A unique mix of indie folk and jazz rock, The Red Scarves are slowly becoming a Chicago staple. Currently resting on a self-titled EP funded by their win at a battle of the bands, The Red Scarves have since been in the process of touring and crafting their sophomore release, a full-length album titled Sort of Scarlet. I had a chance to talk to the band and ask them a few questions that I thought might be enlightening to future indie artists:
What’s one of the most difficult things you’ve encountered as an independent artist?
RS: It’s been tough to figure out how to actively grow our audience and continue engaging with people while living a couple hours apart from one another. It’s also been hard to publicly distinguish our music from the massive storm of content that’s flying around every day, and to get people to emotionally interact with it in a deep way that makes them want to talk to their friends about what they heard and felt.
What’s been one of your favorite moments so far?
RS: One of our favorite moments has been performing our song “Where I Was Before,” which will be featured on our upcoming album Sort of Scarlet, alongside an orchestra. The orchestra director at the college we all went to wanted to put on a concert featuring modern music forming a bridge between classical and pop. Playing something we wrote alongside excellent classical musicians was a dream come true.
What advice would you give to any other musicians just starting out in the industry?
RS: We would advise musicians just starting out to play with as many people as they can, in as many genres as they can. Also, even though musicians should rehearse to the point where mistakes are very rare, mistakes are bound to happen, so being able to move on from them or make them into something interesting is a necessity. Finally, we think musicians just starting out should think about who their audience is and what that audience might want. If somebody plays music just for themselves, they might find peace and emotional satisfaction, but they probably won’t find an audience to support them. However, whatever’s going on as far as modern music trends go, it’s also important for musicians to be true their own tastes. Passion can be contagious, and if musicians are able to feel totally self-assured and passionate about the sound they’re putting out, that can be a powerful thing.
Powerful indeed, and who better to preach the importance of passion than a group of five young musicians dedicated to a dream, and fighting, undoubtedly, one of the hardest artistic battles there is. If you want to hear more of The Red Scarves, be sure to check out their EP and newest single, “Waiting on the Day”, and stay tuned for their album, Sort of Scarlet, soon to be released this late spring!