UNIQUE: Portland natives Red Fang perform at The Cambridge Hotel on Friday night with Drunk Mums. Don’t let the zany video clips fool you. Red Fang are serious about making music.
Yes, this Portland-based band threw back enough beer to vomit in one clip, but that’s just part of the act.
Guitarist and vocalist Bryan Giles told LIVE that contrary to popular opinion, Red Fang’s songs are not written with band members’ tongues planted firmly in cheeks. Nor does he feel the oft-used “stoner metal” or “stoner rock” label is accurate.
Not that he really cares, though. This polite, well-spoken and fundamentally funny musician is doing what he loves and gets paid for it. And that’s not something he will ever take for granted.
“Labels honestly don’t really matter to me. Youwanna call my music egg salad sandwich? That’s fine as long as you buy the egg salad sandwich record, you know? We never really felt we fit into that genre. Stoner is more ruminations on a minimalist outlook and you then explore it though instrumentation –we jump all over the place.
“I really enjoy bands like Kyuss and Sleep. I saw Sleep live in 1989 andI’d never heard anything like it. But more and more bands are trying to do stoner rock these days and they’re not doing it so well that they’re adding to the genre.Maybe it’s time to put that to bed for a bit and come up with a new word.
“It’s like in the ’90s the reviewers used to describe bands as having angular guitar sounds. I still can’t figure out what an angular guitar is.”
A brief discussion about geometry follows. And then this.
“I felt like I had to bring a protractor to a gig. I can understand a bandbeing referred to as obtuse and I would know what they meant if they said they had an acute aversion to them,” Giles said, laughing.
Red Fang have four studio albums to their name and a touring history that includes the likes of Opeth, Kyuss Lives, Orange Goblin, Black Tusk and Mastodon. Theyeven performed onLate Show with David Lettermanin January2014 after 2013 release Whales and Leechespeaked at No. 66 on Billboard’s Top 200.
This time around they are headlining their own tour, supported byDrunk Mums,and will play at the Cambridge tomorrow night (May 11). It promises to be hot and very, very sweaty.
“I guess we’ll have to play all our slow songs then,” Giles replied.“No, we’re not going to do that. Just kidding.There is nothing jokey about our music. But we do realisethat it’s only rock ‘n roll; it’s not like we’re changing the world. We’re just a band.
“Ifpeople come up and say ‘hey you helped me through a tough time’, that makes me feel good. There has to be some value to what I’mdoing. I never wanted to be an arena rock band or anything,I just wanted tomake music that inspired me and other people. There was no way I thought it could be a career. Hellno.”