Music Natalie - SCANDAL's Best Album Interview
Posted on Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:01 pm

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thoseguiltyeyes

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SCANDAL's best album 「SCANDAL」 interview

Love from the fans, a decade's trajectory, proceeding with their own intentions from here on





On 2/15 SCANDAL released their best album「SCANDAL」 in commemoration of their tenth anniversary.

This work features two discs with the top 34 songs voted for by the fans. It's jam-packed with numbers beginning from their major debut song「DOLL」 such as single songs, B-sides, popular album-only songs, and ones that show definite excitement at lives. Additionally, it contains two new songs 「FREEDOM FIGHTERS」 and「HELLO」that RINA wrote the lyrics for and MAMI wrote the music for, solidly exhibiting the girls' latest sound. It is a completion in which you can feel the path of their past ten years and what's next for them.

Music Natalie conducted an interview with the four members. We asked them about the progress they've made so far that can be seen from their best album packed with their fans' love, their current band mode, and their 47 prefecture tour that begins in March.




Anxiously waiting the results of the fan voting


──Please tell us your current feelings about releasing a voluminous best album in commemoration of your tenth anniversary.

RINA: It's not that we decided to release a best album for our tenth anniversary--we decided on its release naturally with a good flow, and we wanted to hurry up and have the finished work with great contents be heard by everyone.


──You decided on the songs with votes by the fans.

RINA: That's right. Since the members were going to be told the results after voting finished, we didn't know what to do and were anxiously waiting. I too voted unintentionally (laughs).


──Coincidentally, what songs did you vote for, RINA?

RINA: That's a secret (laughs). I was pretty puzzled about which to choose, but the ones I voted for did make it into the album.



When we saw the chosen songs, we were able to affirm our story up so far


──What kind of emotions did you feel when you saw the chosen songs?

TOMOMI: I was really happy since the songs that are popular at lives were selected as the center. I think they're selections unique to us, whose activities revolve around lives, so I think they're definitely linked to the fans' feelings. It's something that we get emotional about when we listen to it.

MAMI: It's really thorough, with songs from our first album to B-sides being chosen. Since we also included two new songs, it feels like it's packed with what's next for SCANDAL and our signature/special moves.


── The content is befitting to a self-titled work.

HARUNA: Yeah. We considered many prospects for the album title, but the moment we saw the chosen songs, we thought, 「This is the only name to use for it」. Although it's a simple title, I think this album can definitely prove what kind of band we are.

RINA: We're a band that has done many things so far, and therefore there are many ways we can be viewed. Including how we formed, we also had many anxieties and complexities about doing music. But, when we saw the songs the fans chose, it felt like we were able to affirm our story up so far. A song called 「SCANDAL IN THE HOUSE」 made it on to the best album, and it's a fun song that we don't play instruments on.


──It's one song that introduces the members through rapping. It seems to have made it to #12 in the votes.

RINA: That's right. There are people who say they like that song and chose it. That's exactly why we have a renewed confidence in everything we've done so far. In that sense as well, this best album is one with which we can say, 「This is SCANDAL. How's that for you!」


Unexpectedly selected songs where the fans' maniacal side comes out


──Are there any surprising songs that made it in?

RINA: We basically understand why all of them are on there. It's all filled with songs where we're like, 「That's right!」 But, I think if we had chosen the songs ourselves, 「SCANDAL IN THE HOUSE」 and 「Flashback No.5」 would not have been on it. Looking at the overall balance, easy-to-understand, simple songs may have been included in it.

HARUNA: The fans' maniacal side comes out a bit. There's also that kind of amusement.

TOMOMI: I'm really happy that 「Bitter Chocolate」 was chosen. Since we predicted that songs we can go crazy to and do a call & response together at lives would be the center of the best album, I was a little surprised that a medium-tempo song is listened to and was included in the line-up.

RINA: I also had the same impression for 「Chiisana Honoo」. It's a very important song message-wise as well, so everyone who wanted this on the best album made me very happy.


──It seems that the warm thoughts of the fans are reflected with 「one piece」 being included as well.

RINA: Right? We wrote this song imagining us performing a solo live at Osaka-Jo Hall, the first dream we had together. I think it's probably that the fans knew the history on this song, got a good idea of our history, and voted for the song. That really touched us.



We tend to play 「Koe」 during important times


──The song 「Koe」, which MAMI is lead vocals on, made it #2.

MAMI: Yes. I'm happy about that......

RINA: Ahahaha (laughs). That's it? Anything else?

MAMI: Well, even though this song is neither a single nor a lead song on an album, everyone seems to really like it.

HARUNA: Maybe it feels rare because we don't play it at every live? That's why everyone wants to listen to it.


──You performed it SCAFES (「SCANDAL 10th ANNIVERSARY FESTIVAL『2006-2016』) last August.

TOMOMI: We did. We tend to play it during important times (laughs).

MAMI: Looking back, it's like we must play it once every year.

RINA: It's definitely an emotional song. This makes me want to play it all of a sudden (laughs).


──Incidentally, why does MAMI sing on this song?

MAMI: At first it was decided that HARUNA would sing, of course, but I was challenged to do it at the suggestion of our director then.

RINA: At that time, MAMI sang and sent it to us via voice memo. It was so awesome that we decided to put the song on the album.

MAMI: Ah, that's right. That did happen (laughs). I'm glad it became a song that's this loved.


A work with which you can feel the evolution of our sound and singing


──Listening back to your ten years' worth of songs, can you feel that there was an evolution as a band?

MAMI: That's right. There are a ton of things we realized anew when we divided the selected songs into two discs and decided the order of the songs. There are sounds we omit when we do live arrangements, so when we listened to the recorded songs we had discoveries like, 「Ah, we did this here!」. It's because our singing voices and ways of playing are completely different for each song. Working while feeling sounds and grooves we can only emit at those times was so fun; all of us were really excited. Like, 「It's so nostalgic!」 (laughs).

RINA: HARUNA's singing has changed considerably.

HARUNA: It has changed, hasn't it. I'm aware of it. There are parts that have changed intentionally as well as parts that changed while I was having conflicts, but I feel kind of embarrassed when I listen to our early songs (laughs). When you listen to other artists' best albums, I don't think there are many works where you can feel their evolution of singing until that point. So, I'd be happy if people can enjoy that aspect as well.


──In regards to singing voices, I get the impression that TOMOMI too has changed considerably from the early days.

TOMOMI: Yes (laughs). It's the same as HARUNA, but we originally practiced at school to sing in a way that would go with dance music, so our first role models were people like Beyonce or Alicia Keys. But, along the way, we thought that that type of singing didn't suit our music and then tested out our own ways of singing. As a result, it became more and more broken down and feels like own our style now (laughs).


First intentions are important during recording


──Listening to the best album, you're able to feel that your depth of sound is growing steadily performance-wise, and that your ensemble is evolving. How does that feel?

MAMI: Our early songs have a roughness and pureness to them, in a good way. Rather, they have a momentum to them that were unique to those times; they're not something we could draw forth now. So, about five years ago, we were awakened to what exactly we could do. From that point on we've been very particular while recording, but there are lots of times when we overdo things and don't really know what we should do (laughs).

RINA: That's recording for you (laughs). It's particularly harsh for me and MAMI. It's because we care about even one bar too much, and there are times when we have to do something many times over and over.

HARUNA: As soon as they do something, I think, 「This take was so good!」, but they're not convinced (laughs).

RINA: There are days when we overthink and are like, 「Can't you go again?」 (laughs). But that's changed again a bit recently. We leave it up to the members' opinions more.

MAMI: Finally, right (laughs). There are many times when we record and one or two takes are great, so I eventually also realized that our intentions and feelings we had at the beginning are important.


──It may be that you regained the intentions you had at the time of your major debut after your skills improved.

MAMI: Yeah. Our theme recently is to not be too concerned.


Recently, we've been doing a style where we direct each other


──HARUNA and TOMOMI, are you in that kind of mode as well?

TOMOMI: No matter how many times I play, it hasn't really changed from what it originally was (laughs). It ends after playing two or three times, every time.


──Your image of phrases may have been clear from the beginning.

TOMOMI: That......might be so (laughs).

HARUNA: TOMOMI's being polite about it.

TOMOMI: Is......that so? (laughs)

HARUNA: I haven't been spending too much time recording songs recently. It's not good if my throat is worn out, and I think that it's better if it could come out in great shape with the initial momentum. Also, in regards to singing, there have been more things for me to do while receiving opinions and advice from the members.


──The members have come to work closely with each other, rather than focusing on only their own parts.

RINA: That's right. Recently, we've been doing a style where the four of us direct each other's parts together. Sometimes we all simultaneously record music, but during the times we record separately, the other three will direct the one doing it. That's why it's difficult when each of us talks about different things (laughs). By doing so, things that we can't do just by ourselves come forth and we can do even more experimental things; it feels like we're even freer. Recording has gotten even more fun after adopting that style.



「FREEDOM FIGHTERS」 is a love letter from MAMI


── The new songs on your best album exhibit the latest work of SCANDAL. The first song 「FREEDOM FIGHTERS」 features lyrics by RINA and music by MAMI. It's a powerful number that'll inspire you.

RINA: It's a song that asserts your freedom. The lyrics were written first. It was actually written with the same theme as 「Sisters」 that's on the best album, but due to the title, there are many people who perceive that song as a fight song for girls. I wrote it for all of my comrades who are living in this current era, but I reflected back and had regret that 「It can't be helped that it's perceived in that way」. So, I wanted to say the same thing once more to everyone. It's a theme that can be spit out once so it was hard to work on it, enough to think, 「My life's being whittled away」, but I'm glad I was able to write it.

MAMI: In regards to music, the rhythm and melody were born as if guided by the lyrics RINA wrote. I was able to experience a slightly mysterious feeling for the first time, like,「Ah, it's like this」.


──The sound sharply delivers the lyrics' message.

TOMOMI: When I received the demo, I thought, "This is a love letter from MAMI to the rhythm section" (laughs).

MAMI: Ahahaha (laughs). It's because it's intense.

TOMOMI: MAMI usually tells us that she likes the rhythm section, so I thought it was a pretty serious responsibility (laughs). Like, we must do it. But, it's different than the usual tones we do, and it was fun because it was recorded with passive sound that we've been liking lately. I think the sounds we like have changed over these ten years, so I hope everyone can feel that as well.

HARUNA: I too thought a challenge from MAMI came along (laughs). It's a sound that makes me feel「I've been hoping for this!」. I felt that I could sing in my favorite singing style, but I dared myself to try a new way of singing this time.


A song written by the same pair but with a completely different atmosphere


──The other new song is called 「HELLO」. This too features lyrics by RINA and music by MAMI.

RINA: Since the day the best album hits stores would be Valentine's Day, we put it in wanting everyone to listen to a winter love song. Even though the same pair wrote it, it has a completely different atmosphere from 「FREEDOM FIGHTERS」, doesn't it (laughs). These types of lyrics are my specialty; I was able to write them smoothly.

MAMI: This song is actually from when we had a period of time where we talked about 「Let's write tons of winter songs」 and completed it at the same time as 「SUKI-SUKI」 on 「YELLOW」. When I sent over one chorus, RINA attached two choruses and sent it back over. We were able to complete it very smoothly.

HARUNA: Content-wise, you can listen to while thinking of your current love, and I think some people will feel that they can listen to it while remembering an old love they had. I was the latter, singing while recalling bittersweet memories of high school.

TOMOMI: I really like seasonal songs. Including 「SUKI-SUKI」, I'm happy because our winter song repertoire has grown recently to include many types. I don't particularly like winter, but being able to perform winter songs makes it seem like I can begin to like winter just a little bit (laughs).


Doing the 47 prefecture tour with our own convictions


──After the release of the album, SCANDAL will be holding their longest tour, a 47 prefecture tour, starting from March.

RINA: There's a total of 53 performances! We're so pumped up.

MAMI: We want to make them lives that can convey,「We'll be doing this 47 prefecture tour that we've always wanted to do, with our own convictions」. We purely want to enjoy it.

TOMOMI: These are our own words, but since we think we were able to make an amazing best album, we want to send out those feelings throughout Japan via this tour. They'll definitely be lives you can enjoy by listening to the album!


──After experiencing「SCAFES」 and your first European tour last year, has there been a change in your thoughts you have for doing lives?

RINA: Rather than calling it a change, our feelings of cherishing them every year are more important. Since we're a band that plays lives and changes misunderstandings into understandings, there's no doubt that we to have to play lives well. That's exactly why we must continue to make sure to play lives and face them head-on.


── When you debuted you certainly had an idol band-like prejudice attached, but it feels like it was dispelled through belief-oriented activities. Even so, does it feel like misunderstandings still exist?

RINA: Yes. There have always been regrets that we should have reached out even more. I think that's one of our inadequacies, but it made us never forget our feelings of 「We can still go on!」. We want to make it so that our fans can be proud in being able to say 「We love SCANDAL!」, and we don't want them to feel lonely when going to festivals. That's why we'll continue to play super cool lives. We want to become an even better band.


──SCANDAL represents Japan's all-girl bands. It's wonderful that that kind of passion is continuing on, isn't it?

MAMI: I think regular bands gather up members that like instruments, start from zero, and head towards 100. Good environments were able to be given to us from the start, despite holding instruments without understanding them well, so, in a sense, it feels that we were blown to 100. That's why there are so many things we lack as a band. However, because we can't go back to zero from now, we need to head towards 200 and continue to accumulate the pieces we're missing.


──Among the regular bands that have advanced steadily and have had varied experiences, there should be things that SCANDAL hasn't yet done. Is that why you want to regain them?

MAMI: Yeah. Of course there's a giant, gaping hole in who we currently are, and it's not that something important is missing, but we don't think it's good if we don't experience that. So, we'd like to steadily challenge ourselves to new things and make our width even broader as a band.

HARUNA: Although we have confidence in what has come along and what we've been able to do so far during these past ten years. That's why we'll make sure to recognize that confidence while being grateful to the circumstances that have allowed us to do these things, and we want to treasure each and every performance on this tour. We'll be able to go to the places we haven't played solo lives in yet--Gifu, Miyazaki, Kochi, Saga--so we want to make sure to deliver our thoughts to the entire country!


http://natalie.mu/music/pp/scandal06

#front-page


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2011.07.03 SCANDAL @ AM2 -Anaheim, CA 2012.03.28 SCANDAL vs BUDOKAN @武道館 2012.11.03+04 SCANDAL HALL TOUR 2012 @愛知 2012.11.10 SCANDAL @ Happy MUSIC Live 2012 2013.03.03 SCANDAL OSAKA-JO HALL 2013 @大阪城ホール 2014.06.01 Honolulu Ekiden & Music 2014 2014.06.02 SCANDAL Fan Meeting 2015.04.25 SCANDAL WORLD TOUR 2015「HELLO WORLD」 -Paris, FR 2015.04.26「HW」-London, UK 2015.04.30「HW」-Essen, GER 2015.05.15「HW」-Chicago, IL 2015.05.20「HW」-Mexico City, MEX 2015.05.22「HW」-Los Angeles, CA 2015.05.23「HW」-Anaheim, CA 2016.01.12+13 SCANDAL ARENA TOUR『PERFECT WORLD』@武道館2016.05.21 Welcome Fan Meeting 2016.05.22 SCANDAL @ Honolulu Ekiden & Music 2016 2016.05.23 Farewell Fan Meeting 2016.08.21 SCANDAL 10th ANNIVERSARY FESTIVAL @泉大津フェニックス 2017.07.14+15+17 SCANDAL's 47 Prefecture Tour
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Re: Music Natalie - SCANDAL's Best Album Interview
Posted on Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:43 am

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okiefan

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Very Well Done!! I love these interviews. The thing that sets these girls apart from every rock band in history is they share who they are with us!

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Re: Music Natalie - SCANDAL's Best Album Interview
Posted on Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:41 am

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CanadianClub

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Thanks so much for posting these interviews and obviously taking the time to translate them. There is always some great insights into their processes and how they are viewing their evolution. I loved the analogy of bands starting at 0 and working to 100 and also found it interesting that they now direct each other in the studio...that is a cool process for sure !

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Re: Music Natalie - SCANDAL's Best Album Interview
Posted on Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:19 am

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dchan419

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loove scandal in the house. I'm super curious as to each member's 3 favorite songs. On a semi related note, is there a list of results from the voting (in order?)

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Re: Music Natalie - SCANDAL's Best Album Interview
Posted on Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:24 am

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thoseguiltyeyes

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dchan419 wrote:On a semi related note, is there a list of results from the voting (in order?)

I posted it here way back when:

http://www.scandal-heaven.com/t13298p50-best-albumscandal#745943


_________________________________________________________________________________________________


2011.07.03 SCANDAL @ AM2 -Anaheim, CA 2012.03.28 SCANDAL vs BUDOKAN @武道館 2012.11.03+04 SCANDAL HALL TOUR 2012 @愛知 2012.11.10 SCANDAL @ Happy MUSIC Live 2012 2013.03.03 SCANDAL OSAKA-JO HALL 2013 @大阪城ホール 2014.06.01 Honolulu Ekiden & Music 2014 2014.06.02 SCANDAL Fan Meeting 2015.04.25 SCANDAL WORLD TOUR 2015「HELLO WORLD」 -Paris, FR 2015.04.26「HW」-London, UK 2015.04.30「HW」-Essen, GER 2015.05.15「HW」-Chicago, IL 2015.05.20「HW」-Mexico City, MEX 2015.05.22「HW」-Los Angeles, CA 2015.05.23「HW」-Anaheim, CA 2016.01.12+13 SCANDAL ARENA TOUR『PERFECT WORLD』@武道館2016.05.21 Welcome Fan Meeting 2016.05.22 SCANDAL @ Honolulu Ekiden & Music 2016 2016.05.23 Farewell Fan Meeting 2016.08.21 SCANDAL 10th ANNIVERSARY FESTIVAL @泉大津フェニックス 2017.07.14+15+17 SCANDAL's 47 Prefecture Tour
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Re: Music Natalie - SCANDAL's Best Album Interview
Posted on Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:01 am

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dchan419

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Much appreciated!! Thank you once again!

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Re: Music Natalie - SCANDAL's Best Album Interview
Posted on Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:27 pm

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drbo4un

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thanks for the translation))

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