BABYMETAL was interviewed in Japan by Kerrang! Magazine to talk about their experience performing with legendary bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Guns N' Roses, Korn and Stone Sour. They also speak about their current "The Five FOX Festival in Japan". Full interview transcripted below.
BABYMETAL talk the experience of "The Five FOX Festival" on Kerrang! Magazine
AFTER A SPRING STINT IN THE U.S. WITH RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, STONE SOUR AND KORN, HAVE RETURNED HOME TO KICK OFF THEIR EPIC FIVE FOX FESTIVAL. SU-METAL, YUIMETAL AND MOAMETAL EXCLUSIVELY TALK K! THROUGH A WHIRLWIND YEAR...
For a band who've made their home on festival stages and arenas for the past couple of years, catching BABYMETAL performing at some of their smallest-ever shows, at Tokyo's Akasaka BLITZ venue, is — quite literally, for a room that holds only 1,300 people — an opportunity not afforded to many. But then there's not much about BABYMETAL's Five Fox Festival that isn't a little bit... different. The nine-date run kicked off last month with the Black Fox, Red Fox and Gold Fox Festivals, before continuing through August with the Silver and White Fox Festivals, calling at venues in Nagoya and Osaka. And a changing set list isn't the only thing on offer — each Fox Festival allows only a certain corner of the band's enormous fanbase to attend, with the Black Fox a men-only event, the Red Fox women-only, and Gold Fox welcoming in only teenagers. The White Fox demands you come in corpse paint, while the Silver Fox is strictly for, er, school kids to rock out alongside grandparents. Cool, huh?
Nothing about the Five Fox is like anything we've ever encountered before, then — but for SU-METAL YUIMETAL and MOAMETAL, it's just the latest in a line of head-spinning 2017 events...
HELLO, BABYMETAL! YOU'VE HAD A VERY BUSY YEAR AND IT'S ONLY AUGUST! YOUR FIRST GIG WAS OPENING FOR METALLICA IN SOUTH KOREA. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE METALLICA SONGS AND WHAT WERE THEY LIKE TO PLAY WITH?
SU-METAL: "My favourite song is Fuel. There's just too many great songs to choose, but I get pumped up every time I listen to it. When I heard that we were going to be the support band for Metallica, it was a dream come true! When we went to say hello to them in their dressing room, we heard them rehearsing and we were like,'Are we allowed to listen to this? This is such a valuable experience!' My heart was beating so fast because I was so excited."
YUIMETAL: "Master Of Puppets! I didn't think we would be able to open for Metallica so I was genuinely happy and surprised. It'd be another honour to be able to collaborate with them onstage next time!"
MOAMETAL: "When we saw Metallica for the first time in 2013 at Summer Sonic, I was so blown away by their performance. So it was such an incredible honour when we heard that the Metal Masters had invited us to support them. We learned so much from them and words cannot explain how much we appreciate the opportunity"
YOUR NEXT FEW GIGS WERE SUPPORTING GUNS N' ROSES ACROSS JAPAN! HOW WAS IT TO MEET AXL ROSE?
SU-METAL: "My father is a big Guns N' Roses fan so when I heard that we would be supporting them, I was happy and nervous! But I felt very confident and extremely happy when they had told us that they love listening to our songs and seeing us perform!"
MOAMETAL: "It was nerve-wracking meeting Guns N' Roses! They are such a famous band and so it was unbelievable that they were so nice and we were able to take a picture with all of them! We gave Axl a Fox Mask as a present, and Slash really seemed to enjoy the Funko BABYMETAL dolls we gave him!"
YOU THEN HEADED TO THE U.S. WITH RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES IN THE STATES?
SU-METAL: "I love everything about the U.S.— especially the people. It's hard to explain in words, but the American crowd reaction is quite different from Japanese people, so it's very interesting seeing the differences. It's always refreshing to see Americans enjoying our songs even though we sing in Japanese most of the time. Every time we come back from tour I feel like I've absorbed so much that at the same time, I feel like I've grown bigger in person."
YUIMETAL: "There's so many great places, but I really like the ocean so it was quite a special moment for me when we went to Miami Beach."
YOU THEN TOURED WITH KORN AND STONE SOUR. WHAT DID YOU EACH LEARN FROM JONATHAN DAVIS AND COREY TAYLOR?
MOAMETAL: "I personally learned so much from this past tour. One of the biggest things was how to convey to the audience what we want to express. They were amazing in the way they really treasure every show. Korn even came to see our show and came up onstage with us as a surprise!"
SU-METAL: "This tour was quite unique in that a lot of the venues were outdoors so it felt refreshing to see each of the audience's faces so clearly in broad daylight. Even right before we would get onstage, Korn took the time to give us luck. Corey Taylor from Stone Sour seemed to enjoy the Fox Mask that we gave him and also the BABYMETAL Funko figures for his son, so seeing that made me very happy."
YUIMETAL: "Corey put the Fox Mask on instantly for us!"
WHAT'S THE LONGEST YOU'VE BEEN AWAY FROM HOME, AND WHAT WAS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT IT? DO YOU MISS HOME?
MOAMETAL: "I believe the longest time we've been away from home is about 20 days or so. I am lucky that I don't have anything that I cannot eat so I love to explore and try new things!"
SU-METAL: "I think the longest time has been about a month or so. Being away makes me miss Japanese food and my family."
YUIMETAL: "The hardest thing about it is to adjust to the environment as much as possible in such a short amount of time."
NOW YOU'RE LAUNCHING THE FIVE FOX FESTIVAL. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT IT A HAT MADE YOU WANT TO START IT?
SU-METAL: "We're having gender, age and dress code-reitricted events. We are having these events in a live music club so we will be able to see fans more up close. Knowing that each and every day will be a different crowd is very exciting, and feel that it allows fans to connect with one another and enjoy each other's company even more. Because the fans will be closer to us know that I will feel even more connected to our fans, too. I hope that one day we will be able to do something like this not only in Japan, but elsewhere! I'm already praying to the Fox God!"
MOAMETAL: "Everything comes from the Fox God. But as MOAMETAL, I've always wanted to perform in front of different crowds. During the all-female event, it felt amazing to be able to perform in front of the same gender and I just couldn't stop smiling! This time, we've never done something like the Gold Fox Festival — an all-teen event — and the Silver Fox Festival and so we are very excited to see how these fans will react during these events. There are conflicts when people come from various different races, gender and age. However, the metal spirit makes the impossible to become possible. We are THE ONE — we can do it I think what it means is to acknowledge and embrace the differences."
YOU'VE ASKED FANS TO COME IN CORPSE PAINT ON SOME NIGHTS. WILL YOU ALSO BE DOING THE SAME FOR THE OCCASION?
YUIMETAL: "We will have our usual make-up on but if the Fox God will allow us to do corpse paint, I would be interested in doing it!"
MOAMETAL: "No!We are the performers and we are responsible for delivering BABYMETAL to the audience. But, in actuality, I would love to put on corpse paint one day (laughs)"
SU-METAL: "The corpse paint event is really interesting in that everyone is wearing white face paint, so we feel like we're the ones who are left out! I hope that someday we can join in!"
HOW HAVE YOUR EXPERIENCES THIS YEAR HELPED YOU GROW AS PEOPLE?
SU-METAL: "I can't believe that it's only August; it feels like it's been two years! That's how big this year has been for me. Having the honour to see how legendary bands perform from a close distance and touring with them has been a truly valuable experience. I've come to realise that it's the band's warm personality that makes people want to see their show for such a long period of time. I hope that this is something we can achieve as BABYMETAL"
MOAMETAL: "I feel that as an artist, I gained so much knowledge and experience and felt that I was able to grow as a person. MOAMETAL is an artist but even before that I am a person and I want to make sure that I will never forget that I am thankful for all of the people around us who allow me to learn every day!"
YUIMETAL: "This year we had many opportunities to become the opening act for legendary bands. We also were able to meet new and different fanbases from various places. Because of these valuable experiences, I feel that as YUIMETAL I have gained so much and I hope that this will allow me to grow bigger in person when I am older"
WHAT'S NEXT FOR BABYMETAL? WILL YOUR EXPERIENCES THIS YEAR INFORM THE FOX GOD'S DECISIONS ABOUT YOUR FUTURE?
MOAMETAL: "We truly believe in the Fox God so we trust his judgement and we strongly believe that he will lead us to the path we are destined to go down. I think the Fox God himself would be saying,'I don't even know myself what's in store for BABYMETAL in the next five years!' I also think that knowing the future ahead of time wouldn't be as interesting, so I want to make sure to treasure every moment without thinking too much into the future."
Article by: Kerrang Magazine.
Scans by: The Thrawn.
Transcription by: Maik Gianino.