Interview with Redhead Mack Band
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
This is Kevin Phillips, (lead vocal and guitar), answering, by the way, so there are probably some awesome things that could be said for Lee Carlson, (lead guitar); Jared Wiebe,(bass and harmony); and Ian Fraser Love, (drums). Of course, this interview would end up about 5 pages longer!!!
It was singing harmonies that initially sparked my passion for music…. and then discovering new types of music drew me deeper… early on,(14?) I sang in a barbershop chorus, then sang in folk and hard rock bands, studied opera, around 25 I started learning bass and guitar and started writing my own songs while I continued to play bass or guitar with other rock bands, traditional bluegrass, celtic, folk, etc. If I wasn’t into music, I might have ended up driving truck… it was a job I enjoyed except for the scheduling conflicts with playing.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I read a lot, I like to ride my motorcycle, and of course I love going to see other people play! The biggest influence on my own creativity is other people!
How long has your band been around?
There’s been some form or another for quite a while, but the current awesome lineup solidified in 2020!
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We’re in Calgary, Alberta, in Canada… which is world famous for the Calgary Stampede… so everyone is pretty aware of the country music influences.. but the whole band is originally from other places, so we bring in our own eclectic roots.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
I wish it was a more epic story… The name came from a mudflap of a transport truck on the way to an open mic…. It sounded catchy, and we didn’t have a good name yet.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Our most memorable shows have been the ones with audiences that sing along and dance! The show is always better when “us and them” blurs to just a room full of people having fun together.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already? There’s already lots of great rooms to choose from… The Ironwood Stage & Grill in Calgary has been really kind to us and always has great sound! There is also a long list of “one day I hope to play” venues…. The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver is probably at the top.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Man! These are actually hard questions to answer! There are SO many influences, AND so many absolutely amazing bands coming up… I think my answer would be different every few hours, depending on what I’ve been listening to…. Okay.. at this exact moment in time, I will say I would love to get to play with Foo Fighters, Mr. Big, and rising Canadian bands Brass Camel, The Haileys, Nick Johnston!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Just make the music you want to make…. Don’t write for marketability… that just homogenizes the scene and makes everything sound the same. Oh…. And practice more!
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Jump in with both feet! Don’t waste time treating music like a fun hobby while playing it safe!
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
“Pick It Up” is truly capturing the moment in time that I fell in love with playing electric guitar and where I realized just how much playing music means everything to me!
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
When the band plays “To The Coyotes” live, we pass around solos, and it is different every time!
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Various ways…. I may sometimes bring in a song and the band adds their parts, but sometimes a jam at practice is interesting and fun, so I will record it on my phone and then go home and try to flesh it out.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I think the most common message through my writing is let’s all try to get along!
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Not very often, but we’re all pretty good at just talking stuff out.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We’re kinda at a crossroads, in a good way, just trying to figure out how to step up a level and dip our toes in a little bit bigger pond…. Trying to see if we can figure out some international opportunities, etc., but nothing confirmed yet.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
www.redheadmack.com, @redhead_mack are the main ones!