True Swiftians: Scarlet Canary is a Metal Band that Ain’t Afraid to Shake it Off
Scarlet Canary’s most popular song on Spotify is called “The Death of Rock and Roll,” which is a bit ironic, since rock and roll is alive and kicking in their music. The Colorado band’s sound is a riff heavy, balls-out, face-melting combo of blazing guitars, precision drumming, and powerhouse rock vocals in the vein of The Distillers frontwoman Brody Dahl courtesy of frontwoman Hannah Maddox. But part of what makes their swagger so legit, is that the band can move seamlessly between odes to whiskey, and unironic Taylor Swift covers dressed up in thunderous double-kick rolls. Scarlet Canary has come through Southern Oregon several times, and is returning to play at Johnny B’s in Medford on Sun., June 11, and guitarist Allan Maddox took the time to answer a few questions to preview the show.
RVM: What is the band’s background/how did you all get together and find your sound?
AM: The band started in college primarily as a “Three Days Grace” inspired cover band. As we moved into original music we started to pull from Marcos and Marcus’s background in death metal and metal core as well. Hannah had always been a solid vocalist when it came to singing, but screaming was a talent she was developing at the time so it worked out well to start pulling from a bit of our metal influences as she got better and better at it. Now Hannah is a pro and while we try to hold true to our ‘rock’ format ultimately we kind of run off this quote: “Sing when you want to be heard. Scream when you want to be felt.” Running with that basis we have ended up with this ‘aluminum’ rock/metal sound that seems to resonate well with all four band members.
RVM: In this laptop ruled era, do you feel that heavy guitar rock like yours is in decline, or having a renaissance as it returns to the underground? Why or why not?
AM: Rock might be on the decline, but I doubt it will ever die. Our hearts and interest are in the genre and driving around America we’ve found a large number of people who would agree with us. As to where the genre is going who can really say. All we know is that music is our outlet and we love rock and metal. So we’ll play that music as hard and as loud as we can until something makes us stop or it catches on again.
RVM: Onstage and off, rock, especially metal, remains a bit of a boy’s club. You are a mixed gender-band, and one that has covered Taylor Swift and Disney Princesses. Does it change your outlook or choices as a band? What is the reaction from audiences?
AM: Female fronted bands seem to be on the rise to the point that it’s almost becoming its own subgenre of rock and roll. Obviously there is always the drunken creep at a bar that can make our vocalist seem a bit unwelcome, but for the most part 99 percent of the people out there have been very supportive of Hannah’s role in the metal scene. If anything it has been a benefit as more women join the ranks of their male counterparts as front men we are generally met with friendship when entering a venue. Hannah is a bit out of the norm though as her guitarist is her husband. Most people are very respectful of that and I’m sure that does dissuade a part of the “boys club” mentality.
As for covering T-Swift and Disney… REAL men head bang to Disney. Those covers are a lot of fun to play live and generally convince a few more people to get off their bar stool and party with us.
RVM: You’ve played Southern Oregon several times before. Any thoughts or expectations?
AM: We love Southern Oregon. At the Johnny B’s show our friends in the local band ‘Hardway Bend’ are opening for us and we LOVE partying with those guys. Johnny B’s is always a good time and we couldn’t be happier to be back!
Scarlet Canary, with
9 pm Sunday, June 11
Johnny B’s, 120 E. Sixth St., Medford