The Scarlet Opera Welcome Summer with “Someone’s Gotta Love ‘Em”

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The Scarlet Opera, a band known for their electrifying live performances and theatrical flair, is capturing audiences with their unique blend of rock, funk, and glam influences; like Journey, David Bowie, and The Struts. The band, comprising Luka Bazulka, Justin Siegal, Colin Kenrick, Daniel Zuker, and Chance Taylor, recently released their highly anticipated single “Catch Me If You Can” and are on the road touring the East Coast. They’ve been working tirelessly on intricate production designs, personalized costumes, and choreography to ensure an unforgettable experience for their fans.

The Scarlet Opera’s latest single “Someone’s Gotta Love ‘Em” follows the followers their fiery release “Catch Me If You Can” and is out on all streaming platforms today.  Orchestral and grand, the single is articulate and theatrical with a splash of rock – a perfect way to welcome summer and an exciting and lively addition to the bands’ setlist.

Melodic Mag got to sit down with the band and dive into their creative process, tour preparations, and the stories behind their powerful new music.

Photo by Shauna Hilferty

What does tour prep look like for you guys?
Justin: Rigorous run throughs of the set. We have some production design elements that Danny and Luka have really super headed. It’s really a lot and it all comes down to the last week before, it all kind of just circles. You kind of have to get everything ready and everything up to snuff.

Colin: I think everyone has their own little world they’re living in for their responsibilities. I know Luka’s running around like a chicken with their head cut off. He has certain personalized costumes and the fits for everybody, show moments, choreography. I know Chance is dealing with the tech side of things and how that’s going to go. And me, Justin and Danny are kind of supporting those two beams back and forth. Like, “Who needs what the most today?”

Do you have a creative director?
Luka: We tag team, specifically for this tour it’s a lot of Justin and I going back and forth. I know for this tour actually, we have a personal photographer coming on tour with us. His name is Milan and he is wonderful. He spent an evening at a rehearsal with us and took these photos where the boys are all sort of fuzzy and running away and I’m sort of in this ballet pose and that was sort of on a whim. That is really the feeling of “Catch Me If You Can”, you know, it’s sort of the chaos of running in place. 

Colin: You know, we never thought about the irony of that photo in the context of the live show, Luka. Where we’re all stationary in our spots and you’re a pinball back and forth and we’re like, you know what, what if we’re the one’s sprinting in this one?

Have you had any crazy reactions to “Catch Me If You Can” being released? That that was one of the first singles to come out since last year, so big moment!
Luka: Yeah, you know it really was a long time coming. We wrote this EP like, 9…almost 10 months ago now so we had been sitting on these songs for so long. You know, the politics of the industry, it took a while to get it out. But finally releasing the song it was so wild because we got a lot of messages from fans who would be like “I still listen to Comedy, I am so excited for this new work.” We had been talking about it for a couple months leading up to it, saying that it was grittier, just as flamboyant but a little more epic and got a lot of fan reactions saying “You delivered exactly what you said you were going to deliver.”

You write the songs, you sit with them for a while. So to have that authenticity, to keep it, and have that energy brought back months and months later, to have it be received well by the fans is a special treat. Now that everything is coming together, as chaotic that it is, the thing that started it all — the music part — is going well.
Luka: We’re very fortunate you know. Being in a band there’s a lot of checks and balances. The boys are going to tell if I write a top line that they don’t like, they’ll let me know. When we have these five songs ready to go, we’ve been so sure about it. It’s been really nice because we rigorously go through and we write a lot of songs before we narrow it down to the five and we’re sure the fans are going to love because we love it. And that’s really the final checkbox, are we proud of it, can we stand behind it, does it move us? And the answer is always yes to every song we’ve put out.

What song do you think will translate in the live setting, what song will be the most epic?
Daniel: I want to preface my answer with I think we do a great job as a band creating a world where every song has its very specific moment. So, I personally don’t think any specific song is going to out-perform the other. But, I think that “What Good Is Love” is going to be a song that specifically is going to blow up pretty big onstage. That’s gonna be a big moment.

Justin: I think for me, it’ll probably be “Catch Me If You Can” tied with “Slutty”. Live, they just have the most unhinged energy to it. Yeah it’s really hard to pick.

Colin: I’m with Justin. I am excited about all four songs. And my favorite song of the whole batch is “Someone’s gotta Love Em” which I think is incredible live and possibly the most fun song that we have. I do think “Slutty” is probably my favorite live and it’s an interesting dynamic too because my favorite songs to perform live aren’t necessarily my favorite we have written. And I think that’s a testament to what we do live as a band.

Chance: I’d say “Catch Me If You Can”. I’m a big fan of the show start. Of the intro, and the vibe setting, if you will. It used to be “Riot” for a long time and now we finally have new material so we can start the show with a new song.

Luka: I feel like I’d say “Catch Me If You Can” as well.

I read that the Scarlet Opera had been renamed, “The Scarlet Opera” and I would just like to know a little bit more about the band’s name history and how the Scarlet Letter influenced that name change.
Luka: We were formally Perta which was something that we’d been toying with with changing the name anyway because there was a conversation about chancing the band name. We had to spell it to people because they didn’t understand, it was a lot of back and forth. “Perta? Petra?” As meaningful as it was, we needed something that people could in passing could understand and maybe would evoke more of an emotional response.

When we were making the music, the Comedy EP, we thought “This music is so silly and whimsical and theatrical, how do we tie that into, it’s also grand and larger than life”. “The Opera” was one we were playing around with for a while but it turns out you can’t name your band a genre of music, legally. We thought about the scarlet lettering and how there’s sort of misunderstanding of the queer community, misunderstanding around a lot of just living a very shameless life. A life that is very bold and wild and silly and not taking life so seriously. We felt like when we named ourselves The Scarlet Opera it was almost in tandem with the kind of fans that were showing up and the stories we were already telling. It just felt really natural.

The name fits the vibe of your music. I love how you have the deeper meaning of opera and the drama that comes with it. There are a lot of band name origin stories and that one was really cool.

Can you walk me through the creative process with “Catch Me If You Can”?
Luka: I was getting back into listening a lot of Journey again and “Wheel In The Sky” and just these big epic songs. I was also feeling a little angry and wanted something that was a little — you know we came off of the Comedy tour and I was confronting a lot of feelings. There’s a lyric in the second verse, “Mirror Mirror please don’t watch me cut my ties”, and that for me is sort of the crux of the song because I felt like I was in this habit of pleasing people around me instead of truly just being bold in my choices and standing my ground. It’s a whimsical way of saying “With or without you, this band is headed to the top.” Whatever the top is, I don’t really know. Headed somewhere! That’s the top line of it, I’ll let the boys speak on the musicality of it and the choices they made to help lift that story up. But that’s sort of where the seedling was coming from.

Justin: I think musically, there was a demo for the song when it was written that we were privy to so we kind of knew where it was headed. We got to really expand on it for the live show and make it this really epic moment, I think it takes the record even further. The record is — I think Luka’s right — a Journey-feel, kind of this classic like 80’s smokey action movie energy and I think it translates well.

Photo by Shauna Hilferty

Luke mentioned Journey inspiring “Catch Me If You Can”. What are some other musical inspirations not only for “Catch Me If You Can” but just in general?
Justin: It’s pretty broad honestly, Luka mentioned Journey. Danny comes from a lot of groove and funk background, like Michael Jackson. I grew up on everything, classic rock from my parents. Punk rock to kind of everything. We all bring a little bit of a different element to this. When we were writing this stuff, we wanted it to sound a little more gritty, a little more like a live band. There’s quite a few bands we could probably list if you guys have ones that influenced you during the writing.

Colin: There was a handful that every writing session kind of came up in one way or another. Meatloaf was a big one, Tina Turner was a big one. The Killers came up quite a bit. Journey’s always there but I think cause it’s always in the background. I think it was inherently present.

Luka: Duran Duran, like “Hungry Like The Wolf” was a big inspiration. Meatloaf, these very big, epic male voices. I tie to these bombastic male voices and they make me feel larger than life. And I actually tried to steer clear of that in referencing when we first started as a band cause I thought “Oh that’s lame” but it’s just so me. So I guess I’m just going to have to be lame for the rest of my life cause it feels so good!

Daniel: I think that also in the background, our constants for writing and our love for music would be David Bowie, Elton John. Elton John especially when I listen to a lot of our music, the melodic and lyric prowess that exists in his music as well as just the music in the background and how it lifts it up I think is something we accomplish really really well. And also just the sassiness of Bowie, is something that Luka is very adept at doing.

Luka: [is flattered]

Besides your upcoming tour, are you guys cooking up anything that you want to talk about?
Colin: Oh yeah! I assume we can share that fact that the next EP’s coming out. We’re kind of amidst deciding on the second single which I think we’re queuing in on. It’s been of a tough process cause we kind of decided there’s almost any of them could be what the next one is going to be. There’s one — we teased a lot of it but there’s one song that we haven’t teased at all that might be Luka’s favorite that is coming out eventually.

Luka: It’s a ballad, an epic ballad. We don’t have one of those yet so that is special. An epic ballad, it’s for sure coming out, it’s part o the EP and will be out in the next two months but we’re going to start teasing it last. It’s going to be the focus track so I am very excited about that. We don’t have a ballad so, now we do!

Keep up with The Scarlet Opera: Instagram // TikTok

Shauna Hilferty
Shauna Hilfertyhttps://www.shaunahilferty.com/
Concert going, coffee drinking photographer and writer. Never not holding a film camera. Never not in NYC.

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