This is Lords Of Metal e-zine’s first ever interview with Red Kunz, so could you please introduce yourselves to our readers?
My name is Aaron Beam. I am a little over six feet tall, I have blue eyes with a yellow ring around the pupil. My eyesight is quite poor, but I make up for it by having incredibly smelly flatulence. For fun and for a living, I play bass guitar and sing melodically for a band called Red Fang. Oh wait, did you want me to introduce Red Kunz? Well, just read on!!!
So we all know Red Fang and The Ocean and perhaps to lesser extend Kunz as well, how did the union into Red Kunz came to be?
The first tour Red Fang ever did in Europe we were opening for The Ocean when Luc and Louis were still part of the band. We took an immediate shine to them, and I think it was already at the end of that tour (in June of 2011) that they shared with us the video for their song, Golem, which features two drums and two basses, and they made a split screen video of them playing the two parts live. It was very cool. I do not know if the Lausanne Sessions (which is an ongoing series of collaborations held at Le Romandie between bands from Lausanne and guest musicians from elsewhere) had already entered their minds at this point or if that was something they thought of later. But as soon as they brought up the idea to us of traveling to Switzerland and being lodged and fed for a week and just hanging out and making music with two of the most relaxed dudes not to mention best musicians I have known, it was a simple decision. It just took a very long time to schedule due to Red Fang and The Ocean's busy touring lives.
You guys came up with the songs for your first MCD ‘Teeth, Hair & Skin’ in less than a week and recorded it in about an hour in one take so it seems. Is there a special idea behind this choice?
Louis and I talked about it at some length, and about the idea of doing something that only existed in that time and place. To do something that had no greater aspirations than simply to be a fun, challenging project with some good friends. And an excuse to hang out and swim in Lake Geneva in the summer. But then of course, we could not make the schedule work to get there in summer and had to do it in winter. Plus, there was the recording that we knew would be made all along, and then there were video cameras throughout the process. So ultimately, I think it was just a way of convincing ourselves that this was a non-committal thing because it took a lot of pressure off of us, and made it rather easy to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time.
So it was all done in about a week of friendship, beer and jams as I have read in the promotion text. How much beer to be exact?
Hahaha! I am not totally sure, as I was not drinking at the time, so I sort of steered clear of that part of the experience.
Anything else we need to know about that special week guys?
Never trust a Swiss-Frenchman who does not like cheese.
The songs are surprisingly catchy as hell and still carry enough weight on them to be taken seriously, what bands, locations, paintings or whatever are your inspiration for the songs on this MCD?
I only wrote one of the songs, 'Teeth, Hair, and Skin' and it was inspired musically by a band from Tacoma called Lozen and by the best doom band in the universe, YOB. It was mostly inspired by some mental shit I was going through at the time struggling with my midlife crisis or whatever you want to call it.
How is creating songs for Red Kunz different from creating songs for Red Fang or Kunz or The Ocean for that matter?
Well, because neither Luc or Louis speak a single word of English, we had to communicate entirely through telepathy and hand signals. More seriously, it is hard to say exactly, because the constraints of the project were so different. Typically Red Fang labours over songs for a long time and everyone haggles about the best way to do things. With Red Kunz we had so little time we just kept rolling with it and trusting that the end result would be good. Not that Red Fang does not trust that the end result will be good, but we have the "luxury" of being able to spend more time belabouring the little things.
I am a big fan of minimalistic artwork and I believe we can say the cover of the MCD falls under that category. What was the big idea behind the artwork and that sort of newspaper I got with the promotion material with all the strange creations?
Louis and Jona would be better suited to answer this question. The talismans in the artwork were being made in the studio while we were creating the music, so I suppose they are somewhat like visual representations of the music, or at least of the mood set during the creation process. And the recording is minimalist. It is all live with minimal overdubs. In fact, I believe the only overdubs are the vocals.
Red Kunz has two drummers which is not an ordinary thing for bands, what was the idea behind that and does it need anything special to make that work?
Kunz have a song, I believe it is called 'Golem', which features two drum kits and two basses, but all played by Luc and Louis. So they had experience with this configuration and I suppose that is what inspired them to ask John and I to do the Lausanne collaboration in the first place. Louis will probably have a better answer.
Is it difficult for you guys to combine Red Kunz with Red Fang and Kunz and everything else you have got going on?
It was not so difficult. We just put tab A into slot B. The only problem was that one of my tabs dried up and fell off, but we glued it back on and everything was okay.
What does the future hold broadly speaking for Red Kunz, like is there for example a full-length possible in the nearby future and can we expect any more gigs?
We do not plan for the future. Only the present. If an opportunity presents itself, we will of course consider it. The experience of writing and recording so many songs in so little time was a challenge, but ultimately extremely rewarding. The logistics of doing another project given how far away we live from each other are rather complicated.
Thank you for this interview and for answering these questions. If you want to add anything to this interview, the space below is free to do so…
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