Scarlet Desire is a very interesting band altough they only released 2 songs so far. But hey: it's all because of the ongoing pandemic and I wanted to give them a little push in the back and some extra exposure!
From where is the band’s name SCARLET DESIRE coming? Why this name?
Danae: Our music praises the significance of love and internal power, courage and determination. The inextinguishable desire to achieve your goal is the only path to success. Nobody else is going to fight for your happiness if you don’t. It‘s more than a right. It’s a responsibility for every human being. Face your fear, don’t bury it. Your weapon to fight it is your love for what you want to conquer. Your lance in the battlefield of life is your own and personal SCARLET DESIRE.
I got inspired to use the color Scarlet in our band name from the song A Dream of Scarlet Nights by one of my favorite bands "Siebenburgen". The song contains one of the most passionate and evocative pieces of dark literature encountered in metal music today and describes to a great extent the overall aesthetic of SD. Scarlet is also a royal color and that serves a purpose too: we should be treating ourselves and desires with respect, give them the #1 place in our lives, without let anyone else lead them instead of us.
Can you tell a bit of the history of the band?
Esa: We met online already in 2013 when I was advertising my band on YouTube. Later I was looking for a vocalist and I remembered seeing that Danae was a vocalist and decided to contact her. When I heard some of her recordings, I was immediately sure that we can work on my songs together. We planned first recordings and I flew to London and we recorded few demo songs and decided the band name. Later we did recordings in Greece and Finland. We have used session drummer and bass player so far, but they are good friends and it’s possible to ask them join the band later for concerts also.
Cry for your Name was the first track released, how do you look back at it? How is the feedback so far?
Esa: It was such a great project to finish. The song had been sitting on my computer unfinished for some years and then I started again looking for ways to finish it and found Oliver Palotai who agreed to make orchestrations for the song. Then I sent it to Danae and she got so excited about it that she booked flights to Finland for vocal recordings in 2019. Then I found Jacob Hansen, who is one of the top metal mixing engineers. He really made our song sound amazing and it was a very strong debut single. We have only heard positive feedback and the support has been great on Youtube, Facebook and YouTube. Still today the song sounds really great and we are very happy in the way it turned out to be.
Your new single Maiden of Snow took some time to get into the final stage, but now that the clip and single has been released it feels like fitting for the Viking Series or a new Lord Of The Rings movie. How do you feel about this song?
Esa: Yes, unofortunately it took a lot of time. It was because of the pandemic mostly, otherwise recordings would have been done already earlier. But the result was again amazing for us. Everyone has liked the song and we have got only great feedback. And the video director Patrik Nuorteva did a great job capturing the Scandinavian winter mood and Finnish Kalevala mythology atmosphere to the lyric video. We feel very good about the song, and can’t wait to advertise and promote these 2 first releases and work on the next ones!
It's a story in the theme of Finnish mythology Kalevala, but can you explain it a bit to those who don’t know this story?
Esa: It’s a long story and hard to make a short version of it, so here it is:
When the old sage, Väinämöinen ,was traveling wide in the search of a wife, he was captured by the old mistress of Pohjola, the land of the North. In return for giving him safe passage from the land of Pohjola back to his native country, the enchantress Louhi of Pohjola wanted to have made the Sampo, a magic artifact. Väinämöinen replied that he could not make her one, but that Ilmarinen could, and promised to send the great smith to Pohjola to do just that. In return for this wondrous device, Louhi would also give Ilmarinen her daughter's hand in marriage.
On having returned home, Väinämöinen tries to awe Ilmarinen with tales of the maiden's beauty and so lure him to Pohjola. Ilmarinen sees through the ruse, however, and refuses. Not to be outdone, Väinämöinen tricks the smith into climbing a fir tree trying to bring down moonlight that is glimmering on the branches. Conjuring a storm-wind with his magical song, Väinämöinen then blows Ilmarinen away to Pohjola.
Once there, Ilmarinen is approached by the toothless hag, Louhi, and her daughter, the Maiden of Pohjola, and having seen the maiden's beauty, consents to build a Sampo. For three days, he sought a place to build a great forge. In that forge he placed metals and started working, tending the magic fire with help of the slaves of Pohjola.
On the first day, Ilmarinen looked down into the flames and saw that the metal had taken the form of a crossbow with a golden arch, a copper shaft and quarrel-tips of silver. But the bow had an evil spirit, asking for a new victim each day, and so Ilmarinen broke it and cast the pieces back into the fire.
On the second day, there came a metal ship from the fire, with ribs of gold and copper oars. Though beautiful to behold, it too was evil at heart, being too eager to rush towards battle, and so, Ilmarinen broke the magic boat apart and cast back the pieces once more.
On the third day, a metal cow emerged, with golden horns and the sun and the stars on its brow. But alas, it was ill-tempered, and so the magical heifer was broken into pieces and melted down.
On the fourth day, a golden plow is pulled from the forge, with a golden plowshare, a copper beam and silver handles. But it too is flawed, plowing up planted fields and furrowing meadows. In despair, Ilmarinen destroys his creation once more.
Angered at his lack of success, Ilmarinen conjures the four winds to fan the flames. The winds blow for three days, until finally, the Sampo is born, taking the shape of a magic mill that produces grain, salt and gold. Pleased with his creation at last, Ilmarinen presents it to Louhi, who promptly locks it in a vault deep underground.
Returning triumphant to the Maiden of Pohjola, Ilmarinen bids her to become his wife. To his dismay, she refuses to leave her native land, forcing him to return home alone and dejected
NOTE: The version we have used for the song is influenced by an alteration written in the runic alphabet. In this one, some things differ to the official version:
1)Ilmarinen and Väinämöinen are siblings, 2)Ilmarinen willingly goes to Pohjola and 3) the Maiden of Pohjola accepts Ilmarinen as her husband.
You also worked with Heikki Pöyhiä on vocals, how did that happen and why him?
Esa: I knew Heikki already from High school and I knew his vocal capabilities. I asked him to do the growl vocals and he agreed. It was definitely a great choice and we are looking forward to working with him again, maybe even with clean vocals. He used to sing in a power metal band called Twilightning.
Danae Komodromou you have a classical background and you are an educated soprano. How did you end up singing with a Finnish metal band, whilst you are from Greece?
Danae: I love opera and classical as much as I love metal music. I have been singing and composing music of all the above genres for more than 13 years. That activity brought great results regarding my cooperation with metal musicians. This just hasn't happened yet to that degree with classical music. My main goal is to communicate with the audience via the music I make, and so far metal has done that with success. Of course, any further development in the opera world would always be welcome.
I know a friend who lives in Thesalonniki and he told me even the hospitals are in lockdown, so how did you manage to record anything?
Danae: I spent about 3 weeks recording last September. The pandemic was still under control in Greece back then, as the corona virus cases had really gone down during the summer. There was still some possibility to get some work done in the studio. If we had planned to do that a little later, I doubt that it would 've been possible.
I suppose that also makes it hard to work on future music projects, new songs, … How do you manage to keep going in these hard times?
Esa: I will take the responsiblity now to work on producing our earlier demo songs to become more final versions and then we can see if Danae could again record vocals in Greece. If pandemic ends and we are able to meet again, then of course we can work and record more efficiently and fast and hopefully finish more songs at once.
Oliver Palotai, you are keyboardist from Kamelot, how did you get involved in it? How is it going with Kamelot?
Esa: Before the first single “Cry for your name” I was searching orchestrators online and came across few guys. I e-mailed them asking if they would be interested. I think I got 2 answers but I decided to go with Oliver Palotai. And actually only later I realized that he is the keyboardist of Kamelot! And he did amazing job with the orchestrations!
Oliver: I was guitarist and keyboarder for Doro Pesch for 8 years, and at one point Kamelot and Doro played together. Obviously I caught the attention of Thomas Youngblood, Kamelot’s guitarist, and Roy Khan - back then still Kamelot’s singer -, and shortly after the keyboarder position became vacant. So I got the call.
Kamelot is, at the moment, affected by the pandemic like every other band. Our touring plans are still getting postponed again and again. But we are working consistently on the new album, and we’re hoping that we’re back on stage later this year, or latest 2022.
Mixing and mastering was done by Jacob Hansen, how did you manage to get in touch with him?
Esa: I was looking online who are the best mixing engineers in our genre, and found Jacob Hansen. I contacted him directly with e-mail and he agreed to mix and master the song. I really wanted to get the song a mix that would sound the best it can be, and I feel like Jacob was just the right choice. He was very helpful and did a great job.
What will the future bring? New tracks? A record company?
Esa: I hope we can finish more songs as soon as possible so fans don’t have to wait 1 year for more songs. That’s really the main goal right now. We have not had any record label conversations yet because we only have 2 songs out. We probably have to wait a bit longer to finish at least an EP before that. But of course we are always open to discuss with any record label. Any financial help would of course help to finish even an album pretty fast.
Any Last Words?
Esa: We would like to thank everyone who helped us to finish these first 2 songs in this way, it has been a great journey so far! We also got compliments from Plamen Dimov, who has been considered the “father” of the band Nightwish. He worked with Tuomas Holopainen and Tarja Turunen in the 90s when Nightwish was beginning to make albums. Also thanks to all fans, radio stations and blogs who supported us so far!