MUSIC FEATURE: Five Minutes With…Redwood
Rising quintet Redwood released their stunning debut album Beside a Shallow Sun last month, drawing influence from an array of genres from emo through to post-rock. Intrigued to find out more, we caught up with Jamie Richards (lead guitar/sound design) to discuss the band’s formation, influences, ambitions and his first musical memory.
Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself and your band.
Hey Bring The Noise, I’m Jim. I’m the lead guitarist, music writer and producer of all things bleepy bloopy and ambient in the band Redwood. We are a five-piece alt-rock outfit previously from the Herts area (now we’re dotted about a bit). We’ve just released our debut album Beside a Shallow Sun and we’re pretty dang proud of it!
How did the band form and how long have you been together?
So the band formed in late 2013 when myself and Alex (the singer) began writing some acoustic songs together under the name Pulling Teeth. It was a cool edgy name for our edgy acoustic music, leave us alone. But as the songs started progressing, we thought to make into a full band outfit and from there we became Redwood. Since then we’ve had a couple of line-up changes and now we’ve been in our current state for the past three and a half years!
Can you remember the first time you realised you wanted to make music?
Personally, it would have to have been when I first picked up the guitar when I was around eight years old. I started learning the basic chords the normal way but playing songs using those chords, I’d always try and vary it to make them sound weird and stray from the original. So in playing those songs I should have been learning, I ended up making my own little versions of them and in a sense started making my own music. Since then I’ve just not stopped experimenting and this is highlighted through all the weird and wonderful sounds you can hear littered throughout the new record.
Who and what are the band’s main influences?
Being a five-piece, there’s a lot of influences buzzing about at any one time, and they’re so varied that what comes out at the end of writing our music really doesn’t reflect what we all listen to and love. Personally I’ve been binging Radiohead‘s Kid A recently and hearing new things every time. They’re a super influential band for me as they just don’t stop pushing what they can do sonically, whether it be how Yorke delivers his haunting vocals or how Johnny Greenwood is constantly finding new ways to create even the smallest sound. It’s inspiring to say the least.
As a whole, the band formed through a mutual love of math-rock and post-rock and all five of us still have big love for those types of bands. So I would say that those kinds of genres will always be a big influence on how we write and perform our music.
What do you aim to achieve as a band?
Global stardom… No, I kid. Conor (the bassist) and I were discussing this the other day and we came to the conclusion that we just really want our listeners to feel something when they hear our music. If they have any sort of reaction, whether it be positive or negative, we know we’ve done our jobs. We write this music for ourselves because we love doing it and the fact that other people love it as much as we do is absolutely mind-blowing. We just want to keep writing music we are passionate about and if we can achieve anything more than that, well that’s just a huge bonus.
For those who are yet to see you live, what can they expect from a Redwood show?
Oooooh, what a show we put on. Expect tight harmonies, semi-broken stages from where we stamp on them too hard, guitar pedals galore and just a great atmosphere. I’ve got this thing where I never like to play the same show twice, and with the gargantuan amount of pedals I have to mess around with, I will never stick to the same ambience or lead lines due to how I’m modulating it all. It’s a lot of fun. I think we’re a bit heavier sounding live than we are on record because we really love to put our all into every show. Just talking about it is making me miss them even more. Thanks, Bring The Noise, you’ve made a grown man weep.
What’s next for Redwood?
I think just getting back out there once this 2020 mist has cleared up and playing every show known to man. We are desperate to get back on the road and play in your local area. Reach out to us and let us play your social club. Let us play your back garden. Let us perform at your mum’s 60th birthday. We don’t care. LET US BACK ON STAGE!!!
Nice one Bring The Noise UK. Thanks for having me. <3
Redwood‘s debut album Beside A Shallow Sun is out now, available to purchase HERE.