Capital rockers seeing Red
From the nation’s capital, The Red Rails are a three-piece power rock group whose unique sound offers a blend of 1970’s vibes mixed with a 21st century flair.
Guitarist/vocalist Kim Vincent, bassist Chris Stanley, and drummer Steve Brogno have generated an immediate buzz throughout Eastern Ontario that has proven the band’s technical wizardry on the instruments, leaving audiences breathless and wanting for more. Influenced by musicians ranging from The Beatles to Queens of the Stone Age to Dave Grohl, The Red Rails’ groove-laden, punchy music and intensive chemistry is sure to keep an audience rockin’ through the night. The Red Rails launched their band just last May, playing their first show ever at Zaphods. This band has gotten so much done already in just a year, including plans for a full-length studio album release scheduled to be out on June 24th. Followed by promotional tours in the summer.
Here’s what they had to say about the upcoming show at Maverick’s, their first EP and their upcoming full-studio album.
So first off, how do you guys feel about opening for Danko Jones?
Vincent: “Feel Good,” as James Brown would say. No, it’s exciting. What I like about [Friday] night is that it’s all three-piece bands so it’s the same energy just with different musicians. But he’s been doing music for a long time. I’ve seen him play before so it’s going be a good show.
Brogno: It was a surprise for us because really, we’re recording next week and we’ve just been writing. So we kind of told ourselves that we weren’t going to play any shows for like four or five months just so we could focus, and then this one came up and we said “Okay, let’s squeeze this one in.”
Vincent: Can’t say no to Danko, haha.
How did you do the song writing process for your first EP, is it true that you pretty much finished it in one long day?
Brogno: The EP was just… Us kind of figuring out what this band was going to sound like. It was kind of an experiment in a way. That was great. We were really proud of our EP but after that we kind of realized, “okay I think this is where we wanna go with it.” So for our new record, now that we know what our sound is, we want to add more depth into it. We’ve really kind of groomed the sound.
Vincent: Well we did record it one long day. We tracked everything live off the floor, just the three of us playing our instruments, but the vocals we did after. Still, it was awesome to bang out six songs in just one day.
What kind of music would you say influences the band the most?
Vincent: Them Crooked Vultures is definitely one, Queens of the Stone Age and Death from Above. Bright Light Social Hour as well, I think they influenced us more before than they do now for this record, but still their live performance is just amazing. Mother Mother also, probably a little bit more in the EP again, but even now we try to be a little bit quirky, and then with vocals be a little bit fun. We played with them actually, that was a fun show.
When did you guys start jamming together?
Vincent: Two years ago, like February 2012 is when we started.
Brogno: At the time, we had no idea what we were going to sound like. Then fast-forward six to eight months when we had songs, people would talk to us about our sound. They would mention Queens of the Stone Age and [Them Crooked] Vultures, and we started to see the comparison.
So then how did you come up with your poignant rock and roll sound?
Vincent: It just evolved in the jam room. The music at first was heavily bass driven, like really really bass driven. When we’re mixing the stuff, we try to make it kind of like the equal three. The drums are big, the bass is big, the guitar is big. Some albums you listen, and you don’t even hear the bass. With us it’s a huge part of our songs.
Brogno: Chris [Stanley], the man! With the EP, a lot of the stuff started from a bass line, which is different from a lot of bands where usually a guitar player will have a riff or a melody and you go from there… Whereas our new record is more of a mix of the two, there’s stuff that started with a bass line, there’s stuff that started with a guitar riff, and then there’s stuff that just started with a vocal melody. We feel we’re lucky in a way that the three of us are best friends. We practice three times a week, for the last two years, and we’ve never had an argument. I mean it’s like impossible to find that in bands. Even if you all get along there’s still always something. Musicians have big egos haha, but we have no ego and that’s why I think we sound the way we sound, because everyone’s idea gets an actual shot.
Vincent: And that’s the great thing about having the odd member, they are always there to make the tiebreaker.
What was the first song or band that made you fall in love with music?
Vincent: Oh man. I don’t know what the first song was, but the first band that I really got into was The Beatles. You know you hear everything that your parents listen to, like CCR and The Doors. My parents had Abbey Road, I put that on the record player and I listened to it front to back.
Brogno: For me it was CCR and Nirvana. Dave Grohl is still my favourite. We wore out our Abbey Road record a couple summers ago; haha the vinyl has a bunch of crackle now.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Vincent: This band. In terms of single accomplishments, I don’t know if there is one but I think just everything that we set out to seem to do, we’ve done. We’ve never bailed on a deadline or anything, and we’ve been steady.
Brogno: I feel bad for our girlfriends and stuff hahaha. All they have to listen to is us talking about this band all the time. We haveÂ every week spoken for until next September. We actually have a calendar where we know every week what’s happening. I can tell youÂ when we’re going away for mastering and we haven’t even recorded yet!
In your opinion, what is the most important part about creating an album?
Vincent: The most important part for me is making sure that you as a band are happy with it. That’s the main thing for us, is making sure we’re happy with it for ourselves. And if people hate it, and we love, which I hope won’t happen haha but then so be it. As long as we make a record that we’re proud of and happy, I think that’s all you really need.
Brogno:Â We’re comfortable with not trying to be anything that’s already been done before, sometimes being yourselves, that’s the stuff that sticks with people. These bands like [Them Crooked Vultures] and so on that we’re talking about, those are all bands that don’t sound like anybody else. I would rather have 10 people be obsessed with the band, than 100 people being like “they sound like Imagine Dragons.” I’d rather have less fans that love it than a bunch that compare us to somebody.Â
Any other major plans for 2014?
Vincent: Well we’ve got our record that we’ve mentioned, that’s being released June 24th. We’re doing a five-week tour in support of the record starting July 25th to August 30th. We’ve got Hamilton, Toronto, we’re trying for London and Kingston if we can, maybe Windsor.Â The sixth week in September will be our homecoming show here in Ottawa. We’re also shooting a music video in April.
Brogno: We have a lot of stuff going on right now for sure.
Vincent: In early May we’ll also release our single and we do have a show that will be like our music video release party/album pre-release. We’re going to play the whole record front to back at the Black Sheep Inn on Friday May 9th.
Brogno: And we will have bus shuttles to take you from downtown Ottawa to Wakefield!
Photos by Sean Sisk Photography