Interview Will Oakeshott.
Musicians expanding their horizons outside of their accomplished art-form has been a rather prevalent occurrence for quite some time. Whether film, television, fashion, business or any other avenue, it has been a movement that countless musicians have ventured toward with varying levels of success. For Oregon’s Stoner Metal band Red Fang, the quartet has somewhat followed suit by joining forces with Teutonic Wine Company, also from Portland, to create a European style red wine blend entitled “Red Fang Red”. As guitarist and vocalist Bryan Giles explains, the scenario came together rather organically:
“The winery is called ‘Teutonic’ and they are a local Portland small winery and they are just really into heavy metal and making wine.” He describes relatively straightforward – “They contacted us to see if we wanted to make a wine with them which we were understandably interested in doing, even though I don’t really know much about wine, but it sounded like a fun experience. We did actually go pick grapes, bottled the wine, corked the wine and sorted the vines around the vineyard. Sadly though, we had to kill all the ladybugs.”
While creating a red wine blend (Pinot Noir, Tannat and Gewürztraminer to be exact) and having it named after one’s band entitled “Red Fang” is virtually as metal as it comes, the intriguing yet savage element to this process the four-piece undertook was the mass murdering off precious ladybugs. Truthfully, this is far from the Ozzy Osbourne stunt of decapitating doves’ heads off with his mouth; however it does seem a bit overly severe?
“I mean they are well thought of bugs right? One of our jobs though was to kill the ladybugs, because apparently they have a very distinctive and unpleasant taste once they get into a wine. But they LOVE grapes; so we had to kill them, however, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I mean I will eat a kangaroo but I will not kill a ladybug (laughs).”
Besides Mr. Giles moderately blunt yet polite sense of humour, during this month the ‘Fang will be making their third trip to our nation, having completed a Soundwave Festival tour and headline experience prior. Being quite different touring experiences, it was a wonder what the four bearded Portlandians made of their previous trips down under?
“For Soundwave, it’s hard to say actually because I think we played at 11am each day of that festival, so it was the ‘coffee crowd’. But if they were willing to show up that early in the morning then I think they must’ve heard of us already. I’m not really sure; it was a great opportunity for us and that festival was actually really fun. One of the worse things that happened to us on that tour is that we got bumped up from our four star hotel in to a five star – that was a real problem, the struggle was real (laughs).”
Bryan continues – “The headliner was terrific, I just really enjoy the Australian vibe, you have a sort of Southern California feel without the snobbiness. Playing club venues and hanging out, meeting people which really gave further evidence that Australians are really fuckin’ nice people.”
The quartet are returning in support of their fourth album ‘Only Ghosts’ released two years ago which saw the outfit expand their stoner metal sound further into gritty rock territory quite brilliantly; in fact, the record most likely would have had both Queens Of The Stone Age and Foo Fighters either stop head-banging or continue to at an increased velocity in appreciation.
“We are really proud of it. I think we tried to do things on that record which had us wondering if people were going to ‘care’ about it, but it seems they are sticking with us so we must been doing ok (laughs).”
Bryan elaborates – “I hope we are doing the right thing; I am very glad I get to do it, I mean I have been playing in a band since before I could grow a moustache, I have always wanted to be in a band. I have enjoyed the creativity, I enjoy the collaborative nature of it and I like how there are no real wrong answers.”
Creativeness and “no wrong answers” are a solid description of Red Fang as one of the main reasons for their global adoration, besides their immeasurable musical talent, are their music film clips. To describe them as “comical” in nature would be a gross understatement; the hilarity that is put forth is awe-inspiring. Whether poking fun at medieval role-playing enthusiasts, record label budgets, air guitar competitions, zombies and so much more. Therefore it made perfect sense to ask Bryan Giles what his favourite film clip was from the band’s 13 years career?
“Probably the first one Prehistoric Dog which we did with Rob ‘Whitey’ McConnaughy; I mean those characters that we created who are loosely based on us numbskulls, we are not quite as dumb or fun as those characters, but they are loosely based on us.” He laughs – “Anyways I just find that clip to be a really nice, light-hearted video and that the storyline is cute and reminiscent of Holy Grail and that kind of thing. Pretty much that clip allowed us to continue to be a band and it sort of got us attention where we could continue to tour as much as we do. Plus it is cool to see yourself die.”
RED FANG Are touring Australia with Drunk Mums during May 2018!
Thursday 10 May – The Brightside, Brisbane – 18+
Friday 11 May – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle – 18+
Saturday 12 May – Manning Bar, Sydney – 18+
Sunday 13 May – Corner Hotel, Melbourne – 18+
Tuesday 15 May – The Barwon Club, Geelong – 18+
Wednesday 16 May – Fowlers Live, Adelaide – 18+
Tuetonic Wine Company: Site.