Interviewed by Rick "The Screamer" Lindner
Date: July 2011
Minneapolis, Minnesota rockers SCARLET HAZE fronted by the dazzling Kat Perkins are not out to change the rock world, just own it! Playing it safe they do not, blending hard edge melodic rock hooks with cutting edge lyrics they do! The band currently signed to Dirtbag/ILG/Warner are about to set the rock world ablaze with their forthcoming full-length release, due this fall
Current members Kat Perkins (vocals), Eric Warner (guitar), Ken Valdez (guitar), Steve McClurg (bass), and Duff Eisenchenck (drum) quickly became the new festival sensations at the Empire Rock Fest in Sioux Falls, South Dakota recently, but they have their sights set on a much larger target. Follow along as Rockeyez chats with SCARLET HAZE singer, Kat Perkins backstage after their stunning set.
Rick/Rockeyez: Congratulations on an amazing set today at the Empire Rock Fest. Thank you so much for coming to SD to rock out with us. Today you are sharing the stage with CINDERELLA, QUIET RIOT, SLAUGHTER to name a few.
What was your first experience playing at the at Empire Rock fest like with 90 degree plus temperatures as well as dew points well into the 70ís at 3:00 PM in the afternoon?
Kat/SH: It was awesome (laughs)! It was very hot and it was a struggle, but man is it ever worth it. It was an amazing feeling.
Rick/Rockeyez: Even with the conditions today, you had a lot of energy on stage. Were you concerned about making it through an extended set under these conditions?
Kat/SH: We were wondering today as it was our second day in a row playing outside in this heat in the afternoon. For me I just have to get the breathing under control first and then once you have that you can exert yourself a little. I tell you it felt like we took it down a notch today, but I am glad to hear it still translated well.
Rick/Rockeyez: The one thing I appreciate about you and your band as a fan of the big 80ís arena rock and larger modern rock shows of today is I must say I am very impressed with the amount of thought and effort S.H. appears to put not only into the music, but the overall live visual package as well.
Kat/SH: Good! Thank you, I like to hear that. Our booking agent has put us on a lot of these rock festivals/shows and I get concerned sometimes. I want to be out there on the active rock roster, but when you have fans like this you donít want to lose their attention either, so I am glad to hear that. We like that mix as I like playing with both types of bands.
Rick/Rockeyez: Speaking of the active rock roster, when you go to Itunes it shows that people who have bought your single there also bought singles from REV THEORY, MADAM ADAM, POP EVIL, ADELITAíS WAY, etc. Those are all modern chart topping rock bands. That is distinctly different than the bill you played with this weekend. Does that really show the wide audience you have the ability to attract with your music you think or would you choose to really concentrate on either market in your perfect world?
Kat/SH: I have noticed that too which is awesome. It is the market that might help take us to the next level. Our first single "Reach Down" topped out at about 58 or so on the charts this year. We wanted a little better positioning as a freshman band, but as a freshman girl I am satisfied with it. It is nice, we just played with EGYPT CENTRAL and ADELITAíS WAY at a big rock fest in Illinois and it was a lot of fun also like today. Also, MY DARKEST DAYS which was my first time to see them live. I am just a huge fan of music which is why I do this.
Rick/Rockeyez: Letís talk about your single "Reach Down". I actually heard it playing on Music Choice a few months back. Just as you mentioned, you are reaching a lot of different markets.
Kat/SH: Yes that is wonderful. I was in Alaska on a vacation back in April when I went to a bar as soon as I got off the plane and it was actually playing on their version of Music Choice and it was cool to see that.
Rick/Rockeyez: What is it like to see that as it as the TV rock stations also includes information about the band as the song is spinning? Is that a cool or maybe awkward feeling?
Kat/SH: It was weird because I was by myself and I wanted to tell somebody. With the time delay it was around 3:00 AM in the morning and I wanted to tell my friends, but I didnít want to text at that time. It was weird and it was also cool. It made me really happy. Every time it comes on it just takes me back, but I love it.
Rick/Rockeyez: Do you recall where you were at the very first time you heard it play on the radio?
Kat/SH: Yes (smiles). I was driving through Saint Cloud, MN in the middle of the night and yes, I was elated. It gave me the chills when it happened.
Rick/Rockeyez: What about maybe buying your own CD when it comes out in the store?
Kat/SH: I was just thinking about that the other day. I want to go buy the physical copy at the store as that would be so much fun.
Rick/Rockeyez: Letís talk about the new CD. Your initial goal was to have that out sometime in 2011, how is that looking right now?
Kat/SH: In about March I had to have vocal surgery. I had my vocal chords fixed up so it put the timeline on the CD way off. I didnít want to continue to record under those circumstances. It was unfortunate, but I had a great team of doctors who got me back on my feet. I just finished tracking the CD so we will see. I am hoping to get another single out in advance soon or in conjunction with the full release. I am hoping in the fall.
Rick/Rockeyez: Speaking of vocal struggles, Tom Keiffer of CINDERELLA who is also playing here today also has had some of those same battles with vocal issues as well. Did you consult with someone like that so see what they would recommend as far as a quick recovery or what not to do to re-injure yourself?
Kat/SH: I consulted with him actually! Every singer has their own story, but I just wanted to get his take. Now going through the experience once, I wonít be as scared again next time. It was scary as you never know if it is ever going to come back.
Rick/Rockeyez: Letís talk about the two singles "Reach Down" and the newer "Hero" that you currently have available for download in advance of the full-length release. These two songs not only represent the band very well, but in a sense show off the diversity the band offers.
Kat/SH: I really strive to make that full circle thing happen within 10-12 songs. I like to hear that as those two songs are probably the most different songs on the album. Basically A to Z with everything else in between those.
Rick/Rockeyez: The song "Hero" is a very inspiring song to me personally, one of those that send a chill up your back when the chorus kicks in.
Kat/SH: I love how it hits in there also. I feel like I actually wrote that tune in about nine minutes and barely remember writing it. I do remember sitting there getting this idea though.
Rick/Rockeyez: The video that was put together to assist with Japan Tsunami relief is amazing and really puts a lump in your throat as you watch the challenge so many people faced. It is almost like that song was actually written with that in mind?
Kat/SH: I was so glad that we were able to put that out there with that going on and the proceeds go there which I love.
Rick/Rockeyez: When the full-length does hit the stores what will be the plan at that time to support it?
Kat/SH: I would like to try to find some six weeks to about two month tours and stay out longer with it. I want and we need that next level. We need it and we have to do it or we will never go anywhere. We hope to move some units and once we get that going we have a lot of things in the talks right now. Our relationship with Dirtbag Records has been great and that is tied in with ILG/Warner who released the first single "Reach Down" in January. We need to take on the record and help secure tour support and promotional budget, etc. So cross your fingers for us!
Rick/Rockeyez: So when you get off the road here and away from all the rock music and craziness that surrounds it, what goes on with Kat when she isnít on the road? Give me a scenario of a normal day for you from waking up in the morning until you go to bed?
Kat/SH: Music and more music! I also watch so much TV (laughs). So much stupid, crappy TV, but I love my reality shows and I have a DVR and I do a lot of that!
Rick/Rockeyez: Have you ever considered pitching the idea of a little SCARLET HAZE reality show for the world to see (and cash in on)?
Kat/SH: Oh God, I would love it! We would probably totally break up after it (laughs). We would never be able to stay together if we had a reality program! The producersí poking us and making us talk behind each otherís back, could you imagine? I have always thought it would be a funny idea though. It would be funny; they would have plenty to work with.
Rick/Rockeyez: What about growing up, you are a fellow Dakota girl just growing up north of here. How do you get from the upper plains to the Empire Rock fest stage?
Kat/SH: I wish I had a better story, I wished I lived out of my car or something. In reality, I just jumped in my car, moved to Minneapolis and started writing tunes and then started to meet some musicians. I went to New York and did that for a little bit, recorded some demos and then went to Nashville and did some country music for awhile. Then I came back to Minneapolis and went for it.
Rick/Rockeyez: With all of that, do you feel like what you are doing now is where your heart is at?
Kat/SH: Absolutely! I am a happy girl, I couldnít ask for anything more. It is great to perform and that will always be a part of my life. There is something that happens when you write that song or that album from your heart and you get to perform it for the people. It just feels amazing!
Rick/Rockeyez: What type of comments do you get from fans most often about the songs or the band in general that sticks out in your mind?
Kat/SH: Most recently is has all been related to the song "Hero". I love that Tsunami song they say! I just love it that is has been so memorable for the fans. That and I get "youíre so short" after they see us live (laughs).
Rick/Rockeyez: What would you say to a female reader of this story who might be thinking of getting into the rock biz, any advice you would give her?
Kat/SH: If you can do it and do it successfully it is really cool. With that said, it is so hard. You have got to make yourself stand out and youíve got to be different. You have got to have something else. It is just harder. It is a little bit more of a roller coaster, especially going out on the road. We are in a boy land, and we need our mirrors and make-up, personal space and privacy, blah blah, blah. I get that all the time (much laughter follows for both of us).
Rick/Rockeyez: What is it like traveling with all of that testosterone?
Kat/SH: They are kind of like the brothers I never wanted, but I love having! It is awesome. I bring them some girl things I think they love. I think I am becoming one of the boys actually, how sad is that? They gang up on me, but at the end they actually protect me, ha. I wouldnít have it any other way.
Rick/Rockeyez: If you had your perfect three or four band bill you could go out with, who would it be?
Kat/SH: NICKLEBACK, MY DARKEST DAYS, and THE FOO FIGHTERS! They are just all great. MDD is my new favorite that I am kind of obsessed with at the moment actually.
Rick/Rockeyez: Anything we didnít cover you would like to add or a final message for the fans?
Kat/SH: Check out the website. Keep an eye out for the latest on the release. I keep up with Facebook. I live to personally connect with the fans so you can find me there. Thanks for having me!