Music is one the most diverse forms of entertainment. There are so many general genres like rock, pop, rap to niche areas like rap acoustic, punk/pop, crunk/screamo, which makes it that much harder for bands in the 2010 era to find their place, comfortably in people's hearts and minds.
The band that is making waves and making sure they leave that imprint on us is none other than Redlight Cinema. This band was just named one 2010’s Local Artists to Watch Out For in last week’s column and has just put out one the most original albums I have heard this year.
I was able to catch up with Kevin Andreas from Redlight Cinema to find out all about them, their new record and what lies ahead.
Lisa Marie: Hey Kevin, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Give us the background history of Redlight Cinema.
Kevin Andreas: Redlight Cinema came about when I moved down to NYC last year looking to create an outlet for the new material I had been writing. I wanted to put together a group of competent musicians who could play anything, but understood the importance of the overall song. Some of my influences are The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and I am also a big fan of Eastern European folk music.
So I wanted to put together a project with no boundaries on what everyone could or could not play in the group. I found David Ashkenazy, who was already an accomplished jazz drummer/composer, and called up my longtime friend Dan Parra to play bass. I had already written and arranged most of the material for the record, and we started gigging and recording. About eight months later, here we are with our first record out, and just returning from a West Coast tour. We're looking to push the record here in New York over the summer, as well as tour the East Coast.
LM: Wow, that’s a short time by normal standards, but excellent job because the songs are great! Where did the band go to record this album and about how long did it take to record all the songs?
KA: Well, engineering was always a passion of mine; I had owned a professional recording studio in the town I grew up in (Warwick, NY) when I was about 19 years old. I moved down to Brooklyn and built another studio this past year. So most of the work was done at my studio (Redlight Recording Studios). We did, however, track the drums over at A Bloody Good Record in LIC, NY due to the fact that my studio was undergoing some serious renovations. All in all it took us about 4 months to get it tracked, mixed, mastered and printed. I did all of the engineering, mixing, and we all did the artwork design with a little help from David's girlfriend Anne Liebirwirth, and Steve Davis did the mastering on the album.
LM: Talk about being multi-talented and saving money too! Can you divulge any of the secrets to spurring the creativity to write the songs on the album?
KA: Great songs tend to write themselves. I don't think I've really actually gotten anything great by saying, "Okay, I'm going to write a song now!" I had a pretty rough childhood, so that coupled with the craziness that comes along with finding your way and place in New York City are the prime sources of inspiration for the record. There are a few tunes on there about love and things like that, but more so about things falling apart around you when all you want is love. Something like that, there's no real secret. Honesty. That's what turns people on. If it hurts, and it's real, people relate. They love that stuff.
LM: I couldn’t agree more with you. I know before you mentioned you wanted to do an East Coast tour to promote the album, so how much time do you think you guys will be spending on the road and what are some of the tours will you be on or like to be on?
KA: Well, we just got back from LA, which was great. We had the opportunity to be on KTLA's morning show, as well as play events like the Rising Stars Gala and the Los Angeles Marathon. That was exciting. We're definitely going to be touring a little bit this summer, mostly on this [East] coast. We're in the process of setting it all up now.
We'd love to find someone to get us on a great tour or book one for us. We just haven't found that person yet. What we really need is proper management. DIY tours are tough. But we'll do it until someone notices.
LM: I hear you on that. It really is hard, especially booking tours instead of having a booking agent do it, but I am sure you will be happy because of all the experience you are getting from it. Music seems to be a huge part of who you are, so if you were not doing music, what would you be doing right now?
KA: That's not really an option for any of us, really. This is what we live [for], everyday. We have no day jobs. Everything we do has to do with playing, writing, teaching, recording, and performing music.
LM: That answer is like music to my ears, because I feel the same way towards music. I know you are very busy with all that you to do, so before we head out, is there any advice you would like to give to aspiring musicians out there?
KA: Don't stop. Ever. If you really believe in what you're doing, and it's real, chances are somebody’s going to see that.
*Photos by Shane McCauley