Redlight King

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At a Glance

Nationality: Canadian


Biography

Like Redlight King’s 2011 debut album, Something for the Pain, which established the L.A.-based unit as a potent new force in the modern-rock arena, the new Irons in the Fire is downright ferocious in its aggressiveness. But as far as bandleader Kaz is concerned, the similarities between the two efforts end there. “The last record was more of a studio record,” he acknowledges. “This one is the work of a rock band.”

Kaz is a modern-day renaissance man whose wide-ranging interests include the visual arts (he painted the new album cover), drag racing (his dad passed on his love of hot-rod ... Read more

Like Redlight King’s 2011 debut album, Something for the Pain, which established the L.A.-based unit as a potent new force in the modern-rock arena, the new Irons in the Fire is downright ferocious in its aggressiveness. But as far as bandleader Kaz is concerned, the similarities between the two efforts end there. “The last record was more of a studio record,” he acknowledges. “This one is the work of a rock band.”

Kaz is a modern-day renaissance man whose wide-ranging interests include the visual arts (he painted the new album cover), drag racing (his dad passed on his love of hot-rod culture) and athletic competition (he was a member of the Canadian National Judo team.) But his full-time focus is on making music, and when it comes to expressing himself, the L.A.-based native of Hamilton, Ont., is one passionate dude. “This is a real and honest record, " he asserts. “There’s not a lot of distance between my lyrics and who I am, and I think that’s what makes them relatable from a fan’s perspective, and hopefully makes them Redlight King fans for life.”

The band once again called on the producing team of Wally Gagel and Xandy Barry, with Kaz returning as the album's co-producer. Irons in the Fire showcases Redlight King’s super-dynamic sonic and stylistic recipe that hits the listener like a battering ram. “I love all kinds of music, from hip-hop to rock and everywhere in between,” Kaz confirms. “I love the pocket—I live for the pocket. For me, it’s about finding the groove, and whatever I do on top of it, that’s where it’s gotta be natural and fluid. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, I just wanna hit it hard, and I want people to be able to feel it.”

The title of the first album signaled its intentions: Something for the Pain was an act of catharsis, an emotional exorcism. The title of the new album is similarly revealing, on more than one level. “Irons in the Fire represents a growing awareness of who I am and what I want to say,” says Kaz. “There are undertones of angst on the record, and they’re not hidden. They’re a reflection of the way things are. I'm a middle-class guy who has worked hard his whole life and struggled to pay bills. I’ve done every job under the sun, and now I’m a full-time musician working my ass off. Things aren’t easy for middle-class Americans right now, and I’m suggesting that we can try and find a way to enjoy our lives and still come together as a community and better ourselves.”

In the early stages of the creative process that led to Irons in the Fire, Kaz came up with 30 solid song ideas, which he then narrowed down to four, and these became, in his words, “the four corners of the table,” which would support the thematic weight of the album. The first, “Redemption,” says Kaz, “is totally anti-system, but it’s also about seeking redemption, as the title indicates, and there’s some darkness in there as well. I just wanted to keep it real; I never want to shine it up and hand it to you all neat and tidy. There’s a line in that song about ‘lying on the pavement.’ I grew up in Hamilton, where cops didn't mess around; if you stepped out of line, they'd put you down on the ground right then and there. That’s happened to me, and I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth, so it’s fair game as subject matter.

The second “corner” song, “Livin’ to Ride,” was a song that Kaz had been ruminating over for awhile. “I wrote and demo’d half of it in my apartment in Hollywood when I first moved to Los Angeles four or five years ago,” Kaz recalls. "There was something about that demo that was perfectly imperfect. I actually ended up using some of the drum beats and guitar sounds from the original demos on the album." He describes the track as it now exists as “a dirty, grungy, rock song with a heavy backbeat.”

On corner song number three, “Devil’s Dance,” Kaz wrote the refrain—“I taught the devil how to dance”—several years ago but didn't have the music to go along with it. “After sitting with guitarist, Julian Tomarin, and messing around with this really cool double-time floor-tom backbeat riff, I thought ‘That’s “Devil’s Dance” right there,’ and the song started to write itself.” The fourth and final corner of the table, “Times Are Hard,” was inspired by John Lennon’s early solo work. “It’s got a straight-up, dead-honest lyric,” says Kaz. “I’m really proud of that one.”

The momentum generated by these four linchpin songs carried Kaz through the writing of the remainder of the album, all the way to the project’s final composition, “Every Second Counts,” which fittingly closes the record. “I literally wrote that song while I was sleeping,” he points out. “I woke up at four in the morning thinking, ‘I’m gonna lose this idea if I don’t get it down right now.’ I went in my living room, fired up my rig, hooked up a guitar, sang into an old-school microphone and that song came out. I brought the demo into the studio and everyone talked about how we could rearrange it. I tried to recut that song for four days straight, pass after pass, but I couldn’t beat it. It was so honest to begin with, and there was something about how my voice sounded—I meant it. So we ended up using the original demo on the album. And that’s what I’ll be striving for in the future as well: to get the sounds the feel and then just organically letting it happen, not overworking or over thinking it.”

Another of Kaz’s passions is restoring vintage vehicles— including a 1937 Lincoln Zephyr coupe, a 1957 Ranchero and a 1950 Harley—and he sees distinct parallels between working on cars and making music. “I look at life and art as parallel,” he says, “so I’ve always been able to visualize things finished. As far as the music goes, when I’m writing, I might have a hundred 16-bar ideas on my iPhone, and I consider them parts—nuts and bolts, a fender over here, a headlight over there. And then I start putting them together. After the melody and lyric are there, it’s about the delivery and how the song is packaged sonically—and for me, those finishing touches are like the paint job. This record is made from different genres, themes and lyrical approaches—it’s definitely a hot rod. When we jump in and hit the road, it's bound to turn some heads.”

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

Like Redlight King’s 2011 debut album, Something for the Pain, which established the L.A.-based unit as a potent new force in the modern-rock arena, the new Irons in the Fire is downright ferocious in its aggressiveness. But as far as bandleader Kaz is concerned, the similarities between the two efforts end there. “The last record was more of a studio record,” he acknowledges. “This one is the work of a rock band.”

Kaz is a modern-day renaissance man whose wide-ranging interests include the visual arts (he painted the new album cover), drag racing (his dad passed on his love of hot-rod culture) and athletic competition (he was a member of the Canadian National Judo team.) But his full-time focus is on making music, and when it comes to expressing himself, the L.A.-based native of Hamilton, Ont., is one passionate dude. “This is a real and honest record, " he asserts. “There’s not a lot of distance between my lyrics and who I am, and I think that’s what makes them relatable from a fan’s perspective, and hopefully makes them Redlight King fans for life.”

The band once again called on the producing team of Wally Gagel and Xandy Barry, with Kaz returning as the album's co-producer. Irons in the Fire showcases Redlight King’s super-dynamic sonic and stylistic recipe that hits the listener like a battering ram. “I love all kinds of music, from hip-hop to rock and everywhere in between,” Kaz confirms. “I love the pocket—I live for the pocket. For me, it’s about finding the groove, and whatever I do on top of it, that’s where it’s gotta be natural and fluid. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, I just wanna hit it hard, and I want people to be able to feel it.”

The title of the first album signaled its intentions: Something for the Pain was an act of catharsis, an emotional exorcism. The title of the new album is similarly revealing, on more than one level. “Irons in the Fire represents a growing awareness of who I am and what I want to say,” says Kaz. “There are undertones of angst on the record, and they’re not hidden. They’re a reflection of the way things are. I'm a middle-class guy who has worked hard his whole life and struggled to pay bills. I’ve done every job under the sun, and now I’m a full-time musician working my ass off. Things aren’t easy for middle-class Americans right now, and I’m suggesting that we can try and find a way to enjoy our lives and still come together as a community and better ourselves.”

In the early stages of the creative process that led to Irons in the Fire, Kaz came up with 30 solid song ideas, which he then narrowed down to four, and these became, in his words, “the four corners of the table,” which would support the thematic weight of the album. The first, “Redemption,” says Kaz, “is totally anti-system, but it’s also about seeking redemption, as the title indicates, and there’s some darkness in there as well. I just wanted to keep it real; I never want to shine it up and hand it to you all neat and tidy. There’s a line in that song about ‘lying on the pavement.’ I grew up in Hamilton, where cops didn't mess around; if you stepped out of line, they'd put you down on the ground right then and there. That’s happened to me, and I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth, so it’s fair game as subject matter.

The second “corner” song, “Livin’ to Ride,” was a song that Kaz had been ruminating over for awhile. “I wrote and demo’d half of it in my apartment in Hollywood when I first moved to Los Angeles four or five years ago,” Kaz recalls. "There was something about that demo that was perfectly imperfect. I actually ended up using some of the drum beats and guitar sounds from the original demos on the album." He describes the track as it now exists as “a dirty, grungy, rock song with a heavy backbeat.”

On corner song number three, “Devil’s Dance,” Kaz wrote the refrain—“I taught the devil how to dance”—several years ago but didn't have the music to go along with it. “After sitting with guitarist, Julian Tomarin, and messing around with this really cool double-time floor-tom backbeat riff, I thought ‘That’s “Devil’s Dance” right there,’ and the song started to write itself.” The fourth and final corner of the table, “Times Are Hard,” was inspired by John Lennon’s early solo work. “It’s got a straight-up, dead-honest lyric,” says Kaz. “I’m really proud of that one.”

The momentum generated by these four linchpin songs carried Kaz through the writing of the remainder of the album, all the way to the project’s final composition, “Every Second Counts,” which fittingly closes the record. “I literally wrote that song while I was sleeping,” he points out. “I woke up at four in the morning thinking, ‘I’m gonna lose this idea if I don’t get it down right now.’ I went in my living room, fired up my rig, hooked up a guitar, sang into an old-school microphone and that song came out. I brought the demo into the studio and everyone talked about how we could rearrange it. I tried to recut that song for four days straight, pass after pass, but I couldn’t beat it. It was so honest to begin with, and there was something about how my voice sounded—I meant it. So we ended up using the original demo on the album. And that’s what I’ll be striving for in the future as well: to get the sounds the feel and then just organically letting it happen, not overworking or over thinking it.”

Another of Kaz’s passions is restoring vintage vehicles— including a 1937 Lincoln Zephyr coupe, a 1957 Ranchero and a 1950 Harley—and he sees distinct parallels between working on cars and making music. “I look at life and art as parallel,” he says, “so I’ve always been able to visualize things finished. As far as the music goes, when I’m writing, I might have a hundred 16-bar ideas on my iPhone, and I consider them parts—nuts and bolts, a fender over here, a headlight over there. And then I start putting them together. After the melody and lyric are there, it’s about the delivery and how the song is packaged sonically—and for me, those finishing touches are like the paint job. This record is made from different genres, themes and lyrical approaches—it’s definitely a hot rod. When we jump in and hit the road, it's bound to turn some heads.”

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

Like Redlight King’s 2011 debut album, Something for the Pain, which established the L.A.-based unit as a potent new force in the modern-rock arena, the new Irons in the Fire is downright ferocious in its aggressiveness. But as far as bandleader Kaz is concerned, the similarities between the two efforts end there. “The last record was more of a studio record,” he acknowledges. “This one is the work of a rock band.”

Kaz is a modern-day renaissance man whose wide-ranging interests include the visual arts (he painted the new album cover), drag racing (his dad passed on his love of hot-rod culture) and athletic competition (he was a member of the Canadian National Judo team.) But his full-time focus is on making music, and when it comes to expressing himself, the L.A.-based native of Hamilton, Ont., is one passionate dude. “This is a real and honest record, " he asserts. “There’s not a lot of distance between my lyrics and who I am, and I think that’s what makes them relatable from a fan’s perspective, and hopefully makes them Redlight King fans for life.”

The band once again called on the producing team of Wally Gagel and Xandy Barry, with Kaz returning as the album's co-producer. Irons in the Fire showcases Redlight King’s super-dynamic sonic and stylistic recipe that hits the listener like a battering ram. “I love all kinds of music, from hip-hop to rock and everywhere in between,” Kaz confirms. “I love the pocket—I live for the pocket. For me, it’s about finding the groove, and whatever I do on top of it, that’s where it’s gotta be natural and fluid. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, I just wanna hit it hard, and I want people to be able to feel it.”

The title of the first album signaled its intentions: Something for the Pain was an act of catharsis, an emotional exorcism. The title of the new album is similarly revealing, on more than one level. “Irons in the Fire represents a growing awareness of who I am and what I want to say,” says Kaz. “There are undertones of angst on the record, and they’re not hidden. They’re a reflection of the way things are. I'm a middle-class guy who has worked hard his whole life and struggled to pay bills. I’ve done every job under the sun, and now I’m a full-time musician working my ass off. Things aren’t easy for middle-class Americans right now, and I’m suggesting that we can try and find a way to enjoy our lives and still come together as a community and better ourselves.”

In the early stages of the creative process that led to Irons in the Fire, Kaz came up with 30 solid song ideas, which he then narrowed down to four, and these became, in his words, “the four corners of the table,” which would support the thematic weight of the album. The first, “Redemption,” says Kaz, “is totally anti-system, but it’s also about seeking redemption, as the title indicates, and there’s some darkness in there as well. I just wanted to keep it real; I never want to shine it up and hand it to you all neat and tidy. There’s a line in that song about ‘lying on the pavement.’ I grew up in Hamilton, where cops didn't mess around; if you stepped out of line, they'd put you down on the ground right then and there. That’s happened to me, and I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth, so it’s fair game as subject matter.

The second “corner” song, “Livin’ to Ride,” was a song that Kaz had been ruminating over for awhile. “I wrote and demo’d half of it in my apartment in Hollywood when I first moved to Los Angeles four or five years ago,” Kaz recalls. "There was something about that demo that was perfectly imperfect. I actually ended up using some of the drum beats and guitar sounds from the original demos on the album." He describes the track as it now exists as “a dirty, grungy, rock song with a heavy backbeat.”

On corner song number three, “Devil’s Dance,” Kaz wrote the refrain—“I taught the devil how to dance”—several years ago but didn't have the music to go along with it. “After sitting with guitarist, Julian Tomarin, and messing around with this really cool double-time floor-tom backbeat riff, I thought ‘That’s “Devil’s Dance” right there,’ and the song started to write itself.” The fourth and final corner of the table, “Times Are Hard,” was inspired by John Lennon’s early solo work. “It’s got a straight-up, dead-honest lyric,” says Kaz. “I’m really proud of that one.”

The momentum generated by these four linchpin songs carried Kaz through the writing of the remainder of the album, all the way to the project’s final composition, “Every Second Counts,” which fittingly closes the record. “I literally wrote that song while I was sleeping,” he points out. “I woke up at four in the morning thinking, ‘I’m gonna lose this idea if I don’t get it down right now.’ I went in my living room, fired up my rig, hooked up a guitar, sang into an old-school microphone and that song came out. I brought the demo into the studio and everyone talked about how we could rearrange it. I tried to recut that song for four days straight, pass after pass, but I couldn’t beat it. It was so honest to begin with, and there was something about how my voice sounded—I meant it. So we ended up using the original demo on the album. And that’s what I’ll be striving for in the future as well: to get the sounds the feel and then just organically letting it happen, not overworking or over thinking it.”

Another of Kaz’s passions is restoring vintage vehicles— including a 1937 Lincoln Zephyr coupe, a 1957 Ranchero and a 1950 Harley—and he sees distinct parallels between working on cars and making music. “I look at life and art as parallel,” he says, “so I’ve always been able to visualize things finished. As far as the music goes, when I’m writing, I might have a hundred 16-bar ideas on my iPhone, and I consider them parts—nuts and bolts, a fender over here, a headlight over there. And then I start putting them together. After the melody and lyric are there, it’s about the delivery and how the song is packaged sonically—and for me, those finishing touches are like the paint job. This record is made from different genres, themes and lyrical approaches—it’s definitely a hot rod. When we jump in and hit the road, it's bound to turn some heads.”

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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