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Ill Scarlett looks forward to Lethbridge after Chinese tour

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Mississauga based reggae rock bang  Ill Scarlett are looking forward to their first visit to Lethbridge, July 30 at Scores North with special guests Sleeping With Tuesday.Ill Scarlett play Scores North, July 30. Photo submitted by Ill Scarlett

“We’ve been out to Alberta a bunch of times, we’ve been to Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer but never had the privilege of going to Lethbridge. We hear it’s very beautiful. If it is as beautiful as the rest of Alberta, then we’re looking forward to it,” said guitarist / singer Alex Norman.

“We just love playing for people. We have a lot of fun … During the live show, we give ’er. As much as we come to  entertain people, the first thing we want to do is entertain ourselves because if we can entertain ourselves, then the rest will follow,” he added.

“It is difficult for any artist to describe their music. Because your  description of your music may not match somebody else‘s. We do rock-reggae with pop sensibilities,” he described.
It has been over a year since they released their last CD “1Up” but since then they have  done a cross -Canada tour as well as a couple tours in the United States, plus they just returned from China as part of the Transmissions program with five other Canadian bands including Toronto bands Ohbijou and Flash Lightnin’, who they were touring with.

“It was an opportunity to  go an learn about marketing opportunities in China. There were two separate tours following each other,” he said adding they played about eight different cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

He said the bands weren’t the same style of music.
“Not at all, that was part of the tour, to show something different. Ohbijou is more ambient folk rock and Flash Lightning is your classical three piece guitar  rock band,” he said.


“Audiences there are a little more reserved. Because it is a communist country and a developing country, you don’t get a lot of  chance to express yourself on stage. They don’t buy a lot of records.  And there is a huge language barrier so we didn’t get to talk to a lot of people but  we played and we had drinks afterwards and got to see how they live,” he said adding they are familiar with touring in the far East. They did a tour a Japan  for their 2007 CD “All Day With It.”

“It’s a little bit different. Japan is a fully developed country. They are rabid music lovers.They may have invited the term.  We sold a lot of records. And they love live music. They love American culture. China is a little more challenging with regards to equipment. So we never knew what kind of amps we’d be getting. But we can work around  that. Challenges are fun. You always learn something from them,” he continued adding because nobody knew about the band, they only had about 100-150 people at their shows.

“There’s 1.3 billion people there, but they don’t buy a lot of records, everything is pirated,  but if you can break into there, there’s lots of people there. But you need strong label support,” he said.

“Ringtones are where the real money is there. People would rather pay $1.50 for a 20 seconds of a song rather than less for the full song,” he observed adding while they play a few festivals during the busy summer festival season in Wasaga  Beach, Sable Beach and a new Winnipeg Festival called Red River Rampage, Ill Scarlett are concentrating on writing new material for a new album they plan to record in November for a Spring release.
“We don’t have any new material. We’ve never played Lethbridge before, so we’ll play the old material everyone wants to hear,” he said.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 July 2010 09:41 )  
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