We like modern music. We really do. In fact, we’ve cemented a reputation for finding great new bands who are taking music in new and vital directions. Those who say that music died in the late 80′s are shunned by us, as we aim to show that music continues to evolve. But….. We must profess our love of 80′s British music: Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure, Joy Division, The Smiths, etc.. So when we find a band that embraces those influences without making us feel guilty, we quietly stand in the corner and jump up and down. Hailing from London, England, Red Drapes take the sound of that era and make it sound fresh. Themes of isolation, banality, unhappiness (ie; all of our favorite things) are the backdrop for music that’s layered with great melodies. Following opening slots for bands like (TDOA faves) The Boxer Rebellion and using former Bunnymen producer Laurie Latham, we envision an upward trajectory for this group. The band took some time to talk to us about using your influences to create unique art and charmed us with their chiming guitars.
TDOA: We love the sound on these recordings. Can you satisfy the equipment geeks among us and talk about your guitar and amp set-ups?
RD: Our basic sound is Fender Jazz Master and a Fender Telecaster through Fender blues-deluxe combos. Ibanez Tube Screamer distortion, plenty of reverb from Boss Reverb RV-3, Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail and MXR Carbon Copy delay, among others. We tend to prefer analog over digital on effects, where possible.
TDOA: The influences you list, are a virtual who’s-who of our favorite bands. Can you talk about how you incorporate those influences while still creating your own unique sound?
RD: This is difficult to say. As much as the next person, we have all the sounds and structures of our influential bands and musicians in our heads. It is difficult ignore the impulses you get from what you listen to. We think it is important not to let these influences get the better of our writing and simply create the music that naturally comes to us via our sub-conscience. The structures in our songs are lead by emotions on the day of writing, so the songs are very much driven by feeling.
We have always been melodious and lyrically strong. A few key bands and musicians (as well as a sea of others) strongly influence our vocal melodies, melodramatic guitar parts and moody, spacious drums and bass. It’s important to make sure your influences remain your influences and not dictate the direction of your writing.
TDOA: Can you talk a bit about the video for Reflection and your views on the general importance of making videos?
RD: The video for Reflection was shot with one camera over a couple of hours in our rehearsal room in South London. It was filmed by director Evan Pugh and encompasses his naturalist style of film. We are very happy with it and the beauty of the video is the simplicity.
We think it is fair to say that in this modern era, having a video to accompany a song plays a very important part in the promotion of a band. It enables the industry and public alike to identify with the individuals in the group and form a better idea of the image of the band, not to mention giving the artist a chance to include a visual concept that relates to the lyrical content.
TDOA: Who produced the demos that you’ve recorded and what plans do you have for future recording?
RD: Laurie Latham (produced Echo and The Bunnymen) produced our 5 current tracks at Helicon Mountain Studios, London in the early Autumn of 2009. They were full band live recordings and we are very pleased with the overall sound and quality of the records. We are going back into the studio very soon to record new material. You should hear the results this summer.
TDOA: This writer grew up during the heyday of The Smiths, Bunnymen, etc., when there was an amazing music scene in England. Do you feel like there is a similar scene happening in England that encompasses bands like yours now?
RD: As we are based in London, we are involved in one of the busiest and most eclectic music scenes in Britain. There appears to have been a rise in bands following a more 80′s influenced post-punk, melancholic sound over here recently. As part of the London scene, we are definitely part of a movement that is tailored towards the darker, more contemplative sound.
TDOA: The music press in England has always been fickle. Is it difficult to get noticed by the major mags and do you view it as important to your success?
RD: In our experience it is difficult to get press in a desired leading music publication in England. As we are still quite a young band, getting press in a decent well read magazine is always gong to be hard.
Although we were recently featured in January 09′s Dazed And Confused magazine under a column by John Kennedy of Xfm. It was a great write up from a well respected new music radio presenter/DJ and in a well known publication. When you do manage to get some good press, it helps no end to raise your profile in many ways. It is just a matter of keeping media attention on yourself by constantly pushing forward.
We are also playing a live radio session for Goldie Rocks’ Selector Radio Session. It’s broadcast internationally at www.selector-radio.com.
TDOA: What role does social media and the internet play in your attempts to market the band?
RD: The internet, just like so many other bands, plays a large and important part in the promotion of our band. Having strong profiles on the key social and music networking sites are vital to increase your profile. With so many bands around these days, it is vital you are noticed and portray the right image visually alongside your music. The internet makes it possible to raise your profile instantly worldwide, which would virtually be impossible without it.
For example, we recently sold some of our limited edition E.p’s to an independent record store in Japan. They contacted us through our Myspace page. This wouldn’t have happened if our music wasn’t so widely accessible via the internet.
TDOA: What are your plans for the rest of 2010? Any chance of seeing your guys here in the U.S.?
TD: We have been looking towards the U.S. from across the water with a strong desire to go over and play some shows for a while and we think our sound would be well received. We have visited New York a few times and would happily live there, which doesn’t seem too unlikely as two of our members hold U.S. passports. We definitely want to come over and play this year or next, it is simply a matter of finance, booking and timing.
As for plans for 2010, we are always writing so we are looking forward to getting back into the studio to lay down some new material. We will hopefully be going back to Germany and possibly other European countries for some shows later this year. We would also like another release and we will start planning our album. But in the meantime, we want to get on the bill of some more festivals and are continuing to raise our profile here in London.
Red Drapes- First Hand
To order their debut EP and learn more about the band, click here.