Red Sun Rising/ Dirt Fest Birch Run, MI 8/8/2015
I was able to sit down with Red Sun Rising at Dirt Fest in Birch Run, MI. We sat down on the cozy furniture in the expo center with these five talented guys. Red Sun Rising Is Mike Protich (lead vocals, guitar), Ryan Williams (guitar), Tyler Valendza (guitar), Ricky Miller (bass, vocals), and Pat Gerasia (drums).
Shockwave: So your new record Polyester Zeal just came out?
Mike Protich: Yes, yesterday!
What are the plans now?
MP: Now that the new record is out the plan is to keep touring. Our set is full of everything off the new record. We want to get the new music out there and stay on the road for the rest of the year. That is the only foreseeable plan right now, to be on the road.
What do you think your biggest accomplishment is so far?
MP: It’s hard to just put it down to one thing.
Pat Gerasia: I joined the band recently so a lot of the things these guys did were before my time. The biggest accomplishment I think was the whole signing and recording a record in Los Angeles. I see some bands get signed and do a record in like two weeks, but these guys were there for three months. They really put that much time into releasing a record. I think that it pays off and you can really hear it in the caliber of the record. It wasn’t rushed or thrown together.
MP: The accomplishments change at every stage. Before we got signed we just wanted to tour with a national band, then we finally did that. Then we got signed. Then we just wanted to make an awesome record with a real producer. Then we got to do that. Then you want to play the festivals. So each stage in the game keeps you going so you can see what the next thing is. Only to say ok we are here, because we are not. Now that the record is out, this is where the real work starts. We are fully aware of that though. It changes at every stage of success.
How has your single been doing so far?
MP: Its number 12 right now. We are hoping to break that top 10!
What is your favorite venue that you’ve played so far?
Everyone answered: Rock On The Range was amazing. We can’t wait to go back and do that again. The Filmore in Charlotte , The Newport in Columbus, We played with Pop Evil for the first time there. There are so many good venues. Almost every venue we played on the Seether tour was awesome. The Aztec Theatre in San Antonio is another. It was a home town show for Nothing More so it was a big show. It was awesome, an old looking theatre with a cool vibe.
If you could bring anyone living or dead back into your band for the day, who would it be?
PG: John Lennon?
MP: Paul McCartney.
PG: Or if it were a living person then its Maynard, change my whole world.
Who are your influences?
MP: It varies with us. Tool is definitely for everybody, A Perfect Circle … the grunge era, like Soundgarden, Alice in Chains obviously. Tyler has some metal influences. We do too, but our definition of metal is a little different than his. He’s a little younger than us. I think I started playing because of Metallica and the Beatles.
Tyler with your nu-metal influence, do you try to keep pushing it with these guys?
Tyler Valendza: Yeah, it doesn’t work. At first, I did try, then it started to make sense to me why it didn’t work. We’re coming from a variety of very different influences. What’s cool about that is that it forced me to start listening to genres of music that I probably wouldn’t have listened to. Like or dislike, I seemed to pull a lot of ideas from the different sounds. It’s been cool. I still love aggressive music, but I’m finding with the older I get, the further away from the aggressive music I get. I still go back to it in spurts though.
Who does all the writing?
MP: On this record it was the three of us [indicating himself, Ryan Williams and Ricky Miller.] It’s going to be cool moving forward to write as a band. We tried it before; sometimes it doesn’t work out, sometimes it does. It’s difficult when you have too many ideas coming at once. Sometimes you have to break off and then come back to the group once you have more of a structure.
Are you planning on doing any videos?
MP: We have one out that we just released for “The Otherside” and the plan is to do one for the next single at least. I guess we will go from there. Depending on how many singles we push off of this record. But yes definitely one for the next single who we have not decided on yet.
So are you all from Ohio?
MP: We all are except Pat. He’s an outsider. He’s Mr. L.A.
PG: I’m pretty much an Ohio native now. I’ve spent enough time there [that] it’s been like a 2nd home. Soon to be my first home. I grew up in upstate New York then lived in Charlotte.
MP: He’s not an L.A. guy through and through. He just lives there now.
So now that your signed to a label has it been a big difference?
MP: Razor and Tie, we couldn’t be more thankful for the way they’ve treated us and what they’ve allowed us to do. They really let us be creative and we have a lot of input on the marketing. We still get to control our own social media. So it’s still us responding to stuff. They have been a great label for us. They really have.
[We took a slight break for everyone to try a mint tea.]
PG: I put in two tea bags, I am all about the extra tea bag.
So what is your favorite food for festivals to serve? What gets you guys get excited when you see it?
All members: Chips and Guac.
MP: We don’t want anything too heavy before the show. It’s tempting, and you’re going to eat it, and if it’s heavy pizza or super cheesy stuff you feel terrible before you play. You gotta watch that.
PG: I’m the opposite. I just want to bulk up on BBQ and stuff my face. I’m sitting down all night so I don’t have to do as much.
TV: Any time there is an assorted roasted vegetable thing going on, I love those. I love vegetables.
MP: I hear we missed taco day here. We do get to slam on some Mexican food. At least once a week the whole band gets Mexican. At least once, twice, three times the Mexican food. *Laughs*
You’re on the Pop Evil Tour right now. Any other plans coming up?
MP: After this we have a couple festivals we are doing: the WIIL Rock Fest, Louder Than Life, Akron Music Festival, some other random things all over the country. We have about a week left with Pop Evil. We will be doing another couple tours that I can’t announce yet. They will be released very soon.
Thank You guys for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to Shockwave.
For more information on Red Sun Rising and tour dates check: www.redsunrisingmusic.com