Archive for October, 2018

Yui Mizuno (Yuimetal) leaving Babymetal is a big thing for a lot of people. The realization that this perfect unit that was the original trio of Babymetal might never perform together again is hard to take in. Still, all good things must come to an end and what we have here is the first real bump in the road for Babymetal (not counting the sad passing of guitarist Mikio Fujioka, which was bad enough).

There is obviously a new Babymetal album coming up, all the indications are there including the videos for “Distortion” and “Starlight” and the mythology will just carry on to whereever they want it to be. The news of Yui leaving caused quite a stir though, and it seems like every news outlet in the music world made a big deal out of it. The fact that Babymetal released the “Starlight” video on the same day made it all that much harder to resist for the media. The video notched up 1,000,000 hits inside a week. Coupled with the release of the Babymetal comic (out now) and the current batch of Japanese gigs with Sabaton and Galactic Empire, Babymetal is edging out of the eye of the storm right now. What has been has been and the legacy is there for all to see.

The “Gimme Chocolate!!” video has just notched up 95,000,000 hits, “Karate” over 45,000,000. The momentum is incredible and the brand may be strong enough to take a beating or two, the real proof that they have created something very special here. Yui was a big part of that.

Commando is currently publishing a number of issues that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, the end of WWI. This run includes a special series that spans five issues – five stories that features five members of the same family – and these issues all features cover art by Ian Kennedy (as seen here). Eight writers and artists have been involved in creating this exciting one-off.

I think Commando has outdone themselves this time.

The first 17 acts that are to perform at Sweden Rock Festival 2019 has been announced, and the headliners will be Kiss, Rainbow and Def Leppard. Ex-Rainbow singer Joe Lynn Turner will be there as well, which (in a perfect world) could open up certain possibilities. Of course, we live in an imperfect world. But one can hope. Some good acts, HammerFall, Arch Enemy, Amon Amarth. Another 65 acts are still to be announced. Tickets go on sale on November 1.

Metal history

Posted: October 29, 2018 in Babymetal, Classic Rock, General

Pretty big moment yesterday at the Saitama Super Arena (in Japan) as Babymetal held court alongside (openers) Sabaton and Galactic Empire. In fact, the frontmen of Sabaton and Galactic Empire joined Babymetal on stage for “Meta Taro” (clips exists on YouTube), and they even got the mythology treatment in the shape of a rather wonderful graphic introduction on the big screens (if you know what Babymetal is all about, you will know what I mean). It is obvious that the Dark Night Carnival was a success, perhaps this was the first Carnival of many to come (?) – it is a splendid idea after all. Five dancers backing up Su-metal and Moametal, and they were introduced as the Chosen Seven.

On a sidenote, it is interesting to know that Su-metal did her first appearance at this venue (Saitama Super Arena) with the Karen Girl´s in 2008 and that Babymetal has performed there on several occations since. The “Road Of Resistance” video was shot there in 2015. This is obviously holy ground for fans of Babymetal. Also, the Babymetal comic “Apocrypha…” has been released, I have just ordered my copy.

A glimpse of the past – DEEP PURPLE FOREVER (issues) 20 and 21, published in August and October 1998 by yours truly. My friend Staffan Eriksson had done the drawing of Deep Purple as they celebrated three decades and I liked it a lot. First ever cover that was not printed in full colour, but only because it was not a photograph, and the purple print looks great. Issue 21 sported cover shots by Benny Holmström and Michael Johansson. This was an odd one, I had been sent a school work on the history of Deep Purple by a student (Henrik Engvall) and I decided to print it as it was as a full magazine, only adding the cover and some classic ads from the past. Åke Pettersson over at EMI loved it and bought 50 copies that EMI used to promote the compilation album “30: Very Best of Deep Purple” in Sweden with.

Happy days.

Galactic Empire

Posted: October 27, 2018 in Babymetal, Classic Rock, Cool stuff, General

Well I have seen tweets from Galactic Empire and how ecstatic they were about the recent Babymetal gigs in Japan. This outfit plays instrumentals based on the adventures of Star Wars and they have released two albums so far. Maybe Kobametal (the man behind Babymetal) figured that a band as unique as Galactic Empire would suit the Makuhari Messe shows well, especially since Babymetal released the “Starlight” video right before these gigs. It is interesting that part of the lore of Babymetal, from the very early days, was that they were on a mission to save Metal, and here they are giving this band a chance to be seen in Japan.

50 years ago

Posted: October 26, 2018 in Classic Rock, Deep Purple Family, General

Deep Purple´s second album “The Book of Taliesyn” was released 50 years ago this month. Stateside at least (UK release was June 1969). At the time they had a huge hit in America and Canada with “Hush” and they embarked on a massive three month tour over there as this album saw release. In the end, this album did not produce a major hit but it stands as an interesting postcard of the day. One has to remember that The Beatles was still a major force and Purple did indeed cover “We Can Work It Out” on this LP. The Neil Diamond song “Kentucky Woman” was in fact a minor hit, enough for the label to support the group for a third album. It all happened very quickly in those days and you have to be in a certain mood to pick the early stuff out for a listen these days. If 1968 is what you want, this will do nicely.

Purple were not the leaders of the pack, that would come later.