Red: Basic Instincts
- Friday, February 27, 2009
So I think the experience of being [on a] big tour and then flying out to L.A. to go to the GRAMMY Awards and being able to hit the after parties and such … We came out saying, 'Wow, this is probably even bigger than we can know.' It was a surreal experience, but it was really cool. It's something I look forward to telling our kids about. We'll be sharing these stories for a long time.
CMCentral: Tell me about Innocence and Instinct. Why is that an appropriate title for this batch of songs?
Jasen: Our goal going into the second record was to keep consistency with the music that came off the first record. We wanted continuity there. If you were a Red fan from day one, you can still be a fan of this record with all of those things you're looking for to be satisfied. At the same time, after spending so much time on the road with so many bands who have sold so many more records than we have, [we’re] learning so much by watching those guys and seeing how they do things as professionals. That made us want to mature our craft. That's what we wanted to do with this record as well.
The theme of this album talks about the two sides we have, the duality we have as humans. It's about our positive and negative traits. It's about our good experiences and our bad experiences. We wanted to make a soundtrack for each one of those moments on our journey of life.
CMCentral: After such an intense touring experience for End of Silence, I would think you would have met so many people on the road and would hear so many stories. Does this direction for Innocence and Instinct come out of that?
Jasen: I think so. On the road, you hear so many stories from fans because we do meet and greets at the merch table. You hear personal testimonies of what our music has meant, or you get e-mails of what our music has helped with. Those are extreme encouragements, but even more powerful than that was touring with a band like Sevendust or Seether. You're doing 80 or 90 shows with those guys for three or four months at a time, and you're spending every waking hour together. You see them more than your wives and kids. You develop a special bond and relationship with those people, and some of those bands in the time we were going out went through some serious trauma themselves.
To be able to connect with those guys as friends was an amazing experience, especially because many of them are not believers. So those experiences definitely show up on some of the songs on this record. We can take their experiences and look through the lens of our perspective—of being a Christian and knowing what it means to have God's redeeming love in our lives—and see what life and pain is like through different eyes. I think we get a really tangible example of how someone can feel in that moment.
It also reminded us of how, just because we know we are Christians, we aren't immune to those emotions. I think that really helped influence and change those songs. It helped us give words for those frustrations and the need for healing and the desperation we really wanted to plug into these songs.
CMCentral: Tell me about working with Rob Graves.
Jasen: Rob worked with us to produce the first record and also this last one. I've known Rob for six or seven years. I originally started working in studios; that's where I got my start professionally. He was engineering and writing at the time, so that's how we met. We became friends there, and so when Red became a band and did some demos on our own, I gave them to him to check out. It was something he really enjoyed, so he asked to produce that first record.
So when it came to this one, it just made sense. The great thing about working with Rob is that he has a very unique insight into Red and what we're trying to do as a band. He has a way of pulling the best performances out of Michael [Barnes, lead vocalist]. He will tell us when things aren't good, even if it's hard to hear. So we're really happy about the process and how things turned out. He definitely helped to shape and mold how things sound.
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