Redhook: Smashing Down Genres To Put Australian Rock On The Map
The Australian rock scene is blowing up right now. Sure, you’ve got the big boys like Parkway Drive and The Amity Affliction bringing metalcore to northern hemisphere, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find bands like Hellions, Trophy Eyes, Ocean Grove and Redhook propping up the underground.
Inspired by the likes of twenty one pilots, Bring Me The Horizon and Don Broco, colourful crossover crew Redhook have pulled together their collective love of nu-metal, EDM and emo rap into something full of bounce and vigour.
Despite only existing as a band for two years, the trio of Emmy Mack (vocals), Craig Wilkinson (guitar) and Suburban (bass) have been fired into the stratosphere, picking up support slots with The Faim and Hands Like Houses, plus a slot at Download festival in Sydney.
With a spot on this year’s UK Download festival coming up, we caught up with Emmy to find out what Redhook were all about, and why they’re driven to stand out in a sea of normality.
What is the ethos and meaning behind the band?
“For us it’s about giving back. Since we were kids, music has always been there for us, like an understanding friend during our darkest moments, making us feel less alone and helping us get through the shit times. Ultimately we hope that our music can help other people in the same way.”
You’re a mash of different genres. What influences your music?
“Honestly, Craig and I tend to be most inspired to write when we’re feeling negative emotions really intensely. Grief, anxiety, depression, anger… it sounds bad, but it’s actually kind of a productive way to deal with those feelings – it helps us process them in a positive way and move forward. We joke that it’s like exorcising our demons!”
How would you describe RedHook to people who haven’t heard you before?
“Screaming-rap-rock-electro-pop mutants fighting against the forces of darkness inside our own heads.”
You just played Download festival Sydney, how was it?
”Insane! Such a vibe! The Sydney leg is only tiny compared to the UK one – something like a fifth or maybe a quarter of the size. But it was the first time ever the festival was held in Sydney, so it was a huge honour to be a part of that milestone. Casually knocking back tinnies in the artist area just metres away from Anthrax’s Scott Ian and Sum 41’s Brownsound was pretty cool, too.”
You’re also heading out with Sevendust. How do you think you’ll go down with their fans?
“Oof, you’re making us nervous now! Hopefully they dig what we do – Sevendust were a bit before our time but we feel so honoured for the opportunity to be heading out on the road with such absolute legends of rock. I’m sure whatever happens, we’re going to learn a lot from the experience.”
You’re playing Download festival in the UK this summer. How are you feeling about it?
“Forgive the crass Aussie vernacular but we are deadset shitting ourselves with excitement. And nerves. Nervous excitement.”
What are you expecting from your first major UK show?
“Honestly, we have no idea what to expect! People have been telling us horror stories about the weather over there so we’ll definitely be packing gumboots. But we’re just so beyond pumped to be playing Download with so many legendary bands – Slipknot, Tool, The Smashing Pumpkins - that lineup is seriously nuts! To be honest we’re almost as excited just to be getting to go to Download UK as we are to play it!”
What is happening the Australian rock scene right now?
“It’s a really exciting time in the Aussie rock scene right now: it feels like there’s a bit of a renaissance happening. We had a few kind of bleak years without any major rock festivals down under after Soundwave and Big Day Out both collapsed and heavy music almost disappeared off the radio. But now we’ve got a stacked calendar with two world-class roaming rock fests (Download and Good Things), plus UNIFY Gathering which is a bit more boutique. There’s also a fresh generation of killer new acts coming up through the scene who are making waves both nationally and internationally, many of whom, like us, are actually female-fronted – big shoutout to our mates in Yours Truly, Stand Atlantic and Pagan!
“There are still obstacles of course, especially here in Sydney where the government’s lockout laws and drink curfews have killed off dozens of iconic live music venues, and right now the jerks seem to be doing their best to shut down all our music festivals. We’re not even kidding, the war on music festivals is real, but it’s been really heartening to see the music community banding together in the face of that and growing even stronger. Overall it’s a very inspiring and cool time for rock music here right now!”
Your image is very striking and full of bright colours. How important is your visual aesthetic?
“When it comes to our sound, we never wanted to fit neatly into a box, so it was always important that the band’s visuals reflect that too. We’d rather people see a picture of us and think ‘What the fuck are these guys all about?’ than ‘Oh yep, here’s another metalcore/pop-punk/X other genre band.’”
What do you want to achieve with Redhook? What is at the end of the rainbow?
“It’s funny to be thinking about the endgame so early on in our careers, but I guess it’s probably much the same as every band. To tour our arses off all over the world, to contribute something positive to peoples’ lives and get to a point where we’re able to quit our day jobs and play music full time. Dare to dream!”
Catch Redhook at this year’s Download festival at Donington Park, UK, on June 14-16. Get your tickets now.
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