Interview: The Scarlet Ending Talk "Ghosts"
Mon, 15 Aug 2011 06:42:47
Danny Elfman Photos
The Dresden Dolls Videos
"Most our songs are pop with a little bit of a twist," grins Kaleena Goldsworthy of The Scarlet Ending.
Kaleena offers up the perfect description of her band's sound. Though the melodies can be saccharine and sweet, there's an inviting, infectious darkness to Ghosts, The Scarlet Ending's latest offering. Ghosts hypnotically haunt the space between The Dresden Dolls's vaudevillian punk and Danny Elfman's twisted take on classical. However, The Scarlet Ending go even deeper. Ghosts comes to life with a brilliance and daring that rock 'n' roll desperately needs. This ending is more than welcome…
The Scarlet Ending's sisters Kaleena and Kayleigh Goldsworthy spoke to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino in this exclusive interview about Ghosts, old horror movies, and so much more.
Did you have one complete vision for Ghosts, or did it come together track by track in the studio?
Kayleigh Goldsworthy: The album came together over several years. We started developing and coming up with new songs as a group, and that dictated the direction we wanted to move with the album and band. It ended up a collective effort with all of the songs working together and making one vision, but it all came together on accident built off of the other tracks we had already.
Kaleena Goldsworthy: We have three main songwriters for the band so once we finally got the groove for it, that directed it. We started writing the interludes together. It almost made complete common sense to put together the tracks the way we did. We realized afterwards that it almost narrates a story. We were all on the same page when we finished the record.
What is that story? What ties the album together?
Kaleena Goldsworthy: For the most part, it's a romance gone wrong. We're very inspired by darker things and have his old school, carnival cabaret feel. We've adapted to writing these romance-gone-wrong songs with more of a rock or dark vibe to them.
Kayleigh Goldsworthy: This is funny because none of the songs that I wrote are actually about love or romance. I wrote them with the thought that they could be interpreted several different ways. From my standpoint, we write pop songs. As songwriters, we all came into our own and realized it's okay to be angry about everything and create different sorts of imagery to illustrate basic situations and feelings you're having.
Kaleena Goldsworthy: We want our music to be something you have to think about. It's not superficial. There's something more, but at the same time it's very accessible in a pop sense.
What fosters that visual sensibility? Do you tend to read often or watch a lot of movies?
Kaleena Goldsworthy: It's a combination of all of it. We're all classical musicians or have been inspired by classical music for the most part. It has a lot to do with the direction of the musicality. We're also very interested in old horror movies and radio shows. We actually use samples from old radio shows and creepy ghost stories as a part of our live set.
Kayleigh Goldsworthy: I've always been drawn to old original Brothers Grimm fairy tales. I like taking something seemingly normal and sugarcoated and making it a little more messed-up. That's kind of my approach for songwriting in The Scarlet Ending. It's like a Jekyll and Hyde approach where it sounds like a sweet pop song. I've had people tell us without listening to the words it actually sounds really happy. We've been asked to play a couple of weddings, and I'm like, "Are you sure you want us to play at your wedding?"
Kaleena Goldsworthy: It makes it fun! We use it to dictate our stage show. We make our merch setup even look like an old school carnival event. We want to make it into a show again and have people know us for our show. Our music lends itself to that. Everything took us one step farther.
Which horror movies do you come back to?
Kayleigh Goldsworthy: We like those horror movies you get at the dollar store. There are those cheap DVDs like Carnival of Fear or Santa Visits the Wolfman.
Kaleena Goldsworthy: Wrong Turn is like my favorite movie. I like Jeepers Creepers too [Laughs].
Kayleigh Goldsworthy: We're also friends with another set of identical twin sisters who are horror film writers. We met them last year when we shot our music videos and they helped us. We're working on songs for the films. Modern day horror films help direct where we take it too.
What's the story behind "Save Me"?
Kaleena Goldsworthy: I actually wrote that song about an ex-boyfriend—bet you couldn't tell [Laughs]. I was narrating, and I think it was a turning point for The Scarlet Ending's songwriting where we take something many people go through and make it have this deeper, twisted element where it's not as easy or blatant as it seems. "Save Me" was also one of the first songs we started to heavily lay strings onto. The story was there, but we tried to make it a little deeper than what you would normally expect.
Have you heard The Scarlet Ending yet?