Payin' Dues: The Dead Reds

“There is a real change of consciousness happening, an awakening of the human spirit. We want to be on the front lines,” says The Dead Reds’ harmonica player Thomas Miles Woodbridge. Their latest EP, The Last Stand, recorded at Quay West Studios in Gosport over a two-day period with producer Alex Long, walks the walk too. Lyrically it’s potent social comment, musically it’s bluesy garage rock. “Music is the world’s expression and the blues are its back-broken tears,” adds Jeremy Green, the group’s vocalist and bassist.

How did the band get started?

Jeremy: We started off as The Dead Red Roses, and we lost our bass player due to “artistic differences”. We salvaged what material we could and dropped the Roses. We wrote a lot of our debut Dark Before The Dawn in that period. It and the EP have Rosie Flint on drums, Geoff Wilcox on guitar, Miles on harp and myself on bass and vocals. Unfortunately, Geoff and Rosie have now moved on. So I would like to introduce Max Gibson our new guitarist.

Who are your influences?

Jeremy: Myself and Miles have been big Guns N’ Roses and Rage Against The Machine fans since we were young enough to build tree houses. Also The Black Crowes, Paul Butterfield and The Doors all had a lasting impact. The list goes on. There were some great bands and good times in the 60s, 70s and 80s. We are trying to relive that vibe./o:p

Miles, your blues harp is a major part of The Dead Reds’ sound.

Miles: I had a harp as a kid and blew in and out of that sucker all day long. Whenever I’d hear it and especially getting older, sitting in the bars, I’d be in rapture, my mouth would tense up and I’d grind my teeth, hairs on the back of my neck would stand up, it was so mysterious… how the fuck are these guys making that sound? Sonny Boy Williamson speaking through his silver smile or Canned Heat hitting the road or John Lee Hooker hooking me like a worm. But Butters changed me. When I discovered Paul Butterfield I never looked back. I thought, damn, that dude’s talking to God! It was amazing to witness Butters being inducted to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Does Brighton shape your sound?

Miles: The smell of revolution is in the air. I now reside in Lewes. It’s the hometown of America’s founding father and revolutionary Tom Paine, so we can walk the streets of it. We recently played a show with American economist Max Keiser, who is an asset to the financial education of this country and the world.

The Last Stand EP is out now, self-released./o:p