MP3 The Red Romance - ROCK: Modern Rock
The new, new wave of NYC pop, The Red Romance is cool without being exclusive, delivering big hooks and guitar pop with a conviction reminiscent of the best of 1980s Breakfast Club-era hits. Motown inspired grooves with edgy keyboard and strings, mixed in
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ROCK: Modern Rock, POP: New Wave
January 9, 2007 at 11:19 am | Music | By Zolton
A little while back we ran something on the exciting New York band, The Red Romance, tipping them for big things in 2007. I recently interviewed their drummer Darren Beckett and asked him how the recent tour of America with The Killers went. ''The tour was amazing. They have been very supportive - great guys. I think we were the first unsigned band to play Madison Square Gardens! We were doing everything ourselves - driving, printing tee-shirts, pressing demos, selling merch, and, of course, playing! I think playing at The Garden was the highlight. We all live in New York, so it was a dream come true''.
The groundswell of support on the back of a four-track demo has been immense for you guys. Has it been a little overwhelming? ''We are trying to survive in New York, which is hard enough in itself. I think we just have a goal to make the best possible music, to write great songs. We don''t really know what’s happening around us. Of course we notice more people are showing up at shows. People have been very supportive, which is much appreciated. We love you all!'' Are you all romantics at heart or is the notion of real romance dead in this digital age we live in? ''We are modern gentlemen. We want to spread the romance. There’s nothing like falling in love with a beautiful woman. It changes your life; you start acting like a baby … mama''. What’s your favourite Red Romance song and why? ''The next one! We have a new song called Just One Kiss. It’s not on the demo. It will be on our E.P. which will be out around spring. From the demo I really like Breakaway and Rock and roll''. How would you describe Red Romance as a time of day? ''The Red Romance would be 3am with your silk bathrobe and slippers on. Or off!''
A Blossoming Romance
Apr 20, 2007, 05:36 PM | by Vanessa Juarez
For all of you music geeks looking for the next big thing on MySpace, you should follow that last back slash with the words: The Red Romance. TRR didn''t just appear out of nowhere; they''re the remnants of Ambulance LTD, a little indie rock band that released two EPs and a full-length CD in 2004 and even had an impressive whirl on MTV for a while. The trio wasn''t creatively aligned with lead singer Marcus Congleton so they did what seemed like the natural rock ''n'' roll thing to do: they declared a coup.
For the sake of full disclosure, I should admit now that I''m not TRR''s most objective critic. Their vocals and guitarist guy, Matthew Dublin, is a dear friend of mine. So be nice. That said, The Red Romance is the best thing since [insert any band name here]. They''re the kind of indie pop/rock outfit that makes you want to breakout in a nostalgic Molly Ringwald dance a la The Breakfast Club (try dubbing TRR''s song "Break Away" over the library dance scene, and you''ll see what I mean).
Dublin''s bandmates include drummer Darren Beckett, an ex-Ambulette who''s been on the road with Madeleine Peyroux lately, and Adam Chilenski on bass. Now, TRR is gearing up for a huge gig next week: opening for The Killers at Madison Square Garden, which means that TRR will be one of the only — if not the first — unsigned bands to play MSG. After that, TRR will continue to open for The Killers'' on the East coast, and will release their first self-titled EP via their website and CD Baby on May 1. Excerpts from my recent chat with Dublin are after the jump.
What happened Ambulance LTD?
It depends on who you ask, but basically, three-fourths of the band just couldn''t do it anymore. Darren Beckett and I would walk around these festivals that Ambulance would play at, watching all these other bands where everyone on stage really believed what they were doing, and we just knew that we weren''t being honest with ourselves. We had to do something that was pop and sexy and big and we knew that Ambulance was never going to be that.
What happened next?
So finally, after two EPs and one full length, all very "cool" and "critic''s darling" type stuff, we were done. We needed to have a project that wasn''t just for cool kids and hipster music geeks that couldn''t get laid in high school. In that sense, [The Red Romance is] a very un-New York band, we don''t give a s--- about being "hip." The purpose of music is communication and connection, not exclusion and elitism.
What was the inspiration for Romance''s band name?
I think I wanted something slightly alliterative, sexy, and red, all rolled into one. At one point the guys wanted to change it. I think they were afraid of its less than masculine overtones, but now, it''s just the name, you know? If you think long and hard about some of your favorite bands'' names, they''ll all pretty asinine. Later, I found out there was a movie of the same name, part of the "Tenderfoot Thriller Series," a series of short westerns from the 1920s.
How does TRR''s sound differ from that of Ambulance?
Well, I''d say first of, the sound is much more danceable, thanks to our inimitable rhythm section, Darren Beckett on drums and Adam Chilenski on bass. We are the Tears for Fears to Ambulance''s Television, if that helps.
Where do you get your lyrical inspiration from?
I put a lot of stock into the unconscious, and I know that that sounds like a stock answer, but it''s true. Love is huge in pop songs because essentially all roads lead back to love, which is what makes us human. Even death metal lyrics, what are they really screaming about? It''s love. Rap music, all the tough exterior, the posturing, it''s all about our humanity.
What about musically?
If Robert Smith jammed with Booker T & the MGs, that''s what we''re about. We sound modern, and we''re very much influenced by the Smiths and Roxy Music, but we also want people to dance. That''s real important.
This won''t be the first time you''ve opened for The Killers. What are they like?
We opened for them last Fall at the MSG Theater, up in Boston and in Atlantic City. They are extordinarily gracious and down to earth guys, despite their enormous success. But more than anything else, they are absolute musicians of the highest caliber. When you hang out with those guys, it''s always about the music. Their success really renewed my faith that ultimately, people still want songs, the kids still want anthems, their own soundtracks, and that''s what the Killers are to so many people.
What are the most bizarre characteristics of TRR?
One of the most bizarre things about us is that we''re unsigned! What makes us strange is that our drummer never ages. He still has the same boyish glow as when I met him eight years ago.
What are you guys listening to right now?
Right now, I''ve been checking out a lot of the Sparks, a strange brother duo from the late ''70s, Bruce Springsteen, Scott Walker, and early Squeeze.
You all are playing MSG and you''re not even signed. How are you feeling about that as the moment of truth approaches?
We''re, of course, really excited, it''s amazing to us, even when we were in Ambulance we never dreamed of playing the Garden. The only thing we can do is just play our asses off for the good people of New York City and hang on tight!