SCANDAL’s 5th Anniversary Interview with Excite Music, Part 2

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Here is the second and final part of SCANDAL’s 5th year anniversary interview with Excite Music. 

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「I think that was the first time we had “ourselves”」 TOMOMI

Excite

And now 2010. You were already coming out with your 5th single 『Shunkan Sentimental』.

 

HARUNA

This flow was great.

 

RINA

I think it’s song that didn’t disappoint the fans who thought 「I like this band!」 with 『BEST★SCANDAL』

 

HARUNA

We wore red leather jackets then. We escaped a bit (from our so-called uniform image) here.

 

MAMI

It was a little hard on the eyes.

 

RINA

I really remember this shoot. It’s silly, but I was told to sit on my drum chair and they’d photograph me, and I said, 「I’m not that obedient of a drummer; I’m standing」 (laughs)

 

MAMI

A-ha-ha-ha!

 

RINA

I said, 「I’ll do a pose where I hang my foot」, and the photographer said, 「Okay」 (laughs). So silly (laughs).

 

MAMI

On the CD is a silhouette of us jumping. I was under the impression that as a guitarist I would need to jump with open legs, so I remember that I was saying 「I’ll do this!」 and was always jumping (laughs). I was told that jumping normally would be fine, but I said 「I’m flying」 and jumped the entire time.

 

TOMOMI

On 「Shunkan Sentimental」, the second chorus’s A-melody changes, but in the beginning it doesn’t particularly change. We asked to change the hook a bit in the A-melody, and I really remember that the impression when it was elevated was awesome. I liked that part so much, and it was streamed continuously for me in the recording studio. 「Again, again!」 It was really groundbreaking for me.

 

RINA

I think our staff was always telling us 「The sound is young」 on the day of recording. Arranger Keito Kawaguchi and composer Yuichi Tajika said, 「You guys really do sound young」. That had a 「This can only be done right now」 meaning to it, and now I’ve finally come to understand that.

 

Excite

That was 3 years ago.

 

MAMI

3 years ago!? It feels more like 5 years ago.

 

Excite

Around this time you did a tour, put out a ZONE cover song, and did a secret event.

 

RINA

That’s really nostalgic.

 

HARUNA

I think this was when we did the highest number of different things.

 

TOMOMI

It’s sort of hazy.

 

MAMI

Yeah.

 

Excite

What do you mean by hazy?

 

TOMOMI

With 「Shunkan Sentimental」, 「I like this direction」 was blurred within us, but it was visible. When we began to understand that we liked this kind of genre, there was an enormous rejection when completely different ideas came from the staff.

 

MAMI

A band is wanting to be cool. We thought that we wanted to be cool more than being a band, so liking a hard sound and distorted sounds, we centered on those. So, I don’t think 「Shoujo S」 nor 「Shunkan Sentimental」 are very mannish, but our performance style became closer to those.

 

RINA

I think we only wanted to do easy-to-understand rock.

 

TOMOMI

Even though we were very happy that we were finally being called 「cool」, if we didn’t do as such (=like ideas from the staff), you could no longer call it 「cool」. We were uneasy because, after all, we still didn’t have absolute confidence in ourselves.

 

RINA

We worried that it’d be something more like 「cute」.

 

Excite

Amongst that, you released 「Taiyou to Kimi ga Egaku STORY」.

 

HARUNA

It’s a song that we bring to the last part of our hall-class lives now. It really is a song that everyone likes, and because it can been seen from this way, we’re glad that we made a song like this. Although we like songs like 「Shunkan Sentimental」, if you think about it, poppy, piercing songs is what the current SCANDAL is wholly like.

 

Excite

You have really cute smiles on the cover jacket.

 

HARUNA

Until then we had decided not to smile. We didn’t smile in pictures. But after that we removed that restriction.

 

Excite

What sort of feelings brought that about?

 

TOMOMI

The single was decided, and it probably wouldn’t make sense if we weren’t smiling (laughs).

 

Excite

Even though it’s such a refreshing song (laughs).

 

MAMI

Just smiling was unpleasant. Or maybe not smiling, but being all cute and enthusiastic is something I’m normally bad at. But now, we can think 「I’m glad that we did this song」.

 

TOMOMI

I love it even now. It’s my favorite song now.

 

HARUNA

The music video is really great too.

 

RINA

At the time of the shoot, HARU’s skirt’s size was wrong and she couldn’t fit in it (laughs).

 

HARUNA

Really??

 

RINA

The skirt was cut in the bus (laughs). It seemed like our stylist had gotten some of the details wrong, and a skirt came that was about the size of dog clothes (laughs).

 
All: (Roar of laughter).

 

RINA

She knew it wouldn’t fit, but she said, 「Let’s try it once」. Once she put it on, it stopped at her feet (laughs). That’s when the skirt was cut. I was thinking 「Of course (laughs)」 while watching the entire time on the side.

 

TOMOMI

And, this uniform showed everyone’s stomachs.

 

RINA

That was a little embarrassing. I felt awkward. But simply because I think it’s a really great song now, I can laugh at the narrowness of our outlook then. It was a song that needed to be done.

 

MAMI

It’s gotten twisted (laughs).

 

RINA

We’re idiots. We were dumb (laughs).

 

TOMOMI

But I think that was the first time we had “ourselves.” We first began to think 「This is us」…

 

RINA

We were bad at safeguarding.

 

MAMI

Saying “No” was the only thing we could do.

 

TOMOMI

We could only fight.

 

RINA

And cry right after (laughs).

 

MAMI

And frown (laughs). But that’s another funny story.

 

RINA

It’s cute (laughs). But that was 3 years ago, huh.

Excite

And in no time was your 2nd album 『TEMPTATION BOX』.

 

HARUNA

We had released our 『Namida no Regret』 single before that. With the lead single of this album we challenged ourselves with many things. Especially in SCANDAL’s case.

 

TOMOMI

It’s a single where we were able to challenge ourselves.

 

MAMI

It’s a new category for lead singles. About the albums from there, you can say that they’re rich in genres, but this album is probably the richest. It’s a very technical album.

 

Excite

There’s a completely different “mood” with the 1st album.

 

MAMI

That’s right.

 

RINA

We did simple sounds on our 1st one. Our 2nd album we steadily put in sounds other than our instruments, so it really has glitz to it.

 

Excite

You also established your fan club at the same time of this album’s release. You also held a copy band competition and did a performance in Singapore.

 

RINA

When you don’t go overseas once a year, that too becomes an including rhythm.

 

HARUNA

Looking at our activities since the beginning of 2011, we gradually went at our own pace. Or, perhaps I should say that a time came where we were able to draw up how that year would go by. It was 2 years of new challenges, so there were hard things that came up. We tightly held our own opinions, and a time where we could do activities also came.

 

RINA

One of 『Pride』’s B-side songs is 「Emotion」, which was the first time a member had done the lyrics and music. This really is a single where our awareness changed, and our way of seeing transformed too.

 

HARUNA

Our 11th single 『LOVE SURVIVE』 was the lead single, and with this we really grew up. It’s a song that we still do at lives, and it becoming a song that’s loved by fans was not something we had thought at that time.

 

TOMOMI

The intro is explosive; there’s nothing better than this song. It’s a must-play at lives because it’s a song that can change the setting.

 

Excite

That summer, you released your 3rd album 『BABY ACTION』.

 

RINA

Wasn’t making that really fun?

 

HARUNA

It was. It’s settled down in a lot of ways, compared to 『TEMPTATION BOX』. I think it’s a good album. It’s a piece that’s comprised of songs that just simply matched us then, and I feel that, in a good way, our youth was slightly reduced by half.

 

MAMI

Because we also stopped wearing school uniforms at the same time.

 

RINA

RINA graduated, and we no longer had any students among us.

 

TOMOMI

From 『Pride』 there was a sense of matching, but the school uniform feeling was missing.

 

RINA

We were aware of it. It did a 180 and changed with our album too.

 

Excite

Along with the visual aspect, your freedom really spread out.

 

MAMI

We did become free, but something like a sense of unity to an extent was still necessary after all. An appearance impact was also necessary because there was still something that wasn’t like the band SCANDAL who are separate when they’re on stage. Now, our live outfits are very colorful and we all wear different things. But I think at that time that was completely the right answer.

 

RINA

Our characters were easy to understand.

 

HARUNA

(MAMI) also became a blonde.

 
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「We want to do things that are SCANDAL-like, and even cooler」 HARUNA

Excite

And now 2012. You released your first best album 『SCANDAL SHOW』 and completed a one-man live at the Nippon Budokan.

 

HARUNA

It was so much fun.

 

RINA

It was fun.

 

MAMI

I don’t remember it…

 

RINA

That’s right; MAMI was the most nervous.

 

HARUNA

I still can’t believe that happened.

 

TOMOMI

When we play regular lives, we slap each other’s backs and head out. However, at Budokan, we were all falling apart when we were heading out, so we weren’t able to slap each other’s backs and head out with a momentum just before it. We were pretty nervous–actually, we really felt more differently than usual. It was a bit scary.

 

HARUNA

But it was a great venue. We don’t really see things at that of a large scale, or rather because we feel close to the audience, we can see their faces. We performed while feeling like the venue had become one.

 

TOMOMI

The power of the venue was awesome. That sacred place had power, so being able to perform there gave us confidence. If we hadn’t done a live at Budokan, we certainly wouldn’t have been able to do one at Osaka-Jo Hall.

 

Excite

In regards to OJH, you announced it a while ago when you did the Shiroten live in August of that year.

 

HARUNA

We were already close when we came to the area (laughs).

 

RINA

Yeah. But doing it like that, I feel that from this year’s singles there was no shift in the way we are right now. 『ENCORE SHOW』, which came out this year, even though they’re songs we’ve done until now, there are parts that I feel match up with different approaches. Although it’s been one year since 『Queens are trumps-Kirifuda wa Queen-』, our state of mind from back then and right now is completely different.

 

Excite

『Queens are trumps-Kirifuda wa Queen-』 is an album that has a tremendous world outlook itself, and it was something that you were able to do because it was that time period.

 

RINA

That’s right. HARUNA began to normally use a handheld microphone.

 

MAMI

Because of our hall tour. The visual aspect had a bit of a strong feeling.

 

TOMOMI

This album was us doing various genres until now, among other things, and we made this while understanding that we really do like things like that.

 

Excite

And speaking of this year, 2013: Osaka-Jo Hall on 3/3.

 

HARUNA

It feels like it’s already been a year (laughs).

 

TOMOMI

The moment it started and we faced the audience, I put one piece of something on me, or maybe I should say I felt like I was clad in something. I became stronger. Yes, it’s something that I’ll never take off.

 

Excite

How did you spend the night of the day that your dream from your first days of formation came true?

 

HARUNA

We had an after party (laughs).

 

RINA

We ate together while watching the just-recorded live video, and I cried at the end of our salutations.

 

TOMOMI

I cried.

 

RINA

Because we were really happy. Our staff was increased by this too! Seeing that, I thought it was awesome that they really did come along with us. 5 years is short, but we were able to evolve just fine, and I thought again that we’re a band that’s able to do music that fits this era. Being able to do many things means lasting a long time, which is what I really believe right now.

 

Excite

I see.

 

RINA

I feel that the variety of the band is solidifying this year. That’s why I feel that starting next year will be our true start.

 

HARUNA

Definitely.

 

RINA

We started from live houses to arenas, and we’ve gone to all of those over the past 5 years, started a fan club, solidified many things, and performed with all kinds of people. This year has been one of great collaborations. Starting next year, those 5 years will pass through our filter again, and I wonder what will come from the 4 of us.

 

TOMOMI

We’ve often said in interviews this year that we want to sing songs about people, and I feel that there are many opportunities to reconsider everyday. I feel that on top of writing lyrics, and about our band life, we can look at them objectively.

 

Excite

The quality of yourselves will keep being exuded more and more.

 

TOMOMI

It does every year when we release an album, and during then we all talk together about things we’ve thought of or considered, and they properly take shape before we realize it. That’s why I think we’ll be able to come out with an equally amazing album next year.

 

MAMI

These 5 years feel very dense and very fast. We played at Osaka-Jo Hall half a year ago, but it feels like it’s been longer than that. That’s why I think that we’ll continue on for the same period of 5 years or 10 years while enhancing even more. If the 4 of us have an intent of what we want to make and unify our feelings, there won’t be any problems at all.

 

TOMOMI

10 years…2018? The Olympics (in Tokyo) still won’t happen (laughs!)

 

HARUNA

That’s awesome (laughs). But when we really look back on these 5 years, every single year the things we can do and the things we want to do have all increased, and I feel that we’ll keep being able to do new things. But each time it was in the same vein. Making a single, making an album, doing a tour.

 

TOMOMI

We made a rhythm.

 

HARUNA

Yes. I think that our rhythm has solidified in these 5 years, so I hope it’ll be okay to create a new flow again from next year. Making the best of these 5 years, we want to do our best at bringing out our merit even more. We want to do things that are SCANDAL-like, and even cooler.

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Interview & images: Excite Music
Translation: Jade

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