April 29, 2009

Interview: Cheap Red

Three weeks ago I first wrote about this great new band Cheap Red. Of course everyone knew quite a bit about Boyracer, and to most Kanda was also not unknown. The information on Cheap Red itself was quite limited though. I decided to find out more, and who'd be a better source of information than Stewart Anderson himself?

Hello Stewart! First, to get it out of the way: on your myspace it says Cheap Red is Akina and Arland formerly from Kanda and Stewart and Jen formerly from Boyracer. Does this mean those bands have really completely stopped existing now? Is Cheap Red intended as a long-term project, or a one off thing?

Stewart: No, not a one off - we have a few shows planned. And we already recorded a new single. Boyracer is done though. It just got too frustrating to continue to release records I thought were the greatest I have ever made that no-one would ever hear. We don't have any distro for 555 recs as of 2003, and can't even sell 100 copies of anything at this point. I can't speak for Kanda, but I think they are done too.

Influences: Judas Priest and the Marine Girls. Ehm, really?

Stewart: Yes. Absolutely two of our favourite bands. We cover Breaking The Law as Cheap Red and have covered several Marine Girls songs as Boyracer.

Do you see Cheap Red also a bit as a mix of your previous bands, or did you try to aim for something completely different?

Stewart: It started with us recording 4 cover versions whilst Akina and Arland were visiting, with each of the 4 of us singing lead vocal on one track. We then quickly wrote and recorded another 8 or 9 songs in the following 2 days that became the full length. The intention was everyone gets to sing some, but musically there wasn't a fixed idea or direction as such. It just happened. Of course some of it will sound like our previous efforts but I think overall it's quite different due to the combination. Certainly gentler than Boyracer, but a bit grittier than Kanda.

Your debut cd will be a double, no less than 27 songs. The second disc will consist of 13 remixes. By whom? What can we expect to hear there?

Stewart: Well, I dont want to give too much away, but the remixes are pretty swell featuring: Bracken (Hood), Kid606, Sisterhood Of Convoluted Thinkers, DJ Downfall, Teamforest, The Declining Winter (Hood), James Earthenware, Patrick Vidro, Steward, King Prussia, Simpatico, Fingernail, and Jib Kidder.

Two married couples, how very rock & roll! Do you still feel punk, whatever that may mean? What does a day 'on the road' look like for you? Is cheap red wine involved at all?

Stewart: Well we don't tour anymore but I certainly still drink alot. We gave up touring in 2005 - we just lost too much money trying to do it, so we decided to have a baby instead. But we're still very punk. How more punk can you get running a record label that hasn't broken even on anything for 5 years? Well, actually, that isn't punk, just stupid... but I do believe in the DIY ethic and have firmly adhered to it over the years. I don't think we'll ever manage to tour as Cheap Red unless suddenly we become well known, but I don't think will happen, which I'm completely fine with. I've been releasing records since 1991 so I'm very realistic at this point. I'm very proud of the Cheap Red songs though. And we've been asked to do shows, so if the circumstance allows us we're up for it. Myself and Jen run a cattle ranch out here in the painted desert, so its hard to find time inbetween cattle works to make music.

Any chance you'll come over to play in Europe one day?

Stewart: If anyone wants to fly us over, sure.

Thanks Stewart! First the lucky people at the San Fransisco Popfest will have a chance to see Stewart & co play. If you're around, don't miss it.

Cheap Red myspace
555 Recordings

Download (Mediafire)
1. Cheap Red - Let's start a riot

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