SPICE - SCANDAL's "SPICE" Interview
Posted on Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:00 pm

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SCANDAL: The quartet that changed their complex into a weapon speak frankly about weaknesses they've confronted and strength that has sprouted during the pandemic

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SCANDAL released their new song "SPICE" on July 15. The verse "Even this sense of inferiority won't go away - After all, it's a part of us" sung alongside with the band sound that can be considered "classic SCANDAL," is also about SCANDAL themselves. Their title of being an 'all-girl band' that was a complex for them has now become a huge weapon for them.* Even the sadness they dealt with in the past was turned into a weapon, and with the lines, "So that we can meet up here again and again - We get stronger just as much as we've been hurt - Let's keep running towards tomorrow", they belt out a powerful message that breaks the current situation surrounding the world. In this interview, the quartet openly confesses the emotions they faced after all their performances in Japan were canceled and could no longer hold live shows. SCANDAL shows both their strengths and weaknesses in this interview. SCANDAL, who've become stronger just as much as they've been hurt, will take on the challenge of holding a new type of concert with 『SCANDAL WORLD TOUR 2020"Kiss from the darkenss" Livestream』 on August 21st, the band's 14th anniversary.




――First, please tell us about your stay-at-home period. I'm sure it was the first time in SCANDAL's history to go for such a long time without seeing each other and unable to do musical activities. Could you tell us what you rediscovered about yourself and what you thought about your music, SCANDAL as a band, and what you felt during this time?

TOMOMI: Band-wise, we digitally released a song called "Living in the city" on June 3rd. This was a song we had previously written, but we released it now as we felt that this was exactly what we wanted to convey at this point in time. We recorded everything at home since we couldn't go to a recording studio. Aside from the guitars and vocals, everything else was done electronically. We're a band, so until now we definitely wanted to put in a "live" band sound when we recorded something, but it made us realize that there are many different ways of making songs. I've always like listening to electronic music, but for our releases we have always wanted to deliver a live sound because we're a band. However, we decided to not let that tie us down and thought that we could give it a SCANDAL-like sound.


――Oh! That's a big change, isn't it?

TOMOMI: Yes. Releasing this means that our range is likely to keep expanding.

HARUNA: Each of us members of SCANDAL have our own different strengths. For the last few years, I've especially been aware that when I act as the face of SCANDAL, I'm the vocalist who of course pulls the band along, and I also deliver our words to our audiences such as during MCs. Shows were a very important part of that, and when we could no longer hold those I lost sight of my worth. That was very tough for me. During the stay-at-home period, we recorded for our podcast and did livestreams on Instagram. When it comes to outputting words in places that are different from shows, you wonder about things like, "What kind of position should I have when saying this?" or "What words would reach the many people who find it hard to stay positive during this time?" I've had more opportunities to really think about my words.


――Even when you had no live shows, you were actively creating a place where you could output the words and deliver them.

HARUNA: Yes. Our IG Lives in particular were started because we wanted to do something to connect with those who support us. It made me realize that it's very important for me to get responses back from our audience when I'm on stage expressing my feelings via words. So, in the future, we want to do whatever we can to connect with everyone even outside of shows.

MAMI: Each of us thought hard about what we could do. We were doing things digitally, but we couldn't play shows nor go on tour. We were constantly thinking about what each of us could do to contribute to SCANDAL. We were really motivated when quarantine began. We thought about the future, saying things like, "Let's make this kind of song as SCANDAL during this time, and then release it when quarantine's over." However, since we were gradually losing sight of things along the way, we started feeling down. We were like, "Just what should we do?" But after quarantine ended and our activities restarted little by little, those feelings were gradually adjusted. Right now, we're thinking positively about this situation and about what we can do as a band.

RINA: When we could no longer play shows and we had no choice but to stay at home, I thought, "This is my chance to save up some stuff! I'll write a ton of lyrics!" But even though I had time, I wasn't able to write anything.


――Eh!!

RINA: That was the first time that happened in regards to lyrics. I've always been an indoor person, so I thought staying at home would make me feel stress-free. I realized that choosing to spend time at home is not the same as staying home after being told to not leave it. I hardly went outside. This isn't exactly the same as what HARUNA said, but I really didn't like it when I thought I couldn't do anything. I couldn't write lyrics even after a month had passed, so I temporarily gave up on writing music. It was no use. And so, although this is a completely different outlet, I tried making a zine and I started a YouTube channel. I shifted gears, wanting to get people interested in SCANDAL in a way that can be done right now that didn't involve attending a show of ours. Even though we don't know when we'll be able to play shows again, I don't think we should be turning songs that get things going at shows or words that are established at shows, into lyrics. So, we're looking for a new image of how our music should be.


――I'm a little surprised that I've seen a glimpse of negative aspects of you guys from the start of this interview.

HARUNA: But when you start to feel negative, you're able to say you "give up"―and I think that's a strength. Instead of giving up, falling to the very bottom, and being unable to crawl back up, shifting gears in another direction and looking for a way to output something else can be considered a strength.

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There were still moments during our performance when we could feel the power of the audience. It made us feel like we weren't alone. It made us tear up.



――That's true. During this time SCANDAL appeared on "Choushidoukan," an audience-less event held before the state of emergency declaration in Japan. Did you feel something different from usual via your appearance at this event?

HARUNA: That was when the domestic (Japan) performances of our album tour in March were getting postponed and we were feeling very negative, unsure of what will happen to our shows in the future. The promoters in Osaka that we've always worked with launched a streaming live event with the message of "We're not giving up on shows/live entertainment." We participated in it because they immediately asked us if we'd want to take part, and we immediately replied yes. Though livestreaming concerts have been done in all kinds of ways, during this event the performers could see comments from viewers on the overhead monitor while they performed. We weren't able to see the audience in person, but there were still moments during our performance when we could feel the power of the audience. It felt very mysterious and fired us up. The audience's feelings came through to us, making us feel like we weren't alone. It...made us tear up.

RINA: It was so moving, wasn't it? I felt like I was about to cry as we were performing. We weren't in our usual standing positions and were in a circle, performing while we all met each other's eyes. That style was nice. We, the staff, and audience were all filled with a power to make this a good time despite the situation. SCANDAL went on from 12 pm JST (*They actually went on at 1 pm! ). That was because we asked the staff to let us perform at a time when our overseas fans would be able to watch it too. We did, and we got a lot of comments on that date from people overseas. We're so glad we got to participate in that event.

MAMI: That was right around the time when things were getting worse and not looking very good, so we thought things like, "We don't know when we're able to play a show again," and, "We might have to use this method in the future to deliver live performances." So, when we appeared in this event, each and every word in the comments felt very important. We also realized how valuable and how important live performances that we used to take for granted are. This show really made us tear up. We're so glad we realized that before the full-blown quarantine started.

TOMOMI: Simply put, we were saved, weren't we? If that show never happened we'd still be feeling down. We originally planned to go on a domestic tour starting in March. We were really proud of the tour. Even our staff who created this tour with us had lot of opinions like, "The shows this time are definitely going to be good," so we definitely wanted to do it. So, even though we had no choice but to cancel the domestic dates and we understand why, we felt very disappointed and sad. We felt really down. That's when we appeared in this event. I knew that I always liked shows, but this made me realize once again how important they are. Making sounds together had been something I considered commonplace until recently, but since they no longer were commonplace I was so grateful and happy for that space. The comments sent by everyone and everyone getting loud, raising their hands, and singing together like our past shows had a completely diferent style of emotion. I felt that there was a passion in this livestream that was different from our in-person shows. If this type of show becomes the standard in the future, perhaps the day will come when you can experience the same level of passion felt at an in-person show. We thought we had to change our way of thinking about live performances. We don't want to forever feel like we were completely happy with our previous shows―we want to keep being reborn. This show made us think that.


――You're saying that this event made you realize that this is the new way that shows are going to be.

All: Yes.

HARUNA: That's why we're confident in saying that we'll be fine with our next show (SCANDAL WORLD TOUR 2020 “Kiss from the darkness” Livestream). This is a new sensation for us, but we knew with this show that we were able to connect with the audience from across the screen and felt how warm and hot it was, so we're not worried at all. With that sense of security, we're now thinking about what methods of communication we should use.

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We realized how valuable and how important live performances that we used to take for granted are. We're so glad we realized that.



――Before this show, you will be releasing your new song "SPICE" as a digital single on July 15th. Thank you so much for going as far as to write a song for our site SPICE.

All: Ahahaha (laughs).


――All jokes aside, I heard you wrote this song as the theme song for the original animated short 『XPICE』 by XFLAG.

RINA: Yes. We received an offer saying they wanted SCANDAL to make the music for the anime they were making. We participated in it starting from the initial planning meeting.


――SCANDAL has made written quite a bit of tie-up songs so far, but to make the song after participating in even the planning meeting?

RINA: This was the first time. That's why making it in itself was interesting, and I was happy that they felt so strongly about our sound and asked for it.


――Basically, your new song "SPICE" is a work that was co-produced by this anime and SCANDAL?

RINA: That's right. The story of the anime contains a theme about recognizing differences and accepting them. We're an all-girl band in this scene dominated by male-band and have continued to search hard for our style. That part overlapped with the anime. In 『XPICE』, there are heroes with their own special powers but no one is satisfied with themselves. They're heroes who, at the same time, hold complexes about themselves—they're not invincible. We really sympathized with that very human aspect. All of the characters are wondering, "What's so good about me?" So, I included those weaknesses and complexes as if I was writing about myself. As there's no dialogue in the anime, I hope the lyrics can play the role of lines that tell the story.


――So the lyrics are also straightforward.

RINA: With the help of anime, we wanted to deliver a universal and straightforward message at this point in time. I think the next thing that we will release as SCANDAL has taken a proper shape.


――When was the recording done?

MAMI: We had been working on the song since last year, so we finished recording in mid-February. Its release was coordinated with the progress of the anime.

TOMOMI: We were quite picky about the sequence before the intro and tried a lot of patterns out. I think this was also a new approach for us. The sound itself is our standard sound.

HARUNA: The lyrics are straightforward and full of lines that make you go, "I totally get that." I think this song can really hit home for those right now who are finding it hard to stay positive, and those who are worried about who they are as normal life returns little by little. If this can help listeners even a little, they can affirm the meaning of their existence. Though this song was made after we accepted this offer from the anime staff, I'm happy that we were able to make something that fits well into the world right now.

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We don't want to forever feel like we were completely happy with our previous shows―we want to keep being reborn.



――I have a question related to the song's title. What is a SPICE that's important to SCANDAL?

TOMOMI: I wonder? I have no idea (laughs).

RINA: I don't think it's important to make something your "SPICE," but I would have to say that being an all-girl band has naturally become our SPICE. The band scene's still a male-dominated one, so the existence of SCANDAL, who actively thinks about how all-girl bands should be, is a "SPICE" in the band world.


――Personally, I feel that since you launched your private label "her," SCANDAL has been releasing lyrics that contain an intense SPICE.

RINA: That has changed. I think that's what comes forth because our label staff lets us be free.


――SCANDAL is currently preparing for the livestream on August 21st, the band's 14th anniversary. I've heard that the performance, setlist, and production will be an exact one-night only reproduction of your domestic tour that was canceled.

HARUNA: Yes. It'll be a complete reproduction of the tour we were supposed to start in March. Since it's a livestream, we had to think about how to show it in a completely different way. After all, we want to first and foremost deliver what we prepared for, and what seemed like would be our best tour yet. So, we will do everything we prepared for.


――Will you be wearing the outfits made for the tour?

HARUNA: Yes.

MAMI: That's because that and our set had been completed.

RINA: Since our domestic tour was canceled before we got to use these, we'll be using all of it for the livestream. That's why we rented a hall for this show and will set up around 20 cameras. I think you'll be content with it even watching it via video on the other side of the screen.

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We want to build up feelings from scratch and send forth fun ones. We hope to show a new side of SCANDAL that goes along with the current state of the world.



――How do you feel about it right now?

HARUNA: We're looking forward to it.

RINA: As we prepare for this day, we want to build up feelings from scratch and send forth fun ones.

MAMI: This is also unknown territory for us, so we're really looking forward to it. When we announced that we're playing a show that will be livestreamed, we included a comment saying, "Everyone will be front row. There's no limit on capacity." We of course are feeling positive about this show, and our audience/fans who will be watching it are also staying very positive, so that has doubled the fun. I'm sure there are also people who think "A show's not a show if you can't go to it in person," but we're happy to know that there are people who are really looking forward to it.

TOMOMI: We're overjoyed that we finally get to show what we wanted to show everyone. Since our tour was scheduled to be over 30 dates, we have the drive to pack that passion into this one night.


――Please tell us if there are any highlights unique to doing a livestream.

HARUNA: First of all, we took a different approach with our album Kiss from the darkness itself. It was made based on the idea that it's only natural for human beings to have both light and dark sides to them. We wanted to properly express that flow with our tour as well, so we put together a setlist with the idea of wanting to show a side of SCANDAL that hasn't been felt before. That's why it'd be great if that gets properly conveyed through the screen. I think those changes can be seen more calmly through the screen. In that way, being able to pursue the depth of live shows is something unique to livestreams.


――I see. Will you be performing your new song "SPICE" during the show?

HARUNA: We will.


――I'm interested in your activities after this show.

RINA: We have many ideas for what we want to do! We hope to show a new side of SCANDAL that goes along with the current state of the world.





*RINA was surprised by the writer writing the line "Their title of being an 'all-girl band' that was a complex for them has now become a huge weapon for them," as she tweeted "Ehー!? We've never thought that being an all-girl band is a "complex" of oursーfront-page - SPICE - SCANDAL's "SPICE" Interview 1f602" and also mentioned it in her recent vlog (8:55). Looks like the writer took too much liberty/misunderstood things.



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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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Re: SPICE - SCANDAL's "SPICE" Interview
Posted on Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:38 pm

confusedinupstatenewyork

confusedinupstatenewyork

Shiroten Performer
Shiroten Performer
I realized that choosing to spend time at home is not the same as staying home after being told to not leave it.

Oof, I felt that.



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Re: SPICE - SCANDAL's "SPICE" Interview
Posted on Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:31 pm

Electric Mami

Electric Mami

Caless Student
Caless Student
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJbn0-S0451TiOIhsU9ISDQ
the idea of mentionning them as a all-girl band being a complex of the past is totally a misunderstanding yeah. they didn't say that, they rather said it was harder to stand out through a male-dominated music scene. did i get it right ? xD
also thanks for such a long and accurate work on this translation, i had a lot of pleasure reading it ~

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