This week, Japanese metal band BABYMETAL have made history. Becoming the first Japanese band to headline London’s prestigious Wembley Arena at their biggest overseas headline show is pretty big; doing it alongside the release of new album Metal Resistance as it makes the top ten in the UK’s midweek charts and becomes the highest charting album from a Japanese band in Britain is bloody huge.
While first regarded as a kooky internet sensation, BABYMETAL have gone onto show that they are worth much more than just viral videos and clickbait articles. These three teenagers have broken barriers with their insane mash-up of Japan’s well-known love of pop-culture and fearsome metal, and their continuing to smash through brick walls and flip the music industry on its head is something we are all in desperate need of right now.
This band, despite being young, beautiful and- shock, horror- female, are storming through the hard rock scene at lightning speed. In a world dominated by old-school fans who have it lodged in their brains that metal is exclusive to men and ageing rockers, BABYMETAL have taken these far-outdated stereotypes and proven that you don’t have to adhere to what a fanbase, industry or even society deems “acceptable” in order to make a yourself a success. BABYMETAL show that you don’t have to “fit the part”, you can make the part– an idea that is long overdue.
Idol-metal is something people probably never expected; the mere thought that you could mix the twee pop of idol culture with head-banging metal is something that, just a few years ago, would have seemed completely bizarre. Enter BABYMETAL! They’ve brought elements of copycat culture and cutesy costumes from their own backgrounds to worldwide metal, further strengthening the message that metal is no place for racial discrimination. All cultures, creeds and colours are welcome and, given that BABYMETAL have already broken cross-country records with their studio releases and live shows, they are a shining example for all rock fans.
Kicking the butts of everyone who thought that women couldn’t make it in heavy music; that this new generation had nothing more to give to the metal scene; that racial barriers have any place in the alternative industry; that aspects of different, exciting cultures and influences couldn’t create an international fanbase for rock and metal all over the world- BABYMETAL are proving you all wrong, and we hope they continue to do so.