Photos Courtesy of Red
In my line of work it’s not often that you get starstruck. Oddly enough, my fangirl moments usually happen for obscure bands that none of my friends have ever heard of. Let me follow up that uber-hipster statement by saying that I just got to interview Anthony Armstrong from Red, and I had to keep from squealing like a pre-teen at a Bieber concert.
For those of you who aren’t into the hard rock scene, Red just released their fourth album Release the Panic on February 5th. The two-time Grammy nominated band premiered at on the Billboard Top 200 Albums, #2 on the Independent Albums and #1 on both the Hard Rock and Christian Album Charts. Now before you go away mumbling about ‘Christian rock’ bands, there’s a reason why Red’s two most recent albums both premiered in the top 10 of the Billboard Top 200 Albums. Just a couple of which is their extensive touring schedule and ability to melt your face with their rawkfist inducing tracks. (It is rumored, even if this reporter just made it up, that the Until We Have Faces album cover is an actual photo of what happened to a concertgoer who got too close to a speaker during an especially energetic set.)
Until We Have Faces hit #2, beat by pop superstar Rihanna, which can only be explained by the bands lack of mammary glands and umbrella enhanced choreography. Who needs hip swaying dance moves when you have a seething crowd of headbangers and a mosh pit anyway?
Setting Red’s unstoppable dance moves aside, one trend that has been happening more frequently with artists is harnessing the power of the internet to generate buzz for a new album in inventive ways. Marketing tactics have forever been altered thanks to the digital age and Red is right on board, releasing a video for Release the Panic exclusively on Revolver magazine. The video for Release the Panic is a sequel to their previous track “Feed the Machine” from their last album. The video features Molly C. Quinn (Alexis Castle on ABC’s Castle) and is set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy revolutionary world with nods to various popular culture themes. “When we showed up to the set to film the video, I was shocked to see Molly. Our director, Chris Corrardo (Eagle Eye, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) worked as an assistant director on Castle and pulled Quinn in for the video. She brought her acting experience and abilities and definitely elevated ours just by working with us for those two days”, commented Anthony Armstrong.
When asked whether anyone has asked him if Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog) dropped by the shoot he said no but elaborated, “I’m a huge fan of Castle and always catch up on every episode when I’m home. We even got to tour the set and watch a live taping. When I met Nathan Fillion he was exactly in person as you would expect. He even talked to me about the injury to his hand welding (also discussed in this video from Conan O’Brien) and that he regretted that he couldn’t shake my hand.”
Also, the band had an interactive mini-concert (4 songs) with a live Q & A the night before the release to give the fans a rare opportunity to really participate and interact asking questions via their Twitter. When asked about their recent internet based marketing involvement and how some artist have varying opinions from feeling overwhelmed to being invigorated by the impact the internet has had on music, Armstrong had nothing but positive things to say. “We don’t like to complicate things by thinking (soft chuckling). We try to go with the flow and were happy to have anyone want to premiere our video exclusively on their website. The internet is a huge opportunity, there are not a whole lot of rules and it’s a no holds barred frontier. Why not take advantage of it?”
Looking toward the future and upcoming shows, Red is still on the Winterjam tour but will make a stop in Columbus Ohio for Rock On The Range in May, one of the largest rock festivals in the nation. “It’s a giant show, and it’s an honor to be asked back again. Last time we played there were fans filling the area reserved for the stage and spilling out into other areas listening to us. It’s always such a great experience to be able to expose that many people to our music”.
With an extensive tour schedule already starting to form and their success on the charts, one can only help but wonder if those who are saying that rock music is dieing out are wrong. “People who believe that rock is dead are crazy! Rock is a relavent genre of music that has a lot to say and prove. It’s great to win one for the rock and rollers.”
Check out Release the Panic on iTunes and in stores.
Visit RedMusicOnline.com for more info and tour dates near you!