15 Jun

baby metal 1

Stop what you’re doing: this Japanese girl band are changing the face of alternative music and blowing the Internet’s tiny mind in the process.

Babymetal – formed by Suzuka Nakamoto, Yui Mizunoand and Moa Kikuchi – are a Japanese pop idol-meets-metal band that’s taking the world by storm. Their Gimmie Chocolate!!! video has over 27 million views on YouTube, they’ve played to crowds of over 25,000 and they’ve embarked on a world tour – all before turning 18.

With their Battle Royale-meets-goth wardrobe and butter-wouldn’t-melt looks, the ladies (and their backing band) have become a worldwide hit and internet sensation. Metal is definitely not for everyone, but when mixed with the positive lyrics and warp speed dance routines of J-pop, it is undeniably catchy. Like dipping your fries in milkshake, it shouldn’t work, but for some reason it really, really does.

Since ‘baby’ rhymes with ‘heavy’ in Japanese, the name Babymetal is a rather nifty play on words, but puns aside, it’s not hard to see why the name was chosen; lead vocalist Suzuka – aka Su-metal – is 17, while Yui and Moa – aka Yuimetal and Moametal – are only 15.

The thought of under-age Japanese girls wearing matching outfits and pigtails might be an uneasy one, but their getup is a nod to their J-pop roots, and it does somewhat subvert the stereotype of the greasy rocker.

Since they formed in 2010, they’ve managed to infiltrate the male-centric world of metal and create a whole new genre. Well, at least their creator and producer Kobametal did… The girls had actually never heard of metal before joining the band, as lead Su-metal revealed to MTV 81: “The first time we heard the idea for Babymetal, we were like ‘What the?!'”

Still, their success is not to be sniffed at. They have 141K Twitter followers, huge support in Europe and the US and famous fans in the likes of Metallica, Slipknot and Judas Priest.

They broke the Internet and now they’re breaking metal hearts in the process. Music fans have really got behind the kick-ass trio and the industry has followed suit, welcoming them with open, sweaty arms. The band played Download Festival last Friday (12 June), where they teamed up with British band DragonForce, tonight they’re set for a headline slot at The O2’s Indigo bar – oh, and they just won a Kerrang! Award for the Spirit of Independence… Not too shabby.

While some critics have dubbed them a gimmick and others anti-feminist, these teens have proved they’re a force to be reckoned with. Don’t believe us? Watch another video below. If their infectious sound doesn’t get you, their hypnotic synchronised dance moves will.


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