SPICE - SCANDAL's and Hump Back's Joint Interview
Posted Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:01 am

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SCANDAL and Hump Back - What these two different types of bands have in common are establishing their own personalities, mutual presences, and the future of their bands
SPICE - SCANDAL's and Hump Back's Joint Interview D7ek1IY




Hump Back and SCANDAL were to have held a joint concert called "Tsuyoku Naru Oto" (強く鳴る音; A Stronger Sound, but can also be read/interpreted as A Strongly Resounding Sound) on June 6th at Osaka-Jo Ongakudo (Osaka Castle Music Hall). The performance was postponed due to requests to refrain from holding it, and it was just announced that it will now be held on July 12th and moved to Zepp Namba. Although both bands have something in common as all-girl bands that formed in Osaka, they have been active in different music scenes and haven't had much contact with each other. This conversation started as a face-to-face project to get to know each other's bands. Held online, Satoko Nii, who is the DJ of FM802's "SATURDAY AMUSIC ISLANDS MORNING EDITION" radio program, acted as the interviewer and delved into topics such as how Hump Back sent an offer to SCANDAL for this performance; worries unique to bands; and commonalities, as well as their influences on each other and their enthuasiasm for "Tsuyoku Naru Oto."





●An impression that they're in "different places" despite both being all-girl bands●



──SCANDAL formed in 2006 and Hump Back in 2009, which isn't too far apart, but to me, it feels like you're on different planets. That's why I'm very excited, and though I'm also wondering, "Why are these two bands playing together?" Misaki (Hump Back / Drums), you were the first one who suggested it - what do you think?

Misaki: Both bands are from Osaka and are made up entirely of female members, and when we performed on the same day at "MONSTER baSH 2017" and saw them live for the first time, I thought they were really cool.

RINA: That was the first time we appeared at the same event together.

HARUNA: I saw Hump Back live once at an event at Toyosu PIT. That was the time frame when I was unsure about our own live performances. My sense of values towards live performances changed thanks to that concert, so I remember thinking I wanted to perform with them some day. However, I didn't know if they were aware of us, and like Nii said, it felt like they were in a different place than us despite us both being all-girl bands. So, I was both surprised and happy to be invited to play this concert together.

Momoko Hayashi (Hump Back / Vocals): It can be said that SCANDAL is a forerunner of all-girl bands, and since the band consists of four members singing while playing instruments, the image I had of them was that they were a band that doesn't have to worry about their live performances. Even now I'm impressed with how they take every live performances into consideration, and I'm proud that Hump Back's existence could be one of those small impetuses.



──Actually, I thought that you guys had something in common with Momo's and HARU's MCs because there are moments when you're drawn in to your words and enthusiasm. I'm just excited to see what it'll be like when your two bands perform together.




●Differences in sound creation created by differences in the number of people●


──June 6th, which was when this joint concert was first to be held, is actually "Instrument Day."

All: Really?!



──Being bands that play musical instruments, please tell us your impressions of each other. Let's start with the drummers.

RINA: The number of people in the bands is visibly different. I think a three-piece band gives off a different vibe because each part must be filled with the sounds of each person.



──Misaki, do you think there are differences?

Misaki: I think that the feeling of playing the drums is the same whether there's three or four people (laughs). I used to play drums for a ska band, and compared to that, the difference is that the sound you hear is reduced.



──That's interesting. Next, the bassists - what do you guys think?

TOMOMI: I think there definitely are differences between three- and four-piece bands. Occasionally, HARUNA will put down her guitar and the other three of us will play music. When that happens, I play more stoically than usual.

Pika (Hump Back / Bassist): I was in a different, four-piece band before, but since I'm now so used to being in a three-piece band, I think it would be difficult to find a good balance with the drums if we were to add one more element of sound.



──This is a bit amateur of me to ask, but the bass needs to feel like it's moving together with the drums; however, is it possible to concentrate on the sound of the guitar and get caught up by it?

Pika: It is easy, but it doesn't really happen for me since the sound of the guitar is lowered down a lot in my in-ear monitors (laughs).

TOMOMI: Conversely, I raise those sounds quite a bit since I feel more excited when I can hear MAMI's guitar sounds. Because I also sing, it's easier to hear the melody. We're different in that regard.




──Those who've never played in a band before may wonder how they can make their first sound when everyone's sounds can be hear evenly, and there are differences in sounds they want to pick up. How about the guitarists next?

MAMI: I haven't gotten to see Hump Back live yet, but I have seen their live recordings on video hosting sites. I think it's a very easy-to-listen sound even if you're good at making guitar phrases. I like to make guitar phrases that are playful and based on the chorus or rhythm guitar, but I'm not very good at making phrases that gives a song one theme. For me, the most important part of a song is its intro, and Hump Back's songs have some impressive intro phrases. There are quite a lot of simple compositions that come in again after the choruses, which makes songs easy to remember and feels pleasant.

Hayashi: I'm happy to be praised since I'm really bad at the guitar. I think there's a simplicity because there's a limit to what I can do. Also, since I like singing and melodies, I often play melodies as single notes. On the contrary, I have an impression of SCANDAL's sound making being flawless.

MAMI: Surprisingly, that's become an issue now. As I've gotten older, I've started to think about wanting to have a gap for someone to enter—or rather, a gap where we can have flexibility, so I'm trying things out. I'm envious of your guys' simplicity and strength since you guys have always been in full swing.



──Do you two use different guitars? Mamitasu uses a Fender one, right?

MAMI: Right now I'm using a Fender as well as a Les Paul.

Hayashi: I use a Gibson. My main guitar has changed recently.



──This is also an amateur-ish question, but why do you change your guitar depending on the song?

MAMI: The sounds are completely different. To us, Fender feels like the so-called guitar sounds that everyone knows us for. Guitarists who play guitar solos or single note phrases often use Fenders because they sound good. On the other hand, I have an impression of Gibsons producing thick and strong sounds suitable for chords and riffs. Of course, some Fenders also produce strong sounds, and different microphones that pick up the sound of the strings can produce both strong and refreshing sounds. Since it depends on the wood and shape of the guitar, I can't say that's always the case.




──Ultimately, it's about compatibility. Next, I'd like to focus on singing.

HARUNA: When I saw them live, I thought that Momoko conveyed her pure feelings towards music so easily and without adding in stray thoughts. She has an insanely emotional voice with all kinds of emotions that resonate with you when she's MCing and when she's singing. She's good at singing aloud exactly what she feels at the time.

Hayashi: That makes me happy. When I listen to SCANDAL's recent songs, I feel that your voice has gotten stronger, HARUNA. Is that something you're aware of?

HARUNA: The way I sing has changed quite a bit compared to when we debuted. I went to voice training to be able to sing for a longer time, and since SCANDAL often plays songs with different melodies, I think I now I have a way of singing and a voice tone that can handle that.

Hayashi: I have a strong impression that you've learned to use different ways of using your voice depending on the song. There are parts where you can really feel a femininity, and conversely, there are also parts where you can feel strength.



──Although both of you are completely different types of vocalists, you can feel that there's a supple strength to you.





●Obstacles to being an "all-girl band" and how they each overcome them●

SPICE - SCANDAL's and Hump Back's Joint Interview AkFRmMm


──This is a world where gender doesn't matter, but since things are often tough for women, being in a band as your profession oftentimes feels like you're being tested.

Hayashi: You want your music to be heard properly because you're an all-girl band, and you want your live performances to be seen, but there are things aside from those as well.

RINA: We've experienced those things so many times before. Because we didn't have any money and couldn't even get stage outfits when we first started, we wore our respective school uniforms for live performances and to the studio for practice. Those from record labels/managing offices saw that and said that that unbalanced feeling was fun. so we debuted in our school uniforms. As that overlapped with the scene where idols were wearing school uniforms while doing music activities, some people used the word "idol" as a kind of negative word in the band scene, saying things like, "SCANDAL's not a band—they're idols." Because we have respect for both idols and those in bands, we've always thought that that's such a lame thing to say. However, as we continued to be told that, we were proud that we had both those elements and realized that it was part of who we are, so we gradually wanted to adapt a band style that's fun to watch and listen to.

Hayashi: That's so cool.

RINA: Of course, we also had many hard times. We couldn't become friends with those in bands. Even if we did want to appear at festivals, we'd be told that SCANDAL isn't a band that plays at festivals. We also couldn't even appear in music magazines. There was a time when we thought we had no place to belong to, but then we decided to continue doing things ourselves and create our own world.

Hayashi: That's definitely been established now.

RINA: I'm happy to hear that!



──I just remembered this. At a festival, SCANDAL said, "We don't want our fans to feel ashamed," which made me cry. After knowing where you stand, I'm sure there was a pressure to play in places that didn't feel like home while also cherishing your fans. I feel that SCANDAL has gotten stronger after overcoming all that. What about for Hump Back?

Hayashi: After being put under the care of the current president of our company, we've often gotten to appear with all-guys' bands. At one of those events I said something like, "Don't look down on us because we're women!" I regretted what I said and thought, "I'm using the word 'women' as a weapon - I'm just selfishly getting myself hyped up using gender-related words," and I haven't said it since then. When I stopped saying it, I didn't care at all.

HARUNA: Hump Back's live performance has been hardened by years of experience, and when I saw it, it really resonated with me. Of course, you guys didn't say anything about men or women, but even so, that night I was shown the correct answer how to face myself as a woman. So, like I said earlier, from that point on I feel it's been useful for the way I act when on stage. I think I was really influenced by it.

Hayashi: That makes me happy to hear. I hope that the girls of the next generation can create an environment that makes it easier for them to play in bands.





●A band's #1 strength is continuing on without losing any members●


SPICE - SCANDAL's and Hump Back's Joint Interview GerDWpo


──The title of this joint concert is "Tsuyoku Naru Oto," which also has the word "resound" in it. What do you think it means to become stronger as a band?

MAMI: Since there was a period of time for us like what RINA talked about, our mentality remains the same even now. I don't think we would have lasted this long if things had been smooth sailing for us. The way we formed was also unique, and from that time on our debut was secured as we worked towards it. In a sense, it's like we were raised in a greenhouse/protected environment. At first I thought the guitar was a disposable item and you would throw it away once the strings broke - that's the level I was at (laughs). Having that kind of past may be one of our complexes, but by all four us getting the same start and having gained the same experience this whole time, we've become stronger by clearing obstacles one by one.

Hayashi: I think it's difficult to get out of the greenhouse like you had mentioned, but it's really cool that the four of you have always been together. That's SCANDAL's biggest strength.

HARUNA: We were allowed to perform at festivals little by little, and just by seeing the moment when our music reached the fans of different bands made me think we can still keep it up; we're not at all satisfied yet. We can get even better—we want to. That's what we've always continued to think.


──Hump Back, what do you talk about when discussing the band's future?

Hayashi: We don't discuss things that seriously (laughs). We have a lot of small goals, but having a live performance with the three of us has always been our strongest goal.

HARUNA: Same for us!

RINA: I totally agree (laughs).




──Please continue being bands! I've talked to SCANDAL about this before, but even from a global perspective all-girl bands are short-lived and many disband, so I'd be grateful if you guys continued being bands for at least another year.

MAMI: Are you crying?



──I'm not—this is sweat! Keep doing well..... I was very happy getting to see your mutual respect for each other. Lastly, please tell us your enthusiasm for the joint concert!

Pika: We'll give it our best.

TOMOMI: It's such an honor just to be invited. When it was first announced and we took a look at Twitter, we saw there were a lot of people happy about this joint concert. I'm excited to see if we have any things in common. I'm glad we were able able to talk today, and I can't wait for the day of the concert.

MAMI: I'm really looking forward to seeing Hump Back live! We'll do our best with our live performance and hope to cause a good chemical reaction.

RINA: I'm also really looking forward to it, and I'll concentrate on listening to Misaki's drumming on that day! I want to make this a day for those wondering how SCANDAL and Hump Back met despite being completely different types of bands.

Hayashi: It'll be explosive!

HARUNA: Together with the heroes Hump Back, we hope to both save those who come to the concert and put on performances that'll blow away the stress of everyday life and all of the pent-up feelings they're shouldering.

Misaki: We'll do our best!


──Thank you. SCANDAL will return to Osaka-Jo Hall for their 15th anniversary on Saturday, August 21st. Hump Back will return to Osaka-Jo Hall on Saturday, November 13th for the second consecutive year. For Kansai bands, Osaka-Jo Hall really is quite the symbolic thing. I'm really looking forward to these too.

SPICE - SCANDAL's and Hump Back's Joint Interview NpiAoXk



SPICE - SCANDAL's and Hump Back's Joint 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 2015.4.25 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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BMC

BMC

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As a relative Scandal noob, can someone help me understand what Rina is talking about here, please?

As that overlapped with the scene where idols were wearing school uniforms while doing music activities, some people used the word "idol" as a kind of negative word in the band scene, saying things like, "SCANDAL's not a band—they're idols." Because we have respect for both idols and those in bands, we've always thought that that's such a lame thing to say. However, as we continued to be told that, we were proud that we had both those elements and realized that it was part of who we are, so we gradually wanted to adapt a band style that's fun to watch and listen to.

Of course, we also had many hard times. We couldn't become friends with those in bands. Even if we did want to appear at festivals, we'd be told that SCANDAL isn't a band that plays at festivals. We also couldn't even appear in music magazines. There was a time when we thought we had no place to belong to, but then we decided to continue doing things ourselves and create our own world.


Is it just a case of classic sexism in the music industry or is the Japanese scene worse than the Western scene (which, by no means, is much better)?



Brian from Atlanta. Band-Maid: MISA/Akane Scandal: Rina/Mami
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thoseguiltyeyes

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BMC wrote:As a relative Scandal noob, can someone help me understand what Rina is talking about here, please?

SCANDAL had their major label debut in 2008 and wore school uniforms for every public appearance and performance from then until 2011. That was the same time that idol groups such as AKB48 were extremely popular, and they too wore school uniforms for their public appearances and performances. IMO, SCANDAL's and AKB's outfits did look extremely similar to each other's, particularly in the latter half of 2010.

Back then especially idols were seen as kind of gimmicky (their dancing and singing were mostly subpar, they have "no dating" rules, etc.) and a lot of...creepy guys, I guess you could say, liked idols. They definitely had more of a negative image attached to them, and I think you could say they still do.

So, since both SCANDAL and idols wore school uniforms, a lot of people, especially regular people, just automatically assumed SCANDAL were idols too rather than a rock band. I know some people who thought this very thing. It wasn't until they ditched the uniforms in 2011 that they started being seen just as a band and not idols.



SPICE - SCANDAL's and Hump Back's Joint 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 2015.4.25 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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