Skarlett Riot Interview
Skarlett Riot are a heavy hitting, hard rock powerhouse who hail from Scunthorpe, UK. Formed in 2010 Skarlett Riot have been hard at work ever since realising countless singles, three EP’s and two full length albums.
Skarlett Riot’s latest release was the sublime 2017 album “Regenerate”. The band combine heavy metal music and a sublime vocal style which has seen them compared to welsh metal legends Bullet for My Valentine. I recently caught up with Skarlett herself to talk about Regenerate, the bands new heavier sound and bouncy castles…
“With Regenerate we had 3 months to write the album. I think the added pressure helped us in our creativity and helped to make the album the best it could be.”
1) This interview is taking place a few of months since the release of your latest album “Regenerate”. How has the last couple of months been for you all? Is it a good feeling to finally get your music out to the fans?
Yeah definitely, we're so proud of this release and it's been amazing to see the reaction from our fans and press. We've had nothing but positive praise about the album and we've been the busiest we've ever been touring wise. We've been out on 3 support tours so far to support the release and we've just done our first European festival in France! Things are looking good.
2) Has the recording and writing process changed in the 4 years between “Tear Me Down” and “Regenerate”? What are some of the greatest lessons that you have learned throughout the recording process that you will take into your future experiences?
When we wrote “Tear Me Down” we didn't have the pressure of a deadline, we just wrote as many songs as possible and picked the strongest to go out on the album. We recorded this album in two halves, like two Eps, then put the songs together to form an album. With Regenerate we had 3 months to write the album. I think the added pressure helped us in our creativity and helped to make the album the best it could be. We went into the studio over a month. It was great to see the album come together step by step, recording to production.
I've learnt to not be too set in your ways going into the studio. Sometimes new ideas spark once hearing everything recorded and new ideas and additions can be made whilst in the recording process which makes it so exciting! You never really hear the final result until you have it on CD!
“Always push yourself as much as you can, never be too comfortable. For me I like a challenge and I'd love to take our music as far as we can physically go with it.”
3) Warrior shows massive ambition for a band so early in your career. The song has a massive anthem feel and sounds as if it could easily inspire stadium singalongs. Ambition emanates from the band and is clear to see on all of “Regenerate”, but what is the scale of ambition for the band? Are you genuinely going to take over the world?
We hope so, I mean I feel you should settle for nothing less. Always push yourself as much as you can, never be too comfortable. For me I like a challenge and I'd love to take our music as far as we can physically go with it. Touring is what we love, if we can be touring worldwide and make a living off it I'll be happy!
4) Quite a simple question next, how did you guys all meet and what made you want to start up a band?
Dan and Luke are brothers, Skarlett went to school with Dan and our most recent member Martin met us on the local gig circuit many years ago so we've known him a while! We started up as a covers band playing in pubs on a weekend whilst at school for some extra money. Then one day we decided we wanted to start writing our own music and have people want to sing along to our songs!
“Think a female Bullet for My Valentine and I'd say it's as accurate as I can describe! Think catchy choruses, heavy metal riffs and you're there.”
5) If people have never heard of the Skarlett Riot before, how would you describe yourselves to them to hook new listeners in? Is there a specific track which you feel best shows what the band are?
I'd say Bullet for My Valentine meets Katy Perry ;) … Just kidding, but think a female Bullet for My Valentine and I'd say it's as accurate as I can describe! Think catchy choruses, heavy metal riffs and you're there. For me I'd say Warrior pretty much shows off what we are!
6) There is much noise made in the music industry about the difficulties of being a female-fronted rock band in a male dominated industry. Is this something that you have encountered yourselves? If so do you have any words of advice for young female singers who are looking to start a rock band?
I've been quite lucky really and haven't had any experiences with this. I'll get comments from people saying 'when you went onstage I just thought, oh female... I don't like female bands but you guys we're actually really good’... this doesn't really bother me, as they ended up enjoying our show. I don't think being 'female fronted' should make a difference to whether someone listens to you or not or where on a bill you end up on a festival. I think there's so many more female bands out there now then there has ever been!
“We’ve naturally wanted to challenge ourselves as musicians which has made the music evolve the way it has. Lyrically as I've grown up and experienced plenty of ups and downs, the songs have become much darker too!”
7) Let’s be honest, it’s only a matter of time until you hit the major major big time. However, if you had the choice now to headline any festival which would it be and why? Also what would the Skarlett Riot band rider consist of?
We would love to headline Bloodstock in the UK and Soundwave in Australia would be pretty epic! Rider wise we are quite boring! Water, Fruit, Vodka. A bouncy castle would be pretty cool as a pre jump about before going onstage :D
8) Who were some of your musical influences growing up? Has making the style of music you create changed your musical tastes?
We all have different influences, but for me it was Bullet for My Valentine, Evanescence, Alanis Morissette, and Avril Lavigne. My musical tastes have stayed the same personally, I think the bands that had such an impact on you will always stick. I still listen to a variation of music genres, rock, pop, metal which I think shows in my own music with our catchy choruses and melodies!
9) “Regenerate” is a much harder and visceral effort than “Tear Me Down” how did you find the journey of writing and recording much heavier material? Has the process changed and evolved in a similar way to your music?
The harder sound has come naturally to us. It's not something we planned on doing, it just came out that way. I think as we've matured together as a band, we've naturally wanted to challenge ourselves as musicians which has made the music evolve the way it has. Lyrically as I've grown up and experienced plenty of ups and downs, the songs have become much darker too!
“I think Regenerate has definitely given us our signature sound. We always like to improve ourselves with every release and keep it exciting though. Next release expect Regenerate but MORE!!”
10) You are currently touring the UK on The No Sleep! No Surrender! Tour with The Sumo Cycle, how are you finding this tour? Where has been your favourite place to play so far in the tour?
This tour has been our favourite tour yet. We've had such a great reaction on this run and made so many new fans and friends. My personal favourite venue was London Boston Music Rooms. I've never played this venue before but I really liked the layout and whole vibe of the show. Glasgow and Sheffield have also been highlight shows on the tour if I had to pick a favourite!
11) Finally, do you feel on Regenerate that you have discovered THE Skarlett Riot sound? Or are you as a band always trying to evolve and reinvent yourselves?
I think Regenerate has definitely given us our signature sound. We always like to improve ourselves with every release and keep it exciting though. Next release expect Regenerate but MORE!!