Grindin' x Red Rose Panic
Grindin sat down with Akron, Ohio based two man band ‘Red Rose Panic’ to discuss their new EP titled ‘One Night Standard’. Forum member Matic Touch also known as ‘Luminari Eleven’ (Lead Vocals / Frontman) teamed up with musician Devin Gilbert known as Styxx (Producer, Additional Vocals, Band MD) to create Red Rose Panic. Together, the two have blended the lost elements of organic beats with live instrumentation in order to create powerful compositions. The team incorporates various genres from hip-hop, funk, rock, jazz, new-wave and experimental.
Mari: For starters, how are you?
Matic Touch: I’m fine, thank you for asking.
Mari: No problem. I’ll admit, I really didn’t prepare any questions before hand, so hopefully this will just be us having a conversation, sort of an organic flow. First I want to talk about the name Red Rose Panic, it has a lot of character. Does it have any particular meaning or was it a “Whoa, hey that sounds cool! Lets go with that.” type deal?
Matic Touch: Well to be honest, I have things that just come to me, at times. I tend to throw things out there, and make sense of them as I go along. Red Rose Panic, was actually an upcoming album title for a new solo project I was working on. But the name itself kind of became a symbolic meaning for life, as in to say a Rose, which everyone sees a rose, knows that it has thorns, so if you put it in a life scenario, basically that’s like taking the good with the bad, sometimes things aren’t always as awesome as they seem — and that’s the “Panic” aspect. Basically the RRP is the trials and tribulations of everyday life, and knowing we have to live with that day to day is the Panic of it all. Hopefully that makes sense.
Mari: Makes perfect sense, I’m sure a lot of our readers will agree. And just for our readers out there, who does Red Rose Panic consist of?
Matic Touch: RRP consists of myself, of course, who now goes by the artist name of Luminari Eleven - Frontman/ lead vocals, writer, creative director and co-producer, and then my best friend Styxx, who is the band musical director, producer & co-writer of the group. He has all the real musical talent as far as playing instruments are concerned. But we also have a ‘stage-band’ who can consist of a lead guitar, bass guitar, drums, lead keys/special keys. So basically a 5 piece when fully fledged, but as far as the face of the band goes, it’s myself & styxx.
Mari: Luminari Eleven sounds dope, like of a badass Gundam that only one rare individual can pilot. You and Styxx have great musical chemistry, it’s clearly present in your music. How did you two meet?
Matic Touch: Lol, thanks - yeah shoutout to Gundam Wing tho, that was my shit. Heero Yuy, Milardo Peacecraft, but yeah anyways, lol. We again like I said are best friends. We’ve been friends for about 15 years, and have been doing music together off and on. We met through our parents, basically forcing us together because they had kids that were around the same age. We always think it was fate, since it was completely random, and we didn’t even like each other at the start. Pause, cause this sounds like a love story. But anyway, he always produced, and played drums at church, growing up (he now plays keys, drums & guitar), — but he’s always produced songs for me. He was someone I could always sit down with and construct and idea for a beat, or something to sample, and he’d always deliver. But besides that, we were really awesome friends. We have just tried to stay as consistent as possible and always continue to work, which ended up turning out to be the band formation, mid last year 2013. I discovered I had a talent for poetry, and he actually boosted my confidence to perform out loud and then on stage.
Mari: That’s amazing, basically a true bro. It's hard to collaborate with people you don’t find any common ground with, obviously you two don’t have that problem.
Matic Touch: Yeah, I agree.. We are really lucky.
Mari: You mentioned you all began the band formation just last year. What genres really influenced your music? Because I’m hearing quite a myriad of genres here.
Matic Touch: Well hip-hop is really at the base of what we do, but we appreciate the actual aspect of music so much. The genre’s really range from Rock, to synth-pop, definitely some Jazz undertones and you’ll hear a funky bassline from time to time. We always want to have a surprise attack aspect, where we can’t really be labeled. Like, you have no clue what lane the music it self will be in, but you’ll know it’s going to be something good.
Red Rose Panic – Run! (Official Video) (2014)
Written & directed by @Wilatoma and Luminari Eleven (@matictouch).
Mari: That’s exciting to hear. I think now more than ever sticking to one genre is become the way of the dodo. Hip-Hop and Rock have had quite the history together, which leads me into my next topic “Run” I really dig this tune. What was the creative process for “Run”? “Run” is also the first single, correct?
Matic Touch: Yes, Run is the first single. Run is really special. It was actually the first creative piece we’ve done under the name “Red Rose Panic.” It actually started off as a beat our former 3rd member had made. It had more of a breakbeat sound, and I was inspired, right away. Well we sat on it for a while, and finally decided to take it to another level. There are probably 3 or 4 different versions of Run! that we had to go through. We basically called what we did to it, the “Rockstar” treatment, as an ode to our favorite band NERD - It then evolved into a live composition. We then had each individual instrument you hear in the song, recorded by top musicians in our city after the musical score was written. I had to curate my lyrical flow a bit more, due to needing to mesh with the powerful instruments the song is comprised of. We had a really good time making it, and watching it evolve. It was like our Tamagachi or Nano was growing up, lol. Or I could have just pokemon, whatever.*
Mari: Haha I’m actually a huge pokemon fan. As a musician myself, I’m all too familiar with that process. I definitely get that rush from your lyrical flow when I hear “Run”. Let’s go in-depth about your writing, lyrical flow, and overall approach.
Matic Touch: Sure.
Mari: What’s the initial writing process like for you? Do you start with an emotion or message you want to convey?
Matic Touch: Well I would say it all starts with the music, for sure. I am not the type of guy that has songs written in advance, looking for something to match. Typically it all starts from a melody in my head, and the notes & voice record utilities on my phone. I usually have ideas jotted down, some dope lines I randomly think throughout the day. But also, just whatever feeling I get from music we construct, since I am part of the production process. Just really evolving as we go along until we create a dope composition of work. The song.
Mari: The results are more organic, I think. To feel the lyrics come out of you because of the music’s influence.
Matic Touch: Exactly. 100%
In The Studio With Red Rose Panic
Mari: Switching lanes a bit. So you all are completely indie, correct? What are some of the frustrations you get from being indie? Of course self promotion, and securing venue spots is likely on the list, but what else?
Matic Touch: Yeah, completely indie for now. I really like the journey of it all, but yeah the ups and downs of really, not having anything guaranteed. Scratching the through the bullshit you have to live with everyday. Like having a real job, and working trying to fit your dreams in, and while reality and father time continues to move. So really it’s that inner-battle you have mentally. “How long will it take to be noticed?” Like knowing you’ve put your entire everything into something, and it’s great, it’s quality, but maybe not having the extra to be as known as we’d like.
Mari: Its a bit bittersweet isn’t it? Full creative control in exchange for the anxiety and uncertainty. But I think indie artists produce better music, IMO of course. It feels alive, the bullshit that you put up with seems to translate right into the music. “Run” sounds like you guys are fucking hungry. Don’t lose that edge.
Matic Touch: Forsure. It definitely pays off in the long run, that’s why I love the journey so much. You can see the trials and tribulations you had to go through to get to the next point.
Mari: Agreed, the journey is usually what the story is about.
Matic Touch: And thanks, yeah I’ve always had a laid back approach to my solo music. I guess I have a lot of things I’ve always wanted to do creatively. Now I have real proper outlet.
Mari: With that being said, what have you learned so far that you would tell others in a similar situation?
Matic Touch: Well, I would tell them to persevere, and keep thinking of ideas. Stay creative. People will always say “You’ve got 1 shot and when you get it take it.” I don’t necesarilly believe that to be true. You want to have things working for you in multiple avenues.
Mari: With the age of the internet that myth has been utterly shitted on. Thank you for having this short chat with me, it’s been a pleasure. Godspeed to you and the rest of Red Rose Panic, I think you guys will make waves.
Matic Touch: Thank you guys for having us! Shout out to grindin, this is my home away from home. Looking forward to the newness to come, and you’ve guys have always done an awesome job. Thank you again for having us, truly an honor.
Red Rose Panic’s One Night Standard (EP) is now on iTunes, For all booking & other inquiries contact [email protected].
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