Spotlight Interview With Scarlet Magnum
A fresh release from Scarlet Magnum breaks out some insanely catchy swagger ridden fuzztone garage rock that showcases a youthful soiree of energy and driving soundscape as the songs absolutely destroy.
The Ghost Stories and Supernatural Occurrences EP is packed with heavy handed hooks and melodic vocals that are swarmed with attitude and character as the guitars give off touches of classic rock riffs and feels.
The record has gusto and is incredibly tasteful but still has as many guitar hooks as it does vocal hooks. Maybe more even. Those riffs are just addicting as all hell, and they make you want to jump up and down with the songs.
You can hear influences and tones that make you think of bands like The White Stripes or Death From Above 1979 but then break into a more alternative rock vibe most of the time. It's a great combination of styles and genre mending that really works or these guys.
The songs are built with heart and performed with a pure love for the craft as these guys do their thing.
You get the feel of a live performance and it's part of what makes this so killer. It sounds like the members feed off of each other's energies and it creates a certain atmosphere they just take the reigns of and drive it through the walls.
This EP is super fun and has an edge that's right up in your face the whole time. When songs are mellow, you await the moment of explosion and believe us, it's coming and when it does it's a face melter.
Even when the songs explode, they don't lose that melodic undertone.
With the release of this anthemic EP, we wanted to have a chat with the band members Azi Richman and Jackson Tsukahara to find out where this came from and what may be next for them.
RAG: Let's kick things off with the Ghost Stories and Supernatural Occurrences album. This record has a super fuzztone garage pop rock vibe to it! Where did this album come from?
Azi: After our first EP came out in 2020, we felt the need to reinvent our sound. When you listen to “the basement” from front to back, you can tell that the production quality and the music itself was subpar and rushed. It just didn’t sound like Scarlet Magnum to us. It was only until early 2021 that I had the “a-ha” moment that would define the sound of “ghost stories”; We recorded the entire EP on an iPad and we mixed it through an Altec Lansing Bluetooth Speaker. Once we ran the final masters from front to back, we were very satisfied and overjoyed.
We finally sounded like what we always wanted to sound like. It was great.
RAG: There are certainly some different styles on this release. Who can you say are your biggest musical influences?
Jackson: We both share a love for rock music, and it’s the bands that share that same love as us that gives us our inspiration for our songs. These bands include cleopatrick, Ready the Prince, ZIG MENTALITY, Dead Poet Society, ‘68, Tigercub, and Queens of the Stone Age. The majority of these bands we listen to have three main things in common: filthy, meaty riffs, honest lyrics, and massive-sounding, punchy drums. We take these qualities and add our own spin to it to not make ourselves a copy of those bands.
RAG: When and how did this all start for you as a band?
Azi: The story begins in May of 2020. I had been in other bands before but they all rapidly dissolved for one reason or another, so I really wanted this one to last. Finding a skilled drummer for your band is like finding an engagement ring in a dumpster; they are super rare and hard to come by. I was very lucky to find Nick Mohring, our founding drummer, on Instagram. Six days later, we recorded the drums for our debut single, “everlast,” in his room. “everlast” was then released on July 1, 2020. One month later, we released “the basement” and did a few shows for that release. In between shows, we wrote a lot of songs, recorded a ton of demos, and marketed the EP to podcasts and blogs. On New Year's Eve 2020, we released a one-off single called “falling heavy”; it was mixed and mastered by my long-time friend Jacob Mathews. In April 2021, Nick left the band and I asked Jacob to drum for the shows for “ghost stories”. Right now, Jackson is on the kit and he can rip it up. He’s really helping to push the songwriting in a new direction. As long as there is more for us to explore, we’ll keep going.
RAG: What else really inspires or influences you all to write?
Azi: Inspiration strikes whenever inspiration strikes. It could be elated over a big milestone in your life or it could be crying over a breakup. Every song has its story. For example, “human divided” started life as a catchy sing-along riff that was inspired by hooks in punk songs, (My Chemical Romance’s “Na Na Na” easily comes to mind). Then the lyrics took shape around the riff and the rest was history.
RAG: Will we see any videos this year from you?
Azi: We recently released a new music video for a song off of “ghost stories” called “a song for the mourning.” We also have plans to make more videos spanning from tour vlogs and rig rundowns to random, short-form memes and jokes. We also have a YouTube exclusive podcast called “Reasons Unknown”.
RAG: Are you guys performing live right now?
Azi: As of March 2022, we are trying to book some shows for the latter part of 2022. We haven’t played a show since August of 2021 and we are itching to get back on the road and cause a ruckus.
RAG: Who are you all listening to right now?
Azi: Traditionally I would throw on whatever is in our influences playlist on Spotify, but I am recently getting more into hip-hop and similar subgenres. There is tremendous merit in the genre and the culture it spawned. For example, that “melting-pot mentality” of sharing fan-bases and influences is really something that needs to be embraced in the rock world, because too many musicians and bands are stuck in stylistic ruts and most bands are not even getting their name out there because they only cater to a select population of listeners.
RAG: What are you all doing when you're not working on music?
Azi: When I’m not working on the music itself, I would work on developing a skill set in multimedia production; you can’t have a massive following without a solid outreach through many mediums. To relax, I would chat with friends, scour the internet for cool pedals, play with flight simulator apps on my phone, and occasionally check up on current events. I have a huge passion for fighter aircraft and the number of flight simulator screenshots in my camera roll can take its toll on my phone’s internal storage, but I don’t care. It’s all in good fun.
RAG: What's next for you as a band?
Azi: We are working on new material. I’m super excited as to how things are shaping up, but we haven’t stepped into the studio yet. I hope that after a few shows, we can record something that we are beyond proud of to play live and in our earbuds.
RAG: This album feels like it was a big undertaking. What advice would you have for other up and coming bands out there?
Azi: Everyone starts from somewhere, so don't give yourself a hard time when you're just starting to master your craft. The beauty of making music lies in the fact that we all start from some version of “square one”. From there, you branch out and really start to build your sound; and don't be surprised when there are creative differences within a group setting, every artist is on their own journey as well. Learn to embrace the journey, not to be fixated on the destination.
RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Azi: We wouldn’t be where we are today if not for our fans, and for that, I cannot say thank you enough. But the real magic moment for any fan of any music is when the music touches your soul and cements itself in your being, we hope that you have experienced that magic moment with us.