Interview: Red Kite

Red KiteSongs for Crow, the debut album from Dan Fisher’s new project Red Kite is being released today after a more than successful Pledge campaign and plenty of blogging besides. To celebrate and ahead of their mini-UK tour, we speak to the leading man about giving away his guitar, the “Dance for Crow” video and not playing Bristol.

How are you?

Not too bad!

Songs for Crow is due out on 5th November. When did you finish the recording?

When we did the Pledge, that’s when we got it mastered. Once we hit the Pledge target, which was within four days, we got it mastered and that’s when we considered it done.

Were you happy with the time you managed to get it done by? Not just the Pledge, but in general?

It’s been quite a long thing. Overall it’s probably been about two years since writing the first song and [the album] being [finished]. To begin with it was just something we were doing for the hell of it, and then the songs got to a pretty good level, and then I thought I might as well put a band together to play live shows... That whole process of essentially me figuring out exactly what it was, it was two years, so it’s been quite a while coming. But then most music projects do take a long time to come to fruition.

You sound relaxed about it, but I think a lot of musicians would be frustrated with that!

It’s one of those things. It was never meant to be something really; I just started throwing some songs around again, having not done it for a while. I wasn’t expecting anything to come of it. Then it blew up slightly when we released “Montreal”. It’s been a while coming. But yeah, it wasn’t too frustrating for me. There was a period, not this year but the year before where it was difficult to find it a home, and I wasn’t really sure what to do with it. That was a bit frustrating; meeting various people and doing all the kinds of things you have to do when you’re really trying to get [music] out there. The Pledge gave it a lot more focus.  Once I was signed independently, it was like it’s going to come out now so we better get on with it!

The people you worked with, specifically Tom Bellamy and some of the people in Red Kite, you’ve worked with over a long period of time. Did you want to move away from the sound of the Coopers and the previous projects you’ve worked on?

It wasn’t really a conscious decision; it wasn’t something that I didn’t want to do. It’s just this stuff is more what I brought to the Coopers, in the same way that other people brought... Tom’s thing is very much electronic music, which you can hear with [his current project] Losers. It was just what I always brought to [the Coopers]. Working with six people who all have different music tastes, it’s going to create what it sounded like, but [Red Kite] is like the stuff I’ve always listened to. It’s liberating to think that I don’t have to worry about what other people are going to think about it! I can just do what I want to do.

You said before, when Alice interviewed you, that the album almost wasn’t a conscious choice. Has it cemented with you since?

Yeah, I mean the songs came about after a bunch of stuff happened to me. A relationship I’d been in for a long time broke down, my Father past away, and that’s where it started. Every hour of the day I was in a not too great place, and I just picked up my guitar for something to do; to pass the time. In that sense, yeah it wasn’t planned at all, but then once we got to the point where we started playing the songs it was like, okay I can do something with this.

Do you now see specific themes being pulled out of the album?

You could probably rearrange the tracks into a story of things that happened when I wrote it. There are tracks that are quite allegorical – “Montreal” took ages to write, but “The Gathering Storm” came to me within a couple of hours. “Montreal” took a long time.

Is “Dance with Crow” a single?

Singles these days are... People don’t know what to do with them! We figured we’d already put out [“Montreal” and “The Gathering Storm”], so we decided to put something out that’s wasn’t a single. We did a video for it for people to watch. I’m really proud of it. I think it represents the album well. Some bands, when you listen to their album, it sounds nothing like their singles. Sometimes it’s quite refreshing and sometimes it’s quite disappointing. A single should give people an idea of what the album’s going to be like, and I think “Dance with Crow” does that.

Would you say the song embodies the album?

I think it does yeah. [It has] a lot of the themes that run through the album lyrically. It was a difficult song to write. I don’t want to say it’s one of the more important songs on the album, because they’re all important, but it’s definitely one of the key tracks on the album. It’s more like if I were to say to someone, this track sums up the album; that would be one of the tracks.

Through Pledge you talked about doing a funeral-esque march in the video for “Dance with Crow”, but the actual video is more about your performance.

When we sat down and thought about it, we realised it was never going to happen really! Everyone who worked on it worked for free. Rob Regan the guy who produced it, he was great. We gave the best performance we could. With “Montreal” and “The Gathering Storm”, their videos just feature me, there’s not too much of the band in them at all so we figured we wanted to include them!

Moving back with Pledge, what made you go with them specifically?

A friend of mine who works in the music industry, I was chatting with him and he suggested it. He said there’s no point in waiting around for labels; just do it yourself. The people who got involved with it at that early point; it’s as much their release as it is ours. We wouldn’t have been able to put out the album without people believing in us. We gave a lot back, with all the packages we did for everyone. It was a real 50/50 between us and the people who pledged.

You gave away one of your books! Did you replace it?

It was a copy of Crow by Ted Hughes. It was my tatty old copy that I’d had for years and years, so it was quite a nice little package to give away. I thought, well... It was easier to give away than an acoustic guitar of mine that I’d written a few of the tracks on. I’ve never been a huge fan of holding on to stuff like that. I don’t have the Coopers records up on my wall or anything!

You have a tour coming up and there’s no Bristol date.

There nearly was! The problem is we have to get two drummers on stage, and also trying to organise stages that six people can fit on gets really tricky. Hopefully next February – we’re going to try and get out and play new stuff.

Read our review of Songs for Crow in Issue 11, available to download for free from here.


No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.