Haruna, Mami, Tomomi & Rina: “Speak your dreams into existence”

We are simply amazed to think that there are so many people interested in Japanese music and our culture, all around the world! As a band, we are also very inspired and excited by many different cultures in the world. We feel very honored that we can exchange ours with others, to further understand each other. I […]

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We are simply amazed to think that there are so many people interested in Japanese music and our culture, all around the world!

As a band, we are also very inspired and excited by many different cultures in the world. We feel very honored that we can exchange ours with others, to further understand each other.

I had the pleasure of interviewing the band SCANDAL.

SCANDAL is an all-female Japanese rock band from Osaka, Japan. Formed in Summer 2006 by four high school friends, they played live street performances until they were noticed and signed to the indie label Kitty Records. Although all four members have provided lead vocals, their primary roles are Haruna on vocals and rhythm guitar, Mami on lead guitar, Tomomi on bass guitar, and Rina on drums. In 2008, they released three singles and a mini-album while simultaneously touring the United States, France, and Hong Kong. That October, Scandal released their major debut single, “Doll”, on Epic Records Japan.

With massive support radio and media support (Billboard, CNN, ABC, etc), and an energized international fanbase behind them, the band went on to perform the theme songs for several anime series, including “Shōjo S” and “Harukaze” for Bleach, “Shunkan Sentimental” for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, “Pride” for “Star Driver” and “A.M.D.K.J.” for “GeGeGe no Kitarō”.

In 2019, the band founded their own label named “her” and has continued to release a steady stream of chart-topping singles and albums, while bringing their music to venues all across the globe.

The band’s 9th studio album ‘Kiss From The Darkness’ was released in February 2020. The album peaked at number five on the Oricon weekly charts, extending Scandal’s streak of having all nine of their albums reach the top 5 of the charts upon release.

The band’s latest digital single “Spice” dropped earlier this month in collaboration with Xflag for their animated film “Xpice”, which was released on the official Xflag Anime YouTube channel the same day.

Stream the latest single “Spice” here

Stream SCANDAL’S album, “Kiss From The Darkness” here:

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

HARUNA: We are an all-female Japanese rock band from Osaka, Japan. I’m HARUNA on vocal and guitar, our bassist is TOMOMI, Lead guitar is MAMI and RINA is on Drums. We met at dance school in Osaka when we were in high school and formed SCANDAL.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

HARUNA: We were all taking Dance lesson but the teacher at the school told us we should form a band together.

We all knew each other, but none of us had ever played any instruments before (there was no music class at the school either), so we didn’t know what to do! But once we started, it was really exciting and we were all having fun playing music with instruments and now here we are, 14 years later! LOL.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

HARUNA: Probably how we started the band. Because it’s totally different from other bands. We had never touched any instruments before, but we were booked to perform live onstage one week later, so we practiced SO hard! LOL

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

HARUNA: This is a story from our guitarist MAMI. When we started the band, she had no idea that you need to change your strings. So, she was so shocked and confused when her strings broke while she was practicing! Can you believe it?! hahaha

She also thought that if you tune your guitar once, you never have to do it again! Well, she learned the hard way that you have to really take care of/maintain your instruments! LOL

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

HARUNA: Right now, we are preparing for our first worldwide livestream concert on August 21! Unfortunately, we had to cancel our world tour due to Covid-19, but we really wanted to bring the same show to the world via livestream, so we hope you all enjoy it! Don’t miss it!

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in Music Industry? How can that potentially affect our culture?

HARUNA: I’m simply amazed to think that there are so many people interested in Japanese music and our culture, all around the world!

As a band, we are also very inspired and excited by many different cultures in the world. I feel very honored that we can exchange ours with others, to further understand each other.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

HARUNA: There is so many things! I think Mami would say she wished someone had told her about tuning and caring for her guitar! Hahaha. As I said earlier, we formed a band before we even knew how to play instruments, so of course we didn’t know how to rehearse for gigs, or perform live. So we played open strings, and put our guitar effectors in shopping bags and carried them everywhere. LOL

It definitely would have been helpful if someone had taught me how to change guitar/bass stings, and how often, or that you need to tune as often as you can, or just simply how to care for your instruments!

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

HARUNA: It’s not that easy to be stay positive or look forward all the time. We all have our ups and downs, but because I can talk with my other band member, together, we can challenge new things. I think if I was in this alone, I would have given up a long time ago. I

You are all people of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

HARUNA: I think it would be that everyone should be more free and love themselves more. Being comfortable with who you are. I think those are very important things and I think we will make more music with those theme/messages for our next album.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

HARUNA: “Life Lesson Quote”? Let me think…??? Well, perhaps, “Speak your dreams into existence.” From when we were performing on the streets of Osaka, we were always talking about our dream of performing at the Osaka-Jo Hall, and finally we made it happen! Not only that but now we’ve done several world tours! It’s pretty amazing!

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Definitely Jon Favreau! I want him to make the special grilled cheese that he made on “The Chef Show” on Netflix! Hahaha. It would be even better if I could be in the kitchen with him and we could enjoy the grilled cheese straight off the grill! LOL

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