Ten Questions, Ten Minutes with Scarlet Dorn Ten Questions, Ten Minutes with Scarlet Dorn

Germany’s Scarlet Dorn came together six years ago and the band – Scarlet Dorn (vocals), Bengt Jaeschke (guitars and backing vocals), Benjamin Mundigler (bass and backing vocals), Gared Dirge (piano) and Henrik Petschull (drums) – have their fabulous third album 'Queen Of Broken Dreams' in the shops at the end of this month. So it’s a busy time for them, although Scarlet, Bengt and Benji still managed to find time to squeeze in a visit to ‘Ten Minutes, Ten Questions’...

Q1. Sincere congratulations on the new album, ‘Queen Of Broken Dreams’ – you must all be very proud of it?

Scarlet: “Many thanks! Of course we are proud of it. We did a lot ourselves and put a lot of effort and love into it. In the end, every album is like a baby. No matter what, we love it and are proud of it!”

Bengt: “Thank you very much! It feels like a big and fresh step forward music-wise, so yeah, we’re proud!”

Benji: “Thanks a lot! It’s always an amazing feeling being able to release new music and we’re really looking forward to showing the world what we’ve been up to.”


Q2. Can you give me a quick history of the band, please?

Scarlet: “Scarlet Dorn was founded in 2016 by our producers Chris Harms, Benjamin Lawrenz and I. We wrote songs and recorded a few demos. Pretty soon our guitarist Bengt joined us, then Gared as the pianist and Henrik on the drums. In this formation we toured for a while and released our first album 'Lack Of Light', until our bass player Benji finally joined us.”

Q3. This is your third album, after the aforementioned ‘Lack Of Light’ (2018) and ‘Blood Red Bouquet’ (2021). How does the new album compare to its predecessors, do you think?

Bengt: “Well, to start with, we didn’t have much of a ‘higher concept’ for the album. We just wanted to put together as many great songs as possible. The vibe of the songs themselves just really had to fit and at the same time the songs had to be diverse and not too close to each other. I think we achieved that quite well with all the great co-songwriters we had on this record to create a more ‘colourful’ album. So I think it feels a bit more organic and dynamic, at least for me. You really can hear every individual of the band in the songs. Some songs are louder and rocking hard, others are more of the quiet and introverted kind. I like that. Benji did almost all of the song arrangements so there are always some little fancy musical ear candies to explore in every song.”


Q4. The cover artwork is quite eye-catching – is there a story behind how it was conceived? And I like the fact you’ve worked the logo into the throne, as well. It’s a nice touch…

Scarlet: “We shot the cover picture during the video shoot of 'Falling'. And there are stories to go with it. Let's start with the throne I'm sitting on. We designed and built this throne literally from scratch. Our producer Benny, Henrik and our friend and artist Daria and I spent a long time working on the design. We as a band, but mainly Henrik and Bengt, took over the building of the throne. Daria made the back piece and (now we come to the next cool thing) created this crown practically out of nothing. I know it looks pretty heavy, but it is actually crafted from cardboard and covered with paint. Such simple things that with magic hands become masterpieces. As with the last two albums, the artwork was also done by our talented friends at VD Pictures.”

Q5. You’re based in Hamburg, I believe? For a geographically-challenged Brit, what’s the city like for music? Is it an inspirational place, music-wise, to live in?

Bengt: “Yes, our band is based in Hamburg. All of us live in Hamburg or the regions around it except for Scarlet who lives in southern Germany. Hamburg itself is a beautiful city, especially the places around the harbour and the harbour itself. The maritime aspect can really hit your wanderlust so it can be quite an inspirational place, but in the end it really comes down to the songwriter him- or herself, if he or she feels the city vibes or not I guess. Every songwriter is different in this aspect, I believe.”

Benji: “Since Hamburg can be really grey and wet there are plenty of rainy days to get into the mood for darker or quieter songs. But there’s still enough sun and loads of vibrant and lively places if you’re feeling more energetic. I guess it’s really nice that Hamburg feels like lots of small different places put together and not like one big chunk of concrete, so you get a lot of variation. Whatever your muse desires!”


(photo by Matthias Irrgang, Mindbreed Photography)

Q6. And what inspires your lyrics? Where does your inspiration come from?

Scarlet: “Usually I like to say that anything you do, experience, see or feel can inspire you, but I think my greatest source of inspiration is silence. I find inspiration easier when I can hear my thoughts loud and clear enough. In the end all the magic happens in our heads, I guess.”

Benji: “I guess it’s different for everyone but for me some topics, situations or of course people really get me thinking and trying to sort my thoughts by writing things down can be a good place to start. Of course there is the occasional standing in a queue at the supermarket and randomly thinking ‘hang on, this would make a good lyric’.”

Q7. What’s the best gig you’ve performed so far, and what made it so special?

Scarlet: “It's hard to say what the best gig was. Spontaneously I have to think of a beautiful open air show supporting Within Temptation. We played in the garden of a castle and we caught the sunset perfectly with our time slot. A very lovely memory.”

Bengt: “Playing on the main stage of M’era Luna Festival in 2019 was the most memorable gig for me – so far! This festival is one the most important ones for the German gothic scene so it was quite exciting. I was so nervous beforehand! But the gig went down great!”


Q8. What album (or albums) made you think “I want to be a musician; I want to do that”?

Scarlet: “There were many at that time, but off the top of my head I can think of Placebo’s ‘Without You I’m Nothing and ‘Once’ by Nightwish, for example.”

Bengt: “Damn, there are a lot! But ‘Dark Light’ by HIM and ‘Dead Letters’ by The Rasmus left the biggest marks on me, I guess.”

Benji: “Crumbs, that’s a good question. Probably the first record I purchased, ‘Steel Meets Steel’ by Hammerfall, made me think I want to be a guy in a band. ‘Dark Passion Play’ by Nightwish then really reinforced that.”

Q9. Every time I see a moving car with a dog poking its head out of the window it puts a smile on my face. What makes you laugh?

Scarlet: “Yes, here we’re not that different. I have a little dog who always tilts his head from side to side as soon as I start talking to him. It never gets boring!”

Bengt: “I find something joyful in almost everything, but for this question I go with Bill Burr’s anger problem-based stories and jokes. This man is hilarious!”

Benji: “I always have to smile when watching children trying to make sense of what is happening around them. Or really dark humour.”

Q10. If you drove an ice cream van, what tune would it play?

Scarlet: ’90s hip-hop...

Bengt: “Something creepy would be funny! So I’ll go with ‘Suspiria’ by Goblin, the main theme from Dario Argento’s horror classic with the same name from 1977.”

Video clips:
‘Falling’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAGLgFRClJk
‘Born To Suffer’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSfFhuRPvBg
‘Unstill Life’ - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lt3igqlgXc

 © John Tucker September 2022