Every band has its share of stories. The road can be tough on anyone, but your average tales pale in comparison to the saga
that is Scarlet. Car accidents, equipment theft, jail time -- there's little the members of this band haven't done or had
done to them. But despite the offstage chaos, it's the musical mayhem that has earned Scarlet a solid fanbase for their mixture
of metal, hardcore and electronics.
Currently on the road in support of their latest release, "This Was Always Meant To Fall Apart," Scarlet brings
their dynamic live show to the road with a new vocalist, a new album, but an all too familiar battery of issues. Rock Star
Journalism spoke with band founder Andreas Magnusson, shortly after the band was dealt yet another setback, as a van accident
nearly derailed their winter tour.
Rock Star Journalism: So, how are you doing today?
Andreas Magnusson: Really good. We're actually going to pick up a van right now.
RSJ: So, you've gotten the van issues sorted out?
AM: Yeah, we found a van that we're in the process of buying.
RSJ: That's good. Is everyone okay from the accident?
AM: Yeah. We all walked away scratch free.
RSJ: Aside from this issue, how have the shows been going on this tour?
AM: They've been hit or miss, either really good or really not good at all. In any bigger city, they've been pretty good,
but we've had some smaller cities that have been 60-75 kid turnouts. But, I think on the average, it's been a little over
200 a night.
RSJ: It's rare to see a hardcore band that has such a visually oriented show. What made you want to do this?
AM: Just to make it more interesting. Watching a lot of live DVDs from bands that we're into, like nine inch nails and
Radiohead; they have these ridiculous live shows. That's kind of the influence, but we do it on a much smaller scale. We
would like to do more, but right now we're hindered by what a place can hold power-wise, cause we've definitely blown circuits
before. But, as we keep going, the live show's definitely gonna get built up pretty well. What we're going out with on the
next tour is probably gonna be the most over the top thing we've done.
RSJ: You've been out of the scene, at least as Scarlet, for awhile prior to putting out this album. What have you been doing
in the meantime?
AM: I've been recording bands.
RSJ: You do a lot of production work, correct?
AM: Yeah, so that's what I've been doing. Everybody else has been hanging out -- our guitar player actually moved to
Indianapolis from Virginia. So, that makes everything a little more difficult.
RSJ: What's been your favorite project of someone else's to work on?
AM: I did the new Black Dahlia Murder record. That was a good time; they're friends of mine, so we all had a fun time
while we were making that. I did another band that's not heavy at all, River City High -- that turned out really well, as
far as a rock record. For me, making a record with people you enjoy being around is the most important thing.
RSJ: After all the issues you've had, and considering that you have other projects, what made you want to put out another
Scarlet album at all?
AM: It definitely wasn't fueled at all by any kind of desire to make money. Just the ideas we had before we started recording
-- we would have spent our own money doing it if we had to just for the fun of making it. Originally, we weren't even planning
on touring much behind this album at all. But, the more we do, the more everyone's enjoying it. With the new line-up and
everything, it's a lot more fun than it was before, so we're planning on being out for most of this year now.
RSJ: You mentioned the new line-up; what led to the split with [former vocalist] John?
AM: As we started recording the record, we decided that we wanted to play shows, and John's not really at the point where
he can tour or do anything like that; he's in school. What was gonna happen was John was gonna do the record, and then we
were gonna find a replacement for touring. And then I think the closer we got to it, John realized how much work it was gonna
be just to do the record, and it wasn't worth it to him, since he wasn't gonna be touring behind it.
RSJ: You recruited your new vocalist, Brandon, from Forever In A Day; what did you see in him that you thought would be
a good fit for Scarlet?
AM: I've recorded that band before, so I knew that he was capable vocally. He came in the studio one day to lay some
vocals down as part of trying out and it just turned out really well.
RSJ: In what ways would you say the sound of this album has evolved from the work on "Cult Classic?"
AM: I hate to say it's matured, cause that's what everybody says, but the songs are more well laid out. I think everything
makes more sense; it's not as random as it was before. It's definitely a lot more layered and textured as far as electronics.
RSJ: I read that the new album was written entirely in the studio. That's unusual for a hardcore band; do you have any concerns
about performing material that hasn't been tested on the road?
AM: To us, the most important thing is definitely the record. Later, a lot of times you have to change stuff around to
be able to play it live. Eventually, we'll be playing all the new songs to sequencers live and playing with all the electronics.
For us, we'd rather do whatever to get it to sound the way we want it to sound and then go back and figure out how we're
gonna pull it off live. This time around, we're definitely pulling it off live better than we used to.
RSJ: This is your second full-length release on Ferret. Are you happy with the amount of support they've given you?
AM: Yeah. When we started doing this record, it was not the greatest time with us and Ferret just because they were worried
about us getting a new singer and they were afraid that we weren't gonna tour and all that. But right now, everything's going
really well. They've helped out a whole lot getting us out of what we're in right now, finding a new van.
RSJ: I know this group has been through a lot, but what's been the most surreal experience you've encountered while being
AM: Oh, lots of things. The tour we went on a couple months ago, where we hadn't played in almost two years, on our way
to the first show we were driving through Oklahoma and me and two other guys got arrested. There was some pot in the van
-- it was totally stupid. So, we spent all this money getting everybody out of jail, and two days later our bass player had
a mild stroke and had to be rushed into emergency brain surgery. That's definitely a pretty surreal thing.
As a whole, we've had our trailer stolen with all our equipment, we had our van and trailer stolen once in Dallas, one
time we lost an entire tire off our trailer, and we ended up almost dying once again and being stranded in the desert for
six hours waiting for a tow truck. This band -- for the amount that we've been out, we have more stories than anyone.
RSJ: Despite all those things, what do you think has most kept you going?
AM: Just for the fun of doing it. None of us are doing it for any type of career reasons or anything like that. We all
really enjoy what we do, and we're going to continue to do it as long as we can get by with doing it. We all get along really
well, and it's really fun to hang out; I feel like musically, we're all very into it. But it's definitely hard, cause every
single thing puts you in debt. We've lost thousands and thousands of dollars on this band, so doing it is totally just for
fun. It's probably a really horrible idea for us to do the band.
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