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Taking Music To The People With REDHOOK

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Words and interview by Kyra Jade-Coombs

It really is a damn treat when heavier bands grace Cairns with their presence. A genuine sight for sore eyes rocking up at the venue to a sea of metalheads, patiently waiting to UNLEASH. Everything was a buzz in the venue, all hands-on deck, just how I like it. First, I sat down with Jake to talk about In Hearts Wake’s tour Green is the New Black with Redhook, Pridelands and Banks Arcade.

Green is the New Black documentary is due to be released on October 20, 2022, through iTunes and DocPlay. This is not to be mistaken for your run of the mill band origin story, it’s about shining the light into those uncomfortable dark places. Bringing together creatives, experts and professionals alike discuss what a more sustainable future looks like for touring musicians. You only have to look back at the last few years of major bushfires, floods, and extreme droughts we in Australia have been through to see we need to make BIG changes to ensure our future. In this documentary, you see what changes In Hearts Wake and other like-minded people are doing to change the future of touring. “Discover inspiring solutions for a new earth-aligned way forward”. It’s very cool to see a band lending their voice to such an important cause.

Accompanying the documentary is a subtly released, huge 20 song soundtrack. According to Jake, the first 5 songs were written before the film, however seemed to match well with the story they were trying to tell and made the cut. The other 15 tracks were made to the film and scenes, really capturing the mood of “this is the bushfires”. Jake explains “We were able to evoke that emotion through music, ambiance and all kinds of different instruments.” I wondered how the reception had been for this type of album from In Hearts Wake and I got an answer that surprised me, “It’s just out there like, oh they have new music, but they don’t have any context yet. As far as feedback, I think people have been getting into the songs in a new environment, putting it on late at night to focus and get things done. It brings a new color to what we do”. I personally think it’s cool to surprise fans with new material that can take them to the ‘zen den!’

Going on a 27-stop tour and wanting to be environmentally aware of your footprint is no small mission to take on. Everything you do is leaving a footprint along the way. I asked what it looked like to do such a monster tour environmentally focused to which Jake replied, “On the side of the stage we have these big solar batteries that we charge up and get around 4 shows out of which powers our lights on stage and all of our gear, closer to being self-sufficient.” He then went on to explain that all their receipts for fuel, hotels etc. are all kept so that they can try calculating their emissions and offset the footprint as much as possible.

Trying to be eco-friendly doesn’t come cheap. Organic cotton T-shirts and eco vinyl’s all cost more money to produce in a society where we are ‘trying to make as many as we can, as cheap as we can’. Jake explained, “We could make shoes for $2, sell them for $100. Or make shoes more sustainably and sell for $60 with better quality. You may pay more now but know that you are getting something better for the earth an environment”. For me personally, I’m into it! Why wouldn’t we look into such options?

All this environmental talk got me wondering if they got out there to explore Cairns and indulge in the nature that they are trying so hard to save! Surprisingly, Jake explained these regional shows can be his favorite kind. “Being able to do the waterfalls, getting a good dose of the raw, rugged and awesome nature is the best. As awesome and wonderful as shows can be, sometimes they can melt into one big experience. The times where we connect with the actual place and get a feel for what the place is, is the best”. Who can blame him either? I too would rather be submerged in crystal clear creeks after being cooped up in small rooms and vans!

This really got me thinking. It’s impressive to see a band not only passionate but ACTUALLY out there doing their part to make a change. What an amazing example of what being a sustainable musician can look like.

Punk and hardcore is about having a voice and speaking up for what you believe it. Call me a geek, but I think it’s fucking amazing to be Mother Nature’s voice! I’m excited to see what else these fellas
get up to next.

Check out the trailer for Green is the New Black:

Next on the list was finding Redhook for a yarn! We found a quiet space for the interview and today that was the playground area, ironically. Initially I thought I was interviewing Emmy by her lonesome but got the ‘whole hog’ so to speak and was stoked Craig, Alex and Ned joined us too!

We spoke about things ya’ll dying to know about like WHAT THE FUCK IS A JABBERWOCKY?!?!, what’s been happening on tour, Redhook’s origins and other downright delicious content.

Now I’ve wanted to watch Redhook for quite some and tonight was finally the night. They are this high energy ball of fuck yeah and I jumped at the chance to see this Sydney band.

Even though this gig was at my least favorite venue, sound isn’t great, and you have to peep around pillars just to see the band, I knew that it would not matter, and they would kick ass. Firstly, the boys came out and starting G’ing up the crowd. Not before long, Emmy comes running out like a bat out of hell ready to fuck everyone’s faces off and goes straight into Only Bones. The showmanship of Redhook was impressive. Everyone was engaging with the crowd and getting everyone moving like a puppet master.
I just remember watching them going “holy shit, there’s so much going on in perfect chaos”. I swear I can hear touches of Korean Metal, rap and all sorts of other Easter eggs popping up. It’s a fucking ride and I was strapped in. At one point there was a Saxophone circle pit Redhook ever so kindly “ticked off our bucket list” for us.

Something that stood out to me, and I did want to mention, was the fact that Emmy did a shoutout to survivors of sexual assault before playing Jabberwocky, the crowd cheered her on, and it was a nice feeling. Que fuckface standing at the front of the stage pretending to grope her whole body like an absolute grub whilst she’s speaking. You are the problem, buddy. Listen to the words the woman is saying, you neanderthal.

Anyway, quickly becoming one of my favorite things about being a music journo’ is meeting bands who will start off with this calm, soft spoken and quite often shy demeanor. When you finally get to see them perform on stage and bring to their show to life and this fucking beast presents itself… it truly makes me smile. Seeing musos absolutely lose themselves into an actual metal gremlin is my bread and butter, I live for that shit. Be yourself and be proud!!

I managed to pull my shit together and get audio for this one, so sink your teeth in and enjoy! Redhook are a fucking time! If you get the chance to see them, DO.

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