With their debut self-titled album out this Friday, we caught up with Melbourne’s psychedelic rockers Redcoats to learn more about the band, their sound and what their debut album has in store for us. Here is what they had to say…
Redcoats is a traditional term for British soldiers. Why did you decided to pick Redcoats as your band name, and what where the alternatives discussed?
Our name did not, in any direct way, form from the British Army. We were aware of the historical context at the time, but we are not war buffs. We just needed a name and we were tossing shit around and that’s what stuck. I don’t think any of us are particularly attached to it, but it’s a name.
You were conceived in a lounge room in 2007. How did you guys all meet, and how did it come that you ended up playing music together?
Rhys and I (Andrew) went to Primary and High School together, we started making music late high school with various people and it sort of just moved around and evolved in different shapes. We got hold of Emilio in 2007 and mucked around for a few years. Then, in 2009 we found Neil and from there we started to put more emphasis on it all and prioritise our music. Since then it has grown to what it is now.
I imagine that each of you were involved in other musical projects before Redcoats, what other bands did you guys play in?
We stole Neil from Spencer P Jones, the other three of us, not really. Just high school things.
Recently you toured with Karnivool. What was it like to tour with those guys? Did you learn anything about touring from them?
We learnt how professional and capable they all are as musicians and that, every night they were, from where we were sitting, pretty close to flawless, which considering they were trialing new stuff is even more impressive. They really have their thing down after ten years or so of doing it. None of us really were too familiar with their music until the tour, but we definitely learnt a lot about being professional musicians and they are all really good dudes, which makes a tour that much more enjoyable.
At the end of 2011 you were one of Triple Js next crop artists. What was it like to be recognised in this way? Did you feel any pressure when writing your new tracks as a result?
We aren’t really the types who notice these things much. It’s great to be noticed as somewhat relevant or whatever you want to call it, but I can’t say that it affected our writing.
You also came in at #76 on Triple Js Hottest 100. How excited were you when this happened, and how did it affect the way you celebrated Australia Day?
It was good. When we found out, we were in MacKay eating kebabs in a shopping centre food court before heading to a festival we were playing at. It really didn’t affect the day at all. We played the show and went back to our sleeping quarters and chilled out. Quite uninspired celebrations really. Sorry for the lack of interestingness.
What do your music collections look like? Do you collect vinyl, CDs or have you embraced the modern age of MP3? Which bands had the biggest impact on your style of music?
Between us, we collect all of the above. We spend more money than we should on music, but it can all be put down as research and education, or at least that’s what we are calling it. As to what the collections look like they pretty much cover everything. Between us, we all share many common interests with music and then we all branch out into certain areas. The bands that have shaped us musically as a collective probably stem more from the 60s and 70s. This is obviously because this was when music was at its peak in the form it takes today (insert smiley emoticon). It was still fresh and there was much to be explored within the parameters of the modern form.
When you’re writing new music do you have a particular method? Do you rely on one member to provide the spark, or do you get together and brainstorm? What comes first, the lyrics, the guitars, etc?
Our method is basically….’who has a riff, groove or melody?’ We find one and from there we just play it and see where it goes, where it takes us. We always try and record jams etc so we don’t miss anything. This goes on over a period ranging from less than a day to months until its time to record or until the song feels done. We are very democratic so if one of us isn’t too enthused by something it generally goes pretty early on.
Your track ‘Evergreen’ comes with a pretty cool and trippy video clip. How did that idea come about? Also please say one of you owns the Kombi van at the start!
The idea came at the last minute when we had nothing for it and we needed something in a hurry. It was done by good friends of ours Ribal and Gil at Superteam Studios. We went over there talked some crap, brainstormed and the idea was born. The Kombi belongs to Neil’s housemate Mathias.
Your debut album is self-titled and drops on October 19th. Why did you choose to take the self-titled approach?
The self titled thing is because we couldn’t land on something between the four of us. Although it is our preferred system, at times, the democratic system falls over. Also looking at it now, being our first album I think it is good. Clean slate etc. Nothing to lead anyone on before they hear the first beat.
How would you describe the sounds we are going to hear on the new album?
It is not all that similar to the EP. It’s still guitar heavy rock, but production wise it is rawer, by rawer I mean drier. It is less affected than the EP. It’s quite dry in a lot of parts. It’s very honest, we wanted it to sound like we do in our rehearsal space and I think it does.
What does Redcoats have planned for the future?
We will be touring the album in November. There are twelve or so shows. So we are preparing for that and we are writing a fair bit of new stuff as well which keeps things exciting too.
Redcoats release their self-titled debut album on October 19th. Tour details can be found in full on their website http://redcoatsmusic.com/?page_id=313.