45°: We meet… Red Fang
Face melting riffs, booze and beards, all three were there in abundance when Portland rock outfit, Red Fang rolled up to a sold out Sound Control in Manchester
Following hugely impressive sets from support acts, Lord Dying and The Shrine, Red Fang took the stage, greeted with a heroes welcome from an absolutely bouncing crowd, before proceeding in doing what they do best. Absolutely tearing the roof off the place.
The cosy attic venue provided an ideal setting for the band, guitarist David Sullivan said before the show that he preferred intimate gigs because of the energy that came with them, he definitely got that, and then some, it doesn’t get much more intimate than the attic room of a club!
The only real pause in the unrelenting onslaught came when a member of the crowd announced how “moist” he was to the rest of the venue, only for that notion to be reciprocated by bassist and vocalist Aaron Beam as well as offering to take off his pants… yep, so that happened.
After the band’s initial departure from the stage, the electric crowd wasted no time in letting them know there was no chance they were allowing the show to be over yet. The band more than willingly obliged. Laying waste to Sound Control one final time.
The raw energy the band provided through their simple, punch you in the face and then punch you a few more times, style of playing flowed straight into the audience from the minute they started, and there wasn’t a still person in the room by the end of it. The band probably warranted a slightly bigger venue, but the sheer closeness that Sound Control provided only added to the atmosphere.
BL: So firstly, who are Red Fang?
DS: So I’m David from Red Fang, Aaron plays Bass, John plays drums and Bryan who plays guitar, we’ve been playing together in various bands before Red Fang, 3 of us were in a band called Party Time before this, then me John and Aaron were in a band called Special Princess, then Brian moved away and moved back and when he joined we decided to play music again, but to keep the music very simple and straightforward. We get described as stoner rock, stoner metal, which I’m fine with, but we’re not really trying to just be a stoner rock band you know. Mostly I just call it hard rock when people ask, but there’s definitely element of stoner or metal in there. But we’re not trying to be one particular type of thing we’re trying to write songs we enjoy playing and hopefully other people enjoy listening to.
BL: Who are the bands biggest influences?
DS: Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, ZZ top, a lot of classic rock stuff, and a lot of 90s stuff too, like Soundgarden, Nirvana, Jesus Lizard and then a lot of punk rock stuff like Black Flag but really a lot of different influences.
BL: Best memories from touring?
DS: When we got to tour with Mastodon, we did a tour with them in the US, it was great, those guys were really nice, really friendly, really generous just really nice guys. And then we finished the US tour and they had a tour in Europe and the UK and they asked us to do that tour also, and we were like, yes, we’d love to! And that was great because we got to play a bunch of bigger venues than we would have on our own, and their fans seemed to like us, it was great to travel with them.
BL: Worst memories from touring?
DS: A van accident we had, we were coming back from Seattle, we were about 40 miles north of Portland, there was a deer suddenly in the road, Aaron was driving and he swerved to avoid the deer, and sort of lost control, we ended up rolling over twice, we landed right side up but all the windows were smashed out. Everybody was ok except our sound guy had a fractured rib, we were really lucky, and all of our gear was ok as well, we played a show the next night. But it was really terrifying, it kind of made me realise, a lot of our stuff flew out the windows, I was walking round and found peoples phones and Ipods and I just remember having this handful of phones and stuff, and was like this is just garbage, this stuff doesn’t matter because we’re alive.
BL: You’re going all over the place with this tour, where are you most looking forward to?
DS: I’m looking forward to Moscow, just because Russia is so exotic to me, we’ve been there twice already, but still it’s just amazing to get to go to Russia.
BL: How does playing in the UK compare to America?
DS: It’s great, I think it’s maybe since I’m from the US, maybe it’s just the newness, maybe it’s just that I’m travelling in another country that makes it seem awesome, but I really enjoy it, I prefer it to touring in the US for sure
BL: If you could tour with and band past or present who would it be?
DS: I’ll say Soundgarden, because I guess it could still happen, I mean it would have been rad to tour with Soungarden back in their heyday or whatever, but they’re still touring and have a new record out so maybe we could tour with them at some point, that would be awesome for me.
BL: If you weren’t in the band, what career do you think you’d be in now?
DS: Before the band, I was building websites, doing flash action script programming, but I got really burnt out on doing that, even though I do still enjoy computers I’m kind of a dork, I built the Red Fang website, so probably some computer / web related thing, but I’m glad I’m not doing that.
BL: Some of your music videos are pretty bizarre, where do the ideas come from?
DS: Well, they come from the director his name’s Whitey McConnaughy , he’s a friend of ours, who knows our sense of humour, but really the concepts are pretty much all him, I mean he’ll come to us like, I’ve got this idea and usually we’re like, awesome great, just go with it. We owe him a lot for those videos, they’re great.
BL: Do you prefer playing festivals or normal gigs?
DS: They’re both kind of cool, festivals are rad because you’re playing to lots of people and that’s a pretty cool feeling being in front of huge crowds but it’s hard to get the same kind of energy that you do in a small club, I mean I like them both but I think I ultimately prefer club situations where it’s more intimate.
BL: Do you get a chance to go out around the cities when you’re touring?
DS: Not as much as we would like, I mean we travel to all these places, but usually it’s just, you get there, you load in the gear, you sound check, you go get some food. Like last night we had to play then immediately start driving, coming from Paris to make it to Sheffield, so mostly we don’t have time to really be tourists. But every once in a while we have a day off somewhere and we can actually see some stuff, but sometimes on them days I’m just feeling wiped out and lazy so I don’t really do much.
BL: What are your plans for the rest of the year?
DS: So we’re back home at the end of April, then we do a tour of the US in May, until about the second week of June, then we come back over to Europe in July, and we’re going to be playing a bunch of festivals, then we’re home for a month and we’re going over to Australia.