Red Sun Rising Singer Mike Protich Talks ‘Polyester Zeal’ Album, Touring + More
Ohio rock act Red Sun Rising have been making waves with their infectious tune “The Other Side” off of their forthcoming debut album Polyester Zeal, due Aug. 7. We spoke with frontman Mike Protich about the new disc and all of the hard work that went into it. He also discussed some dream bands he would love to tour with, as well as some very interesting items that are in their van on the road. Check out our interview with Mike Protich of Red Sun Rising below:
Talk about your new song “The Other Side” lyrically and musically?
That’s actually one of the songs we wrote out in Los Angeles, it wasn’t from our backlog. We did take a month to actually write 20 songs for this record which was really cool. It was one of the ones that came together and I remember feeling a darker vibe and we went with it. It does tip its hat a little bit to Alice in Chains obviously, they’re one of our favorite bands, it naturally did that.
Lyrically, the idea behind “The Other Side” is: It doesn’t really matter how you live your life here on earth, it’s kind of insignificant when you compare it to eternal time because everyone comes out on the other side. How you live your life is up to you but you’re going to come out on the other side regardless. It’s kind of a simple concept but more cerebral I guess.
Where do you usually draw your lyrical and musical inspiration from, especially when it came to this album as a whole?
Well Ryan [Williams] our other guitarist and I usually write all the lyrics and melodies together and when we’re sitting down and thinking of a concept it’s usually something we’re both passionate about. I think the words “Other Side” came first and I was scatting a melody and that just kind of came out. Then we built the concept about it, what does that word mean to us?
On the album as a whole, there’s a lot of nostalgia and kind of reminiscing on our lives, certain things that have affected our lives and certain moments that made us who we are. This is a big step for us, we’ve been an independent band for a long time and me and Ryan have been writing songs together since we were kids. We’re finally here recording a major record and touring it. It was a moment where we had to sit back and realize, “Wow we’re actually doing what we said we wanted to do all these years.”
It was kind of a reflection of that and that’s where Polyester Zeal came from because zeal is something you strive for and polyester is something very attainable and earthly. It’s your attainable dream is Polyester Zeal.
Having been an independent band for a while, are you guys at a point where you can fully focus on Red Sun Rising as a full time job?
Yes, absolutely and it is a lot of work. We’re trying to get this thing off the ground and it is like starting a new business. You have to go out there and really attack it hard and work your ass off. As far as the shows and touring, it’s no different than what we’ve been doing before it’s just now it’s more motivation. You get a taste of the next step and you just want to keep doing it. When we show up and get on stage we put our heart into every performance like we always did, I don’t care if it’s five people or now a couple of thousand people it’s no different.
Some of my personal favorite bands that are newer would be Rival Sons, I was so excited about touring with Nothing More, they are a great newer band too. As far as hero and legendary bands I would say if we could tour with Soundgarden or Alice in Chains or Metallica obviously we would be super ecstatic.
You’ve stated, “Red Sun Rising is what rock was built on but is not today's rock, but a new rock alternative.” What is your opinion on the state of rock music today?
It’s kind of hard to explain our views without sounding offensive because we do love rock. I think it got to a point we it got very formulated and we heard a lot of the same things. I asked someone who didn’t listen to rock why they didn’t listen to rock music and she said, “It honestly all sounds the same except with different singers.” I have to say a lot of the radio rock kind of got like that for a while. We try to add some different textures and effects to make it stranger and weirder but still have that familiar element that you want to sing along to that’s reminiscent of ‘70s and ‘90s styles that we grew up on.
How was the overall creative and recording process of Polyester Zeal for you?
It was a great time simply because Bob Marlette, our producer, really let us explore a lot of things and in the first month we literally sat outside with some acoustic guitars in Los Angeles and we stripped it down to the melody and the chords, we made sure the song was strong from there. Then we got to go in and mess with effects and do weird things to go in and color it.
What does the rest of 2015 have in store for Red Sun Rising?
A lot of touring which we’re excited about, we love being on the road and seeing new people. We’re going to keep writing like we always have but we’re really excited about “The Other Side” hitting the radio and seeing what people think of it.
With all of this touring – what is one non-electronic thing you must have on tour with you?
Strangely enough, we always have a bouncy ball. For some reason there’s a plastic woman’s hand in our vehicle and I don’t know why…but it’s here. It’s always here. I don’t know I guess that’s open to interpretation. [Laughs] What happens with the hand? I don’t know. Now the bouncy ball, we’ve names Noodles, I don’t know why that happened, it’s like a racket ball and we always draw a face on it for each tour. When we’re in a parking lot waiting for a show we always throw it around, it’s always here.
Our thanks to Red Sun Rising's Mike Protich for taking the time to speak with us. Pre-order Red Sun Rising's debut album, Polyester Zeal, here.
Listen to Red Sun Rising's 'The Other Side'