DIRTY SCARLET - YOUR MISTAKE
RELEASE DATE - 5TH FEBRUARY 2021
‘Big riffs, big melodies, big songs.’ Dirty Scarlet, Barnsley’s very own young, heavy metal and soft rock band, as described by the lead singer and guitarist, Ethan Amos.
Ahead of the band’s first release, ‘Your Mistake’, the new single out Friday 5th February, I caught up with the four members of Dirty Scarlet, over Zoom to find out a little more about the young band bringing the likes of Metallica, Megadeth and Whitesnakes onto the Barnsley music scene. Originally formed in the summer of 2018, lead singer Ethan Amos and Jack Hayes, both 19, on guitar, and drummer Jack Haigh, 15, completed the line up in June 2020, adding Tom Pursley, also 19, on bass.
Before the arrival of the new bassist, Dirty Scarlet played a gig at The White Bear in December 2019 and reunited in March 2020 after a short break to start working on new projects again, before being hit by the impacts of the pandemic. The new single has been in the works since before the first lockdown in March, the original line-up putting together a rough demo based on the writing of Amos. After Pursley’s arrival in June 2020, when the band began to rehearse again when restrictions were lifted, they described Tom as being “very fluent on the bass on the new tune”. They soon got to work on enhancing the single and recorded between lockdowns over the past year.
“I finished the demo in the break we had in January/February time, but then the lockdown hit so we couldn’t really do anything with it.” says Amos, “In the summer, that was like, priority was to finish that.” “We recorded it in September” adds Haigh, “we spent about a month or two mixing and mastering, getting it how we wanted it to sound.”
But let’s rewind, where did the music begin? All members of the band described similar reasons for starting their music journeys. Pursley states “I can just remember hearing that Cliff Burton riff, and I was like, god this is right good!” when hearing ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ by Metallica for the first time, originally having a more pop music taste, with the likes of A-ha. The bassist described how after starting to enjoy metal and rock music, he wanted to get into his own music and play. Haigh features in another band, Steel Mage, as well as Dirty Scarlet, and likes the different styles. Amos and Haigh have made music together for three to four years after meeting as mutual friends at a music event, the two of them recall having “gelled fairly well as musicians” and went on through a couple of local bands before forming their current one.
For Jack Hayes, it came as a realisation that playing music as a hobby in his bedroom could be a waste of a talent he had discovered. He recalls wanting to make a living or something more out of his music ability and play in a band either to make money or just have fun on stage with friends. Ethan shares a similar path, and as a band the bottom line for the Barnsley lads is to share their music with people who love it as much as them, and hopefully make something from it along the way.
As a new band on the scene, they hope to spread the new single and their name as much as possible. So, I asked them, for people who have never heard of Dirty Scarlet, how would you describe yourselves? “A mixture of calm clean riffage but then it can kick into a bit of a storm” answered Jack Haigh, “with distorted guitars and some pounding bass, and some driving drums, I’d say.” Guitarist, Hayes, described them as a band to get the heads bopping, either to songs the crowd have heard before, but also the band’s own works, such as the single out on Friday. In terms of inspirations, the youngsters gave the names of Motley Crue, Status Quo, Rush, Metallica and Whitesnake to name a few. (Hayes and Amos sat with Metallica and Whitesnake posters behind them on the Zoom call as we spoke).
Ethan also spoke of some more interesting influences from the world of pop, something he didn’t seem keen to admit, in the likes of Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish. “I’m ashamed to admit this as a rock singer, but I’m quite a big Taylor Swift fan.” Ethan finds ideas in pop music that he can take to his own, despite changing the genre. He describes parts of their new single being reminiscent of Billie Eilish or pop music in the verses, and suggests he enjoys the dynamics he can gain from pop.
For the future, the band plan to push the new single as far as possible as well as recording a 5 track EP, however a date for this is hard to pinpoint in the current circumstances. The new track ‘Your Mistake’ is definitely not one to be missed. My initial thoughts reminded me of the likes of Guns ‘n’ Roses, I was instantly grabbed by a catchy riff, dynamic changes in tone, with a blend of heavy choruses but also a more relaxed verse. As well as simple but grabbing lyrics, one of which being: “Are you bored, should I leave?” The answer, is simply no. Boredom is not something associated with Dirty Scarlet, so don’t make it ‘your mistake’ missing this new release, rock fans.
Words: Ben Curry