The combination of their band name and the very interesting CD cover made us kinda curious. Add to that the fact, we’re dealing with an all-female band from Canada, and you can imagine that our attention was caught right away. Their MCD “Reborn” was already a good introduction to the band, showing us the musical skills of these four lovely ladies [actually three ladies now, because bassplayer Yvonne has recently left the band, but she was still there by the time we did this interview]. I bet, there aren’t too many Metal Maidens readers out there, who know all the facts about these talented female sinners. We got in touch with the band and made them tell us their story. After KITTIE, this is the second all-female metal band from Canada, so we proudly introduce you to SCARLET SINS....
When did SCARLET SINS get together as a band, and how did you meet up?
Cris: “Yvonne and I met just over two years ago and we used to jam to covers before we were interested in writing our own songs. We met through the same website, that we found Karli and Sylvia through. Karli posted an ad and she joined a week later.“
Sylvia: “I joined the band last April, so this line up has been together for a year now.”
Did any of you play in other bands before SCARLET SINS and if yes, did you record anything?
Sylvia: “Yes, I played in SURFACE UNDERGROUND. We recorded a full length CD, self-titled, available at www.CDbaby.com.”
Cris: “I’ve played in a few other bands, but none were serious enough to record anything.”
Yvonne: “Me too!”
Who came up with the band name and why did you decide to call yourself SCARLET SINS?
Cris: “I drove by a church in Toronto, that had this quote on a billboard that said “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” and I couldn’t get the words scarlet sins out of my head. It was very feminine and dark, which is what we are all about. Everyone liked it, so we went with it.”
Which bands can we see as musical influences of SCARLET SINS and maybe you can also tell us a bit more about the influences of each band member individually?
Cris: “My biggest influences are METALLICA, A PERFECT CIRCLE, RAMMSTEIN, TOOL, NINE INCH NAILS, ALICE IN CHAINS, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, ZAKK WYLDE and BLACK SABBATH.”
Karli: “I love Josh Freese from A PERFECT CIRCLE. His drumming is incredibly creative, unique and technical. I am inspired by most drummers though; I like to listen to songs on the radio for different styles and take an idea or two from that to make it my own.”
Sylvia: “DEFTONES, A PERFECT CIRCLE, ALICE IN CHAINS, MOTLEY CRUE, JEFF BUCKLEY and right now I'm in love with the NEVERENDING WHITE LIGHTS.”
Yvonne: “I’m very much influenced by grunge - the grungier, the better!”
Who set out the musical direction of SCARLET SINS, or are we dealing with a ship with four captains here?
Sylvia: “I would say it's a ship with four captains. Everyone has something to offer that creates the SCARLET SINS sound.”
Cris: “When we started, our style was all over the place. When we decided that we should define our sound, we looked at what our biggest common influences were (A PERFECT CIRCLE, TOOL, ALICE IN CHAINS) and we focussed on elements that were crucial for us. We wanted our songs to be rhythmic, yet melodic. At the same time we wanted the songs to be aggressive, but with dark, haunting vocals as opposed to screams.”
Karli: “We all have equal musical input and complement each other well that way.”
Maybe this is a very personal question, but you all look very young. May I ask you how old you are and how you got involved with this kind of music at such a fairly young age, where most ladies of your age are more into BRITNEY SPEARS, SHAKIRA or MADONNA or the rappers scene!
Karli: “Ha! Never! I was always into alternative rock and grunge like FOO FIGHTERS, GOB and TREBLE CHARGER, then eventually I got into the harder stuff like NINE INCH NAILS, TOOL and A PERFECT CIRCLE. I love KORN! I do like softer music, but mainly hard rock.”
Yvonne: “As long as I feel young, it’s all good!”
Sylvia: “I loved hard rock growing up...still do. I always had a strong voice and since I started singing I would cover songs from bands like AEROSMITH, MOTLEY CRUE, JOAN JETT and GUNS N' ROSES.”
Cris: “Ever since I was little, I grew up listening to classical music. To me, metal and hard rock are the closest styles to the composers I enjoyed listening to like Beethoven, Paganini, and Mozart. When I was little, I remember that AEROSMITH and GUNS N' ROSES were huge, and when grunge came out, I had to learn to play guitar.”
Let’s take a look at your live shows, if we may. With which bands have you shared the stage already?
Cris: “We’ve had the pleasure of sharing the stage with APRIL WINE (Canada), HELIX (Canada), ROBIN BLACK AND THE INTERGALACTIC ROCK STARS (Canada), THE SEX SLAVES (NYC), THE FLAIRS (Canada), BOBNOXIOUS (Canada), as well as tons of other bands.”
What has been your biggest gig so far?
Karli: “Definitely the APRIL WINE show at the beginning of April. There were almost a seven hundred people there. It was a great show!”
Do you also play any covers, or do you stick to your own penned material only?
Cris: “We do a couple of covers. “Judith” by A PERFECT CIRCLE and “Change” by the DEFTONES.”
Sylvia: “We used to do “Them Bones” by ALICE IN CHAINS and “The Trooper” by IRON MAIDEN.”
Have you ever played outside of Canada, and if yes, where was that?
Yvonne: “Not yet!”
Cris: “One of our goals is to tour Europe, like the Netherlands, Germany, and Japan.”
What’s the metal scene like in Canada? Are there many clubs or is it very difficult to find a good club, where you can rock the joint?
Sylvia: “There are a few great spots to play.... The metal scene is still very strong.”
Cris: “There are a lot of metal fans in Canada and a lot of talented underground bands. Some bands that we’ve played with that are awesome are SECTORSEVEN and TWO KNIVES. In Toronto, there are a million clubs for live bands, but there are a handful that are really good like the Horseshoe, El Mocambo, Opera House, the Reverb and the Bovine Sex Club. It’s not difficult to find good clubs, if you’re willing to put in the time to look for them and make contacts.”
Which other well-known bands come from your area, and do you visit a lot of live gigs yourself?
Sylvia: “I try to catch as many lives shows as possible to support other bands.”
Cris: “Five of my favourite local bands are THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE (new wave/industrial rock), LYE (hard rock/industrial), EXIT TO NOWHERE (hard rock/industrial), THE HOLLOW (progressive metal) and CATHARTIK (hard rock/progressive). I like to support other local bands by going to their shows or sending my friends, if I can’t make it.”
Karli: “SINGLETHREAT is a great hard rock/nu-metal band, whose travelled through the States and all over Ontario. Also, HANDHELD is a great punk band, that’s been on the scene lately.”
What’s the last big live show you attended?
Sylvia: “BON JOVI. Shut up and don't laugh. He rocks! That man ages like fine wine!”
Cris: “BON JOVI. Sylvia gave me a free ticket. Other shows I saw this year were NIN and IRON MAIDEN. I’m going to see JEFF MARTIN (TEA PARTY) next week and YNGWIE MALMSTEEN - my idol - in May!”
Yvonne: “The last show I saw was NINE INCH NAILS.”
Karli: “NINE INCH NAILS! Wuw! VIP, how amazing was that! I talked to Jerome.”
You supported HELIX, a while ago. What was that experience like and did you learn anything from this band, who have been around for ages?
Sylvia: “What we learned? Keep rocking! Man, you're never to old to play!”
Cris: “The HELIX gig was awesome! Their audience had a wide range – from early twenties to late forties I’m guessing – and the fans we spoke to really enjoyed our set.”
Maybe you can tell some nice stories about life on the road. You must have been into some nice, funny or hilarious situations. Maybe you can share some of these nice moments with us here?
Cris: “Yvonne falls asleep everywhere we go!” (laughs)
Karli: “When it's just the four of us travelling, I feel like a rock star, because we are not your average girls. We have our individual styles and personalities and our chemistry is great. They are like my older sisters, so it's always an awesome time wherever we go. I feel privileged to walk beside them. As Cris would say, it's our little posse!”
Sylvia: “The day of our APRIL WINE show we decided to get matching band tattoos! We got the T from our SCARLET SINS logo (it’s a dagger).”
Are your male groupies lining up after one of your shows, or have you never witnessed that some guys want more than just a drumstick, a guitar pick or an autograph?
Sylvia: “The guys, so far, have all been very decent. Well, except for the odd stocker, that just won't go away.”
Karli: “They want us to sign everything!”
Cris: “Most guys are pretty decent. Sometimes they’re actually really shy, when talking with us.”
What’s the reaction like of the press towards your CD “Reborn”?
Yvonne: “So far, it’s been great!”
Cris: “Most people are telling us that our sound is refreshing and unique and that’s the biggest compliment for me.”
Sylvia: “They all want more, which is great! Every one wants a full length.”
Did you also get any negative critics, and how do you deal with those in general? Do you try to learn from what they write, or do you rather forget about it as quickly as possible?
Sylvia: “We tell them to fuck off! Just kidding!”
Cris: (laughs) “You can’t please everyone, so why get upset over it? As long as I like what I’m doing, that’s all I care about.”
What are your future plans?
Sylvia: “To conquer the world! Tour! Sell millions of albums! Then tour some more!”
Did you already write any new material, and if yes, what can we expect comparing to the songs on “Reborn”?
Yvonne: “We’re working on some new songs right now. They’re not complete yet, so I’m not sure how they will sound until it’s done. Our songs are always a work in progress.”
Sylvia: “More life experiences to write about...in your face, heavy, melodic rock!”
Are there any interesting and important gigs on your calendar?
Sylvia: “Lots of outdoor festivals this summer to thousands of people. Woohooooo!!”
What’s your favorite SCARLET SINS song and why?
Yvonne: “That must be “Drown”. It’s fun to play and it’s such an upbeat song!”
Sylvia: “I would have to say it's a toss up between “Drown” and “With You” (our only ballad), which is not on the disc.”
Cris: “I love playing “Above Ground” (because of the groove) and “Reborn” (playing it requires many different skills).”
Karli: “I love playing “Above Ground”, because the groove is really awesome and it's just different.”
Is there a chance, SCARLET SINS will spread their wings and fly over to Europe to play some gigs one day, or is it to premature for this?
Sylvia: “When do i pack my bags?? It's definitely on the agenda. All we need is $$$$, so whoever is reading this and has some spare cash, please help us so that we can go to Europe!”
Yvonne:”It’ll happen one day; we’ll MAKE it happen!”
Cris: “Like I said, it’s one of our goals to tour Europe. I’ve always told the girls that Amsterdam has to be our first and last stop on the tour.”
The fact, that you are an all-female band does that have any major advantages or disadvantages, or are you treated like any other band in your opinion?
Sylvia: “There are two sides to it. You get recognition because you’re all-female, but people pay attention to see if you're any good.”
Yvonne: “It could be both good and bad. Good because it grabs people’s attention, but bad because people sometimes underestimate us before we play. However, we always win them over after we finish our set.”
Cris: “People have these preconceived ideas about female bands, because there are female bands out there, who don’t deserve the attention they’re getting. In the end, music isn’t about gender and a band’s music should stand on its own, regardless of gender.”
We are an online ‘zine from The Netherlands, which is completely focussed on the female musicians in the hard rock and heavy metal scene. Do you feel that women still need the special attention that we give them? Or do you think, you already get all the recognition that you earn so much as a lady rocker?
Sylvia: “I think you still need it in some ways. Some people are still very critical and think that girls don't measure up to the boys, but it is getting better.”
Cris: “It’s nice that we, as women in rock, have exclusive media outlets like your website. I do hate it when I see untalented or manufactured female groups get lots of attention in other media, like the PUSSYCAT DOLLS! What the fuck is that!?!”
What else do you know about our country, besides the fact that we have colorful tulips, tasty cheese and beautiful windmills?
Cris: “I read in our newspaper that your Immigration Minister (also named Rita!) just announced that any new immigrants (excluding Canadians and some other select nationalities) must watch a movie that shows topless women and gay men kissing before doing a test to gain entry to your country. That’s fuckin’ great! Oh, and the Cannabis Cup! I hear Canada does really well at this competition.”
Sylvia: “You can smoke pot and not get arrested, prostitution is legal. The land is actually below sea level…”
Do you have any other hobbies or interests, besides playing music in an all-female rock band?
Yvonne: “Huh…what other hobbies?”
Cris: “I play competitive soccer (centre-mid, division II). I’m really good at baking desserts and cooking gourmet meals, and I love doing graphics.”
Sylvia: “The outdoors, hanging out with my dog. Just being active. I'm also into interior design.... I would love to get more into that in the future.”
Karli: “Fitness is important to all of us, I think. I love edgy stuff - rock climbing, skydiving, mountain biking, stunt blading, etc.”
To what kind of music do you listen to in your spare time?
Karli: “Everything, except country.”
Cris: “Mostly these bands: METALLICA, A PERFECT CIRCLE, RAMMSTEIN, TOOL, NINE INCH NAILS, EXIT TO NOWHERE (CAN) and 30 SECONDS TO MARS, but I also love classical, metal, hard rock, grunge, even some blues, pop and jazz. I hate country music. To me, it sounds like bad rock music.”
Yvonne: “A little bit of everything, but mostly alternative, grunge and metal.”
Sylvia: “Everything! From classical to metal to top 40. It depends what mood I’m in. From EDITH PIAF to BLACK SABBATH, to the NEVERENDING WHITE LIGHTS to METALLICA.”
Where can people find you on the internet, and how important is the internet for a band like SCARLET SINS nowadays?
Yvonne: “Go to: www.scarletsinsonline.com and www.myspace.com/scarletsins. MySpace has helped us tremendously in spreading our music to people all over the world.”
Sylvia: “The internet is very important for us.”
Cris: “Thank God for the internet! So many more people know about us because of it!”
What’s so special about SCARLET SINS, that people should buy your CD instead of all the zillion other releases, that come out every month? In other words, please go ahead and advertise for “Reborn” here, it’s for free!
Sylvia: “You haven’t heard anything like it!”
Cris: “If you love heavy, melodic music, then buy this limited edition CD, so you can brag to your friends in a few years that you knew us first! This CD will make all your other CD's jealous! Click here to save your soul: www.cdbaby.com/cd/scarletsins.”
Would you like to add something to this interview here? Maybe there’s something we forgot to mention here, which is essential enough for the story of SCARLET SINS?
Cris: “Plans for the next year are to record a full album and to expand our territory. Stay tuned for more live footage to be added to the site! We are always looking for people to help out at shows or to help promote the band, so just contact us through our website: www.scarletsinsonline.com.”
Do you have any messages for our readers?
Cris: “The best way to keep in touch with us and join the world of SCARLET SINS is to sign up on our messageboard! We give gifts to people for posting a lot and we post our news there first. Plus you can make friends with people, who can share live footage and pics that we may not post on our website. Sign up at: www.scarletsinsonline.com/board”.
The last words are for SCARLET SINS....
Everybody: “See you on the road! We love you all!”
Visit their website at: http://www.scarletsinsonline.com
*REBORN ('05 - MCD)