Brite Winter 2016 Artist Spotlight: The Red Western
Indie-pop quartet, The Red Western, are in full stride of a new chapter as a band – one that’s garnering them a lot of love and attention. Following a full length release, a split LP and a line up change, the four-piece has returned as the most cohesive and collaborative version of themselves they have ever been with a double EP release, Sirens and Arrows.
The band (bassist Jay Leon, guitarist Jon Gunnell, guitarist and primary singer Lauren DeLorenze, and drummer Sean Finn) has made its name as a live act to be reckoned within its hometown of Pittsburgh, where it’s a staple of the indie rock community. After the departure of a primary songwriter in 2013, the four-piece spent some time recalibrating, learning to write songs all over again, collaborating on some and mining Gunnell’s trove of unreleased solo material for new tunes.
“We had to spend a lot of time figuring out the best way to perform everything live, having one less member,” Gunnell explains. Then the project was developing a collaborative songwriting method, while workshopping some of Gunnell’s songs into Red Western material.
In ten tracks, the Sirens and Arrows double EP gives us a snapshot of where The Red Western has found itself in 2016. Where other bands might have thrown in the towel after losing a primary songwriter, The Red Western regrouped and came back with material that’s notably different, but stronger than ever.
With all of that said, we asked the band’s drummer Sean Finn some questions in advance of The Red Western playing #Brite16.
Brite: Who influences your sound?
Sean Finn: I think that we all have a pretty eclectic taste in music. Influences run the gamut from Power-Pop to Indie-Rock to Alt-Country to Soul and R ‘n’ B. We’re a pretty diverse group when it comes to taste in music. One thing, though, that we try to have as a guideline for our music is to make it memorable and well played. If we can make that happen and continue to better ourselves, then we’re not too worried about being confined to an absolute style.
Brite: What has you excited about playing Brite Winter this year?
Sean Finn: We love playing festivals! We’re really excited to have been invited to play Brite Winter as one of the only non-Ohio based bands in the lineup! Even though we’re from Pittsburgh, we love traveling to Cleveland and playing. It’s always been a great place to play and we always get a warm welcome there. Brite Winter itself is a very cool event and we can’t wait to catch some new Cleveland bands as well as our friends, Seafair!
Brite: What can listeners expect from your new EPs that just dropped earlier this month?
Sean Finn: There’s a definite progression in our music. The new EP’s Sirens & Arrows are an excellent starting point for new listeners and I believe do a nice job bridging the gap between our more alt-country/Americana beginnings and the direction that we’re heading in now. There’s a real diversity to the songs and consequently we hope there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Brite: What’s on the horizon for The Red Western?
Sean Finn: Just to keeping promoting the new release and getting our music out to as many people that will listen because, ultimately, we’re very proud of the EPs. We’re also hoping to continue to visit places like Cleveland and further afield regularly, constantly evolving our fan base along the way.