There is a certain charm to bands that stick to their musical roots and values, despite what commercialism says will sell. Which makes sense as to why non-label conformists, Red Sun Rising, have been taking over the radio waves since 2015. Polyester Zeal, their debut album, dumped the band directly into rock and roll stardom with hits like “The Other Side” and “Emotionless.” Still, it's hard to toss Red Sun Rising into one category. The band refers to their “genre” of music as Thread, the weaving of different musical styles to create music they love. This ideology runs so deep with the band that their sophomore album, due out March 30th, is titled just that – Thread.
“Thread represents our genre less ideology to our songwriting,” explains vocalist Mike Protich. “We just wrote music we love and however it comes out that’s what it is. It’s like a box of chocolates, you’ll never know what you’re gonna get from song to song.” The five piece from Ohio are bringing even more influences to the table with Thread, giving all five members an opportunity to expand on new elements and ideas. Protich and Ryan Williams (lead guitar) create the basic structures of songs, and then present them to the band. “ This works best for us. Once everyone figured out their strengths it just flowed.”
I first caught Red Sun Rising in April 2016, two weekends in a row, at WJRR's Earthday Birthday and then following at Fort Rock. Both performances the band absolutely captivated the crowd with the material off their debut album. Protich has the confidence of an established front man on stage, directly interacting with and singing to his fans. The band has been continuously touring since then, with 140 tour dates on their previous tour, and an already jam packed schedule for 2018, booked clear through September. The band uses these shows around the festivals to gauge the crowd's reception and put together an intricate live set.
Having grown as a band since their last appearance at the World's Loudest Month festival circuit, we can expect even the songs we've heard previously to sound a little different from the studio versions. “We are a band that plays 100% live which in today’s world is sadly more rare so we have the ability to really change our show on the fly and right in the moment,” Protich explains. Given the time they've had on the road in the past year, they've had plenty of opportunity to find what feels right on stage.
With their return to the World's Loudest Month this year, Red Sun Rising are slated to perform at all seven festivals including their return to their hometown show, Rock on the Range. In 2016 Protich took to the stage wrapped in the Ohio state flag, and the crowd's reaction marked his favorite onstage moment from the festivals to date. “They [the crowd] crowd surfed for literally 40 minutes straight which was incredible to watch from the stage.” And there's no doubt their reception this year will be any less crazy.
Where to catch them during World's Loudest Month:
Welcome to Rockville (Saturday, April 28th)
Fort Rock (Sunday, April 29th)
Carolina Rebellion (Friday, May 4th)
Northern Invasion (Sunday, May 13th)
Rock on the Range (Sunday May 20th)
Rocklahoma (Friday, May 25th)
Rockfest (Saturday, June 2nd)
For full tour dates visit http://redsunrisingmusic.com/
Check out our full interview with Mike Protich below, including his ultimate rock anthem, who he'd love to collaborate with on the circuit, and who he would book for the Ultimate Red Sun Rising World's Loudest Month Festival!
Red Sun Rising is currently slated to play all of the dates during the World's Loudest Month Festivals (WLM), how do you prepare for a festival run?
There’s never been too much preparation specifically for the festivals in the past and most likely not much this year due to the fact that we are always touring around it. That being said as we tour we do mind what the festival sets will be by gauging what songs are working best on the road and then building interesting transitions around them. We are a band that plays 100% live which in today’s world is sadly more rare so we have the ability to really change our show on the fly and right in the moment. There are certain aspects to your show you have to adjust for an Intimate club or theatre show that doesn’t work for a festival crowd and give versa. So to wrap this up, our preparation is just playing a shitload of shows.
The band is returning to both Fort Rock and Rockville this year, what differences can we expect from seeing RSR in 2016 to 2018?
Well we have grown as a band. We have evolved as musicians and we now have two records to choose from. So besides the obvious setlist change I think fans will enjoy even more chemistry between the band members having played together over the couple years. Even the older material has evolved and morphed. Again we are a live and so don’t be surprised if we play a different version of a song and not the “studio” version.
Do you have a favorite onstage moment at any of the WLM festivals?
I think walking out in 2016 at ROTR wrapped in the Ohio State flag to show our home state love and hearing the crowd receive us. Then shortly after they crowd surfed for literally 40 minutes straight which was incredible to watch from the stage.
Having played WLM for multiple years, what does being a part of the WLM mean to the band?
It’s important. To stay relevant. Be associated with bands you look up to. Build that community amongst the musicians and then that connection to the fans.
Did anything change when writing and recording Thread or did you follow the same formula as Polyester Zeal?
It did and it didn’t. With Thread we tried to write as Band but having 5 guys bark out ideas is counterintuitive to being creative. So Ryan and I took time to formulate the basic structure of the songs as we have done in the past then presented it to the band. Then the band put their ideas, textures and flavors on it. This works best for us. Once everyone figured out their strengths it just flowed. And you will definitely hear some different influences than heard on Polyester Zeal that some of the other members brought to the table.
What themes and/or ideals can we expect to hear on Thread?
That there are no themes really. Thread represents our genre less ideology to our songwriting. We just wrote music we love and however it comes out that’s what it is. It’s like a box of chocolates, you’ll never know what you’re gonna get from song to song.
Off the top of your head what's a highlighted lyrics from the album that you think will stand out to fans?
Well that’s the beauty of art. It can mean something different to every single person and we embrace that. There are very personal lyrics to me on this record as always, specifically Left for Dead, Stealing Life and El Lazo but those could have a different meaning to a listener that connects to it. We always hope they find their own meanings.
After your success with covering “Uninvited” do you have any 'guilty pleasure' songs you'd like to cover?
We are always messing around on the bus or at rehearsal jamming on tunes. You never know. We have a few up our sleeve that would be fun but I won’t say because the last time we started preparing for a cover it was “Sound of Silence” then Disturb's version came out and we were back to the idea board.
What is the ultimate rock anthem to play as loud as possible (artist and song title)?
"Don’t Stop Me Now" by Queen
If you could collaborate with any other band or artist on the WLM line up, who would it be and why?
Tool or APC
What song do you remember most from your childhood?
Well the earliest home video I remember seeing featuring a song was me singing and dancing to "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith when I was like 3.
Imagine that Red Sun Rising is putting together their own lineup for a WLM festival – what five bands do you have to have on the lineup?
If they are alive I’d say:
System of a Down
Electric Light Orchestra
Any last words?
Listen to our entire album and see us live you you won’t regret it.