Red Daughters interview pt. 2: "We definitely listened to Cream in a graveyard"
This is the second half of a conversation with four members of the undeniably groovy Red Daughters. Their songs are satisfyingly dynamic, epic and earthy, and should be a delight alongside Bloodnstuff, Speed's the Name, and Buildings this evening at Varsity Theater.
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. In this portion, we talk about fog machines, influences, loving Coon Rapids, and the next Red Daughters album.
Gimme Noise: I'd really like to sing along to your song "Egyptian" but I don't know what you're saying.
Hix: We don't know what we're saying either...It's something like...'Eye- ah-wash-ee-nay-ooooh,...
TB: Eye-ah-wash-ee-nay-oh, yo-hoh'... Is that right? (sings the chorus)
CM: Sounds like something we learned in choir class.
TB: I learned the lyrics from a Native American guy who came to our elementary school and taught us how to sing that song and we just used it. I don't even know what it means.
Native American? But the song is called "Egyptian."
TB: The song's actually not called "Egyptian." On the record we call it something else. We just call it "Egyptian" because it sounds like Egypt. That's how we name songs. Sometimes.
I asked my dad how "Egyptian" sounded to him, and he said the band Kansas.
(hearty laughs all around)
CM: That's cool though because dads like us, old people like us, home boys love us.
TB: We're "dad rock."
You've been compared to the Band, too.
TB: That's the nicest comparison I think we've gotten.
CM: We've been compared to Stillwater too, that fictional band from... What's that movie called? Almost Famous.
Sometimes you guys remind me of Cream.
TB: We definitely listened to Cream in a graveyard at one point.
MH: In a graveyard we had lunch and listened to Cream.
TB: Do you remember the headstone? It read Mr. and Mrs. Hedgebomb or something...That was the best day of their lives.
H: Their afterlives.
MH: We figured we're in a graveyard and people are always giving flowers and feeling sad and trying to remember good stuff but it's somber regardless. We're like, let's stoke out this grave and have some lunch-snack.
TB: Do you remember the name of the city?
ALL: Cameron, Missouri.
After all your travels, you think you could find inspiration here in Minneapolis?
H: We've gotten in trouble with cops so many times trying to chill out on a ridge somewhere by the river beyond a fence. When we all lived in Coon Rapids we used to go to the Coon Rapids dam and I'm sorry to bring up Coon Rapids again...
MH: Coooooon Rapiddds
H: But that was our spot, man. We'd always just go out into nature and hang out, play the guitar, have a fire and just write tunes.
CM: I realized after our release show at Amsterdam we were in the hotel room, and Hix was playing acoustic guitar and we were singing Del Shannon and Beatles songs, Band songs and everyone was singing like we were around a campfire but we were in some fucking posh hotel room and we were like, "This is not where we belong." We belong outside by a campfire not in a hotel room overlooking the goddamn river with a bunch of people we don't know.
MH: And maybe that's when we're at our best. Who knows?
CM: But either way it was a good time.
You're playing with Buildings on Thursday -- another band working with Broccoli.
MH: Building....we just like to say Building.
TB: William Ding.
(Hoots and giggles)
Where did you record your latest CD release?
H: Nicollet Park recording studios, which is no longer in business.
Night moves recorded with them as well.
H: We love Night Moves, man. They're old buddies of ours. We did a tour with them a couple summers ago out in the Wisconsin zone. Had a couple house parties.
Plans this summer? Any retreats? Writing music?
(Heads nod yes)
CM: We're working on the next album which is called Dealer and we have about 30 songs right now. So that's where all of our efforts are focused.
What music are you listening to right now?
TB: Donovan and the Neil Young record with "Cinnamon Girl" on it.
CM: I've been listening to the Budos Band. They're Afro-funk. Throwback 70's. Super-fly kind of sound. Something you'd want to rob a bank to. And also country songs. Waylon Jennings and Marty Robbins and sappy country ballads and then funky shit.
MH: As of late it's been a lot of Chet Baker and Billy Holiday. All the old crooners.
H: I've been doing the Al Green thing and a little bit of Eminem and some Dre. And then Harry Nilsson.
Will you bring your fog machine to the Varsity?
TB: They got one there and we're going to exploit the shit out of that thing. We're gonna get it mystical in there for sure.
Irony aside, the Fog Machine seems like a natural appendage.
H: Yep. Makes us feel more comfortable.
TB: I'd say Hix is the lead Fog player in the band.
MH: The relevance of the Fog Machine is that we want everyone to feel that voodoo bayou vibe that we're feeling when we're playing at night.
TB: It's also cool as fuck.
Poster by Jesse Draxler
Red Daughters with Bloodnstuff, Speed's the Name and Buildings. $8. The Varsity this Thursday, June 14.
Get the Music Newsletter