Since forming in 2007, South Texas Mexican-American metal band, Scarlett O’Hara, has been honing their sound and finding themselves along the way. The lone star natives have shared bills with the likes of Metallica and Disturbed, worked with Grammy nominated producers, and been featured on the Sirius XM Octane radio station. And though their sound has transformed significantly over the years, their metalcore roots still hold great influence as they have gradually polished their sound.
“We’ve had a lineup change over the years and introduced our new vocalist Moises Lopez Jr. to the group”, the band writes. “The rest of us are original members. The music has gone from a more metalcore sound to a more radio-style with modern-day influences as well as some of our old styles incorporated into it. The reception has been great overall.” Guitarists Logan Burns and Alek Samodouroff, as well as drummer Arnie Bernal round out Scarlett O’Hara’s lineup.
As they have terraformed their vibrations to fit a more mainstream audience, the band has worked to keep a high level of brutality when it comes to their riffs while finding a more melodic drive with Lopez helming the vocals. Akin to bands like Godsmack or Periphery who strike a nice balance between guttural screams and clean vocal tones, Scarlett O’Hara makes a place for themselves as up-and-comers with something to say.
“We all started to like this sort of gothic rock style into our current sound and some unreleased stuff. Though we’re still really into that pop style that we have in songs such as “Obsessive” and “Talk to Me.” Overall we feel that the sound has a much broader sound in comparison to just a straight metalcore sound from before.”
Through the band has two full albums under their belt (2010’s Lost in Existence and 2018’s Welcome Back to the Brodeo), the changeover in lineup has also led to a shift in dynamic when it comes to releasing music. “We are focused on releasing singles at the moment. It just feels a little wasteful to drop a large number of songs and then some get lost while some do good. By just releasing singles, we can continue to play around with the sound while each individual song has its chance to shine instead of being drowned out by others.”
This has become a standard thing in the music industry of late. Though albums are still a popular format for releasing music, singles have provided a way for artists to budget their time, energy, and finances towards one-off releases. For bands like Scarlett O’Hara, it means that radio airplay is more easily attainable and allows a different kind of mobility and focused songwriting that swings in tandem with the nature of streaming services.
When asked about some of the band’s goals over the next few years, they say “More radio time would be a great thing. Also hopping on bigger tours with some of the elites in the rock genre would be amazing. Who knows what the future holds. We are honestly just very much enjoying the ride.”
As they continue their foray into the realm of contemporary hard rock, their latest single “Witching Hour” shows off some of the goth glam that the band has begun to bring into the mix. Along with new music video to accompany the release, it shows off a new sense of theatricality that brings a new dark visual appeal that, again, feels sleeker than some of their previous releases.
After a swirling instrumental opening, the first haunting line or lyrics hangs in suspension, “Hello, hello? Is there anybody out there?” In this video, the band is seen trapped in a dimly lit black box, and without any time given to respond, Lopez screams “I HEAR A VOICE INSIDE / THERE IS NO NEED TO HIDE” and brutality ensues both musically and visually. Between shots of the band playing the song against dark, neon backgrounds, we get glimpses of each member either passed out or oozing blood from their mouths while sporting thick, smeared black and white make up on their faces.
Whether inspiration may have come from horror movie icons like The Crow, or the over-the-top costumes of KISS, the overarching gothic feel of the music video continues the breaking of new genre ground for the band. Following in the footsteps of their sci-fi inspired videos for “Talk to Me,” “Obsessive,” and “Friction,” Scarlett O’Hara seems to be turning towards more speculative storytelling that bands like Chevelle and Coheed and Cambria have helped to popularize and innovate in the contemporary rock and metal scene.
Looking back on making the video for “Witching Hour,” the band says, “It was a mess! I say that in a very fun way. We worked with our video guy named Wade Concienne. We had so many breakable props and colored liquids and shot it all in a hot garage, but these are the things that many bands go through behind the scenes. It can get very messy but, overall, it was so much fun and we cannot wait to shoot and release another one!”
As we wait with bated breath for their next speculative fiction music video expressed through the insane overdrive of metal music, we have a solid collection of singles that showcase the band’s very best efforts and rediscovering who they are and who they want to be. Be sure to follow them on Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter for future updates on upcoming releases.
Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Charleston, South Carolina who currently teaches with the Dance Program at the College of Charleston. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression and research. He also currently plays rhythm guitar for the Charleston-based punk band, Anergy, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.
As the leader of nineties pop rockers 4 Non Blondes Linda Perry broke down barriers in the male dominates music business and created one of the decade’s most catchy songs: “What’s Up?” Perry released one stellar album with the band before going out on her own.
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