Call it destiny, chalk it up to dumb luck, or maybe it’s a case of fate playing fair, but guitarist Cristina Bishop’s and vocalist Sylvya NuVynska’s musical vision, Scarlet Sins, has given an industry cluttered with label cash-grabs and talentless two-chord wannabes a much needed kick in the head. Following a chance meeting in 2004, Bishop and NuVynska devoted all their energy from the start on transforming their passion for music into a living, breathing musical entity with a definite idea of where it wanted to go.
“I was dealing with a traumatic event in my life,” Bishop reveals. “The only comfort I found was in writing music. I poured myself into it and songs started flowing. Once I heard Sylvya’s voice, I knew we had to start a band.”
Working through the growing pains of establishing a sound and a solid line-up to execute it, the Scarlet Sins ranks were strengthened with the addition of bassist Tanya Nicklaus. The band’s work-in-progress Alice In Chains meets Black Sabbath gone Black Label Society delivery brought the Sinners noteworthy recognition throughout Ontario and Quebec, quickly turning them into a club staple in their Toronto stomping grounds. Mid-2007 saw the entrance of drummer Elie Bertrand, a skinbashing powerhouse despite her youth that sealed the deal and solidified Scarlet Sins’ musical direction.
The self-titled debut album issued in September 2007 is, quite simply, a feast of heavy guitar riffs, aggressive drums, melodic solos and dark grooves. A defiant mix of styles that stays within the realms of metal, there is something for every fan of distortion-heavy ear-scorching mayhem.
“The dark aspect of our music, I guess that comes from us putting all our anger, our angst and sadness into the songs,” says NuVynska, who carries the mood of the album with “one of the most unique female voices” according to Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles writer Carl Begai. “We put all our energy into that so it’s almost like therapy. We’re generally really happy people outside of those songs.”
Produced by Richard Chycki, who boasts a catalogue of work for acts including Rush, Aerosmith and Simple Plan to name only a few, the album is the equivalent of a sonic freight train. An album is only as good as its players, however, and Chycki agrees he had real talent to work with.
“Anyone that hears the Sins CD can’t believe it’s a bunch of girls,” he says. “That’s such a stereotype, isn’t it? Really, they’re simply a solid, energetic band with good songwriting. Given that they rock and don’t need to play the overt sex card at all.”
Since the release of the album, Scarlet Sins have enjoyed recognition outside their regular haunts, and the buzz is getting louder. They put in two shows, including a headline spot, at the Powerbox Festival in Seattle, WA, sharing the stage with legendary metal queen Doro Pesch (ex-Warlock), Vixen and Kittie. Add to this, gigs supporting Buckcherry, Cypress Hill, Ill Scarlett, Helix, April Wine, and Anvil. In June 2008, the band was chosen from 600 Sonicbids applicants for a chance to open for Mötley Crüe at the Sarnia Bayfest in Sarnia, Ontario. Chosen by the Crüe themselves, no less, for a show attended by 16,000 people.
Music speaks for itself, but when it comes to Scarlet Sins, it shouts in your face.