"Everyone admires "mature women"."
SCANDAL's 21 year old Haruna-san is anything but, being ten years shy. Rina-san is even younger, still in her third year of high school. Motteco has many readers between 20-30; how do you see yourself when you are at that age?
MAMI: I guess, things like that certain look they have.
RINA: Giving off a sexy impression.
HARUNA: Everyone admires mature women, I guess.
When you look at your Best Scandal Photo Book, the four of you definitely have a dangerous and sexy impression.
HARUNA: Thank you very much. We tried as hard as we could (laughs).
TOMOMI: We had to use pheromones, though. (Laughs)
HARUNA: It was sexy, but it's not something you can usually do, right? It's something we want to study.
MAMI: But before that, we should all settle down (laughs). We always end up getting caught up in everything that's going on.
But honestly, have you reached that age where you want to settle down?
MAMI: Of course, we're not at that stage, the fact is we just want to have fun. (Laughs)
"At first, we didn't perform and all we made was a lot of noise."
On the 21st of October, SCANDAL's first album, [BEST*SCANDAL], was released. Their life and history over the past three years has been squeezed into this album. Did you expect, until now, to have any 'Aah' moments? [Not too sure about that last sentence. OTL]
HARUNA: These three years have gone by really quickly. However, when the four of us started, we had never even touched an instrument. We would make many mistakes during practice. When we thought we would build our experience in lives, we had many bad days, if I remember correctly. Then, we would experience something that would make us think "I'm glad we were able to get here".
TOMOMI: When we first started, we all wondered "Will we really be able to make this work?". We really didn't know.
But didn't you enjoy it?
TOMOMI: Yeah. At the beginning, we couldn't play instruments, and all we made was a lot of jarring noises, but the only thing we needed was to enjoy ourselves.
HARUNA: But, that feeling of 'enjoyment' that we felt at the time, we still have even now. Rather, if we were to forget that feeling, we all believe continuing our current lifestyle would lose all meaning.
MAMI: Still, practicing at our studio was really enjoyable. Right now, with our one man live, and afterwards, we're making new songs. Every time, we bring in fresh feelings and for me, nothing is more enjoyable.
"With our lyrics, we think about our emotions; thinking about the feelings we want to convey is the most important thing whilst writing."
In SCANDAL, all of the members write lyrics. How do you divide the feelings you want to express? [like splitting up the work]
TOMOMI:While you listen to the song, everyone has tried to write it, and we weave together the ideas, so the entire song is like a collection of lyrics. Writing a song is like putting a puzzle together. Someone can also raise their hand and say "I want to write this by myself", and so from the beginning that person is in charge. There are many ways to create a song.
RINA: Everyone normally tries to write down their own thoughts. Honestly, what happens is, when we look at them later, we say, "Maybe we can use this", and then we take bits and pieces of the lyrics.
During those three years, did your opinions change about any of the lyrics you had written?
MAMI: Now, when people listen to those songs for us, we ask them think about the thoughts we wanted to convey while writing it.
But before, wasn't it a bit different?
MAMI: Before, we were only thinking about going forward with an "feeling of enjoyment".
HARUNA: But essentially, the feeling that it holds, then and now, hasn't changed. Those feelings that we had at the time, and the emotions we wanted to express, they are still important while we write our songs, no matter when.
TOMOMI: All of the thirteen songs on the BEST*SCANDAL album, is full of the thoughts that we had at the time.
The BEST*SCANDAL album is full of the history of those three years. As a result, we see in the songs that there are subtle changes in the way you express your emotions ... [sorry, the latter half of the sentence is tricky. Something about being able to hear deep emotions?] Honestly, even if we listen to the four singles, we can see how you (lit: your hearts) have matured (grown up).
HARUNA: When we released the singles, the feelings we wanted to convey were different. When we made a new single, it would be influenced by various emotions, and because of that, it would spontaneously flow that way.
"In "DOLL", we thought, "Why do we have to act like this?". We wrote those emotions, that we had at the time, straight out."
From here, I think we'll just follow your singles. Let's start with your debut single, "DOLL".
HARUNA: The aim of your debut is to say, "I want you to know about who we are". We wanted a something that would hold this idea strongly, when we were deciding what song to use.
TOMOMI: We wanted our repuation to change with each single.
The lyrics, "ii ko-chan nante kidorenai", is a real depiction of your ideals and the way you want to live your life.[/]
TOMOMI: In the debut environment, when the situation around the four of us was changing, we felt like a kind of hazy feeling of irritation was created. At the time, we thought, "why do we have to act like this?" We wrote out those emotions that we had at the time, straight out. Now, when we look again at "DOLL"'s lyrics, we think, "What were we thinking back then? But if we look back, it seems childish". [This is actually a big call, so I'm disclaimering it. I will have to ask someone to check this. ^^;;]
HARUNA: Even now, it's the same as when we made "DOLL"; when requests are made, we do them. But I think that the means of the requests have changed.
[i]How about capturing a wide outlook? (This entire section is a bit sketchy)
HARUNA: Yes. Well, we definitely can't just spit out our own feelings, upon grasping how big things were, we tried to gradually let our thoughts be known. [?]
RINA: Absolutely, our thoughts didn't just have a strong appeal, even now, we think we are able to draw a strong image of ourselves inside people's minds. How to capture a wide span like that was something that we really thought about. [this is kind of tricky. T.T]
"We wrote the lyrics just as we were about to graduate, so when I hear Sakura Goodbye, even now, I remember my graduation ceremony."
Moving on, Sakura Goodbye is a graduation song...
HARUNA: TOMOMI and MAMI were about to graduate from high school, so at that time, they wanted to leave behind their true thoughts and feelings through this song.
TOMOMI: We actually wrote the lyrics just as we were about to graduate, so when I hear Sakura Goodbye, even now, I remember my graduation ceremony.
That's a wonderful thought, isn't it?
TOMOMI: As the years pass, I get the feeling that eventually the things I thought at the time, like, "It's been lonely since graduating" and "Graduation's not over yet, it's just started!", and those feelings that I had, will fade. But when we listen to SAKURA Goodbye, we remember those emotions and memories about our graduation, but we still think about other things. That's that kind of song that it's become.
RINA: I wonder if I'll think the same thing, next spring. (Laughs)
"ShoujoS is about "anyone has these kinds of thoughts, if you're a girl(?)" and "the kinds of feelings every girl wants to express".
Your third single, ShoujoS, was a hit record.
HARUNA: Since we released ShoujoS, when we sing it at lives, the response from the audience has really risen.
There are a lot of people who have become fans because of ShoujoS.
HARUNA: Shoujo S is about, more than voicing our desires, bringing together the ideas of "anyone has these kinds of thoughts, if you're a girl" and "the kinds of feelings every girl wants to express".
RINA: Yes. We say this is a 'message song' written from a girl's point of view, and it's become the kind of song that expresses a girl's emotions. Honestly, when we perform this song, my emotions seem to pile on top of each other.
MAMI: Yeah. After the hook, you can really feel everyone's emotions getting stirred up, and that sensation feels amazing.
Shinagawa HIroshi-san (from Shinagawa Shouji) directed your ShoujoS PV. (On the first release DVD, you can see all of SCANDAL's PVs)
MAMI: That's right. When we first met him, we thought "Wow! He's a performer!" so we were so nervous (laughs).
HARUNA: But when we were filming, he had that exact feeling of a director, so while he was giving us advice on various things, he was completely different to the smiling Shinagawa-san we see on variety programs, and we were able to see a different side of him.
"Thinking, "Because we all have dreams, we want to be able to experience the next step", we are able to push ourselves. That's what Yumemiru Tsubasa is about."
Your newest single, "Yumemiru Tsubasai", was also directed by Shinagawa Hiroshi-san.
TOMOMI: This time we were able to get him to appear in the PV!
This song is a "renewal cover" of the famous Hillbilly Bops song, 'Yumemiru koro wo sugitemo". [This sentence is again, hard. I think it's asking about their situation, and how they perceive their dreams in general?]
MAMI: We still have a while to go until we see our dream [perhaps realised/fulfilled?]. As expected, "the dreams we hold are very important". Right now, there are still people who think things like, "talking about your dreams is embarrasing" and "I feel uneasy when I think about my dreams", but for us, we believe "because we all have dreams, we want to be able to experience the next step", we are able to push ourselves. Honestly, for SCANDAL, dreams are really important to us.
Of course, for you four, even now, the wings at your back...
MAMI: To spread our wings, we need to embrace our dreams and continue to fly.
TOMOMI: Right now, we have no time to rest our wings, so for now we intend to keep flying non-stop!
"BEST*SCANDAL is crammed with SCANDAL's history up until now." [OMG LAST PAGE OTL]
Finally, please let us hear your thoughts on your completed album, "BEST*SCANDAL"
TOMOMI: On this album, we've included our oldest song, 'Koi Moyou'. When you compare it to our most recent track, we hope that you feel like, "as expected, they've really grown up".
MAMI: While writing 'Koi Moyou' and 'Space Ranger', we had a lot of different thoughts, didn't we?
TOMOMI: Even now, we still feel those thoughts anew when we listen to the song.
RINA: Because of that, BEST*SCANDAL is crammed with SCANDAL's history up until now.
On the album, Rina-san has written "Kimi to yoru to namida"...
RINA: That song is full of my thoughts, as well as the other band members. If, when people listen to it, they feel like they want to cry [? Again, this is a bit shoddy. Sorry!], then I think we will be very happy.
HARUNA: Lately at home, I've been listening to BEST*SCANDAL, but the first song?/ one song? [I'm sorry. ^^;] really brings back a lot of memories, it's definitely my favourite. Please listen to the album on repeat many times, like me.
TOMOMI: We've listened to it many times, the length and order of the songs has been compromised, but we had a strong determination to create this album. Just like the title suggests, this is an album that is dedicated to showing SCANDAL at its BEST.
MAMI: Of course, it's important to listen to each song, but at the same time, the arrangement of each song will be different at lives, so it would make me glad if listeners savour the composition's charm on the CD and at the live, so they can enjoy SCANDAL's music to their hearts content.