In August 2006 four young ladies: Haruna Ono, Tomomi Ogawa, Mami Sasazaki and Rina Suzuki met in an Osakan vocal and dance school. As they became friends, they decided to form a band. On the 21st of that month they formed Scandal, and they started performing at Osaka Castle Park. The rest is becoming history, as they say.
Today we celebrate their fifth anniversary and take a brief look at this self proclaimed “Most Powerful Japanese Girlie Pop Rock Band.”
First let’s introduce the band.
Haruna Ono–guitar and lead vocals, born August 10, 1988–is the leader and oldest member of the group. Her philosophy is to spotlight each member of the group in every song or performance. This way, no one person gets the all the attention. In my opinion it’s worked quite well.
Tomomi Ogawa–bass and vocals, born May 31, 1990–does quite a bit of the song writing for the group and adds her playing expertise along with her stunning vocals to each song.
Mami Sasazaki–vocals and lead guitar, born May 21, 1990–shows extraordinary guitar playing and an intensity on stage that I’ve not seen in ages. Her solos are something to behold.
Rina Suzuki–drums, keyboard and vocals, born August 21, 1991–is the youngest member of the group and the most outspoken in interviews on and off the stage, besides being quite a drummer in her own right.
Together these four young ladies are rocking Japan and, thanks to the instant communications we have today, the world. So what’s their appeal? Is the music good? Do they have a good live show? The simple answer to those questions is “yes.”
Starting as a garage rock band and progressing to doing J-rock, Scandal is constantly improving and exploring their combined musical talents.
From their break through hit “Doll,” a commentary on their teachers asking them to be more lady-like in their performances and songs, to “Love Survive,” their latest single, they keep getting more polished. Watching them perform, you have to remember they been at this a mere five years. I’ve seen bands that have been organized twice as long as they have and are not yet at the level these young ladies are. Their music’s been featured in several anime series, most notably: Bleach, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Star Driver. An animated version of the band appeared and performed in the anime Loups=Garous as themselves.
They haven’t stayed in Japan, either. In 2008 they visited America, France and Hong Kong, and this past July they appeared at the Am2 anime convention. Their next concert tour of Japan is already scheduled–the details of which can be found on the bands web page with the second link below–and will be their longest tour yet..
That’s fortunate for their fans, since the only way to fully enjoy Scandal is to watch them live. The music is written to be preformed live and the live show is something you shouldn’t miss if you get the chance to go to one. For added incentive, not all of Scandal’s music is available on CD. This was done on purpose, as there are songs meant specifically for concert/live performances that will never make commercial release (though some do end up on the “Live” DVD’s).
Here’s wishing Scandal a very bright future.
And one last thing before I go…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY RINA!!