Latest release: Ictus (Independent)

The buzz surrounding Blue Mountains trio Red Bee has grown exponentially since they released their self-titled EP back in 2008. Their technical progressive mathcore sound and energetic live shows have seen them play with a wide cross-section of rock and metal acts over the last few years as anticipation built for a full-length album. With Ictus released on October 26, Loud spoke to guitarist and frontman Daniel Silk on the eve of the band’s album launch.

You must be very happy that this is finally out at last.
Yeah man, it’s been three years in the making. We’re very proud of it and we’re very happy to finally get it out to the masses.

First of all, tell us about the title – Ictus.
Ictus basically means the rhythm of poetry, so it can be taken in so many different ways. As you know, we love our odd-time signature style music, that’s what comes out in us, and plus the songs are from the heart. The marriage of those two seemed to work in the title.

This then would be the culmination of a lot of live work and development. For people who may have only heard your early stuff, this is almost like a different band.
We totally are! We totally are! [laughs] I think we just keep getting heavier and more techy. We’re progressing heaps.

Tell us a little about this interesting artwork. Does it represent anything in particular, or is it just the artist taking a little bit of artistic license?
Well, it’s a bit of both. I’m good friends with the artist, Scott Marr. All we did was, we told him the title and gave him the album. He put on the album on and created the artwork while it was playing. He just did what he felt. It was completely different vibe for the artwork at first. He was gonna do something different that involved us, and that just come out. When we saw it, we absolutely flipped! We went with it. We couldn’t be happier. He’s such an amazing artist. Check him out: Scott Marr. An amazing [Blue] Mountains artist. We are so lucky to have him on board.

Now, you haven’t done a lot of touring before, but you did one earlier this year with Katabasis, who seem to be on tour every week. What was that like, getting out there and hitting the road with those guys?
It was awesome. Seriously, it was of the best times, other than my children being born and meeting my missus, and discovering music for the first time… that was such a good time. That was three weeks of just playing every night. We sort of went everywhere. We started in Canberra, then we made our way to Wagga. We even made it way out to Mildura, then up north. I think I could just handle doing that for the rest of my life, every day. You get to that point where you’re playing a gig every night and you feel like you don’t want to stop.

Are there plans to do some touring now that you’ve got the band to support?
Totally. From January we’re putting on a national tour, but the details are still being sorted out right now.

Of course you’ve now got distribution for the album, but that’s the best way to let people know about it.
It’s the good old Aussie way. Get out there and play. All those awesome Aussie bands from back in day, like Chisel, AC/DC and all of that sort of stuff – they just did a helluva lot of touring, and we like that. That’s what we believe in. So we just say yes to any show. If one person is there, you’re getting out to one person, if no people are there, then it’s band practice.

You’ve played with a really diverse amount of bands. You even did Slaughterfest last year, which was grind and death and hardcore, and yet you sort of fit in there.
That’s the good thing about us and the thing that we’ve been really lucky with. Because we can play with rock bands or we can play with really brutal bands. The other night we played the Valve, Destroy the Valve, which was just pure grindcore bands. We just slot in. I don’t know how that’s come about. We just love it. We love playing with brutal bands and we love playing with proggy bands.

You did Whiplash as well. How did that go?
That was so much fun. So much fun. I’m proud of Australia and the music it’s creating. There was just some great bands and great camaraderie and it was just an awesome time.

Red Bee just did the launch for Ictus at your home venue Gearins in Katoomba. What other shows do have coming up?
We’re playing Dubbo this weekend and the next night we’re in Wollongong [at the Perpetual Tides Festival]. The week after that we’re in Orange and then we have a show at the Lansdowne [in Sydney] on the 16th or 17th of November, and then we’re doing the Sydney Dime Show at the Bald Faced Stag. You get to hear us play some Pantera!

Are you allowed to tell us what song, or is it a trade secret?
We might do “We’ll Grind That Axe for a Long Time” off their last album. We always like to do the ones that aren’t the popular ones, but all their songs are so amazing. And the other one is “Live in a Hole”.

Well, all the best with everything Daniel, take care.
Thank you, man.

Catch Red Bee at the following shows:
2/11: Pastoral Hotel, Dubbo NSW
3/11: Perpetual Tides Festival, Cabbage Tree Hotel, Wollongong NSW
16/11: Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney NSW
24/11: Sydney Dime Show, Bald Faced Stag Hotel, Sydney NSW