Redambergreen are working on their third release, and with it inadvertently going the Further Seems Forever route as it’s with their third vocalist – each one having someone different. That isn’t the only new development since we last featured the London, Ontario alt-rockers, so with that let’s do some catchin’ up – specifically with drummer Michael Marucci and aforementioned vocalist Kris Rose (who are complemented by guitarists Dajaun Martineau and Phil Regimbal, and bassist Cameron Core).
Since the band’s last TPS feature guitarist Dajaun Martineau and singer Kris Rose joined. Why the lineup changes?
Michael Marucci: LINEUP CHANGES! The best friend of every band, right?
Well, in short, as the band progressed both Sara (vocals) and Mike (guitar) reached a place where they didn’t feel they could commit the time and energy that the band required. They felt it was best for them to move on. Mike works full time at a factory building armored vehicles, and Sara decided to go back to school. Both things that can stifle the growth of any business, especially a band.
What have Dajaun and Kris added that’s changed, if not elevated the dynamic?
MM: WOW, where can I even start?!
Dajaun and I have been good friends for about a decade. He, Cam and I went to college together for Music Industry Arts (he’s an engineer/producer like myself) and a great guitarist. That means we got a huge boost in our production and songwriting capacity which is incredible. He’s got so many fresh ideas and we all get along really well already which makes it easier to get things done, and (very important) have fun doing it.
Kris is honestly, one of the coolest people I’ve ever met by chance. Her and Dajaun started jamming a while back and when we were looking for a new singer he asked Kris if she’d be interested in trying out a few of the songs. We jammed once, and she demoed some of the current tunes and I was floored. She brought a really fun, fresh energy to the music. Even just being in the same room together felt better than it did before. She’s fun, hilarious, totally cat obsessed (like me, no wait, maybe she’s just great because of the cat thing. I don’t know, whatever, no, hold on, no she’s actually great. Yeah, pretty great!) She even works at a Pet Value in North York which is home to Soot, the world’s oldest known cat (He’s 31 years old Kevin, he’s a month younger than me! UGH) (Ed. note: As someone turning 31 on the 20th, I get that!)
All in all the band dynamic has improved drastically. The songwriting and production, Kris’ lyric and melody writing is amazing, the cat banter in the band thread on Facebook etc. The personality feels better than it ever has and I think that will show in our music, and certainly our live show. Dajaun and Kris move, jump, kick, spin and bring a lot of energy to our show and we have so much fun playing again.
You won a chance to play the Ernie Ball Stage at this summer’s Toronto Warped Tour date. How was that experience – the contest and show itself?
Kris Rose: I was really lucky to be involved in this show at all and I’d definitely say its been one of the coolest experiences I’ve had to date! Working with and getting to know the guys, was awesome. Playing Warped Tour was a lot of fun and a great way for us to all get used to playing together.
MM: This year they didn’t have a Montreal date, so Toronto was the only Canadian show of the entire tour. That meant that we were competing against that many more artists seeking a spot. Every Canadian band wanting to play from Nanaimo to Halifax were going for that one date and they picked five bands from all of Canada to get on that stage (woah).
It was pretty overwhelming to know how many other incredible bands were up there, and I know because I made a point of listening to almost everyone in the top 50 as we moved up the ladder. In our immediate area we were in the running with some incredible bands including London’s Hello Amora and The Truth Today, Kitchener’s Something You Whisper, bands like Bring Me the Author, Sons of Sirens, Bearings, Choices (SW Ontario has a lot of incredible bands people!)
The contest was fun, albeit a little daunting. Ultimately we have a pretty amazing group of supporters who like what we do and were willing to give us that support when we really needed it. We managed to place 14th out of over 200 bands, and in the end we along with The Ocean Cure, Cedar Boulevard, This Is Awesome and Amasic were chosen to play.
The show itself was great! Warped Tour is notorious for being rained on, certainly in Toronto. As expected, the day started out fine, but clouds rolled in and she got pretty gnarly! (Now to Ollie Williams with the weather!) People are a bit wary of the rain though. When it first starts, you think to yourself “HEY, I can stay dry!” and you start to work the problem. Some stood under trees, others went for shelter at the patio bar, some small kids hid under rocks. It’s only later on that people give up, accept their fate, and buy a poncho. By the end of the day, everyone at the Molson flats is soaked, but we all had fun and the rain didn’t matter. Our friends in Sumo Cyco and Red Handed Denial played Lemmon stage so I was able to catch Sumo’s sound check before we went on and caught RHD later on in the day. Being As An Ocean was amazing, and I had an absolute blast at Beartooth. I bought an amazing pink New York hat and got blisters on my heels from the Vans slip-ons I hadn’t yet broken in. Hahaha. By the end of the day I was hobbling around barefoot.
Playing Warped Tour is one of those things that so many bands dream about, and all things considered, it’s something we’re all going to look back on and say “Hey, we did that?! We did that!” It was a special moment we all got to share. Being on that stage, playing OUR music. That was an amazing feeling.
The single “Happyface (Pick Yourself Up)” was released in September, and it seems like a my-special-someone-got-sick-of-the-negativity song. What inspired it?
Stuff like that is definitely relevant, but it’s also about a general perspective on expectations. It happens a lot in life, and in other places, like working retail.
People expect a lot of you while remaining seemingly helpless; its kind of alarming.
Will “Happyface (Pick Yourself Up)” appear on No City‘s follow-up? Any news on that itself at this point?
KR: The band has been working on writing together and it’s been a lot of fun (and a lot of work). We have a few songs narrowing in on completion and others just waiting for lyrics.
MM: It’s the first single, and you can expect more catchy, fun songs like that.
After the chaos of the spring and summer we can finally say that we’re almost finished the new record. We’ve taken the time we needed to perfect the songs and do lyric rewrites. It was important to us that Kris had the time she needed to write because we wanted the new record to be an expression of her, and her creative spirit.
As for a release, we can’t lock it down to a specific day yet, but we’re looking at an early 2016 release. In the meantime you’ll be seeing more and more from us including videos, play-throughs, updates and of course, funny cat pictures.
I have a feeling that if I suggest cats need to either 1) become part of Redambergreen’s shows or 2) have a concept EP written about them you guys will be receptive. Nailed it, or am I off by a whisker?
KR: Our love of cats may or may not become relevant in the future haha. For now we all remain animal lovers and some of us, pet parents.
MM: MOAR CATS! GIVE ME ALL THE CATS! I WANT THE CATS.
ALL I WANT IS CATS WITH FRICKEN LASERS ON THEM! OK?!