Mainstream Artist
Mainstream Artist
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I don't think this translation of the interview has been posted. This isn't the newest interview out there, but I think it's an interesting one. Enjoy~ Happy

T.M.Revolution has created the opening theme for the PS3 game "Sengoku BASARA4," which will be released on January 23, the ending theme of which was created by SCANDAL. Because T.M.Revolution and SCANDAL are on the same label, they will release the tracks as a split single entitled "Count ZERO | Runners high ~Sengoku BASARA4 EP~" on February 12. The first song will be T.M.Revolution's "Count ZERO," and the second song will be SCANDAL's "Runners high." The first-press limited edition of the single will include a DVD with an original program created by T.M.Revolution and SCANDAL and an original "Sengoku BASARA4" video.

In 2013, SCANDAL produced their album "STANDARD" and went on their largest hall tour in their history, which stopped in twenty-one locations all over the country and was attended by a total of 40,000 people. The established four-member girl band used their strength to cut their way through their fifth year since their major debut by steadily performing and releasing music. The song "Runners high" expresses the reality of of SCANDAL. It is a solid and powerful song that conforms to the theme of "Sengoku BASARA."

This is also their first time in about three and a half years to create a song for CAPCOM, the maker of the "Sengoku BASARA" series. "Sengoku BASARA" is an action game series about the Warring States Period of Japan. It has gained great success since its release in 2005, beginning as a game that then spawned an anime, movie, and play. The members of SCANDAL talk about the message of their new song, their current activities, and "Sengoku BASARA4."

■There are bands out there that have reached their twentieth, thirtieth, and even fortieth anniversaries.
■It's only been five years for us, so I want us to be a band that can continue to perform for a long time.

──Firstly, I want to look back on the year 2013, which was the fifth anniversary of your major debut. What do you have to say about your hall tour, the biggest ever in SCANDAL's history?

HARUNA: It was a really substantial twenty-one performances. Before we started the tour, I worried that it might be physically difficult, but once we actually started, it was completely fine. I think that our fifth album "STANDARD" was an album that linked our foundations with what we're going to do next. And when we reached the anniversary day of our debut during the middle of the tour, it was memorable.

RINA: During the tour, the four of us were lined up next to each other on stage, which was a reference to the music video for "Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne." We went on the tour thinking that that was an important song for us. Until then, I'd played drums a step behind everyone else, but moving just a little bit forward completely changed my impressions of everything. While we were on the tour and I was playing drums in front of people, I realized once again how much I love drumming. It was really fun! I've always wanted to be an "enchanting drummer," but that feeling has become even stronger.

──During an MC, you shockingly confessed, "I can't think of even one strong point of drumming." (laughs)

RINA: Haha. When I think about it one more time, I still really can't think of anything, which is troubling. (smiles wryly) Even if you're interested in drumming, it's a difficult instrument to start right away. It's not the sort of thing where you can get a beginner set for 10,000 yen like with a guitar, but if you overcome that hurdle, it's a really fascinating instrument and it's something that will suck you in. I think the instrument is like a partner that will be with you for life……I can't easily put it into words, but I performed during the tour feeling that every day.

TOMOMI: We talked about doing something different with the set list during this tour. Until then, it was like, "We'll just go with the flow," and we created kind of a standard set list for ourselves. But we wanted to challenge ourselves to break that pattern. So we did things like change the arrangement if we were going to play the same songs. It was fun to think of new things like that, and the reaction from fans was bigger than we expected, so it was a tour that was even more enjoyable than I anticipated. We went to places we have never been before and places we haven't been in a long time, and that also made us happy.

MAMI: Yeah. There were more shows in places that we've never played, and it felt like there were more people than usual who were seeing us for the first time. We were able to see that even in places we'd never been before, there were a lot of people waiting for us. Both people who were seeing us for the first time and people who had seen us before told us that they were going to go to other shows or they'd decided to go to the tour final. It made me happy to think that we'd created the kind of performance that made people want to see us many times. Actually, my mom also loved this tour. (laughs) She always comes to our Nagoya show, but this time she came to see us in other places like Osaka and Mie. My family is like my most well known fans, so I was happy to be able to do shows that made them want to come multiple times. It gave me confidence.

──By the way, how did you spend the day of the fifth anniversary of your debut?

HARUNA: We celebrated with the fans at our performance in Kanazawa. I was glad that they were as happy as we were. But there are bands out there that have reached their twentieth, thirtieth, and even fortieth anniversaries. It's only been five years for us, so it made me think that I want us to be a band that can continue to perform for a long time.

RINA: The staff got us a cake, and all of us went out to eat after the show, but it wasn't really a big party. (laughs)

──Well, you're officially beginning 2014 with the split single "Runners high."

RINA: Yes. We originally made this song while we were working on the album "STANDARD," and we planned to include it on the album. At the same time, we were asked to do a song for "Sengoku BASARA4," and we thought that this cool song would also fit with the game. And when the staff heard the song, they told us, "This is good."

HARUNA: I wrote the lyrics just before our performance at Osaka-jo Hall. When I thought, "Our dreams are about to come true," reversely I felt worried about various things. I wondered what we would do after our dreams had come true. I was worried about other things as well, and I felt alone. I wrote the lyrics thinking that I wanted to cheer myself up.

──When you wrote the line "Goal tape at the start line," were you imagining the Osaka-jo Hall performance?

HARUNA: It was that, but there were also a lot of other things heaped together.
Whenever you're aiming for something, I think you're always imagining the goal. But sometimes, the future after you've struggled to reach your goal is long. I think you should always continue to dream like that, and I wrote the line thinking that I want to keep moving forward. Once I started writing the lyrics, they went smoothly, but it took a long time for me to believe I could write them. In that way, it was difficult for me. I liked the song from the start and I wanted to write lyrics for it, so I'm happy that the "Sengoku BASARA" people told me the finished product was good.

──Without even being conscious of it, you wrote lyrics that resemble the world of "Sengoku BASARA."

HARUNA: But at first I was a little worried. I wondered if I should include some language that was closer to the image of the game. But when I listened to it again, I didn't think it was a good idea, and I thought that there were already parts that overlapped, so I told them, "I want to keep it this way." When looking down from what you think is the top, there is a lot to see. When our dreams came true, there was a lot of space out in front of us and it felt like it was stretching out endlessly. I realized that there are still a lot of places we can go. It wasn't just a sense of fulfillment or accomplishment that I felt but also a feeling of excitement, and I wanted to make a lot of other people feel that too.

──Please talk to us about your ideas and what you kept in mind when it comes to the sound.

RINA: This time, the four of us recorded separately, but the person who arranged the song had a clear intention about how the drums should sound. He wanted to pack in every tiny unit of sound, and so I kept that in mind when I played. I think this song really fits where SCANDAL is right now, and I like it too, so no matter what I had to play, I accepted the challenge (laughs). I played the drums with that feeling.

──You began recording with the phrases already set.

RINA: Yes. Most of the time I think about how I'll play each phrase in my own way, so this way of doing things is unusual for me. I realized that another way to make a cool song is to already be able to clearly see my goal and play perfectly to meet that goal, so I challenged myself to do so. We talked in detail about the tone and the phrases and the groove of the song, so it was like we made it one-to-one. We spent a lot of time creating the sound. Usually, I think about being able to reproduce the sound at live performances or just play the sounds the way I like, but this time we decided every minute detail, like "a little lower" and "shorten the sustain."

──Was it in such minute detail that you wanted to give up partway through?

RINA: Hahaha. I didn't think that, but the person who arranged the song isn't a drummer, so he sometimes had ridiculous requests. (laughs) So I sometimes found it difficult. We looked for the best way while I threw out ideas like, "I think this is more natural." Because it wasn't arranged by a drummer, there was a feeling of newness and it was motivating for me.

TOMOMI: Actually, all the bass phrases were decided beforehand as well. Usually there are parts that I play by habit, but this time I took detailed direction and played the phrases just like on the demo. There were a lot of melodious phrases, and so it felt like the sort of thing that I don't play often. That was fun and enlightening.

──How was your vocal part, TOMOMI?

TOMOMI: I sing the parts that are written in katakana in the lyrics, so I planned to sing it in a robotic, katakana-like way. I sang without moving my facial muscles as much as was possible. (laughs) If I made facial expressions while singing, I would get into the feeling of the song, so I tried as hard as I could to be expressionless and stiff when I sang. (laughs)

MAMI: As you might imagine after hearing about the drums and bass, the guitar was also decided beforehand fairly in detail. But because of that, the sound of the band has become more compact, so I think that was a really good thing. Most of the time, I play however I want, and there are takes in which we decide that rough phrases are okay. But this time, I think all of our parts match together pleasantly.

──So it's solid.

MAMI: Yeah. I used a lot of cutting, and I tried my best to make sure that that could be heard. There are detailed phrases like that, so I hope people listen carefully.

HARUNA: Yeah. It was the same for me as for the other three: precise and exact. (laughs) The three of them took more time than usual to record, so before I recorded my own parts, I was a little afraid. I thought, "The person who arranged this is strict." (laughs) And he was, as expected, strict about small details. No matter what, my habits always win out, so partway through the recording, I was told, "You're personality is really rock too." (smiles wryly) When I was told that, I once again thought, "Maybe I wasn't listening to what I was being told." (laughs)

RINA: HARUNA's part is always the roughest of all of ours. But she does this on purpose.

HARUNA: Because of my personality playing accurately is difficult. (laughs) Eventually, we managed to find common ground and it was a great lesson for me.

RINA: I think that when we play it live, it will become something totally different, so I'm looking forward to that. Once it was really composed, but I think it will be interesting to break that to pieces.

■"Runners high" is the ending theme, so it will play after you've fought to the bitter end.
■I hope that it can help promote everyone's sense of accomplishment at that time.

──This song is the ending theme for "Sengoku BASARA4," and I thought that the combination between a girl band and an action game is quite fresh.

HARUNA: Our song plays during fighting scenes, and I think that there is a fierceness that can't be expressed just through music, so when the music and the images come together, there are parts of it that appear much better.

RINA: It's really, really cool when it's matched up with the images. When I hear the phrase "warring states," I imagine something historical, but the images are really new. So it's really fun to just look at it. I think that there are people who will be drawn in by the cool visuals and also people who will become interested after hearing our song or Nishikawa (T.M.Revolution)'s song, which is the opening theme. I think a lot of people will be able to enjoy this.

MAMI: I've always liked video games, so naturally I knew about the series "Sengoku BASARA." When I heard the term "sengoku" (warring states) in the title, I had the preconception that I wouldn't understand it if I didn't know the history. And action games are different from RPGs, where you choose from different options. In action games, there are a lot of things to do, so they're sort of difficult. (laughs) But when I actually played it, I was surprised at how easy it was to play. It overturned my concept of what an action game is and I was able to enjoy the game without holding on to my preconceptions.

TOMOMI: "Runners high" is the ending theme, so it will play after you've fought to the bitter end. I hope that it can help promote everyone's sense of accomplishment at that time.

──Do you have a favorite character?

HARUNA: Keiji Maeda. I don't really know a lot about history, but I sometimes watch features that air on NHK, and I like his sense of humor. He seems like the kind of person with an abundance of ideas, and even while he's fighting he thinks up some sort of surprise.

RINA: For me, it's Matabei Goto. She's a new character for part four of the "Sengoku BASARA" series. The other characters have a comparatively modern hairstyle, and she's the only one with an old-fashioned style. She's the only one who really sticks to the Warring States Period and her expressions are different from the others, so she stands out in a good way. Including her weird, mysterious atmosphere and a curious fighting style, she is a strange character. She wounds her own pride and uses that as a weapon, and I think this original approach to fighting is interesting.

TOMOMI: Tsuruhime is the one sweet character even in the Warring States Period. I think that she's beautiful and her costume is good too. Everything about her is cute! The fact that she uses a bow is cool, and her legs are beautiful. (laughs)

MAMI: What made me want to try playing the game was the new character Naotora Ii. Even though that's her name, she's a woman. She brandishes a sword that is big and seems heavy with ease, and I think it's cool how strong-minded she is. Usually on the loading screen in games, the screen goes black and the words "NOW LOADING" appear on the screen, but in this game, the loading screen is a story. I used Naotora, and on the loading screen Naotora or one of her companion's words would appear on the screen, so I'd learn things about the past and present of the characters. It's a really fun game, so I hope everyone will play until the end so they can hear the ending theme, "Runners high."

──Lastly, what will SCANDAL enchant us with in 2014?

HARUNA: Our objective for this year is to "enlarge our dreams." On the last day of the tour, we announced that we would perform at a hall in Osaka for our second time and do two days at Yokohama arena, a first for us. We will be doing performances of a larger scale than ever before. We won't be doing the same thing on all three days; we want to take a different approach to every performance and carefully do each live show. In addition to that, we want to enchant you with a larger, scaled-up SCANDAL, so please look forward to it.

Interview/text: Yuko Kitsukawa Photography: ytsuji

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International Performer
International Performer
Thanks! This was really a nice read. Lots of good and funny stuff in there! I think the article was linked in a thread but not fully translated before?

MAMI the game expert has spoken =P Also interesting how they explain the song recording process.

Fulfilling their dreams of OJH was wonderful but it seems they (or HARU) were also a bit lost like "yeah we will realize our dream!!! But.... now what?...."

I think this is the period where they also decided to write more of their own music, to grow more and do new stuff and we are starting to see the result in 2014 (also did a bit on STANDARD).

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HaRuRiNaMaMiToMo wrote:I think the article was linked in a thread but not fully translated before?

Are you talking about this one? I had translated and posted a snippet of what HARU wrote about the lyrics, but it's not the same interview as the one posted in this thread. The one here is from BARKS .


Thanks for posting, Paula! I wasn't aware that BARKS has their own English site, and I'm glad that their English is spot-on. Good to know!

[Barks Interview] SCANDAL Completes “Runners High" 02/01/14 39iLxaW

2011.7.3 AM2 2012.3.28 SCANDAL vs BUDOKAN 11.3+4 QAT Tour @名古屋 11.10 Happy MUSIC Live 2012 2013.3.3 SCANDAL OSAKA-JO HALL 2013 2014.6.1 HNL Ekiden & Music 2014 6.2 Fan Meeting 2015.4.25 HELLO WORLD @ Paris 4.26 London 4.30 Essen 5.15 Chicago 5.20 MEX 5.22 LA 5.23 Anaheim 2016.1.12+13 PERFECT WORLD 5.21 Welcome Fan Meeting 5.22 HNL Ekiden & Music 2016 5.23 Farewell Fan Meeting 8.21 SCAFes 2017.7.14 47 Prefecture Tour @茨城 7.15 水戸 7.17 東京 2018.9.5 Special Thanks @NY 9.7 SF 9.9 Anaheim 9.12 MTY 9.14 MEX 9.16 TX 2021 KFTD @Paris - London - Berlin 11.11 Toronto 11.13 NY 11.17 Anaheim 11.19 Dallas 11.21 Atlanta
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Mainstream Artist
Mainstream Artist
Thanks for this, nice share, good read.

I'm really, really looking forward to this year's album. The girls seem to be more involved this time and that's great. I kinda expected it actually, as a natural progression but still, nice to see it.

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International Performer
International Performer
@TGE : Yeah I remember it was something like this but couldn't remember a huge translation like that  Onion Smile

@macdyne : I totally agree with you!! If you have high expectations you might end up disappointed but I honestly think the next album is gonna be fantastic and the girls will be involved in more songs for the music.

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