When you hear the words “girl band”, what kind of group do you think of?
There are certainly all kinds that might spring to mind. If one of them was the kind of girl band that performs dressed as high-school girls, dare I say they were probably influenced by SCANDAL.
A long time has already passed since this symbolic girl band made their debut. You’ve probably heard their name before, but… let’s take this opportunity to revisit what has made SCANDAL so charming to so many people.
High School Girls: A Sensational Debut
SCANDAL formed as a 4-member group back in 2006. Changes are commonplace with bands, but since their inception, the members have stayed the same.
If you take a look at the girls’ artwork, you can see they have perfectly appealed to the high-school girl look.
Coming from the same middle-school generation, the four of them are similar in height, all with long black hair and dolled up in empowering make-up that emphasises their strong gaze, accompanied by their stylish and cool blazers. Kitted out in such an admired and adored appearance, they allow for adults to look back at their youthful days and think “I think I had a time like this too”.
Even in their major debut track “DOLL”, there is a phrase in the lyrics that says:“wakattenai desho, nanni mo atashi wa maru de dynamite”(translation: ‘You don’t understand a thing – I’m dynamite’). When you hear these words sang, you can really feel the force of this piercing late-teens issue.
You really bear witness to their charm when you see the girls’ actions and manners. But these isn’t simply the work of their great visuals. Why is it that while they’re performing even the swaying of their hair seems to express part of them?
That’s because the four of them used to go to the same vocal & dance school. It was there that the band came to be as it was the place where they were advised by a certain lecturer who recommended them instruments. They went straight to Osaka Castle Park where they began to play street concerts and began to build up experience.
From girls to women: Their same-generation charisma still strong
After the youngest member, RINA, graduated from high-school, she started to become free from the kind of compulsory uniforms and hair-styles expected at schools, and began to gain attention as the member who self-produced herself.
Her changes are most noticeable in the band’s 2012 singles “HARUKAZE” and “Pinheel Surfer”. In “HARUKAZE”, 4 girls who aren’t the band members appear as the protagonists for the music video. The protagonists act out how the members, who had always worn school uniforms until then, had finally become adults and were looking back at their past. In the music video for “Pinheel Surfer”, each member changes the colour of their hair. Despite all wearing the same kind of ‘compulsory’ uniform, the outfits aren’t actually the kind they had worn until then, but instead office lady clothes; wearing tight skirts, net stockings and red pin heels. This change acted as the band shedding themselves as a “girls high-school band” and turning into an “independent female adult band”.
Even their songs have seen a change. From the time of their independent debut, the lyrics to their songs were generally written by the members themselves or in joint collaborations. But in February 2011, their song “Pride” was released as a coupling single where the song “Emotion”, created by member RINA, was also included. Thereafter, the number of songs written by the members started to increase. The 2014 tracks “Departure” and “Image” and the 2015 track “Stamp!” were all written and composed by member MAMI, while RINA wrote the lyrics for and MAMI composed the band’s latest single “Sisters”.
Rina Katahira is standing out this year as a singer-songwriter, having edited, produced and performed the song “Party” from her new album “Saikou no Shiuchi”. She will be heading in a new direction and challenging herself much more this year.
The growing circle of “SCANDAL MANIA”
I have spoken a lot about how the band have changed, but how exactly are their activities doing now?
If I was to sum it up in a phrase, it would be an “unstoppable advance”.
To give a concrete example, SCANDAL were in charge of making the theme song during their independent debut for the PSP game “Star Ocean: Second Evolution” back in 2007. Several weeks after that debut, they performed at Japanese cultural festival “Sakura-Con 2008” in Seattle, US. In October of the same year, where they made their major debut, they performed on the national music programme “Music Station”. Moreover, tickets sold out completely at the first free concert they held after their major debut, where even people who were there at the band’s beginning attended.
That support led to an unbelievable amount of attendees at their one-man tour in 2009, which was held after the release of their CD; 2010 saw the band embark on a Zepp tour; and 2011 saw them hold their first Asia tour, after while they immediately went on a hall tour only one-month after, proving the scale of the band’s rapid growth.
The madness doesn’t stop there. SCANDAL also went on an arena tour from the beginning of last year, which concluded to immense success this year in January as they performed two days at the legendary Nippon Budokan. There are no bounds for these girls. To celebrate the release of their album “YELLOW” which was released in March this year, they will be embarking to 8 cities + Honolulu to play 22 shows, including performances in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and more. Straight after that they will be heading to Europe to play a tour across 10 cities. Time spent preparing will be everything so that they can be with their fans all over the world.
SCANDAL’s charm is their possession of everything “cute” and everything “cool”. Their chance to prove their skill is now! Make sure you do NOT miss out on a chance to see them live!
SCANDAL Official Website http://www.scandal-4.com/
Writer: Kakoi (SHUTTER)