Over the last decade, RED has emerged as a career artist. The three piece band is honest about who they are and what motivates them as a band. The group’s latest album “Of Beauty and Rage” is based around suffering and finding the beauty within. Media Mikes spoke recently with the bands bassist Randy Armstrong about the band returning to their roots during the creation of the album, the albums first two singles and the bands tour plans over the next several months.
Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the bands new album?
Randy Armstrong: The new album is called “of Beauty and Rage”. We started working on it this time last year up in Maine which was like being in a polar vortex. (Laughs) We actually got stuck there as it was around -40 degrees and you just couldn’t go outside. It ended up being the perfect opportunity for us to listen to some music and go through old demos that we had. We got inspired and talked about what we wanted to do with the album. Ultimately we wanted to go back to the sound that made us popular. We decided to put everything else aside and just really focused on making songs that people would love.
AL: Aside from returning to your original sound did the band set any other goals that you wanted to accomplish with this record?
RA: Our fans sort of let us know they weren’t fond of what we did on our fourth album. We were trying to get back to rock radio with that album and we stripped down the songs quite a bit. We wrote songs specifically for radio. Fans were taken back by that change and they certainly let us know it. We have always been hands on with our fans and while we were in Maine we decided that we were going to go where we were wanted and not necessarily where we wanted to go. That was something that we all had in the back of our minds.
AL: Does working like that make it hard to keep things fresh for the band as musicians?
RA: We have our core fans who expect certain things from our albums. They expect a lot of emotion, production and symphonic elements. We wanted to make sure that we pushed those things and get very cinematic with the record. We wanted this album to be one that you had to listen to the whole way. We wanted to display all the things we have learned making records over the last 10 years. When you get to the end of this record you can feel a resolution. Along the way we wanted to have people feel things they hadn’t felt before. I think our writing has definitely matured and we wanted to keep challenging ourselves to continue down that path. I think we did that and accomplished something that had yet to accomplish.
AL: Can you tell us about the two singles you have released?
RA: We always find a song during the recording process that encapsulates the entire emotion of what we are looking to get with the album. The song “Darkest Part” by sheer coincidence was the first fully completed song we heard. When we all heard that first time we couldn’t believe what we had done. When the label heard the album they wanted to go with the song “Yours Again” as the single. We hadn’t written any of the songs with the intention of going to radio so it was a bit difficult to decide. “Yours Again” is a very spiritual and emotional song and after some talking and several listening tests it was decided to release both of the tracks as people really liked both of them.
AL: Can you tell us about the bands upcoming tour?
RA: The first tour of the record is always very exciting. The first week of this tour the record won’t even be out yet. We will be selling the album early at those live shows which will give fans that come out something to take home with them. This is going to be one of the longer tour runs we have done as we will be out for about 6 weeks this time around. When this run is done we have a week off and then we head to Australia. We come back from that and have some time off while our singer Michael’s wife has a baby and then were off to Europe for another 6 weeks.