The most insane break out act of the year?
Ed Keeble

16:00 30th July 2014

Babymetal have been a phenomenon in Japan for a long time now. Following on from the girls graduating from the Sakura Gakuin idol academy (15 is the age they leave), they have continued to attract legions of fans - but now on a global scale. 

This year they have attracted attention from the rest of the world and have just recently played their first UK and US tour dates. At each one, they have become huge talking points and managed to win over fans from a whole different culture. 

For those fans, new to the band and to the concept of idol music there is a hell of a lot to take in. So we've created a short list of need to know stuff for those jumping in. 

  • The band's creator Kobametal said that the name Babymetal came from a "divine message" from the Fox God, or Kitsune-sama as he is also known. It means that they have created a new genre of music that combines Japanese idol pop with metal, hence the term baby in the name. This is why instead of devil horns the band use the symbol of the fox (two fingers), in order to symbolise the band's divine inspiration.

  • The average age of the group is 15. Moa Kikuchi and Yui Mizuno are both 15 with Suzuka Nakamoto being the oldest at 16. On stage, Suzuka who is also the tallest stands in the middle with Moa and Yui on either side.

  • 'Headbanger' is about Su-Metal's 15th birthday: "This special night of my fifteen/I'll never forget/All the crybabies, get out of here!/With the legendary black long hair disordered around and gorgeously/blooming crazy/this flower will soon disappear fruitlessly/I'll never come back again and it's so short period/I etch in my heart this special night of my fifteen/I jump lightly and dance in the air/Headbanger!"

  • The release of 'Headbanger' came with a corset to help ease the necks of listeners into the habit of headbanging. How considerate.

  • In an interview with the Huffington Post, the trio admitted that they had no prior knowledge of metal: "When I first started, my stamina could not keep up. I did not know what metal was, so I never head banged before I used to have muscle pain that lasted 3 days, but now I am used to it and I have more stamina now," said Yui is now a fan of Cannibal Corpse, Moa likes Iron Maiden and Behemoth while Su is partial to a bit of Metallica.

  • The translation of 'Gimme' Chocolate' tells a story of worrying about your weight, a subject particularly relevant to the Japanese idol industry: "Check-it-out chocolate. Can I have a bit of chocolate?/But my weight worries me a bit these days./However, chocolate/Can I have a bit of chocolate?/But wait a while! Wait a while! Wait! Wait! Wait!

  • The producer of 'Gimme Chocolate' is Takeshi Ueda, who is the bassist from The Mad Capsule Markets. Who many will know from the song 'Pulse' which is taken from the Tony Hawks 3 soundtrack, and was really awesome.

Photo: Press/Commons