24 November 2009
A few months ago, I got a hold of Scarlet Soho’s “Warpaint” (link) and have been stuck on it. I am a sucker for good synthpop, but as I have said before about Scarlet Soho: they are not sitting around and rehashing the past. They may be entrenched in a genre that came to fame in the 80s, but their relevancy and urgency is something here and now. It is infectious and addictive, and after following them on Twitter for the past few weeks (laughing my butt off on more than one occasion), I reached out to the band, and they were more than happy to answer a few questions for SlowdiveMusic Blog. My personal thanks to Scarlet for taking the time to Answer 5.
1. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
SCARLET: We've got quite a wide range of influences, a lot of ideas slip into the songs and the live show without us realising it. The 80s thing gets mentioned a lot but I there are aspects of the band that probably originate from the first wave of British punk bands in the 70s and louder bands like Faith No More. I also think there is an underlying element of humour in SS that most other electro bands lack. I think that is very important.
2. Your sophomore effort, "Warpaint," is very different than your debut in atmosphere. What were the differences in how you approached the writing and recording of your second album to your first?
SCARLET: “Warpaint” is a far more cohesive record. The songs all came from the same writing period whereas the first record was considerably more spread out timewise. It's different in tone as well; it's a more upbeat album as a whole. When we recorded “Divisions...” the third member at the time had just left the band rather acrimoniously, so Jim and I had to do the entire album alone and work out what we were going to do next. I think that had a massive effect on the way the album ended up sounding. “Warpaint” was troublesome to complete for different reasons - our producer had a mental breakdown during the recording, so James and myself were left to pretty much do the whole thing ourselves. We're currently writing and demo-ing tracks for album #3, which we're hoping to put out as quickly as is humanly possible!!!
3. I am always very interested in gear, especially with electro acts. So here are three things I am curious about: analogue or digital? Studio equipment versus live? Favorite guitar?
SCARLET: We tend to prefer analogue-sounding noises but use digital gear to get it. When you're flying out to do a show in Germany for example, I only want to worry about the welfare of my bass! We pride ourselves in being one of the only truly live electro bands around. We played a show in Berlin last week where someone had the audacity to tell Jim that it was "all playback" and "only the vocal was live." This is utter bullshit!!!!! A lot of bands no longer bother and put everything on a backing track; it may ensure that the show sounds good consistently but it's DULL!!!!! We relish in our mis-hit notes and occasional wonkiness! It's what live is all about - the unknown. My bass is my favourite guitar. I've looked at others but they never compare. It's an absolute work of beauty and I love it as much as is possible to love an inanimate object. Just look at it?!!!!
4. In general, why do you think Continental Europeans are more receptive to electro acts than the British or Americans?
SCARLET: It's difficult to say really. They definitely do seem to have a better idea of what we are doing as a band than people over here in the UK. But I'm not sure if that's down to them collectively being more open to something a little different or if it's just because British people are rubbish...
5. Any plans on coming over to the States? Any words for your American fans?
SCARLET: We would love to come to the States! I'll have words with our agent! There's nothing planned as yet but it's definitely something we would like to do in the near future! If anyone can help out with that, drop us a line!!! Any words for our American fans...?
'Favourite'. It has a 'u' in it. Innit.
Keep up with Scarlet Soho at MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.