english > Kalle Pyyhtinen (SCARLET YOUTH)

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Kalle Pyyhtinen (SCARLET YOUTH)

Tell us something about Scarlet Youth?
Kalle: We're finnish-german band playing beautiful indie pop and rock music. Four out of five of us come from Finland and our singer, Markus, lives in Germany. These days it is not a problem, we can easily exchange demo mp3s and lyrics via internet, to develop songs. I write the music and lyrics in Scarlet Youth and everyone brings their own touch to it when we record everyones parts for a release.

A brief history of how the band started?
Kalle: I was making some Slowdive-style songs, just for fun, back in 2004. Then they lived only in my hard drive until 2007. At that time I was making website for Markus' band Sidewaytown and it seemed Markus and I liked many similiar bands, so I thought to send him few of my demos. He liked them and suggested that he could sing for them. Everything worked very well, so we started Scarlet Youth. Soon after I asked my friend Jaani to play drums and he brought along Riku-Niilo and Marko.

Scarlet Youth is very significant name? Very opposite of Sonic Youth. How did you choose the name?
Kalle: It has been taken from a short movie with same name, from 1920's. Somehow I liked the sound of it and the meaning as well. I haven't seen the movie though. So it hasn't got anything to do with Sonic Youth, though I bet some may have thought so. Actually I didn't like them until about two years ago.
[ scarlet youth ]

scarlet youth   © Terhi Ylimäinen

Are you shoegaze? Or Nu-gaze? Or both? Or nothing of that?
Kalle: Well, we have been influenced by shoegaze music, but more in our "Breaking the Patterns" EP era. In that time I was very interested with the shoegaze music. I think our album has so much other influences as well. Same goes with the new songs I've made after the album. I'd see our music more as pop or indie-pop nowadays, with hint of shoegaze. Maybe the shoegaze influences show mainly in soft vocals. I love that style vocals. As a songwriter I don't want to bound the music of Scarlet Youth too much to one certain genre. In long run that would become pretty boring.

Why did you separate song on album on A & B side even they're not recorded as vinyl?
Kalle: I wanted there to be the same spirit as in vinyl releases, which often have two different, considered entities on the each side, among the album wholeness. I think the idea came to me when I listened to Joy Division's "Closer" vinyl, where A-side is vibrant and more up-tempo and B-side is ethereal and melancholic. So I wanted to divide our album to A and B parts. Part A has rockier, melancholic songs as part B is poppier and lighter in atmosphere, with more drum machines and so on.

Who is Sofia C?
Kalle: Sofia C refers to one of my favourite movie makers, Sofia Coppola. I love her films, especially "Lost in Translation". So first it was only a random working title for the song, but later I wanted the name to remain in the lyrics as well.

I think there are so many interesting bands from Finland? Do you know some that deserve to be mention?
Kalle: There are some finnish bands I listen to, like Pooma, This Empty Flow, PMMP, Scandinavian Music Group and some others. And I could also mention Iconcrash and Kemopetrol. Some members of Scarlet Youth play in them as well. But I myself listen more swedish music, heh.

Are there any song that you would like to cover and any artist that you would like to play with?
Kalle: I've been thinking about making a cover of Saint Etienne or Sade. And few others as well. I would like to cover some artist I like, but which wouldn't be too obvious choice. I think it is more interesting to do a cover that way. Slowdive would be pretty neat band to play with, but maybe just because they aren't around anymore and it is not possible by any means. And maybe because they kind of inspired me to start this band.

Song/album that changed your life?
Kalle: This is a hard one… Maybe This Empty Flow's album "Magenta Skycode" pointed me to direction of softer kind of pop music. I think I listened to that album for months back in '98. The ending track "Sweet bloom of night time flowers" must be one of the most beautiful tracks ever written.

Which do you prefer, cd, vinyl or mp3?
Kalle: I consume all of them. I've been buying many vinyls lately, love the feeling and sound they have. I've also around 700-800 cds. I also have converted some of my CDs to mp3s because I listen to them in my iPod. But I love to have the physical release in my hands - to read lyrics, browse booklet etc.

These days people should support artists and buy their music, physical or digital. For a small bands like us, it is the only way we can keep on going releasing music. We are not on a big label and are paying the recording and mixing by ourselves, so if people only download music without paying for it, we might not be able to release any music in the future. So if you download it and like it, buy it. It is not that big investment.

Scarlet Youth - Somewhere

What do you listen when you're at home, on tour, right now…?
Kalle: I listen to music all the time. When working, when at home, in bus with my iPod etc. Right now I'm listening to the second album of Anna Järvinen. Finnish-born singer, who lives in Sweden. Last night I listened to The Radio Dept. Pet Grief when I couldn't sleep. It is one of the best albums ever made. In past few years I've been listening to a lots of The Radio Dept., Jens Lekman, Air, Au Revoir Simone, Phoenix, Washed Out, Ryan Adams, Saint Etienne, Slowdive, The Smashing Pumpkins and the list goes on.

Tell me something I would never guess about you?
Kalle: When I was a teenager I listened only to black- and death metal. I still listen to some albums I did back then, once in a year or two. But I don't think I'm gonna get influenced by them, heh.

Thank you so much for your time. Is there anything else you'd like to say to our readers?
Kalle: Thank you for the interview! I'm looking forward visiting Croatia again sometime soon. It is very beautiful country. Our video "Somewhere" has some clips filmed in Croatia last summer. You can watch the video at our website.

pedja // 12/11/2010


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