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Red Sun Rising's Mike Protich discusses new LP and writing music that goes beyond genres

By Aparna Menon and Suraj Prabhu · 06:52 PST, 17 Apr 2018

Following a couple of independent albums, Akron, Ohio's up-and-coming rockers Red Sun Rising made huge waves in mainstream waters with their 2015 debut album 'Polyester Zeal'.

The album gave us chart-topping singles like 'The Otherside' and 'Emotionless,' and cemented the band's status as a new force of hard rock.

Recently, the band returned with their sophomore studio album 'Thread' which was released on March 30 via the Razor & Tie label.

The new album is noticeably much more diverse and expansive in scope, drawing from a host of influences from post-grunge and late '90s alt-rock all the way to the electronically underlined sound of modern, contemporary rock. The album is also accompanied by a dark, dreary, yet gripping music video for the lead single, 'Deathwish'.

We spoke to Red Sun Rising's lead singer Mike Protich to discuss the band's new sonic feel, inspirations behind some of the songs and the challenges they faced on their journey so far. Read the full interview below:

Fresh off your 'Deathwish' music video, what was the experience of conceptualizing it? The video on YouTube is getting quite the response, do you as a band come up with your video ideas?

Yes, the band is always very involved in the video concepts. We typically send the lyrics to the director, in this case Brad Golowin, and we begin spitballing ideas back and forth about how to basically visualize the lyrics. This video is interesting because the video shows an apocalyptic soap opera of the worldly sense but the song lyrically is more about the apocalypse of the self sense through self fulfilling prophecies. 

We are quite intrigued by the new album 'Thread', can you please elaborate on the music and the inspiration for this album. 

The inspiration is just everyday life. It could be from an experience or a conversation or interaction with someone. But what it won't be is fake. Every lyric means something to us. We never just throw words into our music so it sounds cool. 

What was the inspiration behind the tracks "Fascination” and “Left For Dead"? 

"Fascination" in short is about someone becoming so obsessed with being successful that they neglect what's really important in life which is love and how this fascination can put a strain on the people that love and care about you. "Left For Dead" is simply about my father leaving my family when I was young. 

Tell us more about your style of mixing genres? What would you say has most influenced your music style so far?

Well if you listen to our albums you'll hear each song is unique and different from the other. I think we just aren't afraid to write a heavy song and follow it by a super chill vibe song then a ballad. We don't write for a genre we just write songs that we love and that people can sing along to. All the while we can get some venom out. Sometimes we disguise darker lyrics with very bright and singable melodies i.e. Deathwish is that was. So you can just enjoy the melody or you can dig deeper into the lyrics. It's however you want to feel. That's what music is about for us; making you feel.

Album art for 'Thread'. (Image Source: Twitter)Album art for 'Thread'. (Image Source: Twitter)

How was the journey of coming out with this album important for you as a band compared to your last album release? 

Well with the first one it was our debut album so we were just ready for people to really hear the band to a national and now international level and start to get used to the fact that we are real and gonna be here for a while.

We had some success with PZ and now for the second record people were waiting and excited for than the new record. That's a different kind of motivation. We set this bar for ourselves as musicians and for our fans now we want to exceed that. I believe we did. You can definitely hear how the sound has evolved on Thread.

We would love to know about your initial days and the coming together of the band. What have been some of the challenges since the early days?

No more than the next band. We were independent for a while before getting signed and went through many member changes like most bands do. People leave for different reasons or don't work out for different reasons. We are just glad that (Ryan[lead guitarist] and myself) never got frustrated and just keep on our course no matter who was in the band. But it definitely feels good to finally have permanent members that are not only great friends of our but committed to the band and growing with us. 

Do you have plans to tour more in the fall/winter? How's the current one going, experiences?

The current headline tour has been fantastic and just a lot of fun to be in these clubs full of our fans. Really has a different kind of energy when they are all there to see you. And yes we definitely plan to keep touring. This fall we have a tour already lined up with Godsmack and Shinedown that we are really looking forward to. 

What are your expectations before joining The Used, Godsmack & Shinedown later this year? 

Just to play great shows every night. One day at a time we are playing these new songs live and building our fan base and helping them to fall in love with 'Thread'. 

To stay up to date with the band's releases, touring information, tickets and more, visit Red Sun Rising's official website. You can also follow the band on Twitter and Instagram.