consuming of time and money."


The expansion of the Idol scene in Japan in the last decade showed that the genre is successful and also a number of fans are following groups like a religion, some of them acting like they don't really care about the quality and efficiency of the product: 


"In this decade, the Idol scene was expanded definitely. Young people enjoy their Idols like an epidemic fashion, "i not only listen Western music now", comunication of styled music with unique style, to know their charm, more and more attend to concerts. Also, dyed in the wool Otaku of the Idol Core are blessed with the opportunity to see a wide variety of Idols in the scene. The users changed positively. But, besides the Idol industry approachs, there is still a feeling of "licking" the old fashioned users. "After all, are Idol Otakus...." Certain blind longtime fans, might close their eyes to some of the bad quality works. However, is not the case of new users."


Now the report is focused in one of the most important things in the Idol, the marketing and product sales, some see their favorite groups as religion while analysts as a product: 


"To refer the widespread market. For the success of the Idol, the visual aptitude and performance it's a natural need. Who won the survivial competition, in order to continue being supported by the users, it would be important to provide them a trully sufficient quality of goods. To customers who conceded the "donation" to their new religion, the Idol business is not an organization. But in all business, the point of success is the "customer satisfaction". 


With all that said, it's time to compare the Idol scene in Japan with BABYMETAL, and why they are different, starting from the amazing Kami Band to their smart marketing and product sales team: 


"To return to BABYMETAL's story, its income efficiency in events are its performances. In this place instead they appointed to authentic artists to raise and guarantee the performance quality. As a result, the incorporation of domestic Hard Rock / Heavy Metal fans led to a frenzy with no pretense in overseas festivals. 

Although it's not necessary to reach the same result, when you think about products quality and customers satisfaction, Idols should often appoint to learn from BABYMETAL.."




Report by: NPN Japan

Summary and translation: Hitoshi Sugioka