Thursday, February 21, 2013

Interview with Red Hex

I heard of Red Hex through Chris DeFusco who runs Negative Fun records, an awesome new record label out of Raleigh, NC. Red Hex was something that I preordered basically because I trusted his music taste. I didn't know anything about the band, but figured that he wouldn't steer me wrong. And boy was I right. I got a monster of a 7" record out of the deal. I remember getting it in the mail and popping it on my turntable and being completely unprepared for what was going to happen to my face. The face, you say? Oh, yes. Because my face was TOTALLY MELTED from the aural power that came from the impressive vocals, barking guitars, bullet-riddled drum part and an ability to tie it all together to make something presentable that didn't lose any spitfire from the many factors.

The word that came to my mind was that the 7" record was "special." In that way where a band completely takes you by surprise, rolls you over, and commands you to keep listening. I ended up flipping the record from one side to the other and so forth for over an hour. Non stop listening. I was so shocked that I hadn't listened to them before. So I bought their other 7" and that one was great too. A little less fidelity, but whatever. You don't listen to punk rock for the fidelity. You listen to punk rock for the realness and grittiness you might get walking down an avenue, stepping under an unused train station and seeing graffiti that tells you "8 million homeless in the U.S." - a painted body holding a painted Jack Daniels fifth of whiskey collapsed onto an imagined plane.

So yeah, I liked the record. 

This is what they said.

Jordan: Tell me a little bit about your band. Where are you guys from? Who all is in the band 
and what are your different roles in terms of writing, recording and playing?

Sam: "So we're sittin' around eatin' dinner and I say 'hey man, we should call the band Corn!, with a K!' and then Munky says 'Yeah!, and we'll flip the K around!". Red Hex, however was formed in Tacoma Washington, a small logging/gang city nestled in the shadow of  the Asarco smelter. For years the poisons flowed freely, gently raining upon three young boys. The boys grew and grew until fate finally united them. In the basement played. In the basement they stayed. In the bath-tub they also played.. Isaiah: The drummer who played the drums like they were a guitar, Sam: The guitarist who played a guitar like it was a drum and Spencer ate the sauce.. 

J: What releases do you guys have?

Sam: The Two 7"s, the "Black Hole" one we did on our own, and the Shoulda Known/Down in The Dirt one that just came out on Negative Fun Records. We also still sell/give away a 6 song CD that has some of our older stuff on it. That's it.

J: I love both of your 7"s that you have released. It seems like there's just consistent adrenaline in the new 7" as opposed to the slower b-side on your first one. Is this just more comfortable for you guys? Or just the kind of songs you have been writing?

Isaiah: I didn't even want that song on the first record..

Sam: haha yeah, I did what I thought I had to do to sell the records. The fans love Weird Bruises. We were gonna have Rat Boy on there too but it didn't fit on the record.

Spencer: We actually don't think about anything before doing it, and we have alot of slower songs at the moment too.

Sam: Yeah, Shoulda known is a really old song and we'd never recorded it, so we decided to put it the Negative Fun 7" since it would be out of place the album that we're recording/writing. Down in the Dirt was a new song we were stoked on so we decided to throw that on there too. Our new stuff is getting pretty weird..

Spencer: Yes, the album will be interesting...

J: How long does it take for a song to get written and finished? How do you record the songs?

Spencer: Oh god...

Isaiah: Anywhere from literally playing the whole song first try off the top of our heads, to years..

Sam: Yeah we've written songs where it seems like we didn't even write them, and we also have songs that we've been working on the entire time we've been a band. As for recording, I've recorded everything we've done, pretty much live, just pressing record and picking up my guitar. We've never recorded with anyone else around.

J: What's that sample at the end of the "shoulda known" 7" on the third song? I know I've heard it before but it's been bothering me.

Sam: It's from "Dead Beat at Dawn" the 70's new york gang movie. 

Spencer: I guess some metal band called Impetigo already used it, but who cares. 

J: It seems like you guys might be big into horror movies from what I've heard in your songs? Any particular movies or directors in particular you like? I'm a big fan.

Sam: We're all fans of film in general, but Zay is the real horror buff!

Isaiah: we like to watch everything. favorite horror directors off the top of the head would be murnau, lang, whale, hitchcock, early argento, romero, cronenberg, fulci, bava, carpenter, soavi, hooper, etc. tons of shit from silent films to the shittiest shot on video shitfilms. Film is probably my biggest influence when making music. Riefenstahl, kurosawa and herzog errday 

Sam: My brother is actually film maker, and Isaiah and I recently did the score for his new "German" Expressionist Horror/Comedy "Ich Hunger", check it out!

J: What do you guys like to talk about in your lyrics? Are there certain themes or influences that you guys take when you're writing lyrics?

Sam: I just scream jibberish at practice and try to form it in to words later. It usually ends up being about psychedelia, death and jealousy. 

Isaiah: Treacheris Succubinis

Spencer: Roman Holiday/Nautical Studies

Sam: Yes, pure-bred crystal falcon. 

J: How has it been working with Negative Fun records as opposed to just self-releasing the seven inch record you guys have done? What's the difference?

Sam: The difference is I didn't pay for anything and people are actually hearing our record this time. haha. I'm terrible at self managing the band and don't really work it as hard as I should to sell records and whatnot. Chris at Negative Fun is doing us a huge favor by dealing with our weird asses and we are extremely grateful.

J: How often do you guys play live? Where do you like to play? What bands in particular do you like playing with?

Spencer: We play often, at least a few times a month. We prefer house shows, since the crowd actually goes nuts.. We like playing with bands who aren't dicks and don't suck..

Isaiah: I prefer to play in the bath-tub truthfully... 

Sam:  We actually throw shows in our basement which we call "The Haunted Haus" because the scene in Tacoma is so dead. We've brought alot of great bands through like our pals the Night Beats & Criminal Code as well as Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel, Cosmonauts, Youthbitch, Guantanamo Baywatch, Big Eyes, Japanther (who sucked) and many more..

J: Do you guys have any more plans for shows or releases in 2013?

Spencer: MmmFasho!

Sam: We're planning a tour down to the Bay Area this April. This will be our first tour since we've never had any money or a van or anything until recently, and we're all 21 now. If all goes well we'll do a bigger one in the summer.

Spencer: Not to mention our upcoming split with Mumford & Sons.. No, but seriously, we're working on a full length record and some other stuff.

Sam: Yeah, someone put out our full length!!

J: Anything Else you'd like to say?

Red Hex: Shout outs to all the Friends, Girl Trouble, Ed, The Fams & The Fans! 

It's a helluva show..