We spoke to Skarlett from Skarlett Riot about Macmillan Fest, their upcoming tour and her dream festival line-up. 


So for anyone who hasn’t heard of Skarlett Riot before, what is the origin of your name?

Basically, we used the ‘Skarlett’ as the female stamp on the band, and the ‘Riot’ is the guys. It sounds a little cheesy but that’s how we came up with the name. We’re basically a hard rock female fronted band from North Lincolnshire.

How would you best describe your music?

Definitely ballsy, hard rock, very gritty, and it kind of fuses a lot of rock and metal together to create something more original.

Sounds good. So you’re playing Macmillan Fest this year, and you’ve played it before. Are you looking forward to playing it again?

Yeah, yeah, we can’t wait, for sure!

What was your favourite thing about playing it before?

The whole day really, it was organised brilliantly, everyone was friendly, and the bands were great. We got to play on main stage last time as well, which was a great experience to be in the rescue rooms supporting. I think Jettblack were headlining.

Are there any bands that you’re hoping to catch this year?

I’m looking forward to listening to The One Hundred, I’ve heard a lot about them. There’s quite a lot of bands on the Stealth Stage that I want to see. Evil Scarecrow, who are playing the main stage. We’ve never seen them before, but we’ve heard loads about them so I’m looking forward to catching them.

So, if you were to create your own festival, who would be in your dream line up?

Oh wow, I’ve not been asked that one before, that makes me think. I’m trying to think of bands that I’d love to share the bill with. I’d probably go with Bullet For My Valentine, Halestorm, The Pretty Reckless, Flyleaf, Shinedown, Alter Bridge. Those kind of American hard rock bands. I’ve just started getting into a band called Wovenwar as well. Nothing More, Heaven’s Basement. Just that kind of hard rock theme.

Do you prefer playing festival or your own shows?

It’s difficult because we did Download in 2012 and we’ve done Leeds and Reading and all the big festivals, and they’ve been amazing because there’s so many people there and you’re playing to new people. But when you’re doing your own headline shows you just have a kind of warmth there from the crowd, because they’re coming to see you and they know who you are, and filling the venues and your shows, and singing the lyrics back to you. So, even though it’s amazing to play to new people and you’ve got the festival vibe, which is great, but I think you can’t beat the feeling of people singing the lyrics back to you and seeing familiar faces coming back to your show again. So, I’d probably go with our own shows.

Yeah it’s a bit more personal then. So, you’ve got a tour coming up! What shows are you most looking forward to?

I’d say London, just because of what it is. We’ve played London a few times and it always gets hyped up to be such a big thing. It’s our first time at Barfly as well, so we’re just trying to increase the fan base and we’re just excited to see how many people are going to come to our shows, but a bit nervous as well. I’d say Sheffield and Manchester because they’re nearer to our hometown so we tend to always have a really good vibe and a good atmosphere there. We get to see the familiar faces that we’ve made friends with in previous years come back to see us again, so it’s more like a home town, friendly vibe as well.

Do you tend to get that a lot, the same fans coming over again?

We do, it’s really nice. We tend to have a lot of connection on social media with our fans, so we get to know everyone anyway and I like to be able to recognise everybody at the shows and go up to people and find out their names and have a chat, and the next time they come you recognise them. It’s always a big thing for me to just connect with the fans.

So you’re going touring around the UK, but if you could play a show anywhere in the world where would you go to?

That’s difficult. I think I’d say Vans Warped Tour in America because it’s not just one festival. It’s about 48 shows and you tend to share a tour bus with all the other bands, and you go round day to day. You’re out for a good three month or something, and you’re pretty much doing a show every day. It’d just be an amazing experience to meet those bands and to meet new people, and you’d be gigging everyday which is exactly what we’d want to be doing.

I suppose you’d get to see a lot of bands then as well. It’d be like one long holiday.

Exactly, It’d be lovely and hopefully the weather would be amazing.

Are there any bands that you’d really love to tour with but haven’t had a chance yet?

Oh gosh, there’s loads. Obviously aiming high I’d go with Nickelback, Shinedown, Alter Bridge, Halestorm, The Pretty Reckless. I’d love to do some stuff with Wovenwar, Nothing More. A lot of the American style bands, Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach as well, It’d just be an amazing experience.

What have been your best and worst tour experiences so far, have you ever had anything that’s gone horribly wrong?

Actually we’ve been quite lucky, we’ve never have anything really bad. Our favourite festival experience will have been Download. I remember quite clearly that we ended up staying in a tent right next to everybody else and the guys next to us were talking till 5 am, and we had to be up at 6 to load the van up, and we were first on the Pepsi Max stage at 11 o’clock. So we had to get up at 6 and get ready, load the bus up and we had a sound check for 8 or 9 o’clock. So I remember having about half an hours sleep, and it was the first time we played Download and I was like ‘oh no I feel really awful right now’. So I can still remember the horrible feeling, the rough feeling that morning. I wouldn’t change it for anything, it was an amazing experience. So, I’d say that was the roughest I’d felt was the morning of Download festival, the time when you want to feel quite good, and I felt awful, but we still gave it our all and did great, but yeah, I’m not a tent person at all.

Yeah, it’s so much easier for guys I’ve noticed than girls, the tent experience

It’s definitely is, they can man it up. At the end of the day for them they can pee anywhere, but for girls it’s like we need to find toilet right now and it’s always about half an hour down the road from where you are. For me it’s always the worst thing were you get tucked into bed as well and you’re just like ‘I need to go again’. So yeah, I’m definitely not a good tenter.

So, what has been your proudest moment of the band so far? Have you ever had that one moment where you’ve thought this is it, we’re making it?

Not necessarily making it because for us we’re constantly trying to up our game and we keep levelled as well, so we never really think oh my god we’re taking off. We keep challenging ourselves to be better. Definitely when we brought out our first album and it’s been our only album so far ‘Turn Me Down’. It was a big deal for us as a band, because we’ve done a lot of EPs and a lot of singles and to release our first debut album, it was just a great feeling to see how the fans perceived it. It’s still doing really well now so we’re really proud of that as a band, and obviously we’ve been able to get on festivals such as Download, Leeds and Reading. This tour that we’ve got in October, we’re quite proud of that even though we’re obviously not sure how it’s going to turn out, we’re nervous. But it’s been great to actually announce a proper headline line and we’ve got The Raven Age supporting us, which has Steve Harris from Iron Maiden, so we’ve got quite a strong bill on that our as well. I’m just looking forward to seeing how the tour is perceived and what the fans think of it as well.

What are your plans after the tour? Have you got anything lined up?

We’re heading into the studio in December, because it’s a quiet month anyway with Christmas coming up so we thought we’d use the time sensibly. So, we’re going back into the studio, we’re recording some more music, and that’ll be ready for release around April time. We’re looking forward to that. At the minute we’re just writing as much as possible. So in every spare moment that we’ve got in between the gigging and the rehearsing for the shows we’re writing lots of music, and then we’re going to pick the best tracks to go on the CD. So it’s quite hectic even though a lot of it is behind the scenes.

Have you got any names thought out for the new album yet or are you just going to figure that out once it’s all done?

We’re just going to figure that out once it’s done. We tend to be quite last minute.

You can catch Skarlett Riot playing on the Stealth Stage at Macmillan Fest this year!

Interview by Gemma Stevenson


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