The Dead Reds are a British Rock/Blues band from Brighton.
We saw Miles from the band shopping in 'The Lanes' in Brighton one Sunny Saturday afternoon, he looked to be torn between a red 1960's food blender or a 1950's multi coloured toast rack. Whilst he was trying to make his mind up, we asked him some questions about the band, social media and life in general, here's how it rolled…..
Tell us who is in the band?
Jeremy Green - Vocals/Bass
Rosie Flint - Drums
Geoff Wilcox – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Thomas Miles Woodbridge - Harmonica
@CasperJames - Spoken Word
When and how did you form the band? Jez and I (Miles) share a musical history dating back to junior school. The events in our lives led to a moment in Brighton 3 years ago when Jez arrived back in the UK from an extensive 'when I leave college I’m going travelling' decision. Once settled, we began the project we originally intended to do.
Starting with talented bass player Lloyd Coote, myself on harp and Jez on Guitar/Vocals, we would meet and create.
Enter Geoff, already sharing projects with Lloyd, we would play under the streets of Brighton in Geoff's basement room. Geoff’s nickname has always been 'Rock n Roll', going way back to when he used to buy brand new skateboard decks and snap them the same day (still does). Born to shred, wielding a mighty axe, we were keen to have his involvement in a heartbeat; but without the percussion we knew we couldn’t get a strong engine running.
Many bedroom practices later, the stars aligned and Jez's girlfriend (Flo) knew of someone rarely found in the back catalogue of 'Kick ya in the balls' ... 'Shake yo ass'... Rock/Blues; a girl that beats a stick like no other human being. And the final ingredient was added... Rosie stepped in and took her throne.
We hit 'Under the Bridge Studios' in Brighton and crafted a set we could get the party started with. Spanning a year in the works, we had a first gig as 'Dead Red Roses'.
Emerging from a cold winter in 2012, Lloyd decided to bow out to other interests.
In a moment of flux, and not being sure we could salvage any material we slaved on, Jez picked up the bass, dropped the 'Roses' and started writing. 'The Dead Reds', like a phoenix, were reborn…
A fascinating fact about the band? 'Born to Survive' was the first song we wrote as 'The Dead Reds’. That’s why we start the album with that song.
Dark Before the Dawn is the name of your album, where did you record this and how was the process to get this made? We recorded this Album in Gosport, Portsmouth, at West Quay Studios ('Home of the revolution').
Captain of this great recording ship was local hero Alex Long. Geoff and I (especially Geoff) share history with Alex, so hearing he had set up his own studio in our minds was perfect.
Alex has music pouring from his every movement, the geezer can’t stand still without using the change in his pocket as a steady rhythm. An accomplished drummer, teacher and band leader, we knew he'd aid us to bring all that we'd bled and sweat over to fruition.
We scrimped and saved and bought two days in his studio to get as much done as possible. From the start it was like being at your mates’ house.
We grafted knowing that was all the time and money we had and we'd just have to use what we created: a lot of it first takes, but even now after thousands of listens, how Alex has mixed and mastered it makes us all grin, he'd captured a sound we had only heard in our head until that moment.
Who designed the artwork of your album cover, is there a meaning behind this? As every band knows, a front cover to your first album is a soul searcher: how do you encapsulate everything up to that moment?
We wanted to reflect the state of the world in a humane observation, and the social changes we face.
There’s so much to be said about the times we live, and how to sum that up would be a great challenge. So I photo-shopped an idea, and being a gardener to so many incredible artists In Lewes, Sussex, an illustrator by the name Rebecca Garland took my idea and brought the vision to life.
Apocalyptic City and Put Whisky in the Glass are impressive tracks, what is the story behind the songs? Apocalyptic City is many elements, fused to a kick ass stomp: it’s us starting up, it’s a protest song, and it’s a view of the darkness descending on our individual freedoms. But fundamentally we just want you to move your feet to it and nod your head full thrust.
Whisky is a good ol’ fashioned drinking song. We keep the same hours and are hardened drinkers; we’ve endured a lot of partying. So when it IS that time, we wanted an anthem. It’s also based on our A.W.O.L roadie Sam Tuffnell; that mutha can show anyone how to put the whiskey in the glass!
How has social media helped you and many other unsigned acts out there? It’s been essential, in fact I’d go as far to say it is the landscape you now have to adapt to.
The whole of media as we know it has been absorbed by social media. For us it’s how to stay connected to listeners and a way to get your ears to pay attention in this unprecedented noise saturated environment.
It’s helped us connect and network worldwide and being unsigned, its’ helped create a whole under culture of new and great unsigned music where we can organise and scheme with other bands. In turn, the internet radio eco system can thrive on artists working hard for themselves, giving new and cutting edge music freely and easily.
The flip side to that coin is finding a way to make a living. I think that’s where live shows come into the picture. Having the two with strength can create a fist.
I can smell a renaissance.
Best advice you received and who was it from? “The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.” - Eckhart Tolle
"Perfection prevents piss poor performance" That bloke from GamesMaster
Name three people (alive,dead,fictional) that you would like as a dinner guest? Paul Butterfield, John F Kennedy, Robert Plant, infowars Alex Jones, Keith Richards, James Page, David Lee Roth, Kate Moss and Ozzy in the 80s, be a pretty interesting party... skip the eating and straight onto the drinking...
What classic song do you wish you recorded and why? The score to 'Jaws' (the most grossing two notes in history) and Anything by the Beatles
Many good bands that is unsigned from the Brighton area, who else would recommend for people to look out for? It’s more the scene I’m excited by. Brighton has brewed a lot of strong successful bands past and present. There’s something to be applauded by just how many amazing vibrations Brighton produces, too many to even be aware of.
But you can’t ignore these hardworkers: Momotaro, Simmone and the Dark Stars, Iccas Belle, NightWorkers, Fragile Creatures, The reincarnation of Trim Tab Jim, Thieves By Code, Thee MVPs, Theo Varney
.. just keep your eye on Brighton.
Biggest Influence in your life and in musical career? Miles: in life: my late mother, my father and all my family…in music: Paul Haliday, The Black Crowes, Zeppelin, GnR, Classic FM, The Dead Reds and discovering Paul Butterfield changed my life
Jeremy: all my friends, family, and band mates, have to say GnR are the whole reason I started music, Clutch, The Doors, Led Zeppelin and all those classic bands and the drama that followed them
Rosie: In my life it would have to be my wonderful Mum, Sister and amazing friends. In music, the inspiring drummer Jack Baker alongside too many bands/producers to pick from!
Geoff: God, whiskey and Eddie Van Halen
If you could read anyone’s diary alive or dead whose would it be? John Kennedy, although there’d be a fair few blank pages where he was chasing skirt. His death started us on a dark path we’re still coming to terms with today. Zappa's is bound to be weird and wonderful.
In 10 words can you tell us what music mean to you? Every moment, every breath; there is no life without it.
What can we expect from you in 2014? The beginning of our second album, EPs/gigs and whatever we’re blessed to be bestowed with... more ears to listen…
By the time you read this you’ll be able to buy a copy of “the Blues Magazine , with our track “Born to Survive” on the cover CD, what an honour.
Miles was struggling to make his mind up between the food blender or the toast rack, in the end he decided to save his pennies and take us for a milkshake instead in a hipster filled cafe bar where there were far too many pairs of rolled up tight trousers and hairy top lips, it was here, whilst waiting for our Oreo Surprise and Slippery Nipple milkshakes that we rolled out the quick fire questions…..
Coffee or Tea? morning coffee tea by night
Coke or Pepsi? none
Holidays/Vacations – Beach or ski-ing? What’s a holiday?
Meat or Vegetables? Both
CD or Vinyl? Vinyl
Car or Motorbike? Motorbike
Cat or Dog? Dog
Acoustic or Electric? Plug in or don’t bother
Cooked Breakfast (bacon/eggs/mushrooms/toast etc) or Cereal? Fry me up and stick a fork in me!
We feel that we have interrogated the band enough, why not top up your hot beverage/beer (depending on the time of day) and take a look through their social media channels, there are loads of tracks for you to listen to on their Soundcloud page, tons of information on Facebook, as for videos? head over to their YouTube page to fill yer boots!