BABYMETAL, the Japanese “kawaii metal” band, has announced the departure of Yui Mizuno, better known as YUIMETAL, from the group after a long term hiatus. Her absence from the group began in 2017, when the artist dropped out of live performances. This was also prior to the launch of their world tour in Kansas City, Missouri, back in May of this year at the Uptown Theater.
Despite Mizuno’s departure the band is continuing strong, releasing a new track and music video entitled “Starlight,” today following this announcement. This track highlights the group’s “kawaii metal,” fashion with the singer’s pop vocals being guided with heavy and polished metal instrumentation.
“Starlight” is also primarily shot in black and white, with the exception of a few frame that are shown in nothing but red coloring. This video shows a variety of actors going through different backgrounds from a vast desert to space as they reach for a small star, the main subject of the song and video.
“During her absence, both SU-METAL and MOAMETAL as well as the entire staff team had been preparing for her awaited return,” the band announced in a statement.”YUIMETAL came to a decision that she will not be performing at BABYMETAL World Tour 2018 in JAPAN and that she will no longer be a part of BABYMETAL.”
YUIMETAL was one of the band’s main vocalists alongside Moa Kikuchi, better known as MOAMETAL and Suzuka Nakamoto, better known as SU-Metal, who is often considered the lead vocalist of the group. They are often accompanied by the Kami Band who provide heavy metal instrumentation throughout the group’s singing performances.
According to the band’s official statement, Mizuno was facing health complications which caused her to drop out of live performances back in December of last year. It is unknown as of press time what these complications were.
“As BABYMETAL, I am thankful for having a lot of valuable experience,” Mizuno explained in her own written statement. “It was days I feel blessed. It was a live, fun and happy time that everyone laughed and became one. I will also strive hard to see you again someday as Mizuno Yuji. Thank you very much for 8 years.”
Kawaii metal is a genre that blends elements of J-pop, metal and Japanese idol culture and music together. These elements focus on heavy metal instrumentation while the face of the group is maintained by lead female singers, who serve the same purpose as idol’s do in Japanese idol bands.
BABYMETAL has its roots in idol culture, splintering off from the Sakura Gakuin idol collective in 2013 after being a part of that group for three years. The following year the band released their eponymous debut album, which saw stunning success abroad, topping the Billboard world album charts and landing on the Billboard 200.
Last month the band released a live video for “Distortion 12,” that was filmed during the band’s performance at the Download Festival in the UK earlier this year. This performance will be released on Black Friday, for that accompanying Record Store day.
Read BABYMETAL’s full statement regarding YUIMETAL below:
“Thank you for continually supporting BABYMETAL. We would like to inform you of BABYMETAL’s new beginning which will be effective starting this month’s BABYMETAL WORLD TOUR 2018 in JAPAN performances.
YUIMETAL had expressed her desire to return performing with the group in the following months after last December’s performance due health concerns. During her absence, both SU-METAL and MOAMETAL as well as the entire staff team had been preparing for her awaited return. However, YUIMETAL came to a decision that she will not be performing at BABYMETAL WORLD TOUR 2018 in JAPAN and that she will no longer be a part of BABYMETAL. We thank her for all of her contributions and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.
This month’s BABYMETAL WORLD TOUR 2018 in JAPAN will mark the rebirth in which SU-METAL and MOAMETAL form the core of BABYMETAL.
We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the fans for the continued support and look forward in what’s next for BABYMETAL.”