NYLON Feb. 2020 – Interview
The Nylon February issue of 2020, released in December 2019, features a photoshoot with SU-METAL and MOAMETAL of BABYMETAL and a one page interview. You can buy the magazine on amazon.co.jp or cdjapan.co.jp. Since the two started to use their iconic “DEATH!” instead of the Japanese word “desu” again I decided to add it in parentheses at the end of the respective sentence as flavor. I have also added the year they talked about in some cases to minimize confusion.
Babymetal is in preparation for a two day performance at the Makuhari Messe in January 2020. The two approach their 10 year anniversary and we asked them many questions about their look on the future and their thoughts about each other. Their frequent use of “we” (in this interview) tells us about their love for each other, the word “encounter” suggests their feelings towards the fans. Listen to the message of the empowered duo.
NYLON: The NYLON photoshoot atmosphere was quite different. How was it for you?
SU-METAL: It was, we don’t do a lot of interviews, so I felt a little bit nervous about the photoshoot. We had smoke used in shot’s before but it was a valuable experience to stand in the smoke without dancing and singing like in our live shows (laughs).
MOAMETAL: The photographer (Yulia Shur) was such an attractive person that I was kind of blushing while being photographed.
NYLON: You two often perform with legendary musicians. Was it a different kind of nervousness you felt this time?
SU-METAL: I don’t really feel nervous in front of Metal Legends (Note: she called them “Senpai”). They give an amazing performance on stage, which I admire so much, yet they are all so friendly backstage.
MOAMETAL: They speak open with us and sometimes copy our „Gimme Chocolate!!“ choreography and dance with us together.
SU-METAL: They often look frightening but are really gentle. In our situation it helped that we didn’t know anything about Metal in the beginning, so we often didn’t know how big of a person was standing in front of us. For people of and older generation than us they might be of godly existence but we felt more like they were gentle relatives to us. And every time we travel around the world we increase our relatives (DEATH!).
MOAMETAL: They see us as their nieces, I suppose.
NYLON: A blessed relationship …. You two live a really different life from normal girls in your age, but do you want to live a normal life?
SU-METAL: Not at all. I feel really blessed to be in this situation that I can do what I like. I really like touring. There are so many things that I learn on tour, things that you will never be able to experience under normal circumstance. I am really happy for that.
NYLON: I see. It’s already half a year ago since your new formation since June, how do you feel about it in hindsight?
SU-METAL: When we first met with all the Avengers it felt a little bit like fumbling around. But over the last half year we started to act like one I think. I feel we are able to show that we are moving the same direction now. Speaking about the Avengers, every one of the three is different from the other two. At first I was worried we might not be able to grasp the little quirks of them but over time we got the feel for it and we are now in a very interesting situation.
MOAMETAL: People tend to think that we fly around the world all the time but we actually didn’t had a lot of live shows last year (2018). That’s why I soaked in the new formation over the last shows as much as possible. It was a big challenge for us over the last half year. We did 20 shows on the America tour. Because we did so many things for the first time the main thing I felt in June was anxiety and I was thinking if „can we do this until December?“ but it felt like everything happened in the blink of an eye now. That’s why I probably feel so happy about the last six months.
SU-METAL: We had 20 shows in one and a half month on the America tour and while the schedule felt difficult, it gave me a lot of self-confidence.
MOAMETAL: Our next tour in Europe has a similar schedule. Soon I won’t know where I am again (laughs).
SU-METAL: After we arrive at the airport we will be traveling with the tour bus from there and live at the place we arrive, so it’s honestly sometimes really hard to know where exactly you are (laughs).
MOAMETAL: I often get it when I eat the local food, something like „Ahh, so this is Germany“.
NYLON: Is there something about the differences between Japan and foreign Countries that surprises you? And what is your favorite country?
SU-METAL: Umm, speaking about Japan and foreign countries, really every country is a little bit different. Exciting people, exciting songs, exciting topics. It even changes within a region in the same country. The recent shows in Saitama and Osaka where completely different.
MOAMETAL: About my favorite country, I think that Germany is really lovely. They have many big and loud Metal enthusiasts, so first I was worried and wondered „If they would accept our music“ but looking from the stage I saw everyone’s lovely smiling faces and they were singing together with us. However when you see all the different figures having fun and enjoying our live performances, it seems like all the people from different countries around the world start to talk the same language.
NYLON: BABYMETAL faces its 10 year anniversary next year. What kind of year do you want your 10th year to be?
SU-METAL: We would have never thought that it would continue for 10 years when we first started. If you recklessly move forward you barely recognize that 10 years have passed. We have met a lot of people, were able to go to various countries and grow up a lot. I still love touring and appreciate all the people I am able to meet. We are preparing for our next tour in Europe and our first Asia tour and I am really looking forward to them. I want to pay back the support we had over the last 10 years, even if it is only a little bit I can do.
MOAMETAL: Hmm, I also feel surprised about how the 10 years went by in an instant. That’s why I feel I have to cherish it every year, and like SU-METAL said we met a lot of different people in the world and seeing the smiling faces of those people is really the number one thing that makes me happy (DEATH!). We also will be going to countries we never been to on the next tours so I am really happy to be able to deliver the new music called BABYMETAL to even more people (DEATH!).
NYLON: NYLON is celebrating its 15 year anniversary this year (2019) with the theme of „New power no border“ (transmit new power beyond age, nationality and gender). Was there a time when you two felt „we crossed a border with this one“?
SU-METAL: Since we started with BABYMETAL and even still today the majority of people listening to Metal seem to think „this isn’t a thing for tiny girls“. That’s why we first had the resistance as our strong stance against the established Metal stereotypes. People had a bad impression about us on first glance but we showed that we are serious about our way and we were able to be accepted as a competent group, so you could say we were always crossing this border. Nowadays there are a lot of people around the world that appreciate it, and of course there are still people that resist, but lately we got more and more support from the younger generation, especially women, so I think that people start to cross over the same border.
MOAMETAL: I’ve been to many countries and I am really glad that I was able to see them with my own eyes. I learned what I had to learn by seeing it with my own eyes, which gave me the strong belief to bring even more smiles to people’s faces if they join us and our music. I think we can create a better world when we connect it, crossing more borders through music.
NYLON: You are preparing for the 2 day performance at Makuhari Messe in the beginning of the New Year. Your rehearsal has probably started already, right?
SU-METAL: That’s right. Because we do so much singing and dancing and even present new things we spend a lot of time for rehearsal.
MOAMETAL: We two tend to worry about things so we are the type of people that practices everything over and over again carefully.
SU-METAL: After all BABYMETAL’s music is kind of difficult, you know.
NYLON: (laughs) Please tell me as much as you can do about the performance you will show at the Makuhari Messe.
MOAMETAL: Let’s see …. I think you can call it a big compilation (or culmination) of this year’s tour from June until now.
SU-METAL: Also, the poster visuals are a hint (DEATH!). (Note: The main picture of this blog entry is one of two posters that were part of the interview, both have similar visuals. Also it is not clear by Su’s answer if she means the Nylon posters or the Legend Metal Galaxy promotion picture, which Nylon itself just calles a “motif”)
NYLON: Do the poster visuals make use of the motif from the limited editions of your new album where SU-METAL represents the “SUN” and MOAMETAL represents the “MOON”?
SU-METAL: I can’t say more! (laughs)
NYLON: As a conclusion I want to ask the „Sun“ and „Moon“ what your thoughts are of each other now that you approach 10 years together.
SU-METAL: Umm, I don’t know how to say it. When we tour together we are more with each other than with family, she is something different than a friend, she‘s especially not a rival. She’s a partner. Umm.
MOAMETAL: That’s right, it feels something like natural when we are together. We understand each other’s strong and weak points, you could say we are opposite characters? But we are on the same wavelength. We take care of each other and when we get a little bit stressed, we are able to relieve that stress together.
SU-METAL: It is strange. We can even hang out together without saying anything.
MOAMETAL: Even if we don’t say anything we know what the other person is thinking right now.