Band: Miracle on Dauphin Street featuring Pop Evil and Red Sun Rising
Date: Friday, Dec. 11, with doors at 7 p.m.
Venue: Soul Kitchen, 219 Dauphin St., www.soulkitchenmobile.com
Tickets: $15 advance/$20 day of show/$35 reserved riser seating; available at Soul Kitchen, its website, Mellow Mushroom (both locations) or by calling 1-866-468-7630
Soul Kitchen, TK101, Vapor Hut and Miller Lite have collaborated to give the public an excellent Christmas gift. The first-ever “Miracle on Dauphin Street” will bring two of rock radio’s most beloved bands to LoDa. Before headliner Pop Evil takes the stage, the crowd will get to experience the sounds of Red Sun Rising.
For several years, the band from Akron, Ohio, has been working relentlessly to bring its music to the world. With the national, full-length debut release “Polyester Zeal,” Red Sun Rising is now seeing the benefits of its hard work. The album’s initial single, “The Otherside,” has reached the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s “Mainstream Rock Songs” chart, and its listening audience is growing each day.
Lead vocalist/guitarist Mike Protich’s conversation with Lagniappe provided insight into Red Sun Rising’s increasing notoriety as well as an explanation of its mysterious hashtag “#WeAreThread.”
Stephen Centanni: Tell me about the #WeAreThread hashtag.
Mike Protich: Basically, it came up in an interview, when we were being asked how to describe our music or what our influences were. From the very beginning, we always wanted to make sure that we always wrote music and songs that we like, rather than try to write for a genre. Our influences are all over the place, from the Beatles, Zeppelin and Otis Redding all the way up to Tool, A Perfect Circle and System of a Down. We like to take a little bit from each of those eras and each of those bands that make our sound and thread it together. It’s kind of an anti-genre genre. Thread is basically what we call our music, so we don’t have to say that we’re not just this or we’re not just that.
Centanni: This has been your year. You’re doing really well with your single, “The Otherside,” and your album is selling. When you think about the past five or six years, what do you think about your surge of recent success?
Protich: It’s been the same as it is now, but we’re able to do it on a larger scale. From the early stages of this band, we’ve juggled school and work and trying to make the band work. Now we can just concentrate on being artists … further our careers and do what we love to do, which is make music.
Centanni: I know there are many up-and-coming bands out there that are struggling to make it big. To what would you owe your success?
Protich: I would just say that it’s hard work and perseverance. We’ve never stopped. I would be lying if I said there weren’t times where we thought about quitting and moving on, when it got really hard. You’re trying to make ends meet and trying to figure out what you’re going to do with your life. Things don’t go your way, and you’re not getting the opportunities. Finally, something like this happens. You get signed, you make records and it goes from there. I would just say to keep doing it, if it’s something that you really wanna do.
Centanni: “The Otherside” has been a big hit for Red Sun Rising. What’s the story behind it?
Protich: That song is kinda interesting. It came out of thin air, really. We took a lot of songs that we had written over the years to make this first national debut record. “The Otherside” was one of those that came together in the studio, and it came together quickly. As far as the writing process, I don’t really remember it that much. It was one of those things where me, Ryan (Williams) and Bob Marlette (Black Sabbath, Rob Zombie) were sitting in the studio and vibing on these chords. Then a melody came out of it, and Ryan and I sat down and wrote the lyrics. Some of our best songs happen that way. It’s really quick and off-the-cuff, because it’s natural. I think that’s why it translates so well, because we didn’t have to think about writing that song. It just came out.
Centanni: The album title is unique. Where did “Polyester Zeal” came from?
Protich: “Polyester Zeal” was actually a song that didn’t make the record. It’s a song Ryan and I wrote back in 2009. Polyester is something cheap and obtainable. Zeal is something you strive for. The juxtaposition of the two is like saying, “What is your chief ambition or obtainable dream? No matter what the cost is, what makes you happy?” Making a national record for the first time became our polyester zeal, so it became the title of the album.
Centanni: You mentioned producer Bob Marlette earlier, and he has an impressive lineup of bands that he’s worked with. What did he bring to the table for this album?
Protich: The coolest thing about Bob — and this is one of the reasons that we went with Bob in the first place — is that when we were interviewing around for a producer, he said, “You guys have all the right things to make a great record. You have all the right tools, and I just need to show you how to use them.” That’s what he did. He tweaked us in a way. One of the things that he said a lot was that we didn’t need to “drive past the exit.” When we started going on an idea, instead of going down the rabbit hole, he knew when to say, “Stop, that’s it. That’s the line.” He acted as a coach, in a way, and sat back and let us do our thing. He just didn’t let us get off the range.
Centanni: You’re currently on tour with Pop Evil. After that, what’s next?
Protich: Next year is going to be full of touring. Of course, we’re always writing. Even since this record, we’ve written a lot of new songs. When will we record them, I’m not sure yet. I just know that 2016 will have a lot of touring and festivals that we’ll be announcing soon. It’s gonna be another year on the road, and we’re excited about that.