Band Profile: RedTails
Meet Colette, Rick and Al, who make up RedTails – a Hampshire-based futurepop trio. Not sure what ‘futurepop’ is? In their own words, it’s “the hook-laden catchiness of pop, the euphoric energy of dance, and the street wisdom of hip-hop” . Sound good? Too right – their smooth, infectious music is addictive, with that earworm quality that makes you hum it at people.
And you lucky souls are privileged with an exclusive interview, whereby I bombarded them with daft questions and they deigned to respond. Y’ready?
1. How did the band get together?
Rick: Through Telekinesis
Al: Rick and I have been making music together for over 10 years. We used to be in a death metal band called ‘Chaos Blood’ who signed a record deal, did a bunch of tours, but then decided to throw in the towel and start playing music that was slightly more tuneful to the ears; so after many, many, many auditions and failed bands we finally found Colette online, auditioned her, loved her voice and her mad personality, and now here we are.
Colette: I had been in my previous un-gigging band for 5 years or 3 – who knows. We split up, so I was looking for a real band that actually want to go far. I found an ad on Joinmyband.com and went for an audition – the rest is History. We’ve now been together for a year and a half and I couldn’t be happier with what we have achieved so far.
2. How would you describe your music?
Rick: Something old, something new – something borrowed, something blue
Al: Unconstrained, experimental pop music. It’s catchy, but it’s also a bit strange (in a good way).
Colette: Electro, poppy – we call it future pop. It’s just a mix of everything we love. We all have varied influences and we’ve fused them together. We all bring something magic to the table.
3. Who is your music icon?
Al: If we’re talking icons, then it would be someone like Nico of the Velvet Underground fame. She was a natural beauty who was originally marketed as a Brigette Bardot-type glamourpuss, but she wanted to be taken seriously as an artist, so she joined the Velvet Underground, experimented with drugs, made herself look unattractive by dying her hair and not wearing any make up, and created some of the most beautifully haunting music I’ve ever heard.
Colette: Bit of Bob, Bit of MJB [Mary J Blige]. I’m a bit bad really as my music history is not as up to par as the guys. I just like what I like and take a bit from it all. (I’m bad at remembering band names) MJB was the first person I listened to when I was eleven and I decided I wanted to sing. Bob – because I would love to be able to write songs like that and move people the way he does.
Rick: All the Artists that pioneered the way & broke convention. Artists like: King Tubby, John Coltrane, Frank Zappa, Joe Stummer, Kate Bush
4. What’s the best gig you ever did, and what’s the worst?
Al: Best – Basingstoke Live. Worst – Comedy Pub in Piccadilly (didn’t actually get to play)
Colette: Biggest gig to me is Bristol. No-one knew us and everyone was dancing. It made me realise that we are actually a good band. If you play away from home and you’re a nobody – and strangers are telling you they like your music – that always makes me feel proud of our sound. I haven’t had a worst. If we get to play it’s always good to me.
Rick: Best gig was years back, when I used to sing & play guitar in a Ska band. It was at a working men’s club but the crowd were bonkers & at one point I was crowd surfing mid guitar solo, while being elevated towards the roof! I only feel positively about gigs.
5. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Al: Spaghetti and Quorn with Organic Green Pesto.
6. If you could learn to play one new instrument, what would it be?
Rick: I’m lucky in the regard that I possess a stubborn sense of tunnel vision when it comes to learning new instruments. Life goes on hold until I make some progress. So to answer the question, if I want to play an instrument, I will learn it. Next on the list is Saxophone.
Colette: Drums – I’ve tried my hand at many and failed. But drums I was nearly good at.
7. What’s your favourite thing about being in a band?
Colette: It’s a place where I belong – a band is like a family – you grow, share, love, create, argue. I get to spend time with people who know exactly how you feel about your music. RedTails are all on the same page – we all want great things and are 100% committed to making it happen. Being in the band helps me to release anything I’m feeling as I say things better through a song. All the lyrics I write are very personal to me – sometimes it’s like I’m giving myself counselling through song.
Al: Writing music, being creative.
Rick: Writing music & exchanging synergy with likeminded musicians.
8. Cats or dogs?
Rick: Big Cats, Small dogs
Al: Both. Do you remember that awesome ’90s cartoon CatDog? That’s the ideal pet. Actually, the ideal pet would be CatDogRabbit.
Colette: They both give you different things. Cats for when you’re young, dogs for when you have a family. Cats take less time to look after – dogs need you like children do.
9. Which festival do you want to play and why?
Al: Coachella, because it has all the coolest bands and the best weather.
Colette: Bestival – because I’ve been there as the audience and would love to be there on the stage.
Rick: Wherever has the best rugs.
10. Which member of the band would you want to swap with for a day?
Al: Neither, as I can’t sing and I’m not great with technology, so Rick’s samplers and production gear would flummox me no end. I’d quite like to swap places with Jim Corr from The Corrs for a day, though.
Colette: I would like to live in Rick’s brain for the day and try to understand his way of thinking and play with his dog.
Rick: I would swap with Collette – my falsetto could certainly do with some work.
Want to see RedTails live?
RedTails will be playing live THIS WEDNESDAY (20th November) at The Joiners, Southampton
Want to know more? Of course you do!
You can find them on SoundCloud: RedTailsUK
Like them on Facebook: RedTails
Follow them on Twitter: @RedTailsbanduk
Find them on Bandcamp: redtails.bandcamp.com
Check them out on YouTube: Brighter Place
Read Al’s blog post: How to Solve a Problem Like Shooting a Music Video with Zero Budget