The Red Shore. If you’re a fan of heavy music there’s a good chance you’re familiar with their name. If not, I’m sure it won’t be long until the band’s searing blend of technicality and aggression is on high rotation on your Ipod.
Guitar guru Roman Koester talks about the shred and his former love affair with rope hair…
Tell us your name, what you do in The Red Shore and the biggest fashion mistake you made, circa the rise and fall of “nu metal”.
Roman, I play guitar for The Red Shore and for a period of around two years, I had multi coloured dreadlocks with an undercut, I also sometimes sported one white contact lens on occasions.
For those that aren’t too familiar with the band, can you tell us a bit about The Red Shore’s background, and how you came to join.
The Red Shore are basically a bunch of best mates trying to create the most amazing music they can, while being heavy and aggressive at the same time, that’s hat we hope to achieve, and having fun experiencing the world with our mates to, that’s what we are mainly about.
I joined the band when they came to my studio to record the EP. They only had one guitarist at the time. Throughout the recording process, we became friends and I offered some ideas that they seemed to like, and was then asked to join.
If you had to describe your band to someone that hadn’t heard you, how would you do it?
Try and imagine something a lot heavier than your favourite band.
The band has been through a lot of tough times in the last twelve months, what keeps you motivated – both as an individual and as a group – to keep pushing forward?
The drive to finish a concept that Damo and Andy were part of is big on the list. We all feel like we need to strive for perfection and progression, we always have, only now we have two that are no longer with us, and we carry it for them.
In May, you guys were lucky enough to take part in “I Killed The Prom Queen’s” farewell tour, was it intimidating to hit the stage night after night with such an impressive array of bands?
Definitely, each night, The Ghost Inside, Bring Me The Horizon and IKTPQ all put on such high energy shows, we felt like we really needed to put that bit extra in, so it was awesome for a kick in the arse.
What were some of the tour highlights for you guys?
Playing in the Roundhouse in Sydney was amazing. There were something like 3000 kids there, it was insane, people were getting knocked out and broken bones all over the place
The Red Shore were by far the heaviest band on the Prom Queen tour, what was the crowd reaction like for you guys?
It varied from state to state, but on the whole, we were more than pleased. Being our first tour back, they audience were very kind to us, and they partied fucking hard with us.
Prom Queen have quite a young fan base, so taking into account just how extreme your band is, what kind of response were you expecting to get from some of these kids?
We have always had a kind of funny audience reaction, one that stands there not knowing what to do, but then gets into the moshy bits. It was kind of the same this tour, but a lot more people knew our lyrics this time, so that was enjoyable.
Your debut full-length, “Unconsecrated” has just been released, tell us a bit about the writing and recording?
We didn’t want to release the next top deathcore album, we just wanted it to be a combination of all of our influences… and it came out extreme metal in my opinion. Having the experience of the crash also had a major part in why the album came out so relentless, I believe.
As a lot of people are aware, you yourself are a well-established producer and engineer. Do you think keeping the making of the record completely in house has affected the way it turned out?
Its funny you should mention that. It was actually mixed by Zack Ohren in California. I had to come to terms with letting go of some of the creative control. When it came to the mixing, I was going insane. We were on tour and I was sending like ten emails a day, trying to tell him the changes I wanted in the mix, then I found out I’d been sending them to the wrong email address.
Do you think “Un-consecrated” may have had a different result if there had Zack not been involved in the record?
Having Zack mix the album definitely changed the release. His spin is now added. As for the rest, we felt we needed to do it all ourself, it was a way to grieve in a way.
The album’s concept is something that Damo had been working on for quite a while, do you think the original idea has been realised the way he had intended?
Jamie spent a long time reading and studying the books that Damo had been reading. By doing this, along with going through the lyrics Damo had written, Jamie was able to complete the concept. I’m really proud of him for that.
Does the album’s artwork tie into the lyrical themes at all?
Yes, we wanted the art to be something different from every other metal release, so we decided to go classic, ‘photo’ instead of ‘Photoshop’. We think it will date a lot slower because of this. It’s two soldiers in battle, the dark one has been slain, this is pretty much the concept… a great battle between good and evil.
Moving forward, you guys have a national tour with “For The Fallen Dreams” (USA) in December, how did you hook up with those guys?
Through a band that I recorded in my studio, their manager was keen to bring FTFD out and asked me if we would be keen. So we put them onto our bookers. It was really great.
Recently, when on tour in the UK, we played a show with The Warriors, The Banner and FTFD. So we got to meet and hang with them before, which will make our tour in December so much easier knowing them now.
How has the band prepared themselves for such an extensive headlining run?
Coming off the Prom tour, which was 22 shows in 18 days (ending June 8th), we have done 2 national tours, 2 festivals, and 35 shows all over the world in 37 days. We are ready for Australia again.
It was also announced that you’re taking part in next year’s “Summer Slaughter Tour” (with Necrophagist, Dying Fetus, Aborted and The Faceless). You’ve spent a lot of time on the road with hardcore bands, are you looking forward to playing to genuine metal crowds?
We are over the moon about it. Expanding our fanbase and gaining the respect of people is a huge part of it. We are hopefully going to be looked upon as a death metal band, not hardcore or metal core.
What have been your top three records of 2008?
Abigail Williams ‘In The Shadow Of A Thousand Su’, Bring Me the Horizon ‘Suicide Season’, Origin ‘Antithesis’.
If you guys could tour with any three bands, who would they be and why?
Hate Eternal, The Mars Volta and Bring Me the horizon, because the first two are musically brilliant and our heroes, and BMTH are amazing as people and a band. We have toured twice already with them, but cant wait to do it again.
What else is in store for The Red Shore in 2009?
We just shot a clip yesterday for “Vehemence The Phoenix”, so that will be out then. We have an album launch tour with As Blood Runs Black in February, then Summer Slaughter in March. April it is looking possible that we’ll hit the States and then Japan, but we’ll see what happens.
We plan to be back in the studio recording our follow up by july.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks to everyone for all the support, check out the DVD it would mean a lot. Thanks again.
Thanks for your time mate.
For you mate, anytime… legend.
For more info on The Red Shore head to the bands Myspace page. ‘Unconcecrated‘ is out now via Stomp Records.