Red Light District is a LA-based Electro Swing band that got in touch with me a while ago. I wasn’t aware that Electro Swing also had supporters in California so I took the chance to ask Juliette from Red Light District a few questions.
Juliette is described as “an accomplished actor and musician, sings, writes lyrics, brews the magic and theraminizes”. Together with the producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Shok they founded the band.
How was Red Light District founded? How did you and Shok meet?
Shok and I met each other through an LA music e-mail list when I was preparing to move to LA. After being friends for a while, we discovered that we enjoyed working on music together.
I was booked to sing at a burlesque show and asked Shok to perform with me. We had written other songs previously, but for this event, wrote a cabaret style song called “Hexes & Moonshine”. This took our work in a new direction. It was also the first time we used the name, Red Light District, and was our first live performance together.
How did you get interested in swing music in the first place?
I have loved big band and swing music since I was a little girl. Growing up in Cincinnati Ohio, I listened to a radio program called “When Swing Was King”, and that is how I discovered many of the great musicians of that era.
Are you in touch with other Electro Swing artists in or around LA? Is there something like a “swing scene” in LA?
There is a small but active swing dance scene here in L.A. The Electro Swing scene is much smaller, but we are acquainted with producers such as Baron and djs such as the LA Confidentiel crew. We have brought in LA Confidentiel to work with us on a big project that we are really excited about: ElectroSwingClub Hollywood. It is a club night that will open this summer and hopefully help the scene grow and unify.
Could you say a few words about your personal impression of your local music scene in general?
It is incredibly diverse. People come to LA from all over the country and all over the world. You can hear so many different types of live music in so many different venues, so I think that, no matter what you’re into, you can find it here.
What can one expect at one of your live shows?
We are a full live band. Our horn section includes trumpet, trombone and saxophone. We have an upright bassist, accordion/ pianist, guitarist and Shok is on drums and percussion, triggering additional sounds.
Sometimes we include other performers. For example at our last performance, during our tribute song to Harry Houdini, “Handcuff King”, we had an escape artist perform a straight jacket and chains act.
What are your plans for the near future? Do you have any upcoming releases or are you planning a tour?
We are close to completing our debut, “Smoke & Mirrors”. The first single, “Come On Up” is already being featured in advertisements.
There is an upcoming remix competition for “Come On Up” with prizes from FL Studio, Event Speakers and Rode Microphones.
Speaking of remixes, Shok was asked to remix Gotye’s next single, so there will be a Red Light District mix.
We have summer dates in the works with our opening of ElectroSwingClub Hollywood in LA.
We would love to tour worldwide, so bring us to your town!