An Interview with The First New Band to Top The Rock Charts IN 2015, RED SUN RISING!
Posted On 23 Nov 2015
Tag: #godsmack, A Perfect Circle, Akron, Alice In Chains, All Access, All Access Music Group, All That Remains, Artist Interview, Black Sabbath, Bob Marlette, Loudwire, Mike Protich, MUSE, Ohio, otis Redding, Pat Gerasia, Polyester Zeal, Radiohead, Razor & Tie, Red Sun Rising, Ricky Miller, Ryan Williams, Seether, Shinedown, Soundgarden, Starset, Stone Temple Pilots, System of a Down, The Beatles, The Otherside, The Pretty Reckless, Tool, Tyler Valendza
The rockers Red Sun Rising shook up the rock world earlier this summer as their debut single “The Otherside” topped the Active/Mainstream Rock Radio chart. Red Sun Rising is the only artist in 2015 whose debut single has reached number one on the rock chart.
The Akron natives have received rave reviews for their stellar live show and their hook-laden rock songs. Loudwire said, “Musically, melodically and vocally Red Sun Rising are a band to give a listen to and their live performance enriches their sound tenfold. Their new song “The Otherside” is truly infectious and it’s one you’ll have on loop for days.”
Red Sun Rising joins Razor & Tie’s The Pretty Reckless, All That Remains and Starset, all who have hit the top 10 at Rock radio in the last year. Red Sun Rising’s Polyester Zeal was produced by powerhouse producer Bob Marlette (Black Sabbath, Shinedown, Seether).
The band is currently on tour with Godsmack right now.
Red Sun Rising is Mike Protich (vocals/guitar), Ryan Williams (guitar), Tyler Valendza (guitar), Ricky Miller (bass/vocals) and Pat Gerasia (drums). Protich and Williams grew up together and have been songwriting partners for half their lives. Valendza, the uber young, and once child prodigy guitarist has been with the band for the past 20 months and has become a key part of the songwriting team. Additionally, Williams and Valendza have perfected their “twin guitar” vibe reminiscent of the Gossard/McCready and Delson/Shinoda partnerships.
Learn more about Red Sun Rising in the following All Access interview:
Can you talk about how Red Sun Rising was first formed? How did you all first meet each other? Why do you think you work so well together?
Ryan and I went to the same high school and were in two different bands. We didn’t really know each other then. We met in 2006 through mutual friends and local musicians in the Akron area. Then we began writing together and started a band. In 2007 we started playing gigs. The band has been through several member changes but Red Sun Rising has always been Ryan and myself. It will always be that way. The writing in that very dynamic works well every time. It seems if one has an idea the other will bring the idea full circle.
The line-up we have now is the most solid to date. Tyler started playing with us about 4 years ago. Then Pat and Ricky (although old friends we’ve known for years) joined just after we recorded the record this year.
How was your latest US tour with All That Remains? And how’s your tour with Godsmack been going?
Hands down the best tour we’ve been on. Not only are the venues and crowds amazing, but the band and their crew have treated us like family. That goes a long way on the road; you feel like you are wanted there. As far as the reception from the crowds, it has been absolutely surreal. We put a lot of energy into every show and the crowds have been giving it right back to us. This makes for the best shows and the best tours.
Can you describe what some of your favorite shows have been like? What about your favorite crowds so far?
Ironically the first night of the Godsmack tour was an insane way to start. We were in a packed Missoula, Montana in a mid-sized theater. For some reason the crowd that night was amped from the downbeat of the first song. Theater shows are always my favorite. They are large but still intimate. You can really feel all the energy. San Francisco was amazing too. We played at the legendary Warfield. To play in a place with such a great history is truly amazing.
What does it feel like to be the first new band to hit #1 in 2015 with your single “The Otherside”? Did that surprise you at all? Do you feel any pressure at all to keep that momentum going in 2016?
Surprised…no. We have always been confident in our music. That being said, it did far surpass our expectations. It still hasn’t really set in and maybe never will.
We will just keep working hard every day and will try to give our best performance to every crowd we play to. Now there is even more pressure to be great. You can’t have a number 1 single and go out and suck. That just can’t happen.
What was the inspiration for your song “The Otherside”?
When Ryan and I were writing the lyrics we actually did it separately. We like to do this every now and then to see what each other comes up with. So it means something different for the both of us and hopefully it means something different for our fans as well. That’s the beauty of art. You can find your own meaning in it. We did agree to make “Otherside” one word because we wanted it to be a noun. We wanted it to represent a place of refuge, freedom, or the place you reach after you break the threshold of whatever is hindering one’s life. It could be addiction, a relationship, or even death.
What was it like working with powerhouse producer, Bob Marlette who has worked with some major rock groups like Black Sabbath, Shinedown and Seether?
Bob taught us so much. The best part about it is he showed us how to be ourselves. He is so good at taking the idea you have in your mind and actually making it come to life sonically. I felt that any idea I came up with Bob could sonically materialize it. My writing to this day continues to get better and more mature simply because of what Bob taught me.
Mike has been quoted as saying that your music “is not today’s rock, but it’s a new alternative”. Can you elaborate on that?
Our music is clearly melody based with a lot of texture, which we feel was missing from the rock world. We take strands of all our influences, from The Beatles and Otis Redding to Soundgarden and Tool, and we weave them together. There is a little bit of everything in our music. When Ryan and I first started writing songs we never wanted to write for a specific genre. We just wrote songs we loved and want listeners to categorize it however they want.
Can you talk about how being from Akron, Ohio has influenced you and the band’s sound?
Akron has a very strong music scene and art community. It’s full of musicians and artists that actually support each other. That mentality of pushing each other to be great is why I think there are so many great acts that come out of the area.
What bands have consistently inspired you all? Who would you still love to tour and work with in the future?
We all have our own individual inspirations. As a group some of our inspirations are The Beatles, Soundgarden, Tool, A Perfect Circle, Alice in Chains, System of a Down, Stone Temple Pilots, Muse, Radiohead and 90’s alternative in general.
What do you hope people take away from your music?
We just want them to feel something and find their meaning in our music. We leave some of the lyrics open to interpretation for a reason. If a song is too straightforward on its meaning then that’s just preaching a story that a listener might not connect with. We want people to listen to our music, connect and find their story.