Dawn, of Scarlet Slipping is a very talented lady with a lot of life, and incredible poetic abilities to express herself though. A lady who’s able to take her stories whether based on real-life events, or those from which come to her, and weave them into songs---poetry, to help heal or continue to understand what it is, that has her compelled to write. In Dawn’s interview, you’ll find out even more about this wonderfully warm and amazing artist.
Dark and beautiful greetings Dawn, it’s such a delightful pleasure to make your acquaintance, how are you lady?
Hello, I am well, thank you.
Grave Concerns: When did you first discover that music was what you wanted to pursue? And while you were waiting for that to happen, what other jobs did you have, and/or are currently taking on?
I started writing music when I was young so it has always been a part of my life as ling as I can remember. I started playing violin when I was maybe eight or nine. Later I played guitar, then found an interest in bands like Skinny Puppy, The Cure, and Das Ich, so I bought a drum machine in high school and wrote a ton of stuff. There was a punk club in my hometown that used to book me even though I wasn't really punk...people just thought I was a kind of a freak (but they where nice about it). As for jobs I always did what I could to pay my bills, retail, waiting tables...now I've been in administrative Healthcare for 5 years; kinda weird.
Grave Concerns: As for “freak”, I’d take it as a compliment---I think being different…for the right reasons, is a good thing. Being in the Healthcare field is very admirable. Hey, if it helps to pay the bills, gives you a sense of security to follow your musical dreams…
Grave Concerns: So my dark darling, at the age of 17 you refereed to yourself as The “Dragon Queen”, a solo act, with a drum machine, and…let me see “gory, half nude theatrics in dirty Iowan punk clubs sharing the stage with local and touring bands.” How “gory” did you have to go? Was the gore, and nudity something at the time, you felt you needed to do to get your music across, or was it what you wanted to do? Yours is a most interesting story, Dawn.
The gore was really just a lot of fake blood...it was thrilling to go on stage with nothing but high heals, underwear and being covered in body paint and fake blood...it was theatrical and tons of fun because I had friends on stage with me, we where all still in high school and we just didn't give a shit what people thought, we did it for fun. My drum machine and synths would be cranking out through the PA and I'd be flipping out on the microphone. I was kind of a spaz.
Grave Concerns: I understand “spaz”…welcome to the club, my friend. (;
Grave Concerns: Tell us about your experiences being a member of Trance to the Sun, the band which you met while touring.
I met Ashkelon from Trance To the Sun when he and Zoe where touring, I played a show with them and Ash and I hit it off well. We remained friends and when Zoe left the band Ash invited me to work on 'Delirious' with him. The work that we did together was amazing and inspiring, but it was a very unbalanced time for both of us. We where both emotionally frail, and me being 18 and totally out of control really took it's toll on things. But all in all I learned a lot and really enjoyed being able to work with Ash.
Grave Concerns: You talked briefly about “life in a storage closet with mild insanity and destruction of all original Scarlet Slipping tracks.” I’m very, very, sorry, you had to experience such traumas…you are a VERY strong woman to deal with such emotions. The writings, the music, must help greatly. I know for me, when I’m suffering, writing is the most important way for me to express myself. Then, in 1999, you moved to Minneapolis, MN build your own recording studio…and please share with us, how you pulled yourself up, and brushed off the pain and insecurities?
Winding up in that storage closet and living there for a year was crazy! I was so lonely and I didn't know my way around San Francisco very well. And when you end up in the gutter doing drugs at 4:00 in the morning with people you don't know it really fucks you up. You can two ways: 1) stay there and probably eventually die or get killed OR: 2) get the fuck out and do something better. I opted for 2. I was very stubborn and refused to ask my mother for help, I didn't have much money and didn't want to go back home. I remember talking to my mom on the phone and she asked me if I wanted a plane ticket for Christmas. I said absolutely...book it for Minneapolis. I had one friend in Minneapolis, Amy Lord; she had been trying to talk me into moving there anyways.
So that was my new beginning, within 1 week of being in Minneapolis I got a cheap studio apartment and a full time job waiting tables-AKA slinging burritos.
Grave Concerns: You’re a VERY strong woman Dawn---and what you’ve just been able to share, touched me---what you’ve been through, what you’ve been able to accomplish---continue to accomplish, is a gift. Thank you for sharing this.
Grave Concerns: In 2006, you had a solo album “Fire in the Mist”, and your latest album; “Hound” was released on March 1st. You also have two other albums coming out this year…“Tragedy In A Lions Den”, May 1st, and “Melodies From Burning Bridge”, on July 1st. WOW! You’re a mega-creative Goddess of darkened talent! Please tell us about these albums, and what have you noticed with the changes in the moods of the songs written, and the music, which incorporates them?
Yes..."fire in the mist" was my first release...it's a sad and lonely collection of songs in my opinion. And now that 'Hound' is finished I hear a HUGE difference in my vocal progression and writing style. Hound is more aggressive and creepy. As for the 2 EP's that are coming out on Shinto Records, ('tragedy in a lions den' and 'melodies from burning bridge’) those are collections of recordings from 1996 - 2001,
some of the first recordings where recorded by Ashkelon Sain in his studio 'The Lions Den' (same studio he recorded 'Venomous Eve' in).
Those EP's are totally old school, I'm looking forward to those releases, and the sound is very, very different.
Grave Concerns: I’ve really gotten into what I’ve heard so far, on “Hound”---it’s a fabulous album! And I’m looking forward to reviewing it, here on Grave Concerns E-zing. (; One song that is infecting my brain is “Sleeping Ghosts”. Where did the inspirations come to you from to create this piece?
Oh...Sleeping Ghosts...yes, um...I started writing that in 1999, it was inspired by this super creepy feeling that I still get in mom's house late at night...like someone is watching me. Didn't help that the house is directly across the street from the cemetery, but I love the cemetery, it's beautiful.
Grave Concerns: I LOVE cemeteries too. My dad and I after our walk will sometimes sit down and drink our green tea in there. Last year, just before Halloween, we saw a bat flying above us---it was an incredible feeling.
Grave Concerns: You also have a book of writing coming out that will include lyrics from “Fire in the Mist”, “Hound”, and “Delirious”. What will the book be called? What made you decide to take on this venture? The other writings in the book, what will they be about? And when can fans expect its release?
The book is called "Lust, Blood and Honey Cake". I started writing poems to my lover, then I started writing more gory creepy stuff too, I used to blog all of it, but took the blog down. I'm finishing up the book very soon and will have it up on my website www.scarletslipping.com.
Grave Concerns: Looking forward to it. (:
Grave Concerns: I see you’ve got a lot of places where you’re going to perform, or have performed. Any future plans to perform in Boston, MA?
No future live performances, at least not for Scarlet Slipping anyhow 'hint hint'. However, I love Boston! And I do have plans to visit this year. I actually drove from Boston to Minneapolis last May...quite a ride. We stayed in hotels on the way, I love hotels.
Grave Concerns: Hmmm…yeah…Boston is cool! (:
Grave Concerns: What movie character’s name do you think is cool? And if you were to be cast in a movie, what cool name would you go by?
Well, I’m not sure I have a favorite name. But If I where to be cast in a movie I guess I’d like to go by the name “Eve”.
Grave Concerns: When is your birthday?
December 5th 1978, I did not want to come out, my mom was in labor for nearly three days.
Grave Concerns: Good gravy! Your poor mum!
Grave Concerns: If you had the ability to change the color of the sky during the daylight hours to a color of your choice…once every 3 months, what four colors would you choose, and why?
Red - everything looks good in red light.
Blue- it’s soothing and reminds me of the ocean.
Green- it inspires me.
Orange- because I like orange things!
Grave Concerns: Lovely. One of my dear friends LOVES the color orange---it’s her favorite!
Grave Concerns: What comes first in your creative process of song making? Do you hear the melodies or feel the lyrics? Or do you go back and forth?
Usually I start with a melody...melodies always come from a deeper unconscious and tend to drag out the words as I feel it.
Grave Concerns: Do you believe in ESP and ghosts or “other” unexplainable occurrences?
Oh yes! For reasons I won't mention.
Grave Concerns: You’ve got my attention---maybe one day we’ll be albe to compare notes. If you ever go to Stowe, Vermont, you’ll have to go to “Emily’s Bridge”.
Grave Concerns: Since nature is very precious to me, I tend to be drawn more toward the Earth element. Although each one has its own special attributes, together they are priceless. Which element do you see yourself more drawn toward?
Fire! I've always been drawn to fire; I remember sticking my finger in a candle flame when I was about 3 or 4. I remember crying when it burned me, and my mom picking me up and rocking me in a rocking chair, I remember her heart beat.
Grave Concerns: If you were to write a short story or a novel based on one of your songs, which one would it be? And if it was to be adapted to the silver screen, who would be your leading actor and actress?
I suppose I’d pick “Death Melody” from my new CD ‘Hound’ because there are so many layers to the meanings. My leads would be Uma Thurman and Kyle MacLachlan.
Grave Concerns: GREAT picks!
Grave Concerns: Write whatever comes to your mind after reading the following:
1. I lay in my bed, and the house is still…moments later, I begin to…
2. My flesh is sore, my face in tears, he took it all…
3. As I walked into my garden, I saw above me…
the big bad moon.
4. Love really is…
A wonderful state of dementia.
5. She never looked quite…
6. I was invited to attend a…
7. There’s not much more I can…
do for you sir, your legs are completely severed.
Grave Concerns: Have you used an Ouija board, or had your fortune read?
Yes, my grandma gave me an Ouija board when I was about fourteen, but my friends’ parents smashed it when I took it with me to spend the night. And once I had my “fortune” read in front of a used bookstore by some phony hag that ripped me off.
Grave Concerns: I’m sorry about that. ):
Grave Concerns: If you were to plant a tree to symbolize something special in your life, where would that tree be planted, and what kind is it?
I’d plant it in front of the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, MA. It would be a cherry blossom tree.
Grave Concerns: Very nice. Beautiful.
Grave Concerns: I’m giving you 13 letters to choose from, in any order; you only have to use 6 of them (you can use more if you want, but not less than 6) and you have to tell me what it was that was whispered to you, by a presence that came to you at 1:05 AM Thursday. But only with these letters...NCBLAFDJHPIRT.
Seriously…the whisper was not human so I can’t use these letters. I tried.
Grave Concerns: Interesting…I like that.
Grave Concerns: Have you ever had too much to drink; called in sick the next day, saying you have the “stomach bug”?
Me? No, Never, I just said, "I'm not coming in".
Grave Concerns: You were born with eyes that weren’t human---what do they look like?
Kitty eyes! Meow!
Grave Concerns: Cats do have amazingly gorgeous eyes!
Grave Concerns: You’ve been asked to create a new word defining your style of music. What is that word?
Grave Concerns: What’s your favorite color of lipstick?
Hmmm...any dark reds look nice.
Grave Concerns: I love the smell of rain, especially at night, during the warm months when the windows are open, and there’s a soft breeze along with it. The sound of it touching the ground, and landing on the leaves is very calming. How about you?
Rain is my favorite. You can smell the earth, feel the dampness in the air, it’s so cleansing and comforting to me.
Grave Concerns: I love herb gardens, and will plant one this spring. How about yourself? If so, which herbs do you like to plant?
I love basil and rosemary, I used to have a salsa garden and I grew a lot of tomatoes and herbs. Yum!
Grave Concerns: (: And rosemary is suchhhhhhhhhhhh a wonderful smell.
Grave Concerns: Do you believe in Karma?
Yes, I really do.
Grave Concerns: Me too.
Grave Concerns: You’ve been invited to a masquerade ball, what does your costume look like? And when you first walked in, what was the music being played, and who did you see looking intently at you…perhaps even through you? What do you think that means to you?
My costume would consist of one of the beautiful pieces of clothing that Oni has made for me. I would hope that Sisters of Mercy “Mother Russia” would be playing, and it would be Oni’s sight falling onto me. That would be a full circle of contentment to me in your scenario.
Grave Concerns: I REALLY like that.
Grave Concerns: What’s your favorite perfume?
I wear patchouli and lavender oil, I don’t wear perfume, it gives me a headache.
Grave Concerns: Do you like wind chimes?
I love wind chimes. They remind me quiet summer nights at home when I was young. Sitting on the porch watching traffic and the wind blowing through the chimes above the porch swing.
Grave Concerns: As a musician, how does the music in movies affect you? And if you were asked to compose a song for a soundtrack, which genera would that be in? Now let me take that question even further---actually backward; if you were to go back to the past, with your current music in hand, and were asked that same question, would any of your songs stand out as a good fit? If so, which song and movie would it have been?
I can’t think of a good fit really…I suppose I’d rather write something from the beginning. I’d love to do that.
Grave Concerns: Your name is so intriguing…enchanting; how did you come up with it?
I don’t like to talk about that, I never do, it makes me uncomfortable.
Grave Concerns: Do you have bird feeders or a birdbath?
No, but if I had a house I would.
Grave Concerns: I’m a spider, and other good crawling and flying critter/creature saver to those whom happen to come into my home and at work. I’m the go-to-gal to set them free. What about yourself?
I take spiders outside, I hate killing insects.
Grave Concerns: If you were able to put on a concert for charity, which one/s would you be supporting, and which artists would you like to headline?
It would be in support of animal rights, families who need medical care, agencies that work to protect the environment and anything to stop the war. There are so many sad things, wrong in the world, it makes me crazy. I’d want lots of bands to play, anyone who cares about the planet, animals and humanity.
Grave Concerns: I agree---fantastically said.
Grave Concerns: What kinds of salad dressing do you like?
I like homemade balsamic vinaigrette or raspberry vinaigrette.
Grave Concerns: Delicious to me too!
Grave Concerns: Do you throw coins in the fountain and make wishes?
Yes, I love to make wishes.
Grave Concerns: Have you walked by someone who gave you the chills…for no logical reason, other than you just felt something was not right?
Yes, a lot of people give ‘the creeps’, some more than others.
Grave Concerns: If you drink coffer and/or tea, how do you take it?
I like my tea and my coffee, Black, black, black!
Grave Concerns: Describe your favorite belt?
My favorite belt is an old studded belt I bought in San Francisco in 1999.
Grave Concerns: I’m thinking of a number from 0 to 782. What it is? I’ll tell you what mine is, when I post your interview.
Grave Concerns: 577.
Grave Concerns: Click, click…Dawn, you’ve got pretty cool snap shots up on your MySpace photo page. So many different looks…you’re like a chameleon! Are you a natural redhead? I am. So it’s always so cool to met “others” like me. (: If not, you look beautiful as one! Where is that place that has the picture of you and the gentleman? Who took all of your photos?
No, I’m not a natural red head, I’m blonde and usually dye it red, my mom is the red head. Now that I think of it, I’m the only blonde female in my family, all the rest are red heads. I used a tripod for most of those photos. The one of me with the gentleman, that’s Oni; we where at an art exhibit, those are some of his paintings in the background.
Grave Concerns: Very cool.
Grave Concerns: What is your drink of choice? And what are some of your favorite foods.
During the day I stick to water and tea or coffee. At night I like to have red wine with dinner. And most of my favorite foods are anything that Oni cooks for me, especially when he cooks Indian food.
Grave Concerns: Favorite holiday, color, number and symbol?
Holiday - Christmas Eve
Color - Red with black
Number - 5
Symbol - my tattoo, it’s 5 solid black rings around my forearm, they each represent a moment.
Grave Concerns: Do you have tattoos or piercings?
I have the tattoo on my forearm and a septum ring, that’s it.
Grave Concerns: Do you think evil is born or raised? How about the goodness in people? Can people change…for the better, and for the worse?
I hate to judge the perception of evil, but I’d like to believe that all people are born good and that sometimes people “turn” bad for either brain abnormalities or because something in the world made them bad.
I think some people can change for better or worse, and I think some people cannot.
Grave Concerns: If you could pick a choreographer for your next music video, who would it be, and why?
Fox Moulder, I don’t know why, I just have a good feeling about it.
Grave Concerns: I can dig it!
Grave Concerns: If you had the power to live the life of any character in a movie for one-week after the end credits rolled, who would you choose and why?
Beatrice Kiddo, aka Black Mamba from Kill Bill. I love ninjas!
Grave Concerns: Nice!
Grave Concerns: What is something about the human race that really gets you down…make you wonder…how could that person do that, act that way…say that?
I could go off about that one. But to sum it up: any hate crimes against people or animals.
Grave Concerns: I hear you---boy, do I hear you.
Grave Concerns: Have you ever had to perform CPR?
No, luckily I haven’t been in that situation.
Grave Concerns: What are a few of your favorite local radio stations?
I haven’t listened to the local radio for a long time, but occasionally tune in to some online stations.
Grave Concerns: You’re going away for the weekend…where are you going, and how many suitcases have you packed? When you opened your toiletries case…what did you forget to pack?
Hmmm… per your scenario it seems I’m going to Berlin with one suitcase, but I think I forgot to pack my contact case.
Grave Concerns: What picture/image is on your computer’s desktop?
My desktop is solid black. Before that it was and abstract painting of my own.
Grave Concerns: If you had the chance to travel back to the past, where would you go, and what would you want to leave as a reminder of time spent, as well as, something to take back with you?
I’d go to ancient Egypt and bring back a kitty.
Grave Concerns: You’re in the supermarket---what isles do you frequent, which do you avoid?
I frequent the produce and natural foods section and avoid the bloody meat section like the plague.
Grave Concerns: (:
Grave Concerns: I hold such a special place in my soul for vampires---are you fond of them as well?
Yes, I love the romantic idea of vampires and watch vampire movies regularly; I compare it to comfort food.
Grave Concerns: Ahhhhhhh. (;
Grave Concerns: I love poetry and prose; and I love how lyrics are created. Who are some of your favorites poets/artists who’ve inspired your writing?
I have been very inspired by Chris and Cosy, I adore them.
Grave Concerns: Your songs embody such haunting visions, places to go to that would be wondrous, sensual, darkly exciting, and inspiring. If you could create your own magical place, what would it be called, and how would it look?
It would be my Scarlet Forest; I picture it much like the forest where the Lady of the Wood lived in Lord of the Rings. I’m a geek, what can say?
Grave Concerns: OK. After reading below, see what you can come up with. Grab a dictionary. Close your eyes---keep them closed until the end. Open the dictionary. Spin your left index finger around six times, counter clockwise, then, reverse, and spin five times, drop your finger on a word. Now write a phrase, question, poem, whatever you like with that word. BUT…you only have 10 minutes to do this. Seriously 10 minutes. Get cracking! (;
I only had a German dictionary on hand. The word is “trinken”
So my sentence is: ich trinke Rotwein.
Grave Concerns: You’re going over to a friend’s house for a small get together; what do you bring?
Grave Concerns: Sounds good to me!
Grave Concerns: How do you differentiate a real good song, from a classic? In other words, what really makes a song stand out and last? And with your music, which song or songs do you feel have met that challenge, have come close to it, or are you currently just enjoying the creative bliss?
Classics for me are songs I grew up on or songs that distinctly represent a period of time for me, whether it was 15, 10 or 2 years ago. As for my own music, I never try to meet a standard, I just enjoy the process.
Grave Concerns: Have you seen the new FOX show New Amsterdam? I really like this one. An extremely likeable and strong cast, great characters, storylines, originality, sexiness---simply fantastic! If you haven’t, the character of John Amsterdam (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) was a Dutch soldier, in 1642, who in order to save a Native American girl from being killed, went in front of the sword. The girl, in return for his heroic deed, performed an ancient ritual giving him immortality. The spell can only be broken when he finds his “one true love”. What then, is your take on a “one true love”?
I believe love is different for everyone. I never used to believe in “one true love” as you say, but I understand it now. I know that I have found mine.
Grave Concerns: Well said Dawn. (:
Grave Concerns: Dawn, this has been such a darkly joyful opportunity to have this interview. We here at Grave Concerns wish you a grand package of success with your new album “Hound”, and for all the artistic endeavors you seek. Please keep in touch! Dark cheers!
Thank you so much. I appreciate the support and the time that you have taken. My best wishes to you as well!
Grave Concerns: You’re very welcome Dawn---thank you!
For more information on Scarlet Slipping check out www.myspace.com/scarletslipping666 www.scarletslipping.com
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