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XFLAG×SCANDAL: An interview about the original animated short "XPICE" | The themes of "courage and understanding" and "battling together" expressed in music × video

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"XPICE," the original animated short sent out via the collaboration between XFLAG and all-girl band SCANDAL, is out on YouTube.

It features the star hero Red Pepper and rookie hero Wasabi. Wasabi, who possesses a healing ability but has lost confidence due to the gap between herself and the image of a hero she has in her head, takes action when her comrade's in trouble――That is the rough outline of "XPICE."

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With the themes of "courage and understanding" and "battling together," this animation that depicts the success and growth of the heroes features no spoken dialogue but the fusion of music and video makes it a moving work.

We held a discussion between SCANDAL, the band in charge of the music, and "XPICE" producer Hiroaki Kato.

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What are the themes of "XPICE"? And the reason for offering the job to SCANDAL...

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――Please tell us how this project began.

Hiroaki Kato: My company's main content is the mobile game "Monster Strike," and this project began as a result of wanting to create new content that could be delivered to the world in a different way. We first decided to start with something short, and we thought about doing a 4-5 minute animated short with no dialogue.

We realized that the power of music is indispensible for expressing what you want to convey, and after talking it over with the director and team we thought that it'd be better to express it in a form that resembled a music video.



――Is that when SCANDAL became a candidate?

Kato: Though we're borrowing the power of music, we knew exactly what we wanted to draw and express, and that was "courage and understanding" and "battling together." SCANDAL was the first band that came to mind when we thought about how it'd be great to work with an artist who understands and expresses those themes, so we immediately made them an offer.

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――You were a SCANDAL fan to begin with, right?

Kato: Yes. I've been been as a fan since their 5th album STANDARD (released in 2013). Also, when I listened to their 6th album HELLO WORLD (released in 2014), I was quite shocked.

This album features solo songs with each member writing their own music + lyrics and doing lead vocals for. I was fascinated by this individuality and how wide their range of expression is.

I've been listening to them since then, and last year I saw them live at Victor Rock Matsuri 2019. When I heard "Masterpiece," it made me realize how they keep evolving and that they'd fit the theme of this short.



――While each member has their own distinct personality, they produce a great power when they come together as a band, and that certainly matches the project. SCANDAL, what did you think when you received the offer?

HARUNA: Just like what was just mentioned, he presented us with a very passionate offer.

He knew our songs and told us that our individual strengths would match this project.

We were happy that, on top of knowing our personalities, he gave us this offer. Also, above all we were happy that he named SCANDAL [as the band to go with].



――You certainly didn't have a reason to decline it.

HARUNA: Not at all. At the initial meeting they showed us the storyboard and the character profiles in detail, which also made it easy to imagine how it'd turn out.

TOMOMI: When we were shown the storyboard, we knew what it would be about and that it'd be perfect for our current era.

Although they're heroes, they aren't overwhelmingly strong but instead carry their own complexes. We sympathized with how they're battling enemies while grappling with their inferiority complexes. In this current era we must live our lives while acknowledging a wide variety of things such as racial discrimination, so it was exactly what we wanted to see right now.

That's why it really rang true for us, and why at the meeting we considered it to be an honor to be able to do this together.

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――MAMI wrote the music for "SPICE" while RINA wrote the lyrics.

MAMI: Like what HARUNA said, I first and foremost was happy that they chose us.

During the meeting I already had the image of the song in my head, so that was also very easy to understand. I was able to write it smoothly since the song that they mentioned as a reference was also a tune we're good at doing.

RINA: There was a clear message I wanted to convey when we heard about the story during the meeting, so I thought it'd be great if the lyrics could play a role in this story of an animated short with no dialogue.

But because of the animation, I think I was able to put the message directly into words. It was very rewarding due to how exciting it was; the people on the "XPICE" team were enthusiastic and warm-hearted; and above all, I was happy that they sought out our music. Ever since that meeting we were so excited to make this with them (laughs).



――This truly is a creative piece of work, but I heard that it had so much passion at its base, which had a lot of influence on every aspect.

RINA: At that meeting they told us what was just mentioned, and told us why they wanted SCANDAL for this project and to add our music to this story.

They also showed us a video of the storyboard, and I wrote down lyrics as I watched it. At the meeting they said, "We also have an image of breaking out of one's shell and leaping out into the world," which is why I put that exact line "Leap out of this confined world" in the chorus.

I jotted down the words that came up during the meeting and turned them into lyrics.

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――I'd love to see the material [they showed you].

RINA: It was so impressive!

Kato: It's a little embarrassing looking at it now, but I think we put in all kinds of thoughts into it in advance.

RINA: That made me happy, though!

Kato: We also told them that a song we referenced was specifically what we were going for. If anything, I told them in words what the team and I were thinking.

Also, the production team and I got to see SCANDAL perform live a few days before that. The words conveyed during the planning meeting were written again after watching that performance...

At that show, HARUNA said, "We're all walking the path of life together, so come see us if you feel down or depressed." The nuances might have been a little different than that, but I thought that what she said was really cool.

I wanted to make a work that would inspire me to support the people who see it, so I was inspired by HARUNA's words and compiled the material in my own way.

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What kind of thoughts did SCANDAL put into "SPICE"?

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――You mentioned earlier that you had the story and storyboard video done, but did the animation production start before the song's production?

Kato: The actual CG work was done after we talked to SCANDAL, but we started building the worldview and story in advance.

MARZA ANIMATION PLANET, who did the animating, and Spooky graphic, who did the character designs, were originally partners who we worked with on the "Monster Strike" anime, and to an extent we all shared the same image of what we wanted to make. So, we were going ahead with what we could do.

So, although it was at the storyboard stage, we made a video storyboard and showed them the story and development.



――What was it like when you received the song?

Kato: I was so impressed at how cool it was. Originally, we told them as a reference that what we wanted was close to "A.M.D.K.J.", and they made us a new song that closely follows the story.

It really does straightforwardly convey the message that we wanted to convey. When we received it, we immediately put it with the video storyboard. I was so obsessed with it and felt that the video's appeal increased. The entire team was impressed and so grateful.

MAMI: "A.M.D.K.J." is easy to understand, and since we wanted to make something new for ourselves as well, I took those flavors into consideration and made it quite freely while taking a look at the short's images and material (laughs).

Personally, I wasn't all too serious about it, but I wanted to make a song that has both yin and yang to it. When I started writing it, I was able to go all out with writing the demo for it.

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――It certainly has a pretty heavy sound to it. What did you take into consideration, performance-wise?

TOMOMI: Sound-wise, we aimed for our classic sound. Also, the speed of it; I made my bass hum while imagining the sound flying through the air (laughs).

RINA: The finished song puts the rhythm section at the forefront, with the drums also being very dense and powerful. Like the bass, the speed is important but it also feels dense.

MAMI: The guitar tone is done with the same equipment we've used so far, but the chord progression feels like nothing we've done before. We're using pretty stylish chords like a seventh chord.

Also, I play while paying attention to my ensemble with HARUNA. That was done by Keita Kawaguchi, who has arranged our songs for a long time. The Kawaguchi-ness of it is amazing (laughs).

HARUNA: It contains our classic band sound and effects done to the vocals. By doing so, we thought that we could get closer to the sound and the animation.

We thought it'd be great if it could reach a variety of people, such as anime fans who don't usually listen to bands, so that's what we took into consideration.

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――It's true that the video has a digital feel to it, so it might feel familiar to some. As for the lyrics, how did you interpret them?

Kato: I was so moved by the line "Tears are the best spice." We created this worldview and characters using spices as motifs, and they interpreted it in the way that they did and expressed it so tenderly!

I was happy that they got close to each character and really expressed them, including their weaknesses. It's such a powerful, tender song.



――It was probably easy to write it in this theme of moving forward while each person faces their weaknesses and complements one another.

RINA: Yes. Like what TOMOMI talked about earlier, amidst the human rights issues and gender issues going on in the world, we continue to be band while considering things like that as part of our identity as well. That's why we could include that into the lyrics.

There are people of various races and religions among our fans, so we hoped that this song could reach those people as well.

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Pay attention to the deep worldview of "XPICE," and the future Spices!?

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――Please give us your thoughts on "XPICE," which is a combination of your own music with an animated short.

HARUNA: To start with, we were shocked at how beautiful the short is. Since it started from a video storyboard, we were shocked at how such amazing animation came about! The lyrics take the place of dialogue, which is what we said ourselves, but we were impressed at how well they match it. I cried a little (laughs).

MAMI: The quality of the animation is simply amazing; I was pulled straight into this animated world. I don't why, but I cried too!

I thought that this work matched us as a band and our own individual thoughts. Stuff like the billboards and passers-by are so detailed. You can enjoy it over and over again!

TOMOMI: I don't meant to persist, but I also cried (laughs). You can feel the kindness of it, and you can feel the characters' changes of heart very clearly.

The colors and details are so stylish, cool, and beautiful. Wasabi-chan's final attack is also very beautiful. I wanted to take a picture of it! It was wonderful! I also felt like I could smell scents coming from the video.

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――It certainly has a big sense of reality.

Kato: We were particular about that. Characters are expressed in distorted ways in fictional worlds, but this is a world where characters are properly living and breathing. Since we wanted to express that in reality, the entire team worked hard on the finer details.

RINA: I watched it again while on the train and almost cried (laughs). I was surprised at the delicacy of the character's facial expressions. Their feelings are very much conveyed.

This made me feel once again how great touching animation can be. I thought it was awesome that the townscape doesn't give off any nationality and could be in any country.

I heard that this work combines cutting-edge CG technology and the feeling of hand-drawn animation. Despite it being cutting-edge, it has roundness and warmth, and the animation has a human touch to it. The message permeated the very animation itself.

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――SCANDAL also appears in it.

RINA: That made us so happy!

MAMI: We were so touched.

HARUNA: We made something ourselves that looks like the poster of us hanging in Wasabi-chan's room (laughs).



――Regarding video production, did you put "SPICE" into the original video storyboard and complete it while making further changes?

Kato: Yes. When we received the song it already matched the video storyboard we had. Based on the impressions we got from the song, we fine-tuned the facial expressions and gestures. After that, we matched the timing of video switching to the sound, which felt good.

What we got from the song was the work's climax point where Wasabi awakens and is surprised by her own power.

Actually, she originally was going to stand up quickly, but as the band sings the line "I don't know what I can do" at that exact point in time, we decided it was better to make it a scene where she was testing her power to see what she can do now.

I hope Wasabi's expression comes off as her gradually gaining confidence she didn't have before.



――Depending on the timestamp, the lyrics really flow in well.

Kato: I wonder if there was a synergistic effect beyond what we initially thought. We considered the theme of the work itself because we wanted to depict the importance of working together with different forces, and we also wanted to embody that in the project itself.

I wanted to prove that the result of our companies working together as partners, including SCANDAL, and the strengths of many people combined, and that we could turn out something amazing. I hope we were able to do so.



――What caught my eye during the ending are the friends of Red Pepper and Wasabi. Could you tell us about them?

Kato: One is named Garlic, and the other one―the girl―is named Mint. If we get the chance, we'd love to make a story that includes them.





――There are so many kinds of spices, so it seems like you could keep expanding the story.

Kato: This was done as a stand-alone, but as the depth of the worldview and the conflicts that each character has were created after some planning, we could always make a continuation if we'd like to. So, I would like to keep making them (laughs).



――By the way, what kind of Spices would you like to see in the future? Of course, this does not mean they'll be official.

RINA: Ehー! That's hard to say!

MAMI: By "Spices," does that apply only to heroes?

Kato: No, the villains also have their own characteristic spices. The green and purple-colored enemy in the ending is named Shiso.

All: (laughs)

MAMI: A villain with the name "Garam Masala" would be cool (laughs).

TOMOMI: "Cinnamon" would be nice. But I'd really like to see a sequel [to "XPICE"]. I'm interested in so many things like learning about Garlic, and the cat that popped up in the middle of the animation.

HARUNA: My favorite spice is horseradish. It's a versatile spice that can be used in both Japanese and Western dishes. Plus, they could be Wasabi-chan's friend (laughs)!

RINA: I'm Googling spices/types right now; let's see... I'd like to see a character named Ginger.

Kato: Actually, we designed a character like that. We haven't decided on model reference sheets yet.

RINA: So there is a character named that! I would like to see Ginger.



――We're looking forward to seeing a sequel where these Spices play an active part!




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

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Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN 1f602" and also mentioned it in her recent vlog (8:55). Looks like the writer took too much liberty/misunderstood things.

MAMI's & RINA's comments about "SPICE" - Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:47 am

Here are MAMI's and RINA's comments about "SPICE" that were posted on the XPICE video :


I too have parts of me that I don't like and parts that I feel are inferior to others. I have a lot of things that trouble me,
But as I wrote the music for this song while watching the animation, my way of thinking about my strengths and quirks changed.
Everyone has something that only they can do, and there is definitely someone out there who is seeking that.
Those quirks of yours might be seen as something wonderful by someone else.

I think there are many people who are struggling with their feelings in that same way.
It may not be easy, but it'd be wonderful to be a person who has the courage to think positively about themselves and come to love themselves little by little. That is the kind of person I want to be.

It made me very happy that SCANDAL was offered the chance to have our music set to this theme.
There are many feelings that overlap with both the XPICE story, us as a band, and us as individuals. Watching this animated short together with our song makes me cry. haha
We have created a song that can give you strength when you're feeling defeated or want to look away.
May both it and the animation reach people around the worldー! (MAMI)



We got to collaborate with the XPICE team after receiving a passionate, fervent request from them. I'm so happy about that!
We participated in this work starting from when it was in its early stages. While we were in a conference room hearing about the concept and the image they had for a song, pieces of the lyrics came floating into my mind one after another.
Everyone showed such great energy with this work. We too were very excited.
The characters in this animation are heroes battling while grappling with their own inferiorities.
Having the kindness and strength to be able to coexist by accepting one's weakness and the differences between one's self and others—these are the heroes we need during this point in time.

Since there is no dialogue, we wrote this song while keeping in mind the "lyrics" that convey the variety and message of this animation.

Its title is "SPICE." I was able to straightforwardly give a reply to this straightforward story.

P.S. We submitted this song last December. When the XPICE team sent a reply to us on the 25th saying, "Thank you so much for the best Christmas present ever!", we went numb.
I'm very happy to have collaborated with such a warm and exciting team. (RINA)


Posted in: Official Releases  Topic: MAMI's & RINA's comments about "SPICE"  Replies: 66  Views: 2817

SPICE - 2020-07-16 (RINA) - Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:49 am

SPICE
Theme:RINA

Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN UUAxuNl

Our new song's out! The animated short too!
That being said,
Yesterday, we did a livestream on YouTube
And talked about lots of things〜!
Thanks to everyone who watched〜!




Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN 8ZixR43

Producer/
Creative director Kato-san
And director Nakai-san
From the production team at XFLAG joined us
And we streamed it in a talk show-style format〜!

It'll be available until 7/17 (Fri) at 23:59 JST,
So those who missed it, or those who want to rewatch it,
Please check it out☺



Watching the completed animation,
I once again thought of how
Truly glad I am that we got to participate
In this beautiful workー!

Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN JM2pRQB

The energy is amazing
When a song and animation are combined.



Comments from me and MAMI have been pinned
In the comments section
Of XFLAG ANIME's
Official YouTube channel.
It would make me happy
If you guys let the XPICE team hear your voices
By also leaving your thoughts in the comments section!

Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN DIqu2Q3


RINA

2020/7/16 15:19

Spoiler:
SPICE


新曲リリース!アニメも公開!
と言うことで、
きのうは、YouTubeから生配信で
いろいろ話していきました〜!
観てくれた方ありがとね〜!



XFLAGの制作チームから、
プロデューサー/
クリエイティブディレクターの加藤さん、
監督の中井さんにもお越し頂いて
対談形式でお送りしました〜!

7/17(金)23:59までアーカイブ残すので
見逃した方、見返したい方は
チェックしてみてください☺



完成したアニメーションを観て、
本当に想いのこもった作品に
参加させてもらえて良かったー!
と、改めて思いました。



曲とアニメが合わさったときの
エネルギー凄い。



XFLAG ANIME公式
YouTubeチャンネルのコメント欄に
MAMIと私からのコメントを
固定してもらっています。
みんなも感想をコメント欄に残して、
XPICEチームに声を届けてもらえると
嬉しいです!




RINA

2020/7/16 15:19

#front-page #spice
Posted in: Blog 2020  Topic: SPICE - 2020-07-16 (RINA)  Replies: 5  Views: 614

【English Subs】SPICE x XPICE - Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:14 pm

【English Subs】SPICE x XPICE



https://streamable.com/ixbjvr


#front-page #spice




Meph1766 wrote:If anyone has this picture in good resolution, please upload it somewhere.


Spoiler:
Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN Xk8yKyK


1280 x 720:
Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN Z6tfJCY
Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN U4dUP5r
Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN 3NSg4go
Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN DVhCJkQ
Posted in: Official Releases  Topic: 【English Subs】SPICE x XPICE  Replies: 66  Views: 2817

Full Version of "XPICE" - Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:11 am

The full version of the animated short "XPICE" is now up on YouTube:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2W295yVVSE


#front-page #spice
Posted in: Official Releases  Topic: Full Version of "XPICE"  Replies: 66  Views: 2817
SCANDAL releases their new song "SPICE"

「It's practically a miracle how we're able to identify with and understand each other」


Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN Nlxw0bM




SCANDAL's new song "SPICE" is the theme song for the original animated short XPICE produced by mixi's XFLAG, known for works such as the mobile game Monster Strike. Featuring an extremely powerful band sound, the music was written by guitarist MAMI and lyrics by drummer RINA.



RINA: The anime team for XPICE has been listening to SCANDAL songs for a long time now, so they presented us with this offer. They showed us a rough cut of the short, and we also got to participate in meetings where the concept of the work and specifics for the music were discussed. We really sympathized with how the two main heroes were both unsatisfied with their own abilities, continuing to fight while harboring complexes about themselves, and how, despite being heroes, they're not invincible. I based the lyrics on that theme.

MAMI: The team has a desire to spread Japanese animation technology to the world. We perform shows overseas, so we sympathized with that attitude. They liked the melody to "A.M.D.K.J.", a song off our album Kiss from the darkness, and requested one like that, so I made it while making subtractions I had never before challenged myself to doing, and while also valuing a powerful melody and band-feel. Also, we also challenged ourselves to put effects over HARUNA's vocals and played around with not having instrumentals in some parts.




The themes of XPICE are "courage and understanding," as well as "fighting together." They are also applicable to SCANDAL's journey in regards to sharing the common link of being in a band, and continuing to create works without stopping.



RINA: The band scene still continues to be a male-dominated one, and how to survive by expressing ourselves in our own way is also one our themes. We were able to sympathize with the fact that the characters in the anime continued to try on their own, and to connect to something like diversity as a bigger theme. This is an era in which the number of people who are knowledgeable about many things is growing and that comprehension is spreading, but I feel that there are still more details that are needed to know. It gave us an opportunity to think about gender, race, and the way each person lives their life. I dared to write very straightforward lyrics this time, but I don't think that would have been possible without the anime offer. After that is when COVID-19 got worse, and it made me feel more strongly that I want to keep making songs that are universal and straightforward.




The line "The tears that spill as you think of someone are the best spice" in the chorus is especially refreshing.



RINA: One of the issues with Kiss from the darkness was that we thought it'd be good if we could properly express our weaknesses through music, as well as express negative phrases. However, it feels like with "SPICE," which was done after our album, is very much connected to it. As our career and ages have advanced, we're starting to feel a sense of discomfort with music that can only be completed while on stage. We thought that we needed a song that lets us go on stage without changing our mentality.




Kiss from the darkness is the first album written after establishing their private label "her." What kind of influence did their experience of showing their frank selves have?



MAMI: What made us the most happy was that people who listened to SCANDAL felt close to us. It's not like we were trying to this until now, but we felt like we had to be strong and had to always be a version of SCANDAL who was always smiling and sunny. This album was one where we thought about how we're living creatures who share the same feelings as everyone else, so that naturally turned into music. There had been a lot of fans who listened to us in preparation for seeing us perform live, but it was also a really big thing that our music became a little more like everyday background music.

TOMOMI: Challenging ourselves to do an acoustic song on that album was difficult, but I'm happy that it doesn't sound too different from our past songs. Also, our artwork recently hasn't featured us—we've instead been collaborating with our favorite creators—so they accept us very naturally in that sense as well.




Even if words aren't spoken, everyone has respect for each other.

It's been 14 years since their formation. "Courage and understanding" and "fighting together" are also important factors in sustaining the band.




RINA: All four of us have completely different personalities and strengths. We accept each other's good points and weak points and forgive each other. We're the first people who are likely to forgive each other any number of times. That's why we can always be together, and why it's not possible for us to play music if it's not the four of us doing so. To speak in extremes, there are only two options: to continue on as SCANDAL, or to stop being a band altogether. This band has no options for someone to withdraw, nor to have another member join (laughs).

HARUNA: It's a courageous thing to continue on, and I think it's practically a miracle how, while being in a different mode year by year, we are able to identify with and understand each other. Each day we're happy to be able to see each other and our staff. In the midst of recently being limited in what we can do, the four of us thought about what we could do and released 'Living in the city' right away. It's really important to have the courage to deal with many different things.

MAMI: Everyone has respect for each other—we don't need to put it in words. Even if it's a scary thing to release something as an individual artist, the four of us come together to become one individual known as SCANDAL, and when we do so we're filled with a desire to take on new challenges—that holds true because we all have an understanding of that. That's something I've been thinking about in particular recently. As with the launch of "her," we were no longer afraid to take responsibility for the songs and lyrics we make. Ever since we started to write our own songs from scratch, we have naturally become more responsible for our songs.

TOMOMI: I hadn't seen anyone since the pandemic started, and I also hadn't seen the other members in three months. However, I felt that something very important to me was becoming clear. I once again thought of how SCANDAL is the biggest axis for me. Every day I wanted to see the members. Every day I thought about what they were doing, and that I wanted to talk to them. If you think about it, we've been together for about half of our lives so far. But we never get tired of each other (laughs). I wasn't aware of it myself, but I think that courage and understanding sprouted before I knew it. Although it's difficult to continue being a band, it's very easy if you're compatible with each other. I think the most difficult thing is to put together members with good compatibility. That's only because the teachers of the dance school we attended at the time did a good job with selecting the four of us. It's not that difficult for us (laughs).

RINA: We've always been thinking that we can do a little more. It's the same with the results that have been produced, and also with the music we make. We can be come to an agreement depending on the occasion, but I've always wondered that when we're able to do something, that if we can do a little more. As long as that heat remains, I think we can continue doing this. But, after all, I think we're doing a great job to have been an all-girl band for 15 years (laughs).




They will be holding a one-night-only concert via livestream on August 21, the day of the 14th anniversary. They will be reproducing not only their setlist for their tour that was canceled that was supposed to begin in March, but also their outfits, set, videos shown on stage, and lighting.



HARUNA: We do a lot of things on August 21st every year, so we had planned a lot of things. However, we first had to cancel all of the Japan dates on our tour that was supposed to start in March. We were very confident in delivering our album, and we had completely finished dress rehearsals for the tour—all that was left was to go show it to everyone. After all, we really wanted to deliver that live performance to audiences. With the help of our staff, we're able to hold a one-day live performance.

MAMI: You can enjoy an angle that's different from our past livestreams. We're able to put cameras in places we can't put them in when we have a live audience. Everyone is in the front row because it's online, and we can say we have infinite capacity (laughs).

Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN Vmptjmc


SPICE Lyrics - Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:00 pm

Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN Sub3

"SPICE" Lyrics




SPICE
Lyrics: RINA ~ Music: MAMI ~ Arrangement: Keita Kawaguchi

Ima datte tesaguri no mama
Hontou no "jibunrashisa" nante
Kienai rettoukan sae mo
Kekkyoku wa bokura no ichibu datte koto sa

Daijoubu
Mune ni himeta kakugo moyase
Mou, yowasa kara nigetakunai

Mamoritai mono ga tashika ni aru kara
Mata waratte tsukisusunde yukerunda
Tobidashite semai sekai kara
Dareka wo omotte koboreochite yuku
Namida wa kakushiteta supaisu

Kotoba ni sureba suru hodo
Yume kara samete shimaisou
Subete wo seitouka shitain ja nai
Seikai wa hitotsu ja nai tte
Wakari aitai

Daijoubu
Mukidashi no sugata de idome
Mou, kanashimi mo buki ni shite

Akirame kaketa yume wo kanae ni yukou
Nandodatte kono basho de aeru you ni
Kizutsuita bun dake tsuyoku natte
Ashita ni mukatte hashiri tsuzukeyou
Nakusanaide kimi dake no puraido

Harukaze ga fuite namida wo fuite
Kisetsu ga kawatte yuku

Dokomade yukeru ka nante wakaranai kedo
Boku ni nani ga dekiru ka nante wakaranai kedo

Mamoritai mono ga tashika ni aru kara
Mata waratte tsukisusunde yukerunda
Tobidashite semai sekai kara
Dareka wo omotte koboreochite yuku
Namida wa saikou no supaisu

Kana:
今だって手探りのまま
本当の“自分らしさ”なんて
消えない劣等感さえも
結局は僕らの一部だってことさ

大丈夫
胸に秘めた覚悟燃やせ
もう、弱さから逃げたくない

守りたいものが確かにあるから
また笑って突き進んで行けるんだ
飛び出して 狭い世界から
誰かを想って零れ落ちてゆく
涙は隠してたスパイス

言葉にすればする程
夢から醒めてしまいそう
全てを正当化したいんじゃない
正解はひとつじゃないって
分かり合いたい

大丈夫
剥き出しの姿で挑め
もう、悲しみも武器にして

諦めかけた夢を叶えに行こう
何度だってこの場所で会えるように
傷付いた分だけ強くなって
明日に向かって走り続けよう
無くさないで君だけのプライド

春風が吹いて 涙を拭いて
季節が変わってゆく

どこまで行けるかなんて分からないけど
僕に何ができるかなんて分からないけど

守りたいものが確かにあるから
また笑って突き進んで行けるんだ
飛び出して 狭い世界から
誰かを想って零れ落ちてゆく
涙は最高のスパイス


--------------------------

English Translation

You're still struggling
To find who you truly are
Even this sense of inferiority won't go away
After all, it's a part of us

It's all right
Burn the resolve hidden in your heart
You no longer want to run from your weakness

Because you have something you want to protect
You can smile and push forward again
As you leap out of this confined world
And think of someone, the tears that spill
Are a spice that was concealed

The more you speak
The more you'll likely awake from this dream
You don't want to justify everything
You want everyone to understand
That there's no one right answer

It's all right
Take on challenges as you lay yourself bare
Make your sadness a weapon

Let's fulfill our dreams we almost gave up on
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
Don't lose your own pride

The spring breeze blows and wipes the tears away
The seasons change

You don't know how far you can go
I don't know what I can do, but

Because you have something you want to protect
You can smile and push forward again
As you leap out of this confined world
And think of someone, the tears that spill
Are the best spice


Posted in: SCANDAL Lyrics  Topic: SPICE Lyrics  Replies: 3  Views: 1224

Present - 2020-07-14 (RINA) - Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:37 am

Present
Theme:RINA

Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN BIgENJQ

Finally, as of midnight tonight in Japan,
Our new song "SPICE" will be released digitally!




To commemorate that,
We will be doing a giveaway〜!

On Twitter/Instagram,

【#SCANDAL新曲シェアして】 (Sharing SCANDAL's new song)



Those who post
Using that hashtag will be entered into a lottery
And may win a signed sticker☺

It'd make us happy
If you could share with us your impressions of the song〜
The members and our staff
Will be heading out to look for accounts
That use this hashtag...
So tag our band account and member accounts
In your post〜

Let's get things going together
On social media〜!



RINA


2020/7/14 17:08

Spoiler:
プレゼント

PAjbp2sgyH.jpg

いよいよ今夜24:00から
新曲"SPICE"配信スタートします!

それを記念して、
プレゼント企画もするよ〜!

Twitter/Instagramアカウントにて、

【SCANDAL新曲シェアして】



このハッシュタグをつけて
投稿してくれた方の中から抽選で、
サイン入りステッカーをプレゼントします☺

曲の感想など添えて
シェアしてくれたら嬉しいです〜
メンバーとスタッフで
ハッシュタグ付けてくれている
アカウント見に行くので...
オフィシャルとメンバーを
タグ付けして投稿してね〜

SNS上で一緒に
盛り上がりましょ〜う!



RINA


2020/7/14 17:08

#front-page #spice
Posted in: Blog 2020  Topic: Present - 2020-07-14 (RINA)  Replies: 5  Views: 268
Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN JICaQdi

On July 15 from 6:30 pm JST , SCANDAL will be doing a live talk show stream on their YouTube channel to commemorate their new digital single "SPICE"!




Japanese rock band SCANDAL, is set to release their new song SPICE as a digital single on July 15, 2020. The release of the song is going to be commemorated on a special talk show.

The song was written for XFLAG’s cross creative project series. The first project, which is called XPICE, is an original short animation that will be posted on the official YouTube channel of XFLAG ANIME at 7pm on July 15, 2020. From 6:30pm just before the video goes live, SCANDAL will livestream a commemoration talk show on their official YouTube channel.

The live talk show will see SCANDAL explaining what SPICE is all about. The audience will be taken behind the scenes to find out how the themes, setting and characters were created. SCANDAL will also be joined by special guests Hiroaki Kato and Tsubasa Nakai, who are key figures on the animation side of the project. Hiroaki Kato from mixi, Inc. is both the producer and creative director of the project while Tsubasa Nakai from Marza Animation Planet Inc. worked on the staging and animation, pulling together all the small details and directing the outstanding CG animation graphics.

The talk show is an exciting opportunity to see how SCANDAL’s song collided with XSPICE to create a breathtaking audio and visual experience.


https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/339683




Information:

Program title: Commemorating the release of SCANDAL's new song "SPICE"! A special just before the premiere of XFLAG's original animated short 「XPICE」

Date: 2020/7/15 (Wed) 18:30 JST~

Link: https://youtu.be/4AY5DYaTx3k






#front-page #spice

【Radio Rip】SPICE - Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:55 pm

Posted in: Official Releases  Topic: 【Radio Rip】SPICE  Replies: 66  Views: 2817
We're releasing a new song!
Theme:RINA

Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN Nlxw0bM

Ta-da!
We finally have a release date
For the new song we've been steadily working on
Since last year〜!

2020.07.15 Digital Single "SPICE"
Will be released!




This song was born via a collaboration with XFLAG,
A company that produces all sorts of things
Such as games and anime,
And will be the theme song
For the original animated short "XPICE."

You can hear a preview of the song early
Along with animation〜!





The "XPICE" team gave us
An extremely fiery offer,
Which is how this collaboration came about,
And last year they came to see us live--
They truly understand
All of our songs so far, of course,
Our band style,
And each of our personalities...
It made us really happy,
And the more we heard about this project,
The more we wanted to make something great together!
That's how strongly we felt about this.
Getting to participate starting from the planning meeting
And doing things in a different way for the first time
Was really stimulating◎

Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN LSLfuH3

We wrote this to accompany the animation,
But it's strange how it's also connected to our own feelings.
We made something really great.

Look forward to next Wednesday!



RINA

2020/7/9 14:25

Spoiler:
新曲でます!

_var_mobile_Media_DCIM_162APPLE_IMG_2572.JPG

どどーん!
去年からコツコツ作っていた
新曲がやっとみんなのもとに
届けられる日がやってきました〜!

2020.07.15 Digital Single "SPICE"
リリース決定!

これは、ゲームやアニメなど
いろんなコンテンツを発信している
XFLAGとのコラボレーションで生まれた曲で、
オリジナルショートアニメ "XPICE"
主題歌になります。

一足先にアニメと合わせて
曲もちょっと聴けるよ〜!





"XPICE"チームが凄い熱量で
オファーしてくれて、
このコラボが実現したんだけど、
去年ライブも観に来てくれて
今ままでの曲はもちろん
バンドのスタイルとか
それぞれのキャラクターとかも
本当に理解してくれていて...
めちゃくちゃ嬉しかったし、
このプロジェクトに対しての話を聞くほど
一緒に良いものを作りたい!
って言う気持ちが強くなりました。
企画会議から参加させてもらって、
はじめての作り方ができたのも
刺激的だった◎

_var_mobile_Media_DCIM_162APPLE_IMG_2570.JPG

アニメに寄り添って書いたつもりが
自分たちの気持ちともリンクしていて不思議だ。
めっちゃいいのできたよ。

来週の水曜日をお楽しみに!



RINA

2020/7/9 14:25

#front-page #spice
Posted in: Blog 2020  Topic: We're releasing a new song! - 2020-07-09 (RINA)  Replies: 1  Views: 410

TOKYO FM Sunday Special - SCANDAL Catch up - Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:47 am

Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN IoeWLF3

A special episode of SCANDAL's radio program "Catch up" will be aired on the radio on July 12 to commemorate the release of the new song "SPICE" + The full version of the song will also be aired for the first time!

TOKYO FM Sunday Special - SCANDAL Catch up
Broadcast date: 7/12 (Sun) 19:00-19:55 JST
Station: TOKYO FM



#front-page #catchup #spice
Posted in: Other News  Topic: TOKYO FM Sunday Special - SCANDAL Catch up  Replies: 186  Views: 11601

Digital Single - 「SPICE - Wed Jul 08, 2020 2:01 am

Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN 1594173750963
Topics tagged under spice on SCANDAL HEAVEN Sub3

On July 15, SCANDAL will be releasing a new digital single called SPICE! The song will be used in an original animated short called "XPICE " by the company XFLAG that is releasing on the same day. The animation will be done by MARZA and Spooky graphic.


Lyrics: RINA
Music: MAMI
Arrangement: Keita Kawaguchi


This tie-in song for the original short animation work newly developed by XFLAG will be released digitally!

It is a rock number based on the anime themes of "courage and understanding," and "fighting together."



30-second preview:




Radio rip of the full song:




#front-page #spice
Posted in: Official Releases  Topic: Digital Single - 「SPICE  Replies: 66  Views: 2817

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