Red Enemy‘s lead singer and all round nice guy, Kevin Letford recently caught up with PlanetMosh for a quick grilling after what was a massive 2014 for the band. Here’s what he had to say:
Can you please give our readers the beginners guide to Red Enemy?
We’re a 5 piece metal band from Dublin, Ireland that has recently released our debut, album via Mediaskare records. If you like heavy, groovy music check us out!
You’ve recently released your debut album “Red Enemy”, can you give some more insight into the concepts behind its creation?
The album itself took about a year and a half to write and pre-production was a huge part of this. Lots of changes were made, loose ends fixed etc. through rough demos. Each song has a different message/theme but the throughout the album the main theme covered is economic depression and how it affected friends, family and loved ones. There are also some personal songs thrown in the mix.
Is there any particular message you wanted to put across to listeners?
As a band we don’t have a general message that we put out to our listeners. What we do is let people know is that we are a band that prides ourselves in the honest music we create. We put our heart and soul into what we do and it reflects in the album that we’ve just released.
As this is a self-titled work does it create more pressure for the album to be received well?
As it was our debut album and also self-titled there was even more pressure on us haha!! With so much music being made every year and in general the amount of music that an average person has access to nowadays, it’s even harder for bands to get noticed with their debut album. There is such a sea of music that many bands can go unnoticed. Many bands go under the radar until they start touring so we’re just dying to get out on the road and hopefully our album will get even more exposure.
Red Enemy have toured the U.S which seems almost impregnable when it comes to making a dent in the scene there, do you think that was a fruitful experience for you band wise? Did you achieve what you set out to do?
It was a dream come true to be very honest. It is very rare you hear of Irish metal bands (or Irish bands in general) going stateside and touring so it was quite a humbling experience. To even complete a tour in the states and was an experience in itself. We got to see some weird and wonderful parts of the US while playing music every night. As a first tour in the states I’m pretty sure we came very close to breaking even which is extremely lucky. You often hear some horror stories of bands ending up in financial difficulty after their first time touring the States with the expenses that come with it.
Do you think Irish bands are at a disadvantage in some ways when it comes to opportunities within the metal scene?
As Ireland is a little tiny island off the west of Europe we are extremely disadvantaged compared to the UK and Europe. Bands based in UK and Europe have a lot more access to labels, management and even media so they have the opportunity to get exposure a lot quicker than a band from Ireland. Plus they have the ability to tour at a lower cost as they don’t have to face the initial high ferry costs when touring! So from the get go the odds are stacked against Irish metal bands!
Following on from this. The album launch show in the Button Factory was a real showcase for the Irish scene. What bands are currently making you go FUCK YEAH?
Thank you very much! Collectively we have a very varied taste in music; we listen to everything from Death Metal to Electronic artists so there’s a huge spectrum of genres that we listen to. In the last year the bands that have blown our minds are: Mastodon, Decapitated, Run the Jewels, Meshuggah, My Ticket Home. On a local scale people need to check out: Overhead, The Albatross, Bitch Falcon, Frustration, Nibiru, Dead Label and Warpath (there’s load more but I have fuzzy head today and can’t remember. Sorry guys!!)
Can you give us some highlights of your Red Enemy career so far? (Any funny stories at the expense of other people (especially bandmates) are always welcome).
To go to the US to record and release and album on an established label like Mediaskare has definitely been the biggest highlight for me personally. If you told me 2 or 3 years ago that the band would achieve that I would have laughed in your face. Visiting Dimebag’s grave and meeting Vinnie Paul at his Strip club in Dallas was up there with one of the best days of my life. (I got kicked out of the club at the end of the night for taking my shirt off!) I haven’t been that star struck in a long time haha!
If there was something you would change about the Irish Metal scene what would that be?
To be honest we have a quite healthy scene. There isn’t any bad blood between bands and everyone gets on with each other no matter what type of metal they play. Most weekends there’s a show on so you can walk into any of the metal venues and hear some of what Ireland has to offer. While it doesn’t get that much exposure in the national press bands are slowly being recognised by labels from the UK and US so it’s nice to see some of the bands who put in the hard graft finally getting the recognition they deserve.
What should people expect when they come to see you play live?
A very honest, heavy, energetic and riff filled set from 5 lovely lads.
Do you approve of people Karate Chopping at live gigs, in close quarters?
Each to their own when it comes to this to be honest. Once they’re not hurting or ruining the experience of the show itself for bystanders. Music is an outlet and different people have different forms of blowing off steam whether it is moshing, chopping, head banging etc.
Maim one, Murder one, Marry one out of the following three people:
Lil’ Wayne – maim (to let him know we mean business. Might get some cash out of him too)
Courtney Love – Marry (the best of a bad bunch)
Bieber – murder (chap is a waste of air)
What band(s)/artist(s) have influenced Red Enemy’s musical career the most?
As mentioned above our individual music tastes differ quite a bit, but the band that has had the biggest influence over us collectively would be Pantera. The absolute Kings.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. What are the plans for Red Enemy in 2015 and where can we see you play?
We’re slowly starting to get the calendar booked for this year. Our first shows have been confirmed and they’ll be in the summer. Hopefully there will be an Irish Tour late June too.
Red Enemy’s eponymous release is out now.
Questions by Ellen O’Dwyer and Steve Dempsey