Scarlet & The Harlots ~ Can’t Get Enough

Susan aka Scarlet

Susan aka Scarlet

Scarlet & The Harlots take blues to the next level by mixing a highly charged blues beat with rock-and-roll riffs. Their latest album Can’t Seem to Get Enough is terrific, and I love the title track. Many members of this indie hard rock and blues band started playing together at Kent State. I had the pleasure of interviewing two members of the group: Susan aka Scarlet, the lead singer, and Trevor, guitarist and saxophone. In addition to Susan and Trevor: Ryan plays guitar, Dylan plays drums, Toussaint plays bass and Chris plays trombone and vocals.

Since I love Can’t Seem to Get Enough, I asked about that song first. I was surprised by Trevor’s answer as to what the song is about: “That song is actually written about barriers to re-entry for people who have been incarcerated, the struggles they have finding jobs and housing. I wanted to get into their head space, so I wrote a song about it.”

I also enjoy the classic blues feel of the single What To Do. Susan told another interesting back story behind that song too: “That song is about frustration with identity and figuring out who you are as a person, wanting to be more than just a cliché. The song is about finding things in life that inspire you. It’s about becoming a community that helps people, instead of individuals. It’s about my frustration with people being selfish, to be honest.”

Scarlet & The Harlots lyrics go much deeper than their edgy hard rock and blues persona. I was blown away! I also hear a bit of Southern rock in their music too. I asked Trevor how he’d describe the band’s sound: “We all listen to a lot of different music and we come from diverse music backgrounds. A lot of us come from a jazz and blues background in music school. The music we learned and the music we listen to finds its way into our band’s music in unique ways. We don’t think too hard about trying to write music that sounds a particular way. It kindda happens.”

Trevor

Trevor

Trevor’s music influences are quite varied: “I listen to everybody from Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix to Count Basie and Beethoven. It’s a big span of music, and I know everyone in the band has an equally diverse repertoire that they listen to. I think that’s what makes our music unique.”

Then, Trevor described his music background: “My uncle would take me to blues gigs, and I did my first blues gig when I was 16 in a small town at this bar called Flappers. From there, I started doing blues gigs and rock-and-roll gigs. I went to college for music and ended up getting a Master’s degree in Composition and saxophone. Whenever I wasn’t in class, I continued to play rock gigs and blues gigs, and that ended up becoming my passion.”

Susan grew up listening to Glenn Miller Orchestra and other big bands with her grandfather, when she was really young: “Then, in my teens, I started playing classical piano and I played flute in band. In high school, I sang in choirs and madrigal groups. I listened to Led Zeppelin, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam and Nirvana. In my twenties, I started going solo work singing opera. Somehow, I ended up in a rock band. I don’t know how that happened, but here I am now.”

Scarlet & The Harlots have a very specific social media strategy. Trevor explains: “We try to make sure that we connect with the audience and bring them in on the ground floor with us. We want them to feel that they’re a part of something bigger and that they can be with us in the future, when we’re bigger and better. We try not to ask them for things and we try not to be overbearing. We want them to feel a part of this thing we’re creating. That’s our goal.”

Scarlet and the Harlots - PerformingSusan has some good advice for other bands with a unique sound who are also trying to make it: “Be yourself. Don’t allow other people to influence you creatively. Really follow your heart and believe in what you’re doing, because there’s going to be a lot of people who will tell you it’s wrong. You really have to believe that what you’re providing is what people need to hear, that it’s something of value to hear as an art form. You really must have faith in your product. Forge ahead!”

What’s up next for Scarlet & The Harlots? Trevor informed: “We have some college dates coming up. We’re trying to get into a bunch of festivals and tours this summer. We’re also working on some new material for new singles or an EP, coming out in four or five months.”

If you want to keep up with Scarlet & The Harlots, jump on Facebook, Twitter or their website.

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Cynthia Kahn, Founder of Amused Now
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