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Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview
Posted on Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:07 am

thoseguiltyeyes

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SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview
Confidence as an all-girl band; a 10th-year "debut" album"

Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview 3y4z8W8




SCANDAL, who is celebrating the 10th anniversary of their major label debut in 2018, will be releasing their 8th original album 「HONEY」 on 2/14.

It is a 10-track album including their single 「Take Me Out」, as well as 「Koisuru Universe」 and 「Futari」 from their digital single. Carrying out their first 47 prefecture tour and joint band tour in 2017, these girls who strengthened their true abilities as a band aimed for with this work was to play "music that an all-girl band must play, and music that only SCANDAL can play." Sure enough, this finished product is vividly packed with the diverse appeals of women.

Music Natalie asked the quartet who holds great expectations about the completion of this work.


Our first joint band tour where it seemed like 「We didn't make any mistakes in this way」
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──Firstly, please let us hear about your first joint band tour 「SCANDAL's Joint Band Tour」 held last October. In support of your killer tune 「Koisuru Universe」 that was completed with the theme of "a sound that we as an all-girl band should be playing," how was it appearing jointly with UNISON SQUARE GARDEN, 04 Limited Sazabys, and BLUE ENCOUNT?

RINA: For facing guy bands, it again seemed that we must carry our weapons properly and take on the challenge. 「Koisuru Universe」 has a sound that we as SCANDAL must play, and since it's something we made by including lyrical content that we needed to express, we were satisfied with our feelings of 「We didn't make any mistakes in this way」; we were a bit relieved (laughs). We're happy that we got our joint band partners to say that 「『Koisuru Universe』 is cool」. We learned all kinds of things, so it truly was a tour that was nothing but stimulating.

Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview QqQDioq

HARUNA: Although doing joint shows isn't about winning or losing, feelings of not wanting to lose did come out after all with this tour. Our fighting spirit was really fired up and differed from when we play solo lives or festivals. We were kind of surprised about that aspect of ourselves (laughs).

TOMOMI:  We definitely were fired up, yeah.

RINA: This year is the 10th anniversary of our major label debut, but we can still get fired up. In 2017 we performed at approximately 70 live houses in total, which is kind of rookie-like (laughs), but I think that's one of SCANDAL's charm points.


──MAMI, what do you think?

Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview GNRXRlL

MAMI: Since we only had bands that are making sure to fight on with the things they're good at, there are parts that we can understand even if our sound differs, and it feels like we have a lot of things in common. We talked to them and found out that there were many parts we understood about each other's view of our bands, so it was very plentiful being able to cross paths with each other at a joint live show. As we were also able properly cross paths with each band's audiences at the same time, they ended up being shows that are connected to the future of our fans.

HARUNA: A lot of people who saw a SCANDAL live show for the first time during our joint band tour tweeted, 「I want to go and see you guys at winter festivals too」. We've also realized that a new audience starts to follow us after we perform at festivals as well, so it was a fruitful joint band tour in that aspect too.


It felt that we knew where SCANDAL stands in the all-girl band scene
____________________________________________________




──SCANDAL's current direction is exhibited in 「Koisuru Universe」, and the experience you had with your joint band tour that proved that you can be a huge force. It has an impression of being clearly connected to your new album 「HONEY」.

Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview MQRrQNr

RINA: We had been going in that direction naturally during its production stage.

MAMI: Yeah. But it also was a really huge thing to have the reactions to our joint band tour in support of 「Koisuru Universe」 make it clearer which way we should go. It felt that we knew where SCANDAL stands in the all-girl band scene, so that gave us a lot of confidence. In that sense, it's an album we were able to make with feelings such as, 「Let's start again from here」.


──I truly think this is your best masterpiece.

MAMI: We're also really satisfied with it. We want everyone to listen to it already and tell us both the good and bad things about it. By being able to make this album, it feels like we were able to obtain a tolerance that can accept any opinion.

RINA: We were able to make an album that specializes in the things we want to do and things we like, and where we were able to shake free. We wanted to make music that the four of us should make, and make music that properly fulfills our role as an all-girl band. Our feelings of wanting to go on offensive again have grown stronger after entering the 10th year since our major debut, so I think we finished something very pleasant that's packed with SCANDAL's current momentum.

Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview W6v4qxt

TOMOMI:  We gained more muscle as a band by experiencing a 47 prefecture tour and joint band tour last year, and at the same time gained the confidence in our regular selves that isn't filtered through being a musician. This album was made to reflect that, and it feels like it's become part of our private space. We had our friend Mizuki Masuda from Negoto participate as an arranger, and we had AMIAYA do the artwork; it's like a sound that's flowing throughout our lives, and something that's like an intersecting shared language is definitely included in this album. In that sense as well, it was very satisfying to finish it.

HARUNA: SCANDAL goes through all sorts of changes whenever we release an album, and each time we update our theme of wanting to show who we are at those times. It feels like this time we were able to create the ideal form that we had been aiming to take for these past 5 or so years. We did a lot of exploring after we became able to write our own lyrics and music, and after we were able to appear at all kinds of festivals, the entirety of the band image we had imagined was packed into these 10 songs. We truly feel very accomplished.


We're happy that we were able to create something that was this fresh during the 10th year anniversary of our major label debut
____________________________________________________




──Aside from your single tracks and 「Mado wo Aketara」, everything from the lyrics and music to the arrangement was completed by the band.

Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview VY9pPIe

RINA: That's right. (While making eye contact with the members) We're happy about that (laughs). But, it's not like we didn't decide to employ an arranger this time. It was like, 「Since we've already done the arrangements, wouldn't it be okay to just record them like this?」. There isn't that much pressure if we're just doing it ourselves.

TOMOMI:  Yeah, the atmosphere was very natural. Even when we have an arranger, the completed form is pretty much the same as MAMI's demo. It's like each member is adding their own flavor. That's why our flow hasn't changed from how it normally is.

HARUNA: Well, what we mean by it feeling normal and us being able to do everything ourselves is that it's become an album where you can see each member's underlying strength.

RINA: That's right. The simple thing that our director and office manager who have known us ever since we weren't able do anything said to us was, 「Keep doing what you're doing」, which made us happy. In one respect, it feels like we made another debut album. We're truly happy that we were able to create something that was this fresh and that had momentum and a spine during the 10th year anniversary of our major label debut.


──It's filled with songs featuring lyrics by RINA and music by MAMI.

RINA: When something came to mind, I went crazy with creating it (laughs).

MAMI: It was made during our 47 prefecture tour as well as after our joint band tour. However, tracks 1-2 are songs that were completed just in time. I don't know what this album would have been like if it didn't have those two songs (laughs).


──Track 1 「Platform Syndrome」 and track 2 「OVER」 are rock songs that have a speediness to them that makes one realize that you're a live band. I think they're songs that shows SCANDAL's forte, but why were they created at the last minute?

HARUNA: We unintentionally made a detour (laughs).

Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview Iahvun6

MAMI: That's right. We had been aiming to do a song that would make an impact at lives, but, for better or worse, I tend to be perverse and had come out with a weird dance number that was like 「Electric Girl」 (laughs). Well, I unexpectedly got a 「Ah, I got it!」-like feeling and was able to write 「Platform Syndrome」 and 「OVER」. They were made at the last minute, but the ideas and images for the songs have been in my head since the beginning.


An album that depicts the many emotions of a single person
____________________________________________________




──「Short Short」 is also a RINA-and-MAMI-combo song. You can feel the unique charm of women from the viewpoint of a soft and beautiful world with many choruses.

TOMOMI:  That song feels great. The only thing I'm playing during the verse is the same bass phrase, which took a lot of perseverance (laughs), but because the chorus suddenly gets emotional, I think that contrast is great.

MAMI: I think that's the most emotional song on the album. It's super simple sound-wise, but I had wondered if I could get a dazzling-like feeling by using voices to add color.

RINA: HARUNA's singing voice also has a very transparent feel to it.

Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview H50AdpI

HARUNA: Actually, since everyone really liked the take I did for this song while in pre-production, we used that one exactly as it is, aside from some lyric changes. I put my intial impulses―rather, the voice that I put my feelings into when I listened to MAMI's demo for the first time into the song. I discovered that such a thing exists.


──The seventh track 「Mado wo Aketara」 (Open a Window) is a number that features lyrics and music by TOMOMI. This arrangement was done by Mizuki Masuda of Negoto, right? It has a very mature finish to it.

TOMOMI:  This song was written around three years ago when I felt really down, and nights where it felt like only my soul kept coming out of my body were continuing on. Since it's a song that was written about my heart, I wanted to also have the arrangement done by someone who I was close with personally. I think it became one of the spices among the album.

RINA: In addition to the sound and lyrics that delve into your heart, we thought that the current SCANDAL could express this well without overreaching, so we wanted to do this song. By including this, the album's center of gravity falls sharply and creates one theme on this album.


──You can also feel it in 「Midnight City」, but it's a type of song that expresses things differently than a love song, and its approach is to illustrate the delicacy and weaknesses of a woman.

RINA: That's right. If you were to listen to only the tune of 「Mado wo Aketara」,  there might be some people who feel that it's slightly different. However, when you think about it as one aspect of a single person, it feels like all 10 songs on the album are connected. I really think that it feels like an album that depicts the many emotions of a single person.


An evolution of each members' parts by catching a glimpse through 「HONEY」
____________________________________________________




──After 2017 where you immersed yourselves in live shows, your performance side has also evolved significantly. Was there something that you were fairly particular about while recording each of your parts?

Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview ZOfH0BY

TOMOMI:  That's correct. The bass carves in a disjointed rhythm with each piece of music, but with the disco-like 「Midnight City」, I played not octaves but funky phrases instead. We did a lot of challenging things.

RINA: Your highlight this time is the bass solo on 「Electric Girl」, right?

TOMOMI:  Ahー, yeah. MAMI told me that she wanted to include a bass solo, so when I thought up of phrases and then met up at MAMI's place, the tempo was really fast. Like, I couldn't play the phrases even though I had come up with them (laughs). I did my best to play them. Ahahaha (laughs).

RINA: For the drums on 「Electric Girl」, I switch to a snare in only one place and play a fill during the second verse, which made for a rhythm that's very fun to play. It was fun recording it too!


──Is there anything else that you tried out this time with the drums?

RINA: I don't really think so, but a lot of people tell me, "You're just behind the beat." So, this time I kept it in mind to drum ahead of the beat overall. I'm happy that the members told me, 「RINA's drumming is quite ahead of the beat」 when we were recording (laughs).


──I see. RINA's drumming might have played a big part in the attacking attitude and momentum drifting throughout the album. MAMI, what do you think?

Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview 4kNkwBA

MAMI: HARUNA and MAMI's guitars played many of the same chords until now, but this time we tried to completely separate them. I had HARUNA create a foundation of firm power chords and low chords while I devoted mine to single notes. That's why each song is finished in an easy-to-understand way where you can properly hear the sounds of our two guitars.

HARUNA: That's right. Even from just the guitar sounds you can feel quite a bit of difference from our older songs.


──HARUNA's voice tone changes considerably for each song. That was a lot of fun.

HARUNA: Vocal recording was a ton of fun. Everyone wrote lyrics that have a very private feel to them and makes you feel their life-sized everyday lives, so I searched for voices and ways of singing that would suit them and recorded with those. I may have been able to bring out many sides of me that I didn't know existed within myself (laughs). I've done lots of trial and error over the years in regards to singing, but this time I think I was able to properly represent what I had always wanted to do, and what we want to show as SCANDAL from here on with my vocals as well.


We had been heading towards 「HONEY」 a little at a time for a while now
____________________________________________________




──This album contains a total of 10 songs, the most minimal number of songs on an album of yours so far. Was that also something that you intended to do?

Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview OGH5OoY

RINA: We currently have over 100 songs. So, rather than excessively increasing the number of songs we have, we wanted to record only the strongest 10 songs for the album, and to cherish our past songs more during our live shows. There's also a real feeling that a single story is also tightly integrated into it, so at this point in time, this minimal number is just right.


──I wonder how the past songs intersect with the songs on this album and the scenery created that's unique to SCANDAL. I'm looking forward to your hall tour beginning in March.

RINA: Same! We plan to play all of the album songs. Aside from that, we have plenty of blank space, so we have a great way of doing things. We really can't wait!

TOMOMI:  When we arranged a set list, we found that we unexpectedly have past songs that do not break the world view of this album, meaning that we again thought of how we had been heading towards this album called 「HONEY」 a little at a time for a while now. It's looking to be a very interesting tour.

HARUNA: Since it'll be a hall tour, it's looking like we'll be able to apply the atmosphere of the album's artwork to the production. We want to create a hot atmosphere that's fun to look at while of course making you get loud and sweat quite a bit.

TOMOMI:  Ah, also, [bassist] Yuta Tsujimura of BLUE ENCOUNT showed me how to step during the after party of our joint band tour.

RINA: Eh, you're going to incorporate that?

TOMOMI:  Yes, I will. I hope I can show it off. I learned many things during our joint band tour (laughs).

MAMI: Seriously (laughs)?

RINA: That's great. We're also looking forward to it (laughs).

Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview Xv6FFzZ



Last edited by thoseguiltyeyes on Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:20 am; edited 1 time in total



Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview 39iLxaW

2011.7.3 AM2 - Anaheim, CA 2012.3.28 SCANDAL vs BUDOKAN 11.3+4 SCANDAL HALL TOUR 2012 @愛知 11.10 Happy MUSIC Live 2012 2013.3.3 SCANDAL OSAKA-JO HALL 2013 @大阪城ホール 2014.6.1 HNL Ekiden & Music 2014 6.2 Fan Meeting 2015.4.25 SCANDAL WORLD TOUR 2015「HELLO WORLD」 Paris, FR 4.26「HW」London, UK 4.30「HW」Essen, GER 5.15「HW」Chicago, IL 5.20「HW」Mexico City, MEX 5.22「HW」LA, CA 5.23「HW」Anaheim, CA 2016.1.12+13 PERFECT WORLD @武道館5.21 Welcome Fan Meeting 5.22 HNL Ekiden & Music 2016 5.23 Farewell Fan Meeting 8.21 SCAFes @泉大津フェニックス 2017.7.14 47 Prefecture Tour @Ibaraki 7.15 Mito 7.17 Tokyo 2018.9.5 SCANDAL US & Mexico Tour 2018 "Special Thanks" @NY 9.7 @SF 9.9 @Anaheim 9.12 @MTY 9.14 @MEX 9.16 @TX
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Re: Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview
Posted on Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:08 pm

Star~world96®

Star~world96®

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Great interview! 
It seems like Ma do wo Aketara was written around her depressive slumped in 2015. Like with Life is a Journey.

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Re: Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview
Posted on Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:54 pm

strawhatcrew

strawhatcrew

Caless Student
Caless Student
 TOMOMI: Ah, also, [bassist] Yuta Tsujimura of BLUE ENCOUNT showed me how to step during the after party of our joint band tour.

RINA: Eh, you're going to incorporate that?

TOMOMI: Yes, I will. I hope I can show it off. I learned many things during our joint band tour (laughs).

MAMI: Seriously (laughs)?

RINA: That's great. We're also looking forward to it (laughs).

wew, im really curious about this..
what is the step she talking about lol?
hehe



Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview 70z490W
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Re: Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview
Posted on Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:25 pm

Don Dio

Don Dio

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Regarding "Step"-- I think she means a form of dance.

As usual, good interview overall by Natalie.  My one criticism with her style and many of the other writers that interview the band for print is that they rarely ever ask follow-up questions.  It is as if they have a list of questions to ask the band and then run through them without paying attention to what the band is saying.  For instance, Tomomi says she wrote "Mado wo Aketara" a few years ago when she was feeling down.  She has stated this condition before in past interviews.  There is no need to get into why she was feeling down, but we know Tomomi wrote the music and the lyrics.  Unlike her past compositions she does not sing lead.  Why doesn't Natalie ask her that question?  

I can only assume that since Tomomi says she wrote the song about her 'heart" that it may be too emotional for her to have to eventually sing it live.  That's understandable.  [I recently saw Stevie Wonder perform and he broke down and cried during a tune he hadn't played live in over 30 years.  He couldn't make it through the song.  So this happens to the best and most-seasoned of performers].  Back on point: Tomomi doesn't sing lead on any song on this new album.  What was the creative reason for this?  Natalie brings up Haruna's singing , which is great, but she does not ask why the band has decided to no longer have her share vocals with Tomomi.  This is the second album in a row where they have shifted away from a signature sound quality of their music.  To my knowledge, no one has asked the band this question yet.

There is good information in the interview, and my favorite response may be Haruna commenting they "unintentionally made a detour" by writing two speedy songs at the last minute.  Another highlight was them insinuating that Mami produces demos that are well-constructed and thought out.

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Re: Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview
Posted on Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:34 pm

Star~world96®

Star~world96®

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@Don Dio
They have brought up the reason why for the lack of Haru/Tomo duet songs. It was around 2015, I specifically forgot which interview, but in it Tomomi stated that Haru and her vocals together doesn't seem "right" anymore or at the moment. Idk, its something along the lines of that. I have to find that interview again lol.

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Re: Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview
Posted on Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:37 pm

Don Dio

Don Dio

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Star~world96®️ wrote:@Don Dio
They have brought up the reason why for the lack of Haru/Tomo duet songs. It was around 2015, I specifically forgot which interview, but in it Tomomi stated that Haru and her vocals together doesn't seem "right" anymore or at the moment. Idk, its something along the lines of that. I have to find that interview again lol.

Thanks.  I clearly missed reading that interview, or just conveniently forgot.

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Re: Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview
Posted on Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:53 am

etwee

etwee

Shiroten Performer
Shiroten Performer
Yeah but Tomo still sings in the older material they do at lives. 
She really shines—though just for a moment—in the live recording of Kimi to Yoru to Namida. 
So I still don't get it. But I don't have to. They know what they're doing.
Thanks so much for the translation!



Last edited by etwee on Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:54 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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Re: Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview
Posted on Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:26 am

strawhatcrew

strawhatcrew

Caless Student
Caless Student
Don Dio wrote:Regarding "Step"-- I think she means a form of dance.

As usual, good interview overall by Natalie.  My one criticism with her style and many of the other writers that interview the band for print is that they rarely ever ask follow-up questions.  It is as if they have a list of questions to ask the band and then run through them without paying attention to what the band is saying.  For instance, Tomomi says she wrote "Mado wo Aketara" a few years ago when she was feeling down.  She has stated this condition before in past interviews.  There is no need to get into why she was feeling down, but we know Tomomi wrote the music and the lyrics.  Unlike her past compositions she does not sing lead.  Why doesn't Natalie ask her that question?  

I can only assume that since Tomomi says she wrote the song about her 'heart" that it may be too emotional for her to have to eventually sing it live.  That's understandable.  [I recently saw Stevie Wonder perform and he broke down and cried during a tune he hadn't played live in over 30 years.  He couldn't make it through the song.  So this happens to the best and most-seasoned of performers].  Back on point: Tomomi doesn't sing lead on any song on this new album.  What was the creative reason for this?  Natalie brings up Haruna's singing , which is great, but she does not ask why the band has decided to no longer have her share vocals with Tomomi.  This is the second album in a row where they have shifted away from a signature sound quality of their music.  To my knowledge, no one has asked the band this question yet.

There is good information in the interview, and my favorite response may be Haruna commenting they "unintentionally made a detour" by writing two speedy songs at the last minute.  Another highlight was them insinuating that Mami produces demos that are well-constructed and thought out.

good point.. i always wonder why tomomi didnt sing in any song in their new song/album now.. as much as i really like haruna as the lead but i like their duo combo song too.. maybe tomomi herself doesnt want to sing anymore coz of the hard bass line she play in the new album? Tears of Joy



Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview 70z490W
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Re: Natalie - SCANDAL's 「HONEY」 Interview
Posted on Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:14 pm

Osakashnaide

Osakashnaide

Shiroten Performer
Shiroten Performer
IMHO, I think Tomomi don't want to sing anymore because of the change in Haruna's voice. In their earlier years, the two of them have very distinct voices but as time flies by, Haru's voice (at least for me) have been getting high pitch which is what the voice of Tomomi is there for. Sure Tomo still sing their old songs at their lives but still, Haru's voice isn't the same as it was before anymore.


But seriously, can someone show that interview where they said Tomo won't be singing duet with Haru anymore and that Haruna would be doing the singing from then on.

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