Face to face with Scarlet Soho
Scarlet Soho have been carrying the flag of underground electro pop for ages. Their career has been a glorious story with renowned releases under their belts, hard as well as great times and relentless touring not many can afford. In 2013 Scarlet Soho are continuing the traditions of heavy gigging together with planning the release of their special ‘Best Of” collection and a third studio full-length in prospect. The band’s bass player Scarlet casts light on the band’s future, past and a lot more.
- The year 2012 was a very busy one for you with EP releases and touring. What were the main highlights of last year for Scarlet Soho as you see them?
S: WE DID A LOT OF TOURING LAST YEAR, WHICH I ALWAYS ENJOY. A DEFINITE HIGHLIGHT WAS PLAYING WAVE GOTIK TREFFEN. IT WAS A LAST MINUTE ADDITION TO A TOUR AND WE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT. THE SHOW WAS AMAZING, AND THE FESTIVAL WAS A REAL EYE-OPENER SO IT’S AN ABSOLUTE PLEASURE TO BE ASKED TO RETURN THIS YEAR!
WE ARE PLAYING AT VOLKSPALAST WHICH IS A HUGE OLD CONCERT HALL. PLAYING BEAUTIFUL VENUES IS ALWAYS A JOY.
- This year promises to be very big for the band too. There’s a release of your Best Of collection coming up soon. How are you planning to pick up songs to include in this collection?
S: GETTING ASKED TO DO A ‘BEST OF…’ COLLECTION IS SUCH AN HONOUR! IT WAS A HUGE SURPRISE AND WE DIDN’T REALLY KNOW WHICH SONGS TO CHOOSE. SO WE ENDED UP ASKING FANS VIA OUR FACEBOOK PAGE. THE RESULT WAS REALLY INTERESTING – A LOT OF PEOPLE SUGGESTED SOME OF OUR OLDER AND LESSER KNOWN TRACKS, SO WE DECIDED TO ADD SOME BONUS MATERIAL. THIS INCLUDES SOME EARLY SONGS THAT THE NEWER FANS WILL NOT HAVE HEARD, A LIVE TRACK FROM MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL AND SOME DANCE REMIXES. THE ‘BEST OF…’ SIDE OF THE ALBUM IS A MIX OF SONGS FROM THE FIRST AND SECOND ALBUM. I THINK IT WILL BE PRETTY REPRESENTATIVE OF WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED SO FAR!
- Scarlet Soho’s third studio full-length is also in prospect. Have you got any details of the release yet?
S: WE ARE HOPING TO GET ALBUM 3 OUT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. WE’LL BE HAPPY IF WE CAN GET IT OUT BY THE END OF THE YEAR, BUT IT DEPENDS ON HOW MUCH TIME WE SPEND ON THE ROAD THE REST OF 2013. WE HAVE BEEN WORKING HARD AND ARE PLANNING TO REALLY KNUCKLE DOWN OVER THE SUMMER MONTHS AS WE ONLY HAVE A FEW LIVE COMMITMENTS. IT’S SOUNDING VERY FRESH SO FAR!
- What’s the usual process of birth of your new material? What’s the best atmosphere for you to write songs in?
S: JAMES IS PROLIFIC. HE WRITES CONSTANTLY. WHEN WE ARE ON THE ROAD HE IS AWAY FROM HIS USUAL RESOURCES SO IS UNABLE TO WRITE, WHICH MEANS THAT ON RETURNING FROM A TOUR HE TENDS TO WRITE A GREAT AMOUNT.
WE TRY TO KEEP THINGS NEW BY RECORDING IN DIFFERENT WAYS AND IN DIFFERENT PLACES. BUT WHILST JAMES IS FORMULATING THE DEMOS HE TENDS TO KEEP THINGS SIMPLE BY SINGING INTO A DICTAPHONE, AND HOLING HIMSELF UP IN HIS ROOM ON HIS OWN UNTIL THEY ARE FINISHED.
- Scarlet Soho tour a lot. What’s your favourite way to kill the time travelling from one place to another? Concerning listening to music on the road, have you got any particular road favourites you listen to while travelling?
S: HA HA HA! WE LISTEN TO A FAIR BIT ON THE ROAD. WE’RE NOT REALLY THE TYPE OF BAND TO ALL HAVE HEADPHONES ON AND LISTEN TO DIFFERENT THINGS. IF SOMEONE WANTS TO LISTEN TO SOMETHING WE ALL HAVE TO ENDURE IT!
WE HAVE ALWAYS HAD A TRADITION OF ALWAYS LISTENING TO CHAS&DAVE WHEN WE DRIVE OFF THE FERRY BACK ONTO ENGLISH SOIL. RECENTLY WE’VE BEEN LISTENING TO FRENCH ACCORDION MUSIC WHEN WE ALIGHT AT CALAIS. WE GENERALLY TAKE CDS (OR CASSETTES… WE LIKE CASSETTES) SO IT’S ALWAYS AN ALBUM IN IT’S ENTIRETY RATHER THAN A PLAYLIST. ANYTHING BY KRAFTWERK IS GREAT FOR TRAVELLING. THE LAST TOUR WE LISTENED TO A LOT OF TYPE O NEGATIVE(?). ERASURE’S GREATEST HITS GETS A LOT OF PLAYS. AS DOES SCOTT WALKER. SO A WIDE MIX REALLY! WE’VE ALSO BEEN LISTENING TO SOME AUDIO BOOKS AS WELL. WE ARE HALFWAY THROUGH THE ALAN PARTRIDGE AUTOBIOGRAPHY, WHICH IS GREAT. WE PICK UP WHERE WE LEFT OFF FROM THE PREVIOUS TOUR.
UNFORTUNATELY AUDIO BOOKS SEND ME TO SLEEP, SO I’VE MISSED QUITE A LOT!
- Which bands did you grow up listening and how did they influence the music you make yourself?
S: YESTERDAY JAMES AND I WERE LISTENING BACK TO LOAD OF OLD SCARLET SOHO STUFF FOR THE ‘BEST OF…’ AND IT’S FUNNY TO HEAR HOW MUCH WE WERE INFLUENCED BY CERTAIN BANDS BACK THEN. WE DIDN’T NOTICE IT SO MUCH AT THE TIME. THERE WERE DEFINITE HINTS OF MANIC STREET PREACHERS, MANSUN AND QUITE A LOT OF ROCK AND PUNK STUFF. WHICH DOESN’T REALLY FIGURE IN WHAT WE DO THESE DAYS. WE ALMOST USED TO BE A BIT PROG, ALTHOUGH MAYBE THAT’S JUST COS WE COULDN’T WRITE PROPER SONGS BACK THEN…?
I STARTED PLAYING BASS BECAUSE MY BROTHER PLAYED GUITAR. WE LISTENED TO A LOT OF THE SAME BANDS (FAITH NO MORE, THE CLASH, WILDHEARTS) AND WENT TO THE SAME GIGS. YOU END UP PICKING UP A LOT OF INFLUENCES JUST BY WATCHING OTHER BANDS. A LOT OF ELEMENTS KIND OF SEEP IN WITHOUT YOU REALISING.
BOTH JAMES AND I HAVE A LOVE OF 80’S ELECTRO, NOISY PUNK BANDS, AND PURE POP SONGS. I THINK THIS ALL SHOWS IN WHAT WE HAVE WRITTEN.
- Scarlet Soho have been in music for a really long time. What have been keeping you motivated and inspired to give Scarlet Soho this kind of longevity?
S: IN THE PAST I THOUGHT ABOUT QUITTING A FEW TIMES. WE DID ACTUALLY SPLIT THE BAND UP AFTER WE PARTED WAYS WITH OUR FIRST GUITARIST BUT IT DIDN’T LAST VERY LONG. JAMES AND I MADE THE ‘FINAL’ DECISION TO QUIT AND THEN WENT TO WATCH A FRIEND’S ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW IN LONDON. WE BOTH GOT CATASTROPHICALLY DRUNK, JAMES VOMITED EVERYWHERE, ENDED UP AT MY HOUSE AS I DEEMED HIM TOO DRUNK TO GO HOME ON HIS OWN. BY THE NEXT DAY WE HAD DECIDED IT PROBABLY WASN’T THE BEST IDEA TO SPLIT UP THE BAND!
A VERY GOOD FRIEND OF MINE TOLD ME VERY EARLY ON, THAT THE LONGER YOU DO SOMETHING THE BETTER YOU GET AT IT. AND I BELIEVE THIS TO BE TRUE. IF WE’D ACTUALLY QUIT WE WOULD’VE MISSED OUT ON SO MANY INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITIES! I CAN’T IMAGINE NOT DOING IT.
- How have you evolved as a band since the beginning of Scarlet Soho?
S: AS I SAID, WE’VE GOT BETTER AT WRITING, BETTER AT PERFORMING, BETTER AT PRODUCING. BETTER AT MAKING DECISIONS. I HAVE ALSO LEARNT HOW TO APPLY MAKEUP AND NOT DRESS LIKE A TWAT.
- What’s your opinion on electro/pop music nowadays?
S: THERE IS QUITE A LOT THAT I LIKE. THE NEW DAFT PUNK SINGLE IS GREAT. A LOT OF MAINSTREAM POP IS REALLY GOOD. I DON’T THINK THERE ARE A LOT OF ALBUMS THAT ARE GOOD AS A WHOLE THESE DAYS WHICH IS A SHAME. IT’S ALL ABOUT SINGLES. BUT THERE ARE ALWAYS A FEW EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE, LIKE ROBYN AND FRANK OCEAN.
- What are your interests apart from music?
S: I READ. AT THE MOMENT I AM READING ‘THE MASTER AND MARGARITA’ BY BULGAKOV. WHICH IS GREAT. I WATCH A LOT OF FILMS AT HOME AND AT THE CINEMA. I RECENTLY WATCH ‘PLACE BEYOND THE PINES’ AND ‘EVIL DEAD’. BOTH OF WHICH ARE AWESOME. I TEND TO WATCH QUITE A LOT OF FOREIGN FILMS AND ARTY STUFF, BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF BLOCKBUSTERS I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS SUMMER – ‘STAR TREK’, ‘IRON MAN 3′, ‘PACIFIC RIM’, ‘MAN OF STEEL’! LOTS OF GREAT FILMS!
I’VE ALSO BEEN WATCHING ‘PERSON OF INTEREST’ AND ‘THE WALKING DEAD’ (BIT LATE ON THAT ONE, BUT AM REALLY ENJOYING IT!). I’M UP TO DATE ON ‘BREAKING BAD’ AND ‘GAME OF THRONES’. THERE IS SOME DAMN GOOD TV ABOUT AT THE MOMENT!
I’M ALSO LOOKING FORWARD TO THE LIBERACE BIOPIC BY SODERBERGH – THE TRAILER LOOKS AMAZING.
- What’s your main rule in life?
S: DON’T BE A CUNT.