Interview: Blood Art Poland

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Blood Art website

Soon you will release debut album, „Running from the Dawn”. Can you tell us something about this album? What can we expect from it?I have to admit that the description of your music on your Facebook profile is very interesting.

 

Rob: It’s difficult to be objective about it as I’m so involved with this album. What I can say is that in the past, I’ve been somewhat disappointed with the way in which albums I’ve been involved with have come out. This isn’t the case this time as the album has completely exceeded my expectations; I’m absolutely delighted with what we’ve achieved. The album consists of nine songs, each of which has its own unique identity and message. The tracks develop out of orchestral arrangements into upbeat alternative rock songs with swirling guitars and driving bass. Violin weaves in and out of the melodies, sometimes in support of the orchestral passages, as in ‘Without You’, and sometimes as a lead instrument with a folk edge, such as in ‘Running from the Dawn’. The lyrics speak of introspective and reflective ideas about faith, love, loss, joy, despair and hope. Whilst the songs may appeal strongly to a goth audience, there are other more contemporary influences and musical elements that overlap other genres. I think the songs have the potential to appeal to a wider audience. Like I say, it’s hard to be objective. I love the songs and I hope other people will enjoy them too.

 

The band was formed in 2011, soon after Rob Leydon finished composing the songs. So as I understand it, just when the material was ready, the decision was made to do something about it, disclose it to the public, and so the idea for the band Red Sun Revival was born?
Or maybe an idea for the band was born before the creation of the material and in order to create a band, the songs were formed?

 

Rob: The band was formed in 2011, by which time draft versions of all of the songs had already been written. The first of these, ‘Without You’, was composed in the spring of 2008. The remaining eight songs were composed by autumn 2010. Initially, I just wanted to start writing again after a long spell working with other bands and having taken a break for a couple of years from composing. As more songs emerged, the idea of forming a new band became more attractive and started to seem like a realistic prospect. I decided I’d try to get the material to a good standard before forming a band. The writing process was quite slow as I had numerous other musical commitments at the time, so it didn’t seem to make sense to get other people involved before I could be sure we’d have enough material for an album. That said, Christina and I had discussed the idea of forming a band quite early on in the process. Once draft versions of all eight songs were ready, I was introduced to Matt, and found Panos through an advert online. When we’d all met and played together, we decided to publicly announce our intentions and began learning the songs as a band. Last year we met up and discussed the material, how it could be improved and how we wanted to present it. We spent the remainder of the year putting the finishing touches to the songs and refining the lyrics before recording and mixing the album last winter.

 

Tell me, where did the idea for the band to be called „Red Sun Revival” come from?

Rob: The name arose out of several long and difficult brain-storming sessions. It’s impossible to pick a few words for a name that conveys the entire musical identity of the band, and as such we didn’t intend for the name ‘Red Sun Revival’ to encapsulate everything we wanted to achieve. Rather, we focussed on the kind of imagery that we might imagine as a backdrop for the music, and attempted to put that into words.

Matt: For some reason when I first heard the name it just sounded right. There’s nothing in it that is specific to any of us or any of the songs but somehow it paints the right picture. You can read what you like in to it. A red sun could be a sunset or a sunrise or the product of post-apocalyptic pollution or a distant star. A revival could mean bringing something back or coming back to life or a social movement. I love the fact that everyone can find their own meaning in it and in doing so they probably learn more about themselves than they do about us. I have also been told that I overthink these things from time to time!

 

In connection with the release your debut album, are you planing to tour gigs? Where in the near future will we be able to hear and see you?

Rob: For now we have gigs planned for London and Austria and we anticipate many more to be confirmed once our album has been released. We hope to tour extensively in support of the album, both within the UK and in mainland Europe. We would, of course, be delighted to play in Poland, should the opportunity arise.

Panos: The plan is for the band to play as many gigs as possible. We love performing our music live on stage and we are more than happy to travel anywhere that there is interest for the band to play!

 

Since the material for the debut album „Running from the Dawn” was prepared before the foundation of the band, what impact did the other members of this band have?

Rob: Christina, Matt and Panos all have great enthusiasm for the material and have made strong contributions in perfecting, performing and recording the songs. All three bring their own unique qualities to the group which have helped us achieve our goals and realise our ambitions.

Matt: Whenever you add new people to a band you change the dynamic. Each will have their own style, emphasis and nuances even if they’re playing the same notes as another musician. Christina’s live violin has added an organic shimmer to the string sounds which you can’t get from computer instruments. Panos is an amazing fingerstyle bass player so we recorded the bass fingerstyle even though Rob’s original versions used a plectrum. My musical roots are in rock and blues so I tried to really pull out the emotion in the overdriven guitar sections and the solos.

 

Watching your promotional photos, I have to admit that very much remind me of steampunk, were you inspired by this stylistic trend?

Rob: I think it’s more of a coincidence than anything. I’d recently seen Roman Polanski’s version of Oliver Twist and loved the imagery in the film. We thought we could try to pull off the same kind of shabby Dickensian look in an authentic setting, as though each band member were a character in a film. We’re all very pleased with the way the photos came out. I have to give credit to the photographer, Taya Uddin, who took these shots for us. I don’t know all that much about steampunk to be honest.

Matt: For me, steampunk has a stronger technological element than our pictures contain. There’s a wonderful fantasy mechanical aspect to steampunk with its brass, cogs and accessories. We didn’t try to recreate that. There are other people who do that far better than we could. At the same time we didn’t want to go down a classical ‚goth’ route of velvet jackets, silver topped canes and ball gowns. When Rob outlined his vision for a down-at-heel Victoriana look it struck us as something a little bit different but still very much in keeping with things that are happening in the scene at the moment. Of course the most important thing is that people enjoy the pictures. Hopefully they create a mood and a feeling that people relate to and that works with our music. That’s what we’re trying to achieve more than fitting in to any specific trend out there at the moment.

 

 

Since this is an interview for the Polish site, we couldn’t not ask you about Poland, so do you know any Polish words, food, or bands? Or maybe you have been to Poland already?

Rob: I’ve been to Poland quite a few times. I played at Castle Party in Bolkov last summer (2011) as a session guitarist for NOSFERATU and the year before, again as a session guitarist, for The Eden House. Additionally, I went once as a regular festival-goer and had a great time. I’ve also been to Szczecin for a few days and briefly to Wrocaw. I liked the food very much, particularly a delicious soup called Szczawiowa which I’ve had a few times, and of course Pierogi. I’m also very fond of a Polish Vodka called „Żubrówka”. I know a few Polish words but I won’t embarrass myself by trying to use them here! I tried learning the language a little while ago but gave up too quickly. Perhaps I’ll try again in the future.

Christina: I’ve never been to Poland before so all I can say is „Dzien dobry” and.. „kurwa” of course! The most essential words! One of my favourite films is „Podwójne życie Weroniki” by Krzysztof Kieslowski.

Matt: I had a girlfriend once who was half Polish. She’s lovely and we’re still very good friends. That’s about the extent of my knowledge. That’s not very good, I know!

Panos: I know a few Polish words that a friend of mine taught me, however they are too bad to be shared in this interview! Sorry!

 

Were you in any other band before joining Red Sun Revival? Or maybe Red Sun Revival is not the only band of yours, where else can we hear you?

Rob: For now Red Sun Revival is my only band, which is a good thing as I can devote more time to it outside of my day job. Before this I was the guitarist and co-founder of Voices of Masada before we disbanded in 2010. I was also a guitarist for Adoration until we split up earlier this year. As I’ve already mentioned, I played session guitar and also bass for NOSFEFATU, and have played session guitar for The Eden House.

Christina: Before joining Red Sun Revival, I played keyboards for elektro band FutureFrenetic and played a couple of gigs with them but unfortunately didn’t have the time to be in both bands so I decided to dedicate my free time to practising the violin for Red Sun Revival.

Matt: I also play in the goth band Pretentious, Moi? If you haven’t heard of us then please do check us out. The other band members are from some of the great ‚second wave’ goth bands – Manuskript, Dream Disciples, Die Laughing. We play some unashamed goth rock, but with a few slower, more atmospheric tracks thrown in as well.

Panos: At the moment, apart from Red Sun Revival, I play with a hard rock band called Portrait, where we combine heavy guitars and bass with melodic vocals. In general I love music and new ideas and I have always been interested in playing with different musicians of all kinds of music.

 

Are you planning to record or have you recorded a video promoting your music?

Rob: Yes, we are planning an official video. A friend of mine who makes videos for a living has kindly offered to do this for us and we’re currently working on the format for it. Hopefully we should have more to say about this soon.

At the end, what do you want to tell our readers?
Rob: Our debut album, „Running from the Dawn” will be released on 8th October through Resurrection Records. We also have promotional tracks on our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/RedSunRevival) if you want to check us out. We hope you’ll enjoy our album as much as we enjoyed making it.
Christina: Thanks for reading this interview and please do listen to our music as it’s hard to describe and the songs are quite varied.
Matt: There’s a lot going on in this album. Its soundscapes are broad, deep, intense and evocative. We really hope people will give it a try and that they find something that moves them in it.
Panos: Always have fun and listen to great music! And I hope you will enjoy our first album and discover something interesting in our music!

Photo by Taya Uddin

 

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