Red Daughters interview pt. 1: "We don't have a Brian Epstein yet"
Red Daughters' performance sets thrill with an uncannily vintage sound. Each show is a quick-hitting, easy and affordable escape from the over-wrought mind and under-grooved body. The group's style is undeniably throwback, but they still seem real fresh because (paradoxically) their clothes are scrappier and their hair collectively longer than what the members of Cream ever exhibited. Yes, that's a Cream comparison.
So far, I've paid between $0 and $8 to see Red Daughters, and an hour's pay is nothing compared to feelin' groovy in spite of one's self. No guarantee of Clapton-esque technical feats, but Red Daughters' songs are satisfyingly dynamic, epic and earthy.
Gimme Noise sat down at Dusty's Bar (home of stiff $3.50 G&Ts and the band-endorsed Dago sandwich) in NE Minneapolis with Charlie Murlowski (guitar, vocals) Tony Beres (bass, vocals) Aaron "Hix" Lee (keys, guitar, vocals) and Mark Hanson (drums, vocals) before their June 14 show at the Varsity Theater. We talked about rock 'n' roll's current position in Minneapolis, a drug-fueled road trip, finding inspiration, and finding management.
Besides my brother's, yours is the only band I "like" on Facebook. Am I making anyone feel uncomfortable?
Tony Beres: Yes. Incredibly uncomfortable. You can keep going.
Charlie Murlowski: Well, not really uncomfortable. It's flattering.
How did your CD release show at the Amsterdam go?
Hix: It was weird being in St. Paul. Downtown. I mean it was great, there were tons of people there. It's weird being in that city. It's like a ghost town.
CM: It was nice to get people out of Minneapolis, to see how many people actually came out. And a lot of people did. So it was awesome. And we had hotel rooms and the whole shebang.
A hotel room? You couldn't drive 15 minutes home?
CM: No. We had a suite at the Crowne Plaza. Yeah we had the hotel security call on us at five in the morning.
TB: He told us we couldn't do that.
Your sound has been described as "down home." Are you all from Minneapolis?
H: No. We're all from Coon Rapids.
TB: I think the 'down home' thing is that we just like playing and listening to good songs, whatever they may be.
H: We're not trying to just be interested in '80s new wave or something like that. It's anything and everything, you know? We just pick out what's gnarly.
TB: We're picky guys. We talk to each other a lot about everything, all the music. All the songs we like we force each other to like. I think we're really unified in our sense of good music.
So "down home" is an arbitrary term here?
TB: Mm hm. We got some stuff that is not "down home."
Well, do you think that the Minneapolis scene has fostered certain sounds?
H: Not really.
H: I don't think so. I think most of the sound that comes out of Minneapolis that people deem as Minnesota... hip-hop... like Rhymesayers, Brother Ali, Atmosphere, stuff like that. And then all that folk and bluegrass. Basically the biggest of Minneapolis... but as far as rock 'n' roll, whatever you want to call it, a lot of that shit, nobody's paying attention to. TB: There's also a lot of electronic music.
CM: People punching machines, manipulating sound.
TB: People with computers on stage and shit like that which are probably not necessary.
CM: I'd say we pride ourselves on being a good live band, for sure. That's probably our best quality.
Yes. In fact, it's been hard for me to get any copy of your recorded music. I can't find anything like a discography.
(chuckles) TB: Data management is not our strong suit.
CM: Yeah, we're looking for any managers out there.
TB: Any manager, if you're reading this on the World Wide Webs... hit us up. We need it.
So then what is Broccoli management? How did you get together with Broccoli?
H: Broccoli Management is Cody who manages the Goondas and we met him because we did a show with them at the 331. It was one of their earlier shows. This was two or three years ago.
TB: He's a friend who helps us out... He described himself as a band sentinel. Instead of saying 'Manager.' He can find shows and stuff but he mainly takes care of... shit that none of us know how to do.
CM: He's gonna get our songs on iTunes. He's going to do that for us.
H: We've got some other people we're working with as well as far as booking goes. We don't really have a manager. We don't have a Brian Epstein yet. We got to find one of those...We got to be bisexual and sleep with some dude that'll be our manager.
TB: Hix is going to take one for the team.
There's talk of you taking trips down south to gather inspiration for your songs. Indeed, you have songs called "El Paso" and "Arizona Sun." I wonder whether this is where your dusty, Americana aesthetic has some roots. Have you really spent quality time together in the southern U.S?
TB: We went on a big road trip, on a very... we'll call it a drug-fueled road trip.
H: We took this trip out to Big Sur, just a road trip to go out there and have a good time. And we did. Largely what was on Shaman Blessed was inspired by our times out there and the people we met, stories we heard.
CM: We basically kind of died out there. We say that because we went out there and just kind of had a changing experience. We came back and were loopy for a few weeks. Put a lot of things back home in perspective... about how we want to play music and what we want to do.
TB: We put our brains in frying pans and then put those frying pans in a spaceship.
CM: We came back home from that journey and quit jobs that were bullshit, quit school and started booking shows out of town and focused on adventuring.
Where else have you played?
CM: We've gone from New York and Boston all the way to Austin.
TB: Been to Louisiana, been to Nashville. Pretty much the Eastern half playing shows and the Western half exploring the land.
Speaking of New York, I was surprised to find that the New York-based Fader publication has a little blurb on Red Daughters.
H: We met that guy on the beach in Big Sur. It was basically this journalist who wanted to find a band that didn't have anything written up about them.
CM: He just wanted to solidify whatever he was doing at the time. I think that's how journalists work.
H: Yeah we were just hanging out on like... Pfeiffer Beach and they got purple sand there. There's white sand too it's not all purple. And we're just walking down and he's like "Hey you guys look like you're in a band," you know we're just hanging out by the waves and he's like "Yeah, I write for GQ" and something else and he's like "I want to do a story." So we got back and emailed him the stuff and there you go.
MH: Tony reads GQ on the toilet.
T: I do.
Just because you guys look like you're in a band.
H: It's pathetic how much that happens.
TB: " Band guys over there, I see 'em!"
H: Always happens at a gas station, too.
TB: "You guys in a band? What band?" and we tell them "Red Daughters" and everyone gets kind of appalled when we say "Red Daughters." I met a priest once. He asked me what my musical group was called and I told him "Red Daughters." He looked a little alarmed. But that's cool, though.
Why not Red Sons?
TB: Sounds dumb.
CM: Yeah, sounds stupid.
Read part two of our interview here.
Red Daughters with Bloodnstuff, Speed's the Name and Buildings. $8. The Varsity this Thursday, June 14.
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