Simona didn’t have to beg too hard to get Red Method stars Jeremy Gomez and Alex (the AVD) Avdis to sit down with us for an interview at the Camden market. They each have a special place in their twisted souls for the brick walls and stale smell of beer that rises up from the cobblestones in North London. They are both pumped for their new project—Red Method. Plus, Simona performed on stage with them at Bloodstock and that was ripping. Alex is free from his previous band, The Defiled, while Jeremy is also leading another band – This Is Endless. He will bring both bands to the Black Heart for gigs to support Blood Red Throne on 30th October.
They were very chilled on an unusually warm and sunny day in the stables. They told us about how Red Method fuses together their collective influences to bring us a raw slab of something fresh, brutal and right-up in-your-face. Your ears will be ringing and your mind fried. Though together, they’re the new kids on the block, the members individually have been staples of the death metal and industrial metal scenes respectively for 20 years.
Today, Alex and Jeremy seem infused with the same grit, determination, and passion for the genre that’s been driving their music since they started. The sparse selection of tidbits they’ve released into the wild so far, have already given us a taste for their ferocious melding of ambient electronics with a barrage of guitars, upbeat rhythmical growling, and unnerving melodies. Simona was excited to chat to the guys and hear what Red Method have in store for us next.
Simona: So, tell us something about yourself?
Alex: I growl in Red Method.
Jeremy: I am the silverback gorilla in Red Method. I pretty much do vocals…
Alex: He is Atlas, he has the world on his shoulders.
Simona: Ok. So for somebody who doesn’t know your band, what do you sound like?
Jeremy: I will just tell them to go and check it, Red Method, and you tell me. Basically, I don’t know, it’s just…
Alex: It’s metal bro, it’s heavy fucking metal…
Jeremy: It’s Slipknot / Korn mixture with a bit of death metal, industrial, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, it’s got to do with everything.
Alex: plus Pixies and Take That.
Simona: Even if you’re very heavy, you still have some melodies in your songs…
Alex: That’s the Take That.
Jeremy: Yeah, the Take That comes in.
Alex: Take That? What’s one of their songs? “I Can Be Your Hero Baby”? No, that’s Enrique Iglesias.
Simona: I am thinking of Spice Girls at the moment. I couldn’t come up with a Take That track.
Alex: Oh man come on, I am too cool for this shit bro.
Jeremy: What was your question again? We never answered your question.
Simona: Oh, I was asking what your influences are, apart from Take That.
Alex: Alright, I will talk about influences. Our influence is our surroundings–and our surroundings are chewed up and spewed into our music.
Jeremy: There you go.
Alex: And the experiences that are worth talking about are usually fucking negative. Am I right Jeremy?
Jeremy: Yeah, basically our influences just all come from negative places. So; suffering, societies, stress, depression.
Simona: Would you say that music is a way of therapy? Is it there to explore your emotions and let them out and feel better?
Alex: Look, I’m searching for years, like we fight about this so much. I think you know, if we end this interview without fisticuffs, it’s going to be a good one. But what were we talking about? Is music therapy. Well, here we go.
Simona: So, it can be therapeutic? I mean, any kind of art, dance and music…
Alex: I will give anyone listening to this some advice. If you can write music and you have a problem, write a song about it, but write it from your heart, put it out there and then you throw it into the world. It’s like talking to a therapist, only it’s free.
Jeremy: Talking about therapy music, if it wouldn’t be for the album that’s going to be released, probably I wouldn’t be here right now. You know, it’s been five years of my life basically building up and writing different kinds of avenues into certain different areas in your life that had to be dealt with somehow. The music and the song came across into that very beautiful kind of expression.
Simona: You’ve got an album coming out in the autumn, right?
Alex: Well, it’s kind of fluid. We are going from just after Christmas, in February, let’s say February.
Jeremy: Let’s say around February, yeah.
Simona: You guys just played in Camden very recently at The Underworld. How did you find that gig?
Alex: Oh, that was amazing, man. We got to play with one of our childhood heroes, Phil Anselmo, and The Illegals, so not only were his fans amazing to us, but he was amazing to us, and came down to check us out. And then we got to rock out to classic Pantera tracks. It was one for the scrapbooks, right?
Jeremy: Absolutely. It was unbelievable, seeing Phil Anselmo headbanging into our songs and he was standing behind our drummer and that made it a night for me. It was a great gig. It was pumping and live, the energy, the fans, everything was fucking booming.
Simona: When are you back in Camden?
Jeremy: My other band is also on tour with Blood Red Throne, This is Endless. We’ve got a tour across the UK, and Red Method will be playing in the London show in the Black Heart here on 30th October.
Alex: Did you realize what just happened? He is cheating on me. He has another band.
Simona: Let’s talk a little bit about Camden. What do you like about this area?
Alex: I love Camden man. Camden’s actually thrown my life into the trajectory it’s gone into. I met all the people I hang out with over here. Back when I didn’t know anyone in London, I was playing at Bar Monsta and there was a manager there, and he picked up our band, The Defiled. That’s the only reason I have ever done anything in my life, so I kind of owe everything to Camden.
Jeremy: I came to the UK in 2002 to study and Camden was a peak my life, so I made that decision to move country and it just changed me. And all the bar alternatives, there was metal pubs everywhere. The Underworld obviously is a legendary place to play, we played them many times over the years. And then this place is just unbelievable, the actual culture itself and everything that it provides. I think it’s home. It has always been my home, I love to see all these crazy motherfuckers over the years play together. Yeah, it’s a place to be, Camden is a place to be.
Simona: Do you prefer Camden more now or before?
Alex: Well look, like everyone complains about what’s happening now and everyone’s into the good old days. But that’s because people are getting old and they enjoyed being young. But you know, it’s getting more gentrified now and that’s a bit of a shame, that you don’t have more individual little shops selling their things. And I don’t know, it used to be more dirty, let’s say, which was cool man, because this is where we got to hang out and be ourselves. I mean, it’s not that I don’t like it clean. I think Camden’s grown up with me, to be honest, I like it this way. And I think I’d have hated it when I was younger this way, but I like it more this way now.
Jeremy: I get you, I get you.
Simona: I guess as we are getting older, we enjoy more comfort, where we can actually get a table to sit down instead of sitting on the floor
Jeremy: It’s really like Alex said, you know, you got places to chill now, it’s cleaner, before it was raw. I liked it more then because it had the real feel of metal.
Simona: Would you say people are staying home more these days instead of going out to listen to live music? What would you tell them?
Jeremy: You need to get out of the house. Don’t and stay in like a Fritz. And there’s nothing we can do for them, you know, just apart from let them be Fritz’s.
Alex: I think it’s up to us to get their asses up, man. We’re gonna put on a kick-ass show that you can’t fucking miss.
Jeremy: So many fierce shows to come. See us.
Simona: What do you bring to the stage? What fires you guys up?
Alex: What we bring to the stage is – Yeah, this is the only way I can put it – playing metal live is unlike any other music you’ve ever played in your life. The happiest people you meet are people that play heavy music because you get your demons out, you can just spit at the crowd, you can say fuck off, and everyone’s on the same wavelength, getting it out. Then you get off stage and you can be a normal, functioning human being.
Simona: So it’s like a yoga class basically?
Alex: It is–Horror yoga. What would you say, Jeremy? What do you bring to your music?
Jeremy: What I bring? I bring what it needs. I bring the fire and it is pure emotions. It runs through the blood. It’s the bloodstream, it just pumps, it’s natural, it’s all those wild feelings put together when you are on stage. I become a kind of animal. I’m turned into this persona and the monster takes over. You never really know who you are when you’re on stage. It gets out of control. And we also feed a lot from the crowd. If the crowd is giving, I am gonna give even more back. But if you have a crowd there just standing looking at you, I’d be losing force– you feed off from it differently. So it all depends on the gig, although I always give a 100%– you can give 175%, or 199% when the energy comes back at you. We need the crowd to whip us.
Alex: We don’t take any second for granted anyway man. Even if there’s a bunch of people standing around cross-handed we’re gonna hammer away until they get into it.
Jeremy: Even if it’s just one person, you know…
Alex: What we say is when we step over that line at it really turns dark on stage–we see red. The method is red. Live with it.
Jeremy: We see red.
Simona: And what’s your interaction with your fans?
Alex: Yeah, yeah, of course. I mean, like I remember when I was a little, I think over time what would I be into – my favorite bands – and I tried to do the same things, you know, like jump out and like, say hi to whoever wants to meet with me, I sign whatever they want. It’s the least you can do man. I used to take people backstage at every gig. Some parents will give me their kids, — those are bad parents actually!
“The next step for us…we don’t know yet. But we will get there.” – Jeremy
Simona: I’ve noticed you have some band dolls. Is that just for yourself or each band members one?
Jeremy: That was a gift, personally for me. I am very lucky to have that. And I was shocked, to be honest, I didn’t expect it, it wasn’t announced, it was just given. So it’s like our voodoo doll now.
Simona: What kind of music are you guys listening to now, when you’re not on stage?
Alex: So on my way down here, I was listening to this band called Missio. Spotify thought I might be into them. And I was like yeah, Spotify you got it. It’s nothing to do with metal, but I got into their first album.
Jeremy: I was listening to Nile, when I’m in the car, so that’s brutal still. But I hardly listen to brutal extreme metal. I still got my classics that I listened to, Nile, Hate Eternal, Decide, Cannibal Corpse, then Slipknot. At home I just listened to more chilled out stuff, maybe grunge or even chill out, really chill out. But it needs to be dark it can’t be happy music or happy notes. Even if it’s mellow, it still needs to be dark and negative.
Simona: What was the music that really turned you on and made you want to be a musician?
Jeremy: It must be Skid Row, that started getting me into music–Slayer, Skid Row. I moved very quickly from that to like grunge and then from grunge I went straight to an extreme death metal. I guess I’ve been just in the extreme and the genuine more than anything, pushing boundaries. That’s what really got me into music, when I heard some things that are new, that are original.
Alex: I remember my father used to take me to a record store and say you can choose two records and it was like once a year, it felt like, but apparently it was more than once a year, he told me recently. He went to get a haircut, I was allowed to choose two records, and I’d choose them by the cover, because I didn’t know anything.
Jeremy: The better the picture …
Alex: I got The Cause of Death by Obituary I put it on, I had never heard anything like it in my life, it scared the living hell out of me. When my parents would leave, I would put it on and hide behind the couch and just listen. And that got me into death metal forever. Nine Inch Nails made me study music technology. I was in the interview to university, and they asked: “Why do you want to study music technology?” I said have you ever heard the Downward Spiral? That’s why bro, that’s it.
Jeremy: Yeah. I think the good thing me and Alex also have in music is, that we have a very industrial kind of electronic sound.
Alex: Yeah. And we’ve got a surprise. We haven’t even put out the album, but we’re going to do a version of our album, a what-if version of our album, we are gonna play and see what if this song was a slow song. We’re gonna do a remix album as well, so we’re getting into that and we’re going to probably tour that as well.
“Our influence is our surroundings–and our surroundings are chewed up and spewed into our music.” – Alex the AVD
Simona: Tell us about your recent gigs on tour. How did it go? And how as Bloodstock?
Jeremy: It went great. Bloodstock and then Rabbit Fest, as well, were unbelievable. Great press from it, the crowd was really into it. We have videos we’re going to be releasing about that. We’ve got loads of tours that are going to be booked. It’s really flowing, you know, there’s interest, promoters want to book us. It’s going really well at the moment.
Simona: What will you guys say to the young bands that are starting up? What’s the life of a musician?
Alex: I’d say if you’re serious about things, just don’t listen to anyone, keep doing it. And if you truly believe in what you’re doing, do it. If you don’t believe in it just forget about it and do something else. Basically, you got to be ready to disappoint relationships, break down relationships, breakdown your brain in 1,000 pieces, end a lot of things, put the band forward, in front of the things and then be ready to get nowhere…and then start all over again.
Jeremy: Yeah. I think you got to be ready for a lot of disappointment and get through that. And then, if you’re lucky enough, you meet the right people and you keep pushing and pushing and pushing and believing in yourself, things will come.
Alex: We were sold the false dream in the 80s and 90s, like champagne and limousines, it’s really like vans and sweat, and slippers.
Jeremy: It depends. I know people that it has been pure luck.
Alex: It depends. You need luck. Look, there’s no such thing as luck, man. If you get a situation which is going to help you out, if you’re not prepared…
Jeremy: There are loads of people, loads of bands that just play and then some label signs them. I am sorry, but the band could be absolute bollocks, you know, it’s absolutely shit. So you got to be in the right place in the right time. Until then keep pushing, believing in yourself and deal with disappointments. We’ve had previous bands where we’ve learned all the mistakes that we’ve done. We can say ok, we’re not going to do this, because actually it is going to go nowhere, because we’ve been there in the past and we’ve been delivering that for 20 years. We can more or less guide the band into a light where it would be attractive to people. The next step for us…we don’t know yet. But we will get there.
Simona: What’s the payoff? What keeps you guys doing it?
Alex: For me, it’s playing live, playing live and the people and it’s just the perfect drug. You know, I used to put up with 23 hours of bullshit to play for one hour. And I thought the payoff wasn’t worth it – the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze. So I stopped that with the Defiled and I really missed it so much, so I got to get back on that horse, fortunately. And at least it’s not heroin.
Simona: Exactly, it’s a healthy way of living.
Alex: Just a lot more expensive.
Simona: and it’s not pop music.
Alex: Listen, I’ll tell you something about anyone that’s anywhere. No one’s anywhere by mistake. Everyone works together. So I’m not taking anything away from anyone, everybody works. And the people that don’t, they’re not there. You know what I mean?
Jeremy: Yeah, I think all this Pop shit is absolutely dreadful because I haven’t heard one thing that is good. Everything, the way it’s created, the composition, the structure, I think perhaps they are the worst.
Alex: Yeah, yeah, I really think we have a lot to be thankful for Pop, actually for the production. Metal sounds so pristine right now, because of the production. I appreciate that. So we disagree on that—but no fighting today.
Jeremy: I fucking hate everything. He likes everything.
Alex: I’m a stoner bro.
Simona: Ok, thanks guys, we’re done for today. See you at the Black Heart on the 30th!