MEET THE BAND: Bryan Giles (vocal, guitar), Aaron Beam (bass, vocal), David Sullivan (guitar), John Sherman (drums)
IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL: After playing at least 1,000 shows across a 15-year span, Bryan Giles explains that he still doesn't get sick of playing with his crew of Portland metalheads. They know each other now, for better or worse. Above all, Red Fang members pride themselves on being happy, on stage and in life. "Our music may be angry," Giles says just hours before a recent show in St. Louis. "But we're not angry all the time. We're not in our basement hanging upside down like bats." That's why they love making wry-witted music videos. "That's actually how a lot of people know of us, through our music videos," Giles says. The videos, directed by Whitey McConnaughy, have led to millions of YouTube views, worldwide tours and even an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman.
WINTER IS COMING IN CLEVELAND: Starting in on a new tour through much of the Northeast and Midwest this fall, including a stop in Cleveland, Giles says that the city will always be the place that turned him on to the Game of Thrones series — even before the TV show came out. He recalls meeting some dude at a bar, before a show at the Grog Shop, who chatted him up about science fiction. "This guy recommend I check out George R.R. Martin and read the series," Giles says. "So because of Cleveland I've read 5,000-something pages."
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: Sometimes, you just want to feel music so loud and deep it makes your rib cage rattle. That's where Red Fang comes in. Their most recent record, 2016's Only Ghosts, shows off the band's sludge-filled music and doom-and-gloom lyricism. But their most recent single, a cover of "Listen to the Sirens" by Tubeway Army, is sort of a left turn, in that it sounds more like regular rock. "John [Sherman, drummer] turned me on to this band, and it was his idea to cover this," Giles says. "We've been a band a long time. Doing something drastically different helps keep us moving." Giles says this new tune, along with another fresh one, will be on the set list when they head Cleveland's way. "It's interesting to watch how the audience reacts to this song as it's so out of the ordinary for us." And he's itching to get back in the studio. "We're actively songwriting, even while on tour," Giles says. "I'm really chomping at the bit to get in the studio. We have boat loads of riffs but not a lot of new songs yet."
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: redfang.net
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Red Fang performs with Big Business and Dead Now at 8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 24, at the Beachland Ballroom.