LAST RED RANSOM
Questions asked by Jon Wilde, added to Rock Realms 23rd September 2010.
We recently reviewed the latest album "Sleep Well Sweet Vanity" from Atlanta trio Last Red Ransom. Coming away rather impressed, we thought it only fair to find out more.
Charlotte and Saint answers questions...
Hi Guys, thanks for taking a moment to answer these questions. Hope you are well?
C & S: We are doing very well. We’re excited about the release of the new album and looking forward to gaining listeners. Hope everything is going great at Rock Realms.
How did Last Red Ransom originally get together?
C & S: The three of us met during a previous project. Charlotte and I started forming Last Red Ransom and realized we were onto the best thing we had worked on to date. Adair joined with us to form what Last Red Ransom is today.
Did you know what sort of music the band was going to play from the start, or has the Last Red Ransom sound developed organically?
C & S: Yes, we knew what we wanted from the start. With this sound being something we had not done exactly before, it was really incredible watching and hearing it develop into the final product.
Who have been your inspirations, both musical and otherwise?
C & S: Nine Inch Nails, Deftones, Norma Jean, and Black Light Burns were major influences for Charlotte and I. Adair draws inspiration from Pantera, Lamb of God, and 30 Seconds to Mars. There are many more for all of us, but these were the major influences.
How would you actually describe your sound to someone who hadn’t heard you before?
C & S: We ask people all the time to tell us how they think we could describe ourselves and they always say that there is no one precisely they can compare us to. We hear that we are compared to a heavier form of Evanescence, so we keep that in mind. We usually just refer to our music as a mesh of our major influences.
How has the scene in Atlanta influenced and affected the way you approach your music? Has it helped or hindered your progress?
C & S: Atlanta has a large music following and having that backing has really motivated us to get the product to the listeners as quickly as possible. It’s our listeners that enable us to do what we do and we are very thankful for each of them.
When did you start work on debut album Sleep Well Sweet Vanity?
C & S: We actually wrote most of the songs at the end of 2008. Spent 2009 putting together our own studio called Red Revolver Studios. And 2010 is when we finished recording, mixing, and mastering. The Recording went fairly quick; it was putting each piece of the studio into place that kept us from releasing Sleep Well Sweet Vanity sooner.
Where did the album name come from (and, speaking of which, where did the band name come from?)
C & S: The album name and band name stem from the same concept: Vision and Drive. Last Red Ransom is supposed to convey an aggressive pursuit of goals and Sleep Well Sweet Vanity conveys the same message without letting pretensions get in the way.
How do you typically create a song? What sort of processes do you go through?
C & S: Usually, a song starts with basic guitar and vocal melody. With this album, the songs started as heavy rock songs and with the addition of keyboards, programming, and synthetic beats, they became more industrial. Once in the final steps, the vocal melody may change completely depending on the industrial elements that were added.
You have a number of different vocal approaches available. How do you decide who does what and where? Is there a lot of playing around with songs to see what works best?
C & S: There are several options we go through with each song. Finding the best arrangement can take many trials, though sometimes it fits perfectly the first time. There are a couple songs on the record that had several completely different choruses written before deciding on the one we’d use. Charlotte always does any and every screaming vocal and She and I work to create the best possible harmonies and song structures.
Is there a story behind the songs, or are they all standalone tracks?
C & S: All of the songs generally have the same theme. A lot of them have to do with ambition. But, they are not one connecting story. Each song has its own story and has an individual voice.
Do you have a favourite song on the album, and is it the sound or the memories behind it that really make it stick in the mind?
C & S: All of the songs are pretty even. I think we all have different favourites depending on if you are looking at singing, playing, or listening to them. As for sound or memory, I would have to say that each favourite is a blend of both, not just one or the other. It can even be broken down further to say that a certain song can have a favourite lyric or progression. We honestly cannot pick a favourite because we made sure that every song was exactly where we wanted it to be.
Do you do anything special or unusual in the studio to get your sound?
C & S: Because we had our own studio, there were no standard hours. Anytime an idea might strike us we could record it immediately. There were times that we would be in bed and have an idea hit. We could just walk down the hall and record it right then. Another interesting technique we would use is trying to make our instruments imitate each other. We would try to make a keyboard sound like a guitar or bass and vice versa.
Are there any pieces of kit you couldn’t live without?
C & S: I absolutely love my Diamond Amplification Phantom Custom Half Stack. That was my main guitar tone throughout the entire record. Charlotte adores her Fender guitar and feels very comfortable with her Korg Triton keyboard. Adair absolutely cannot live without his Iron Cobra Double Bass Pedal.
Do you enjoy the whole studio/creative experience, or do you prefer getting up on the live stage?
C & S: Since we produced our own record, we really enjoyed fleshing out the songs in the studio. However, being out and actually seeing people respond to the songs is very rewarding.
What is one of your live shows like? What should fans expect from one of your performances?
C & S: Our live shows are very energetic. We like to make it an experience for the listeners. Our shows usually consist of a good light show and we like to give a very passionate and sincere performance.
Are you actively looking to get signed, or are you happy going it alone?
C & S: We are not necessarily searching for a deal for the sake of being signed. We just want to get our music out there and any avenue that can advance our music without being a detriment to the band is something we consider.
What do you think of the current musical climate around the world?
C & S: There are always exciting things happening that haven’t been done before and there are always disingenuous jingles. I think that more bands are becoming independent and finding new avenues to make their art viable and self sufficient.
Any question you love being asked that I’ve missed? If so, what’s the answer?
C & S: This was a very thorough interview that touched on everything. Thank you for taking the time to put it together for us.
What are you up to once you’ve finished answering these questions?
C & S: We will be rehearsing for live shows and possibly even starting to put together skeletons for the next album.
Anything else you would like to mention?
C & S: Sleep Well Sweet Vanity is available now through all the major online stores and at http://lastredransom.com/. We’d really like everyone to hear it. As always, keep updated on Last Red Ransom through MySpace, Facebook, and our website http://lastredransom.com/.
Thanks again to Charlotte and Saint for their time. You can check out the Rock Realms review of Last Red Ransom's latest album "Sleep Well Sweet Vanity" by clicking here.