This feature, including my following interview with the band and the player below, should be enought o make you go crazy about these guys. EVERYTHING ON RED, a powerful punk rock / pop punk trio haling from the north of England, have created a very fresh and energetic approach to punk rock, slightly spiced up with cool synths and solidly driven by passionate vocals. Their new album “Satellites” is out now and you should seriously consider picking it up. Take a sniff below and be sure to get your copy at this location. Oh, and don’t forget to scroll down to read my chat with Alex, Tom and James!
Hey, guys! Cool to meet you. I love your new stuff, it’s very energetic. You’ve been growing with the natural progression for some time now and it’s good to hear you still got it. So… how are you? :) How’s this new album era goin’ so far?
Thanks, we’re really pleased with the new album. Yeah – it’s a little different from our previous CD’s. After losing our bass player but deciding to stay as a three-piece, we dropped the synths, Tom took over bass responsibilities and so the songs were written around the new line-up. They’re a little more riff-based than on previous releases, but they still sound like us! The gigs we’ve played so far off the back of “Satellites” have been some of the most satisfying gigs we’ve played in a while! We always love playing live, but touring this record has been particularly fun. We had a great time recording the album with Weaver at Knype Studios – I think he did a great job capturing the “live” energy.
Great to hear you’re very pleased with it! Did you get nervous ahead of the album release as to how it will be received?
Yeah! Every time you release songs, you tell yourself that you don’t care what people are going to say about them but then the release date comes and you can’t help but check out the reviews! Particularly this time, with the album being slightly different to anything we’ve done before, we’ve been keen to get feedback and luckily (so far) it’s all been positive! We’ve never been a band that changes it’s sound to fit what the critics want, we’re quite content making music that WE like and I think that with Satellites, we’ve done just that.
Despite letting go synths and becoming a three-piece, what was new in your approach to writing this time? Have you somehow professionalized the process over the years?
Our approach to songwriting has pretty much always been the same: One of us will turn up with a basic idea, we’ll throw out a few suggestions on changes in feel or structure and sometimes we end up with a song! There have been a few songs that have just come out of us jamming at the beginning of a practice. Either way, it’s a totally collaborative and organic procedure and a lot of fun! Losing the synth’s hasn’t really had much of a bearing on the song writing itself. I think it has just freed up some room for getting the vocals stronger or allowing the guitars to rock out a bit more. As for “professionalising” the songwriting process, we’ve definitely got better at choosing appropriate twists and turns within songs, maybe we’re more tuned in to what works now then when we started – which I suppose is what you would expect. Song writing is definitely one of the most enjoyable parts of playing in a band, we love it.
What are you trying to provoke in people with “Satellites”?
I think that we’re just trying to put out an album that is honest, interesting and that lets people rock out in any manner they deem appropriate! We didn’t start writing songs with an intent to make anyone feel a certain way, but if some of the tracks make people want to sing out loud or jump around in their bedrooms then that would be a bonus. We’re not a particularly political band and we don’t have an agenda, not to say there’s anything wrong with bands that are overtly political, its just that’s not what we’re aiming for with this record.
Who are the main influences on EVERYTHING ON RED – I mean both in terms of music, and other stuff like writing, film, politics etc.? Have inspirations changed over the years?
Musically, I think our influences would be bands that can put out a pop song and still have it wrapped up in slightly odd time signatures or at least keep it musically interesting. Bands like BIFFY CLYRO and RX BANDITS spring to mind. We’re definitely fans of some of the new batch of UK bands like DON BROCO and LOWER THAN ATLANTIS – again, they are totally able to write a pop song but give it enough of a twist as to avoid the bland radio-rock sound. Individually, our tastes are much more diverse and therefore maybe don’t translate across onto our record quite so directly. There really isn’t a lot of classical music, rockabilly or jazz on Satellites! I suppose there may be ideas and feels that are influenced by our more personal tastes but I don’t know if I’d be able to pick them out.
As with the writing of songs, we all get involved with writing lyrics. There are recurring themes depending on who wrote them and I wouldn’t like to spoil it by highlighting them all, but in general we do tend to go with themes that are identifiable. We’ve dealt with the 9-5 working week stuck a job that you hate, inevitable break-ups and relationship stuff and the importance of having friends (with beers) around you.
I think your inspirations do change over the course of many years, it’s all part of growing up – I don’t listen to quite so much Terrorvision as I did, but I’ll still be singing loudly when someone cranks up “How To Make Friends…” – but the big picture is still the same. We’re three friends that want to be writing music together and that in itself is quite a hefty chunk of inspiration.
It’s an interesting approach. I believe it makes your writing more authentic and diverse. By the way “years”, for the purpose of the audience, could you shoot us a brief history of EVERYTHING ON RED and draw a picture of your early days?
Thanks, I certainly hope that’s how it comes across.
As for the Secret Origins of EoR… We formed out of the ashes of another band. Tom, James and I felt that we weren’t done writing and performing and so we just sort of carried on. Like now, in the first instance it was just the three of us. After a short while, Tom made the switch to keys and we got Toms brother in on bass. We recorded the first seven songs we had written on my old Mac computer and that became our demo (Casino Way Out). The songs we had would veer from screamy punk to classical piano-lead links, via a cheeky ska section. It was inevitably naive and lacking in direction but the ideas were there. We played a bunch a gigs off that and set about writing four “proper” songs that were to be recorded in a real studio. That became the EVERYTHING ON RED EP, still one of our favourite recordings of us! In fact, on our last few gigs we have been finishing the set with the first track off that CD, NeveroddoreveN. From there, we wrote an album of songs that we recorded half at Prism in Stoke and half at Outhouse in Reading. We signed to Lockjaw Records and “Rotator” came out in 2009. We did a couple of tours to promote that. Since then, we’ve put out a few EP’s by ourselves and continued to gig as often as possible. Now we’re just releasing our second album proper and we’re back to our original line up. We have financed and released this album totally off our own backs which is great. We’ve even got our old bassist doing our artwork! I’d say that as an album, Satellites represents us better than any of our previous releases. We’re very proud of it!
Going back even further, how did you dive into punk rock in the first place? We all have varying stories as to what drew us into the world of punk rock / hardcore punk, but how did you find yourself getting caught up in it?
My first introduction to many bands was through my brother, although I don’t think they were necessarily “punk” bands. I remember first hearing NIRVANA, THERAPY? and TERRORVISION coming from his tape player in around ’94 or ’95. It was through hearing those bands that my friends and I got into the music that would come to shape our lives. There have been a few other very important band discoveries that have stuck with me – I first heard ALKALINE TRIO on an Asian Man comp and I remember seeing THE LIVING END‘s “Prisoner Of Society” video in the Vans shop. Both bands would come to mean a lot to me, personally. There was also a local rock club that we would all descend upon every Friday – it was the venue where I would play my first gig (supporting CAPDOWN!) – and it was a great place to make friends, see touring acts and share new bands we had discovered.
I was drawn to the energy of the music and also the rebelliousness of the lyrics, which seemed quite exciting as an impressionable 13 year old. I remember my friend playing me Bad Habit by THE OFFSPRING at full blast on his stereo and it was the first time I’d heard anything like it. I was hooked!
Initially I got into pop-punk (BLINK/SUM41/OFFSPRING) in school as something to listen to other than the spice girls and the macarena. I liked how I was in the minority of people liking it. A friend (Chris Jones!) played me Dookie for the first time when I was on holiday in Newquay and was hooked from there!
I started going to gigs locally at 15/16 which led to forming various bands and then got more into “punk-rock” from there. Snowballs.
Referring to the “live energy” you mention before, how do you feel performing these new songs live? You’re in the middle of a mini-tour right now, aren’t you? Tell me more about this short run ending on June 6th.
Playing these new songs is so much fun! Across these shows we’ve played pretty much the entire album and they’ve all gone down great. We are trying to keep a few of the older songs in there, just in case there are some kids that know our earlier stuff. Reworking old songs also keeps it interesting for us. It’s the first time we’ve played a few of these venues too. We love playing live and it’s just made better when the venue is cool and the audience are up for a good time! Every time we play a gig, we give 100%. There is no point driving all the way to venue just to go through the motions and people feel less self-conscious about dancing/moshing/singing if we’re giving it some onstage!
What gigs do you have planned for the coming months?
We are continuing to play gigs around the country as often as possible (for those interested, we can be booked through our Facebook page). Any new dates will be posted online.
And around the continent? :)
We would absolutely love to get out and around the entire continent! We’ve been looking into a tour around France to begin with, but if anyone wanted to offer us a tour slot or wanted to drive us around anywhere we’d do it!
DIY, brother! You can do it yourself :)
Haha! Yeah, there is that. It just comes down to having the money to get out there. We’ll get there one day!
By the way touring, how vital is your local punk rock scene?
I would hesitate to say that our local punk scene is thriving – although there are a lot of bands coming from Stoke, very few are not either Indie or Metal. It’s still very important to us to support the local music scene and we’re very keen to be pushing local venues like The Sugarmill or The Underground. We’ve played gigs with all manner of different bands. It helps that there are a lot of “new music” fans in the area! I think nationally there are some excellent punk-influenced bands coming through, however; GREAT CYNICS, COLT 45, MIKE TV, SONIC BOOM SIX and TRAILS spring to mind immediately. There was a great local scene when I was starting to play in bands, I’m sure it’ll come back round. As I mentioned before, we’re just happy to be playing gigs to a keen audience, regardless of what the other bands sound like.
So there are divisions when it comes to certain genres and styles? One big hug and unity? :)
Not at all. We’ve played with all those bands who’s sound is so different to our own. We have done it in the past and will continue to do it, but sometimes it’d be nice to be on a bill with bands that share a similar outlook on music. It’s vital to the growth of a scene that all the bands have a shared belief in what they are doing and a love and respect for what the other bands are doing. Making friends and sharing your music is such a massive part of band life! In the end though, it’s ALWAYS about One Big Hug and Unity!
Haha! Damn right it is!
Ok, boys. A couple more. Have you ever thought about surviving off the band? Could you make EVERYTHING ON RED your job? :)
Nothing would make us happier than to be able to live off of the band. That would be The Dream. We work so that we can afford to record the album, get CDs pressed, t-shirts printed and drive to shows. Until we start to make some proper money from it, however, there is no way we’ll be able to give up the day jobs.
So what are the goals for the band this year?
Goals for this year are to get Satellites heard by as many people as possible and to really get our name out there. The response to the record and at shows has been great so far, we’re hoping for more of the same! Maybe this could be the year we get to quit our day jobs! We really appreciate zines and sites like yours showing an interest in our stuff. It means a lot so thank you!
Very well. Thanks for your time! It was great meeting you! Keep on rockin’! (in a free world ;))
Thank you! It has been a pleasure.