Stoner rock’s favourite beer guzzling, pot smoking quartet Red Fang have had a wild ride in recent time. With their fourth album Only Ghosts out, we got in touch with the Fang‘s vocalist and bassist Aaron Beam for a Q&A to chat about the record and the ideas behind their hilarious music videos.
How was the recording process for Only Ghosts?
It was amazing! We went very deep into territories we had never gone before and it was a challenge, but in the end, this is the most rewarding album any of us have ever made. Ross (Robinson, producer) really digs in! We also lived in the studio, which meant we were living and breathing this record and nothing but for four weeks straight. We have never done anything like that before and it definitely feels much different to do it that way.
Was there ever a concept you had in mind for each of the songs you guys wrote?
Not at the outset of writing, no. Especially not stylistically or musically. Only once we started writing lyrics did we try to tailor the performance to match the mood of the lyrics. That is kind of the main thing Ross focuses on, making the message of the song be totally cohesive.
Do you have any favourites that you think will get a great reception from the fans?
My favorites to play live are Flies, No Air, The Deep, and The Smell of the Sound. We’ve been playing them live for 2 weeks in Europe and they seem to be going over pretty well even before the record release.
I’ve heard the album. I really dig it. It’s really catchy and heavy at the same time. But, would you say that there has there been much of a change that you guys have made on Red Fang’s persona as a band, along with the music that makes it what it is today?
We have certainly grown as people and as a band. This record does feel a bit more adult, but it is still clearly us. I’ve watched my son grow from an infant to a seven year old and he is very, very different now than when he was tiny, but clearly still the same person. It seems only logical to me that a band would change over time also. You might end up losing some fans along the way as a result, but that’s not really in our control ever anyway.
Although all of your albums have had great responses from fans and critics, where would you say Only Ghosts stands between all the other records you’ve done?
It’s my favorite one! It feels like a great combination of the live energy we pride ourselves on and the fanciness that you can add through the luxury of the studio.
You’ve been with Relapse Records since your sophomore Murder the Mountains. How much of a home does it feel like to you guys being a full time band, especially with Only Ghosts being part of the family?
We are treated extremely well by Relapse. Heck, we went camping with some of the dudes while doing a photo shoot up at Mt Hood for this record. I have no complaints whatsoever. They seem to understand where we are coming from and they have to approach our record releases from a business perspective, but they seem very aware of where the line should be between marketing and not pushing us too hard to be something or someone we aren’t.
You’re mostly well-known because of your hilarious music videos. Obviously, it plays a big part in Red Fang, but do you think the comedic music videos you guys do are the reason why you’ve been noticed more in the community?
In many cases, yes! I am forever grateful to Whitey McConnaughey for doing the first video he did for us (Prehistoric Dog) because it really put us on the map. I like to think we are a good enough band to keep people interested beyond the videos, but I could be blowing smoke up my own ass. Probably not, though. I’m not particularly flexible.
Where do you guys come up with those wacky videos of beer drinking zombies and live action role playing with armour made out of beer cans?
Whitey McConnaughey is the brains and brawn behind all our rad wacky videos.
Do you reckon we could see you guys returning to Australia sometime next year?
I certainly hope so! Off and on we have been talking to various promoters down there. We are totally into coming back we just have to find the right situation for it to work!
You guys seemed to have had a blast here when you came down in 2015. Was there anything in particular you guys wanted to do there that you couldn’t?
I would love to be able to spend a little more time off in Australia and go to the northern territory and check some stuff out up there. I would also like to meet the guys who made the Beached As cartoons!
Do you have any final words that you wanna say to the Aussie fanbase?
I do! Someone once told me long ago when I was a little boy with skinned knees and broken glasses that if you wanted to hear a copy of our record in Australia, that you should go to http://www.nervegas.com.au/redfang and order the CD or LP.