RED FANG – 10 dollars for a beer is too much
I met up with John Sherman, the drummer of Red Fang, before their concert at John Dee. We found a quiet spot in the backstage area where we could sit down and have a talk.
Not too long ago Red Fang released a music video for the song "Blood Like Cream". It is about zombies. Zombies that really like beer. I asked John what his weapon of choice would be during a zombie invasion.
Ooooh, that uhm, shit, my favorite weapon would be like a baseball bat, seems like the most effective way to take out the zombie head.
The readers wont realize that we are in a virtual war machine shop, we can make zombie weapons all day standing where we are now. This chain with a big lock on it would be a good weapon as well, I think.
Have you ever played in Oslo before?
Yes, played with Mastodon and we played Slottsfjell a few years back… Cannot really remember, but I think Graveyard was there. This is our first headline show.
Here in Norway you have to pay a lot of money for beer when you are out drinking. Would you be willing to pay around 10 dollars for one beer?
No, not at all. Back home it is like two dollars for the worst beer, three dollars for a decent beer. Must be tough to get drunk here, unless you are rich. I guess your income is probably more reflected of the economy, you probably make more money per hour. Still, 10 dollars for a beer is too much.
(Photo: James Rexroad)
There is a lot of talking about beer, and that is because of all the beer thirsty-zombies in the music video for Blood Like Cream. Are you a big fan of beer?
No, I do drink beers, but I prefer wine. It does look like the characters in our video are fans of beer, but you know… they are characters.
Who’s idea was it to make the video?
We usually meet up with our director and friend at a bar and talks about the concept, and we normally say, "That’s fucking crazy, how are we going to pull this off?" But he always makes it. He exaggerates. It is much more fun to watch an exaggerated movie of us.
How long have you been playing as a band?
Let us see, our first show was in David’s (lead guitar) basement on New Year’s Eve 2005/2006, so it is about nine years. Before that, we did some bartending and various jobs, but we have always been playing music. We had this one band called "Party Time". That band was really into beer.
Can you tell about your worst touring experience?
We flipped our tour van after the first show of a tour in Seattle a few years back. Next show was in Portland, our home, and it was a three-hour drive from the venue in Seattle, so we were thinking of driving home after the show to get one more night at home before the tour. Aaron was driving and suddenly a deer ran out in the way and we crashed right into it. The car rolled over twice and it was all very scary. I was just looking at the picture of the van today and it was totally destroyed. We were all scared, but we did the gig that day. We fixed the van, but we had to cancel the two upcoming shows. After that, we went on stage covered in bruises and blood. It was an emotional tour.
(Photo: Tim Tronckoe)
When you have day off, what do you do?
Well, I find myself very busy with working on my house and hanging out with my cats and my wife, cooking and playing scrabble. I play a lot of scrabble. We still get together and play music constantly when we are home, so we always play music. We have to do it. Cannot stop – just have to do it.
What makes you keep on playing music? Do you want to achieve something? What motivates you?
It is something we have to do, whether or not we are doing it locally, in a pub or touring around the world. There’s something inside me I have to get out through playing music, I don’t know what would happen if I did not play music. I always knew since I was a kid that I wanted to play music. Once I started, I never stopped and I have never looked back. I am compelled to do it; there is something in me that just have to get out. Whether it is drawing a picture or banging your drums. The difference between hobby and compulsion, you know. I just have to. No matter what scale it is, we just have to do it. I am not aiming for anything, it is not as if I do not achieve something I fail – I f I stop I fail. Heavy.
What do you think is the worst probably with the music industry today?
Shit man, music industry is so weird, constantly changing with the digital age. The business side sucks, but the music part is cool. I think the business side is hard for most musicians to understand. The musicians does not earn a lot of money, they end up getting fucked. I do not really mind illegal downloads, you cannot stop it. It is too easy for the people doing it, I am sure those people don’t feel like they are stealing, they just sit there and download something. We got to tour, play live and sell merch to earn money. Fucking music business, it is weird.
(Photo: James Rexroad)
Next question is strange, but if you were a magician, who would you make disappear?
Hitler is a good start, but fuck… This is a hard one. Too tough to answer! However, I guess mostly political leaders or maybe just that one asshole at the bar that ruins everybody’s good time. There is always that one person.
What are your expectations of tonight’s show?
It is a nice small room, going to be up close and personal – my favorite kind of gig. We are still hurting from last night, we partied hard in Truckstop Alaska, Gothenburg, that place is amazing. I just have to shake this hangover of me and maybe drink a couple of glass of wine and then I am fine. I think it will be crazy.
To end this, do you want to say anything to the people reading this?
To my fans, thanks for the constant support. If you come up on stage, try not to hurt yourself while stagediving and do not hurt each other.