It’s been less than a year since we interviewed BABYMETAL and prophesied their coming domination of the globe, and in that time they’ve released a new, full-length album, racked up over five million views on one video alone, and made plans to invade England. While the UK probably isn’t the best target for a military attack–we hear they get pretty grumpy and call the RAF on you–the country seems particularly susceptible to cultural aggressions, making the group’s British debut at Sonisphere Festival UK the perfect opening offensive!
But the group’s popularity isn’t limited to the metal community. They’ve gotten attention from major media outlets around the world–it’s only a matter of time before we see the girls jumping around on Oprah’s coach, declaring their love for chocolate.
Though BABYMETAL has actually been around for a few years now, it took a while for the world to catch on. Which is fair enough–overnight successes are rarely actually overnight–but now that they’ve been noticed, you can’t throw a rock without hitting a major publication writing about the idol-pop-metal group. Following reporting on the group by Western metal publications like Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, MetalSucks, and NoCleanSinging, the mainstream media in the UK and the US picked up on the group, with USA Today, Time, and the Guardian all struggling to understand how BABYMETAL (and metal in general) works.
▼It works awesomely!
And they’re not just getting a lot of press–their debut album has been selling like hot cakes sprinkled with powdered sugar and imprinted with Hello Kitty’s winking face. Since February, when the album was released, they’ve climbed to the top of numerous charts, including iTunes’s metal ranking–but that’s not hard when your competition is Five Finger Death Punch or For Today, we suppose. It’s not just metal fans that are getting on-board the “dangerous kawaii” train though–the album has also tracked highly on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart.
▼And baffled many a YouTuber.
With their upcoming performance at Sonisphere, though, they’ll be thrown in the mix with some of the biggest names in the metal world, including Slayer, Metallica, and Iron Maiden, arguably the greatest metal band in history. If only we could get a video of Bruce Dickinson watching BABYMETAL perform! Or maybe even a guest appearance by Eddie…
With all the attention the band has received around the world, it should be unsurprising that cover songs abound. Here are some of our favorite reimaginings of BABYMETAL songs on YouTube.
First are two tsugaru-jamisen covers by Kevin Kmetz, the first foreigner to be recognized at Aomori’s National Tsugaru-jamisen Competion, one of the most intense competitions in the country, with a special judge’s award. As one of the three members of Monsters of Shamisen, Kevin is familiar with both rocking out and traditional Japanese music; the perfect man for this job.
▼Here’s “Ii ne!” on shamisen.
▼RocketNews24 favorite “Megitsune”
If you liked these two, be sure to look up more music by Monsters of Shamisen!
For a more modern approach, here’s a simple but awesome guitar cover by the lovely Kei, the vocalist for Akita metal band GREAVA. The video also provides the lyrics in roma-ji, so you can sing along!
Apparently even Evangelions love BABYMETAL.
Finally, check out this acoustic guitar version of “Akatsuki” by YouTube user ookie9.
We are actually surprised that we couldn’t find a ukelele or acappella cover. Come on, YouTube, you’re letting us down here! Maybe one of our super talented readers can right this wrong?
In the meantime, who wants to buy us tickets to Sonisphere? We need to be there when Kerry King sees BABYMETAL play for the first time and his head explodes.