With a musical style similar to guerilla warfare, The Red Chord have
unleashed a most unexpected assault on the metal world. 'Fused Together
In Revolving Doors' came without warning and without mercy. For those
lucky enough to survive the brutally chaotic and intelligent debut,
their concepts of what constitutes metal have been radically changed.
Combining monstrous riffs, horrifically savage breakdowns, and thought
provoking, unique lyrics, The Red Chord have created a dynamic and
revolutionary album that is still not getting the recognition it
deserves. Metal Update recently caught up with The Red Chord's bassist,
Adam to discuss metal, its future, and how The Red Chord will continue
to amaze us.
METAL UPDATE: First off, how is the album doing and what type of
reactions are you getting to it?
ADAM WENTWORTH: The record is doing well, in our eyes, especially for
our first release. The reactions have been nothing but good basically.
It seems like its a record that's been able to cross a lot of genres and
find fans in most facets of heavy music.
MU: Can you give us a number for how many you've sold so far?
AW: I think it's somewhere around 4,000 - 4,500. There are only 6,000 in
press right now, so I think it's somewhere around that.
MU: From what I've heard it's mostly from good word of mouth, it doesn't
seem like you've gotten a lot of press coverage/promotion. . .
AW: Yeah we've been really lucky in some ways and just worked our asses
off to get ourselves out there. The record is on a fairly small label,
so there wasn't this big promotion budget. As much as I'd love to see
ads everywhere, word of mouth is a powerful force and there's also an
opinion with it, not just some ad in a magazine telling you its good,
they have to do that.
MU: For sure, it just seems that in today's metal world there is a lot
hyped stuff, and not much meets the hype. But with you guys, you came
out of nowhere and blind-sided everyone.
AW: (laughs) Well thank you. That's what a lot of people have told me.
We just weaseled our way on any show we could get on. I think a lot of
people saw us live and found out about us that way.
MU: What's the label situation like?
AW: We're still talking with labels. We are in deeper talks with some,
its been a long, long process.
MU: Care to expand on that?
AW: I can't give any names because our names aren't on anything yet, but
I think wherever we end up, most people will be surprised.
MU: Ok. . .
AW: Ok, fine, I'll spill it, we're on Sony.
MU: (laughs) I've heard.
AW: We actually got contacted by MCA, but I don't think the guy had ever
heard us, just about us.
MU: How about new material? At CB's this last weekend you played some
new stuff. How many new songs do you have, and when you get signed, how
long 'til a new album is unleashed?
AW: The two we play out are the only finished ones, but we're taking off
the summer to write. We have a bunch of ideas floating around. Its just
a matter of us piecing it together, but it could take a while. We're
pretty anal about it. I wouldn't expect a new recording to even begin
until 2004 realistically.
MU: How long did it take to write 'Fused Together in Revolving Doors'?
AW: 'Fused. . .' was compiled over two years worth of material. We had
songs so we could play live and a demo. I think only three songs were
written under the mindset of, "Okay, we have to write a record now."
"Breed the Cancer" is like three years old, maybe four. 'Fused' is
almost like a timeline just not in chronological order.
MU: This may be jumping the gun, but do you know what kind of sound you
are going for when you actually begin to record the new album? Are you
going to keep the same sound, experiment with new ideas, etc?
AW: We want it sonically to be huge and thick - expand on 'Fused. . .'
which I think was a good start. Musically, we just want to push it. We
have new ideas but we still have the same mentality when it started. I
think it'll still be The Red Chord, just new tricks. We still want to
remain somewhat straightforward, so its still songwriting, but we are
going to see how far we can run with it. A lot of bands are getting into
weird time signatures and grooves and that's cool, but it seems a lot of
the time they forgot about riffs - making the guitar this rhythmic
companion - and I think that's wasting a guitar or two.
MU: What I liked about 'Fused. . .' was that you talked about some
serious stuff, but there was also some great humor on the record. Do you
think your material is serious commentary, are you joking around, or are
you being satirical?
AW: It's serious stuff about life, but its just serious about some of
the weirder things. Our music is serious, and Guy's lyrics are seriously
about actual things, but we're not very serious guys. I think in metal
or hardcore, it's important not to take yourself too seriously. There
are some messages in our music that slip in accidentally - like take
'That Certain Special Ugly' - that song is just a song about the ugliest
woman Guy has ever seen - nothing more. But he's talking about how he
sees her life and how she interacts, and it ends up making a statement
about how your looks DO matter in this world today.
MU: Some people seem to think that songs like 'Sixteen Bit Fingerprint'
are just kind of funny because, superficially, it's about video games,
but I read into it and it seems like you are trying to say something.
AW: Right. And its not meant to preach, its sort of how Guy, or we see
MU: It works really well.
AW: I think it works because we don't try. We honestly don't try to send
out a message, or change anyone's mind. I think forcing things makes it
lose something. Political bands and bands with an agenda really turn me
off. That's why I really embrace bands like the Dwarves - they're just
fucking around. They faked their guitar player's death because they
didn't feel like explaining why he quit.
MU: What are some bands that you admire right now?
AW: I'm a big Nicke Andersson fan, so I listen to a lot of Entombed and
MU: Any modern metal?
AW: The Black Dahlia Murder, they're from Michigan and just signed with
Metal Blade. Deadwater Drowning and Found Dead Hanging are both getting
time in my CD player. Everyone should go buy Beyond The Sixth Seal
records, too, so I can eat.
MU: What do you think about the current state of extreme music?
AW: It bores me. A lot of that has to do with what people value now in
hardcore and metal. It seems so many people only care about how fast
your drummer is or how "sick" your breakdown can be. I see bands doing
the same thing over and over again verbatim and kids are falling for it.
MU: I agree but I also think there are a lot of elitist types who
discourage any sort of experimentation. . .
AW: Yeah, I think a lot of those people are the ones I'm talking about -
kid's list of "guilty pleasures" when they talk about non-heavy bands
they like. I just think it's ridiculous for anyone to look down upon
anyone else for liking music that isn't heavy. When music originated, it
wasn't fucking death metal ya know? We all listened to something on the
way to heavy music, so basically, everyone is a big loser and afraid to
own up to their pasts. I'm a poser, so isn't everyone else?
MU: Yeah, heaviness doesn't determine quality.
AW: Dude, I'm heavy.
MU: No doubt.
AW: You saw me at CB's, I clock in well over 500 pounds.
MU: Fat motherfucker.
AW: The trailer is for me, not the equipment.
MU: How the hell did you guys come up with your very unique sound?
AW: I don't think it's anything that hasn't been done before. I think we
mix styles of music, but we keep them intact, so it's not like a
hardcore part and a metal part creating one riff, it's more of maybe a
hardcore riff, and then a death metal type riff, and then some weird
shit you'd hear on a Human Remains record. So, I don't think we invented
anything new, I think, or I'd like to think we just present it in a more
MU: So if someone asked you, "What bands would I have to listen to know
where your music comes from?" What would you say?
AW: That's hard, to try to sum it up real easy. . . I'd say Suffocation,
Buried Alive (the first album), Cryptopsy (specifically 'None So Vile'),
and Human Remains. Those are probably the only 4 heavy bands that we all
like and enjoy listening to.
MU: So when you listen to music of your own choosing, what do you listen
AW: I love playing metal but don't listen to it constantly. I work at
home, so I have stuff on in the background a lot - Bjork or Radiohead -
something kinda mellow. I like the Murder City Devils a lot, Jimmy Eat
World - Turbonegro is incredible. I'm the first to admit, I am a huge
poser. Like Wham. I listen to Wham. I'm so not metal it's not even
MU: Are there any diehard metalheads or hardcore fans in the band?
AW: Mike and Gunface. Basically everyone has been listening to metal
since they were like nine, except me. I come from more of a hardcore
background but at this point we all listen to a lot of different music.
Our van playlist would be really weird. The last one was like Helmet,
some old Cave In, Mandy Moore, 8 bit Nintendo music and Final Fantasy
music, Corrosion Of Conformity. Gunface has these mp3 mix cds with 300
songs each and it's just all over the place, Pizzicato 5, Refused,
something like that. You should see our tour videos.
AW: Maybe. (laughs) We're actually compiling footage from our last tour
and editing it, just for personal use though.
MU: How do you guys see yourself in the metal world? Do you feel you
guys are getting the recognition you deserve? Personally, I feel that
while guys are doing pretty good for how you are, I also think you guys
are severely underrated and haven't gotten enough attention.
AW: I think that we've worked hard and have earned a lot of recognition.
We intend on working harder, touring more. No one is going to do it for
us so we just have to do it, and we love it which is why we're here.
We've also been pretty lucky and met some amazing people along the way
who have helped us out immensely. We're still underground and unknown,
but we also only have one record out and not a many copies floating
around, so I think it's all relative. I think we get a decent amount of
attention. I might be missing something though. I don't leave my house
much, but once we settle into a new label and have a new record out, I
think things are going to get moving a bit quicker.
MU: Would you say that you are satisfied with what you have accomplished
AW: Oh yeah, it's more than I'd ever have expected. If you heard my
previous bands you'd understand why. I'm really content with life right
now. I have so many more goals I'm working towards, but I think I'm in a
good place right now.
MU: Do you guys think you a revolutionary, envelope pushing group?
AW: I don't think we're revolutionary really, like I said before I think
it's more the presentation than anything else, and we have solid
musicians. I think that we have the ability to appeal to fans from
different genres, and that can only help us. It offers us a potentially
huge fan base that many bands don't have access to.
MU: What would it take for you to regain interest in metal? When you
listen to your favorite metal records, what is it that draws you to
them? Are there any current metal band that gives you that same feeling?
AW: Entombed and Black Sabbath are the only metal bands that give me
that feeling. That's a good question and I don't know if I have an
answer. I think if people were just more open-minded. . . I know that
sounds real hokey, but I think if the elitist mentality faded out,
enthusiasm may return and I think the music would benefit as well. Maybe
there are some absolutely incredible bands playing bland mediocre crap
because they're scared to expand or experiment.
MU: How about your record? When you listen to your music how do you
AW: I listen to both of my bands and it's hard to compare because you
can't listen to your own band like you can someone else's. There's too
much information. I mean I know what pants I was wearing when I recorded
that song. But I think if I wasn't in the band, I'd still listen to it,
and that's a good sign by my standards. I always notice flaws and things
I'd redo and want to improve on as well, but I'm sure everyone does that
with their band. It also makes me think of the guys in my bands, they
are the main reason I do this. While I'm not necessarily into all the
bands we play with, just being able to hang out with these guys and
spend time and just live and see new places, I know it sounds cheesy,
but it's a big part of it. I enjoy writing music with these people and
don't really care what happens after that. If we take The Red Chord much
farther, then that's great, but if it ended tomorrow I'd still look back
with positive memories. These guys are my family and friends. The band
takes up so much time it's like they're the only friends I ever see
anymore, so it's important that I value them like brothers.
MU: That's understandable, but when I listen to the record, it seems
like you guys are looking to take this thing all the way, to usher in a
new sound or radically change metal.
AW: Well we all want to take it as far as possible, but what I'm saying
is that it's not this mentality that if we don't sell X amount of
records and play X amount of shows a year then we think it's a failure.
If we can shake stuff up and piss people off, then I'm all about that.
There's more life in that record and a lot of the country we haven't
toured. It's also coming out in Europe in April so we'll see how it
sells over there, and we will probably tour Europe eventually.
MU: Do you have anything you'd like to say?
AW: Yeah I have a lot to plug right now. (laughs) The Red Chord will be
on tour with Bleeding Through and Himsa during April / May, then with
Premonitions of War and Deadwater Drowning in June up until Hellfest.
Beyond The Sixth Seal will be on the road from Metalfest 'til June with A
Life Once Lost and On Broken Wings. Guy and I have started a company
called Black Market Activities, we'll be putting out records
(Backstabbers Inc, Found Dead Hanging, Deadwater Drowning), offering
design services (current projects include Deadwater Drowning, The Black
Dahlia Murder, On Broken Wings) and will eventually expand to include
even more services and features. For more information on any of these
things people can check out the websites.
review of The Red Chord 'Fused Together In Revolving Doors'
THE RED CHORD
BEYOND THE SIXTH SEAL
BLACK MARKET ACTIVITIES
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