It's no secret that SCANDAL is beloved by fans around the world. Few other Japanese acts have as large, as dedicated or as vocal of an international fan base. Despite this fact, SCANDAL has never ventured far into the international market. Until now.
SCANDAL is preparing to go on its first world tour this week with a show in Paris, France. The band will be travelling across the world, including a brief run through the US, in the coming months to promote its latest album "HELLO WORLD". JpopAsia caught up with the band ahead of the tour. Check out our interview below:
JPA: How does it feel to be travelling the world on your biggest tour to-date and performing for your international fans? Is the vibe or the fans different in any way than when you play in Japan?
RINA：We go abroad for shows every year, but this is our first time to go around the world on a “world tour”, so we are very happy that we can go overseas with our newest album, which is packed with the latest “SCANDAL” songs! Our international fans are so energetic and that’s what we really love about them! We are really looking forward to having fun together!
- JPA: The title of your latest album is “Hello World”. Did you guys intentionally plan to take this album to a wider international audience?
RINA：We wanted to make an album that can be a BGM in our everyday lives, so this album is filled with situations and feelings that everyone has experienced. You can probably feel the Japanese seasons and emotions in the songs. We hope that our fans overseas will listen to this album and come to love Japan through us!
JPA: Is there anything, or any place in particular that you are looking forward to visiting or seeing during this tour? Will you have any time off to see any sights in any of the cities you will visit?
HARUNA：Yes, there are a lot of things that we want to do and see, but we’re especially looking forward to all the different food!
- JPA: More and more Japanese pop and rock artists are finding a substantial international audience for their music and SCANDAL also has empowered a lot of girls to play music and start bands themselves. Do you see yourselves as role models for the next generation of Japanese girls? Or for girls around the world that like your music?
MAMI: When we started, we had never even touched an instrument or really understood how to be in a band. Now it is amazing that we have so many people that listen to our music and come to our shows. We are really grateful and think we are very blessed.
- JPA: “Image” alludes to a bright future and a new start. Did you have something specific in mind when you made this song?
MAMI： Doing our second show in Osaka-jo Hall, which was our dream to play from the very beginning, and also performing 2-days in Yokohama Arena were big hurdles that we were overcame. We imagined a whole new future after that.
JPA: Many of your songs talk about change and the future. Is this an allegory for the band and its future as well? Where do you see the band going next in terms of its creative path?
MAMI：I think the band’s mood and motivations will change after this world tour. I hope to get a lot of influence from this tour and to reflect them in our production.
- JPA: SCANDAL has been together for nearly a decade now. How have your relationships with each other changed and matured over the years? Do you hang out a lot together outside of the group?
RINA： As I look back, I don’t think we’ve ever had any bad times. When we first formed the band, I had never imagined that we will come to have our 10th anniversary. But now, I can imagine SCANDAL after another 10 years. I hope we can stay as a band that can play all over the world. We are always together in our private lives too. We often go out to eat.
- JPA: “Departure” describes a couple that goes their separate ways. What was the inspiration behind this track?
MAMI： In a shopping street near my home there is a huge cherry tree, and that was the image I used to create the story behind this song. March 3rd was the day we debuted from an indie label, and also the day we first performed solo at the Osaka-jo Hall. So I kind of had a feeling that spring is an important season for a band. I am very happy that I got to sing about such special season.
JPA: Everyone in the band participated in the songwriting of this album, and everyone had songs where they sang lead vocals. What was the creative process for this record? How did the songs come together?
TOMOMI: It depends on the song, but for me, I play my acoustic guitar at home, and choose the chords and create the basic composition of the song. Then I collaborate with an arranger. I think the other band members have a different vocabulary than me, so each finished work has a different character. I think we are able to express more of our natural selves as all four of us began to write the songs as well as the words.
- JPA: Is there an interesting or especially funny or ironic story from any of your past tours or during your time together that you could relate to us?
TOMOMI： “Food,” which is another fun part of being on tour! We always look forward to eating all the local food!
- JPA: Please gives all your fans at JpopAsia one last message!
HARUNA： Thank you so much for all your support! We want to perform our best for all the fans waiting for us, so please look forward to our shows!