One listen to Babymetal (try "Gimme Chocolate" or "Megitsune") and it's almost unfathomable who would've thought to swirl teen-pop melodies together with Slayer-esque production. But Kobametal, the man behind this internationally famous Japanese group, is just as mystifying as the band itself.
Fuse visited Tokyo for Babymetal's biggest headlining show to date, meeting the mastermind behind the teenage trio in the process. The elusive exec only appears in public with his trademark full-body skeleton costume. Quizzed about the band's origins and goals, Kobametal again and again evoked a mysterious deity he calls "the Fox God."
Fuse, with the help of an intrepid translator, got to know Kobametal in his own fascinating words. Check out our chat here, and don't miss the chance to get to know Babymetal singer Su-metal in another exclusive Fuse interview.
Babymetal just finished their biggest show ever. How are you feeling right now?
It was Babymetal's biggest headline show to date, and thanks to the blessing of the Fox God the show took place without any problems. So I feel very at ease and relieved.
How much work did you personally put in to put on such a huge show?
I was waiting for an oracle, a revelation from the Fox God, right up to the time before the show started on January 10. So it would shock everyone how little time was spent on my end.
How do you think the show went? Did you have a favorite part?
It was the first time the three from Babymetal had to perform in front of 20,000 fans, and I imagine it was not a very easy task for them. But at the very end, when they sang "Road of Resistance," I saw everyone in the venue become one, singing along, and that was quite an overwhelming scene to take in. Simply amazing.
Can you describe how Babymetal came to be?
Babymetal was formed in connection with the concept of sprouting a new type of metal, that is original, from Japan. Every course of action taken by Babymetal is revealed to them via divine messages that come through the god of metal we called the Fox God.
What do you say to people who are hesitant to believe that story?
To believe or not to believe, that is your choice.
What makes Su-metal, Yuimetal and Moametal special enough to lead an act like this?
We all call them the Chosen Ones, as it was the choice of the Fox God. And you know what makes them so special? It's because before Babymetal they had no idea what metal is. They had no preconception of what metal is or what it had to be. It also meant that the possibility for them to come up with something new and never-heard-of-before is enormous.
What's the best part about working with Babymetal?
Babymetal is not like any other metal band or artist out there—to me they are the one and only who are doing what they are doing. They are also evoking a new phenomenon that is untried, and it's happening globally. The best part of working with Babymetal is to be able to experience this phenomenon with them.
What is your musical background? Are you a metal fan? A pop fan?
I listen to a lot of heavy metal.
What are some other bands you like?
I don't think I can list my favorites, there are just too many of them, but there are some hints hidden in Babymetal's work.
Do you have a favorite Babymetal song?
Babymetal songs to me are like my own children—how could I ever choose just one favorite?
Do you think of Babymetal as a metal act or a pop act?
They are not metal, nor are they pop—they're Babymetal. The one and only Babymetal.
What do you hope to accomplish with Babymetal in 2015?
Only the Fox God knows!
Watch Babymetal slay "Gimme Chocolate" live in Tokyo: