Music Q&A:

Finalists in the Road to the Main Stage music competition, Liverpool band Scarlet have supported Bob Geldof and Wolf Alice. Here they tell Big Issue North about their most surreal experiences so far

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What informs your music/songwriting?
Jessie: I think this one will be personal to each member. For me as the lyric and melody writer, it’s all based on storytelling around whatever emotion I’m feeling at the time. I like to create stories around truths and turn them into song narratives.
Jake: Just ideas. And bouncing ideas off each other. No song of ours is written without having countless ideas floated around and tried and changed. It’s a great process.

How have you evolved as a band over the years?
Jessie: We’re a totally different band now. Everything about our music has evolved with age. I’m very proud of the first songs we came out with, for example, Alone is one of the most loved songs in our sets. But as we grow up, our music evolves with us.
Jake: We have grown into more mature artists I think. The songs have definitely become more mature and the music is taking a heavier turn recently which I love

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
Jake: At the moment we’re just off the back of a mini UK tour so we’re taking a big break into the new year to get some new music written and recorded for release.

What’s on your rider?
Jake: Beer. And something vegan for Jess.
Jessie: And something non-alcoholic for me too, because I’m so rock and roll.

What was it like to support Wolf Alice?
Jessie: At the time it was just like playing with any other band. It was cooler to share the stage with another female because that was rare for me.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
Jake: Surreal – at a recent gig someone just walked up to me and took a selfie of the two of us without saying a word, and then walked off. It was a bit odd!
Jessie: Most surreal… playing on the biggest stage I’ve ever seen in Georgia. Walking out playing just before Steve Vai. I couldn’t look up at first. And when I did I was like, ‘how have we blagged this one?’

What song do you wish you’d written?
Jessie: This Time by The Smashing Pumpkins… or Sonnet by The Verve
Jake: Two to Birkenhead by Bill Ryder Jones. It’s an absolutely fantastic song. Both the lyrical and musical content is superb and Bill is an amazing songwriter. The dynamics and tempo changes are just great.

What’s your worst lyric?
Jake: Ever? Probably ‘it would be, it would be so nice’ from Madonna’s Holiday. Madonna is a legend but that lyric grates on me.
Jessie: You can’t ever diss Madonna! My personal worst lyric… that I’ve ever written… I can’t even bring myself to tell you but it was when I was 11 and I wrote a song about being obsessed with Busted and them being ‘all that I need’. I couldn’t possibly go into more detail.

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