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A behind-the-scenes interview about the production of SCANDAL's double A-side single 「Masterpiece / Mabataki」!
masterpiece_mabataki - Tenjin Site - MAMI's 「Masterpiece / Mabataki」 Interview YVNkmyd

SCANDAL is an all-girl band who celebrated the 10th anniversary of their major label recording debut last year. Their private record label 「her」 was established at this commemorative milestone, a place where they could express themselves more freely was created, and SCANDAL's new chapter began. The first release from 「her」 is their newly-issued 「Masterpiece / Mabataki」 single that was just released on 3/27 (Wed.). It is an artistic masterpiece of a double A-side single. We interviewed SCANDAL's guitarist & vocalist MAMI who came to Fukuoka to serve as a one-day manager at Tower Records for an event for this release! We asked her about her thoughts on their private label 「her」 and behind-the-scenes stories about the production of their new single.

masterpiece_mabataki - Tenjin Site - MAMI's 「Masterpiece / Mabataki」 Interview LlEOeH4

——You launched your private label 「her」 last year! How did you go about doing that?

MAMI: The band formed in 2006, and last year we celebrated the 10th anniversary of our major label recording debut. That was when the four of us talked about things like, "It'd be great to do something new once more." However, it wasn't clear at first what we should do. As we were discussing things, we came to the conclusion, "Shouldn't our next step be to start our own label...!?"

We didn't write the music for our songs when we had debuted, and we still had a complex about it even when we began to self-produce our songs. But, it became possible for us to acknowledge that complex gradually by continuing to do professional activities for 10 years, and now we thought we'd try challenging ourselves to create our own place.

——Have there been any changes since establishing 「her」?

MAMI: Firstly, the "feelings" we have are completely different (laughs)! We've gained more freedom by having our own label, and we're excited to start new things.
The reason why we went with the name 「her」 is because we want to cherish our femininity as an all-girl band. You can tell that it's a female artist's label with this one word, and how the written word looks and its nuance are also nice. I'm glad we went with 「her」 and not 「she」, nor another noun.

——The double A-side single, your first release on your new label, was released on 3/27! It seems like you made this as if you're re-debuting!

MAMI: Our drummer RINA handled the lyrics for 「Masterpiece」, and these past 10 years have made us who we are now. We spelled out our thoughts of, "Let's kick off to another start from here!" It feels so fresh because everything is renewed and we're off to another start.

——The first lines of lyrics in 「Masterpiece」, 『A starting signal always rings out suddenly - My racing heartbeat can no longer be stopped』, reflect SCANDAL's current state of mind.

MAMI: Recently, we hadn't really done much to spell out our state of mind in our lyrics. We didn't want to force our feelings nor our circumstances. That's why there were a lot of lyrics that we left to the listener, but this time, these are lyrics that we can write right now, and ones that we can only write right now. We hope that it'll be a song that intersects our story with your daily lives!

——The music also conveys a momentum to push on forward!

MAMI: That's right. Since this is a song that's packed with everything we have, it feels like we get stronger each time we perform it.
Actually, it originally wasn't like how the song is now. Although I had already completed writing the melody and arrangement about a year ago, the arrangement at that time had a beautiful nuance that contained strings, and it had a totally different atmosphere from the current song. However, when we talked about how it would be enlisted as the first single from 「her」, I inwardly sighed and felt troubled... A year had passed since completing the song, so I might have not been able to face it in the same feeling as back then...that's what I thought. It became an important song that would kick off a new start for us, and we decided to rearrange it once more.

For the arrangement, we entrusted it to Keita Kawaguchi-san and gave him detailed requests like, "We want to make something that's endlessly bright," and, "We want it to start with a heavy riff." Kawaguchi-san has been continuing to watch over SCANDAL since our debut, so he took good care of our thoughts and feelings!

——What were you picky about when recording it?

MAMI: SCANDAL's recording style has always been one where, whether it's an instrument or a song, everyone directs each other and searches for the best form. For the recording of 「Masterpiece」, we had debuted the song at a few live shows at the end of last year, and we recorded it while keeping that same groove we had at the shows! As for the singing, we kept it cheerful and light while having a little bit of innocence. We've always wanted to make a favorite live song, so we're satisfied to have the perfect work♪

——As opposed to 「Masterpiece」, the second song 「Mabataki」 is girly and cute♪

MAMI: 「Mabataki」 features lyrics and music by our drummer RINA while the arrangement was handled by me. RINA had sent me the lyrics, melody, and rhythm via a voice memo, so she had a clear image in her head from the beginning. She had specific requests for the arrangement, and I made sure to not make it too loud. To express a girl's airy, swaying feelings, the instrument phrases have been looped; a keyboard is used; and we made the "gaps" into feel-good music.

But I have a habit of making arrangements too heavy (laughs). I first made it at 100 so that I did not put the crescendo on the instruments as usual and then subtracted from there. We hadn't done arrangements where we configured the keyboard to sound like anything but what it originally sounds like, so that was a new approach for me personally. I'm happy that there are many people who have praised this arrangement!

masterpiece_mabataki - Tenjin Site - MAMI's 「Masterpiece / Mabataki」 Interview IjESPBt

——Please tell us about the 「"her" Magazine」 that comes with Limited Edition A.

MAMI: We want you to see the natural us, and there are exclusive pictures; an interview about 「her」; solo interviews; and a personality quiz with a chart where you can see if you're the "MAMI type." At any rate, we wanted to make an unprecedented, luxurious edition (laughs). Limited Edition B comes with a t-shirt.

——How is your current state of mind during your 11th year of being a major label band?

MAMI: We want to continuously put out good music from our new label 「her」. Also, since we're a band that loves live shows, we want to tour non-stop! Our nationwide tour starts in June, and since we'll be coming on 6/22 (Sat.) to play a live show at Zepp Fukuoka, please come out and experience the current SCANDAL for yourself!

masterpiece_mabataki - Tenjin Site - MAMI's 「Masterpiece / Mabataki」 Interview U06RvZ5

——We're looking forward to the show in Fukuoka! By the way, what's something popular among the band?

MAMI: Maybe the rice cracker "Sharizou"〜 (laughs). It's so good! There are all sorts of flavors including the plain flavor with dashi, but the one I like the most is the "nori wasabi" flavor. We exchange info each time a limited edition flavor comes out and eat them noisily. We often get excited sharing these types of snacks♡

masterpiece_mabataki - Tenjin Site - MAMI's 「Masterpiece / Mabataki」 Interview GIrvW3u
masterpiece_mabataki - Tenjin Site - MAMI's 「Masterpiece / Mabataki」 Interview 0WT99m1

——MAMI, you're such a trend leader! What fashion-related thing are you currently obsessed with?

MAMI: Maybe clothes that come in primary colors. Today, it's yellow! These days, since i have this hair color, I often choose blue clothes. Basically, I go with blue・red・yellow. Oh yeah, when my hair was pink before, I often wore pink clothes〜.

——For MAMI, who has come to Fukuoka several times, what do you enjoy about the Tenjin area!?

MAMI: It has to be the food! Aren't there a lot of unagi (eel) places in Fukuoka? I feel like I caught sight of a lot on the road. Oh, and speaking of which, I thought that there were many opportunities to eat salmon in Fukuoka—in fact, I also had it for lunch today (laughs). I plan to go eat at 「Kawaya」 at night. I've al〜ways been interested in it, and since I heard that it tastes different from the one in Tokyo, I want to try how it tastes where it originally comes from!
Also, Fukuoka is famous for its udon. I want to try an udon challenge when we come to Fukuoka in June for our show♪

masterpiece_mabataki - Tenjin Site - MAMI's 「Masterpiece / Mabataki」 Interview 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 HELLO WORLD @ Paris - London - Essen - Chicago - MEX - LA - 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 Special Thanks @NY - SF - Anaheim - MTY - MEX - Dallas 2022 MIRROR @Toronto - NY - Boston - Atlanta - Chicago - Anaheim - Dallas - Berlin - London - Paris
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Thanks for translating.

This post also made me want to go get an affogato. Not had one for a while!


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