Every six months, I grab six local bands (all from the state of Indiana) and put them on one stage for a night of live local talent. I also grab tons of local sponsors and try to get as much media exposure as possible. These events are coined as rickyleepotts.com presents six bands for six bucks, and I have now done three of these. The bands all just sort of fall into my hands, and as I built the bill I try to marry bands that are similar. The first band to perform on the most recent six for six was The Red Wire. I met the lead singer through another local singer/songwriter, and when they showed interest in performing on one of these showcases, I figured I would give them a chance. They showed up, that’s for sure. They also released their first full-length album the night of the show. A couple of weeks before the show I got the chance to sit down with them for an exclusive artist interview. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to The Red Wire.
Before we get started, where did you guys come up with the name? Is there an actual red wire that I should know about?
The name was just a name thought up by AJ after he watched a movie in which a character was disarming a bomb. Ergo, “Don’t Cut The Red Wire.”
Do you guys even like the color red?
(AJ) It’s my favorite color.
(Banta) Same for me due to my IU ties.
(Jones) I actually prefer the colors orange and blue.
(Stemle) I am a fan of blue and almost anything but red in most things other than The Red Wire.
Where are you guys originally from?
Alex, AJ, and Banta are from Franklin, Indiana.
(Stemle) Jasper, Indiana is home to me, but that was after I was adopted at two months old from Brazil, South America.
How did you guys all meet?
We all knew each other from high school, except for Stemle, who we found via a craigslist post while looking for a singer!
You guys are about to release a new CD. Tell me about that project. What was it like producing that and what are your goals with the new release?
It is very exciting releasing our first CD. We are hoping it goes over very well. AJ recorded, mixed, mastered, and produced it. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun. Our goals are to get our music out to as many people as we can and have them enjoy it. We want people to listen to some rock and roll in its simple blues progressed form.
You guys recently played a show with Glass Halo. Those guys performed on the last rickyleepotts.com presents six bands for six bucks. Are you guys excited with the turnout at the last six for six?
Definitely! We actually have a friend in Eyes on Fire and were are excited to play with everyone. The crowd was another thing we were looking forward to. SO MANY PEOPLE!!! It was a great opportunity to play in front of a lot of new people and in front of many sponsors.
Speaking of six for six, that was also your CD release party.
We gave everyone a free CD that bought a ticket from us. It’s really more of a thank you for supporting local music and The Red Wire. We appreciate our fans so why not give back to them?
(AJ) We are pretty proud of the work we will have put into this CD release and we want to share our excitement with everyone else.
Who writes all of the lyrics?
The majority of the lyrics are written by AJ and Chris. The basic rule of thumb for us is that if you write the song (instrumentally) you better have some lyrics for it. However, everyone contributes to the song writing process giving feedback and helping with changes, so in a way we all do.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Led Zeppelin, White Stripes, Wolfmother, Rage Against The Machine, Beatles, Son House, Parlor Mob, The Black Keys, AC/DC… anyone who actually rocks. Stemle’s biggest influence is DMB which gives us a different look at our music which is good.
Do you guys have jobs outside of music? Is so, what do you do for a living?
(AJ) I work at NGS. The last job I had was Desktop Analyst for Greenwood Community School Corporation.
(Banta) I’m a tutor at Broad Ripple High School.
(Jones) I am a GM at Ritter’s Frozen Custard.
(Stemle) Working for a company called Smartravel. Anyone need a vacation?
You guys pretty much have the social networks covered… in your opinion, how has the Internet changed the way people absorb music?
It’s pretty much the only way people absorb music anymore. Vinyl is making a bit of a comeback, but for the most part it is all electronically purchased, sold, or stolen.
(AJ) I personally think it’s one of the greatest things ever. If you just listened to a song that you have no idea who it is from, or what it is called, you can easily find it online. It’s so easy…
(Banta) I love how easy the Internet has made accessing music. However, there is nothing like holding that tangible peace of music in your hands. You can’t beat it.
Do you guys ever play outside of the Circle City?
We have played all over Indiana! We love Indiana! We have also played in Ketucky as well. We are always looking for somewhere new to play though!
You have some pretty sweet graphics out there… I really like The Red Wire EP cover. Who designed that? Do you have the same graphic designer for all your concert posters?
We (the band) did the EP cover in a just a short amount of time. When we produced the EP it was more of a test run for this CD that is coming out. The cases were just pieces of cardboard bent in half and had the logo RW spray painted on them; we reused CD sleeves from software that had been used. It was about as DIY as you could be.
(Banta) I generally make all of our show posters out of a joy to make things that hopefully look professional and catch the eye. With the Internet being the main source of promotion for any band, it’s important that your product doesn’t look like trash. That’s why we I made an EP digital design even though it didn’t make its way to print.
Our CD that is coming out looks a million times better and was designed by Chris Lantz. It looks extraordinary and we are really pleased with the work he has done for us. Thanks Chris Lantz!
Where do you guys practice?
At the moment we are practicing at the Noblitt residence garage.
Describe your genre in one word.
Tell me a little bit more about your relationship with Spotlight Entertainment.
We played in a Spotlight Entertainment show.
So whom have you been listening to lately? What’s on your iPod?
(Jones) Kesha, Incubus, Chris Brown, KINGS OF LEON, AWOLNATION, Cage the Elephant.
(Stemle) Dave Matthews, David Grey, Mumford and Sons and Michael Franti.
(AJ) I’ve been listening to this CD we are releasing for about the past three months trying to get it ready. Other than that, I’ve really been listening to The Heavy. They are awesome.
(Banta) I tend to stick to a lot of rock n roll and blues rock. A steady dose of The White Stripes, Nobunny, The Black Keys, and Band of Skulls have been delicious.
I bet it gets hot up there on stage… what are you drinking while you perform?
Water mostly… nothing is better for the stage.
What’s the last movie you saw?
(Banta) Captain America.
(AJ, Jones, Stemle) Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows Part 2.
Was it any good?
(Banta) Captain America was very tasteful. I’m kind of a Captain America nerd so I was impressed by how well the movie was put together.
(AJ) I thought it was good. Had a lot of parts that were needlessly changed from the book. Other than that I gave it a B+.
(Jones) HARRY POTTER WAS REALLY GOOD!
There are a TON of great concerts coming to Indy this year. What shows are you looking forward to this season?
(AJ) Muse was incredible.
(Stemle) Elton John, no doubt!
(Jones) I’m really looking forward to Incubus. I WAS looking forward to Ke$ha and Kings of Leon.
(Banta) I was looking forward to Flatfoot 56, and then we were informed we get to open for them so now I’m even more stoked!
So two guys in the band have the same name… does that ever get confusing?
I suppose it could to anyone who doesn’t know who we are, but to us it isn’t at all. Everyone in the band goes by their last name except AJ. To us, it’s Jones, Stemle, Banta, and AJ. Don’t know why it worked out this way, it just did.
Do you guys play any cover songs, or is it all original stuff?
We try to keep it all original, but the crowd does love a cover. We stick to songs that are in what we deem our genre to be. White Stripes, Tracy Chapman, etc… blues rock..
Let’s go back to concerts here for a second… what’s the best concert you have ever been to?
(Banta) Nobunny at the Bishop or The Black Keys at Bogarts in Cincinnati. Nobunny shows simply embody how a rock n roll show is supposed to be.
(Stemle) Dave Matthews Band Caravan this year in Chicago, three days of nonstop music of all genres, absolutely epic!
(Jones) CAGE THE ELEPHANT. Those guys know how to rock and the front man is very entertaining. THEY SOUND GREAT LIVE!
(AJ) My favorite concerts have to be a tie between the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Verizon Wireless Music Center or Tool at Verizon. Possibly one of the many times I’ve seen the Counting Crows.
What’s a typical Friday night look like for The Red Wire?
If we aren’t playing, it’s typically spent partying, being lazy, or playing Halo.
Have you guys heard of Spotify yet? Did you get an invite?
No, I don’t believe so.
How do you guys stay motivated from one day to the next? What keeps you coming back to the stage night after night?
In general, we all love to play music. Having a good time is essential and we push that hard in our live shows. As far as a career goes, it would be the first choice for all of us. There isn’t motivation. It’s a drive.
Where is The Red Wire in five years?
Selling out venues and pavilions playing to thousands.
(Jones) ALSO, PROBABLY PLAYING OVERSEAS. THINK BIG!
What do you want to be remembered for when this is all said and done?
We are nice guys who want to have fun, play music, and enjoy life. If we can get one person to get something out of our music/lyrics, all of us will consider ourselves a success.
I always let the artist get the last word. Go.
We are a rock and roll band. We are that and that only.
(Jones) IT’S JUST BEEN REVOKED!