Greetings Mr Beam, and thanks for being part of Sentinel Daily‘s look at life on the road! Red Fang head out in the US in a couple of days before you hit Aussie shores next month… Looking forward to getting back out on the road? “Yes and no! I love playing shows for sure, but I also really miss being home with my loved ones at home. I wish there were some way to combine the two!”
Not until such time as somebody is quite literally able to ‘beam’ you up… sorry. You already are already pretty seasoned road dogs – can you remember much about your first ‘proper’? tour? “Does ‘proper’ tour mean one that serves high tea and doesn’t show it’s ankles? If that’s the case, then, no, we have not had a proper tour yet! But for serious, our first tour was a short west coast tour with our friend Portals! Chris from Portals is now our tour manager, and Erik leads Lord Dying. I remember the tour, yes! My favourite moment was playing a show at a bar in Alameda, California, called John Henry’s where the two bands and four friends of ours were really the ONLY people there. There are many best parts of that show, but the number one might be that the beers went up in price by fifty cents apiece once the bands started playing. And the reasoning was that the bands were paid entirely from that surcharge. However, the only people buying beers were the people IN THE BANDS. so they were basically just holding onto that fifty cents per beer for us until the end of the night…(laughs)”.
What are the key ingredients for a top-drawer Red Fang show? “It has so much to do with the crowd being in it with us! If the crowd is on the same level as we are and are giving us energy back, then a loop forms and we feed off each other and it makes it funner for everyone!”
It’s all in the loop! Who did you see live as a young headbanger that convinced you this was the life for you? “Honestly, I never really envisioned myself as being someone who could really do this. I didn’t go on my first tour until I was thirty years old. I always thought my path would be that of the academic, music being my passionate hobby. My dad is a scientist who is passionate about the outdoors, but he would never have considered an occupation in rock climbing or backpacking. I was always attracted to the romance of touring, but didn’t think of it as something I would or could ever really do… I guess I was wrong!”
You are rock’s late development poster boy! What advice would you give to young bands hitting the road for the first time – Or is the experience different for everyone and it’s just a case of jump in and damn the torpedoes? “As the father of a nearly nine year old boy, I can tell you advice is basically useless! You have to figure out your own way. I’d be happy to share insights about what has worked for me with anyone who has been on tour and has questions about things they’ve already experienced…well, no…I have one piece of advice – remember you are on tour as a group and that the needs of the group always supersede those of the individual. Basically, don’t be a princess”.
Wise words. What’s the best thing about touring? “Playing the show”.
And the worst? “Being so far from home”.
Aside from your tools of the trade, what other one item do you find essential for tour purposes? “I’m like everyone else, I’m sure – my phone! I need to keep in contact with my people back home!”
And what about a luxury – something you shouldn’t take but always seem to find in your kit once you’re on the road? “Everything I bring is a luxury! I am so lucky to be able to afford to go on tour and have all the things I need – food, shelter, band-aids, plenty of socks, etc… I am a very lucky human to be able to live the life I do!”
And talking of luxuries, what would be your dream rider? “1. No plastic bottles of water. Just some regular glassware and some coffee mugs and regular tap water is fine. 2. Some Kombucha. 3. Some berries. 4. A few swigs of some good rye whiskey or a fun local booze if there is one. 5. A banana. 6. Fat free yogurt”.
Mmm… fun local booze… that’s the dream –for all of us, probably – what about the reality? Do bands get well looked after on the road by venues and promoters, generally? “It depends on where you are and how many tickets you have sold! In parts of Europe hospitality is built in to the culture of hosting bands. In the USA, not so much. So in the US, if you have sold lots of tickets, they will bring you whatever you want on your rider. But don’t forget, you are also paying for all that stuff!”
Finally here’s your one chance to spruik the upcoming tour to the readers of Sentinel Daily – what’s in store for them if they decide to come and say hello? “Hey!! You reminded me of the word spruik! You guys all say that and nobody else says it anywhere…I have to try to add that to my vocabulary… Anyway… I would just encourage anyone who likes to forget some of the trials and tribulations of their life for a few hours to come and get physically meditative with us. We will be loud enough that you will not be distracted by your taxes or your dog’s toenail fungus. I guess that’s it in a nutshell – come see Red Fang, and forget your dog’s toenail fungus for a night!”
Surely an irresistible offer? Thanks for taking part!
Red Fang arrive in Australasia next month for the following shows:
The Brightside – Brisbane
Cambridge Hotel – Newcastle
Manning Bar – Sydney
The Corner Hotel – Melbourne
The Barwon Club – South Geelong
Fowlers Live – Adelaide
Valhalla – Wellington, New Zealand
Whammy – Auckland, New Zealand