The Japan-made 23-year old pornstar Rae Lil Black is slowly but steadily climbing the „top of the pops“ on Pornhub. But she has another guilty pleasure as well: Heavy Metal.
At a concert, as both a fan and music journalist my blinkers usually are directed at the stage, everything that happens off-stage is hardly in my view. Not so at Candlemass‘ performance at this year’s Beyond The Gates-Festival in Bergen, Norway: Although their performance was more than solid, my gaze kept falling on a petite person in front of me, who visibly enjoyed the concert and almost absorbed the music with every fiber of her body. No big story, you might think – if the gentlemen of the French clothing label Hate Couture hadn’t pointed out to me that this was none other than Osaka born porn star Rae Lil Black, 23 years old and slowly but steadily climbing the „top of the pops“ on Pornhub. I must admit: My knowledge was indeed unblemished, I had to do some research first – but it soon became clear that this is a person who really loves and lives Heavy Metal, and is not just using its imagery to stand out like other stars do (Kendall Jenner, anyone?). Reason enough to introduce myself and ask for an interview on the most important minor matter in the world: Heavy Metal, d’uh.
So, you just attended Beyond The Gates in Norway. What is your conclusion?
It was quite amazing, nothing can go wrong with that line-up! Black metal legends all together! Aside of Mayhem (since I’m a huge fan of them), the best act for me personally were Marduk, Emperor, Midnight and Lucifer. Especially because I really liked the latest album “Viktoria” from Marduk, I was so happy to see them playing some songs from that album again. And I cannot wait to see Emperor again in November in Japan!
I was pretty busy with my work though and missed some bands, like Behexen and I hate myself for that. I also missed out Watain on Wednesday, which was pretty pity.
Did you also find some time to do some (Black Metal) sightseeing in the Bergen area?
Unfortunately I did not have time for sightseeing. I wish I could have done it! I especially wanted to go to Fantoft Stave Church but my schedule was too tight. Probably next year!
You are originally from Japan. Are you visiting shows in Europe often?
Yes. I visit Europe twice a year at least. I was living in Munich so I went to a lot of shows when I was there.
How easy is it for you as a celebrity anyways to go to shows and not to be bothered too much?
I am not that popular (yet!), so not too many people would recognize me. I sometimes meet fans at some shows or festivals, but I am always happy to talk, drink and enjoy music with them actually. We are a big family here.
Is it possible with you to combine pleasure and duty when abroad?
I missed a lot of good shows and festivals this summer, but usually I always go to a lot of gigs when I am in Europe. I visit in spring and summer, so it is the best season I guess.
Where do you see the differences between the music scenes in Asia, America and Europe?
There are so many differences! I always find it interesting that people in Japan are much more energetic and enthusiastic at shows. It is probably because not so many bands come to Japan that often, so we need to enjoy 120 percent when they are here. I have never been to South America, but I think they are the same – more or less. We are hungry for music.
Though, I love going to shows in Europe. It is super chill, I can enjoy drinks and conversations with fellow metalheads, and there is usually enough space between people.
According to your personal feelings: Is it possible to infer the music from the population – after all, it is said that northerners are „rather cool“, southerners „hot-blooded“?
I guess there are definitely some differences, but it depends on what they listen when they grew up and which bands they are influenced by.
There are not too many Japanese acts popular in Europe, maybe Sigh, Boris, Church of Misery and – most currently – Babymetal would top the bill. Could you give us a little insight on the scene there?
I do not know much about the Japanese metal scene for some reason. I guess the Rock/Pop scene is pretty active from what I see. Metal, probably not that much.
Though I have some favorite bands, Evil for example. I only saw them playing once at True Thrash Festival, a Japanese Thrash Metal Festival, last winter, and I loved their performance! If you like some dirty energetic thrash, check them out!
And about Babymetal, I do not listen to them! It is because I am jealous of them meeting a lot of legends (laughing). I should have sent an application to be one of their members (laughing). Shame on me.
Talking about Babymetal: In Europe it sometimes seems strange to look at the first rows of visitors and notice that these elder gentlemen are hardly there because of the music. What do you think about the sexualisation of stage people? Female musicians are often suspected of being the eye-catchers of the stage – keyword “hottest chicks in Metal”-polls …
I think it is impossible to not sexualize people. I did sexualize people, for example, I loved Tommy Lee and wanted to marry him when I was a teenager. And I still love him, just saying. I think it is not too bad if it is not too much, or not too sexual. If they are hot, what can we do (laughing)? People just have to be respectful.
Across the music genres, the „quota“ is a big topic in Europe, and it is demanded that more women are present on stage. Now it is of course to be welcomed that women have the same chances as men, but: How important do you consider the question of their gender to be for musicians?
I do not care really. If women do not get as same chance as men only because they are women, it is a problem. But for me, personally, as long as they make good music, it does not matter if they are woman or man or gay or lesbian or whoever they are.
Do you have some favourite women in Heavy Metal you consider a role model or inspiration?
And in the porn industry?
I love Katrina Jade a lot.
Of course, the porn industry is a tough business: How would you describe the relationship between you and your (female) colleagues? Do you see yourself as a competitor, are your jobs fiercely contested or do you tend to live and work peacefully together?
I am a pretty happy, easy going, chill person, so I can work with almost anybody without any problems. I recently noticed that I am blocked from several girls, but somehow I enjoy it when beautiful girls are jealous of me (laughing). Doesn’t that sound juicy?
How did you come up with doing porn anyways?
It is a long story. But I’d say I have always been naughty and I was born this way.
As with any profession, appearance is of course the first and most important figurehead. How did you come up with the idea to make Heavy Metal your image – for example with your logo?
It was not really my intention at first. I just go to gigs pretty often, buy CDs and LPs and I was just posting pictures as my daily update. Then I got this image somehow. Some people wanted me to post some of my collections, so I made my @rlblack666 page on Instagram just to communicate with metalheads.
About my logo, I did not want to have a cute or porn looking logo. So I did ask Mfaxii to create my logo, since I know that his work is amazing, and I really loved the stuff he did for Mayhem.
We all know, logos are very important when it comes to bands. What are some of your favourite ones and did some of them inspire you with your own?
I love symmetry and dark stuff like Mayhem, Tsjuder, Horna, Nargaroth, Borknagar, Sarcofago, Gra (my current favorite band) and such a like. The Morbid Angel logo is super sick too. My logo looks like Darkthrone meets Mayhem I guess (laughing).
Where are your Heavy Metal roots anyways? Could you tell me a little bit about your musical background?
I found some CDs from an old room of my dad and I started listening to some classic stuff like Bruce Springsteen, Police, Eagles, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Kiss – and then it got heavier. But my biggest influence is from 80s Heavy Metal, Hard Rock and even Pop, and it never gonna change.
What makes you so fascinated by Heavy Metal? What makes Heavy Metal „better“ than Rap or Pop Music or Reggae or whatever? What is its sex appeal?
Well, I appreciate music and I love music in general. Heavy Metal has been my fuel and I am alive now because of Metal. But I do not think it is better, it is just my current interest. I listen to Reggae sometimes, I also like old Rap music, and I love 70s and 80s Disco or Pop as well. Music in general is an art and a beautiful creation which someone put their heart in. That is why I am so fascinated by music.
In the „good old days“ it was quite common to put together mixtapes, especially for new girlfriends and boyfriends. What songs would you put on a tape like that?
(laughing) Good old tapes! It depends on who I would give it to, but I would put 80s Pop on it just to make sure – if they are not only listing to Metal. If they cannot sing Abba or Michael Jackson with me, they cannot be my partner (laughing).
Is there a perfect soundtrack to sex in Heavy Metal?
Any songs from Scorpions sound super passionate and cheesy (in a good meaning) for nice romantic sex I guess. You know, I want to be romantic sometimes.
I’d like to name you some album covers, and you tell me what comes to your mind first, okay? Let’s start with „Tomb Of The Mutilated“ by Cannibal Corpse.
Most guys are bad at eating pussy.
Marduk, „Fuck me Jesus“.
Hot – inside and outside. (The music itself and the cover!)
Type O Negative, the original cover design to „The Origin of Feces“.
Can I lick it?
Lividity, „Fetish for the sick“.
I’d do that to you too, if you did it to me.
Alright … What about Cock and Ball Torture, „Opus(sy) VI“?
I want her nose instead of mine!
What do you think about the original artwork of Guns N Roses‘ „Appetite for Destruction“?
Read the room, they are having a moment there!
One of my absolute favourites: My local weirdos Pungent Stench with their classic „Been caught buttering“.
Like! Keep going!
Scorpions, „Virgin killer“.
How old is she?
Too young I’d say. What about Lord Gore, „The Autophagous Orgy“?
Some guys should join in, too!
What about the original, but unfortunately censored artwork for Pantera’s „Far beyond driven“?
She or he better got paid $10000+!
Regurgitate, „Carnivorous erection“?
This dick got some serious STD. Run!
And finally: Belphegor, „Necrodaemon Terrorsathan“?
Can Helmuth just let me join next time they shoot?
The look of especially Black Metal is sometimes unbelievably weird, but immensely erotic. Jeremy Saffer, for example, is also responsible for „Corpsepaint fine art nude photography“. Where is the sex appeal in Metal, in your opinion? For example, what makes corpsepaint so erotic?
I am not sure if corpsepaint is erotic, especially for normal people (laughing). For me, it is facinating how people created that make-up. Their mind, their thoughts … It is pretty interesting. I cannot experience or see what happened or what it was like in the beginning of black metal history, but corpsepaint is one of the things which is inherited until now. That is why people have been facinated by that I guess.
As I love to know the background of the lyrics, I also love knowing and appreciating the history or the background of music, fashion, etcetera. Feeling the history is definittely sexy!
How important is make-up in porn?
It is everything for me (laughing). I put specific make-up on my face, so everytime I am on set for any shootings, I do make-up by myself. I feel super good when I can put my eyeliner perfectly.
When musicians go on stage (and even more when they put on make-up or masks), they become a different persona from their off-stage persona – not necessarily contrary, but at least … more eccentric. How different is your porn to your private persona?
Hmm, I think I am a more boring and super serious person in private. I do not drink much, I never smoke, I don’t do drugs. I look super naughty and crazy in the videos, and I am for sure, but I am super chill and not really a party person.
Since I was asking you about two albums of bands deriving from my home country before – and since I have seen you sporting a Belphegor hoodie recently: Do you have any connections to Austria, what comes to your mind when thinking of this little middle European country?
Yeah, Belphegor is one of my favourite bands, they are really dope performers. I actually do not have much connections to Austria, and I am not sure people there know about me as well (laughing). But I lived close to Austria in Munich for a while, so I know you have beautiful mountains and pretty cities there.
Recently you stated you do have “so many ideas but no one to shoot with”. Would you be interested in acting in a music video as well?
If I can, definitely yes. Could you ask Belphegor for me (laughing)? But I am always intrested in trying new things, and always looking for opportunities.
Honestly – who’s your guilty pleasure? With which musician would you like to do a scene?
Tommy Lee. I have plenty more to name, but not gonna name them. Guess who?!
Porn is something you primarily consume digitally: There are enough platforms where clips are available for free or for a fee. Hardly anyone still buys magazines or DVDs today. In contrast, there is heavy metal, where vinyl still counts, where fans spend huge sums on recordings. Why is it that you want something „in your hand“ here, bits and bytes are sufficient there? Do you think, people don’t value porn?
Well, first of all, you gotta hide porn DVDs or magazines from your parents, kids or wife/girlfriend – if the latter do not enjoy porn. So I guess buying porn online is understandable. And it is mostly a video, not music – so you need a screen. If it is a vinyl or a CD, you can enjoy it with various devices, hell – you can even take it to the car and listen to it. I’d rather not watch porn DVDs while driving (laughing).
Hand on heart: Never having sex again or never listening to Heavy Metal again? (I know, tough choice.)
This is such a mean question! I would choose …. never having sex. With a big hesitation (laughing). But I grew up with Heavy Metal and I would miss it too much if I couldn’t listen to it no more.