– Hello and, first of all, thank you so much for answering to our questions and congrats on your new EP. How is everything doing right now with REDSHARK right after having released your sophomore release? How does it feel?
Hello! And of course thanks to you for this interview, in Redshark everything is going very, very well, better than expected, we can’t complain and we didn’t expect such a good welcome.
– REDSHARK started as your solo project. What were your aims and intentions when you started writing under this name in the first place? How did evolve into a full band?
Before Redshark I had many other bands that split up and I grew very tired of the Metal scene in 2012, that was when I formed this project, but as I had many ideas, compositions and new songs I wanted to have a solo project to be able to record this material and to continue into the music world. I wanted to do a similar project as Quorthon of Bathory but playing Heavy Metal. As time went by, in 2013, Mark Striker (drums) wanted to join in the band because he had liked the songs and the band he was at that moment (Rotten) had split up, and for the guitar I wanted to count on Javi Bono because he played with me in our previous band.
– And how did you come up with the name? It’s very Metal sounding yet original, it reminds me a little bit to WHITESNAKE but also, is it a hint to CRIMSON GLORY?
It’s not a hint to Crimson Glory, many people think so but I just wanted a name that described our strong, fast and loud music, and the shark is the best animal for it. Of course we love Whitesnake and Crimson Glory, and “Red Sharks” by Crimson Glory, is a great song off an amazing US Metal album as “Transcendence” is, but the name is written Redshark, all together without a blank space.
– On your new «Evil Realm» we can see vocalist Pau joining your ranks. Where does he come from? And what has he brought to the band? He has a really powerful own essence.
Pau is an old friend and when I decided to leave the frontman position to totally focus on the guitar we wanted a vocalist that first connected with us as an individual and of course that had a good voice. He comes from the Heavy Metal band singing in Spanish Kill the Krait and also sings in the italo-spanish band Crimson Storm.
– This means you are now focusing only on guitar duties, in what sense does this make a difference? I guess where you really feel a difference might be on stage.
I consider that I still have a good voice but I wanted to take some burden off myself in the band. To be the singer, guitar player, songwriter, to answer emails, handle the social media, look for shows… It’s very tiring and for those songs we needed more potential than the one in the old tracks, so I would have to dedicate more time to rehearse, but right now I don’t have that time du to work and study reasons. I only wanted to enjoy playing this music and I didn’t enjoy singing those songs.
– In fact you have rerecorded «Destroy what Destroys you» with his vocals. Why did you decide to do this? How do you think his vocals bring new life to this song?
We decided to rerecord this song because it goes more in the line of the rest of the tunes from the EP. This new EP has a US Power Metal sound and the track that fits better and needed to be rerecorded was “Destroy what Destroys you”, which has improved with the talented voice of Pau.
– In what physical formats is it available?
Currently it’s in CD format. It’s available in Pentagram Music Store and Riff Raff Discos here in Barcelona and Falcata Distro in Madrid. The first press is sold out and for due to this we will have to delay the online sale until the second press is ready in the next weeks. It will also be available in cassette format by Witchcraft Records.
– If I’m not mistaken it’s selfreleased, did you decide to stick to a kind of DYI of working or you just didnt find a record label interested in putting it out?
We would have prefered to have a label releasing this album but our previous opus, «Rain of Destruction», didn’t have the quality that «Evil Realm» has, and it didn’t make sense to talk to labels having only mediocre material. We believe that it is very important to have a good presentation for record labels of course, and with this new EP we have already fulfilled this goal.
– On this new EP I think we can hear a better defined sound compared to your debut. Was this a natural evolution? As I guess after a first release you start to find out what the true personality of the band is, as well as to see what things work and what things don’t work. Or was it also a matter of wanting to keep things more diverse?
A little bit of everything, we wanted to write more mature material and try to have an own personality, because we didn’t want to be the typical average Heavy Metal band. e wanted to mix more influences and don’t confine the lyrical themes singing about nightlife, oarty and Heavy Metal as many other bands into our style do, and of course we will keep this style in the upcoming releases.
– Overall it sounds more aggressive, goes more into a US Power direction still keeping a lot elements from Speed Metal. Does Speed Metal give a more tight framework if you try to avoid repitition?
Yes, I like a lot writing Speed Metal songs, but we wanted more diversity, for example mid tempos, some prog passages… And in the end the result is a more US Power Metal oriented sound than on our previous songs. It was a natural evolution. When you play Speed Metal it’s easier to be repetitive.
– There’s even some epicness, as we can hear on «Stronger than Ever» (epic and that kind of «spatial» vibe ala AGENT STEEL), and it was the first track you released. Why did you choose this one? Is it a good portrait of the diverse content we can listen on the EP?
This song was written in 2013! It was a reject from the “Rain of Destruction” EP because at that time we were three members and without one guitar this song losts so much… When we brought “Stronger than Ever” back with two guitars the result was absolutely killer and we knew that it was going to be the first track. It felt like writing a new song. I think that it isn’t similar to Agent Steel but probably it’s close to Virgin Steele or inclusive Manowar.
– «Evil Realm» blends all the aforementioned with Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, NWOBHM… We can find similarities to different bands from the 80’s but, what newer (let’s say from the last 10-15 years) have inspired the music of REDSHARK?
We love all the genres that you just mentioned, it’s undisputed that we love bands like Exciter, Metal Church, Savatage, Lääz Rockit, Judas Priest, Anthrax, Razor, Raven… But each one of us listens so many different music styles. For example I also like Death Metal, Black-Thrash, AOR, Disco, Disco Funk, Southern Rock… Javi is a big fan of 50s Rock’n’Roll, Synthwave, Stoner, Doom…, Pau also likes 90s Punk, Mark likes Modern Metal and Chris likes Black Metal or Sleazy… We aren’t narrow-mided when it comes to music, even though we play Speed Metal.
– You stick in any possible way, from the cover artwork to the sound and themes to a very 80’s style. What’s to you the most important thing in an album into the style? The overall feeling and attitude? The sound? The speed?
To me nowadays all aspects are more important than back in the day. Right now we live in the era of inmediacy, with an excess on information and of course there are a lot of bands. A band needs to take care of all the aspects, from the sound of the album to the cover artwork. In the 80’s it was very common to find bands with a poor sound quality, for instance in Spain the English level was very bad, moreover at that time it was very difficult to have a band. In 2019 (and soon 2020) it’s easier to produce music, a lot of bands record their releases at their home or rehearsal room, and the sound is killer. In the 80’s or 90’s this wasy very difficult, and I think that the current Spanish Metal bands have a higher level than the bands from those days. Due to these reasons I think the current crowd is more demanding than before.
– Lyrically you deal with different subjects too, there’s even social lyrics. Do you put a focus on them? Having social lyrics can help make more people relate to them, is this something you are striving for?
Yes, we write more social lyrics because we are working class people… Personally I’m very tired of this corrupted system and of politics, I respect all (or almost all) ideas fro all people but I need to express the anger that I feel.
– But also tracks such as «Stronger than Ever» are all about the usual Metal cliches. Personally this is something I really appreciate in old school sounding releases. Do you think sticking to certain stereotypes is almost necessary to build this kind of 80’s aesthetic and to provide something entertaining?
As I have said before, this song is from 2013, at that time I wrote more lyrics with Metal topics, honestly I thought about changing the lyrics to this song due to this reason. If you pay attention, the other lyrics on the EP deal with more diverse topics. Nevertheless, inside what we consider the cliche Metal lyrics, the lyrics for «Stronger than Ever» aren’t a big deal, aren’t they? Haha
– One of the biggest differences between both releases is the production, sounding here way more professional. How did you work on it this time around? What are the pros and cons of not handling recording duties yourself as you did for your debut?
I recorded the previous material by myself. I think that my ideas are enough clear to keep recording Redshark releases, but I don’t own the gear for it, and this is something I realized about after I saw the result on «Rain of Destruction». This being said, if we wanted to get something done right, we needed to record in a good studio and have a good mastering job. Then we finally decided to do it with Jaume Perna, as he perfectly kknows what we want, since he is a fan of this style, his shcedule is pretty flexible (work, studios, and different personal issues sometimes make things harder) and he is a good friend of us. We will never thank them enough for the work he has done.
– The cover artwork is an evolution from the previous one, what does it represent? Is it a nod to «Refuge Denied»? I guess the red shark will be your mascot forever and ever.
Of course the red shark in the covers will be always our mascot. Forever and ever, and of course it will be always in the covers! Also it’s a nod to “Refuge Denied”. It was totally intentional. In the “Rain of Destruction” the shark enters the city to destroy, and on the new one the shark has conquered the city. All covers will be the history of the red shark and we always want Jose Antonio Vives to make our art.
– Also the fact of having your own mascot, your own Eddie, your own Snaggletoth, your own Vic Rattlehead is also a nod to the 80’s, from where you draw the bulk of your inspiration. Was this the idea?
Totally, and of course with this band name it was almost mandatory to have a mascot. In fact, we will release a t-shirt design only with the shark, it will be like the classical t-shirt of Snaggletoth t-shirts from Motörhead, the classical Ramones t-shirts or the Rolling Stones’ tongue.
– All this about «Evil Realm» being said; how would you describe it in just 3 words?
Angry, strong and destructive.
– Next weeks you will play with none less than EXCITER, I guess you might be exited (pun intended). How did this come to be? How are you feeling about it? Such a way to introduce your new EP live!
As you can imagine we lack on words. I’ve been talking to Javi from Octopuss Productions a lot to book a date with this promoter. He liked our style and when he was about to book Exciter he didn’t hesitate to contact us. We are very excited with that date, it’s going to be a fantastic night and of course all three bands will do our best.
– You have also been confirmed to play at Taunus Metal Festival, in Germany. This will be your first time playing abroad. How important or how do you think moving away from the circuit of Barcelona can open new doors for REDSHARK?
It’s a great step, and an incredible opportunity, we didn’t imagine that we would get to play abroad, even less in one of the countries where the Metal scene is at it’s best. We have to give the best of us, as we do in all our gigs. If we manage to convince and be liked enough, who knows if in the future other German festivals will count on us. To me it is one of the countries that it has a stronger Metal scene.
– That’s all from our side, thank you once more for answering to our interview. If you’d like to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Thank you very much for the unconditional support. Really, we would be nothing without websites like this or without the people that would read this interview. It has been a very complete interview! We hope that everybody will give a listen to our new EP “Evil Realm”!