Thursday, December 4, 2008, 05:16 PM ( 1325 views ) - Interviews - Posted by dagmarsieglindeSeattle's Blood Red Dancers sat down with me at the Comet before a recent show. The band, comprised of Aaron Poppick (lead singer, bass) Kevin R. Lord (drums & vocals) and Julian Thomas (keys& vocals), released an ep recently called Let Him Fight, I'll Be in the Breadline. It's one of the best releases of this year. I found these guys to be engaging offstage. Onstage they are still engaging but alarming in their intensity.
Q: Who came up with the name Blood Red Dancers?
Aaaron Poppick: I did. I’d heard a story about Aborigines – I think it’s a custom for more than one tribe in Australia – when they’d kill their enemies they would bathe in their blood and do war dances.
Kevin R. Lord: At least that’s the rumor.
AP: Some of the tribes still perform the dance, but they don’t use blood anymore – they use rocks and shards.
KRL: It’s supposed to resemble blood.
AP: We just liked the imagery.
Q: I like it. . . are you all originally from Seattle?
AP: We’re all from California. Julian’s originally from England – I’ll let him tell that. We met in California and we moved up here at different times. We’ve all known each other since we were very young.
Q: Julian, where in England did you grow up?
Julian Thomas: Redditch, it’s near the Midlands. It’s famous for fishhooks.
Q: How did you learn to play music?
AP: Julian and I had been in a punk band since we were 14. Julian originally played guitar but then he started taking classical piano lessons when he was 15.
AP: Kevin doesn’t know how to play the drums.
KRL: I have no idea how to play drums.
Q: You’re self-taught.
KRL: I just figured it out a year ago. I generally like hitting things with sticks.
AP: He’d never played drums and it just came naturally. We’ve been playing for 10 years and he knows how to keep up with us. I don’t know how it works.
KRL: I took one lesson a couple months ago with the drummer of Diminished Men. He’s amazing.
Kevin R. Lord
Q: Who writes the music and lyrics?
AP: I write the structure and then we all write the music. I mostly write all the lyrics and then I write a bass structure. Julian writes the meat of the music.
Q: Are you doing more recording?
AP: Hopefully in 2009. We’re writing this winter. I think we’re going to try to get back in the studio late spring/early summer.
Q: Good. . . what do you think has influenced you?
KRL: Not the band.
AP: You know when you watch the History Channel and you see all the tanks driving over the skulls and stuff?
KRL: We just think that’s kind of typical.
AP: Pharmaceutical commercials. Moral decay. The decline of society. Recently Kevin paid a guy $120 to move his mattress out of our apartment. You can’t just leave a mattress out on the road anymore – people look down on it. $120 dollars in some countries can feed a whole family.
KRL: I couldn’t even get rid of a nice comfortable bed.
AP: We just like dark, cynical imagery. Shit that makes people uncomfortable. We really like Swans, the band, their attitude.
KRL: There’s enough dark imagery on the news every night to write songs for the rest of my life.
Q: How did you decide not to have a guitarist in the band?
JT: When we first started I was on guitar, keyboards and occasional singing. The songs I ended up liking the most were the ones with him [Poppick] singing, him [Lord] on drums and me on keyboards.
KRL: He’s a lot better as a pianist than he is as a guitarist. I mean, you’re a good guitarist, but he shines on piano.
Q: The ep stunned me. Do you feel like you’ve created something different from what other people are doing?
AP: We’re very much trying.
KRL: We want to mix our influences. If something sounds too much like a jazz song or too much like a blues song we’ll mix it up.
Q: The pix of you taken by Mary Henlin . . . those are great. Who’s the girl with the rabbit head?
KRL: His [Thomas’] girlfriend. We rented that hotel room and got so fucked up and she was sober. We stayed up all night and we look completely gone. We look like scumbag freaks, which is what we were going for. Mary’s good.
You can see more photos I took of their show at the Comet here.
Blood Red Dancers next play the Bit Saloon in Ballard on February 21, 2009.