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Scarlet INside Interview


Scarlet INside Interview

Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and views  (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)

 

PD. What type of artist are you?

SI. I usually describe myself as an experimenter, someone who tries to be as different and unique as possible. I guess we all believe that we want to be unique, but I’m definitely known as a determined and uncompromising musician; if it feels like something is common and or a popular style, I’ll try to avoid it as much as possible. I try to make new sounds, play with new instruments, experiment with fusion of styles. I record what I feel. I try to let the music come out without compromising or changing to suit.

 

I record what I feel. I try to let the music come out without compromising or changing to suit.

PD. Tell us the brief history of yourself.

SI. I started learning the guitar from the age of 10 and from about 15-16 started to get involved in forming my first bands with my friend Paul Kelly a prodigy Bass player.

In 1985 I got to know a Drummer called Drew McKinley and we formed a band called Scarlet INside and although it lurched from one Spinal Tap style disaster to another, I kept the name and band going even though everyone left for work and other reasons

In 2,000 I was back at UNiversity and was asked if I fancied going to an open mic night. My performances went down pretty well, so I started going to others that I was being invited to. This led to being asked to play gigs as a solo act. I diversified from straightforward singer-songwriter to a more individual style and started to introduce, different styles, longer tracks, synths and noise making ‘things’. I asked a pair of Brother’s (Drums and Bass), if they would like to back me for a gig I had been asked to play. This led to a 3 years or so of playing regular live performances around the country in a band again and the EP ‘The FAll’.

Musical differences led to me having to let them go but from then I was much more determined to retain the full ‘band’ attitude.

I had a great deal of material available with not much to do with it, so I decided to put together the ‘BLood that we SHare’ Albums. A pair of diverse, musical experimentation albums, lyrically loosely based around ideas of Family and life.

Around this time I was approached by the musician, composer and songwriter, Brian JOhnstone of the act Zdiar, to sing on a track for his new solo album and as we got on well and had both similar and complementary ideas on music, I ended up singing the whole of his album; Consent under Coercion and he ended up playing for me as live keyboards and computer tech. We continue to work together although neither of us are technically a member of the other’s act.

Last year I released the album THirty RiVers to CRoss. A 10 track more traditionally progressive rock album but with a wide range of styles, instruments, sounds and ideas incorporated in to it, Which was well received and reviewed.

Recently I have been working on getting a bass player and a drummer through rehearsals to put out a full live band again

PD. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

SI. My Musical influences are the people who have tried to push the boundaries of possibility, have worked to experiment and achieve new things and develop the best sonic textures they can possibly get. My musical ‘hero’, is Peter Gabriel….I would also add to this list people like Kate Bush, Robert Fripp, Frank Zappa, David Sylvian, Mozart,  Bach…my non-musical influences are Tolerance and Kindness, in addition to innovation. I’m also a big fan of world music, particularly The desert African countries blues styles, such as Vieux farke Toure and Indian Classical music.i have to admit though that my all time favourite ‘rock’ act has to be Motorhead, the most uncompromising band in rock music.

PD. What are your dreams and goals?

SI. In simple terms, my ambition has always been to have a working live band. I love to perform Scarlet INside music live more than anything else that I do.

I compose and write a lot…A Lot! So I’m always looking for the perfect next track to record. Like nearly everyone who is a musician my ambitions are to spread the sounds and Ideas of Scarlet INside to as wide an audience as possible. I really enjoy the recording process if it can be one where time can be taken to look for the right sounds and feel for the music under consideration.

Personally, I have ambitions to be asked to collaborate with other musicians who would fit the likes of my list of musical heroes.

PD. Who writes your songs, what are they about?

SI. All of the music and lyrics, I write myself. There is no standard composition process. Sometimes, it’s a musical idea that sounds like a topic that certain words would fit. Sometimes it’s a lyric that demands a certain feel or sound to the music. Often it’s my experimentation with instruments, objects and sounds that feel like a particular subject that requires the right words.

More often than not if a musical idea comes into my head I will try to record it as soon as possible, Usually I’ll give it a name using just random words which feel like what the music sounds like and often this leads to the kind of lyrics I write for the piece.

Many of the lyrics have a personal, introspective note to them but I do write about social issues, politics, Literature, dreams and fantasies…

PD. How do you promote your band and shows?

SI. Every way that is possible or in my knowledge to do so. The INternet has made a dramatic change to the methods musicians can use to promote their music and we can now potentially reach everyone in the world. But it does mean you have to work very hard to be heard above the clamour of a billion other acts.

I work with my partner to develop a publicity strategy that we operate together to get word out to radio stations, blogs, companies, publicists to widen our separate audiences.

 

The INternet has made a dramatic change to the methods musicians can use to promote their music and we can now potentially reach everyone in the world.

PD, What do you think about downloading music online?

SI. I believe the internet to be the greatest invention of the human race. The fact that it is possible to hear and /or download virtually every piece of music ever recorded is among one of the most amazing things I can imagine and as a regular user it would be hypocritical of me to criticise the availability.

There is however no doubt that many people culturally believe that as much of the things available on the internet are ‘free’ that all music should be free.  this is a disaster for the working musician.

There are few other professions in which stealing the use of a service or product is thought to be so generally acceptable.

The ‘Promoting’ musician can use this as one way of potentially getting people to acknowledge their existence. The established artist who can make money in other ways can offset their losses from cheap or free downloads. Neither of these things justify the theft of the product or the heinous actions of the downloading companies who grow rich on the musician’s sweat and toil.

The middle ranking musicians are worse off, I think. To continue, to carry on day to day as a musician, you must earn. If your product is stolen, over and over again or sold for 0.0000000000000000001p per listen then there is no mechanism for survival from the sale of music through internet downloads. Which is why many bands are forced to turn to self management and self selling.

The reduced income from downloading, I think, is also fundamental to the vastly inflated prices for concert tickets, (If you won’t buy the music, then we must make our money in other ways). Interestingly this has also led to a rise in international ticket touting. A reduced number of seats in a reduced number of gigs would annoy people, but when they get used to the prices being sky high anyway, then they’ll pay even more, illegally. Money which the act they are purporting to be supporting doesn’t get.

 

There are few other professions in which stealing the use of a service or product is thought to be so generally acceptable.

PD. What’s your outlook on the record industry today?

SI. In a world were a musician can develop, record and sell their own property, It feels like the industry on some levels is scrabbling around trying to redefine itself. The standard model of discovery, promotion and support over a number of years to grow the band, might still work for some, as in the past, but as a profit driven industry, I imagine the temptation of the one hit ‘bang’ and the release of old material on ‘new media’, leaving the band out of the profit by Machiavellian contracts is too much for them not to see as their profit priorities.

Many of the smaller companies still seem to be operating on a recognisable form, of signing up bands, developing and promoting, albums and live appearances in the hope that they’ll hit at least one gold mine giving them the opportunity to continue their independent nature.

PD. What’s your claim to fame?

SI. There are people around the world that tell me, when they are listening to Scarlet INside, it cannot be mistaken for any other act and is uniquely identifiable.

PD. What are some of your pet peeves?

SI. I’m not fond of covers acts or tribute acts.  maybe they do sound like the originals. But they’re not, and I see little need for them to do so.

PD. What are the biggest obstacles for artists?

SI. As always the biggest obstacle should be the quality of the product but it is more prosaic to say that the biggest obstacle is the quantity and quality of promotion. The availability of finance is often a major obstacle to this but hard work and determination can, if not equal this, at least give them a chance.

There is of course one more important obstacle that artists come up against and that is confidence. If you lose confidence on your ability or your music, you may not continue, if you lose confidence you may not feel brave enough to innovate or develop or grow. It is important to encourage, promote and help those around you. After all they may be just about to produce some fabulous music that’ll change your and others lives for ever.

 

if you lose confidence you may not feel brave enough to innovate or develop or grow. It is important to encourage, promote and help those around you.

PD. Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.

SI. My next gigs will be a series of solo shows. Playing the music of Scarlet INside with a variety of arrangements and instruments. You’ll almost certainly never heard the music like this, and probably won’t ever hear it like this again.

You’ll almost certainly never heard the music like this, and probably won’t ever hear it like this again.

 

Scarlet INside links:

Check out our page for Scarlet INside here

Go to Scarlet INside Website here

Check out Scarlet INside on Facebook here

Watch Scarlet INside on You Tube here

Listen to Scarlet INside on Soundcloud here

Find Scarlet INside on Bandcamp here

Check out Scarlet INside on Reverbnation here

Follow Scarlet INside on Twitter here

Buy Scarlet INside music on Itunes here

Listen to Scarlet INside on Spotify here

Buy Scarlet INside music on Amazon here

Follow Scarlet INside on MySpace here

 


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