If we’re going by hype alone, one of the biggest metal stories of the year is Babymetal, the J-pop-meets-metal Japanese band fronted by three teenage girls. Their debut album, despite not being on an American label, debuted on the charts here earlier this year, no doubt due to the viral video for “Gimme Chocolate.” The act is in the midst of a world tour that will find them opening up for Lady Gaga starting later this month, as well as playing Heavy MTL. And while Babymetal is an unqualified success, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that the trio of girls fronting it, who have an average age of under 15, weren’t metal fans before joining the group. Huffington Post interviewed them and found out the revelation from Yui-Metal (Yui Mizuno) and Moa-Metal (Moa Kikuchi):
When I first started, my stamina could not keep up. I did not know what metal was, so I never head banged before… I used to have muscle pain that lasted 3 days… but now I am used to it and I have more stamina now.
When Moa-METAL first started I had not danced before [to heavy metal music]. I did not know how to make the choreography look good, and like how Yui-METAL was saying, I did not know metal, so the choreography was hard to understand; my neck started to really hurt, it was difficult. But now I have got used to it. I like feeling one with the audience, making the whole venue feel like one, it makes me happy.
The article also admits that the backing band is a revolving lineup of four musicians, Which Su-Metal (Suzuka Nakamoto) admits may never become full-fledged members of the band:
What will happen, only Kitsune-sama [the band’s fox-god master, apparently] knows.
Basically, it sounds like the mysterious Kitsune-sama is probably a very rich man making money off a fad. Do Babymetal have what it takes to persevere in the music industry? Isn’t everyone pretty much interchangeable in the band, much like an Asian Menudo? Does the fact that the three front-people of the band knew nothing about metal a few years ago matter to those going to see them? Time will tell.