Editors’ Note: Hello everyone. This is an interview with David Sullivan (of rock band Red Fang fame, not David Sullivan, the infamous proprietor of The Sunday Sport newspaper). Red Fang are either a stoner rock or heavy metal band and have been going for a while now. According to Wikipedia: “Red Fang opened the Jägermeister stage on 2011’s edition of the annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival which also featured headliners Megadeth, Godsmack, and Disturbed.” Good for them.
Demon Pigeon: The new album is called Whales and Leeches. What can you tell us about it?
David Sullivan: We recorded this one under a self imposed deadline. We had been touring so much that we hadn’t had time to write. We usually travel in a van, so there’s not really any space to sit with guitars and play while on the road. We could probably write in a hotel room after the show, but usually there’s not much time before we have to get up and drive again, and we’ve already sort of released our musical creative energy during the show, so writing after shows while on tour doesn’t really work for us either. So this time we had a break of about 3 months at home and decided to book studio time and use every moment we had for writing and recording a new album.
DP: The sound is a bit more sludgy than Murder the Mountains, but the songs themselves seem a lot more hook laden. Did you go into this album with a specific sound in mind, or has it been more of an evolution?
DS: It’s a natural progression, we don’t really plan things out or try to do a particular style. We just try to write songs that we like to play, and hopefully people like what we do.
DP: This album seems a lot more cheerful than its predecessor, are you a happy bunch now?
DS: Hmmmm… I think writing and playing music to avoid depression is still a factor in what we do. But I do agree that musically at least (not necessarily lyrically) the album feels more upbeat.
DP: The album art is pretty special, who made it and how did it come about?
DS: Orion Landau did the art work for Whales and Leeches. He also did the art for Murder the Mountains. He had the idea at first to do a pop-up book style cover, and then decided to do the 3D lenticular cover. I love how it turned out.
DP: You’ve released details of a European tour which seems exhaustive, and you’ll be out with Lord Dying and The Shrine. What can we expect to see from the three bands when you come over this side of the murky waters?
DS: We always have a great time in Europe. We’re on tour with The Shrine currently, and they are a great band and great dudes. We’ve also toured with Lord Dying and I’d say the same of them, great band, great dudes. Looking forward to drinking lots of new beers.
DP: Have you ever seen the film White Fang, and would you be confident at finding gold during the great depression?
DS: I’ve not seen the movie, but I did read the book years ago. I’m sure I could find gold, if I had a wolf/dog as badass as White Fang as a companion.
DP: It’s been two years since Murder the Mountains. You seem to have spent all that time on tour, supporting seemingly every band under the sun. Who have you most enjoyed playing with?
DS: It was awesome touring with Mastodon in the US and in Europe.
DP: Do you ever get people coming to your gigs thinking it’s going to be a talk on legendary 1920’s Native American pro footballer Chief Xavier Downwind aka Red Fang? How do you deal with what must be a constant source of confusion?
DS: Haha! That hasn’t happened, but Bryan is constantly mistaken for Rob Zombie. I don’t really see the resemblance.
DP: Your artist profile states both ‘The band runs on beer,’ and ‘Tour to Live’. These seem like two good mottos. What else would you add to the list?
DS: Hugs, snacks, and rock ‘n’ roll!
DP: Last question, whales or leeches?
DS: I’d much rather hang out with whales.