Genuine experience [Page 1 of 2]

Genuine experience
Posted on Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:39 pm


_JC_

Caless Student
Caless Student
When I am looking at live performances from Scandal, sometimes I wonder how much this is real or not.

There are some discussions here for instance about Lip Synching. The fans wonder which songs are really sung by the singers and which ones may not be. I do not have much problem with that as long as this is some exceptional "emergency operation" in order to cover some (more or less) unexpected live troubles, and not automatically setup for every single live performances. Nobody is perfect and nobody can expect every single live performances to be absolutely perfect.

Still, I like the band, but sometimes I say to myself that this may just be too good to be true. I performed some searches about the band over the internet and could not find all the information I was looking for. I hope that some members here may be able to confirm some points, or at least provide their own feedback (I can't read japanese and may have missed some information).

The points I would like to discuss are:

  • How much of the live performances are really live?
  • How much of the music materials are really written by the band?
  • How much of the official lives of the members are real?

The first point has been discussed many times here, and most members think that most part of the live performances are really live, which I believe as well. The "emergency lip sync" does not affect the genuine experience to me, as long as this remains exceptional. There are however sometimes some performances which make me doubt, like this one:

SCANDAL Scandal BabyHD
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Correct me if I am wrong, but the lead guitar appears to have lost a string by the end of the song. I don't know much about music, but I wonder how this may be possible to keep playing without any difference with a lost string? Do somebody know if something happened in the background in order to cover this? Are there people here who know about guitar who could provide their experience?

My second point is about the genuine materials supplied by Scandal. I like the girls, I like the band, but sometimes I really wonder how 20 years old girls are really able to supply this level of technical and artistical performance. They now work with a major company and I understand that they may get some support and management from the publisher and possible third parties. I have no problem with that, it is a legitimate teamwork, but does the company setup everything for them, or do they still write and try their own creations, and act on stage as they want to? Have they now turned into robots who just apply what they have been told to, or are they still a genuine music band?

A strong argument against this doubt is that the band was formed and was already playing before any publisher contacted them. Some records of debut street performances could be found. This shows unquestionable personal potentials. But how has this evolved? Some songs like the one below make me wonder if things may have meanwhile changed, with this example:

The song "Rogue no Dengon" (3rd song, starting at 09:00)
Youtube video "Scandal - Animax Musix Fall 2010 Live (HD)
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

This song has a very strong 60's feeling and while I can understand that the band may have different inspirations, I really doubt that they have written that. Am I the only one to think that this tune just does not feel right here? It is really like the publisher had some old materials to release somehow and just told them to add that to whatever incoming album or concert.

My last point is about their official lives. I am no stalker and do not want to know about private things, but there is one point that bothers me: they are officially still students. When I look at their live performances, they are really confident, no mistake whatsoever is done, and this clearly shows that every single action has been carefully repeated. I would not be able to sing and play and move so fluently like they do the whole performance, even after months of training. And then when I look at the schedules, some day they are playing here, then a week later elsewhere, and once again a couple of days later and on and on. How the hell is it possible to have a student live with such heavy schedule?

I really think that their students official status is just displayed in order to look good, and that they are actual full-time professionnals. I am not into this business but I can't picture this level of performance achieved by part-time people. I could find no information about this, and I believe that this lack of details actually confirms the doubt. Do somebody know here what they may be studying?

I don't want anybody to get me wrong with this long post. Though this is not really my favorite type of music, I really like the energy, the friendliness and the professionalism of these girls and wish the best to the band and the fans. This is just that sometimes I think that this is just too good to be true. What part of Scandal is genuine and what part is setup?

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:01 pm


jona DJ

International Performer
International Performer
first.
the rogue no dengon.
it IS not written by them.
they are just covering an artist's song.
check it for your self.

second.
about the lost string.
i don't know what it means but i think it's an accident
in every concert, there must be an unpredictable accident.
but sorry if i'm wrong.

third.
don't look down on 20's
in my opinion, they are professional.
they already started as a band since 2006 and work in a major company since 2008 (correct me if i'm wrong)
they must have been in many practice and experiences so they can do lives that is so epic.
just like a kid that graduate from a university,
a 20's can be a professional performer. even a 16 years old.

fourth.
before they perform weekly in shiroten, they learn about their instruments for 1 year.
and after work in a company, especially a major company, they must have been in many practice as i said before. and in a major company, there's no doubt that the teachers are also professional.
no doubt they can become that epic.

fifth.
about the lip-sync...
i heard that haruna have a voice problem.
there's a vid that said haruna once lost her voice completely before budokan concert.
well, it's not like she can't sing. she had a bunch of vocal training.
it's just her throat, so it can't be helped if she have to lip-sync in some parts.

last one.
about the genuine part and the setup part...
in my opinion,
the genuine part is the lyrics, the concept of the band (because they was already a band before they work in the company), and many things that i missed or i still don't understand.

the set up part...
i think it's the pv (of course), the live (not completely), and also many things that i missed or still don't understand.

it depends on the situation actually.

oh wait, i forgot.
i think all lives are real.
all the lyrics are also from the members purely.
well, maybe some aren't really pure from them but hey,
it's for promotion! in the name of a major company.
the company don't want their name becomes bad because on pv nor live nor anything is bad.
but in my opinion, they sometimes don't really understand the concept of the band nor listen to the members, so sometimes we feel that they had make us disappointed for them.
but don't worry. i think the company is listening to them. they are cute (like in pin heel surfer), but also rock'n (like in queens are trumps)


please correct me kindly if i'm wrong, because i'm just a 14 years old girl.


_________________________________________________________________________________________________


me: GENKI DESU~ Onion Shy

thinking about SCANDAL may cause extreme blushing, increasing heart beat rate, crazy actions, exhausted from jumping like a kid, unstoppable weird laughs, sudden excitement, and freaky things that you'll wish you had never done that
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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:15 pm


bad-apple

International Performer
International Performer
i can say pin heel surfer's live on music programs are playback the instrumental that is and there are a lot as far as i remember.

they've composed only a few; but the lyrics are mostly written by them. performances that aren't played on music programs are all live but there are also performances that were played live on music programs(on music fair and west wind)

from what i know, when they were starting they practiced for almost 12hr during weekends and when they just formed, haru was 18yrs old then so that means she already graduated HS while Timo and Mami graduated during Sakura Goodbye days and the song was dedicated to them and about Rina i think she graduated in 2009.
When they got a major debut, i think the members who were still studying were able to flex out their schedule as they are still not that popular at that time so they still had a lot of free time to practice and from what i read from their blogs they aren't studying atm they're just focusing on their career

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] read that translated blog. it talks alot their beginning and how they managed to see each other as they were really far from each other back then. Haru and Mami are from Nagoya while Rina and Tomo are from Osaka


_________________________________________________________________________________________________
"For us, the band is more like "life" to us than it is a "job." We're wonderful friends who are sharing life that only happens once." -Rina
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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:43 pm


_JC_

Caless Student
Caless Student
Thank you for your replies.

jona DJ wrote:about the lost string.
i don't know what it means but i think it's an accident
I know this was an accident. =)
My point is that this did not affect the music at all, which makes me suspicious about the whole concert.

jona DJ wrote:a 20's can be a professional performer. even a 16 years old.
One definitely can, but not being in the same time a full-time professionnal and a full-time student, hence my question.

jona DJ wrote:maybe some aren't really pure from them but hey,
it's for promotion! in the name of a major company.
the company don't want their name becomes bad because on pv nor live nor anything is bad.
The company sure double-checks what the band is about to publish, but that was not my point. I was more concerned about the band being instructed about every single bit of each song and performances. Most performances go so smoothly that one could suspect some setup.

hapihapi wrote:from what i read from their blogs they aren't studying atm they're just focusing on their career
That would make sense, because I wouldn't believe that they could attend to the courses with such a a busy schedule. I understand then that the main english portals about them have just not been updated.

That's great to have such an exciting career at 20, but they may want to get back to studies at some stage later if they want to get some higher education.

hapihapi wrote:[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] read that translated blog. it talks alot their beginning and how they managed to see each other as they were really far from each other back then.
That link is exactly what I needed. I am going to have a look. Thank you.

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:03 pm


bad-apple

International Performer
International Performer
about the lost string... hmmm.... i also doubted that at first before but i did some thoroughly thinking. ok, from what i noticed i think they did play live at the beginning until mami broke a string and the music engr noticed it so during the riffs he covered it with the audio recording one


_________________________________________________________________________________________________
"For us, the band is more like "life" to us than it is a "job." We're wonderful friends who are sharing life that only happens once." -Rina
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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:30 pm


macdyne73

Mainstream Artist
Mainstream Artist
Re the broken string. Their sound people covered that up by playing a loop. Listen closely to that video, the final riff isn't as loud as the other riffs in the song.

SCANDAL uses loops all the time (notice how they are keyboard sounds when there isn't a keyboardist around when they play live?) so I'd imagine they have stuff like on standby for accidents like this. Lots of things could happen, broken strings happen all the time.

Re their "setup". When a band works with a label, of course there is collaboration. The girls work with sound people, song writers, producers, PR people, choreographers etc to discuss and come out with all their recorded material, PV ideas, promo items etc etc. In other words, no, the girls don't do EVERYTHING by themselves. They get a fair amount of input from their team and their label. I do not think that their label has COMPLETE control either. This is a band not an idol unit. They don't function like AKB.

RE flawless performances. That's what rehearsals are for. And private practice and instruction. A band CAN perform flawlessly regardless of how old they are and SCANDAL have rehearsed and jammed and practiced for how many years now?

I can see that you've never watched them live as in standing-in-the-same-room-with-them-live. I have. Trust me, the girls can and do definitely play for real.

EDIT: Re TV performances. Usually, the music is played back but the vocals are usually live except for some shows last year when Haru had problems with her voice. By the way, playback or lipsyncing is a very common practice for TV performances everywhere. No big deal.

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:23 pm


_JC_

Caless Student
Caless Student
Thank you for your reply.

macdyne73 wrote:Re the broken string. Their sound people covered that up by playing a loop. Listen closely to that video, the final riff isn't as loud as the other riffs in the song.
You've got quite an ear. I am completely unable to hear any difference. =/
The song just keeps playing as if nothing happened to me... but I trust you on this one.

macdyne73 wrote:so I'd imagine they have stuff like on standby for accidents like this. Lots of things could happen, broken strings happen all the time. (...) They get a fair amount of input from their team and their label. I do not think that their label has COMPLETE control either. This is a band not an idol unit. They don't function like AKB.
This is really difficult to know their real field of action on the stage. What they feel like doing and what they are told to do. I know that in the music industry, some bands are completed made up and do basically everything as instructed. I don't know much about the japanese culture (beyond some popular animes) but I believe that this kind of bands also exist in Japan. I wondered how far or close Scandal was from this kind of design.

I understand that that "AKB" you mention may be some kind of industrial product. I found this [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] by searching for this name. They do not appear to have much connection with Scandal. Looks like much more to be some kind of musical theater or something like that.

macdyne73 wrote:I can see that you've never watched them live as in standing-in-the-same-room-with-them-live. I have. Trust me, the girls can and do definitely play for real.
I have never attended a concert and have no plan to do so, but I understand what you mean. Seeing the members live is probably a well different feeling from watching a video. Furthermore, I am in Europe and they do not come often around... =(

This is just that this is so well setup and runs so smoothly that sometimes I just ask myself "hold on, is this real?".

macdyne73 wrote:EDIT: Re TV performances.
I am no fan of TV clips. I know that they are all fake. I listen to studio albums or watch live performances. Regarding music, TV media is just interesting for the interviews to me.

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:16 am


Vapour Trail

Shiroten Performer
Shiroten Performer
Well, I haven't watched all of these, but as someone who has
been formally trained in music, completed music grades, recorded music and
played it at venues ranging from festivals to small bars with almost no one
watching you, I can give many comments on this. What I mean is that I have experience with many of these situations that you are questioning.

It depends on the circumstances. For my TV and variety show performances it is
usually playback with the vocals sometimes being live and sometimes not. This
is pretty common among most bands, not because they can't play live, but
because there isn't always time in these situations to set up, sound check, do
a run through and such. I was told this by my guitar tutor when I was studying
music at college (British College, it's in-between high school and university).
This person had a number one single in the 70s and had been on many TV shows
such as Top of the Pops in many different countries and gave me inside
information on how it works. Remember that these sorts of appearances are
pretty much just for promotional purposes. Also, on a side note, there was more
playback of Haruna's vocal parts leading up to the Budoukan gig, since she was
having throat problems.

As for their other performances, many of these are by no means mistake free.
There are many examples out there where the guitar hits some wrong notes and
Haruna's not always in tune live (vocal-wise). However, I don't see where the
problem with them being able to sing and play for whole sets come from.
Regardless of your age, when you're doing it all the time and you're in an at
least somewhat professional environment, it makes you become professional, and
fast. I've been through it myself. They are indeed tight as a band live, but
trust me, I love SCANDAL and they are one of my favourite bands, but there are
many bands out there even tighter and more consistent.

Also, about songwriting. It's usually the case that SCANDAL write the lyrics
and other people (I assume from their record label) write the instrumentation
and so forth. Of course, this isn't always the case. For example, the song
'Very Special' was written completely by Tomomi and Rina. I don't see the
problem though. My guitar teacher at college used to say that before the
mid-60s or so, this was very common. The people that had song talent with instrumentation
would write that (and these record labels are big and can hire the best in the
business for this, guaranteeing consistently good backing) and the people that
were good at performing, had appeal (lyrical, public, whatever) would play it.
It makes sense to me. But as songs such as Very Special make evident, this
isn't always a set rule.

The use of loops and such is also not uncommon in live performances for bands.
They don't have a keyboard player, so they can't have it on their performances
any other way and sometimes miss it out anyway (I think I remember some of
their Budoukan performances having missing keyboard in them). It doesn't really
matter though, I can guarantee you from my experience that most of the
instruments in most of their gigs are live. If you’re worried about their
ability to play, watch things like Tomomi's bass lessons. She'll play the parts
and you can see it for yourself. There are also videos where they talk about
things going wrong live. For example, Tomomi said that during a live
performance of Hi-Hi-Hi, her bass went down and it came up to the bass
breakdown and she went up to the microphone and did it with her voice.

One last thing. This official student status is news to me. They all graduated
from high school and long while ago, as far as I know.

I hope this helps you at all. Let's keep on loving SCANDAL and giving them our
support. Wink

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:16 am


_JC_

Caless Student
Caless Student
Thank you for this insight of your experience.

Regarding the students status, I think that I read on their [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] the formation details "they decided to form Scandal, writing and playing their own songs while juggling their regular school lives.", and that this remained in my head as "they are still officially students", which made little sense to me. I couldn't find any official statement that they are still students and this turns out to be a complete misunderstanding from me.

My concern about the original materials produced by the band was that I wondered how much genuine the live experience was, if they are real artists or just robots. I have little knowledge of this industry and wondered if I was dealing with skilled people or just a product. But now I think about it, most musicians I know do not create everything themselves. Most good performers have their songs written by somebody else, and most good composers write for somebody else. Actually, most people who do everything on their own, who play what they write and compose themselves, aren't really good... =/

I can understand that TV shows are pretty fake setups, but regarding live concerts, one can expect here a real connection with the fans, and therefore as little setup as possible (of course I am not talking about the band setting up the lights and the wires, I am talking about the music, the talks, the moves etc). I am introducing a young friend of mine to this band, which I believe is a very good model for her, and I just make sure that they produce something genuine and that they are going to last for a while. =)

Thank you all for your information.

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:36 am


spyoff

Caless Student
Caless Student
_JC_ wrote:When I am looking at live performances from Scandal, sometimes I wonder how much this is real or not.

Hi,

I'm not a musician, but sometimes I play guitar just for fun.
I'll try to give my honest opinion in this.

_JC_ wrote:
There are however sometimes some performances which make me doubt, like this one:
SCANDAL Scandal BabyHD
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

First one is about the SCANDAL BABY live.

I bet you're watching the WOWOW recording, that is when mami guitar string is broken.
If I' not mistaken, it is an edited video. To ask whether the backing sound of outro solo riff is really played at that time or not, you must ask people who really attend those live.
In my opinion, the actual live at that moment doesn't have the outro solo loop being played in background. I bet everybody is not prepared for that.
But after mixing and editing, I bet they add the outro solo in that.

_JC_ wrote:
My second point is about the genuine materials supplied by Scandal.

Second is about the genuine material.

IMHO, they're still far away from the level "where the music industry needs them".
For example is L~arc~en~ciel in japan. Band like them is considered as "dont need the music industry" anymore. So major label would 100% support whatever they would do, because the major label needs them, not because they needs the major label.
But for SCANDAL, I think they need to adapt with the industry needs. But, that's not a bad point either. They still needs the major label to support and back them.
But in opposite, they're not completely kneel down to the music industry.
They still have their own "feel and sound" in it. Some song is pretty much what the industry trend now, pop-ish, electric sound, etc. But they also have song that represent their original root, the rockish and dirty sound. (FYI, what I mean with their original root is the sound they made during their indie).

In term of musical composition, I believe they got their support from highly experienced musician/sound engineer. But if I'm not mistaken, they started to write their own composition in 1 or 2 song.
You can check old thread here [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
For the lyric, I think most of them is written by them. Of course, there would be some editing for that, right?

About their live/lipsync performance.
===========================
Yes, I agree that they have, not only 1 or 2, but a lot of performance that lip-synched or music-synched.
But AFAIK, all of them is the television records.
AFAIK, most of the band prefer to play their song live. At least real band will do.
But I try to list some of the reason why they're not quite playing live at some moment.
1. Haruna voice problem (well known already)
2. The TV studio don't have the capability or quality to produce the original live sound. It can be equipment, sound system, etc. Most of the problem usually goes around sound quality. Sometimes there are some TV studios that when you're playing live, the output sounds echoing around. That's why they have crew to check it before they go to stage.
3. The band requested about it for some reason (but I'm not really sure if SCANDAL ever request for a synch-ed performance other than 2 reason above)


About their flawless performance
=========================
IMHO, their performance is not flawless. They made mistakes. Look at the DVD from first live and temptation box DVD. Mami makes mistakes in some solo part.
Haruna also makes 1-2 wrong chord in some moments. Rina got offbeat 1-2 times, and Tomomi.. umm.. well, I cant point her mistakes, but I believe she's making mistakes also.
But that's a real band was. They tend to make mistakes during live. No band is flawless. Some guitarist choose to improve hard solo to make people didn't notice if they made a mistakes
When I perform, even after 1 month training for 3 songs, I still make mistakes in the stage.

Their music composition is not that complex at the beginning. Everybody can do it with proper and rigorous training. But the most important thing for a band is their mentality to play in front of the crowd.
Either they enjoy it, or they killed by it. IMHO, SCANDAL is band that enjoy playing live in front of the crowd, they can move people while playing live. That is a real band, IMHO.
AFAIK, they never play lip-sync or music-sync during their tour for the fans (sound loop is not considered as sync-ing).


_JC_ wrote:
My last point is about their official lives.

About the school girl image.
====================
Back then, in 2008, when they're still indie, they performed in america sakura-con festival (u can find the footage in youtube or dailymotion).
At that moment, HARUNA is already graduated, MAMI and TOMOMI in their last year I think, and RINA still have another 2 years in highschool.
IMHO, schoolgirl image is their selling point at first. Imagine, a band with full girl member is rare (who perform regularly), even in japan.
And those band is full with highschool girl (at least that is the image). So people will try to take a peek in their performance.
Rather getting the idol wannabe who playing instrument with crappy performance, they got enjoyable music with rockish but cute performance.
That's how they got the early fans, I think.
They only kept their schoolgirl image until RINA is graduated. After that, they started to change (at least since BABY ACTION, reflected by their appereance costume).
AFAIK, in japan, some people does not simply pursue higher education. Some want to go straight for work.
As per them, I think they're not that good in term of education, that's why they choose to going down in this path.


_JC_ wrote:
I don't want anybody to get me wrong with this long post. Though this is not really my favorite type of music, I really like the energy, the friendliness and the professionalism of these girls and wish the best to the band and the fans. This is just that sometimes I think that this is just too good to be true. What part of Scandal is genuine and what part is setup?

Thanks for the post. I hope many SCANDAL fans will try to look objectively about things that going around.

Well, for conclusion, I would say that some part of this band is a setup, but the genuine part is more than the setup part

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:46 am


Vapour Trail

Shiroten Performer
Shiroten Performer
The thing about whether you're dealing with musicians or a product is interesting. Most major record companies want to sell bands like a product and kind of build it up that, where as most bands want to play music and have people appreciate. Unfortunately, it's sometimes too difficult to seperate the too. For many bands whether the individual parties like it or not, the bands are probably a little of both.

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:12 am


Biep

Caless Student
Caless Student
Vapour Trail wrote:They are indeed tight as a band live, but
trust me, I love SCANDAL and they are one of my favourite bands, but there are
many bands out there even tighter and more consistent.

This is one of the many reasons of why I love Scandal; they make mistakes, but still (in my very subjective opinion) sound better than most of the even tighter and more consistent bands. And not least, they seem to have fun during concerts. I also like how their live recordings often sound even better than their albums, which is more than can be said about many artists these days.

As to the product vs. musician thing: I think every musician with a public name is a product to some extent. The "pure musicians" are the ones you can't name, and often don't even see: The anonymous keyboardists, guitarists or [insert instrument here] who are paid to accompany the artists we do know. With a band like Scandal, those are less important, since the group play their own instruments. With solo artists, they're (obviously) key to success. I know musicians who've had this kind of job for rather well known artists, and while they're well paid, they receive nothing compared to the big name they're accompanying, neither in terms of money nor fame. But then again, they can take whichever jobs they want, and make a whole lot of choices the front artists can't. Until they're out of money, at least ;-)

That doesn't mean, however, that the "products" aren't "real musicians". Okay, some of them may not be, but most are, to varying extent. When it comes to Scandal, they met in a music school, they play their own instruments, they actually perform live (as in no or very little use of lip sync etc.), and they've worked extremely hard to get to where they are now. Those are trademarks of real musicians. But as long as they release records, go on tours, appear in TV shows and magazines and so on, they are also a product, or they wouldn't be interesting for the record industry. And as such, of course they won't be fully autonomous. At least they seem to be more autonomous than many other artists of similar status, but that's just my impression, of course.

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:24 am


_JC_

Caless Student
Caless Student
spyoff wrote:They still have their own "feel and sound" in it. Some song is pretty much what the industry trend now, pop-ish, electric sound, etc. But they also have song that represent their original root, the rockish and dirty sound. (FYI, what I mean with their original root is the sound they made during their indie).
Vapour Trail wrote:Most major record companies want
to sell bands like a product and kind of build it up that, where as most bands want to play music and have people appreciate.
That is exactly my point. To which level do you think that the band is now what they wanted it to be a couple of years ago, and to which level it is what the producer and the publisher wanted it to be?

Of course it is a legitimate teamwork, but how much control does each party has over the other? Are the members artists before being employees, or are they employees before being artists? What is the most important for the band? The schedule supplied by the publisher, or their own songs, the feedback from the fans, what they feel like doing now? They sure have something interesting to bring to the other party. The band has the energy, the youth, the inspiration, the look and this connection with the audience, while the publisher has the money, the contacts and the experience.

Regarding the live mistakes, I am afraid that I am completely unable to notice them (beyond the lead voice). I understand that that extra perception most likely comes from your practical experiences.

Biep wrote:they've worked extremely hard to get to where they are now. Those are trademarks of real musicians.
To have worked hard to get a technical skill is not the trademark of a real musician, but of a real technician. My concern is not "do they play good?" but more about "do they play what they want, or what they are told to?". As you said yourself, the "pure musicians" are especially the free ones. =)

Biep wrote:At least they seem to be more autonomous than many other artists of similar
status, but that's just my impression, of course.
This impression is what I mean. Is this real or setup? It this specifically setup by the publisher in order to make them look like that they are very good, skilled, inspired and free, or are they really what they appear to be?

This question looks like to have no real answer. There is no way to exactly know the most accurate details of their relationship with their publishers. Of course the publisher can and must double-check what the band is about to release, they have to take their part of the responsabilities, to add their own expertise and to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible, but how far may this control go? Are the members more or less free to do what they want? Are they happy with this current way of working?



Last edited by _JC_ on Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:53 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:52 am


Vapour Trail

Shiroten Performer
Shiroten Performer
We can't really tell where they're at now, or even where they were at a few years ago. For all you know they could have had less power back then. Although, something I learnt from music business class is that unless you're a superstar, you are always at least somewhat at the mercy of the record label, unfortunately. This is coming from my teacher that had a number 1 single and was signed to a major record label.

We all know that SCANDAL has changed a little since their debut in some ways. However, there is nothing to say that this was all the record labels doings. Some of the world's biggest bands with a big say in what happens (such as Metallica) are constantly changing. Why? Because they want to. Musicians don't want to be doing the exact same thing forever, to try and continuously chase their first album. I know I wouldn't want to. I mean we all end up wanting a new mobile phone, or a new guitar or new clothes or whatever at some point. It's a natural progression. Although of course, as we discussed before, both parties probably have some say in this.

It's easy to jump to conclusions when witnessing the maturing of musicians, sometimes the wrong ones. We don't have insider information on anything, but I'm sure SCANDAL greatly appreciate the support they get from all their fans that love them so much and understand that each album will probably sound different. But, I think that's just natural.

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:25 pm


Biep

Caless Student
Caless Student
_JC_ wrote:To have worked hard to get a technical skill is not the trademark of a real musician, but of a real technician. My concern is not "do they play good?" but more about "do they play what they want, or what they are told to?". As you said yourself, the "pure musicians" are especially the free ones. =)

Semantics. Show me a real musician who claims he or she didn't work hard, and I'll tell you he/she is a liar. And I didn't say it was the trademark of a real musician, I said it was one of the trademarks of a real musician. Even "savants" have to practice for hours on end to maintain their skill. And yes, a "pure musician" would be the unknown, free one, but such a musician is not an artist. Scandal are artists.

And as I hinted, even the unknown, free musician is only free to do as he chooses until he runs out of money. I have more than one musician friend of that kind, who is completely into one genre, let's say jazz, but in the end, is given the choice to accompany a pop artist or beg money from strangers. Is the jazz talent turned hungry turned pop musician free? Artists who achieve popularity often have more freedom than that.

_JC_ wrote:This impression is what I mean. Is this real or setup? It this specifically setup by the publisher in order to make them look like that they are very good, skilled, inspired and free, or are they really what they appear to be?

They had those qualities before being discovered by the industry, too. When I see recordings of (for example) their live performances in Osaka castle park, at which point they were indie (if I'm not completely mistaken), I see the same band. Less mature, with less training, equipment and polish, but still the same band. So yes, I think it's real.

But of course, since those were the qualities that made them popular, the industry will want to continue that image. Would it even be possible to keep that image up while covertly turning them into robots? I very much doubt so. The robot thing works for over-the-night, bland mega stars. It does not work for a rock band people have been following since their early beginning.

_JC_ wrote:This question looks like to have no real answer. There is no way to exactly know the most accurate details of their relationship with their publishers. Of course the publisher can and must double-check what the band is about to release, they have to take their part of the responsabilities, to add their own expertise and to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible, but how far may this control go? Are the members more or less free to do what they want? Are they happy with this current way of working?

I agree, there's no way to exactly know every detail - then why are you asking? ;-) Half-ways kidding there, but artists have been managed since long before the invention of the gramophone, it's nothing new. What's the point of knowing to what level they're being managed? We know they write their own lyrics. Perhaps they're sometimes modified by their management. Who cares. They make mistakes during concerts, so obviously their live performances are really live, perhaps with emergency exceptions, like Haruna's voice problems. Judging from some of the performances, however, even then, she chose to perform live most of the time. Out of pure academic interest, this can of course be staged by prerecording those minor flaws, but when we reach that point, we're bordering to, or rather well past, conspiracy theory. We know they enjoy what they do - that can't be faked. Have a look at Rina's drum solo from the Budokan concert or pretty much any clip from their bigger performances. If those expressions of emotion are a setup, they have more acting skill than every Academy Award winner in history combined.

So I say enjoy their music, performance, and personalities, rather than worry about technicalities. Everything in the world can be doubted, including its existence. Why spend energy on something as inconsequential as the level of autonomy in a band, when you could enjoy them instead? If they were obviously not enjoying themselves, or their style was suddenly completely distorted by their management, it would be one thing. But as I said, I still see the same band and the same girls, but more mature, experienced and polished.

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:43 pm


_JC_

Caless Student
Caless Student
Amen to that.

Biep wrote:I agree, there's no way to exactly know every detail - then why are you asking?
Because as much as I care about what I have between my ears, I care about what I have in front of my eyes.

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:28 pm


Biep

Caless Student
Caless Student
_JC_ wrote:Because as much as I care about what I have between my ears, I care about what I have in front of my eyes.

Well, I can partly understand that, but still as I said, everything can be doubted, including the existence of the world. The latter is interesting on an academic level, but I still have to shop groceries when I'm done philosophizing ;-)

Anyway, I've given you my reasons for viewing them as genuine. All of that can be doubted, but if Scandal aren't genuine, I can't see who else would be, except indie artists who publish on Spotify, earn enough money for a beer or five, and have regular jobs to cover their expenses.

And I'm sorry if I came across as somewhat cross, by the way, that was not my intention. I have a bad tendency of putting things a bit bluntly sometimes without noticing :-)

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:55 pm


_JC_

Caless Student
Caless Student
No problem, this approach was probably what I needed.

I like music but I don't know much about the industry. Sometimes when I am listening to a song or watching live performances, I am thinking about the creation process and wonder how they managed to produce that. What is the core reason behind this burst of energy. But as I think about it, most artists and most performers do not provide a 100% genuine experience. Not all of what they sing and what they play comes from some personal inspiration. This does not mean that this is all fake, just that it is a teamwork and that this is the way that it is.

I understand that this is just impossible to provide a 100% personal experience and that a mix of skills, inspirations and experiences is necessary in order to provide some decent entertainment, and that most artists who may want to stick to the purest form of creation and expres​sion(understand "who wants to stay completely free and personal") are most likely doomed to remain bad and ignored. I think that the logic behind this phenomenon is that as a social species, teamwork is probably as much important for us as personal creation.

The band itself is already a gathering of people, then one could conclude that there is therefore no problem into another gathering of more people in order to produce good concerts.

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:58 pm


spyoff

Caless Student
Caless Student
Ooooh.. the wheather looks a bit hotter now


_JC_ wrote:
That is exactly my point. To which level do you think that the band is now what they wanted it to be a couple of years ago, and to which level it is what the producer and the publisher wanted it to be?
Vapour Trail wrote:
We can't really tell where they're at now, or even where they were at a few years ago. For all you know they could have had less power back then. Although, something I learnt from music business class is that unless you're a superstar, you are always at least somewhat at the mercy of the record label, unfortunately. This is coming from my teacher that had a number 1 single and was signed to a major record label.

well.. honestly, I also don't have the exact answer for that, just like what vapour trail said.
But, I try to understand what's the band wants. You can check from their history. They have blog, even before they sign for indie label (starting from dance lesson in CALESS class). You can try to look the translation here [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] It's a good source to flashback, because they starts to write blog since 2006.

From what I understand, since the beginning, what they aim is to make people enjoy their performance. To make the fans happy. To make the people attend the clubhouse or festival having fun together with them.

I dont think that one is fake. They've aim and done it since the beginning.
Until now they keep saying that having a live performance is their happiest moment.


Biep wrote: And yes, a "pure musician" would be the unknown, free one, but such a musician is not an artist. Scandal are artists.

Agreed.
IMO, why pure musician is often unknown, because their music is hard to understand for common people. Let say, for analogy, imagine those people who considered as "pure" musician is a professor in academics. You cannot talk about quantum-physics in depth to high school student, right? You can only talk high school physics with them. That's why "pure" musician often ignored by common people.

Let say, what SCANDAL aim is to make common people happy. As long people that came to their live is happy and enjoy their performance, they don't give a damn about quantum-physics.


Biep wrote:
They had those qualities before being discovered by the industry, too. When I see recordings of (for example) their live performances in Osaka castle park, at which point they were indie (if I'm not completely mistaken), I see the same band. Less mature, with less training, equipment and polish, but still the same band. So yes, I think it's real.
_JC_ wrote:
This impression is what I mean. Is this real or setup? It this specifically setup by the publisher in order to make them look like that they are very good, skilled, inspired and free, or are they really what they appear to be?

IMO, the quality in here refer to the energy of their live performance. They got signed for indie label after person from indie label watch their live performance.

Sad to say, IMO, because they're girl and they're cute, they were likeable by many people. At that time, their skill in music is just so-so (refer to old performance in sakura-con or shiroten). Let's admit it, if you came to a festival or clubhouse, with many other so-so skilled band, I doubt you will cheer all of them, right? But when you see group of young cute girls in front of you, trying so hard to give their best, eventually you'll gonna like them. Well,see that example from sakura-con festival video footage. They are virtually unknown band to people in japan, let alone the US, and not mention there were language barrier during their performance. But, at the end, people who attend the festival request for an "encore" from them. That's could be the true potential of this girls.

For me, I'll categorized them as a performer. Because for me, they do their live with their hearts, at least from what I feel.

Ah, one more example, try to look for DVD footage of TEMPTATION BOX TOUR LIVE. Take a look at SCANDAL BABY song (last part of encore, sorry cant give you link due to forum rules, but you can find it in youtube). You can see when the vocalist give the last bridge part to the crowd, the bassist and guitarist almost crying in the middle of playing. That's definetly not a fake reaction, at least for me.

As per major label wants and the band wants, I got impression like this :
Major Label : "Okay, I want you to do A and B"
Band : "No, we want to do C and D"
..... (long negotiation)
Major label : "Okay then, lets just do it A,C, and D"
Band : "Okay, thats good enough for us"

50-50 chance I think. Their bargaining power is actually strong enough to give label some pressure. This is due to they already have their fanbase since the beginning. It just different from band that completely became the label puppies.

For comparison, maybe you can try to look for ZONE band. It is actually an idol group in japan that switch their dancing and singing style to be a band style. And it became a huge hits in japan around 90's. I dare to say that they're performer, but not a true band. It just different from SCANDAL. Their musical instrument skill when they perform last in budokan is just so-so (worse from scandal). But I believe that is the "fake" band that major label created.
(most ZONE fans will go rage to me after I say that)

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:44 pm


Biep

Caless Student
Caless Student
_JC_ wrote:I think that the logic behind this phenomenon is that as a social species, teamwork is probably as much important for us as personal creation.

That, and resources. The level Scandal are at is impossible to reach without a huge machinery - training, advice, concert management (which again is incredibly complex in itself; I've worked as a stage technician, albeit on a much lower level - but even small concerts with 500-1000 people attending require a lot of coordination), media appointments, recording, PR, making shops sell the records, etc etc. That can't be done completely independently, and without funds. At least not unless you're extremely rich.

This is slowly changing though, with the web increasing the chance (if that even happened before the web) of something going viral. But even then, that only takes care of PR and perhaps sales. And the success stories (within music) usually end up with a contract with the industry anyway Happy

spyoff wrote:You cannot talk about quantum-physics in depth to high school student, right? You can only talk high school physics with them. That's why "pure" musician often ignored by common people.

Let say, what SCANDAL aim is to make common people happy. As long people that came to their live is happy and enjoy their performance, they don't give a damn about quantum-physics.

That, and (in danger of repeating myself here Happy ) resources. There are plenty of indie artists who play "normal" music (don't ask me to name them, hehe - I've seen them, though, and worked with freelancers on that level in my old job), but they don't have the resources to reach a lot of people and improve their skill. Sometimes they're discovered by the industry and get the chance to do that, but then they're no more indie.

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:46 pm


funk_you22

Mainstream Artist
Mainstream Artist
At the scandal baby video..yeah..the string did snapped and I heard a lead guitar playing while Mami was playing in chords..it's a looping thing tech guys do..so that it won't be recognized by the audience and at the same time less hassle for the player..because she won't have any time to change the strings and everything..it's a big help in doing live performances and for me it's not really a big deal..because it's normal..i actually am amazed how awesome their tech guys do that.. as a musician.. I know if they are playing live or not..especially when it's live..but even in videos..i know..if they are playing live or not..and in that video Scandal baby..they are playing live and playing good..

And yeah..there are people who write the lyrics but they write it together with the members..

And dude..a year is enough to play good music if you are really interested and you like what you're doing..and during their highschool days..they were practicing a lot..it means they really love what they do..its not impossible..they play good lives because they practice..that's why they practice a lot..if you've watched some behind the scenes of their tours..you'll know how hard they practice every day..even the actions and the words that they will say..everything..that's how they love the fans..they practice a lot so that their performances won't be a mess and will be loved by their listeners..and they have music teachers to teach them..and btw I started playing in a band when i was 11 years old up until now (i'm 21 yrs old)..and I'm telling you this..me and my band mates were already playing good music after half a year and now im already playing in concerts and gigs..with constant practice and love with what we're doing we did that and we we're also in highschool that time..actually when i was in highschool, i was also a member of the official band of my school..we play intermissions in in-school events ..so why are you doubting that these girls can't play in such period of time?..they love what they do that's why their good..and the recorded parts..its part of live performnces..for emergency purposes..
I'm really happy for them that they are really getting better and better everytime..
dude..what I think is that you are miscalculating the girls..and you really didn't searched enough..I hope you're not racist..girls can play awesome music too..listen to aldious and orianthi panagaris..

they are real dude..trust me.. I'm also a musician and i know it and i feel it..
UHUH!


_________________________________________________________________________________________________

me want you..


(c)d3nise or (c)haritomi
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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:04 am


_JC_

Caless Student
Caless Student
There is no miscalculating, as I am precisely making sure that what I am viewing is real or not. And, again, I am not questioning if they play good or not, but if they play what they want or not. I want to know if the music they play is their music.

Besides, if I was racist, I wouldn't listen to them, and most likely not discuss this on this forum. And about considering girls as unable to do such things, that would not be about racism but actual sexism. =)

EDIT: I had a look on those references you mentioned. Aldious is not really my taste and I would more classify what I have heard from them as noise than music (but maybe the titles that I have found on YouTube are not their best performances). Orianthi however is much more inspiring to me and I am thankful for this introduction. I shall look into this deeper.

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:37 am


macdyne73

Mainstream Artist
Mainstream Artist
_JC_ wrote: And, again, I am not questioning if they play good or not, but if they play what they want or not. I want to know if the music they play is their music.


In a nutshell, for the most part no. The music they play, apart from a few songs, are written by other people. The girls write lyrics for some of their songs. It's a collaboration. But if by "their music" you mean music that is 100% composed and produced by them.

No.

Yes, I believe what they are playing now are "what they want to play". If they hated their own music or would rather play something else, sooner or later people will find out or the girls would eventually stop.

It's hard to pretend to enjoy something for 6 years. If you look at their influences they listen to a lot of pop and pop rock too. Plus many of their songs are co-written, meaning they either sit down and figure out the lyrics together with the song writer or a song writer will write a melody to suit already written lyrics. Many ways to co-write a song. Look at their albums and singles liner notes. Many co-written songs. It would be very strange if they didn't like songs that they co-wrote.

So the answer to this is

Yes.

If you prefer artists who write and produce 100% of their recorded material without ANY external input or collaboration, I'm sorry to say that if you are following SCANDAL, you are following the wrong band.

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:56 am


_JC_

Caless Student
Caless Student
Well it turned somehow into a matter of curiosity. While I had the feeling from the beginning that the music was not genuine (because to be able to play it is a different performance to me than to be able to write it), the experience itself turns out somehow to be genuine. I agree that if they didn't like the music, they could not keep going as they do, and I am curious to find out how they might evolve from this point: will they keep playing music written by others, in order to keep focusing on their core interests, which may be the lyrics, the live performances and this connection with their fans, or will they over time acquire their own styles and be starting to entirely write their own stuff?

I would have said that other bands that I follow for years stick more closely to my idea of "real music" (ie to play what they write), but I could actually not confirm that those bands have no collaboration with third parties. Scandal is in its own way not less genuine than most other bands. That's interesting.

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Re: Genuine experience
Posted on Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:14 pm


bad-apple

International Performer
International Performer
im gonna add some trivia: the girls didn't know how to play their respective instruments before they formed the band. and it's awesome to see that they play tighter than any other bands and they're improving very quickly


_________________________________________________________________________________________________
"For us, the band is more like "life" to us than it is a "job." We're wonderful friends who are sharing life that only happens once." -Rina
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