It wouldn't be hard to argue that SCANDAL is at the peak of its career. While the band has been popular for years, its clout with international audiences is rapidly on the rise. This is most evident in the band's ability to take its international touring effort further than ever before.
From September 10 to September 25, SCANDAL will be bringing its "YELLOW" tour to Europe. The European leg of the tour will have stops in 10 different cities, many of which have never been visited by the band before.
SCANDAL took some time to talk with JpopAsia about its European tour, its latest album "YELLOW" and the single "Take Me Out". Check out what the band had to say below:
JPA: Welcome back to Europe! The last time you toured in Europe, you only had 3 performances in 3 countries. This time around, you’ll be holding 10 performances across 8 countries. How does it feel to be expanding your reach across the continent?
Haruna: We are so excited and also surprised. There are the cities which we've never been and which we can't imagine! We will do our best for our fans who listen to our music from so far away.
JPA: For some fans, this is the first time you’re coming to their country, and it’s the first time they’ll have an opportunity to see you live. What can they expect from your concert?
Rina: There will be the songs from our latest album "YELLOW" and also old and new songs. The concerts will be "THIS IS SCANDAL".
JPA: When you’re traveling abroad, you often say that trying new foods is something you look forward to doing. European countries often have unique cuisines associated with their cultural. What are some dishes you want to try while you’re in these foreign countries?
Mami: Italian dishes. The Italian foods are so popular and there are so many Italian restaurants here in Japan, but I think the dishes are arranged a little bit in Japanese way, so I want to try authentic ones.
JPA: The tour you’re on is to promote your latest album “YELLOW”. Much of the album has a happy, upbeat spirit. Did you make the album with an energetic and enjoyable live performance in mind?
Tomomi: Yes, that's right. While on our world tour last year, an interviewer asked us "Is your music serious rock? Or happy rock?". Our answer was "happy rock" and we love the words. So we wanted to put many happy rock songs in this album.
JPA: A common theme in your music on “YELLOW” seemed to be about enjoying your journey through life and finding your happy place. Is this something you’ve learned to do in your own lives?
Rina: [We're] very happy to hear that. As we are living like everyone else, sometimes we get hurt, and sometimes we feel sad, but the feeling we try to put out is always positive one. We haven't yet reach our goal and we have the feeling that we are always in the middle of our journey.
JPA: With this theme in mind, what advice would you give to people who are going through difficult times and are struggling to find their own happy place?
Haruna: What I love to do is to dance. I had never thought that I would be in a band. In the beginning, I was perplexed because there were so many unfamiliar things. But now I love what I do. Your first dream is not all there is. The encounters you have will guide you to find your own place. Go for it.
JPA: In “Sunday Drive”, you advocate taking a trip without a destination in mind to some place new and unexpected. One of your lyrics goes: “Say hello to an unknown town”. Tell us a story about a time you went on a trip like this. What was interesting or enriching about that experience?
Tomomi: Everyday is like that for us. We travel a lot all over the world. Although the tour dates are fixed, sometimes I wake up and ask to myself "Where am I?". But it is always very exciting to visit new cities. Hopefully you will find our feelings like that in this song.
JPA: Last year when you guys were on your “Hello World” world tour, Mami expressed a desire to be influenced by the experience, and to grow as a band. How has this manifested over the past year? How have you grow from your experiences?
Rina: We have become stronger humanly. The tour is tough anyway, with changing circumstances everyday. I realize again the importance of the other 3 members, my accomplices. The relationship between the 4 of us became deeper because of the tour.
JPA: On July 27, you released a new single titled “Take Me Out”. Please tell us about the song.
Mami: This is a rock tune for our concerts, especially outdoor concerts. We thought about the feeling "Japan, seen from outside" while traveling abroad, and we wanted to make something that was characteristic of Japan.
JPA: One of the new tracks on the single is titled “I want you”. It is written and performed by Rina. What inspired you to create this song?
Rina: Taylor Swift inspired me because she is always trying to do new things without fear. We are a band, but we listen to many kinds of music and try to adopt good things to take our music to the next generation. For this song, I arranged the instruments with a program except the vocals and the guitar. The way of making this song is not typical for a band, but it was the best way. We don't want to stick to convention. I made this song feeling freely.
JPA: Please give your fans at JpopAsia one last message.
Haruna: We are really looking forward to seeing you soon in our European tour in September. This year is 10th anniversary for us, we are doing the best show for making you feel our 10 year career. Stay tuned!
Check out the tour dates for the European leg of the "YELLOW" tour below:
10 Sep: Amsterdam, Netherlands
13 Sep: Cologne, Germany
14 Sep: Hamburg, Germany
16 Sep: Wroclaw, Poland
17 Sep: Wien, Austria
18 Sep: Milano, Italy
20 Sep: Marseille, France
21 Sep: Barcelona, Spain
24 Sep: London, United Kingdom
25 Sep: Paris, France
Interview by James Gatmaitan (@aysohmay)
Special thanks to Torpedo Productions