Latest release: The Avarice of Man (Roadrunner)Website: myspace.com/theredshore
Having now expanded significantly upon their metalcore/deathcore roots, Geelong’s The Red Shore delivered one of 2008’s finest death metal albums with their debut full-length Unconsecrated. Following it up with last year’s excellent compilation album Lost Verses, the quintet has now unleashed their blistering new record The Avarice of Man, their first release for new label Roadrunner Records. Brendan Crabb spoke to bassist Jon Green about the making of their new album, the departure of former vocalist Jamie Hope (who replaced deceased frontman Damien Morris) and his subsequent replacement Chase Butler, touring plans and more.
A: Well, we were never really under it I guess, man. The funny thing about it is, The Red Shore was kind of a metalcore band as you said with “Salvaging What’s Left” and that had a lot of the hardcore thing. Unconsecrated to me is a death metal record, there’s nothing ‘core about it; there’s no breakdowns. We basically got the option to re-release Salvaging What’s Left and we had two weeks off at the time, so we basically just said, “fuck it, we’ll re-record it and call it Lost Verses and just make it a little bit more death metal or whatever”. That was never meant to be an album, it was supposed to be a stop-gap filler, so as far as we’re concerned Unconsecrated is our last record and this is kind of an extension of that. The whole ‘core thing man, we love Whitechapel and all those kinds of bands, Despised Icon as well. If you’re good at what you do and you work hard for it, then there’s no denying it. So we’re not going to be, “fuck deathcore bands, we’re death metal” and things like that. We just never really fit into that anyway.
A: We don’t really care about that man, because with this record we feel like… This is basically the album that I’ve wanted to write since I started playing music. We’ve all been in bands and playing music for a long time, upwards of ten years and we’ve never been so proud of something (we’ve done). To be honest, we don’t really give a fuck what anyone else thinks of it – if people like it that’s a bonus for us, because we’re absolutely fucking rapt with it.
A: Yes. It was kind of like an idea that we all wanted to explore, all five of us were thinking about it anyway. But then Chase basically took the reins, locked himself away and wrote a lot of lyrics and came up with a lot of ideas. We really, really tried to make sure that he stayed true to what Damo was trying to achieve. Damo used to do a lot of theatrical things; like sing about vampires and that fantasy kind of stuff. I think The Red Shore is going to be a band that is pretty much seen like that for the rest of our albums, we’re going to start doing concept albums every CD now and Chase definitely played a really, really big role in that.
A: I think the main thing that happened in The Red Shore was Jake (Green, ex-drummer) joined the band after Richie (Johnson) left and he dramatically changed the style from the deathcore, hardcore, more laid-back breakdown kind of style to something a lot more relentless and just a lot more death metal. That was the direction that happened as soon as Jake joined the band and the relationship that him and Roman (Koester, guitars) had basically. Those two locked in really, really well and knew what they wanted to do and Roman has basically just retained that. So once we got the new drummer and Jake left and things like that, me and Roman basically, we knew what we wanted to hear and we wanted to try and make an expansion of Unconsecrated; something that was a lot more mature, but still had that kind of theme. Me and Roman worked really, really hard on the guitars to make sure that we didn’t stray too far, but there are definitely some new things to listen to (on the new album). We basically just wrote what we wanted to hear and it just turned out that it… I think it’s always going to have that Red Shore sound, as long as Roman and I are in the band. It’s never really been something that we’ve thought about, to be honest, it’s just kind of happened.
A: Well, we get back from the US and we’ve got Despised Icon for I think six shows in the major cities. Then straight off the back of that, we’re going to be going on the road from Brisbane, doing regional shows, because we’ll cover every major city with the Despised Icon tour. It’ll be a run of ten or 11 shows just for the album launch. I don’t think I can announce anything yet (though) and we’re working on a European tour for January and February.
A: Yeah, I mean with the MySpace page, you check the MySpace and there’s all these posts on there and basically a huge percentage of our listeners come from California, people that have been listening to us on MySpace. Which is kind of strange, we never really thought it’d be like that, but we’ve had a lot of interest, people messaging us saying they’re going to see us when we’re over there. So as far as the following goes, I think there’s a little bit of hype at the moment, but we’ll find out when we get there I guess. Things are going well with our overseas labels as well; so far everything has been really, really good, people have really looked out for us and seem to be warming to us and hopefully that will be the start of something really, really good.
A: Definitely. We had a chat a little bit about trying to organise a Red Shore and Psycroptic tour; we’ve been friends with those dudes for a long time and we really, really respect them as musicians and people. We’ve been trying to organise a tour together with those guys for a while; they play to (more of) the overage thing, it’s a less of a scene kind of thing…you don’t get a lot of kids going out to more “metal” shows. So we’re going to try and work it out and do a Red Shore/Psycroptic tour, (whereby) have Psycroptic headline the overage shows and we headline the underage shows and things like that, so we can both play to big and different crowds. That’s as far as it’s gone; we’ve had a couple of (other) offers. We had to pull out of the Nile tour, turn that down because people were sick and a couple of dudes were still pretty injured from the accident. Then we got offered Summer Slaughter and things like that, so we really, really want to start branching out and playing to a lot less of the “scene” (fans), because we think there’s a lot of death metal fans who will really appreciate the new album too.
A: Death metal or go fuck yourself (laughs).