Interview with Scott Rowe of Redrumed by Dave Wolff
Redrumed has existed for a long time and boasts a massive track record. Tell the readers about your biggest accomplishments to date and how much publicity the band is getting?
Redrumed started as my solo band, coming off my Alice Cooper tribute which I retired after thirty years. The band played our first gig with Scott Rowe (vocals) on November 10, 2018 at Chopper John's. Last year I decided we should be a band, being that Matthew Taylor (drums, vocals) and Rob Erwin (bass, vocals) have been with me for four years, and Anthony “Doc” Tarantino (lead guitar, vocals) for three, and the name is easier to say. This past year or so, we've been recording with Tommy Gibbons at KMS Studios and he really helped us achieve our sound and be the band we wanted to be! Tommy was definitely a game changer for us! Our biggest accomplishment.... now we’ll just see what the future brings us.
Which songs by Alice Cooper were you covering in the tribute band you had before Redrumed? How often did this band play out while you were together?
My Alice Cooper tribute show is a legacy here in Arizona. It lasted from October 1990 to October 2020. I've been called the valley's founding father of copycat rock by Get Out Magazine in 2000. I retired it on its thirtieth Anniversary. I worked with Michael Bruce who wrote and played in the original Alice Cooper band. He was everything to me in the beginning, but that's another story. There are too many songs to list.
Your bio mentions when you started working with Redrumed, you wanted to avoid cover bands and play original music. When did you decide this and for what reasons?
Too many people want to be somebody else nowadays. On one end of the spectrum, I'm sorry for creating the tribute band scene here in Arizona. After doing someone's music for thirty years on and off, it gets old, I mean really old. You have to be on the road constantly to make a living. Where does that get you in the end? Not a damn thing! I didn’t want to fall into that! On the other end of the spectrum, I had a great run; it was a lot of fun! Besides getting to work with Michael Bruce, I was hired by Alice Cooper himself a few times, and played his restaurant many times. I got to do gigs bands only wished they could do. But if I wanted to do anything serious in music, I had to drop the Alice Cooper tribute, period! Run as far as I could! I always loved the dark side of music! I even created my own character with makeup, Silver*Tongue*Devil* which I got rid of over two years ago! No makeup at all now, we want to be more like Pantera!
What was it like to work directly with Alice Cooper and perform at his restaurant? To your knowledge, is it true that he feeds the homeless each year, around Thanksgiving or Christmas?
At Alice Cooper's opening back in December 1998 they needed a bass player. Alice Cooper, Neil Smith and Michael Bruce were going to do a reunion, and I said I had my bass player from my Alice Cooper tribute band and I could do an opening set. It was a really good night. I did some other shows including the Glen Buxton memorial. I remember in October 1999 we played on the same bill with the original Alice Cooper band.
Actually Alice still opens his restaurant before Christmas. He has all the kids from the orphanage come down and has cartoons on TV screens. I got to help serve food with Alice through friends. I talked to one about what a mentor Alice was. That was back in 2003, I think.
Redrumed’s bio states you started playing heavy rock and moved towards playing metal. You describe yourselves as “unapologetic melodic death life metal”. Describe your transition from rock to metal and explain what the term means to the band.
In the beginning we wanted to be the band we are now, but it took time. A mere hard rock band wanting to be a semi death metal band. Death/life metal came to me recently to describe our music. We covered Slayer’s “Dead Skin Mask” to help us in the early years, along with The Damned’s “New Rose”, which we still do here and there. Also Megadeth’s “Symphony of Destruction” and Amon Amarth's “Pursuit of Vikings”. We basically combined metal with death metal and some punk and there you have it! You'll hear our influences, but we don't sound like anybody!
What bands has Tommy Gibbons of KMS Studios worked with before working with Redrumed, and how has his experience brought out the band’s qualities? Do you generally find his ideas compatible with yours?
We have each song recorded one by one. We now have nine songs and are recording the tenth on November 26, then our album will be finished. Tommy Gibbons was in Flaw and Tantric, then he decided to step away and produce bands. He is our Bob Ezrin and he knows metal.
What methods has Gibbons used to help the band develop their sound? What equipment does he have at his disposal?
We don't do anything really special. We just go in a hundred per cent and lay down our tracks in four to five hours, and Tommy does the rest. This will be our first album ever. We have eight songs out now, but no one will hear the other two, “In the Key of Me” and “Mortified Mortification”, till the album comes out.
You have also gained exposure by playing with L.A Guns and Soulfly. In what way did you obtain these opening slots and what was the size of the venues where you performed?
We opened for a few national bands at The Marquee Theatre here in Phoenix, with Scott Rowe and Redrum. It was five years ago when we played with L.A. Guns. And coming up on four years when we opened for Soulfly in January 2020. It was Doc's first gig, and debut of “The Boogie Man Will Get You”. From there we started to slowly morph into what we are now!
In what ways do you expect the album to be an improvement for the band?
Our music is maturing as we go. Our first three years together was my old material with my previous band “Twelve Inch Tacks” which fell apart. When Doc entered the picture, that's when it changed. This past year and a half working with Tommy Gibbons was the icing on the cake!
You mentioned that Tommy Gibbons sang on "Pursuit of Vikings" and his performance left an impression on you. Can you discuss the time when he asked to offer the band support that way?
It was just once for me. I just wanted to be a performer so Tommy Gibbons said he wanted to do a little back up on “Pursuit of Vikings”. He did a great job of producing and I can't wait for everybody to hear it.
Who in the band is the lyric writer, and by what process are the lyrics written?
I write the lyrics… they just come to me out of nowhere. Sometimes I find myself with a pen and I can't stop writing. I started on a song about being a vampire, and all of sudden out of left field I wrote entirely different song lyrics and had it halfway done. A few days later, the band was messing around and there it was! By the week after I had the lyrics finished. It's called “Death on Borrowed Time”. It's about the Grim Reaper taking time out to find true love, and no one can die until he does! Musically, it has a Ministry “feel”. We'll be debuting it at Too Broke for Pudding #8 on December 8.
Name some of the singles you released to preview the album before its release, and indicate in general how the response to them has been?
We just released “Shelter Skelter” which has been getting a positive response! It’s the first song I sing out of the gate after the instrumental intro! “The Boogie Man will Get You!” seems to be a staple in our set. It’s very entertaining to perform live! I just adore “Black Sunday Domination” for which I wrote the lyrics off the 1960 Italian horror movie “Black Sunday”. The second part of the song is an ode to Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Abbott [Pantera], and dedicated to our backup singer Rickie Broeker who passed away early last January.
What is the storyline of “Black Sunday” and what aspects of it did you wish to convey in “Black Sunday Domination”? You mentioned that storytelling plays an important role in your lyrics. What techniques do you use to convey a story?
I was watching the movie and the lyrics basically wrote themselves. I love the second part of Pantera's “Domination” and for some reason it slid its way in. It's also dedicated to Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Abbott, and Rickie Broker. We had Selene Shiloh come in and recreated her vocals for the track.
Selene Shiloh designed the artwork for the album. Tell the readers how you arranged for her to design for you. What arrangements did you make for her to sing backup on "Black Sunday Domination"?
Selene is the singer of Trixie & The Ego Machine. She took the word "redrum" and added the crooked –ed to redesign it. She recreated Rickie Broeker's vocal on “Black Sunday Domination” and did a few shows with us as our back singer/muse.
Your song “Exacerbated” is about Dorothy Kilgallen, the New York journalist who investigated John F. Kennedy’s assassination and mysteriously turned up dead. What intrigued you about her story and the conspiracy theories, if any, surrounding Kennedy’s death?
I stumbled upon Dorothy Kilgallen by accident. One Youtube video from Mark Shaw is really intriguing; I listened more and more to what he had to say as he talked about his books. I did some more research and found an article with the word ‘exacerbated’ in it. I figured it meant her death was brought on by alcohol and meds, like Marilyn Monroe. I actually started writing that song a few years ago when I used to work for Office Depot. I was just kind of sitting there and the lyrics started popping my head. I started writing it down right then and there. We first recorded it under Scott Rowe and Redrum, our first ever time working with Tommy Gibbons. I read a comment on Youtube asking why isn't "Exacerbated" on Metal Mainstream Radio?
How did you come to partner with SelfMadeRecordsLLC for publicity and promotion? Since you began contacting the label, how have they treated the band?
I do believe our name come across their desk with “Shelter Skelter”. When they heard “Pursuit of Vikings” he asked us if we wanted to sign.
SelfMadeRecordsLLC will distribute your album through Earache Digital Distribution when it is released by SelfMadeRecordsLLC. What is the expected extent of the band's fan base expansion?
As far as the release, hopefully it will have the Quiet Riot effect on the world. I've been telling that to my boys the last few months. Last night's gig, the soundman played Quiet Riot’s “Cum on Feel the Noize”, their cover of Slade, right before we went on. I was thinking the same thing Ken Howey said, “Maybe it's an omen.” The soundman had no clue.
Are there any additional plans for the band to make a name for themselves, anything you would like to tell your listeners?
On December 19 we are having a special listening party in honor of my late wife Ronda on the second anniversary of her passing.