During the eighties, the NWOBHM scene produced a whole hurricane of talented bands. These days, many of them are still very much alive and successful. Lately, there have been a range of new bands, that seamlessly connect with the music and attitude back in those days, but still stand their ground in the new millennium. One of those bands is called REDLINE, a biker band, who have their rock and roll heart in the right place. Their debut album “Ignition” sparked off the holy fire in my heart and all the more reason to introduce this band to you a little bit closer....
When did REDLINE get together as a band, and how did the bandmembers meet up with each other?
Mark: "REDLINE was formed in January 2006. Myself, Martin And A.D. have stayed mates, since we all first played in bands together."
Did any of you play in other bands before REDLINE?
Martin: "Mark and I were in CHAINSAW, who had a single released, called “Police & Politicians”. We were then drafted into BITCHES SIN to play on the “Predator” album. After that came TAPAN ZEE, who recorded an album, called “Tourniquet”. It got played by Tommy Vance on the Friday Night Rock Show, but was never released. We eventually split up, because we couldn’t get a major deal, so it was time to move on."
Liam: "I was in LOVE & WAR. We had a management deal and released a single with an EP in the pipeline, but didn’t get the promotion we were promised and it all ground to a halt. After that, I joined THE IDOL RICH, who released the EP “Working Girls”. "
Who can we see as the musical influences for REDLINE? I named a few in my review already (ELIXIR, PEGAZUS, SAMSON, SAXON and WHITESNAKE), but I bet you can come up with some more names. Maybe you can name some influences of each band member individually here, too?
A.D: "Yes, WHITESNAKE 1987 era and VAN HALEN. I’m also a big JOURNEY fan."
Mark: "As a band, we are all really into JORN at the moment. I like Y&T and TEMPLE OF THE DOG. Anything, that kicks ass really: from straight no frills stuff like AC/DC to CIRCUS MAXIMUS and DREAM THEATER. "
Martin: "RUSH are one of my all-time favourites and I’m playing a lot of NICKELBACK at the moment. "
Liam: "GLENN HUGHES, JUDAS PRIEST, STEVE PERRY, FIREHOUSE and HOUSE OF LORDS. My taste in music is varied. "
Who came up with the name REDLINE, and why did you actually choose this name?
Mark: "We knocked a few ideas around and as we are all bikers. It seemed appropriate, especially as we wrote “King Of The Mountain” as a tribute to the riders of the Isle of Man TT road races (the most dangerous motorcycle road race in the world)."
How would you describe the music of REDLINE yourself?
A.D: "Hard, driving rock, stripped down, but still with plenty of hooks and melody."
Who writes the lyrics for REDLINE, and what are they about?
Liam: "We all bring stuff to the table and being into bikes, booze, more bikes and babes. Well, it’s not rocket science to guess some of the content!"
What’s the press been like towards your debut album “Ignition”? Did you also get any bad reviews, and how do you deal with those in general?
Martin: "Er…we haven’t really had any bad reviews as yet. It’s gone down very well! In any event, no one objects to constructive critisism. You can learn and respond to that. It’s just mindless slagging off that irritates and is pointless."
What’s your personal favorite song from this album and why?
A.D. "Difficult question really. We’ve invested a lot of time and effort into this, so they are all a bit special in one way or another."
Mark: " “King Of The Mountain” has become quite iconic for us. It’s the track, that has had the most radio plays."
Liam: "“Twistin’ the Knife”and “Some Kinda’ Mean”. Both songs brings back some memorable times I’ve had in New Orleans and Daytona."
Martin: " “Straight Between The Eyes”. It rocks, like it says!"
Let’s have a closer look at the REDLINE live shows, if we may. With which bands did you share the stage already?
Mark: "UFO, SAXON, TWISTED SISTER, TESLA, CRADLE OF FILTH."
Do you also use any show elements during your live shows?
Liam: "No, we like to keep it lean and mean."
What’s the biggest gig, that you played so far?
Mark: "The Hard Rock Hell festival, which was a total blast!"
Are there any important shows on the agenda for REDLINE?
A.D.: "We were scheduled to play at the NEC Birmingham at the ‘2008 Ink and Iron Tattoo Convention and Custom Show’, but it got pulled by the Police for fear of open warfare between the Hells Angels and The Outlaws."
Mark: "We are all bitterly disappointed. We played the Ink & Iron last year at The Carling Academy in our hometown of Birmingham and it was awesome. Still, we are doing the British Steel festival in April 2008, the Z Rock and Hard Drive festivals, as well as some dates in Germany later in the year."
Maybe you can share some funny stories here that happened while being on the road with REDLINE?
Martin: "We’ve had fire alarms go off in the middle of sets, roadies ligging so hard on the riders, they’ve broken arms falling down fire escapes. There always seems to be some sort of mayhem going off at any gig we do."
What’s the hard rock and heavy metal scene like in the UK? Are there many clubs where you can play live?
Liam: "It’s not good. The big venues only book eastablished name acts, smaller venues only want to book tribute bands. The scene for live music is better in the rest of Europe and that’s where we are looking at the moment."
What’s your connection to motor cycles? It seems, that you like to play a lot at biker and motor events?
All: "We love bikes, the lifestyle, its iconic. It represents a sense of freedom, breaking away from convention and bikers are a wild crew. They know how to rock and you are guaranteed a great time at one of their events!"
Do you ride a bike yourself, and if yes, what type of bike is it?
A.D: "We sort of represent all genres of bikes. I’ve got a classic, ’79 shaft drive Z1000."
Liam: "I’ve got Harleys, Mark has got a Thunderace and Martin’s ride is a VMax."
Let’s get back in time a little now. Can we see REDLINE as a mix of the rhythm section of BITCHES SIN (“Predator” line up) and the frontman of TAPAN ZEE?
Mark: "No, not really. In all honesty, the guys that went before us, were really the true BITCHES SIN. We were just brought in to play on “Predator”."
Why was Paul Bridgewater, the original singer of REDLINE actually fired?
Martin: "He wasn’t fired. He’s a great mate of ours and he agreed to do the EP, as we had so much interest in “King Of The Mountain”. He has his own band SLOWBURNER and just didn’t have enough time to commit to both."
How many copies were sold of this EP?
Mark: "It was a short run of a 1000, as we always intended to put all four tracks on the first album. A large proportion went as promos to radio stations. We sold the rest at bars and a few are stuffed away for posterity!"
What was it like to be in a band like BITCHES SIN?
Martin: "As Mark said earlier, we were only drafted in to play on the album “Predator”. We had a couple of weekends up in the wilds of Cumbria rehearsing, a weekend at Moor Green Studios doing a demo and a few weeks later, we had a deal with Heavy Metal Records to record the album in Smile Studios up in Manchester, which we did in five days! It was hectic!"
What do you both think about “Predator”, when listening to it nowadays?
Mark: "I think, we all hear the album that should have been. More studio time was needed to realise the album’s full potential.."
Why was it never released on CD?
Mark: "We need Indiana Jones in on this one. No one can find the bloody masters!"
Mark and Martin always seem to stick together somehow. Why do you think that is?
Martin: "We first played together in CHAINSAW and we sort of developed a telepathy, when playing."
Mark: "Yeah. He means, that we both make mistakes at the same time. Joking aside. You tend to get this happen a lot with bass and drums. You develop an instinct for what the other guys are going to do. It really helps in nailing the track down."
Did you set out a musical direction for REDLINE right from the start?
Mark: "A.D., Martin and myself were very focused on what we wanted to do. We sat down and said ,’right , we all like the same stuff, we all want to play a really direct style of hard rock, let’s get out there and have some fun with this! The only trouble was, we didn’t have a vocalist. We auditioned some, but we couldn’t find what we wanted. So we thought Paul’s a good mate, he has a great voice, let’s ask him. He might be up for it!!"
Liam, did you know REDLINE, before you joined them?
Liam: "No, I saw this advert for a vocalist and went down to meet the band. They had already recorded “King Of The Mountain” with Paul and I found out that this advert was months old. Anyhow, they told me, that Paul didn’t really have the time to take it further due to his other commitments. I ran thru the tracks on the EP with them in the rehearsal studios and it’s fair to say we were all blown away with what we heard an that was it. It all gelled and we got straight on with putting the album together."
A.D: "Yeah. We heard Liam and sing and we all knew immediately: that’s it. His voice is perfect for what we are trying to do!"
The album was recorded at the MadHat Studios in Coven. Was there a special reason why you recorded "Ignition" there?
Liam: "I had recorded there before and knew Mark Stuart, the owner, who is MAGNUM’s sound man and had worked with THIN LIZZY. He’s done loads of front of house work, so knows how a rock band should sound. MAGNUM and MARSHALL LAW kept popping in and out, while we were there, so there was a great vibe about the place. Mark engineered and Sheena Sear mixed the album. They make a great team. Sheena has a real talent for getting the sound that we want. We are working with her on the new material."
"Ignition" was released on Antarctic Records. Martin, that’s your own label, right?
Martin: "Yes, I set it up, so we could have complete control on our first release. We wanted to establish our sound without any interference."
Are you going to release other bands as well on Antarctic Records?
Martin: "We will be looking to help other bands and release their material on Antarctic."
Are you working on new material already, and if yes, what will it sound like?
Mark: "Yes, we have just completed three tracks for our next album “Relentless Authority”. The backing tracks were recorded at MadHat, additional work was done at The Old Smithy where JUDAS PRIEST have just finished recording their last album and we are mastering back at MadHat. Sound wise, it’s harder, darker, but still full of driving riffs, power and melody."
Liam: "It’s still riff laden rock. The biking culture is still there, but different themes are emerging in the songs. The overall feel of the album is more threatening. “Relentless Authority” is an album title, that suits the material well."
In April, you’re playing at the British Steel III festival with PRAYING MANTIS, LYADRIVE, ELIXIR and WITCHFYNDE. Do you feel part of the whole NWOBHM scene? Musically, you match very well, although you were not actually part of this movement....
A.D: "It’s only Mark and Martin, that were involved in any of this, so I can’t say we feel genuinely a part of it, but we all respect it. It had a huge influence on the way metal evolved and it produced some great bands and killer songs."
How important is the internet for a band like REDLINE, and where can people find your websites?
Liam: "It’s essential. If you have your own label, you need it for promoting yourself and as a portal for people to get hold of your music. You can buy “Ignition” online on our website: http://www.redlinerock.com."
Do you get much support from Dutch hardrock and heavy metal fans, or didn’t they discover you yet?
Martin: "We’ve sold albums to fans in Holland via our website and the reaction to the music has been really good. Record shops in the USA, Japan and Germany all order from us regularly and we are hoping that we can get stores in Holland stocking the album soon."
What will the future bring for REDLINE?
Mark: "We are trying to get a major label onboard for the release of “Relentless Authority”, as we recognise that it’s the only way to get to a wider audience. With that sort of backing, I think we could achieve a lot."
Do you have any goals with REDLINE?
Liam: "We want to play much bigger venues in Europe, The States, Japan, if we get the label backing we want. Definitely, a bigger recording budget, so we can really show people what REDLINE can do."
Do you have any personal messages for our readers?
Mark: "Just that all you guys are the real fans, who live it, eat it, breath it, grass roots fans. It’s magazines like Fury, that enable new talent to come thru’ and its readers are the ones, whose energy and passion for rock sustain and encourage bands like ourselves."
The last words in this interview are for the boys of REDLINE....
Mark: "Toine, thank you. It’s been a real pleasure..."
A.D.: "Yeah, thanks Toine. I know I speak for all of us, when we say that we are itching to get over and play in Holland. ">br> Martin: "Definitely. I’ve always wanted to play the Melkweg in Amsterdam!"
Liam: "Yeah, it’s been good, Toine! Give us all your support! Check out “Ignition” on the website and look out for “Relentless Authority” heading your way soon! "
Interview by: Toine van Poorten for Fury! magazine, NL - March 2008)
Official website: www.redlinerock.com
or My Space: www.myspace.com/redlinerockuk