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Interview with Riot Girl: Brenna Red From The Last Gang!

Brenna Red
U.S



Photo : Brenna Red

Brenna is the lead singer of the American Punk Band The Last Gang.
She`s got the most amazing vocalrange and her constant raspy sound  is magical!
Her band The Last Gang has also recorded a tribute track to the legendary punk band Rancid.
Brenna`s style is as punk rock as it gets!
She rocks the stage with her screams and guitar , she`s a100% Riot Girl!


So heres the interview!



Can you remember when your interest for music started?
and what made you wanna start playing music/sing?


I started playing drums with my brother in The Bazles when I was about 12. It was in the vein of the Ramones. I went on to play drums in The Xentrix & Civet. I wanted to create my own songs, images, and stories so I asked my brother to teach me how to play his guitar when I was in my early teens. But I didn't sing for years. I was so self conscious about my voice. I got teased a lot for sounding so male.




When/what  did/made you deside to start playing/singing music ?

It's hard to explain. It was an urge to be on stage. To stir emotions in others and myself. To create a part of something special. 



What made you choose the instruments you play? 
or what made you want to sing in the way/style you do?


Joe Strummer was a huge influence on my playing style. Partly why I play a Tele. I want to be good at what I do, not just "good for a girl." I don't understand why we aren't judged as just musicians. You don't call a doctor a female doctor, or a painter a female painter. We're artists and we're in the same class. 




Photo : Brenna Red / Jeremy Villa

How did you learn to play your instrument /sing like you do?

I found my voice singing along to The Misfits, Greenday, Rancid, ect. The vocal key was more in my range, rather than X-Ray Spex and Vice Squad. I've always played better with the boys. I feel like in fit in better.


Do you remember the first song you learned to play/sing to?
Which one was it?

 

The first song I mastered (didn't fuck up I should say) playing guitar and singing at the same time was The Misfits "Some Kind Of Hate"



Which  musicians has had the most impact on you ? 
Why?

 

Joan Jett for her DIY attitude. Elvis Costello for his words. Joe Strummer for his vision. Penelope Houston for her androgyny. My brother for his knowledge on all things punk.


Do you have any musicians you have learned from?

It's a culmination of little bits from every artist I meet. I try to emulate the things I'm enamored with, and rid myself of those I'm not. The stomp of Strummer and the I don't give a fuck attitude of Laura Jane. I'm not a guitar player in the sense of technical knowledge. I lean towards to songwriter side. So naturally I'm drawn towards the people who can create an emotion, even if it's with a simple 3 chord song.



Photo : Brenna Red

What does playing music means to you?

 

I've always felt music was another religion to me. The human condition is driven by the urge to leave a legacy, a tribute our mortal selves. Music, art, empires, family, history, and even moral atrocities leave an imprint after we're gone. So I guess the primal need for me to make music is to not be forgotten. To be more than an ant, scurrying back and forth on this earth.



Can you remember and describe your very first instrument?
And what it ment to you?

 

I was a white drum set my brother borrowed from his high school buddy, Garrett. I didn't have the best gear knowledge when I was 12, but I imagine it was a piece of shit. But it was the greatest thing I ever played.



Photo : Brenna Red

Are you ever influenced by old records & tapes? 

Fact: my best friend / wife still makes mix tapes. Love her. I made an epic 4 mixtape saga for my now husband. When we release our split with Bristol To Memory with our songs "Believe In The Poet" and "Turn The Record Over", we're gonna press it on a 7".  Vinyl is tangible and it's what's gonna keep the music scene pumping.



Who are your favorite musicians? 

The Dap Kings and The Roots are some of the best overall musicians around right now. They can play with anyone. For any genre. It's our generation's Funk Brothers, or the Wrecking Crew.



When did you know that music was one of your missions in life?

It slowly became more of my identity as I grew up in the punk scene in my teens. It's a second language to me now.



How and when did you get your band together?

The Last Gang was an adolescent idea since 2006. I've recorded some records here and there. Then when Robert and I got together in 2013, we re-established what you see today.



Which band have you played in / Are you  playing in?

I play with The Last Gang, as we are currently recording our new album "Salvation For Wolves" It's a long process, but we want to make something special. Not to just pump out 15 songs and slap it in a case.


Photo : Brenna Red

How would you describe your music style to other people?

Good music for bad people. Punk with a melody


I know you have played alot of gigs , does it  ever happen that you  get nervous before a show?

I still get antsy to this day. I bet I'll get butterflies right before we play on March 25th at the Front Women Fest in Montebello. It's like the night before Christmas. I'm not nervous, just so damn excited. Blood is pulsing and it's very manic. There's nothing like being on stage.



What advice would you give to beginners who wants to start a music career?

You have to try. You might fail, but you have to explore your boundries.




What kind of concerts do you like to go to yourself?

Anything that will move me. But it's safe bet to say that I can't resit a good pogo.




Photo : Brenna Red

Have you ever gotten rejected by venues because of the kind of music you play?

Venues usually reject us because we book all of our own shows. DIY and without a booking agent. It's hard, but it's the game we play. We gotta hustle a lot.



As a girl , have you experienced being underestimated musically?

 

I sometimes see it in the crowd's eyes as I load my gear on stage. Like they thought I might just be a singer, not an actual guitar player. Then I set up my pedal board and amps, and they look on with curiosity. I enjoy surprising people. 



Is it difficult for you to balance your music-career with your personal-life?

It's not the easiest. We all have to make money in this capitalist society in order to survive. If I had a magic wand I'd have TLG on the road, pay my bills, and transport home in a flash to be with my friends and family.


Photo : Brenna Red


What is your best music related memory?

Driving down long highways roads at night with my best friend singing along to the album "Give "Em Enough Rope"


Listening to your  records (The Last Gang), I can hear you have your own vocal sound, is this something you have worked hard on to achieve?

I try not to try, lol. We write how we write. It might be from angst. It might be from romance. Sometimes it's apathy. It's just us trying to pull the intangibles out of our heads and turn them into sound waves.


As mentioned earlier , your band did cover a version of  Rancid`s song Cocktails  , which is on the record <A Tribute to Rancid - Hooligans United>,
How was that experience for you ? What was the best part about it?


Pretty damn cool. Sometimes your ego can fade and you wonder why you do what you do. So it felt good to receive some validation. Tho I love making music and I will do it till I die, no matter if fame comes or not, I'm grateful for this and all experiences.




Photo : Brenna Red


And how do you see the future for your band The Last Gang ?

I would hate to sound presumptuous, but with the our drive to push TLG, the new album we're making, "Salvation From Wolves", and the talent we're investing into engineering and mixing it, I can easily seeing us on major tours, across continents, and becoming a band to obsess over. This is in years however, but I can see it clearly. But who's to say. The future is unwritten.




And last but not least , what  goals do you wanna reach with your music?

I want to be able to make music, and then make more music, and then make more. A continuous cycle of self sustaining art and ideas.
Don't be good for just a girl. Don't enable any glass ceilings. Just be a damn good human being.

 

Thanks so much! 

xoxoxo - Brenna Red


Photo : Brenna Red
 


Thanks to Brenna for this interview!


Check out her band! :

www.facebook.com/thelastgangmusic



 

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Trendkilling Music

Trendkilling Music

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Trend Killing Music! The title says it all, this is a blog focusing on trend-killing music, both domestic and abroad! Interviews, music review's and alternative fashion are some of the things that will be regular topics . Stay tuned !

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