The Red Baron are about crucial tunes and catchy sing-a-longs and I’m down with anyone that’s into straight edge and they love Jesus too which is cool in a scene of open hearts and minds…
Heya guys tell me about how you all met? Did you grow up together or did you meet at hardcore shows?
We met at shows. I, (Phil) met Josiah through another band he was in, so I stole him. Haha. Met Chase through a mutual friend at a show and we met John and Josh later on through shows.
Can you remember the first time you heard a hardcore band? Who was it or what bands were you into at the beginning and what sort of impression did the first show you went to leave on you?
First two hardcore bands I saw were Snapcase and Stretcharmstrong. I saw Snapcase at warped tour and Stretcharmstrong at a new band showscase at Atlantafest. I grew up only listening to hip hop, so it was new to me, but the passion behind it gained my attention.
I like the line in your mini-biog ‘We are far from perfect but we try and live out our beliefs on a daily basis’ very honest and sincere, so where do you stand as far your beliefs go? and is having a band a good way to get your message out there?
My beliefs are my life. Though I screw up daily, I cling to the forgiveness of Jesus. I will never act like im better then anyone else or point the finger cause its Christ that is great, not me. As far as being straightedge, the same thing. I don’t think I’m better then anyone else, I just think the lifestyle I’ve chosen is a better way of living. I take joy in being straightedge. I belong to a group of people who say I don’t need to take part in things that taint my judgment, I can enjoy my life just the way I am.
Hardcore is supposed to stand for something. If you don’t have something to say, why be on stage? People can either accept or reject what we stand for, but at least we stand for it.
Have you had any experiences personally with drugs or with friends that drew you towards your current stance or was it through Christianity and your faith which made you switch off to that stuff?
I grew up smoking and drinking. It just came to a point where I realized that stuff was foolish and just a ruin. It had nothing to do with my Christianity. I know sincere Christians who smoke or have a drink here and there. But even that was something I didn’t want to be apart of. I’d rather live a life free of that garbage.
What do’s being straight edge mean to you? Do you X up for shows?
I haven’t X’d up for shows in a long time, kinda hard with hand tattoos. Haha
Being Straightedge means a lot to me. It means im willing to take a stand against the normal get drunk and live for the moment regardless of consequences mindset. I take a stand against drugs, alcohol, and sleeping around. I will never support or partake in those things. Plain and simple-its my lifestyle. Keyword- life!
From the dawn of time society has had ills, but these are enlightened times and equality is becoming more than just a word in many areas of the western civilized world (at least) yet drug abuse, alcoholism and tobacco products still claim many lives, how long can the industries that profit from these substances continue and do you think there will ever come a time when the majority starts to questions these habits that have been formed and forced down there throats for generations?
Sadly, I don’t see this changing anytime soon. As long as people are thinking “instant gratification” and “living for the moment” these things will stick around. Too many people only care about themselves and what pleases them in the moment, it’s sad but true.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if CD sales were reflective of the amount of times your songs have been played on your myspace (437,501) How did the CD split with xBishopx happen? Have you known those guys for a while? They good to tour with?
The split came about when I was in MA and Remembering Never were recording the new album and Pete asked me to come lay down vocals for T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E. We got talking about a tour and a split album came along with that. We’ve all known each other for awhile, due to shows and other bands. They’re some of our best friends in the scene, tours are always a good time with those dudes.
Have you had much opportunity as a band to tour? Is it a fun experience for you and how do you balance touring life with education or jobs?
We’ve been touring for years. Its not always the easiest thing but its always been a pleasure. I personally toured and graduated from college in the process. Its all about balance.
What bands have you played with? Who are your favourite bands to see live or which ones have made the most impression on you?
We’ve played with so many bands. Bishop, Kingdom, Thick as Blood, Call to Preserve, Sleeping Giant, Sworn Enemy, Have Heart, Neon Hookers, Barriers Now Bridges, Know the Score, and the list goes on. Favorite bands live would have to be Shockwave, Terror, Hatebreed, New Found Glory, and Crime in Stereo.
Whats the Florida hardcore scene like at the moment? Are there plenty of venues and kids that turn out and get behind local acts? (Any bands or websites you could recommend?)
Florida hardcore has its ups and downs. It’s a huge state also so different parts have different things going on.
Check out these bands- Toetag- for fans of heavy hardcore
Tigerstyle- Fast punk influenced hardcore
New City Lions- not hardcore but its Joshia, Josh, and Black Johns other band.
Monument- good hardcore
We Still Dream- pop punk genius
Do you all have any particular aims with the bands as far as its future is concerned? Will you be thinking about releasing an album and would it be important to you to sign to an Edge or Christian label (like facedown or solid state – I think were one)
We have our new album being released April 7th on Blood and Ink Records. With all of us being older and having other things going on, our main goal is to enjoy what’s left of our time as a band.
Phil you’ve launched a clothing label Now & Forever, How’s that working out for you and what got you interested in something like that (I’m just about to do something similar here in the UK)
It went well while it lasted. It sold well, I just didn’t have the funds to keep it going right now especially with all the other awesome sXe clothing companies out there.
On a similar note what sorts of things interest you all away from the band?
We all love music, so other bands that were in. Graphic Design and Video. Hanging out. Clubbin on tour, haha. Some of the guys train MMA. Ministry.
What hopes do you have for the future? (for yourself & the band) or do you not give much thought to that and live for the present? Any final thoughts?
I just want to do whatever I feel God calling me to do. I’m getting married July 11th so my number one goal right now is that and to be the best husband I can be.