An American rock band from Denver, Colorado, Redlands has built a reputation for being musically diverse. The five-piece band consists of Ben Lohle on vocals, Chase Martinez on bass, Brandon Ruckman on guitar, Taylor Macres on guitar and Taylor Drose on drums. Each of these talented musicians contributes to Redland’s unique sound, which is nostalgic, upbeat and altogether refreshing. These aspects were all showcased in the band’s debut EP “The Lonewolf”, produced by renowned producer Matt Grabe and released in February of 2014. Since then, the band has landed a spot on the Ernie Ball Stage at the Van’s Warped Tour in 2014 and has played several national festivals. They recently released their new EP “Adventurer”, which features them pursuing a new sound and conquering new airwaves in the process. In the following interview, Redland’s lead singer Ben Lohle discusses his band’s musical inspirations, how their new EP stands out from their previous albums and his love for The Maine, Ryan Adams and The Rolling Stones. Take a look!
You recently released your new EP “Adventurer” and I want to tell you guys that I love it. Did you have a concept in mind when you started writing it, and if so, what was it?
I think the concept was to just do something that we weren’t familiar with and just venture into unfamiliar territory. Yeah, I think we did that.
How is it different from your previous album?
I think it’s a lot poppier musically. It has a hint back to what we’ve done in the past, but I would say it is musically broader, being poppy and such.
If you had to describe it in two words, what would they be?
Bad ass (laughs) I don’t know. No, I can’t say that about my music. I don’t know. Very adventurous?
What is your favorite track from the EP?
I would say Leather Boots is my favorite to play live, but Hollow Bodies is my favorite recorded.
How do you pick your cover art for your albums?
This is an interesting story. Ok, so I was using this app called Tinder to promote shows when we were in the area. I don’t use it anymore—too much of a hassle—but I had it on Dudes and Girls because that was just like short for everybody so that if anyone matched, we could let them know which shows we were playing that night. And this kid actually was doing the same thing for his graphic design, and he just shot me a message and said, “Hey, I do a lot of graphic work. Let me know if you want anything done,” and it was pretty much just like an instant “Wow, this kid’s good! Let’s have him do some CV art and see what he comes up with.” And it kind of just developed from that and we kind of just bounced ideas back and forth.
How would you describe your dynamic as a band?
Musically, everyone sees where I want to take the band, but we are all very into our own different styles of music. Some of us have played in worship bands growing up and some of us haven’t, like myself. But musically, I feel like it’s pretty broad. If you listen to tracks off the Lonewolf Ep and compare it to Adventurer, you see that there’s indie rock influences, there’s a little hint of country in the early stuff, and then this new stuff is more poppy and a little bit broader. We’re very diverse in our music. I think what we’re trying to portray is that we’re capable of doing pretty much any style of music and we want to add that in to our songs and not pigeon-hole our music into a box. So yeah, we’re very musically diverse and I think people like that, because whether people like a certain song or not, there’s a little something there for everybody.
Is there a style of music that you haven’t tried yet that you’ve been itching to try?
For me personally, because I kind of direct where the band goes musically, I would like to touch on some more folk rock, maybe, but that might be something I do later down the road as a solo type of thing. I’m pretty open to anything and everything. Maybe we’ll try some more electronic kind of music but keep it indie…I don’t know.
Who influences you musically?
I would say…I mean, we all love The Maine. What they do, they inspire us. Following them in their music career and seeing them go through a couple of major labels, we saw that they really stood up for what they believed in and produced the music that they wanted. Artists like that and Tom Petty and bands that stood out from the crowd and were just like, “You know what, we’re gonna do this no matter what, whether you’re backing us or not.” It shines a light on music that isn’t always appreciated because we’re always shoved down our throats with Top 40 artists. We really admire the artists that can give us a look behind the scenes and show how many different writers are involved. That kind of music inspires us.
If you could collaborate with any musician, who would it be and why?
Oh man, I’d love to write with Dan Layus or Ryan Adams. Those are probably my two—I wouldn’t say favorites, but they are definitely my most inspirational artists that I listen to, just because their song writing is so creative. It’s kind of abstract but personal—it’s so abstract that it’s personal because you can relate to it any way you want to.
What do you hope that other musicians learn from you?
I hope people can just see that—obviously, we’re doing everything independently right now and we don’t have anyone helping us, so I hope other musicians that are just getting started can be encouraged that you don’t need somebody backing you for success. If you’re doing what you really love and you love to do it, then that’s all that really matters at the end of the day.
Do you have any plans for a live album?
A live album, no, we don’t. That would definitely be something that we would look into if we were playing like a theater tour. That way, you can kind of dial in your sound by the end of the tour and by that time, record something awesome. But that’ll definitely be something that we look into when the time comes.
If you could cover any song, what would it be and why?
I would say something from The Rolling Stones, like Give Me Shelter or something. I saw a video the other day that was pretty neat. It was a video of all these cultural musicians from all over the world performing [Give Me Shelter] and all contributing something to this really bad ass cover. I think that would be a really fun song to cover, just because it’s so bad ass.
You can follow the band on Twitter at @weareredlands and hear their new EP on their website, www.redlandsmusic.com