Melbourne band Redcoats are certainly one to watch. Days away from both their debut album release and first national headline tour, lead singer Emilio Mercuri spared a few minutes of his busy schedule to explain what is going on with the band.
MF: Tell us about writing for the new album, going to isolated areas such as The Grampians and Daylesford.
EM: We went around central and rural Victoria for a while, for about two-and-a-half years and kind of just got to know eachother, to the point where we could pick up an instrument or not. You know, just scream something at one another, for the other one to respond in a way that we could mould something out of it. We tailored that kind of recipe for a while and built really big jams and broke them down. We came up with about 40 – 50 songs to start culling for an album and managed to come down to about 15 songs that we took up to Byron Bay. We jumped into Studio 301, where we spent about 3 weeks, just recording them the way we wanted them, keeping as much of it as live as we could and basically getting a really cohesive album that people can listen to from start to finish: something they can come back to in time and enjoy it as much as they did the first time.
MF: What were your major influences behind the album?
EM: I guess there’s no real major influence as such. We try and take more inspiration from anything that pops up on a day-to-day routine, whatever throws a spark towards us. We try and capture it and really pay it some sort of homage. We like to put ourselves out there in a natural environment. We can definitely just get up, leave a room and walk outside to see a horizon with a big industrial kind of depth, you know a skyscraper kind of in your peripherals. It was something that we tried to keep constant, like being able to roll around in the grass, just basically not listen to a car driving past. It definitely worked well for us this time around.
MF: Can you tell me about recording the new album with producer Dave Schiffman? He’s worked with a huge list: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nine Inch Nails,and The Mars Volta, to name a few.
EM: Yeah, he’s done quite a lot. He’s also worked with Tom Petty. He was great! The reason we decided to bring in someone like Dave was purely because of the way he offered to bring the best out in us. We focused on our ideas as opposed to his, and let them flourish in an environment that we weren’t necessarily used to. It was a much bigger forum for us to record this album in comparison to the previous recordings we have done. We obviously had a few more resources involved this time around, which was great. He had been in that sort of playground before and offered his knowledge for us to absorb with excitement.
MF: How has the new album stepped up from the EP?
EM: It’s just basically matured. Since the EP, we’ve had the chance to go around Australia 6 or 7 times and play on really big stages. We’ve been able to play with bands that have been around for 20 – 30 years. We just obtained as many learning experiences as we possibly could. We found new things and new music that really offered us some sort of creative indulgence. We took them on board and realised that the things we wanted to do had less angst and were a little bit more meaningful to us. With the album, we really worked on cohesion, having something that really molded into one another, and took us on some sort of trail that we could put on for a song and flow through to the last one, while being taken on the highs and lows that we’ve been through the past couple of years.
MF: Was Raven an obvious first single to release from the album?
EM: I’m not necessarily sure if it was a single that just stood out to us and needed to be first. At the time, we thought it breached the gap between the EP and the album, being the strongest out of any of the other songs. It definitely worked well for us, and people responded in a really great way. We just like that song; it has a really good rhythm. For people who have been swept off the magic carpet, it definitely puts them back onto it again. We were pleased to put Raven out first.
MF: Previously you mentioned that you have performed on some big stages. You’ve supported bands like Karnivool, Grinspoon and Stone Temple Pilots. What was that like?
EM: It was amazing! It was something that we’ve always aspired to be able to do at some point on our own. To really see that energy between bands, that knowledge of one another that they’ve managed to have hold of for so long and to maintain a strong connection with one another, it’s such an amazing thing to be able to witness. From our experience, it’s enlightening to see a band operate on such a big stage, with a crowd that absolutely loves them, and knowing that it’s achievable and knowing how much it means to the artist and also to the people that are watching. It’s something that we will always hold close to us and strive towards again.
MF: How did you react to Dreamshaker polling at number 76 in the most recent triple j Hottest 100?
EM: I’m not sure how much attention you can really pay to all of that. I guess it’s definitely something that the people vote for. It was a great feeling at the time and people really responded to Dreamshaker. It was our first release, so it was a great introduction for us and people got the vibe that we’re really living and breathing what we’re doing. We’re trying to achieve things that are really important to us and the live music scene in Australia, and potentially the world that is rock ‘n’ roll. It seems to be illusive at times in Australia, but it was a great feeling for people to respond to it like that.
MF: What are your plans between now and the launch of the tour?
EM: At the moment, we are in the studio everyday writing the next album and also preparing the set for this tour. We are getting the songs at a really strong level to be able to offer to people and just really enjoying eachother’s company. We took a few weeks off after the Karnivool tour a few months ago, so it is just great to be back in a room together and letting the pot stew again for future releases, which is really exciting for us. If we wake up and we’re not going into the studio, something is a little bit wrong.
MF: What can we expect from your upcoming national tour?
EM: We are doing a nice span of shows. People can expect an honest rock ‘n’ roll show with all the characteristics that we’ve held close to us for a long time. You know, keeping it raw and keeping it loud, and keeping those imperfections available to the people that are listening so that they know where we are and that it’s live. What we are doing is heartfelt. We just try and give a really strong vibe with our crowd who are coming to see our first national headlining tour. It’s basically allowing us to free ourselves up and to indulge in what we wouldn’t necessarily be able to as a support. We’re pretty excited to be able to offer everyone the whole album in a live forum and all the B-sides that we weren’t able to share with them on the album. We’ll also be performing a few cool covers.
Redcoats’ self-titled debut album is out October 19.
Who’s Rollin’ Tour:
Thursday, 8th November
Karova Lounge, Ballarat
Friday, 9th November
The Bended Elbow, Geelong
Saturday, 10th November
Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne
Thursday, 15th November
Star Bar, Bendigo
Friday, 16th November
Whalers Hotel, Warrnambool
Saturday, 17th November
Jive Bar, Adelaide
Thursday, 22nd November
Alhambra Lounge, BRISBANE, QLD
Friday, 23rd November
Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay
Saturday, 24th November
Spotted Cow, Toowoomba
Thursday, 29th November
Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle
Friday, 30th November
Annandale Hotel, Sydney
Saturday, 1st December
Transit Bar, Canberra