Justin Hawkins Explains His Thoughts On Babymetal

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In a new episode of the Justin Hawkins Rides Again series on YouTube, the Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins reacted to a live performance of Babymetal and shared his views on the band’s style and sound.

Babymetal is a Japanese kawaii metal band formed in 2010 in Tokyo, Japan. The band’s current lineup features Moametal on vocal and dance parts and Su-metal, who handles the scream and dance duties. The band aims to create a fusion of metal, j-pop, and Japanese idol with their music. They stepped into the music world with their self-titled debut album, released in 2014. The song, ‘Gimme Chocolate!!‘ from the debut album brought international success to the band and their record.

Later, they released two more studio albums in 2016 and 2019. The kawaii metal genre created by the band introduced metal to new audiences. The band has stood out with their original approach to the genre and their incredibly energetic live performances. In his recent video, Justin Hawkins referred to Babymetal’s 2016 performance with Judas Priest’s Rob Halford and reminded the singer’s words about Babymetal’s prominent role in the future of metal.

Then, the singer talked about the band’s sound in general and praised their melodic riffs. Another important point that Justin Hawkins found interesting was the band’s name. He said he liked that contradiction, which is also detectable in the band’s complex sound. According to Hawkins, that contradictory style is also probably why they are either totally rejected or fully embraced by the audience. The rocker then discussed their image by saying that it was hard for him to understand the target audience there.

Here is what Justin Hawkins said about Babymetal:

“After Judas Priest’s Rob Halford performed with Babymetal in July 2016, he stated ‘Babymetal is the future of metal.'”

He continued:

“There used to be a lot of grunge bands around London in the late ’90s, early ’90s. The names of the bands always used to be something nice, followed by something that isn’t very nice. I suppose that tradition started earlier than that. The tradition of naming a band in that way started in the ’80s with Strawberry Switchblade and then cut to Daisy Chainsaw. That was the ’90s. Then in the early ’90s, Cheese Cake Truck. So, Babymetal is along those lines as well, and more or less does exactly what it says on the tin.”

He then talked about their sound and image:

“It is just like the name itself. It is just full of contradictions. It is brilliant; there is no middle ground, though, you’ll notice. That’s probably the way it divides opinions as well. I think what I was saying earlier is that people either reject it as a novelty group or celebrate it as something completely unique.

I suppose one of the things we ought to talk about is the imagery. When you listen to the music in these sorts of instrumental sections, and then you’re seeing like cute girls in lovely dresses doing naive choreography. Who is the target audience here? Is it people who have never listened to metal and have never seen girls before, or is it a gateway genre for people who listen to nursery rhymes?”

Hawkins concluded the video by saying:

“Anyway, nice one, Babymetal. I really hope that your lost chocolate is sated and you get all of the chocolate that you desire. I think you deserve it, but just clean your teeth, wash your hands before you eat them, and clean your teeth afterward. That’s my advice.”

You can watch the entire video below.