Apart from great rockers, Red Fang are totally cool and funny. HeartbeatInk had the chance to interview them before their June show in Athens. Which by the way was awesome!
Aaron Beam: vocals / bass
Bryan Giles: guitar
John Sherman: drums
David Sullivan: guitar
How was life before Red Fang?
Aaron: I don't remember (laughs).
David: Kind of the same (laughs).
Aaron: Way better (laughs).
David: We have all played in bands together before Red Fang, so it's kind of the same in that way…
John: Except we didn't get to come to Greece!
David: Oh yeah.
Aaron: We didn't travel nearly as much. We were on tour a lot less before Red Fang.
David: This band has done a lot better.
Aaron: And I had no children before Red Fang and now I do. There's been a lot of changes…
John: I had more hair, less boob. Hm I had more boob too at one point (laughs).
Aaron: There was more or less boob.
Bryan: I was with David and John in a band called “Party Time”. That's why I have this tattoo on my arm, the angry tattooth, it was on our t-shirts. John has the same tattoo as well.
Aaron: I don't like Party Time. I wasn't allowed in that band (laughs).
Bryan: I don't think you were ever asked to be in that band. I don't remember you (laughs).
How did you guys meet?
Aaron: I probably met Dave first, or maybe Bryan. I've lived in Portland for a long time and then all these guys moved there. Dave when did you move up there?
David: I first moved up there in 1996. So we met around then.
John: We all met at a Nirvana concert (laughs).
Aaron: Ok. We met in jail (laughs).
John: We all got out of jail on the same day and we met on a bus on our way to see Nirvana and Soundgarden (laughs).
Aaron: Can we start over and give good answers?
David: It was nothing so exciting.
John: We should come up with something more exciting. Who cares about boring stories?
Aaron: I don't care.
David: These are good questions. We have never answered them before.
So you are not prepared…
Aaron: Good Questions – Bad answers. Erase all our answers and leave your questions.
I imagine that you have a really good time on tour because all you guys have a great sense of humor. You' ll be performing live almost every day for the next 40 days. How are you going to manage that?
John: I will need some bandages, lots of vodka and wine and snacks. And that's it. That's how I am going to do it.
David: I am going to sleep through as much of it as possible.
Aaron: Including performances!
Bryan: I am going to try to read a lot of books. See if that happens… I am already half way through a book! I have several books in my queue. “Beginning my mind”.
Aaron: And skyping back home. That's very important for me. Skyping with my son.
Aaron how many kids do you have?
Just one, but he is a handful.
Are you perhaps releasing a third album soon?
David: Yes. It's done!
Aaron: It's finished. All recorded. It will be out in October.
John: We are very excited about it (laughs). It's really good.
Aaron: My mom loves it.
Bryan: Has your mom heard it?
Aaron. No. That's why it is her favorite.
John: My wife likes some of it. My favorite songs on it, I will be like what do you think of that one? And she says: “yeah, it's propitiative.
Aaron: When I played the album to my wife, she said: “I can see why your fans would really like this”.
Bryan: How political of her. I m impressed.
Aaron: I was hoping to make her a fan but she is just not a fan of me.
What about the style compared to your two previous albums?
Bryan: I think that it is different and more of the same. It's got punk rock style. It's got grunge stuff. It's got metal stuff, doom. There are different styles but we are not going crazy, like doing a ska part into a metal part.
Aaron: It varies from song to song.
David: We've always been like that.
John: It sounds like us. But there are faster shorter songs and longer slower songs.
How many of you have tattoos?
Aaron: Two out of four; fifty percent.
How come just fifty percent?
John: It's a good ratio.
Bryan: He won't let me tattoo him. I've been trying. He fights me off.
Aaron: Really? Do I fight you in my sleep?
Aaron: I don't know. I just never did. I never smoked and I never got a tattoo.
David: Me neither. There was a summer I kept drawing things on my arms with a marker just to see if I really want this here and I liked it. But I have never committed to a tattoo.
Aaron: But now you have to ask them why they do have tattoos!
That was my next question indeed.
Bryan: To be cool. But I don't think it works (laughs). Well, I have tattoos for entertainment. It's fun to get them. Many of them remind me of things in my life. They are like keepsakes.
John: Do you want to tell the story..?
Bryan: John, Adam (Red Fang's front of house), Chris (Red Fang's road chief) and me, we got the deer tattoo with the 42,7 which is the mile marker. In October 2010 we were coming home from Seattle after a show and we went to avoid a deer crossing the road. The van rolled twice in the highway and it came out unscathed, but…
Aaron: John had one stitch.
John: I had one stitch and lots of blood. Adam broke a rib.
Aaron: Adam has the same tattoo on his side because he broke his rib right there.
John: Although the van flipped twice we all survived.
Aaron: Everyone survived including the deer!
David: To go back to my sleep thing, I was asleep during the accident.
Bryan: How are you going to survive after rolling in a van? Sleep through (laughs)!
David: I woke up and it was upside down.
Aaron: I was driving. The lesson we learnt is to always run down the dear.
Bryan: The police was very upset with us because we didn't hit the deer.
David: But you see, it's just instinct.
Bryan: And it was a cute deer.
Bryan when did you get your first tattoo?
When I was fifteen. It's almost gone. It's the punk rock band Opinion Zero from Tucson. They were great and I really liked them. So I got a tattoo.
John, apart from the deer tattoo, I can see that you have some more tattoos in common. What about them?
We (John, Bryan and Chris) also have the skull, the “situation awesome”, the Party time tattooth, the beer with the snake and a few more.
Why did you get a beer tattoo?
Bryan: A friend of ours came to Oregon for his bachelor party and he wanted all of us to get bro tattoos. And since it was his party he got to pick and he decided that we all get the snake with its head stuck in the beer. It seemed appropriate because it was what we were
the whole week.
John why the pizza tattoo?
John: It's just my favorite food in the world!
Aaron: He is half man half pizza.
John: There was another idea for this tattoo. I was waiting to talk to the tattoo artist about it and he was tattooing someone else. So I went for a drink at the bar next door. When I came back and he finally had time to talk to me, he didn't have the time to tattoo the original idea which had nothing to do with pizza. And I said “f..k it just tattoo a pizza on me real quick and then we go and eat pizza”. And there it was 36 minutes later.
Aaron: This is a 36 minute tattoo?
What about the “Snacks, Hugs & Rock'n Roll” tattoo?
John: It's a way of life. Snack on pizza, hug your buddies and you know, rock'n roll!
John: I always wanted a mermaid and there is a really good tattoo artist in Portland, Cheyenne Sawyer. He is the guy that drew the skull that we use so often. He suggested that instead of a mermaid we do something weird like half Geisha half mermaid. And I said “whatever man”.
Do you get tattooed while on tour?
Bryan & John: Most of them are probably done on tour.
Aaron: People come and say “hey guys you can come by if you want to get a tattoo”.
David: I still might get a tattoo.
Bryan: Never say never.
Any last words?
HeartbeatInk would like kindly to thank P90 Events (www.p90events.com) for the help and the realisation and Gagarin 205 Live Music Space for the hospitality.
Photos & interview by Ino Mei.