Dave Matthew from Scarlett Gypsy, Glam Metal band from York, Pennysylvania took the time out to answer some questions for PlanetMosh following our review of their latest album All Access. Find out a bit about the band, Dave himself and read their exclusive announcement regarding a line-up change!
Can you tell me a little bit about the band and how you got together, who plays what?
Scotty approached me about doing some studio vocal work for him one night years ago when I was in a cover band called Hyde Your Daughters. Steve was one of the lead guitarists in that band and we wound up bringing him into the mix and then we realized it was time to do something we hadn’t done yet – an all original material project, we found a bass player from another local band and Scarlett Gypsy was born.
Scotty – Drums
Steve – Guitars/Vocals
Dave – Vocals/Guitars
Frank – Bass/Vocals
**EXCLUSIVE ANNOUNCEMENT** at the beginning of December 2014 Scarlett Gypsy and Robert Douglas (Bass) mutually parted ways and local central Pennsylvania prominent ax-man, Frank Thomas officially joined the band.
Who is the creative force/who writes the lyrics and music?
Steve and I both share those duties. Frank is also very good at adding tasty bits that really give the songs more expression and dynamics, so in essence Steve and I are the steak and Frank is the sizzle.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everyday life. There is so much going on everywhere how can you not be inspired. I think the main ingredient in a song is passion and it’s much easier to be passionate about personal experiences rather than something hypothetical or imaginary.
Who are you biggest influences?
Vocals wise, early on I listened to a lot of different stuff, Little River Band, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Earth Wind and Fire, Steely Dan, Pablo Cruise. When I got into my early teens it started to change and got heavier, Van Halen, Scorpions, Boston. Then the eighties happened and I was into stuff like Dio, Dokken, Queensryche – I was really into Geoff Tate’s vocal style! Quiet Riot, Guitars wise I have to say Guys like George Lynch from Dokken, Matthias Jabs from The Scorpions, Randy Rhoades. I always thought Warren DiMartini of Ratt was a really underrated player back then – Great tone!
Which is the best/worst gig you’ve played?
Best is tough one to decide on it’s a tie between my first live gig as a frontman in a rock band when I was in my first band in high school. We were the opener for another band and we stole the show (so I was told) but I already realized it because while the headliner was playing the crowd started booing them and chanting our name! Pretty cool deal for a first live gig. The other one that was memorable was my first 5-digit crowd. It was at The Fairgrounds in York, PA and there were over 10,000 people in attendance. I was late getting onstage, I was in the dressing room when they introduced the band and I ran up the steps, through the backstage area and there was our stage manager waving his flashlight around in a ring pointing at the curtain shouting GO GO GO! I ran through the curtain and the spotlight hit me and the place just Freakin Erupted!!! The people were screaming and it was so loud and so Freaking awesome. It was like getting plugged into an electrical outlet WOW! I was instantly hooked.
Worst – Easy, a place called The Livery when I was sick with the flu. We refused to cancel so I had to get through it. It sucked so bad, I was soaking wet with sweat the whole time, which was typical (I sweat a lot when we play), but I was also freezing cold and shivering. It was such an amazingly miserable experience and I was glad to have made it through it when it was finally over.
If you could open for any other band (past or present) who would it be and why?
Past: Van Halen – Huge Fun!
Present: Alter Bridge – these guys are amazing, Myles guitar playing is only outdone by his tremendous vocal. All the guys in this band are sooooooooooo talented and their sound is tight as balls!
Which up and coming bands would you recommend Scarlett Gypsy fans to listen to and/or go and see?
Any that are passionate about their music and fans.
Your cover of Black Betty won the TBFM Online Music Industry Award for Best Cover 2014. Give me you best Oscar acceptance speech!
I’d like to thank the Academy, no really. Thanks to TBFM and all their listeners and all the awesome loyal Gypsies out there that voted for us. We love you guys/gals from the bottom of our hearts and we can’t thank you enough. It’s all for you guys, that’s why we do what we do.
Not everyone will realize that Black Betty wasn’t actually Ram Jam’s own song. Was it the Ram Jam version you covered or had you heard another version? If so who’s version and why did you choose to cover that song?
Everyone is familiar with Ram Jam’s version, but we didn’t really copy what they were doing. We tried to do it our way and are actually playing around with an idea regarding that song…. but that’s all I can say at this time because its CLASSIFIED.
Do you include any other covers in a Scarlett Gypsy set? If so which song(s), if not which song would you like to cover next and why?
We have been known to throw a couple in here and there. We usually do something that is atypical, not something people will expect. We are building a list right now of possibilities to choose from for the next album and I can only say that you never know what to expect because we all have very divers catalogs from when we were growing up so you just never know what in the world we’ll come up with. Of the list of ideas we have so far I can only tell you this, none of them are what I would consider “Rock” songs, that’s all I’m gonna say right now, I’ve said too much. : )
If you were stuck on a desert island and only allowed three songs to play, which songs would you choose and why?
The Lord’s Prayer – Strength
Dokken – Alone Again. I think the title says it all
The third would be a new original song I would write there because… why not, right? Plenty of free time.
The band members have some enviable heads of hair. Who is the vainest and who spends the most time doing their hair?
We are all pretty vain in our own way, maybe “vain” isn’t the most appropriate way of saying it, perhaps “self-conscious” and that would probably be me. I have naturally curly hair so I am never happy with it.
Why should people come and see Scarlett Gypsy?
Because we live to entertain! And there’s just something special about SG live.
What have Scarlett Gypsy got planned for 2015?
Currently writing and arranging material for our follow up release. Looking at heading into the studio late spring/summer. Not sure when specifically we will release the next one. While we’re not exactly certain about it, we do not want to rush it. We are looking at maybe playing some festivals here in the states next summer, again we’ll have to see. We have to be conscious about over-committing because that could then cause a delay in the next album and we don’t want that. No is a word I have had a problem saying in the past but I’m working on it.
Any final message?
Just thanks very much for the privilege to be interviewed by you guys, we all really, REALLY appreciate your support and a big thank you to all you crazy Gypsies out there! WE LOVE YOU! SHINE ON!