SCANDAL Wrap Up ‘Fuzzy Summer Mood’ Japan Tour & Announce November Shows
12.July.2019 | MUSIC
SCANDAL just concluded their Fuzzy Summer Mood tour with the finale being held at Zepp Tokyo on Thursday. The tour took the band to 12 cities across Japan for 15 shows.
For this tour, SCANDAL changed things up by having every show featuring a completely different set list. After each show they posted those set lists onto Spotify so that both fans that attended the show and those who could not could relive the experience.
At the Zepp Tokyo show, Haruna, Mami, Tomomi and Rina were welcomed onto the stage with excited cheers from fans. The night begin with the band performing Masterpiece, their latest single released back in March. Without taking a breather, they followed it up with Take Me Out, LOVE SURVIVE and other upbeat tracks. In the middle of the set they played the city pop number Mabataki for the first time for which the crowd stood intently to listen.
In the second half of the show SCANDAL performed an unreleased new track entitled Fuzzy. Fans shifted from fist pumping to intent listening as the song went from a fast-paced melody to bittersweet lyrics.
This was followed up by Shunkan Sentimental, Awanai Tsumori no, Genki Desu ne and Image amongst a host of others. The last song of the encore was SCANDAL BABY which saw the crowd come together to sing at the top of their lungs.
At the end of the night SCANDAL announced that they will perform again in Tokyo and Osaka this November for a taiban (battle-of-the-bands) tour where they will be joined by fellow artists. This marks their first taiban tour since 2017 when they were joined by UNISON SQUARE GARDEN in Tokyo, 04 Limited Sazabys in Nagoya, and BLUE ENCOUNT in Osaka.
Cameraman: Takeshi Yao
SCANDAL TOUR 2019 “Fuzzy Summer Mood” Spotify Playlists
SCANDAL TOUR 2019 “SCANDAL Taiban Tour”
[Tokyo] 2019/11/9/ @ Toyosu PIT
[Osaka] 2019/11/17 @ Zepp Osaka Bayside
SCANDAL Official Website: http://www.scandal-4.com/
SCANDAL just dropped their new single Fuzzy which is available across major streaming services and music platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and the iTunes Store. It’s a bittersweet love song with lyrics written by drummer and vocalist RINA and the music composed by vocalist and guitarist MAMI.
The song was performed at the finale of their 2019 “Fuzzy Summer Mood” tour at Zepp Tokyo on July 11. The lyrics were released before anyone heard the track and resonated with fans across social media for their relatable content when it comes to love.
The CD cover features a painting which was carried out by the band members on a 3 x 3 meter white sheet on paper.
The music video for Fuzzy was directed by Mother Fucko and follows a couple’s melancholic love story. It also features the band members themselves shredding a powerful performance
SCANDAL will hold their first ever YouTube live stream on August 9, 2019 at 20:00 (JST) where they will perform a one-hour studio concert which will include the song Fuzzy. Click here for more details.
Speaking about her work directing the music video, Mother Fucko commented: “The song has both a feeling of sprinting forward and has an air of melancholy to it. The video is shot emotionally and includes shots of a story happening outside of SCANDAL’s world as well as musical performances from the band members themselves. I was particular about the ‘fuzzy’ quality too. I hope people enjoy the coupling of the drama scenes with their nostalgic atmosphere and the powerful band performance scenes.”
Released: August 7, 2019
*Available for download via iTunes Store, Recochoku, mora and other major online music platforms
*Available for streaming via Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, LINE MUSIC, AWA, KKBOX, Rakuten Music, and RecMusic
*The music video is also available to watch on YouTube, Apple Music, RecMusic and dTV
SCANDAL Official Website: https://www.scandal-4.com/
SCANDAL Announce YouTube Live Stream of Red Bull Music Studios Tokyo Performance
02.August.2019 | MUSIC
SCANDAL are set to host their first ever live YouTube stream on August 9 from 20:00 (JST) when they perform a one-hour show at Red Bull Music Studios Tokyo.
The studio performance will feature a long list of tracks including their new song Fuzzy which they performed at the finale of their “Fuzzy Summer Mood” Japan tour on July 11.
SCANDAL will subsequently perform at ROCK IN JAPAN FESTIVAL 2019 the following day on August 10 and SUMMER SONIC 2019 OSAKA the following week on August 18.
Be sure to tune in to their stream to catch them live.
SCANDAL – Fuzzy (Live at Red Bull Music Studios Tokyo) YouTube Live Stream
Date: August 9, 2019
Time: From 20:00 (JST)
*The stream will not be archived on the channel
*This is a studio-only show and so there are no tickets to attend the performance
SCANDAL Official Website: http://www.scandal-4.com/
Concert Review: SCANDAL’s 2019 Japan Tour Has Different Set Lists For Every Concert
04.June.2019 | MUSIC
SCANDAL’s “Fuzzy Summer Mood” 2019 tour began at Zepp Nagoya on June 1. The tour is set to take the rock band to 12 locations across Japan to perform 15 concerts.
This tour is unique from their other tours however as every date features completely different set list. The unpredictability of what the girls will play is part of the excitement for this summer tour.
SCANDAL headlined HUSH!! Full Music 2019 at Hac Sa Beach in Macau on May 1. The first date of the Fuzzy Summer Mood tour served to usher in Japan’s new Reiwa era.
The concert featured the SCANDAL’s first performance of Mabataki taken from their single Masterpiece / Mabataki which they released on March 27 under a private music label called “her.” The rest of the set list was made up of a string of classic upbeat live tunes as well as songs they haven’t performed in several years. The band also performed a new song titled Fuzzy which they have only just finished recording.
The tour will wrap up at Zepp Tokyo on July 11. A number of the shows have already sold out, so if you’re in Japan and looking to catch them live be sure to grab a ticket ASAP.
SCANDAL are posting playlists of each set list on the tour over on Spotify, so whether you get to see them live this summer or not you can still be part of the experience.
The above-pictured new artist photo was also released when the tour started. It’s the complete opposite of their previous artist photo which was shot in the early morning with each member wearing white clothes. This time we see them donning black outfits and standing on the city sidewalk in the evening.
Photography: Takeshi Yao
SCANDAL TOUR 2019 “Fuzzy Summer Mood”
6/1 @ Zepp Nagoya, Aichi (Open 17:00 / Start 18:00)
6/2 @ Zepp Osaka Bayside, Osaka (Open 17:00 / Start 18:00)
6/6 @ Matsuyama WstudioRED, Ehime (Open 18:30 / Start 19:00)
6/8 @ Takamatsu festhalle, Kagawa (Open 17:15 / Start 18:00)
6/9 @ BLUE LIVE HIROSHIMA, Hiroshima (Open 17:00 / Start 18:00)
6/14 @ Zepp Nagoya, Aichi (Open 18:00 / Start 19:00)
6/15 @ Yokohama Bay Hall, Kanagawa (Open 17:00 / Start 18:00)
6/22 @ Zepp Fukuoka, Fukuoka (Open 17:00 / Start 18:00)
6/23 @ Zepp Osaka Bayside, Osaka (Open 17:00 / Start 18:00)
6/29 @ Zepp Sapporo, Hokkaido (Open 17:00 / Start 18:00)
6/30 @ Obihiro MEGA STONE, Hokkaido (Open 17:30 / Start 18:00)
7/4 @ Niigata LOTS, Niigata (Open 18:15 / Start 19:00)
7/6 @ Sendai PIT, Miyagi (Open 17:00 / Start 18:00)
7/10 @ Zepp Tokyo, Tokyo (Open 18:00 / Start 19:00)
7/11 @ Zepp Tokyo, Tokyo (Open 18:00 / Start 19:00)
Tour Details: https://www.scandal-4.com/live-tour/
Spotify “Fuzzy Summer Mood” Tour Set-List Playlists: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/65LIl0fhilWNrU7SgfMsDk
Masterpiece / Mabataki
Released: March 27, 2019
*Available on major streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music and Amazon Music Unlimited as well as digital platforms including the iTunes Store.
SCANDAL Official Website: http://www.scandal-4.com/
It has been announced that SCANDAL will serve as the official ambassadors of Japan for this year’s Cassette Store Day, an international and annual event that celebrates cassette tapes, which will fall on October 13.
The band will also be selling original cassette players at the event. It’s the perfect opportunity for those in today’s young generation who have never touched a cassette tape to get up close and personal with them, as well as a nostalgic trip for those who did grow up listening to their music on them.
Cassette Store Day will take place globally on Saturday October 13. It first began in 2013 in the UK and moved to European countries like France and Germany before hitting Japan for the first time in 2016. The event was inspired by the annual Record Store Day, another occassion celebrating the culture of independently owned record stores.
There will be limited edition releases available on Cassette Store Day as well as numerous events happening including official events held by the Cassette Store Day Japan office.
At Cassette Store Day Japan you can expect to get your hands on SUMMER MADNESS, the first ever non-stop DJ mix tape by Fantastic Plastic Machine a.k.a. Tomoyuki Tanaka, Canvas e.p., a four-track cassette and first release in 4 years from ZEPPET STORE’s Seizi Kimura, Loose Grooves & Bastard Blues (300 copies only), the famous 1998 album by Tommy Guerrero, and many more.
The full list of releases is gradually being posted on the event’s official website. A line-up of artists from all genres and generations will be available at the event.
Head to this year’s Cassette Store Day for a step back into the past.
SCANDAL’s Haruna Holds Release Event for Her First Photo Book ‘SOMEWHERE’
21.August.2018 | MUSIC
Lead vocalist and guitarist Haruna of all-female Japanese rock band SCANDAL turned 30 on August 10, and on this same day, she released her first ever photo book titled SOMEWHERE.
To celebrate and promote the release of the collection, an event was held on August 18 on the 6th floor of HMV&BOOKS in Shibuya, Tokyo which the singer attended in person.
Haruna joined SCANDAL in her late teens and has spent her entire twenties as the frontwoman of this immensely and internationally popular rock band.
Her photo book, entitled SOMEWHERE, was compiled at the end of the band’s Japan tour. The photos were taken by Japanese photographer Tsutomu Ono.
The book includes a long interview covering the self-confidence Haruna has acquired as being part of the band, her determination to never feel down when she’s frustrated, her forward-facing gaze in any situation, her girly smile, the band, work, love and more.
Pre-orders sold out the moment the book went up for sale, so additional prints are in the works. The number of people wanting to attend the release events in Tokyo and Osaka also far exceeds the scheduled amount. It’s clear to see the fans’ love and support for Haruna.
Before the event at HMV&BOOKS on August 18 began, 16 media companies were sat in attendance. Haruna confessed that she was nervous being surrounded by reporters for something other than music.
“I’m a little relieved. Additional prints are being prepared for pre-orders. I was overjoyed at seeing all my fans kindly puchasing the book before my eyes,” Haruna expressed in regards to releasing a photo book.
She also recalled a particular episode during photoshoot: “There’s a photo with the setting sun behind me. The colour of it changed ever so rapidly. It was such a dramatic sight and left an impression on me. I’ll never forget that shoot.”
――How was the event?
I was even more nervous than I thought I would be [laughs]. The angle of the questions and the feeling of distance felt completely different than during the CD release. I think it was a very good experience. So many people kindly came to the event. There were people who had already bought and looked at the book. There was event a woman the same age as me who said, “Let’s do our best in our 30s.” I was also so happy to hear someone say, “I became even more of a fan after reading the book.” I talk a bit more personally than I show at concerts in the interview in the book, so I’m glad I put it out even if it’s that part of myself I included that made people like me.
――What are your thoughts on releasing your first photo book?
I’m a little relieved. It was my first time releasing something by myself other than music so I wasn’t able to picture how many people would read it, but I was so happy at there being reprints made for pre-orders and seeing people buy it in front of me after it was released.
――What made you want to release a photo book?
My manager had spoken to me about it, but during that time I said to him, “I’m already going to be 30 soon.” He said, “You look like you’re having fun even when performing. You’re shining. I think the Haruna you are right now is amazing.” So I gained a bit more confidence and reached a decision to release the book.
――How was it shooting on Cebu Island?
It was a tight schedule, just 2 days, but it was a lot of fun. The thing I remember the most is on the page at the end of the book. There’s a photo with the setting sun behind me. The colour of it changed ever so rapidly. It was such a dramatic sight and left an impression on me. I’ll never forget that shoot.
――Which is your favourite photo?
It wasn’t that one. The one I really like is the one we took in the pool at night. It was my first time having a photo taken of my whole body while wearing a swimsuit. I had absolutely no idea how the photo would turn out because there weren’t any lights at the pool. I never thought it would look so striking. I think it’s really mysterious how it took so well, even the water. I’m very satisfied we were able to take an artistic photo.
――How did the other members react?
They said, “It’s amazing that you can put out something like this having turned 30.”
――What do you think about expressing yourself in the photos?
Honestly, I thought people would express doubt about a band member putting out photos, but we’re a band that has come to have self confidence in breaking down things with certain meanings, like “You’re band so you can’t do this and that” and “You’re a band so you should be like this.” So I upheld my confidence in some way that a band vocalist can put out a photo book. I feel like right now is the most fun time in my life, so I hope that people can see that simply.
――Did you have any resistance to the swimsuit photoshoot?
I went to the gym and trained my body for it, so I was able to have more fun than be against it. Even when the photos were taken I learned that I like having my photo taken, so it was a good discovery.
――Will the photo book release tie in with anything in the future?
I feel like there won’t be anything too scary.
――What do you rate the photo book?
Is it okay to give it a full score? It’s 10/10. I ship it with confidence.
――What are your aspirations turning 30?
Even after having turned 30 my goal hasn’t changed, I will remain active musically. I am to continue music after marrying and having kids. I think I would like to do both of those things before I’m 35.
――What do you want to challenge yourself to outside of music?
I’ve grown to like travelling in recent years. I’ve been on trips even on my own. I like things like that. I’m not like Another Sky though [laughs]. I’d like to do a travel show like that.
――One last time, please tell us your outlook for the future.
I think it’s somewhat a miracle that SCANDAL has continued for 10 years. I think it’s extraordinary for four girls to do music for 10 years. There’s a lot of bands who split up in that time frame, so I have confidence in having come along 10 years. My outlook for the future is for us four to go as far as we can together.
Haruna’s photo book SOMEWHERE has many people hooked right now. Be sure to pick up a copy for yourself if you’re interested!
Lead vocalist and guitarist Haruna of all-female Japanese rock band SCANDAL will release her first photo book entitled SOMEWHERE on August 10.
The member has led as the band’s front-woman throughout her 20s. She will turn 30-years-old on the day of the photo book’s release.
After the band finished their Japan tour, Haruna set off on a trip. “Somewhere” is the word she uses to best describe herself today: that she is always on a journey somewhere that is not here.
The photo collection shows off Haruna‘s fit and healthy mind and body. She reveals the self-confidence she has acquired as being part of the band, her determination to never feel down when she’s frustrated, her forward-facing gaze in any situation, her girly smile, and a gentleness and sadness of someone who’s experience real love. All of the featured photos were taken away from the band during her vacations by photographer Tsutomo Ono.
There’s also a long interview with her covering topics around the band, her work, and romance. It’s the perfect book not only for fans of SCANDAL and Haruna, but young women in the same generation as her too.
Get your hands on a copy of SOMEWHERE and see Haruna in ways you haven’t before.
SCANDAL to Celebrate 10th Anniversary Since Major Debut with Japan, US & Mexico Tour
29.May.2018 | MUSIC
SCANDAL released their 8th studio album HONEY this year back in February. In support of the album, the band embarked on a tour across Japan titled SCANDAL TOUR 2018 “HONEY” which concluded at Kobe International Hall in Hyogo Prefecture on May 25.
The stage set was dyed in a chic red, with the members’ amps and drum shells even taking on the same colour, made special for this tour. As the crowed cheered and screamed in anticipation for the band’s entrance, the members stepped out onto stage donning HONEY’s theme colour – red.
The first song of the night was HONEY’s lead track Platform Syndrome. They continued with another rock track from the album, OVER. Things changed up a bit as they pulled out SCANDAL BABY, which featured on the band’s greatest hits album last year and voted as the fans’ number one favourite. The curtains fell after this song, which if this was a normal performance would signal the end of the show―but this is SCANDAL.
After a brief chat with the crowd, the girls displayed their impressive talents with a string of medium rock numbers that have an inner fortitude. This included Oh! No! where Mami (guitar/vocals) takes on the role of lead vocals, Can Beer with Tomomi (bass/vocals) on lead vocals, Short Short from their latest album, Mado o Aketara which was arranged by Mizuki Masuda, and the hugely popular Departure for which the members wrote and composed everything together for the first time.
Next on the list was something a little different. The members answered questions which fans posted on the fan club with the theme ‘things you want SCANDAL to shed light on across the country in these times.’
SCANDAL then went on to play Electronic Girl from HONEY which is a song they can be proud of having improved the most on this tour. This was followed by their classic hit Everybody Say Yeah! which signaled the start of the show finale. The last block included a variety of new ones and oldies, including Shunkan Sentimental, Flashback No.5, Take Me Out, Koisuru Universe, amongst others. It felt like it was all over in an instant.
After a riotous call of an encore, the members stepped out one last time. “SCANDAL is celebrating 10 years this autumn since our major debut! We haven’t made a special celebration of the day since our major debut until now, but the number ‘10’ has a natural sense of gratitude in it. We will prepare an appropriate setlist to give thanks. We’ll be waiting for you at the live club houses,” they said happily to the fans, offering up the announcement of a new tour.
The encore consisted of Sisters, Image, and LOVE SURVIVE, wrapping up the band’s 23-date hall tour.
SCANDAL will continue to tour in support of the album. They will tour Asia from June including mainland China before heading to the US and Mexico this fall.
MMN Interview: SCANDAL want to live coolly as Japan’s representative all-female band (Part Two)
In 2016, SCANDAL toasted to ten years since their formation, and this autumn, they will celebrate their 10th anniversary since their major debut. The band released their eighth album HONEY this month which peaked at number one on Japan’s iTunes album charts on the day of release and ranked number one in the iTunes J-pop charts across the globe including Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Peru. Last year, 3 of the band members – Haruna (Vocals/Guitar), Mami (Guitar/Vocals) and Tomomi (Bass/Vocals) – became the first Japanese female artists to sign an endorsement agreement with Fender. It is evident for all to see that SCANDAL are building and fortifying their career as an all-girls band representing Japan in both name and reality. This is part two of the interview, in which the four members look back at their overseas activity and told various stories from their perspective as an all-female band.
Interview & Text: Mami Naruta / Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
■“We want to be cool so our listeners throughout the world can be proud”
――When SCANDAL head out across the globe, “Japan’s representative girl band” really is an is appropriate catchphrase in reality and in name.
Rina (Drums / Vocals): We’re not quite there yet. But that makes me happy.
Mami (Guitar / Vocals): But if we’re asked whether we’re placing focus on our overseas activities, that’s not the case. It’s just the way things pan out. We go with it without intending to separate Japan and everywhere else. It isn’t the case that from the beginning we were conscious of wanting to become Japan’s representative girl band or become popular overseas, so to have that said to us now makes me really happy.
Rina: I have an increased awareness for us to be cool so that people think to themselves things like “I’m glad I supported them” and “I, who support SCANDAL, love who I am” for the very fact that we have listeners all around the world. I’ve taken in the fact that lots of different people listen to us, so I’ve truly come to think that I don’t want to let the fans down. I want to live cool, so much so that listening to SCANDAL’s music becomes people’s confidence.
Haruna (Vocals / Guitar): Yeah. We’ve done this for twelve years, so I want to have confidence in that.
Rina: I feel that our fans’ minds are the same regardless of what country they’re from. I haven’t asked each of them individually, but when I look at things like the atmosphere in a venue, although people’s ages, gender, race and religion are different, I really feel that everyone holds the same mindset. I think that’s where the world ties together.
Haruna: Overseas fans come to our tours in Japan, and vice versa Japanese fans come when we play overseas. I’m happy that there’s an interaction.
Tomomi (Bass / Vocals): There’s an unofficial international fan club called “SCANDAL HEAVEN.” Groups of people on there from each country get together and post photos of themselves eating together on social media.
――Fans that have transcended national borders and connected through your music have left a happy impression on you, haven’t they? Also, I think within the female band scene, you have your own unique values.
Rina: I think girl bands are accepted as one part of Japanese culture. There are very few girl bands overseas. It seems difficult for them to last a long time. I hear stories of bands disbanding soon after their debut. That’s why, in contrast with us who’ve been together for 12 years, there’s a lot of people interested in what a long-lasting girl band is like. There are people who feel culture and appeal in our existence, so I’ve felt we’ve moved forward.
――It’s true when you mention overseas girl bands. Nothing springs to mind immediately…
Rina: If we’re talking recently then HiNDS are really cool, and they have a unique feel that I find great. If the number of girl bands increases from country to country, the music scene will become more exciting. I’d like to support them.
■“Japanese girls are skilled at creating their own personal ‘cute’”
――By the way, what do each of you find to be the charm point of Japanese girls?
Rina: They’re allowed to mix together the things they like. They’re skilled at creating their own personal “cute.” Even ordinary school girls. They create a world that they love on their Instagram pages, don’t they? This is found in Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s style too, but for example, adding a little spice to something that isn’t just cute. Their ability to self-produce is strong.
Haruna: Everybody knows what suits them. Whether it’s make-up or different fashion styles, they skilfully incorporate what looks good on them and create something original. I think that’s wonderful.
Rina: In our recent album HONEY too, I think we’ve been able to create songs that mix together sweet and bitter. The album is centred around songs we wrote in 2017. This time we reconsidered “Japanese rock” while keeping them sung in Japanese, so when people overseas have listened to it, I think they’ll see it’s a record that conveys today’s Japanese girl rock. In that sense, I think we’ve created an album that compiles 10 years of a SCANDAL that has taken influence from many things, sweet and bitter.
――In 2017 you released your 10-year anniversary greatest hits album, toured Japan’s 47 prefectures and went on your first taiban* tour. It was a substantial year for you.
Rina: Last year we put on tough, masculine-like performances, which made us wonder what kind of songs a girl band should perform. It was a period where we re-evaluated things like our position and status. We had strong thoughts that “We’re girls, so we really should be doing the kind of rock that girls can do, otherwise it’s not interesting,” especially during our taiban tour.
[*Translator’s Note: A taiban is a concert where several bands perform.]
――The bands that joined you at the taiban were UNISON SQUARE GARDEN, 04 Limited Sazabys and BLUE ENCOUNT, right?
Rina: We toured with 3 big bands at that festival, so it was something I mulled over. So I think we’ve been able to create an album that shakes off those thoughts in a girly way.
――Your album cover was produced by AMIAYA, twins who are active in Tokyo as fashion icons. How did that collaboration come about?
Tomomi: We’ve actually been close with AMIAYA ever since we were introduced to them by Mizuki (Masuda) of [music group] Negoto. We knew that the album contained a lot of personal things. It’s filled with events that have happened in our daily lives, our favourite words, smells, colours and things like that. It came about because we thought since the album is so personal, it would be good if we made it together with a close friend. We were also crazy about how perfect the album colour and AMIAYA’s character went together.
――All things considered, I think that how you’re all able to write your songs together is really your strong point as a band.
Rina: Hehehe (laughs). The four of us are individuals so songs are born left, right and centre, but when performing as a band, they become SCANDAL’s songs. It’s strange, isn’t it? Even though we do it together we never grow tired, and even now my heart is always racing. I think right now is the most fun time ever.
■SCANDAL recommend their favourite spots around Tokyo
――You’ve just released your new album. What mode is SCANDAL in right now?
Rina: We’ve once again been able to create something that shakes free the kind of rock that seems good, in 2018, the 10th anniversary of our major debut, so the sense of accomplishment having completed HONEY is amazing (laughs). We’re taking this album on a hall tour, our first in three years, so I hope to put on the best performance we can now.
Haruna: We also have an Asia tour after our tour in Japan! We didn’t have an overseas tour last year, so this time we’re going to the Philippines and China for the first time. I’m really excited. We’ve received messages on Twitter for years of people saying “Please come to the Philippines,” so we’re finally going. I think they’ll be fully charged for us (laughs).
Rina: Asia have welcomed us with a “Come back!” so we’re always at ease there! Fans bring along their friends to the airport. I get the feeling the number of new people increases every time.
Mami: Yeah. There might even be places where the audience has completely changed. I’m interested to see how people will listen to this album.
――To wrap up, can each of you recommend some spots in Tokyo?
Tomomi: When my friend visits from my home town, we’ve boarded the Yakatabune at Sumida River several times. You can eat traditional Japanese food like tempura, and you can see places like Odaiba and Skytree in one go while you go down the river. It was so much fun. I recommend that course!
Mami: If you’re coming for a good time during spring’s cherry blossom season, then how about Shinjuku Gyoen or Meguro River? Since I don’t think you can easily see cherry trees lined up like that overseas. It’s not something flashy or gaudy, and this is a simple way to look at things, but you can kind of feel Japan with just one glance of them. It might be fun to visit and have fun enjoying the four seasons.
Haruna: As for me, I’ve been filling up by goshuincho*. For foreigners, it’s kind of like a stamp rally? Well, it’s not as simple as that, but I think if you’ve made the effort to come to Japan it could be fun to spend your time doing it. I started by purchasing a goshuincho at Sensō-ji. If you go to Sensō-ji, you also have Nakamise-dori just before you reach the temple which is a lot of fun. You can enjoy the so-called essence of Japan.
[*Translator’s Note: A goshuincho is a book used for collecting goshuin, which are stamps or seals you can receive when you visit temples and shrines in Japan. Each place has their own unique stamp.]
Rina: For me… Tower Records in Shibuya. CD shops are dying overseas. I think Japan has the most CD shops in the world, but out of them all I think that’s the biggest. They have everything there. I see photos people have taken that have come from overseas of the Tower Records building, and I think to myself “so that’s how they view it.”
――Even when you actually look at things like the stock and floorspace, it’s the world’s biggest CD retail store.
Rina: It’s true. It’s a valuable place. There’s a documentary movie called “ALL THINGS MUST PASS” that covers the history of Tower Records. After I watched it I went to Tower Records in Shibuya and was really moved! I don’t know what the future has in store for record shops, so I hope people enjoy it while it’s there. It’s the coolest CD shop.
MMN Interview: SCANDAL look back at their overseas performances since their debut and going from “anime characters” to a “band” (Part One)
In 2016, SCANDAL toasted to ten years since their formation, and this autumn, they will celebrate their 10th anniversary since their major debut. The band released their eighth album HONEY this month which peaked at number one on Japan’s iTunes album charts on the day of release and ranked number one in iTunes J-pop charts across the globe including Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Peru. Last year, 3 of the band members – Haruna (Vocals/Guitar), Mami (Guitar/Vocals) and Tomomi (Bass/Vocals) – became the first Japanese female artists to sign an endorsement agreement with Fender. It is evident for all to see that SCANDAL are building and fortifying their career as an all-girls band representing Japan in both name and reality. In this interview, the four members looked back at their overseas activity and told various stories from their perspective as an all-female band.
Interview & Text: Mami Naruta / Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
■”I think people overseas felt that we were performing anime characters”
――In the “HISTORY” column of your 10-year anniversary website, you have a timeline for your music activities for both Japan and the rest of the world lined up side-by-side. I felt that this was a reminder of how your band are enthusiastic about activities overseas. Your first overseas action was an American tour across six cities before your major debut in 2008. That’s amazing.
Rina (Drums/Vocals): Yes, our first tour was in America, wasn’t it? We did all of that despite being an independent band who hadn’t even toured Japan yet. Back then we went forward with finishing everything we did to the end like crazy every time, but we had a strong connection overseas at the time, so from that year onward we went there every year without fail. At first, we felt like we were just children without a cause, but we gradually became something that couldn’t be ignored. Bands would cover our songs overseas, and the number of people who came to like us after watching us on YouTube went beyond our imaginations. Our fundamental stance is to go and perform in places where there are people demanding for us, so we focus on performing live without creating borders around the world.
――I see. Looking in detail, your first few years saw you perform at a lot of Japanese culture festivals such as “Japan Expo” and “AM2.” That was a time when you performed in uniform-style costumes, wasn’t it?
Mami (Guitar/Vocals): It was. The “Age of Uniforms” (laughs). That was a time when we did theme songs for anime, so the uniforms were part of it. We were also called to perform at a lot of festivals that promoted Japanese culture too.
Tomomi (Bass/Vocals): In our early days, we even had an animation kind of thing of us all on our official MySpace page. And we received a lot of attention from people overseas, so it felt like “animation” was spreading across the world as part of Japanese culture.
――From your experience having stepped onto the international stage, have you felt a desire for Japanese culture overseas, and by extension a culture for Japanese girl bands?
Haruna (Vocals/Guitar): We were also unaware of it at the time. We were simply happy with the demand and could feel the joy of being able to perform live in lots of places, so that’s why we went. It might have only been recently that we became conscious of looking to overseas seriously as a girl band.
Rina: I think that awareness strengthened when we came to perform solo shows. And our overseas fans also changed with it. At culture festivals, there were many people there simply out of curiosity who weren’t our target goal, and there were a lot of people who were also interested and felt Japanese culture in the seifuku costumes. I think from the point of view of people overseas, it felt like we were like anime characters performing.
――In 2015, you held a huge world tour where you performed 41 shows across Japan, France, the UK, Germany, America, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Rina: There were more people who had watched our music videos on YouTube than those who knew us from anime on this tour. I felt that people came along to support us as a band. The atmosphere was totally different in the venues too compared to our early days.
Mami: I believe there’s something historical about being in a position where people know your existence from social media and video-sharing websites. When we began our career, social media still wasn’t being used all that much in Japan, and YouTube as it’s used today wasn’t a thing. I feel the change in times with regard to our connection overseas.
■”Our world tour made me feel that ‘SCANDAL’ had come to be seen as a band in and of itself”
――Having toured 9 countries, please tell me about any impressions that have been left on you, on or off stage.
Rina: We’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of interviews, but I’ve noticed that the content of the interviews have changed from place to place. Before, we’d get asked a lot of questions related to anime like “What do you think of anime?” and “What kind of anime theme song do you want to do next?” But now the questions are focused on the band itself. It made me feel that “SCANDAL” had come to be seen as a band in and of itself, without anime.
Mami: Mexico and South America in particular are places where the way in which Japanese bands are viewed on YouTube are different from other countries. In other countries, anime and manga take priority. How people find us derives from there most of the time. But in South America, “Japanese bands” are an established cultural genre. They search for Japanese bands from the get-go, they find their favourite and share it with friends. That’s how we’re introduced over there. I was really happy that they viewed us in that way.
Rina: Something I remember from on-stage… The way people enjoy live performances. I saw how each country really does have its own unique culture. In Japan I don’t think we have that style of support where we hold up our country’s flag, but there are places where people have fun by waving their own country’s flag and drink and dance.
Tomomi: For example, football is really popular in Mexico. When we turn the lights off in the venue, people chant “Olé, Olé, Olé” like a sports match.
Rina: Right? When we toured Europe, there was someone on stage [to introduce us and] get the crowd excited. They’d say something like “Here’s SCANDAL!” and the sound effects would begin playing (laughs). I noticed how the beginning of shows was different in each country and location.
Haruna: In Asia, there were a lot of times where everybody sang together. It happens a lot in Japan too where people sing the chorus together, but elsewhere they sing the entire song from start to finish, don’t they?
Rina: So much so that everyone’s voices become even louder than Haruna’s mic volume (laughs).
Mami: Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore were just like that, weren’t they? Usually people listen and are just there in whatever way they like. Their love really got through.
Tomomi: Something I find different from Japan are people’s interests. There’s a real diversity in the people that attend, from older people who look like fans of that venue to the edgy punk type. I’m super interested in how they came to know SCANDAL. Well, I know social media is big, so if it was 10 years ago, I think the people who we couldn’t meet will come to our world tours now.
Rina: It’s precisely because we can look up and find our favourite things that our interests are so broad.
■”It doesn’t matter how we’re perceived, what’s most important is that people can enjoy us”
――Have your perceptions changed in relation to performing?
Rina: Strictly speaking, we’ve made a lot of changes to our sound and equipment, but our songs are all sung in Japanese, and I feel that wherever we go to perform I want to do everything the same without any changes. What does change is how we communicate with fans on-stage. We’re working hard to be able to speak in a country’s language as much as possible.
Mami: People really get in the music easily, so if they’re excited, they’ll join us. I feel people come to the shows and have fun, so there are no worries there.
――This is a simple question, but do overseas music fans know the difference between idol groups and girl bands? Regardless of the use of instruments or not, do you think that there are people who perceive Japanese girl groups as “idols”?
Mami: I think their understanding of the word “idol” is different from that in Japan. In Japan, it’s a single genre, but overseas, it’s someone who has an influence on you or someone you love. It’s someone you yearn for and someone whose existence is like that of a star. I think that grasp of the word is much stronger, so there might not be a lot of people who do make that distinction.
Rina: Don’t get me wrong, but I think either is fine. We don’t go out of our way to say “but we’re not idols.” Being seen this way means not giving special instructions and just have people come to like and enjoy our music. Because I think idols and bands are both cool. I find idols to truly be multi-players. They can sing, dance, act and have variety, and are really outgoing in a human way. Even in a band set-up, an idol’s nature can become their weapon of choice – their charm. I want us to be a group that can be enjoyed as humans, so even if there are people who see us as idols, I can say in all honestly that it doesn’t make us feel uncomfortable in terms of motivation. If people can enjoy us and say “They’re an interesting bunch,” then that makes me the happiest.
SCANDAL Hold Free Concert to Commemorate New Album “HONEY” & Announce Asia and Hall Tour
16.February.2018 | MUSIC
Japan’s leading all-girl rock SCANDAL are popular worldwide, but are especially popular among the female youth of Japan.
The four-piece band released their eighth album HONEY on February 14th. To celebrate, they held a free live show at Zepp DiverCity in Tokyo. Lucky fans from around the country were selected randomly from a lottery system they had to sign up to.
The set began with Koisuru Universe which was released as their first ever digital-only single last year. This was SCANDAL’s first performance of 2018, and fans who had been waiting in anticipation for this concert showed their excitement and sang their hearts out for the opening.
The set list was specially selected for this particular show, featuring songs such as Platform Syndrome from their new album and their Valentine’s Day number Bitter Chocolate. Vocalist and guitarist Haruna gave shared her thoughts on the band’s latest record: “We put ourselves into HONEY, and songs that we can write because we’re an all-girls band. I’m truly happy we were able to produce such an album with just us.”
Rina – the band’s drummer and vocalist – also expressed her gratitude to fans with all her heart. “It’s been 10 years since our major debut. I’m happy we could create just this impulsive album. I hope it can brighten the moods of those who listen to it, and that it can become music to save someone during difficult times.”
SCANDAL played 10 songs in total, including OVER for the very first time. They announced that they will embark on a hall tour to the packed venue which sparked cheers through the room.
SCANDAL will began their nationwide hall tour SCANDAL TOUR 2018 “HONEY” from March, marking their first hall tour in almost 3 years. They will subsequently go on to perform throughout Asia for SCANDAL ASIA TOUR 2018 “HONEY”.
The girls are making their name more and more known to the world by the day. Stay tuned for the latest updates.
SCANDAL’s New Album “HONEY” Reaches Number One in 6 Countries Worldwide
15.February.2018 | MUSIC
Japan’s coolest all-girl rock SCANDAL band boast popularity all over the globe, especially among the female youth of Japan.
New Album “HONEY” Trailer
SCANDAL‘s eighth album to date, HONEY was released simultaneously overseas and peaked at number one on iTunes charts and J-pop charts across various countries including Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Peru – the list goes on.
SCANDAL have stolen the spotlight not only in Japan but around the world. They are at the top when it comes to Japan’s all-girls band scene. Hopes are looking high for SCANDAL as we head further into 2018. Stay tuned for the latest updates.
SCANDAL to Celebrate “HONEY” New Album Release With Pop-Up Shop
SCANDAL are Japan’s coolest girl rock band, boasting popularity all over the globe, and in particular within the teenage girl scene in Japan.
To celebrate the release of their new album HONEY, a pop up shop titled SCANDAL HONEY SHOP will open for a limited period from February 13th to March 4th at TOWERmini Morinomiya Q’s Mall, a small Tower Records concept shop in Osaka.
Fans can look forward to seeing outfits worn by the SCANDAL members on display as well as an exhibition of live photos. A music campaign will also be held. Capsules will also be sold containing a square badge selected randomly from a possible 11. Ten of them feature the band’s CD covers, and the other is a secret.
But it doesn’t stop there, as SCANDAL and Tower Records have teamed up to create an original coach jacket which will be available to purchase. Limited runs of the jacket will be sold at 12 Tower Records branches across Japan.
In line with the release of their Valentine’s Day original album on February 14th, SCANDAL have also created a Valentine’s themed playlist on Spotify titled “Valentine Gift from SCANDAL.”
The playlist features a SCANDAL track as well as a selection of songs chosen by each member that resonates with them, all specially picked for the Valentine’s season
SCANDAL will perform on the NHK show “SHIBUYA NOTE” on February 4th where they will perform the song Platform Syndrome from their forthcoming album on TV for the very first time. Don’t miss out.
Stay tuned for the latest news on Japan’s biggest all-female rock band!