We've affectionately dubbed RDGLDGRN as the indie rock power rangers around here, but there's obviously a thoughtful reason behind the band's distinct color schemes. "I have a name, I have a race, and I have a place where I'm from", explains Green. "That doesn't matter now...the first thing I am presenting to you is the fact that I'm this color every day". Such a philosophy highlights how each member brings something unique to the outfit. Put them together though, and you have one of the most exciting bands you could plunk a few bucks down to see live in the flesh (just ask Dave Grohl or Pharrell about them, who both contributed to the band's self-titled new album). Our encounter came in an unexpected alignment. The band had never really tried their tunes out on acoustic guitars before. Still, it's a commanding session the band put together here, packing copious amounts of punchy energy stemming from the band's mixed breed of punk, hip hop, rock, and funk influences.
We have Red, he is Bolivian. He plays football like Marco Etcheverry. He likes tacos. They're delicious. Dada dun dun dun. Yeah! We all live in a Bolivian submarine. A Bolivian submarine, a Bolivian submarine We all live in... - Red introduced us to the Beatles. - So, like I said, you know, the Beatles, that's me. - For sure. Like, me and Green for example, we weren't ever really introduced to a lot of music. Like, we had really rough childhoods and stuff like that, so we never heard stuff ever. So, Red basically introduced us to everything that we know. - So, there's like a lot of different styles in our music, basically because we listen to it all. You know what I mean? I mean, everything from, um, hell, we just finished doing Warped Tour three times in 2013. So, I mean, there's inklings of anything you've ever heard before that, you know, will seep into you, starting from your earliest memories. - But Doing the Most is something that we've been hearing, you know, you've heard for so long in the area, where someone says, you know, when I'm holding two mics and be like, man, you're doing the most right now. Or you're doing the most or anything like that. And then we just took that concept and made it into a song, where it was like a relationship concept as well as just a general concept of people, like, doing too much and simple is better type of idea. Yeah. You feel me? - This is me doing the most. - Okay. You see, I have a pain that's in my side. Whoa. And it's coming from my pocket all the time. Whoa. Catch me if you can. I'm messaging a friend. Before I even send, you say I'm out of line. You should do less. You're doing the most. You should do less now, 'cuz you're doing the most. Is there something wrong with saying hi? Whoa. 'Cuz you caught me sending artificial smiles. Whoa. Catch me if you can. I'm messaging a friend. Before I even send, you say I'm out of line. You should do less. You're doing the most. You should do less now, 'cuz you're doing the most. Okay, okay. I know you have a little story for Green 'bout how you need some more attention. It's annoying to me because you're saying that you're cool You're sort of a geek. I see you study all these women that be calling on me. Okay now, this is how friends be. I'm on my hands You're trying to say hi to my mom and you gettin' all antsy. Saying, 'Isn't that Francine? I saw you glancing at these bitches on your phone. Don't you act like it's family. " You're doing the most. You should do less now. 'Cuz you're doing the most. You should do less. You're doing the most. You should do less now. 'Cuz you're doing the most. Catch me if you can. I'm messaging a friend. Before I even send, you say I'm out of line. You should do less. You're doing the most. You should do less now, 'cuz you're doing the most. You should do less. You're doing the most. You should do less now, 'cuz you're doing the most. You should do less. - So basically, some of the idea of why we look this way, you know, 'cuz, like you said, bands are visual, musicians are visual people and stuff like that, so it all, it's all interconnected, but, um, me, I can only really appreciate red things. You know? So, that's how I started doing this, like it's just a favorite color thing. Everybody has a favorite color, you know? Like whether it's more than one or whether it's two or whether it's just one or whatever like that. And then, we all just have, have our own thing, our identity back in like western Virginia, a bunch of friends and I, so here we are, like this. We make music together, so we couldn't figure out a better band name than RdGldGrn. - Yeah. And it's like uh, if, you know, I have a name, I have a race, and I have a place where I'm from and that doesn't matter now, because the first thing you can judge is the color that I have. You know what I'm saying? So, it's like all those things, the first thing I'm presenting to you is that fact that I am wearing this color, every single day, so that's kind of a concept that comes into the music a lot, but that comes after the fact that he just started wearing red because that's what he wanted to do and then we just didn't retaliate by doing the same thing as him. We retaliated by having our own identities within that realm or that world. You know what I'm saying? - We want to outdo ourselves when it comes to our music. Like, we always want to one up what we did last time. We want to not let down our fans that appreciate the last album, the album before that, so we always want to progress. - Yeah, that sums it up the best. We just want to keep on outdoing our own self. - Thank you. - But you keep giving me the mic after you say something that I would just say the same thing, so stop giving me the mic and I'll just sit there. He's like, thank you. - What do you think about that? - Exactly what you think. - Thank you. - I got two mics now, bro. Hold up. Bang bang. Bang bang. Bang. Bang bang. Bang bang. I Love Lamp is a song about Gold's ex-girl friend. It's, 'cuz every song we make is about Gold's ex-girl friend. - No. People, people like, we saw people commenting on the video somewhere and they're like, I know what this song's about. It's about the guy. See, my home girl used to date the white guy in the band. What a liar. Like, what are you talking about? No, the funny thing about that song, one of the things I can remember is like, when we were making the, when we came back from California, 'cuz we made the demo, at least the skeleton of it, in Laurel Canyon and we came back home to Restin, right, and we were, we need an identity. We had basically a new band. We needed to name ourselves, so obviously, since we're very smart from a business perspective, we want to make the most complicated name as possible, which looks like Dragon, but actually is Red Gold Green with no vowels. So, we did that and then we were trying to think of a song name and obviously since I Love Lamp is nowhere near the song, in the song, we wanted to basically make it as complicated as possible for people to find the song. So we put that out. There was no identity behind the band and then everyone, all the blogs were like oh my gosh. This is so interesting. I wonder what this is. It could be, the drop the N word in the verse and I think it's that guy over there, from the 5-1. Anyway, it was cool. Shout out to all the blogs that posted it, because you got us a deal and all types of stuff and we, we do music for a living now because of that song, so, really, thank you. - The blogs allowed us to meet Dave Grohl. - Yeah. Very simply, that song got us here. It's just a day, another day, a terrible day. Things don't really seem like they're going my way. I got a girlfriend in Virginia, I'm in California. She said I know you probably cheated, I got something to say. I got a new guy. That's what she said. I never knew I'd feel like I'm dead. 'Cuz I lost my bottom lady for a one night stand. She said I thought that you should know that I don't wanna be friends. She said I don't wanna be your friend. She said I don't wanna be your friend. She said I don't wanna be your friend. Well, baby, I don't ever wanna see you again. Hey! Oh, little lady, come on. Whoa. Come on. Whoa. Come on. Oh. Come on. I send a text a dozen times but you don't read it no more. You always say what's on your mind so why don't you pick up the phone? I play the game, you changed the rules. Is that the status you write? I live and pay you all my happiness I post in reply. You see I notice your type. I cheat and no it ain't right. You want revenge with no forgiveness. And I know it ain't fair. I see you out with other niggas And I know you don't care. I just hope I still can hit it since you won't be my friend. She said I don't wanna be your friend. She said I don't wanna be your friend. She said I don't wanna be your friend. Well, baby, I don't never wanna see you again. Oh, little lady, come on. Whoa. Come on. Whoa. Come on. Oh. Come on. Oh, little lady, come on. Whoa. Come on. Whoa. Come on. Oh. Come on. Whoa. - That was the punk version. - Yeah. - That was great. - Did you forget the lyrics or some shit? - We played that fast. - I didn't forget lyrics but they played fast as hell. I was like.... - Playing with these guys, I have to learn how to do that. - It's very raw. We make a lot of mistakes. - Shit happens. - It's liberating. - Yeah. It's not, we don't care about making mistakes. We want to feel good. We want to... - Sound check's really easy when you don't have to plug anything. It may be different for you guys, but for us, it's easy as shit. - It's a lot easier for me than playing live. I mean, especially if you have ears that are kind of like damaged over the years from performing live and just hearing all types of screeches and, I don't know, feedback and getting a sound guy to, you know, it's just, this is just the most natural thing. It's just naked music. So... - The third song is All I Got Is Now. - All I Got Is Now. Yeah. - And that's just the idea of being in the present moment. The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle. You read that book, right? You ain't listen. You did? Okay, yeah. Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, it's a great book. - You read, have you read Calvin and Hobbes, Over the River and Through the Woods? Oh. What about The Perculator? Garfield? - I know. No, no, on a serious tip, have you read Overnight Scenario? Uh, have you read, uh, TCB? - These are all DC references. It's an Elvis... - All right. He's not even recording anything. - He's like fuck this. - He's like I don't give a damn. I'm done. You could talk about what you know but I'll just tell you what to think. A man whose killing time knows it's slowly killing him. I can't explain this moment on any pad of paper. If I gave you a second, would you save it for later? All I've got is now. All I've got is now. All I've got is now. All I've got is now. All I've got is now. All I've got is now. All I've got is now. All I've got is now. Some stories are true, although they never happen. And when I die young, it'll be as late as possible. And every single day you know you take for granted. See, I am from Romania, where leaving's how you make it. All I've got is now. Hey. All I've got is now. All I've got is now. Hey. All I've got is now. All I've got is now. Hey. All I've got is now. All I've got is now. Hey. All I've got is now. All I've got is now. Say hey. All I've got is now. Say hey. All I've got is now. Say hey. All I've got is now. Say hey. All I've got is now. Hey. All I've got is now. Hey. All I've got is now. Hey. All I got is now.
RDGLDGRN (pronounced red gold green) have already distinguished themselves in the DC music scene. Their highly stylized sound (that Go Go drum beat- a distinct DC rhythm) takes hip-hop infused punk and indie rock to create something refreshingly unique, is getting attention from fans stretching far beyond the DC niche scene.
Comprised of three members who identify as Red, Gold, and Green, RDGLDGRN began making music in their basement studio, drawing from a vast and almost ironically diverse pool of influences like Chuck Brown, Vampire Weekend, Outkast, The Neptunes, and Bad Brains. What many might consider a wildly ambitious, even impossible task to pull off, RDGLDGRN managed to effortlessly combine genres of music to create something new, something all their own, and something that has the music industry buzzing with excitement.
The band gained widespread recognition when they self-released a song called I Love Lamp on YouTube- a way for friends and local fans to listen to their music. They had no idea that within just a few weeks, the video would have over 100,000 views and the attention of many notable figures both in the industry as well as on the blogosphere.
Producer Kevin Augunas (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Cold War Kids) quickly took notice of the band, and in addition to producing RDGLDGRNs debut, also signed them to his label, Fairfax Recordings (Gotye, Tribes) in a joint venture with Universal Republic Records.
Upon entering the legendary Sound City Studio in Van Nuys, CA, a studio where Fleetwood Mac recorded 'Rumours and Nirvana recorded 'Nevermind, RDGLDGRN were fortunate enough to have captured the attention of Nirvana alum, Foo Fighters front man, and hometown hero, Dave Grohl who recorded drums on the entire album.
It wasnt just rock royalty that took notice of RDGLDGRN, the hip-hop community was also taken by the bands unique sound. Genre-bending artist, producer, and designer, Pharrell Williams (N.E.R.D., The Neptunes), co-wrote and co-produced the standout track Doing the Most, lending his distinct style to one of the most unique tracks on the album that showcases Greens undeniable talent for rapping and singing infused with Pharrells style of unusual beats and musical wit.
The result is a debut that truly demonstrates the groups ability to straddle genre lines, to combine musical polarities and unite both artists and fans over music thats multifaceted. However, its not the musical intricacies, or the obscure combination of influences, that make RDGLDGRN who they are. Its their ability to create something entirely fresh and new, something thats often overlooked in this state of the industry where musicians try to stay afloat by following trends. If you ask RDGLDGRN who their biggest influences are, theyd tell you the Beatles and Bob Marley. And while RDGLDGRN dont exactly sound like those legendary artists, they do share in common something less tangible- they all have made it a point to carve their own path by creating something entirely unique.