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Music

SCANDAL: Something New, Something Familiar

It might have only been a year since the All-Female Japanese Rock band, SCANDAL, was in Singapore but on their return they’ve brought plenty of new fuel for fans with their new album, YELLOW. Chasing a new direction in their music, SCANDAL delivers with the same vibe but a different tune.

Performing at The Hard Rock Hotel’s The Coliseum (A venue we’re growing to enjoy with bigger and bigger names playing there), SCANDAL showed up on stage amidst fans yelling, jumping, pumping their fists and general merriment. Though there was an arduously long queue prior to seeing the girls, their voices alone was totally worth the wait for the fans. As a side note, the mainly male-dominated crowd weren’t quite the age many would expect Jrock fans to be, with most of the audience being young adults, a  welcome change: our hearing would be saved from screeching shrieks and screams from a teen audience.

SCANDALSG2016-24-2We were certainly caught off guard when the silence was broken as SCANDAL’s drummer Rina Suzuki pounded out the start for Room No.7 before jumping right into Space Ranger. The girl’s varied personalities and stage presence came out into the fore as they began playing and the night began. We particularly loved it when they brought us back to the past with Kagerou, a SCANDAL classic from 2008 with a beautiful harmony of the girls all singing together.

SCANDALSG2016-34-2The concert continued and the spotlight continually rotated between the 4 members as they swapped who was to take the lead in the next song. With Konyawa Pizza Party, the gathered crowd was blessed with bassist, Tomomi Ogawa‘s adorable singing as the ice cool lead guitarist, Mami Sasazaki backed her up with her own vocals.

Our undisputed favourite song of the night had to be Heaven Na Kibun though, a heavy, grungy tune that had us stop jumping and instead headbang and groove. It’s a perfect example of SCANDAL’s desire to try something different in YELLOW, a fact they pointed out in their interview with us.

SCANDALSG2016-67-2Q:     Could you tell us more about the album Yellow? How do you think it stands out from all the other albums so far?

A:      [TOMOMI] We tried something different when recording Yellow. First of all, we’ve collected a lot of American and British influences to add to our sound so that it is something different from Japan. We also tried doing things like lowering the temperature during recording sessions to make the room quieter. Overall, we just tried to tweak the environment we were recording in to try changing the sound of the music recorded.

Whatever it is they had to do to create this different sound, we highly approve and are definitely looking forward to what the 4 girls can do next.

SCANDALSG2016-33-2After the fan’s insistent cheering for an encore brought SCANDAL back into the lights, rhythm guitarist, Haruna Ono, had to break the bad news: their next song would be their last. But there were no loud groans; fans put on a brave face and prepare to rock out just a little bit more to Taiyo Scandalous with clapping, plenty of jumping and non-stop yelling as the 4 girls played.

We definitely think that the fans made both our night and SCANDAL’s night as well. They gathered crowd had an infectious energy and incredible determination to enjoy the night no matter the cost. We saw guys come straight from work with briefcases charge right into the throng of people alongside shorter fans as they fought to get a better view. Then there were the fans who brought their secret weapon, hanging back with binoculars to see the concert as up close as they wanted. Amidst the very modest light show (we’re thankful for this, our ears might have been pounded but at least we weren’t blinded too), SCANDAL TOUR 2016 [YELLOW] was definitely quite a night.

SCANDALSG2016-57-2Though the attendees weren’t allowed to take any photographs during the concert, we’re sure no one would forget it even if they didn’t have pictures. Plus, it meant everyone was watching the performance and the girls with their eyes, not through their phones.

But wait, there’s more! If you still need a bit more, read our interview with SCANDAL as well:


Q:     What do you do when you hit a creative block when making music? 

A:      [MAMI] Whenever we run into a creative block, the first thing we do is to stop and talk a break. We won’t completely separate ourselves from making music, but it’s important to take a break. Sometimes we take a walk, or listen to other music, or watch TV. The input from all of these sources helps us to go back and finish making music.

Q:     Which artists would you like to collaborate with? (+ What other types of music would you like to try?)

A:      [RINA] We’d like to do collaborations with popular artistes from the countries we visit, even if they are not popular in Japan. If they are popular with the teens, we’ll be more than happy to work with them. But before even jumping into a collaboration, we’d probably talk to them to understand them better as artistes.

A:      [TOMOMI] Yellow is a departure from all our other albums. We would also like to try putting a more reggae spin on our music, something organic where you can clearly hear the bass, for example, at an outdoor event. Yup, we really want to give this a try in the future.

Q:     Since you have been to Singapore five times already, what is your best memory? (+ What would you like to try out next?)

A:      [RINA] We’ve previously been to the Night Safari, and we had a great time. However, we weren’t able to stay very long so we weren’t able to see the animals sleeping. What we’d like would be another chance to go there and spend a bit more time exploring the park.

Q:     What is your group’s musical inspiration?

A:      [RINA] We get a lot of our inspiration from legendary rock acts like Green Day, The Foo Fighters, U2, and The Rolling Stones. We find some of our inspiration from some of the biggest acts in rock history, and we would like to continue the sound.


Setlist:
Room No.7

Stamp!

Space Ranger スペースレンジャー

Kagerou カゲロウ

Sunday Drive

Konyawa Pizza Party 今夜はピザパーティー

SUKI-SUKI

Heaven na Kibun ヘブンな気分

LOVE ME DO

Chiisana Honoo  ちいさなほのお

Take Me Out テイクミーアウト

Image

Sisters

SCANDAL BABY

Departure

Your song(English ver.)

Taiyo Scandalous 太陽スキャンダラス

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Manfred Tham

Metal is my jam and anything about video games, alcohol or films is a good conversation starter with me. Also a massive nerd.

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