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Concert Review & Interview: Red Light Saints at the Perfect Pitcher in Taylor, MI on 15-Apr-2014

On a cold night in Taylor, Michigan, the Red Light Saints rolled into town and heated things up with their blistering live show. On April 15th, 2014, these guys put on an outstanding in-your-face rock ‘n roll show at the Perfect Pitcher. The band played their hearts out to the 150+ crowd gaining a slew of new fans along the way!

Red Light Saints consist of Travis Schinke (vocals), Lane Bashaw (lead guitar), Andy Nader (bass), Luke Heckel (drums), and Teddy “O.P.P.” Opperman (touring rhythm guitar). Opperman is filling in for Ben Kurowski is currently on hiatus for just having a child.

 

The band unleashed a dynamic set of high energy rock ‘n roll with a set that intermixed songs from their debut EP, The Legend of Jasper Pipestone, with a few unreleased songs and an incredible rendition of Man In The Box by Alice In Chains.

Their setlist included: On The Pavement, Let It Go, Ur Not The One, The Plan, Long Way Home, Dag Bag, Long Night, Man In The Box, Anything Anymore, and Say What You Will.

Schinke took no time introducing himself to the crowd while belting out “It’s Nice To Meet You” with On The Pavement. Schinke is a very energetic frontman who appears to truly love what he is doing. Backed by heavy instrumentals and mammoth drumming, this was the perfect song for them to open up their set with.

Heckel shined during The Plan showing that he is an amazing drummer who has the capability to play alongside seasoned drummers who have been in the business twice as long as him.

The band seemed to really find their ‘groove’ during Long Way Home (a personal favorite of mine). Bashaw and Opperman played off each other during this song. Opperman was all ‘smiles’ and would engage with the audience when he caught them singing along to the chorus.

During Dag Bag, both Nader and Bashaw, smiling and laughing, appeared to have fun playing their guitars while leaning on each other during this song. It was as if they were both trying to support holding each other up.

The guys were ‘spot-on’ with their rendition of Man In The Box. This was an excellent choice for them as a cover song. They played with the same power and passion that Alice In Chains put into the original version making it a highlight for many who were in attendance.

They ended their set with their recently released single, Say What You Will. This song has a ‘punch’ to it. It is a great song for them to release as a single. With its overall aggressive vibe, it makes a statement to the listener as if saying to them, “Here We Are!”

There was a small crowd up front when the band started their set but most everyone had made their way up to the stage as the area was full to capacity by the end of their set. Red Light Saints found new group of fans this night here in Taylor, Michigan. The band came back, later in the night, to play with Faster Pussycat on the song Pretty Fucked Up. The crowd absolutely LOVED it! Together, these two bands had hit a home run.

After having recently reviewed The Legend Of Jasper Pipestone EP, and really enjoying it, I was looking forward to checking out their live show. These guys did not disappoint me in the least, and made it worth the two-hour drive it took to see them. Red Light Saints play like seasoned musicians and appear to be in it for the long haul. After watching their performance, I see them only getting bigger and bigger. I am definitely looking forward to seeing them on their next tour.

Red Light Saints opened for Faster Pussycat that night at the Perfect Pitcher in Taylor. National Rock Review reviewed and photographed their show. You can read this article here: Faster Pussycat concert review and photographs

Red Light Saints concert images:

Photos by Thom Seling

After the show, I had the honor of sitting down with the guys to ask them a few questions. Here is that interview:


NRR: When I listen to Red Light Saints, Faster Pussycat doesn’t necessarily come to mind. You touring with them kind of surprised me. How did this tour come about?

LUKE: Well, our first tour with them came about because we had the opportunity to do a handful of shows with them when they were in our hometown area of Wisconsin. So, our promoter got them our stuff and they (Faster Pussycat) came back to us and asked us if we wanted to do more of the run? We said yes. They then came back to us and asked us if we wanted to do the whole tour? We said “hell yes” and we did it.At that point, before the first tour, we had done some Midwest runs but we had never done anything that was a full-fledged national tour. So, we did it and, honestly, when you have 13 people on a bus for 6 weeks at a time, you either love each other or you hate each other or maybe a little bit of both. They (Faster Pussycat) became, well their not even friends at this point… their family. We had Thanksgiving at a couple of their houses with their families.When it came time for us to tour again, we had our publicist put some feelers out for us and Faster Pussycat said “come out with us?” We said “hell yes”, again, because we seriously love these guys like family. We know that their audience isn’t necessarily 100% our demographic or listening to new modern active rock radio but we had so much fun with them the first tour that there was no way we could say no. So that’s how we ended up on this tour. It’s a way for us to get out nationally and hitting some of the same venues again, or at least hitting some of the same markets again, and just getting our name out there so we can hopefully get a little name recognition for the next time we come back through.This tour also really helped us spring-board some of the stuff that we needed to do such as playing some show cases for labels as well as some media, like rock publications or blog writers. It got us out there, to put our show out there to get people, like you, to review it and tell people about what we’re doing. Because, us, we believe in what we’re doing.

LANE: And it seems like a few other people do too with the reviews that we are getting and the really good response from them.
LUKE: I’m really proud of the response we are getting from people who aren’t necessarily there to see us or who aren’t even really into the new modern rock sound.
TRAVIS: My favorite thing is when people who don’t know who the fuck we are see us for the first time. Their standing there in the back then halfway through the show their saying “who the fuck are these assholes?” and then their scurrying up toward the stage and then we’re all friends and we have drinks with them.
LUKE: That’s true. You might think that this isn’t necessarily the right crowd for us to play to but we have made so many genuine friends on these two tours that we will know these people for as long as Red Light Saints is around.
TRAVIS: But, what’s the right crowd? People are people everywhere. I like all kinds of genres of music. I like country and pop and all kinds of crazy music. People are going to like us or they’re not going to like us.
LUKE: In all sincerity we are just playing rock ‘n roll and if people are liking Faster Pussycat’s brand of rock ‘n roll then we hope they will like ours as well.
LANE: I have to share the best thing that has happened to me on this tour. A few nights ago there was this 12 or 13 year old boy there with his father because his father obviously grew up listening to Faster Pussycat. Here this father brings his kid with him to his first concert and the kid loved us. He came back to our booth at least ten times to hang out. That took me back to when I was a kid just getting into music and going to my first concert. And, believe it or not, those early bands that I listened to I still love now. Hopefully this kid will love our music years from now.
TRAVIS: Yeah, this kid’s father put a post on our Facebook wall and it really meant a lot to me. It is something I will never forget. This is from Raymond. This is from Ohio. He said, “I was at the show with my sons. It was the first concert for my 15 year old. You guys rocked us. Kick ass show. We got you to play one more and you didn’t disappoint us one bit. You guys are going places. We love the CD and thanks for signing it for the boys. You guys are all class acts on and off the stage.”That last sentence really got to me because we’re all good old boys from Wisconsin. We play for the hard working families. We’re all hard working guys. We all have jobs at home. The best thing about all of my favorite musicians is that you can talk to them. And that’s me. I want to be that guy that you can come up to and talk to. This is the kind of stuff that I live for. Dave Grohl is my favorite musician. I want people to think of me as they do of Dave. He is the nicest guy in rock ‘n roll making him the coolest guy in rock ‘n roll.
LUKE: If you give us an audience, we would like to think that we are going to do something to make you feel what we are feeling.
NRR: For me, you did that with Long Way Home. That song is awesome.
LUKE: Yeah, that one always makes me happy.
TRAVIS: That’s a song from the heart. It might be simple and easy to sing along to but it comes from the heart.
LUKE: That’s the song when we were out in Los Angeles driving down the highway that we would catch ourselves singing along to. Here we are, driving down the highway with the windows down wailing along to the song at the top of our lungs, just having fun.
NRR: Long Way Home kind of reminds me of a song similar to that of which I could see Pop Evil having done, especially with the vocal harmony.
LUKE: Absolutely. We’ve had the opportunity to have played with them a few times. We like them. We got along with them really well. Our set meshed extraordinarily well with theirs because they do the heavy thing, the fast thing, the powerful thing, the melodic thing and then all of a sudden they’ll throw in a heartfelt acoustic rock song… And, people love that. They can latch on to it. They can sing along to it. They can relate to it.
NRR: You have your new EP coming out right now. Did you self-release it?
LUKE: Yes, we did release it ourselves. We hadn’t put out anything professionally yet so it was time.
TRAVIS: We’ve had some offers now since we’ve been out on tour but nothing that we are willing to take.
NRR: How long have you been out on this tour?
TRAVIS: March 20th was the kick off for the CD release. We did our first show with Buckcherry and then we met up with Faster Pussycat in Denver. We’re going to be out with them until April 26th.
NRR: Do you have any plans on going back out with anyone after this tour ends?
LUKE: We’ve had a couple of offers but we haven’t decided which direction or avenue to follow.
TRAVIS: We have an offer from Ted Nugent but we don’t know if Uncle Ted is going to love us or hate us?
NRR: It’s really not a bad offer, especially in the Midwest. He still has quite a draw.
TRAVIS: I think to look back in 10 or 15 or 20 years from now and say “Hey man, I played with the fucking Nuge.” That’s going to be cool. It’s a story to tell the grandkids.
NRR: He’s an icon, no doubt.
LUKE: Yeah, we have a couple of options and we are just trying to decide which one is the route to go.
LANE: I just can’t help but think that we need to get with a band that’s a little more, like, now.
NRR: And, the CD hasn’t officially come out yet, right?
LUKE: True, our album doesn’t officially come out until Thursday. In two days.
TRAVIS: So, nobody has even really heard it. They’ve gotten one track that we released as a single. We did get some pre-release copies to sell on this tour and we’ve already sold out of them.
LUKE: Yeah, we already sold 100 copies which I didn’t expect.
LANE: Being that we did it on this tour is pretty cool.
NRR: How long have you guys been together as a band?
LUKE: The band started in 2010. Well, Lane, Ben and I have been playing music on and off for over 10 years. We found Nader in a band with a previous singer a few years ago and he’s been the bassist for Red Light Saints for around 2 years now. We found Travis about a year and a half ago.
TRAVIS: On the internet!
LUKE: Red Light Saints, itself, has been in existence for about 3 years now. We remembered Travis from a previous band that we had played with and when things weren’t working out with our other lead singer, Lane contacted Travis through the internet. So, Travis has been in the band now for about a year and a half.
NRR: So, you (Luke) and Lane are really the beginning of the band?
LUKE: The two of us and the other guitarist (Ben Kurowski) who isn’t on this tour with us because he just had a baby a couple of days before the tour started.
LANE: Ben is actually our lead guitarist and I am the rhythm guitarist.
LUKE: Since Ben couldn’t do this tour, we found O.P.P. (Teddy) to fill in on rhythm guitar while Lane moved up to lead guitar.
LANE: Yeah, so Luke, Travis, Ben, Nader and I are the actual band with O.P.P. helping us out for this tour.
LUKE: When we found Travis everything really started to click. We always had really cool ideas and we had some good songs with a really good local following but we wouldn’t be doing what we are doing right now if it wasn’t for Travis.
LANE: Yeah, Travis is a really pushy son of a bitch! We love him and hate him so much… that it works.
LUKE: We just clicked. When we found Travis we started writing music that was satisfying to us and also accessible to others. We complimented each other.
LANE: We jammed with Travis on a Wednesday. He played his first show with us on a Friday. And then we were like, you’re in the band!
LUKE: Because it worked ‘like that.’ Then when we started writing it was so easy for us to write together.
LANE: We would have the basic first part of the song written within 15 to 20 minutes. We were like, wow, that’s going to be a song. We just had to put the finishing touches on it.
TRAVIS: Yeah, all of the songs we wrote probably only took us an hour each to write. Here we are, five guys sitting in Ben’s basement drinking some beer on a Sunday afternoon and we were able to write out a batch of songs together that we were really excited about.
LANE: We all came from different areas and ended up living in Green Bay and here we are at the start of something that I felt could be really good.
NRR: Travis, what was the band you were singing in before Red Light Saints?
TRAVIS: It was a band called Seed.
LUKE: They [Seed] played right before us [Luke & Lane] on a show with Pop Evil when we were in a band called Eyes of Claire. That’s how we first found Travis.We kind of found Nader the same way. We had to play a gig. We needed a bassist. Our singer, at the time, said I know a guy. And, so we called him and said, hey, can you play a show on Friday? And, he said yes. We probably jammed with him for about an hour before the show then played this three hour show with him. So, an hour of the show he kind of ‘knew’ but then we just winged it for the other two hours. When we got done playing, Lane was like, what do you think of Nader? And, I was like, He’s in the band. I want him. I want him, now! As a drummer, I am really particular about the bassist and then the bassist is probably the same way about the drummer and we just clicked immediately.
NADER: At that time I was in a band called Playbox but also played with anyone as much as I could. I’d do open jam sessions, variety bands and would just play all that I could. That’s how these guys found me. I was just hanging out one night playing.
TRAVIS: I had almost given up on music the first day Lane got ahold of me. I went back to college and was studying to be a chiropractor. I was married.
LUKE: We ruined his life!
TRAVIS: Yeah, this band has ruined my life, ha ha, but I’m such a better person for it because I found brothers who share my passion for music. I love everything that we are doing.
LANE: Even when Travis was in the band Seed, I could tell he was a really good singer. He sang this song Retribution and I fell in love with it the first time I heard it. This was a great song. In our area, there’s talent everywhere. We have musicians with amazing talent.
LUKE: In Northeast Wisconsin, you’re never going to be discovered because it’s Northeast Wisconsin. That being said, the quality of musicianship you find is absurd. It’s through the fucking roof. There are so many amazing players where we come from. We travel all around. We go to Vegas, L.A., New York, wherever, and the players who come from our area will play the pants off any of the studio musicians from those other areas.
LANE: We have a honey pot of amazing musicians and it just helps us step up our game.
LUKE: I’ve always been really comfortable playing with Lane and Ben because we grew up playing together. We then find Nader who we just really clicked with immediately. And, then we find Travis who is really good with lyrics and melody. You put it all together, and it’s really easy. Don’t get me wrong, we fight all of the time but we work really well together. We click. We all click together really well.
TRAVIS: Luke and I tried to strangle each other in a cab ride while we were making the record but then the next day we are best friends again hanging out at the beach together.
LANE: True story. I was there.
LUKE: Yeah, we actually tried to strangle each other right during the time we were making the record. So, yeah, the ideas for the songs and the songs themselves were pretty much flushed out but they became what they are because of our experience in L.A. when we made the record. We worked with an up and coming producer named Paul Pavao at the Mix Room.
TRAVIS: Paul is an amazing guy. He’s assisted in working on many great bands like Breaking Benjamin, Red, Fuel, and Daughtery and even helped mix bigger acts like Lady Gaga.
LUKE: The Mix Room is kind of a big deal for bands to record at. We met with a couple of producers (Brian Virtue, Steve Albini, and Mark Holman) that had produced some bigger name bands who were interested in working with us. They were all great. You could tell that they were all really knowledgeable but when we sat down with them it just didn’t necessarily click. But, when we met Paul, we were all like, he’s just as big a dork as the rest of us! It’s going to be amazing! And, he’s the guy!
TRAVIS: Because he gets us. He gets our personalities. I think that’s what really made the record ‘Pop’.
LUKE: Paul’s done a lot of stuff but he isn’t this big L.A. name yet so he’s still really grounded. He’s a hidden gem.
TRAVIS: Paul is a genius. He’s going to be really big someday.
LANE: Paul helped us put the record together in six days. I don’t know if you know anything about recording but nobody puts a record together in six days.
LUKE: Yeah, it was that fast. We said we wanted to make a record and that we only had one week to do it in.
LANE: We seemed to just get it done right the first time around. There were a few times we would do a take or two but it just seemed that everything just clicked.
LUKE: Yeah, we said we just wanted to do something where we could release a song or two so we went in hoping we could get two or three songs done. But it was so effortless with Paul. We clicked so well together that we were able to bust through even more songs.
TRAVIS: I think it was the Trader Joe’s cookies. Those pistachio nut ones, Pinachios, are amazing. That and pinot noir were the fuel for the record! They go great together, hand in hand.
LUKE: Yes! But, in all seriousness, Paul was amazing. He took what we had and said, this is really good, can you do this one little thing?, like this instead?, or can you cut this section?, or make that section a little longer?, but, this one here a lot shorter? He made me simplify some stuff. He was like, play less, but I don’t want to play less, but I did it and I listen back to it and it made all of the difference in the world.
LANE: Long Way Home is a prime example. We didn’t change much but we did change the chorus just a slight touch from the way it was.
TRAVIS: There used to be a really ripping guitar solo in it too but it’s gone.
LANE: Yeah, it was kind of like a Journey thing. An 80′s Journey sounding guitar solo.
LUKE: The guitar solo was probably something like six minutes long. There was also a whole other verse in there that we took out and the chorus was longer. Paul really helped steer the ship and give us what we needed. It’s only an EP but I’m really proud of it.
TRAVIS: Me too. I’ve never worked so hard on anything like that before in my life.
NRR: How did you guys decide on releasing Say What You Will as the first single?
TRAVIS: Our publicist, Ryan, really steered the ship on that. The guys from Faster had a lot of input. Especially Chad Stewart, the drummer from Faster Pussycat, he was really behind it. Our buddy Cutter, from Razor 94.7, helped.
LUKE: And, in all honesty, Travis did a lot of leg work so kudos to him. Once we had the rough mixes back, he (Travis) would go out in our hometown region and he would pop that disc in the bar’s cd player and yell out, “Hey, everybody pay attention to what song you like the best!”
TRAVIS: Yeah, I’d buy everybody a drink in the bar so that they would listen. Then I’d ask them what your favorite song is? It got down to two songs. Then the next time I’d play the two songs and ask what their favorite one of the two was? The overwhelming response was Say What You Will. We really did our homework and believe we put out the right song for us as our first single.
LANE: We also believe that Long Way Home is a hit, we really do, but that wouldn’t be a good first release for us. It’s a cross-over song.
NRR: Say What You Will has more of a punch to it. It says, “Hey, where here!.”
LUKE: Right and it’s more representative of the genre of rock that we play.
TRAVIS: I think our first inclining was to release On The Pavement as our first single. In the chorus it says, “It’s nice to meet you.” We thought it seemed legit but it doesn’t have that ‘snap’ like Say What You Will does. It’s a punchy rock song. It’s in your face. It’s a great song to open up with. Especially for people who haven’t seen us before. It’s like, “Hey, well ok, it is nice to meet you.” Somebody wrote that. I can’t remember who. Was it you? Yeah, it was you.
NRR: Yeah, I wrote that in the review I did of the EP. (The review can be read here: http://www.nationalrockreview.com/2014/03/30/album-review-red-light-saints-legend-jasper-pipestone/)
TRAVIS: Ha ha, I knew it. See, you get it. Alright. That’s cool. I remember that.
LUKE: Say What You Will, specifically the bridge, is just really big and bombastic. It has all of those harmonies. It has guttural screams. I think it just has everything in it that we wanted to use when putting our first foot forward.
NRR: What’s your favorite venue to play at?
LANE: A full one. You know, one filled with people, ha ha.
LUKE: I like the Meyer Theatre in Green Bay. We’ve played there with a couple of different bands but the most memorable was having the opportunity to open up for Ed Kowalcczyk who is the lead singer of Live doing an acoustic tour. We got a call six days before the show asking if we wanted to open up for him as direct support.For me, growing up, Live was and still is my favorite band and Ed is my favorite front man, ever, so I fell on the floor then freaked out then passed out then said yes! We had six days to take the show that you just saw, and figure out how to make it an acoustic one. We were going to be playing a few shows with Ed that would literally be sit down shows at dinner theatres and wineries.
LANE: There was the Meyer Theatre, the City Winery in Chicago, and the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis.
LUKE: The first show was the Meyer Theatre. We spent six days trying to figure out how to take our set, which is very rock n roll, very high energy jumping off of bass drums, or whatever, and make it acoustic. Make it classy. So, we re-worked it and we did it. We didn’t really know what to expect but the response was overwhelmingly positive. And, then Ed invited us to join him on a few other shows. That’s kind of the thing that kick started us on deciding to make the jump to tour nationally.
NRR: So here you are, then, taking it one day at a time, trying to take your career to the next level?
TRAVIS: Exactly.
NRR: Well guys, thanks for your time. It was an honor speaking with you.
TRAVIS: Thank you man, for coming to the show and for everything else.

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Review: Red Light Saints – The Legend of Jasper Pipestone

by BearlySinister in Hard Rock,Reviews,Rock – 16 April 2014

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Artist: Red Light Saints
Album: The Legend of Jasper Pipestone
Rating: 5/5

Red Light Saints is far from your typical  hard rock band. In fact, if I had to compare them to any other band, they’re a mix between SOiL, Drowning Pool and a little dash of Texas Hippie Coalition. Odd combination, right? But trust me when I say, these guys have talent in spades! Their debut EP, The Legend of Jasper Pipestone will take you on one hell of an emotional roller-coaster, all the while keeping the listener interested, involved and bobbing their head.

Starting out with the fiery opener, “On the Pavement” in which vocalist Travis spits out an almost rap-like flow of ferocious lyrics, backed by some heavy instrumentals, mammoth drums and one a pretty aggressive vibe overall that will remind you of the glory days of SOiL. Following that we have the debut single, “Say What You Will” which is an almost typical radio-rock track, but again, you have to admire the musicianship on this one, especially the ax-work. There are 5 tracks on the album, all bringing their own unique vibe to the table, but none hit home lyrically harder than “Anything, Anymore”. This seems to be the band’s most popular track live and it’s not hard to see why. It’s pretty acoustically driven from the beginning, but it builds up into an almost ballad-like chorus and doesn’t lose it’s power until the end. “Anything, Anymore” is a track about proving those who doubted you, especially at your worst, wrong. It’s about leaving the ones who don’t matter in the dust and keeping those who have encouraged you close at heart. It hits home lyrically because it seems our protagonist in this track was suffering from some kind of abuse, be it substance or alcohol. I’ve been there and I know tons of others who have been, it’s hard to keep going when you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom. Those that remain in those times are the ones you know you can truly trust. Don’t ever take life for granted and keep pushing with all you have until you reach your dreams! Don’t let the haters discourage you! The EP ends with “The Plan”, keeping the unrelenting momentum of the heavier portions of the album. Musically, aside from the southern vibe, I get an almost Godsmack feel to this track. It’s heavy at points, it’s choppy and it grooves til the end.

Prior to hearing this EP, I had never heard of RLS, but it’s safe to say I will be keeping a close eye on them! The Legend of Jasper Pipestone drops tomorrow and will be available to order exclusively from the link below! Be sure to check it out and, if you like what you hear, let ‘em know!

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RED LIGHT SAINTS ROCK NYC

On a cold, rainy night, Red Light Saints rolled into The Bowery Electric and brought the thunder and lightning with them. Despite the crappy weather and poor turn out, frontman Travis Schinke led the charge with an energetic and in-your-face performance. The band unleashed a blistering set that included tracks off their new EP The Legend of Jasper Pipestone, a few unreleased songs and a couple of covers for good measure. It was hard to believe there were only twenty something people in the venue because the intensity that this band brought to the stage quickly turned this humdrum night into a bona fide rock concert.

After show, I caught up with the band backstage. And I had to ask, how did they summon such verve despite the small crowd. Schinke’s response was not only enlightening, but it also provided insight into the mindset of this band.

“I don’t care if there’s one person or ten thousand people in the room,” said Schinke. “I’m going to try and give that to that one person or those ten thousand people every fucking time. That’s it, man. Because that’s what music is all about.”

RLS opened their set with “On The Pavement.” The song begins with a grooving guitar riff, but during the verses the duel six string attack (Ben Kurowski and Lane Bashaw) take a step back and allow the bass player (Andy Nader) and drummer (Luke Heckel) to provide the foundation for Schinke’s vocals.

Power chords as heavy as concrete dominate the chorus, and the song features a tasty guitar solo that will bring any headbanger back to a time when wah wah pedals ruled the land.

By their fourth song, “The Plan” everyone in the venue had moved front and center. And that only seemed to fire Schinke up more. “I want to see your fucking hands in the air,” he commanded. From the floor monitor to the bass drum, Schinke used every object in his reach to mount his perch. He even pulled a Roger Daltrey and swung the microphone in tight circles at his side during the guitar solo.

Wisconsin is known primarily for football and cheese, but you can add one more accolade to that list with RLS. Matter of fact, it’s hard to find anything that I don’t like about this band. So it’s no surprise that people are starting to take notice. In less than four years, this band has not only toured with national acts, but last year they won the Wisconsin Area Music Industry’s People’s Choice Award. And this year they were nominated for the Hard Rock/Metal Artist of the Year WAMI Award.

That’s quite a list of accomplishments, but let’s not forget that they’re currently on tour with Faster Pussycat for the second time. And being the opening act for a veteran rock band comes with a host of learning experiences and surprises. Like what happened not too long ago in Georgia during Faster Pussycat’s set. Bass player, Danny Nordahl suddenly fell on stage and hit his head on the drum riser. Luckily, RLS’ bass player (Nader) knew their songs and the Pussycats didn’t have to cancel the show (watch the video).

RLS’s new EP, The Legend of Jasper Pipestone will be released on April 17th, and to celebrate the occasion, the band is set to open up for Faster Pussycat in Greenbay that night. It’s bound to be a spectacular homecoming that their fans in Wisconsin would be foolish to miss.

However, music aside, there was one question that was plaguing me all night long. Who the fuck is Jasper Pipestone? I kept picturing a tatted up dude with an unkept beard, in a Packers jersey with intense bloodshot eyes. You know the type, an intellectual stoner with a plethora of local lore. But as it turns out, I wasn’t even close. Schinke filled me in on who…or what Mr. Pipestone represents.

“Jasper Pipestone is the combined feelings and thoughts of five guys. Trying to do something different. We actually had his name before we realized what it was all about.”

Something to live by for sure, and it’s clear that this band has a good idea of what that’s all about. The plan gives them freedom to explore their creativity. It also gives them free range to let loose and interpret other people’s music as well.

As we all know, cover songs can be hit or miss depending on the popularity or obscurity of the track. But when bands pick a crowd pleaser, and deliver the goods, there’s no way things can go wrong. RLS treated the audience to “Man In The Box”  by Alice In Chains and elevated the audience to yet another level. Schinke spent a good portion of the song singing with the crowd. He even shared the microphone with members of the metal band that opened for them, Usurp The King.

Their last official song was “Say What You Will”. The tune opens with some heavy bass guitar and then clears the way for the main riff. It features a catchy hook, and after a brief interlude, the song builds with intensity. Warning: This tune will get stuck in your head, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  

When their set was over, the band tried to leave the stage, but the crowd called them back for an encore. Not one to disappoint, they finished the night with Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll.” It wasn’t on their set list, but as Schinke belted out the lyrics: “It’s been a long time since I rock and rolled.” I found myself thinking of the irony in ending such a hard rocking show with that song.

To hear a sample track or to download Red Light Saints’ new EP click here. All photos by Michelle Jesipaz. Cover art and design by Mark Engeldinger

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Album Review: Red Light Saints – The Legend Of Jasper Pipestone

Posted on by Erik Heemsoth  National Rock Review

RedLightSaints-TheLegendOfJasperPipestone-AlbumArtworkEarly in the Red Light Saints new EP, The Legend of Jasper Pipestone, they sing, “It’s nice to meet you.” As a matter of fact, yes it is!

This, being my introduction to the band, is a well crafted modern-edged hard rock album. Their sound is in the same vein as as Cavo, Rev Theory, Crossfade, or Shinedown.

Since forming in 2010, Red Light Saints have become one of the Midwest’s most exciting modern rock groups. They have performed alongside many national acts, including Saving Abel, Buckcherry, Sick Puppies, Soil, Gilby Clarke, Kip Winger, John Corabi, Pop Evil, and Ed Kowalczyk.  Currently they are out on their second US tour with Faster Pussycat.

 

The band consists of Travis Schinke (vocals), Ben Kuroski (guitar), Lane Bashaw (guitar), Andy Nader (bass), and Luke Heckel (drums, percussion, vocals).

Hailing from Green Bay, Wisconsin, the band was recently awarded the 2013 Wisconsin Area Music Industry’s (WAMI) People’s Choice Award. They have also been nominated for Hard Rock/Metal Artist of the Year in the 2014 WAMI Awards.

Red Light Saints have won over new audiences and adding to their sizeable fan base with their outstanding musicianship, powerful stage presence, and an energy that is flat out contagious.

They recorded The Legend of Jasper Pipestone at The Mix Room in Burbank, California, with producer Paul Pavao (Red, Device, Stone Temple Pilots, Hollywood Undead, Crossfade, Fuel, and Alter Bridge).

On The Pavement kicks the EP into full gear, setting the pace for the rest of the album. Here the band displays a more modern edged, hard rock sound, with some blistering guitar work.

Say What You Will, released as the first single, displays Schinke’s dynamic vocal range. With both highs and lows, he can definitely sing. This song has been picked up by XM Radio and select national stations. The lyrics are about not being able to get away from what another is saying. The person keeps saying what they will while you have a hard time trying to ignore it. “Say what you will, what you will, I’m sleeping.”

Anything Anymore slows the pace, just a little, showing that the band can sound powerful even though they are not playing full-on. This song is about someone from your past who keeps telling you that you won’t amount to anything. This person, who doesn’t know the changes you’ve made to better yourself, sounds like a record spinning over and over with their negativity.

Long Way Home is my favorite track. It has a southern rock influence to it with a touch of country flare. Schinke almost has an Aaron Lewis feel to his voice as he starts the song, but it quickly turns to a fun rockin’ one along the lines of Pop Evil. I can see this song getting major radio play and elevating the band from opening act to club headlining status. This song is about finding love early in your relationship and looking forward to every new day with her in it. No matter how far away you are from her you’ll always have her love to come home to.

The EP ends with The Plan. The band displays some more great guitar work here. With a heavy, bluesy, southern groove, they remind me of Black Stone Cherry. This is an excellent song to end on. It leaves you satisfied yet still wanting more!

RedLightSaints-creditJohnBarry-BandPublicityPhoto

Photo by John Barry

Red Light Saints online:
redlightsaints.us
facebook.com/rlsaints
twitter.com/rlsaints

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Red Light Saints Concert Review: February 15 at City Winery

By Jim Ryan, February 18, 2013 at 4:13 pm
Red Light Saints Concert Review: February 15 at City Winery

Over the course of about forty-five minutes Friday night at a sold out City Winery, Green Bay quintet Red Light Saints delivered a stripped down set focused less on hard rock and more on strength of songwriting throughout their acoustic, opening set for former Live frontman Ed Kowalczyk…

“We’re from Green Bay, Wisconsin!” shouted vocalist Travis Schinke early in the set.  And while that particular sentiment may not have exactly won the crowd over, there’s no question the music did.

The five-piece band (Travis Schinke on vocals, Andy Nader on bass, Ben Kurowski on guitar, Lane Bashaw on guitar and Luke Heckel on drums) typically exists as a hard rock entity (having opened in the past for more rock oriented artists like Sick Puppies, Chicago’s own Soil, even former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke).

But opening for Kowalczyk and performing at more intimate venues like City Winery has given them an opportunity to take some chances and try something a little different.

Friday night, Red Light Saints performed entirely acoustic slowing down some songs and quieting down most along the way.  Opening the set, the band started with three guitars and one bass changing instrumentation from song to song over the course of the night.  The strong harmonies of of Schinke and Luke Heckel, however, remained a constant.

“On the Pavement” stood out Friday.  On the band’s website, the new song is electric and moves fast with an undeniable modern rock vibe.  But Friday at City Winery, it started slow and moved deliberately with an extended intro that put the focus on the interplay of multiple guitar parts.  Ultimately, that version of the song would’ve been right at home on Alice in Chains’ Unplugged album.  The song was radically different Friday and stood as a good example of the amount of work Red Light Saints have put into restructuring their material for this acoustic tour.  It was also a great indication of what could end up being the band’s unexpected range.

R.E.M.’s “Losing my Religion” was the evening’s lone cover and sounded good too.  The band gave it a different intro and drew out the ending with two acoustic guitars acting in place of Peter Buck’s trademark mandolin while Schinke and Heckel handled the Stipe/Mills harmonies.

Hard at work on new material, Red Light Saints also debuted “Anything Anymore” for the first time in concert on Friday.  ”We have begun recording pre-production demos for the full length album that will come out in 2013 but there is no official release date yet” said Schinke via email.

When all was said and done Friday night, I was impressed not only by the band’s willingness to try something new but even more so by just how well it ended up going over.  ”The response has been overwhelming! It becomes a more thoughtful experimental process and helps us explore our own music” adds Schinke in regards to the recent run of acoustic performances in support of Kowalczyk.

One built in advantage for any opener at a venue like City Winery is the fact that, for better or worse, the majority of the crowd is in attendance early to sample the venue’s food and beverage offerings.  So unlike what I imagine to be the case in just about any other opening rock slot for an up and coming band, openers are pretty much guaranteed a significant audience when they perform at City Winery.  Ultimately, Friday’s show was sold out and the majority of the crowd was seated when Red Light Saints hit the stage.  I can honestly say its been a long time since I saw an opening act at a rock show end up being so strongly embraced by the crowd.  Make no mistake, this wasn’t a slow build:  It was a pretty consistent reaction from start to finish.

See for yourself when the band returns to Chicago this Friday at Silvie’s in the North Center neighborhood, on Irving Park Road, just off the CTA Brown Line on the city’s north side.  Details on this Friday’s show after the jump.

-Jim Ryan


 

Red Light Saints embark on nationwide tour

October 15, 2013

Rock On: Your source for live music listings in the Fox Cities.

Travis Schinke and the Red Light Saints start a tour with Faster Pussycat Sunday.

Fox Valley band Red Light Saints is embarking on a nationwide tour with ’80s glam rockers Faster Pussycat. The 27-date tour begins Sunday in North Platte, Nebraska and ends December 1 in Tucson, Arizona.

The tour stops at Luna Lounge in downtown Appleton on October 24 with both bands, while on October 26, Red Light Saints perform a solo show at JJ Maloney’s in Kaukauna. The two-band tour then continues the following day at Moore’s Pub in Canton, Illinois.

“We couldn’t be more excited,” said Travis Schinke, lead singer of Red Light Saints. “I think being on the road with a band who has been doing their thing since the ’80s will be very beneficial. I think we have a lot to learn and industry veterans more than likely know best.”

Red Light Saints will also be recording their new album with producer Brian Virtue while on tour. The album is scheduled for an early 2014 release.

“Brian has produced, mixed, and engineered some of our favorite artists (such as) Chevelle, Deftones, Audioslave, 30 Seconds to Mars, Nonpoint, Taylor Swift, Puddle of Mudd and KISS to name a few,” Schinke said.

“He even engineered on a Faster Pussycat album early on in his career, so when Brian reached out to us and said, ‘Hey man, lets do an album,’ we said, ‘Yes.’ … We have put a lot of work into the writing of this album.”

Fans can get updates from Red Light Saints throughout their tour via the band’s Facebook (facebook.com/rlsaints) and Twitter (twitter.com/rlsaints) pages. Free downloads of Red Light Saints songs are also available at redlightsaints.us

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