Don’t Label Me


Sally Hayden speaks to Dublin fourpiece the Red Labels. Or, at least, she tries to…

The Red Labels are a band that are only on the brink of a burgeoning career, and one that still have a long way to go – at least in regard to conducting themselves during press interviews. otwo spoke to bass player and vocalist Richie, whose offerings here are characterised by undersized answers and references to a press pack that otwo hadn’t received – though perhaps it is refreshing to realise in some cases, it is all about the music.

“I don’t know what to say to you, or what you want to talk about. We’ve got a few things lined up at the moment that might be good – we’re releasing a four-track EP, it’s called From the Seams. It’s the second EP that we’ve done – the last was produced by Guy Mackey who works with Radiohead and the Manic Street Preachers – and this one is going to be released on the fifth of March.”

The band is home grown and Dublin based. “We’re all from Howth and we just got together… went to school with two of the guys, just known each other all of our lives basically. All played music and just decided, ‘feck it, we’ll start a band’. We also played all the big festivals during the summer – Oxegen, Castlepalooza.”

Another career highlight, though it takes otwo’s prompt to mention it, was even further afield. “We went to Russia for Arthur’s Day – we went out to Moscow, and we’re heading back out again this year for Paddy’s Day. They do drink Guinness. The Guinness out there is absolutely amazing. Moscow’s pretty amazing – it’s kinda divided down the line of old communism-meets-Western Culture at the moment. And they love music, they don’t get Western music out there, so they go absolutely mad for it.”

Richie’s college course in Ballyfermot, a two-year degree entitled ‘Rockschool’, also raises some enthusiasm. “Out there for two years learning your trade, and it covers everything from production to touring and stuff like that, so when it actually came to going out on the road we knew everything we had to know.”

The Red Labels are exceptionally talented musically, and describe their sound as “indie rock, kind of punky… you know, sort of manic stuff.”

otwo asks what the Red Label dream is. “We’re hoping to be able to get more exposure and just make a living out of this basically… yeah, get as far as possible with it. Being famous, I wouldn’t mind – like, who doesn’t want to be famous? But it’s just more about trying to create art and music. We all had nine-to-five jobs up until last March, and then we just decided to pack it all in and do this full-time, so it’s going great – it’s working out well.”

The Red Labels’ EP, From the Seams, is released on 5th March.