RedTrack – Interview
The Great Escape festival in Brighton started 2 days before my first history exam this summer, hence the delayed write up. Taking a welcome night off from books notes and drudgery, I headed out into Brighton for Mud Hut’s night at the Latest Music bar. With a host of other great acts playing on the night, it was set to be a great night. An ulterior motive though was to have meet and interview the guys from RedTrack who luckily for us were on last. As one of the first bands we ever posted on, and a personal favourite of mine, it was somewhat of a ‘full circle’ moment.
After having realised the bar was far too loud for my recorder to pick up anything said properly, as well as the custom quick hand shake and small talk exchanges we then set off on ‘just a 5 minute walk’ to Billy, the frontman’s car in order to conduct the interview. Inevitably 5 minutes was painfully optimistic and ended up walking practically to Hove, though on the Friday night of a city festival in Brighton, there was plenty to stare at. It must have been quite a picture to then see 4 of the guys and I pile into a little red 5 door. At first it seemed awkward that Phil, the bassist and tallest of the group, couldn’t fit in, but then as he wisely pointed out, he could smoke. All’s well then. Interview’s as follows, Billy took lead role with the other interspersed band comments in brackets and italics, sorry, group interviews can get confusing:
I hear you’ve just released a new track?
We’ve got another single coming out, ‘The Trier’ and it’s a reworking of the original.
So even though it’s a rerelease, where are you guy guys with your music?
Just a lot pop-ier I think, But still kind of, quite gritty, but yeah err, I guess, a lot popier? We don’t really want to put any other angle on it, that’s where we’re going!
So another thing I was curious about with your album was that it was released on Label Fandango, but you were the first album they’ve done. How did that come about, given Fandango is such a massively respected label set on releasing great singles?
Well yeah that’s it, they’re a really well respected label. It came about cause they put us on one of their nights in London and they really liked us then. And then we were on the Hollyoaks show, which we got loads of rubbish for BUT at the end of the day, they watched the program, then told us they wanted to put the album out.
I remember that, it was I think the only episode of Hollyoaks i’ve ever watched..
Yeah, me too!
So how did you get to play on Hollyoaks then?!
Yeah it was a competition we got signed up for by our manager and we didn’t even realise he’d done it, then we got a phone call from the producers saying we were in the final 9 and we didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. And then they explained and asked if we could come up to Liverpool to film an episode and we were like ‘err yeah, sure’.
So for you then is it making music and getting paid to do it, or is it being able to go on tours and play to different crowds full of fans every night?
I don’t know to be honest, it’s like chicken and the egg, you gotta gig loads before you get the opportunity to be paid to go on tour and get paid to do gigs but I think once you get a bit more of a profile you get that. And it’s great, you know it’s lovely getting paid for gigs.
Did you set up your own tour ever before you started getting paid to do it?
Naa we were very conscious of doing that because when you go to a venue and you play to know one it’s shit. You know, if someone from say Barnsley, tried to put a night on in Southend, it wouldn’t do very well, because no one would know who they were. I’m just saying Barnsley because we did a really bad gig there once.. (where was that?) Remember it was the one where got Andy a lap dance afterwards. (Oh mate that was dire).
What was the problem? Why was it dire?
Umm, like nobody turned up and there was this dude, you know ‘Rex Quan Do’ from Napolean Dynamite?
Well, he was there. The American pants and everything, oh and a Bandana.. You should never wear a bandana if you’re white.
(Unless your a pirate)
(Or Keith Richards)
And this guy was none of those people, and he wasn’t a pirate, the gig was pretty bleak!
You Just played Camden Crawl, how was that, hopefully a bit better than Barnsley?!
Yeah that was really nice, we played an acoustic gig and it was really cool because it was so quiet before we went on and there was so about 45-50 people, it was in the front bar of the Bull & Gate and was really busy.
So do you do a lot of acoustic gigs then?
Yeah we are doing them way more often now just to give it a different angle. There’s nothing like playing with an electric band and you can really smash it and get the passion across in your songs, but I also think there;s a lot that can be said for being really quiet and getting to a bit in your song where it comes to a natural silence and the whole pub is silent. The thing is, even if you fired a gun in the air, you couldn’t make a pub be quiet, you know what I mean? I guess it’s cause people are drunk and talking but to do that by playing to them is a really nice thing.
Jumping back to Camden Crawl, I saw you saw Odd Future (OFWGKTA), I’m not really sure about Odd Future, how were they live? I’ve heard crazy things.
They were unreal (amazing, ridiculous).
There’s 6 of them isn’t there?
There was 3 of them on stage, there was Tyler, Hodgy Beats, and some female DJ, yeah Syd Da Kid.
I had a dream about her the other night actually (laughs), yeah I dreamed I got with her then I got really scared ha, cause she knows some naughty dudes. You know if I mess this girl about, she’s gonna get me screwed.
Ha, well Odd Future, are blowing up at the moment but they do split opinion, what’s your take on them?
I think it’s the fact that they are completely revamping hip-hop and doing their own thing.
And Tyler’s a psycho..
Well yeah or is he? Mick showed me that Yonkers video which is incredible, hanging yourself in a video, what’s with that? But the thing is you watch it right to the end and you feel you’ve been kicked in the face. He’s brilliant, and I like what they are doing with Frankie Ocean, I think if you’ve got any ideas, we have bands, they’ve set up collectives. They’re a big group of producers and creatives and that’s what they are and I don’t think you can, well if you don’t like them then ‘Cool, whatever’ but you gotta appreciate them and they’ve got a collective of great minds and they’re all trying to make a change and do something which is amazing and great to watch.
So to end on a slightly more RedTrack related note, is there anything you can let us know about the new album and new releases?
Well we’ve got the ‘Trier’ single from our first album coming out which has 2 other songs on it. And we’ve just done some sessions for the second album and it’s sounding pretty different and more advanced than the first album.
Well thanks a lot guys for having a chat, really looking forward to hearing your new releases!
To end the night then RedTrack played a great set headlining the night, the whole crowd were ushered closer and were treated to a run through of some of their best crowd pleasers, which luckily are in ample supply given the quality and nature of their debut album. As superficial as it seems, a shoutout before my favourite track of theirs, ‘Cigarette’, was also more than enough to cement them still as one of my favourite British bands. We here at HMCMB look forward to hearing and reporting more in the future!
The Trier – RedTrack
Cigarette – RedTrack