This summer, the amazing Japanese rock band Scandal trekked to the United States for their own headlining summer tour for the release of their 10th full-length album 「MIRROR」. Unfortunately, the band had to cut their tour short half way through as the members of the band caught COVID and returned their homeland Japan. Towards the beginning of the tour, Fresh is the Word was able to correspond with the band via email and get their thoughts on the new album, creative inspiration, and the relationships within the bands. Even though the tour was cancelled, no need for this interview to go to waste. Hopefully, they make another trip to the USA soon!
The visual aspects of Scandal (album artwork, music videos, etc) are very fashionable. What are some of your fashion inspirations for the band in general?
It’s as if we are perfect puzzle pieces…there’s no other way to describe it besides saying that “because it’s with us four.” For us, we’ve been simply spending time and living our daily lives and 15 years just flew by. However, we also understand that this fact alone is almost a
miraculous thing. (TOMOMI)
How do you personally keep a band active for over 15 years? How do you keep this band as a family together?
We believe that by understanding and accepting our individual differences in personality, quirks, strengths and weaknesses, and fulfilling each of our roles is what allows us to continue our band. Maintaining a good distance and being able to respect one another is truly miraculous, and is something possible only with this unique team. (SCANDAL)
How would you describe your relationship with your fans? What do you want your fans to feel from your music?
It has truly been a minute since we’ve been able to see our fans abroad due to Covid, but they continuously supported us along the way and that has been reassuring and is what kept us going. Regardless of where they come from, I feel as if our fans understand not only our music but also our personalities. They are truly important companions to us. (RINA)
How did all the members in the band deal with the pandemic? and how did that go into the creation of「MIRROR」?
Because we had always centered ourselves around the ability to perform in concerts, losing that opportunity quickly turned into a situation of “having enough time but not being able to make music.” We didn’t know what kind of music to go about with, nor understand what would be the appropriate words to use. So then we decided to stop everything, and switch to “a lifestyle where simply living is good enough.” I didn’t meet up with any of the members for about two and a half months, and even stopped creating music for a couple of months. But this instead created sufficient time to reflect on ourselves. (MAMI)
How would you specifically personally describe each of the members of Scandal?
MAMI : kind, skillful
TOMOMI : kind, goes about one’s way
RINA : kind, sensitive
HARUNA : Someone who’s determined. Is very considerate of others, calm and has a good memory.
TOMOMI : Has multiple hobbies. Is fashionable. Probably has the strongest sense of preferences towards certain things.
RINA : Is a person of effort. I’m amazed and admire how she constantly has some sort of goal in mind.
HARUNA : innocent
MAMI : two-sided nature
RINA : a hard worker
HARUNA : An honest hard worker.
MAMI : A unique individual with many unknown faces.
TOMOMI : A fun individual who lightens the atmosphere.
How has been the response from your American audience to the new album?
Prior to our debut, our first tour was in the United States despite not having done one in Japan. Everyone at each venue welcomed us with open arms, and we had been grateful the entire time. I’d like to take the time to explore the town, go towards the beaches, and enjoy Los Angeles since it’s been a while. (MAMI)
Is there anything you are excited to do when you get to the USA for your tour aside from playing the shows?
During our world tours, we often try to do basic introductions in the local language through the MC. It’s so funny to watch how each fan reacts differently! In Japan, the timing of when everyone raises their hands and waves it is in perfect sync, and I feel like them considering one another to try and match these timings is the true heart of a Japanese. But abroad, everyone just moves as they feel (lol). The hands are all going in different directions, but that unevenness is what makes it look fun and energetic. (HARUNA)
What is the theme of the album「MIRROR」that you would like to convey to your fans?
I feel like many of the songs that were created came from the genuine feelings in our individual lives given the COVID pandemic that was going on during the album’s production. Other songs include those that we were finally able to sing because of the life experiences we’ve had throughout the years. It’s an album that was created to reflect us not only as band members, but also as an individual person in our current state. (HARUNA)