Red Fang interview (Aaron Beam)

"It is much easier for someone to learn about a band via a hilarious 5 minute video than by tracking down some 'zine that mentions your band"

29/05/2013 @ 14:55
While waiting for the Portland band to appear for third consecutive time in Greece we grabbed the chance to learn a couple of things about music and beer from their bass player and vocalist, Aaron Beam.

Red FangHi there Aaron, this is John from Greek webzine It’s your third time in Greece; the first one was in a small club supporting Intronaut and The Ocean with relatively few people coming for you, the second time in a headlining show in the same club and now as headliners again in a much bigger club. It must feel pretty good gaining more and more fans because of your performance on stage.
Absolutely! That is our goal everywhere we go, but it feels especially good in Athens. Since we have to fly in for those shows, the expenses for the promoter are higher, and we get nervous that the show might not do well, which means we may never get to come back. That would be a shame, because I love your city! I wish I could spend more time there, of course...

Red FangHow do you feel about playing festivals now against small clubs, do you miss the vibe?
We still play plenty of small clubs! I love small clubs because the vibe is more personal and intimate. But, there is an electric feeling at big festivals when there are thousands of people all focused on the same thing.

How do you like touring in Europe?
I LOVE IT! Except for the fact it is so far from my wife and kid, it is fantastic. The crowds are so enthusiastic, the level of hospitality is considerably higher than in the US, and we are getting to see Europe! Well, out of the window, at least.

Aaron Beam (Red Fang)This time you are playing with Cancer Bats.
Fantastic! I love those guys! We toured with them on the Soundwave Festival in Australia and got to hang out with them a lot and saw their band a few times.

What's the tour bus music like?
Extremely varied. From YOB to Simon & Garfunkel to Federation X to Louis CK to Neil Young to Lord Dying to Justin Timberlake.

How did you guys all meet and start playing together?
We were in a mutual admiration society in Portland, all being fans of each other’s bands. Around 2005, none of us had any bands going, so we just started jamming in John’s basement.

Any special significance with the name Red Fang?
Honestly, no.

Red FangRed Fang have some crazy videos; who’s responsible for them and how important do you think they are in terms of making the band known to more and more people?
Whitey McConnaughey writes and directs all our videos. They are hugely important. I have friends from bands that were pretty big in the 90s who never got to go to Athens or Russia or Brazil. I think a huge part of why we have been able play all those places is the music videos and their accessibility on the internet. It is much easier for someone to learn about a band via a hilarious 5 minute video than by tracking down some ‘zine that mentions your band and then tracking down the tape and then listening to the whole tape to find the one song that you like.

Maiden the ShadeSpeaking of videos and beer, what’s your favorite beer?
I can’t say I have a favorite, since it depends on the season, but “Maiden the Shade” by Ninkasi is a standout. Guinness is also a classic beer I really like.

Red Fang introduced me to the band Dust because of your cover of the track "Suicide". (By the way, Dust's drummer, Marky Ramone is coming to Greece in July). Should we expect any more covers in your show?
Aw, crap! I loved doing that cover (well, of course, since there is a bass solo in it), but we don't have any covers learned for this tour. Maybe we will learn one during soundcheck. Any requests?

Do you have any guilty pleasure that you would like to play live?
I am too old to feel guilty about any of the music I like anymore, but there are a couple songs I would love to cover that are pretty out there. One is called "The Breeze" by a band called quix*o*tic. Another is "The Lady Rachel" by Kevin Ayers.

Red FangPlease share some of your musical influences, some bands that we should take notice of.
I already mentioned some, and these are just mine (the other guys have a bunch more and very different ones), but - YOB, Federation X, Soundgarden, Hot Snakes, The Jesus Lizard, Cherubs, Slayer.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Mostly from whatever is obsessing / preoccupying me in my life at the time. So usually there are a lot of death and apocalyptic themes. For the last record, I was watching a lot of TV dramas and documentaries, so there was a lot of that in the songs.

What was the last record you bought?
Federation X - Rally Day. I already had it on my iPod but I needed the vinyl.

...and the last show you attended as a fan?
Hungry Ghost, Survival Knife, and Federation X at The Know.

When are you planning on releasing a new album?
Middle of October this year!

Red FangAre you guys playing any new songs on this tour?
For our club shows, yes!! At least one, if not three. We will see how it is going, and adjust the set accordingly.

Do you have a message for your Greek fans before the show?
I love your yogurt!

Thank you very much, can’t wait to see you guys live.
Thank you, we can’t wait to be back in Athens!