Fresh new Hard Rock with Red9

Photo by Daniel MacSween

It was less than a week ago that I was treated to the music of Red9.  They were chosen by Slash himself to open for him at his show at the Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles on December 2, 2012.  They were great! I always love checking out the opening bands and I end up finding some of my favorite new music that way.  Red9 is a Southern California rock trio. Just because there are only 3, does not mean they do not deliver a huge sound! These guys are a powerhouse of rock and adrenaline.

Red9 is Paul ‘Friz” Frislie on guitars, Giovanni ‘Gio” Fuentes and Jeff on bass and vocals. Together they create a true rock sound and I am hoping for a Bay Area show soon. I am going to need my Red9 Fix! They have a sound similar to Tool and a grungier Nine Inch Nails. Jeff on bass really captivates you with his exploding bass lines and his vocals. Paul just exudes energy while he is ripping out blazing riffs. Gio brings it all together with his sold heavy drumming.  Together they create great rock and roll.

Why don’t you take a listen and enjoy Red9 with their video for “Fanatico”.

I hope you take some time to order their music on Itunes and get to visit their website and social media pages. For now, please enjoy the interview with Red9:

Music Junkie Press:  Thank you guys for a great show when you opened up for Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators at the Wiltern Theatre on December 2, 2012 in Los Angeles. You mentioned that you won a contest to open up for Slash. Can you tell us more about that and how you won?

Paul:  I believe it was back in April when I received a Guitar Center catalogue; usually I throw them away so I don’t get tempted to go a guitar shopping spree.  This time I opened it and on the inside cover was a picture of slash with a big tag line saying “Want to open for Slash”.  So I followed the instructions and signed us up, but it felt like a popularity contest so I brushed it aside until we received a call in September from a GC rep that Slash picked us to open the last show of his US tour at the Wiltern Theater.  I couldn’t believe it. 

Jeff: I remember Paul emailing me a link to that and thinking, “whatever.” On the face of it, it looked like a “spam fan” contest where you have to constantly bug your fan base to vote for you once a day. I hate those things. Like that Ernie Ball Vans Warped Tour crap. We don’t typically sign up for stuff like that. But in this case, appearances were deceiving because we didn’t push it at all and still managed to make it through. Maybe Paul knew something we didn’t. Ha! 

Music Junkie Press:  How was that show for you guys? I know you gained a lot of new fans since we have been hearing a great buzz about you guys!

 Gio: The show was a learning experience, we learned that wearing the right clothes really helps us stand out. For example, Jeff’s soccer jersey and Paul’s red pants were a big hit. 

Jeff: I agree with Gio. Clothes make the band…easily found in the lobby of the theater. I knew there’d be tons of black t-shirts and jeans. Red and white stripes really stand out. The crowd was great. I was really worried that we wouldn’t win them over, but they stuck with us from the first song. It was a huge relief to hear yelling and clapping after the first song. Definitely put me more at ease for the rest of the set.

Paul:  That show was a great experience for me, just being recognized by multiple people afterwards was a thrill.  We always try hard to win over the crowd when we play a show, especially if we are opening for a national touring act. 

Music Junkie Press:  You guys really create a powerful energy together. How did you get guys get together and form the band?

 Gio: All I did was answer an ad.

Jeff: Paul and I got together in 2005 through another band. I was on drums at the time. After about two years, we decided (separately) that it wasn’t really working out for us. We started this up and jammed together for about 2 years before we finally found Gio. 

Paul:  I think that’s the biggest compliment we usually get from people who have never seen us, either we have a big sound for a three piece or we are a wall of sound. 

Music Junkie Press:  At what age did you each of you start your musical journey and what instrument if any did you start with?

 Gio: I started playing drums at the age of nine. I was always attracted to the drums, that’s what I started with and that’s what I stuck with.

Jeff: Technically I started in 4th grade with the clarinet. I wanted to start on saxophone, but the music teach said that I should start with clarinet. Even at that age I knew that wasn’t cool. I moved to trumpet for a bit. That didn’t last too long either. Then I decided to take drum lessons in 8th grade. Played drums all through high school and picked up bass my senior year when I realized that there was a huge market for bass players. Tons of drummers. Tons of guitar players. No bass players. I was in three bands within a week of getting my first bass. Took 2 or 3 lessons and have been self-taught ever since.

 Paul:  I didn’t start playing guitar until I was 18, so I had a late start compared to the other two guys.  I took a few lessons but all he taught me was how to play songs.  I learned most of it while jamming in my college dorm room.  I didn’t really take it serious until Jeff and I were in the same band playing decent venues.  Jeff and Gio are far more advanced musicians than I am, so I feel like I am always playing catch up, which to me is a good thing because it forces me to get better quicker. 

Music Junkie Press:  Who are some of your musical influences?

 Gio: This question is always tough because I listen to, and am influenced by bands that are not mainstream and many people have never even heard of. If I were to keep it somewhat mainstream, some bands that I really enjoy are Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Tool is a big one for me and Rage Against the Machine to name a few.

Jeff: Currently, I like Tool, Deftones, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Muse, Filter, Nine Inch Nails, etc., etc. I’ve notice early influences coming back into my playing lately, however. For instance, I was a huge Primus fan back in the day of Frizzle Fry and Sailing the Seas of Cheese. I’ve noticed some of that seeping back into what I do. There’s going to be a bit of that on the new album. 

Paul:  Jeff and my influences are really similar.  I guess I will add to his list with Alice in Chains, Chevelle, and Queens of the Stone Age.  I got into the 80’s hair band stuff for a while but it really didn’t influence my guitar playing. 

Music Junkie Press:  If you guys could create your perfect lineup for a dream tour, which three bands either together/not or living/dead would you put on the bill with you?

 Gio: How about Rage Against the Machine, Primus and Tool. That show would be epic!

Jeff: Deftones, Tool, and Soundgarden.  

Paul:  I think I would shat my pants if we ever opened for Muse, Pearl Jam and/or the Foo Fighters 

Music Junkie Press:  Do you have any upcoming shows you can tell us about?

Jeff: Trying to get new material nailed down right now, but I’m sure something will come our way before too long.  

Paul:  Pretty much what Jeff said, need to concentrate on writing some new stuff but if a good show pops up we will definitely take it. 

Music Junkie Press:  If you guys could take any song from any genre and rock it up, what song might that be?

 Gio: I wonder what we could do to Fly Like an Eagle by Steve Miller Band.

Jeff: I’ve always wanted to something by Peter Gabriel. 

Paul:  Red Solo Cup by Toby Keith…..ha 

Music Junkie Press:  With the 80’s making a strong comeback, whether it be the return of the fashion, style or music, what song from the 80’s could you each call your “Anthem or Theme song”?

 Gio: Skid Row, Youth gone wild! Even though we’re probably not that wild Haha.

Jeff: And not that young either. Haha!  Thomas Dolby, “She Blinded Me With Science.” I saw him live when I was in high school and his bass player was bad ass. Or maybe Level 42, “Hot Water.” You wouldn’t know it by listening to their recordings, but Mark King is one sick bass player. Was I supposed to pick a hair metal band? 

Paul:  Slave to the Grind by Skid Row, because I could easily ditch my routine day job to play a show like that every other night. 

Music Junkie Press:  Can you share with us info on your new CD and where can everyone get a hold of it? How was this CD created? Do you all write together or what is your creative process for the making of your music?

Jeff: Our latest album is called “RED9” and is on iTunes. Look for a brand new album in the first half of next year. 

Music Junkie Press:  Is there anything else you would like to share with us about Red9?

Jeff: We wear brand new socks at every show.

 Paul:  We are beer snobs, to the point that we turn down free Bud and Bud Light given to us by the venues we play at.

It was great to get to know these guys and the next time I see them at a show, I will make sure to bring some Imported beer or MicroBrews for them! I am hoping that they get a Northern California show set up soon so we can all enjoy more Red9.  So, need some new HardRock?? Red9 is your Fix!

12/10 Update: Red9 is competing to for the FINAL ROUND for the 2013 MacWorld Event. They made it through and they have until December 20th, 2012 for voting. You can vote each day. Here is the link to vote!

~ Crank it up,


Red9 Links & Information

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  1. you should listen to Something wrong and all they reign. they are on their cd that they had at the slash show. they are going places. hope they come to seattle

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