What's with The Scarlet Ending? The Syracuse-based indie-pop band comes up seemingly out of nowhere, finds one of their songs on The Hills and is suddenly opening for The Fray and Rufus Wainwright. Next thing you know, Ben Harper starts coming out to their shows, and then they do two tours for the troops overseas! What's their secret? Usmagazine.com recently caught up with the gang (made up of twin sisters Kaleena and Kayleigh Goldsworthy, Jon Tedd, Aaron Garitello, Jess Hafner, and Nick Streeter), as they gear up for their U.S. tour to support their haunting new album, Ghosts (on sale now!), to get the full skinny on their 10-year history and just what their beef is with today's top pop stars. Want more of their action? Visit TheScarletEnding.com.
UsMagazine.com: You're twin sisters fronting a band! Any sibling rivalry?
Kaleena Goldsworthy: Of course we have our tiffs every now and again — we're sisters! But I wouldn't consider it rivalry. We both want what's best for the band and for the music. We have one rule: the songwriter has the final say.
US: So how would you describe your sound to someone who hasn't heard your music?
Kayleigh Goldsworthy: One of our friends has this really elaborate explanation. He says, 'picture Fiona Apple, Tegan and Sarah and Jimmy Eat World in a blender, served in a pretty glass by the pool.' I like that one, but we really do have our own style.
US: Your song, 'The Way We Used to Be,' was featured on The Hills. What did you think of the series finale?
Kaleena: What a way to end it! I feel like all of my college career was a lie, but it was the most redeeming thing that show has ever done. When that backdrop moved behind Brody Jenner, tears came to my eyes. It was perfect.
US: Speaking of reality shows, you've already had your own reality web series!
Kayleigh: Syracuse is known for their cover bands and blues bands, so it's really hard to get attention as an original group. We were really lucky because our local newspaper and their website, Syracuse.com, decided to do an online reality show as we were recording Ghosts, and it really helped us get attention.
US: Was the experience intimidating?
Kaleena: It was incredible but, yes, also a little dautning to share our creative process with the world. Everyone in our band has a very unique situation, but the bottom line is that we all sacrificed a lot to be part of it. That's what we showed our fans: we face difficulties, but music is our life, and that's what drives us forward.
US: You're best known for your original music, but you also do some great cover songs. Who is your favorite artist to cover?
Kayleigh: Well, I love Taylor Swift! I would say Lady Gaga is my favorite to cover, though.
US: Any favorite Lady Gaga songs to cover?
Kaleena: We do 'Poker Face,' and I love that no one knows what it is until we get to the chorus, and then they all start cheering. When we cover a song, we rework it and make it our own. We are constantly on the hunt for songs that are epic sounding that we can do in a big way.
US: You also did two international tours for the troops, right?
Kaleena: We did a tour in Greenland, and then another in Germany. And last October we spent a month in the Middle East. Regardless of our political views, being able to give back to the heroes who are actually out there on the front lines is beyond rewarding. When we were in the Middle East we were actually staying where the troops were deployed — where even their families can't visit them. We flew onto a carrier ship and played to 3,000 people one night. It's nice to know that we can do what we do, play our music, and improve somebody's life or at least take them to a different place for a little while. That, to us, is so epic.
US: I know that you are all at different stages in your life. Do you have normal jobs when you're not out on tour?
Kaleena: Our cello/synth player's father owns Chuck Hafner's Garden Center, and four of us work there.
US: Do you ever use the garden center for band practice?
Kaleena: Do we ever! Our rehearsal space is actually in one of the barns. We literally hose it off and rehearse there. It's nice in the summer, but I don't even want to know what it will be like in the winter. You can see your breath!
US: So how do you make the transition from your normal, everyday life at the garden center to being rock stars, playing to thousands of people?
Kaleena: We are like superheroes! (laughs) I teach voice lessons to little kids, and I gave a mom our CD and she was like, 'I had NO idea!' I feel like it's this Lois Lane/Superman effect. Playing music is our dream job and we have our alter egos. Sure, we work our day jobs but music is who we are.
US: So how do your alter egos play out on stage?
Kayleigh: You know, we grew up listening to Genesis and Pink Floyd, and with those bands it never felt like just going to a concert — you are going to a show! And I think what Kaleena and I sat down and tried to figure out is what to do so that when you see us, you are seeing something different. Obviously, we don't have the necessary funds to create our dream show yet, but we are doing what we can to get there.
US: If money wasn't a factor, what would your "dream show" be like?
Kayleigh: I want a sideshow! I know the circus thing is big for a lot of people right now, but I want you to feel like you're at Coney Island. You're not just going to see a band, you're going to be entertained.
Kaleena: I think Lady Gaga and Pink are doing a fantastic job of bringing shows back. They stole our idea! (laughs) It's more of an experience and less of simply seeing someone up on stage. No one wants to pay to see some poor people walk on stage with their guitars singing 'I'm poor just like you.' People pay to be entertained, and we want to offer that escape.
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