Interview with Japan’s SCANDAL: Reflecting on their 17-Year Career, Addressing Stigma as a ‘Girl Band’ & More: Empowering Women in Music



Miu Kurashima

Billboard Japan talked to SCANDAL for the most recent installation of its Women in Music meeting collection including women gamers in the Japanese show business. The WIM effort in Japan started in 2015 to commemorate musicians, manufacturers and also execs that have actually made considerable payments to songs and also influenced various other females with their job.

The four-woman band is preparing to do at Billboard Japan’s Women In Music Vol. 1 event, established for Nov. 3 at the Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall in Tokyo. This year notes detraction’s 17th wedding anniversary and also the band has actually been licensed the “longest-running rock band with the same musicians (female)” by the Guinness World Records. This most recent meeting highlights the inner-strength of the 4 participants as they clarify on the value of self-reflection with their sights on being classified a “girl band,” the troubles females deal with when attempting to stabilize a songs profession and also parenthood, and also extra.

You’ll be doing at the Women In Music Vol.1 program in November. How did you really feel when you were asked to do it?

HARUNA: We’re all happy to have actually been welcomed to this remarkable occasion this year, which is additionally crucial to us since it’s our 17th year as an unite and also we’re pursuing a Guinness World Record therefore. Being a lady is something we’ve constantly valued in our profession as a band, so we assume this is the best occasion for us.

RINA: Although we haven’t set the information of our efficiency yet, we intend to reveal where we are as a band today consisting of a brand-new track we’ll be going down following month. Also, as HARUNA stated, the principle of the occasion web links to our very own beliefs, so we intend to make a declaration with our songs while additionally enjoying.

Can’t delay to see you do. You discussed that you’ve valued being a lady in your profession. Could you be extra particular regarding just how this has affected detraction’s tasks?

RINA: In our instance, specifically throughout a particular duration regarding a years back, we were commonly informed just how we’d “gone beyond the scope of a girl band” or that we “were no longer a girl band, but a rock band.” I’m sure it was indicated as a praise, however it really felt truly off at the time. When we thought of why it really felt this way, we recognized we’d never ever really felt woman bands were in some way much better or even worse than any kind of various other type of songs, which we simply truly liked them as a style. Being a lady band had just favorable undertones for us, so when we were informed we’d “gone beyond” it or whatever, we couldn’t take that as a praise.

TOMOMI: I started to assume around that time that it’d behave if individuals might take pleasure in songs produced by females in a band in a much more objective method.

Until I fulfilled you all, I believed that preceding “band” with “girls” was unneeded which you may be immune to being called that. So when you stated you like it as a style by itself and also take satisfaction in it, I recognized my absence of understanding. What do you like regarding it?

TOMOMI: We’ve had chances to do beyond Japan because our indie days, and also utilized to use coordinating college attire attire onstage at that time. Because of that design, I assume regional target markets saw woman bands as a component of Japanese popular culture like anime and also manga. When we were spoken with in the U.S., we were asked why we didn’t begin a dancing team as 4 females in songs. I assume component of the reason that they asked was since EDM was significant at that time, so all-female rock bands should have been unusual there. Being classified like that really felt brand-new so we took it in a favorable method.

RINA: It appears rock bands have actually entered and also obsolescent in numerous nations throughout the years. We’ve been doing this for 17 years as the crazes have actually reoccured, and also I assume we’ve had the ability to open up doors for women that intend to play a tool or play in a band. That’s additionally among our factors for constantly taking satisfaction in our identification as a lady band.

MAMI: For us, playing in a lady band is extra regarding living our lives in our very own method, as opposed to suching as the woman band category and also doing it for its very own purpose. Being in a band has actually been the most effective method for us to send out messages with our tracks regarding things we really feel in our day-to-days live.

You all fulfilled at a songs college where you took singing and also dancing lessons, and also the trainers scheduled you to begin playing tools, which is just how you got going as a band. There weren’t as numerous all-women bands at that time contrasted to today. How did you really feel in the beginning?

RINA: It was an obstacle discovering just how to play a tool I’d never ever played prior to and also it was difficult technique-wise. But there was additionally delight in doing something no one around us had actually ever before done, and also it was enjoyable progressively progressing at something I couldn’t do previously. We were the very first woman band at our songs college, to ensure that additionally really felt unique.

HARUNA: I signed up because college since I constantly liked songs and also wished to hop on phase to sing and also dance. But I couldn’t obtain my luck. I remained in my in 2015 of secondary school at the time (of the band’s development), so I was questioning whether I must most likely to university without understanding my desire or begin trying to find a task and also didn’t intend to miss out on that chance. I could have quit if I’d gotten on my very own, however I had the ability to take pleasure in daily over again and also maintain it many thanks to the various other 3 participants.

Why do you assume less females create bands contrasted to males to begin with?

RINA: Well, you can’t create a band alone and also when you create one with only females, there will certainly come a time when each participant finds life modifications like possibly having youngsters at some time. Our bodies alter throughout our twenties and also thirties no matter, so also if you have the drive, you might face issues relating to physical toughness and also time restraints. In that notice, bench may be greater for females than for males.

TOMOMI: Yeah. If each people had youngsters at various times, we’d need to suspend our tasks for a variety of years. So I truly regard musicians that proceed their songs profession while elevating kids. It should be so hard.

HARUNA: When you take into consideration that, we could have been fortunate to have actually created the band early. We can strike that life phase where points alter after we’ve developed ourselves somewhat since we began early.

RINA: There was a time when I stressed over those comparable issues as various other females that are, claim, white-collar worker and also not in songs regarding just how to stabilize my profession and also personal life. I believed a whole lot regarding what it indicated to have a satisfied and also pleasurable life which altered the method I make songs.

HARUNA: Yeah. We experienced a stage of composing great deals of upbeat, flamboyant tracks that buzz up the group in events and also shows, however began questioning if that was truly sufficient.

MAMI: After we took an excellent take a look at our very own lives and also future as females, that had an effect on our songwriting, which I assume was a truly advantage.

Do the 4 of you ever before speak about such modifications in just how you pity each various other?

MAMI: It’s not like we on a regular basis obtain with each other to go over such points, however we do have chances, like currently, to validate each various other’s viewpoints in meetings and also assume, “Yeah, she’s right.” We additionally speak about it normally when we’re composing tracks. We’ve constantly shared an usual understanding, which is to maintain playing songs in this band while appreciating ourselves, remaining healthy and balanced both in body and also spirit, remaining real, and also for as lengthy as we can.

TOMOMI: And structure on this typical understanding, we intend to maintain upgrading ourselves and also be the most recent variation of that we can be, which sensation is something we additionally cooperate our day-to-day discussions I assume.

I’m starting to see just how difficult it should have been to maintain going with 17 years. Why do you assume detraction has had the ability to proceed for as long? What’s your key?

MAMI: I do a great deal of our songwriting, and also whenever I’m puzzled regarding something I seek advice from the various other participants and also they commonly offer me tips that complete the doing not have aspects. It’s like every one people offsets what the others do not have.

TOMOMI: Maybe the instructors that initially came close to the 4 people had an eye wherefore would certainly function. I’ve questioned, “How did they know how well we’d along?” We meshed like items of a problem.

HARUNA: And we never ever quit playing our corresponding tools. We’re all affordable and also identified. [Laughs] Maybe that’s what the instructors saw in us.

RINA: You’re best. [Laughs] Even after 17 years, we’re still abreast, aiming parallel. We experienced a truly extended period of not banking on where we must be headed as a band. We attempted numerous various points in regards to our songs and also efficiency and also also what we use onstage. Through all of it, oddly sufficient, our sensations have actually been straightened regarding what obtains us fired up or otherwise.

TOMOMI: We did have problem locating instructions for a very long time, however we at some point surpassed that by attempting various points. I was most likely battling to come to be a person. I wished to match some type of mold and mildew, once I quit attempting, points obtained much easier. 

RINA: Also, our rule is “communicate until it gets across.” It doesn’t matter if it’s not stylish or trendy, simply connect whatever we have from the phase. After we got involved in that attitude, we had the ability to overcome our troubles.

HARUNA: We additionally recognized there are points that can just be interacted by maintaining it. I assume that’s why the songs we share maintains altering a growing number of. The points we can just do presently in time is valuable, however in order to maintain doing this for a very long time, we intend to do songs that we can proceed right into our fifties without it really feeling unpleasant.

Could you clarify on what you imply by songs you can maintain providing for a very long time?

RINA: BPM, tone, and also verses. There’s a line where we can inform if it’s alright with where we are currently.

HARUNA: We’d like to continue including words originating from our very own lives in the verses and also not practically the spirit of the band. Not just what’s visible externally, however additionally words that appear of our day-to-days live and also psyches. Having those points as the band’s character will certainly offer it deepness.

RINA: We’ve been competing as long that the value of picking up when struck residence when the pandemic hit. Around that time, I recognized that any kind of method of life can be made right into songs. Maybe since we’ve been energetic because we were young, it’s difficult for individuals to see us as fully grown females. Everyone still remembers their impact from when they initially saw us. That’s why we’re attempting to share that we are currently in our words and also songs, and also really feel that we’ll have the ability to take pleasure in remaining in this band much more in the future by remaining real to ourselves.

This meeting by Rio Hirai (SOW SUGARY FOOD RELEASING) initially showed up on Billboard Japan



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