Through the Late Night final show featuring ‘Scarlet Pumps’


Photo credit: Melissa Joseph


Scarlet Pumps, six months after the Camp Fire, are making a comeback with a record release show on Thursday, May 9.

Scarlet Pumps consist of members AJ Dos Santos (vocals, synthesizers), Gabriel Castillo (guitar), Levi McClain (bass, marimba) and Braden Althoff (drums).

Both Castillo and McClain were residents of Paradise, but have since been affected by the Camp Fire, California’s deadliest and most destructive fire.

Castillo mentions that, although most of his life centered around being in Chico while studying at Chico State, he was still living with his family and has planned to continue living in Paradise after graduation.

“That’s one thing I regret is that I wasn’t in Paradise as much in the last few years,” Castillo said.

“I would always assume that I could go back to my family’s home [after graduation],” Castillo continues. “[The Camp Fire] happened a month before I graduated, so [my future] got flipped upside down.”

Castillo has been able to cope with the aftermath of the fire, though. He says he’s still young, so he has time to figure out his life and move on.

As for Scarlet Pumps, most of their rehearsals were held in Paradise. However, they had a show planned in Chico for Friday, November 9, the day after the Camp Fire began. Therefore, most of their equipment was already in Chico in preparation for the show.

“It was super surreal… because we had planned for some reason to have the next practice at my house in Chico, just like, on a whim like ‘hey, why don’t we practice in Chico this time’ three days before the fire happened,” Dos Santos said.

Because of their decision to hold their rehearsal in Chico, most of their instruments and equipment, including a PA system, was saved from the fire.

Scarlet Pumps played a couple of shows about a month after the fire happened but have since been focusing on writing and recording new music.

Their record release show on Friday will mark their return since 2018.

Click the link below to listen to the full interview.

This interview was recorded at KZFR 90.1 in Chico, CA

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Mitchell Kret and Angel Ortega can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.