As there’s no reason we would put an end to such a pleasant habit, it’s time for our yearly chatter with the RED FANG boys. I don’t think they need to be introduced anymore – especially if you’re a regular reader of this blog – but just in case, these four gentlemen are actually forming one of the raddest heavy rock bands of our time. With already two classic records – time will tell if their latest album “Whales & Leeches” will make it to the pantheon – and bazillions of insane performances around the four continents, it would be an understatement to say RED FANG can’t be overlooked. I caught up with Aaron, John, David and Bryan in Bordeaux (France), and as usual, I could have let the voice recorder working without saying a word, they’d have made the conversation on their own… That’s a good thing, because I had nothing but silly questions for them, so let’s see what they had in store for us.
Why is “Whales & Leeches” so good that people would have to buy it?
Aaron Beam (bass & vocals): It’s not! Just listen to it for free on our Bandcamp, then decide if it worths to help us continue making more music by funding all that… process.
Bryan Giles (guitar & vocals): I think it’s good enough to steal off the Internet.
In your latest video “Blood Like Cream“, which was once again directed by Whitey McConaughey, you’re running away from zombies… I’d like to know how you would actually react if real zombies were taking over Portland.
Aaron: There were zombies in Portland, actually. We were filming a scene on this bridge where there’s a homeless camp. There’s an awkward feeling, with all these people and drug addicts living in tents and cardboard boxes. We’re trying to help in some way, by working with an organization that helps homeless youth in Portland. So that’s how I’d react.
If you were to be an epic movie character, who would it be?
Aaron: I’d probably be Steve Buscemi’s character from “Fargo”, because I can see myself going insane and becoming a professional killer.
Bryan: I’d like to be Chewbacca! Because he’s very intelligent, he can fix spaceships, and he doesn’t get to say anything because he’s all about the business.
David Sullivan (guitar): I’d be Mad Max, because for some reason I love that survival post-apocalyptic thing, and he’s got a rad car and all…
John Sherman (drums): I’d probably end up being Booger from “Revenge Of The Nerds”, or that guy in “Wet Hot American Summer” who has to take the kids on a canoe trip instead of making out… Well, let’s say Booger.
Which song represents the most your life on tour?
John: That Tom Petty song “Stories we could tell”, it’s pretty literal.
Bryan: “On The Road Again”!
Aaron: “Turn The Page”…
Bryan: Oh man! But the Metallica one! (laughs)
Something you can’t do without while being on the road?
John: Medicated butt wipes… Yup. (laughs)
David: Wifi. It’s my only way to communicate back home.
Aaron: Clean socks. I feel really upset when my feet are in disgusting wet dirty socks.
Bryan: I just put on clean socks, like ten minutes ago!
What’s the weirdest thing a fan ever told you?
Aaron: There was a lady at the show in Orléans (France) who invited me to wake up in her bed the next morning, in-between songs. One a more depressing note, there was this guy who was super intense with me, like “I was suicidal and I’d like to thank you for your music, because I didn’t commit suicide”. I appreciated that, but it’s also a lot of pressure.
John: If I see someone with a Red Fang tattoo, that’s always crazy. That skull is some kind of iconic image, so it’s kind of cool because if you start hating us, you don’t have to get it covered up.
What are the most memorable moment you lived as Red Fang members?
Bryan: Certainly the car accident. We were driving home from Seattle, a dear came out the road, we tried to avoid it but we were going too fast so we rolled the van twice. All six of us were in the van, and we survived with minimal injuries.
Aaron: The first time we met James Hetfield, I actually blacked-out.
Bryan: Same for me, it was memorable, but also a moment I erased from my memory because it was too nerve-wracking.
Aaron: The first Moscow show was pretty intense! (see video below)
David: The first Hellfest too, it was one of the biggest crowds we’d ever played to, and it was also our first festival and European tour.
If you had to create a drink, what would be its ingredients?
Aaron: I already came up with one today! It’s a virgin Shirley Temple, with no grenadine and 7Up, just substitute soda water.
John: So it’s just soda water ? (laughs) My usual drink is vodka with soda water, which I’m sure sounds crazy over here. That’s a “Sherman”.
Bryan: When I was a bartender, we used to serve a drink called Blue Dolphin. It was for 21-22 year olds that couldn’t hold their liquor. They were very drunk and they would want free drinks, so I’d pour them a Blue Dolphin, which is… WATER. Usually they’re so drunk that they think they’re taking a shot. So I say “tell them it’s very smooth, drink”, and they take it and are like “yeeeaaaah!”. Sometimes I get tipped for it, and it keeps them from vomiting in your bar! (laughs)
What’s the most played band on your mp3 at the moment?
David: The new Polvo, “Siberia”. I’m really excited about it, it’s really good.
Bryan: I fell asleep with my headphones on, listening to Bauhaus. I have five Bauhaus records on my computer, so when I woke up, I listened to 8 or 9 hours of Bauhaus straight.
Aaron: Ty Segall and Willie Nelson’s “Red Headed Stranger”, and some selected tracks by a band called Spoon. Most of their songs aren’t good, but they have a couple that are totally amazing.
John: (While checking the iTunes statistics on his laptop) So according to this, my top 3 most played songs are Earthless’ “Demon Lady”, “Am I Evil?” by Diamond Head, and “4th Of July” by Soundgarden. But Soundgarden would be the most played band.
If you weren’t on tour right now, what would you be doing at home?
John: It’s 10:32 AM right now, by the way.
Bryan: I’d be in bed!
David: Either playing guitar or… I just got a Playstation (Aaron guffaws), so I would be playing “Just Cause 2”.
Aaron: I’d probably be playing acoustic guitar, in fact I brought one over here to play. I’ve been trying to learn some songs like The Kinks.
John: Catching up on emails, and probably going out into the world to do some errands, get some stuff to fix the house a bit…
Bryan: You’d be going to the grocery store! You’re going to the grocery store like four or five times a week!
John: I’d say three to nine times a week, yeah (laughs). I go to the grocery store a lot, I like to shop for food.
What’s your favorite spot in the world?
John: France is my favorite place to play, the crowd seems to be more awesome than anywhere else. People aren’t afraid to let their hair down and just go apeshit crazy. It makes me feel better about playing.
Aaron: For places to be, I’d say the Oregon coast because it’s pretty accessible and beautiful. It’s easier to forget all the bullshit about daily life and just enjoy the ocean.
David: I really like France a lot too. I really love that area where Gigors Electric is (a venue in the middle of the French countryside where the band played twice), it’s so beautiful… We went to stay in this valley, the house was underneath a hill, I can’t even describe but yeah, that part of the world is amazing to me.
Bryan: We camped on the beach at Cabo Pulmo once, it’s near Cabo San Lucas on the Baja Peninsula (South California). It was beautiful, a small beach and the water was perfectly blue, the sand looked perfect… It’s one of my best memories or so.
Last but not least: what’s the next goal you’d like to achieve with Red Fang?
John: I’m shooting for… a 100% attendance record (laughs). I want to make it to every show this year.
Aaron: I would love to get to a point where we can be sort of the way that Clutch is, where they don’t rely on their support bands at all to bring people to the shows, so they just can bring whatever band they like. They bring this band Lionize with them all the time because they really like to hangout with them, I just love the idea of not taking into consideration any kind of draw of the other bands, just bringing our friends and not worry of that shit at all.
John: Locally, we’ve been bringing our friends every time so far.
Bryan: I’m sticking with total consciousness.
Consciousness of what?
Bryan: I haven’t gotten there yet, I’ll let you know when I do. I’ll be all things at once, so you’ll know that I know when it happens…
John: Is this a Scientology thing? (laughs)
David: To answer the question, we played on the Letterman show and I was really nervous, so I’d like to be able to get to the point where I don’t feel nervous playing a huge show like that. It could be nice that it wouldn’t seem THAT crazy to me, and get to the point where I feel comfordent, eeeer… I mean, confident and comfortable about that.
Aaron: That’s a good goal to become “comfordent”… (laughs)
John: Our ultimate goal!
Bryan: “Red Fang becomes comfordent”.
David: Let’s make it the title of the next album!
FIND RED FANG ON FACEBOOK – EURO TOUR 2014:
***EUROPEAN TOUR Red Fang w/The Shrine, Lord Dying***
Mar 14 Cologne GER Essigfabrik
Mar 15 Hasselt BEL Muziekodroom
Mar 16 Paris FR Trabendo
Mar 17 Sheffield UK Corporation
Mar 18 Manchester UK Sound Control
Mar 19 Glasgow UK Classic Grand
Mar 20 Birmingham UK Institute Temple
Mar 21 London UK Electric Ballroom
Mar 22 Eindhoven NL Effenaar
Mar 23 Nijmegen NL Doornroosje
Mar 25 Hamburg GER Knust
Mar 26 Gothenburg SWE Truckstop Alaska
Mar 27 Oslo NOR John Dee
Mar 28 Stockholm SWE Debaser Strand
Mar 29 Copenhagen DK Pumpehuset
Mar 30 Berlin GER Lido
Mar 31 Warsaw POL Basen
Apr 01 Wien AT Arena
Apr 03 München GER Backstage
Apr 04 Leipzig GER Taubchenthal
Apr 05 Stuttgart GER LKA
Apr 06 Wiesbaden GER Schlachthof
**All Shows April 8 – 13 Red Fang Only*
Apr 08 Tampere FI Klubi
Apr 09 Turku FI Klubi
Apr 10 Jyväskylä FI Lutakko
Apr 11 Helsinki FI Tavastia
Apr 12 St. Petersburg RU Zal Oghidania
Apr 13 Moscow RU Moscow Hall
Last modified: 11 February 2015