Friday, February 15, 2013

Raedon Kong Interview

 1. Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before?
We are Raedon Kong, a two piece soon to be three piece, experimental, heavy, psychedelic, progressive, melodic rock band from Lafayette, Louisiana. We are a guitar player (Stephen Sheppert) and a drummer (Dave Leonard)…we both sing, though Stephen takes on lead vocals-he’s got a better voice than I haha!  We also incorporate synth textures via a roland PK-5A pedal, similar to Geddy Lee’s setup.  The bass signal is the result of a signal splitter through a series of octave/distortion pedals to add low end.  We write a lot of music, that’s our main focus right now, just writing more ideas.

2. How would you describe your musical sound?
Our sound is, from what we think as well as feedback from others, a hybrid cross pollination of heavy bands like Yob, Isis, Neurosis, Mastodon, Zeni Geva and a lot of King Crimson, so a lot of early prog vibes going on in there as well in terms of structure and flow..i’ve even heard references to bands like Big Black, Fuckin Champs, The Police, Sonic Youth ..

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
As far as lyrics go, we write a lot about man’s nature as well as personal perspective, inner turmoil, brooding ,existential type subject matter  also some political stuff, nothing preachy, just writing’s on the wall kinda stuff, metaphorical mostly, creating apocalyptic scenes via lyrics.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
Raedon Kong came from Rae Dawn Chong, the daughter of Tommy Chong. She was in some cool movies back in the 80’s.  Commando is the one that comes to mind.  Stephen came up with it, and we agreed that it sounded huge, so we kept it.

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
We actually haven’t played that many shows, but my most memorable one would be a skate bowl jam on Mardi Gras(Fat Tuesday) in 2012 in Lafayette.  It was rad to be rocking out to a bunch of local rippers jammin down in front of us.  That was awesome!!

6. Do you have any touring plans for the future?
No touring plans right now, if something arises in the future we’ll see but we’re pretty much locals due to jobs, bills and family life but we are open to possibilities.

7. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label and if so what kind of label do you feel that would be a perfect fit for the music?
Honestly we don’t know much about record labels or what they really do for bands.  We’ve talked about getting onto a record label and getting a demo/press kit together.  It would be really cool to get onto a label that could do things for us that we could not manage on our own, but in today’s environment it’s not necessary.  A band can generate their own buzz and do their own thing without the help of a label.

8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your album by fans of underground music?
We get really positive feedback from everyone that hears our music.  Many people from other  countries have responded positively to us, so it’s reassuring to us that our music is striking chords within people everywhere. It’s a good feeling to know that the result of our efforts and passion is inclusive not exclusive.

9. Are there any other musical projects or is this a full time line up?
Raedon Kong is full time number 1 project/band/group whatever you want to call it.  There have been some side projects here and there but they never measure up so they fizzle out.

10. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
Well our newer material will be approaching or should I say going back to a more technical  vibe…not for the sake of exhibition, but we have things to say and these ideas come up and this is where we are at right now…we try to always have some kind of melodic purpose in our music and the newer material will be no exception to that, but I’ll say this, we have some really inspired material that we’ve tapped into. Definitely some new doors opening up.

11. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
We grew up listening to all sorts (classic rock, 80’s radio hits, got into Iron Maiden and Metallica somewhere in the mid 80’s).  (Dave )- In the 90’s I was listening to things like Samhain, Napalm Death, Confessor and early Corrosion of Conformity, 80’s era punk and Hardcore(American European Japanese) as well as getting back into earlier things like early Rush albums and a lot of jazz and fusion music at this time…started getting into Black Sabbath…now I listen to anything that anyone wants me to hear.. as well as all of those things that came before. (Stephen)  Luckily my Dad was a musician with diverse musical taste, I was exposed to a lot of Pink Floyd, Sabbath, Miles Davis, Zappa, just about everything.  Then hair metal bands like Whitesnake, GNR, Steve Vai and Motley Crue came around.  After grunge, record labels like amphetamine reptile, hydrahead, relapse, etc. had tons of interesting bands covering the avant-garde spectrum.  Dazzling Killmen, Keelhaul, Zeni Geva, Hammerhead, early Today is the Day, Coalesce and Dillinger Escape Plan hit pretty hard.  

12. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
 Skateboarding is a passion in our lives.  Also family stuff like growing gardens, raising families, etc.

13. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
 Thanks for the interest in our music and for this interview. We hope those that have come to like our music will tell their friends about us and we really appreciate all of the feedback we’ve received so far, it’s inspiring  thanks.

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