It was in 1999 that Italian singer Sonya Scarlet joined the extreme gothic metal band Theatres Des Vampires and became the queen of all vampires with her often controversial, bloody stage performance. TDV claimed their spot in the gothic metal scene and built a solid `underground’ career with a short hiatus along the road. On October 14th TDV will release its ninth studio album `Candyland’, based on a true story about the infamous Pennhurst asylum in Pennsylvania. The album has a vibe that makes your skin crawl but also the charismatic Sonya creeps under your skin, pointing her fangs at you ready for some blood and hypnotizes you with her remarkable appearance. HeadBangers LifeStyle is intrigued and wants to know more about the beauty, fashion and lifestyle secrets of Mrs. Scarlet.
Photo: Luca Cavallari Pictures
Do you consider yourself a fashion and a make-up junkie?
,,I believe fashion is a form of art especially when it is not studied for the everyday life but follows a pure design and a creative idea. I studied fashion design for 4 years in Rome and I totally love the creativity, the research of new trends and materials and the whole process that surrounds a fashion show and the making of clothing. My favourite stylists are John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood, but I’m not a fashion victim. I can say I’m an art lover! I surely like buying clothes and shoes but without following any trend. I NEED TO BE MYSELF. Clothes are my second skin and clothes should represent my way of life and not someone else’s just because the last fashion week is over and everyone NEED to follow that special new trend. Next spring we will have pastel colours and romantic style everywhere. Yes, pastel colours. Maybe spotted with some blood it could be a little better.’’
Do you follow make-up and fashion trends in the gothic scene or maybe outside the scene?
,,Not at all I believe. I can say I have always had the same make-up since the beginning. I like to have deep black smokey eyes, using a black pencil to design my eyes better. I use pale white powder and red, fuchsia or pale pink lipstick. I sometimes change a little by using some glitter black eye shadow, red eye shadow or a black lipstick, but I never go far from my original look because I don’t feel I want to change it. I think it looks good on me and I never ever go out without my make-up. It is part of who I am. When it comes to clothes, like I said before, I do not like to follow trends. I wear gothic and metal kind of clothing I guess, but honestly I do not care much. Off stage I wear more metal like clothing than gothic. I have my personal stylist, Katja Diktator and she designs my stage clothing and clothing I use for video and photo shoots. She is absolutely the best!’’
Do you find it important to invest money and time in your appearance (also in your free time)?
,,I cannot see this as an investment because for me it is really natural. I like to take care of myself, my image and my body as well.’’
Photo: Frencesco Franz Benvenuti
What make-up style do people recognize you for?
,,Red lipstick, black eyes and blood everywhere! That’s it!’’
Which beauty/make-up products are an absolute must for you?
,,My favourite make-up brand is Givenchy. It is for sure one of the best brands, but it is also very expensive, I know. So I mix some Givenchy and Shiseido products with products of Pupa and Kiko. Pale powder is my must and it must have the perfect colour. I use powder of Givenchy, which has 4 different amazing pale colours in one. I mix them together and they are simply perfect. The truth is that I have so many make-up products that I will never finish them! I can have 10 red lipsticks but they all have a different shade of red.’’
Has your make-up behaviour changed over the years?
,,Maybe now I am better than before wearing make-up and for sure now I use better products. That really makes a great difference. Anyway, I love black so much on my eyes that my eyeliner is tattooed. I love it!’’
Do you have make-up and beauty tips for us?
,,If you are going out for a party always wear a waterproof eye pencil. It will stay on your eyes until the end without any `Panda’ effect. For lipstick, you have to design your lips with a lip pencil than add some lipstick. Than colour your lips again with more lip pencil just on top of the lipstick. It will fix the lipstick which will stay on the lips much longer.’’
How do you deal with a beauty hangover after late night parties or touring life?
,,I always buy waterproof make-up for my shows. The best brand is Aqua or Kryolan professional make-up. This last brand is made for people who work in a theatre, in films or perform on stage. Their products are good and it stays on your face quite long. It is very important to wear specific stage make-up, which is different from the everyday make-up, otherwise I will finish every gig without make-up because I move a lot! Sometimes I also use a special spray that is fixating the make-up. It is just the final touch.’’
What do we mainly find in your wardrobe? Anything in particular you have an `addiction’ for?
,,I have an addiction for Converse All Star sneakers! You will find lots of them in my wardrobe. And lots of New Rock shoes as well.’’
Where do you find the coolest clothing and shoes not only as an artist but also for private circumstances?
,,So easy! I go to my friend and my fashion designer Katja Diktator and she creates for me the best clothes in the world. Otherwise I also like to go to London or New York. There are really good places for nice clothes, but also in Italy you can find something nice. Anyway, if you are good in making your own look I think you can go everywhere and you will always create your own look in the best way. Or you can order the clothes you like on Internet.’’
How do you deal with a bad hair day?
,,I never have a bad hair day because my hair is naturally straight, so it is perfect every day. I guess I am really lucky, I just have to brush my hair!!’’
Are you the `sporty’ or the `lazy couch’ type of person?
,,I’m a very sporty person since I was a child. I go to the gym 4 -5 days a week, which is very important for me. Not only for my body but also for my mind. It makes me feel very relaxed and I feel really good afterwards. I love being in the mountains and doing trekking, skiing, horse riding... So many things.’’
Photo L: Diktator Fashion Lab. Photo R: Ultra Vixen
At a young age you studied ballet and opera singing, but you ended up in a Vampiric Gothic Rock Metal band? What happened along the road?
,,It has been really important for me and I believe it is very good to have a classical education and do later what you really love, using many of the things you learnt but in your own way. I still love opera, `Turandot’ is my favourite one and ballet is simply amazing. Ballet is a form of art, so hard and delicate at the same time. But I was a rebel and I have always been a particular person, a little different than others. So my lovely dancing shoes soon became a pair of New Rock. I saw a black endless road in front of me, calling me and I had to follow it. From there I started this life. If I could live my life again, I would do exactly the same things and go back once more to dance. I have spent half of my life doing that.’’
Who inspires you as a singer and performer?
,,I think on stage it is very important to be yourself and to express what you really feel and what you want to give to your audience. Therefor I follow my feelings and what inspires me during our show are my lyrics, our music and our fans. I still do not know what I’m going to do on stage before the performance. It’s a surprise, also for me! Anything can happen...’’
How would you describe your stage performance?
,,On stage we give to our fans our feelings and our souls and they can feel it. We are the soundtrack of your best nightmare. We like to create a special world, a special atmosphere that drives you so far with our music and our attitude. We want to slide inside your soul... and take your Blood... !! We Are Vampires at the end! There is a price to pay...’’
What gives you the adrenaline rush and satisfaction of being part of the band Theatre des Vampires?
,,I think the secret of being on stage together for 22 years is to believe really and deeply in what you do and to consider your band as a real family that goes through all the problems that can happen in such a long time. They are my brothers and I love them totally. So being on stage together gives us a great energy. We share our adrenaline and we want to give our best to our fans. Every time! When you see your fans in front of the stage that love your music so deeply, it is the best thing in the world! Really.’’
Photos: Enrico Dal Boni
What is the musical and lyrical idea behind the new CD `Candyland’?
,,The name of our new album is inspired by a room, different from all others, with coloured walls and bars on the windows. A room described as hell on earth by the patients of the infamous Pennhurst asylum in Pennsylvania, where for decades adults and children with severe mental problems where hidden away from the public eye. It is a sad but also true story and the patients themselves renamed that room - with its brightly coloured walls from which nobody could leave - Candyland. `Candyland’ is a journey through the corridors of the asylum, through the dread of those who - locked away inside the bulwarks of Pennhurst - were left to live in the lone company of their deepest and most harrowing fears, told through their words, accompanied by their cry of desperation. Never to be understood. Never to be free. Never to be truly alive. It’s is a journey inside human fears. We all have something that scares us that we cannot fight. At the end it becomes part of us, something linked with our childhood fears, or that came after a trauma. It’s our dark side that screams and sometimes we cannot control it. Then we have to walk outside, in the dark side of the world, outside this society. Every song has it’s own story. The track ,,Candyland’’ itself speaks of a little girl who was locked up in that mental hospital. When she was growing up everything that surrounded her became smaller. The walls seem increasingly close and claustrophobic, the walls are coloured but there are no toys inside that room, only a sad lullaby, the chants of children who died around her. The sound of the cd is really powerful and violent in some songs but never without loosing our TDV attitude. Some of the songs are full of orchestral sounds and it is really a journey inside our fears. Something out of control. The voice of the lost souls, driven by the damned sweet melancholy that I love so much.’’
Can you tell more about your involvement in the `Jay Nepal’ Foundation and `Time4Life’ International?
,,Working with these two foundations was and still is a deep experience. With Time4Life I have worked in the past and I have travelled a lot in very poor countries, like Nicaragua, where we helped so many poor children who live in a garbage dump. To see children searching for food in the garbage and selling things for a little bit of money makes your heart bleed. So our mission was to search for people that wanted to give them a real hand, to give them the chance to go to school and having a real meal far from the dump, and so on. It was a very important and long work. It is so difficult to change this terrible reality but step-by-step with the help of people it is possible. Now I fully support the `Jay Nepal’ Foundation. Nepal is an amazing country with amazing people and so strongly destroyed by the earthquake of last year. On the 25th April 2015, a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, which claimed over 9.000 lives and injured 23.000 people and caused mass destruction to houses and in some areas, whole villages. Jay Nepal is an action-based humanitarian organisation. We are a volunteer-based, apolitical and non-religious, group working on post-earthquake responses, relief and recovery in communities across Nepal. It’s amazing to see young teams of Nepali guys that help their land and their people together with other volunteers. Because it is important to never lose the hope to go on and to rebuild. Nepal is a real poor country with a big dignity that NEEDS so much help. Everything must be built again and the earth is still trembling even if newspapers do not tell anything anymore about Nepal.’’
How do you like to spend your free time?
,,Staying with my husband Billy T. Cooper and our friends, travelling with them. Drinking a beer together with the people we love is one of the best things at all.’’
What is the hardest lesson you learned during your career?
,,We never stop learning and we never have to stop it if we want to go on in the best way. I've always been a dreamer and an idealist. I have learned to be a more concrete person, although for me it is still is not easy to face the real world. I'm learning to handle a lot of things within the band after Fabian left TDV. I learned to trust less people and I learned to be more diplomatic for the good of the band. Many times it is absolutely not easy.’’
What is your favourite late night snack?
,,A glass of fresh blood, what else?’’ [laughing]
Last but not least to whom would you want to put your fangs in?
,,Well, you look really good...watch out babe! Vampires are back!’’
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Credit Header Photo: May Rohrer Photography