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BABYMETAL + AVATAR at Marquee Theatre
October 1 @ 8:00 pm - 11:30 pm
BABYMETAL was formed in 2010.
In March 2014, they took the stage at Nippon Budokan for a 2-day gig, making them the youngest female act to perform there. Their 1st studio album BABYMETAL instantly made it to the US Billboard charts. In summer of the same year, they embarked on their first world tour, performing on the main stage at UK’s prodigious festival Sonisphere Festival 2014 in front of 65,000 festival goers and supporting Lady Gaga on her ArtRave: The Artpop Ball 2014 Tour.
In summer of 2015, BABYMETAL received various awards from prominent UK music magazines KERRANG! and METAL HAMMER and became the first Japanese artist to ever receive these awards. BABYMETAL also performed on the main stage at the massive Reading & Leeds. In April 2016, BABYMETAL had a simultaneous global release for their 2nd album METAL RESISTANCE. Not only did they make the charts in Japan, they also became the highest-charting Japanese band ever on UK’s Official Albums Chart, landing at no. 15th. They also reached the 39th spot on its debut on the U.S. Billboard, becoming the first album by a Japanese artist to break into the chart’s top 40 in more than 53 years. During that same month, BABYMETAL performed at the prestigious Wembley Arena in the UK, becoming the first Japanese artist to ever headline at the venue. They completed their world tour in September at the Tokyo Dome for a consecutive 2 days with over 110,000 people to witness the massive tour final. Not only have they achieved all of the above, they have performed as special guests in various international locations for the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, METALLICA, GUNS N’ ROSES, and KORN. BABYMETAL’s challenge for world domination continues and only the Fox God knows what the future will hold.
It all began in the summer of 2001, when drummer John Alfredsson joined forces with vocalist Christian Rimmi and formed the first reincarnation of Avatar. In those days the name was Lost Soul. Guitarists Viktor Ekström and Daniel Johansson teamed up with the band together with bass player John Isacsson in an early phase. The band got their first rehearsal room and everybody was happy… but not for long. Drummer John had to face the facts. Viktor actually wanted to play funk. John Isacsson (who also preferred funk) HATED metal and didn’t have any idea of what he was doing in the band in the first place. Daniel didn’t seem to have any idea either of what he was doing there since he barely showed up to any rehearsals. Furthermore the rehearsal room sucked ass! The change of members had begun. The first one to be fed to the fishes was Daniel whose place quickly was taken by John’s old tennis ‘pal Jonas Jarlsby, a true metal head. They made the strategic move to disband Lost Soul since it had all fallen apart anyway. Lost Soul was killed with an axe and buried in Jonas garden. At the very same time Avatar was born (although Lost Soul also was called that for a while).
After some searching guitarist Kim Egerbo was found. Together with bass player Niklas Green and vocalist Johannes Eckerström (who sang with former members John and Viktor’s band Classic Molly) they were the second reincarnation of Avatar. The quintet found a new place to rehearse in Gothenburg and started immediately. The band had a complete line up, at least for a while…
Niklas soon turned out to be way too lazy and was kicked out of the band. The vacant place was taken by musical prodigy Björn Risberg (also in Seminarium) and Avatar kept on playing for a few months when the band had a major setback when Johannes left the band. He had some trouble with things like talking, drinking and even breathing because if his lack of singing technique. Without Johannes in the band Björn decided to jump off the sinking ship too. It seemed like the whole world had turned against the band. Once again they stood without singer, and bass player but with Kim, who despised the music almost as much as John Isacsson did back in the days
Despite of all the setbacks there never was any doubt when it came to continuing the band. Kim quitted but John and Jonas carried on. They tested about a million members of which only a few stayed more than a few weeks. But the suddenly it all started to work out. Johannes had explored and developed his voice and was able to return to the job. With him came Björn, this time on guitar. It all started to look brighter. But like history has told us, nothing gold can stay.
October 2003, Björn told the band that he wouldn’t be able to stay in the band. There simply was no time for all of his projects. Luckily, Jonas starts on a new school and finds the perfect members. First it was Henrik Sandelin, just the kind of bass player and person John have had wet dreams about for years. A few weeks later they found Simon Andersson, shredding wiz kid just the way God meant them to be.
During this period the kids had a major breakthrough in their song writing. The tunes came out the way they were supposed to and with time they were finally played properly. It didn’t take long before the first demo was recorded in Studio Gain. It was named ‘Personal Observations’ and the cover was made by Johannes’ cousin Phillip von Preuschen. Two long term cooperation had started, but by then no one knew…
Avatar sent out the demo for review and entered their first live contests. They didn’t make too much of a success among jurys and critics, but everyone could agree on that there were no band having as much fun as these kids. And that became their signum. Passion, energy and pure love for their music. This was the start of building a fanbase.
About one year later the confidence had grown and the band decided to take next step. A little more time in the studio and a little more thought and cash behind their production made them decide that the next recording wouldn’t be a demo. What they would do this time was a full scale E.P! Once again they entered Studio Gain and once again Phillip was put on the job to make a cover. Stronger material and greater musical ability and determination was the corner stone in creating an underground classic that became known as ‘4 Reasons to Die’ .
The E.P. received amazing reviews and more and more people came to their live shows which got stronger and more intense than ever before. If there was an underground show in town Avatar would be there, banging their heads like crazy! Even more fans joined the force and larger parts of Sweden was invaded week by week. And the party had just started.
After a great year of growth and success the band had to decide what would be their next step. The talk was about doing another E.P. but after some reasoning back and forth they said “Fuck it! We got the material and we’re to hungry to do otherwise! We’re doing an album!”. Said and done. They carried the drum kit to Gain for the third time with intentions to start a war. This was going to be big! During the recording process, owner of the studio, who also was the owner of the record label Gain got a copy of the half done album from the engineer and they were blown away! The deal was written and the album was released in Sweden on January 25th, 2006. The album made great chart positions and the phenomena grew like crazy. The band then toured Sweden like possessed opening for Hardcore Superstar and Dismember and hit the road for Europe with Impaled Nazarene. The touring peaked in Gothenburg in August where they played for 2500 crazy fans, headlining just before Arch Enemy on ‘EM-festen’, the party of the year for any west coaster.
On September 15th the album hit the shelves in Europe. Avatar joined Evergrey on a highly successful tour through the old world and are now looking forward on bringing the world to its knees. It isn’t too far away now.