Denver indie rock band Redlands are gearing up for the release of their sophomore EP, Adventurer, which is set to drop on July 14th. While we’re still waiting, frontman Ben Lohle had a chat with Planet Stereo about the new release, his early musical taste, and much more.
Planet Stereo: How are you?
Ben Lohle: I’m good, thanks, just running around town.
PS: Your sophomore EP, Adventurer, is out soon. What are you looking forward to?
BL: Besides just getting the new music out there? I really don’t know [laughs]. I hate waiting to put out new music. So I would say just getting it out there and planning new shows [laughs].
PS: You’re always touring or doing something.
BL: Yeah, always. We’re trying to just keep up.
PS: Are there any dates you’re looking forward to booking/playing?
BL: All of them. It’s gonna be a west-coast run, and we’ve never done that with Redlands, so it’s gonna be exciting, because I know there’s a bunch of people that want to see us, and it’s great to tour in summer. We’ll have some good times.
PS: How do you normally stay entertained on the road?
BL: Um…I normally read. [laughs] I was reading my family friend’s book that he wrote about being in WWII. I like to read random, weird things, listen to music, and…sleep!…and what else? Um…drink beer. I’m totally kidding, I didn’t say that!
PS: Well, road trips are long and often tiresome, so I get it.
BL: [laughs] Is this gonna be an audio thing? [laughs]
PS: …Not yet. Maybe I’ll air this when I do a podcast or I’ll interview you again and we can talk about your drinking escapades.
BL: [laughs] Yes! How long until you guys do that?
PS: [laughs] Hopefully soon, thanks to this interview.
PS: How do you find the time to write new material with your busy schedule?
BL: I don’t know, it’s weird. We have a weird chemistry. I write out my ideas and bring it to everyone else and they add their input, put their own little spin on it. I don’t know, I just write comes to mind. This last month, me and Chase, our bass player, went out to Denver to try out a new drummer we were working with. It kind of gave me a lot of time to write and gather ideas, so it’s a different EP…I mean, my organization has gotten to the point that I have, like, three EPs already planned out. There’s a ton of material, and it just needs to happen. [laughs]
PS: Well at least they’re planned out and you don’t have to rush.
BL: Exactly. I mean, now, if it came down to the wire, if someone said, “We need songs!” I could be like, “I’ve got, like, TONS!” [laughs]
PS: Do you have a favorite song from the new EP, or is this like Sophie’s Choice and you can’t pick?
BL: Um…this sounds really bad, but [laughs]…I probably shouldn’t say it. “Hollow Bodies” is pretty cool, I don’t know…I mean, I’m already pretty much over these songs. I know that sounds really bad, especially because they’re not out yet, but, you know, once you get ‘em recorded and can put them out, I just am done. I’m more stoked for new material now [laughs].
PS: Where did the name “Redlands” come from?
BL: It actually came from a part of town that me and Brandon grew up in. It’s a town in between Salt Lake City and Denver. We were The Summer Soundtrack before, but then had like a…weird breakup, and I went off and recorded something, and the producer was like, “You need to change your name, it’s too close to The Summer Set.” So it was like, well, here we are recording with no name, because you’ve completely discouraged us… [laughs] So we just kind of picked it up. It sounded different. You know the saying, “Own your hometown,” and now the people from our town won’t forget that name. We just went with it.
PS: I remember you guys being The Summer Soundtrack, because that was when Planet Stereo first started. You were one of the first bands I featured back in the day.
BL: Yeah, that’s right. That was a while ago, like, what, five years ago?
PS: Yeah, about that.
BL: [laughs] That feels forever ago…
PS: If you could work with any artist, past or present, who would it be and why?
BL: Hmmm…I would definitely go with Dan Layus from Augustana. I’m just in love with him…totally kidding. But he is a great songwriter and I think it would be great to work with him because he’s so…I like his expertise and his knowledge; I’d like to pick his brain. He’s an interesting character, and I just like that he does his own thing. You can’t really relate him to anyone else. He’s so talented.
PS: What was the first album you ever bought?
BL: Like, physical copy?
BL: Um…cassette tape or CD?
PS: Now I’m curious. How about both?
BL: My first tape, this is so lame… [laughs] I think it was Metallica, “Same Danger, Same Fate,” or something like that…
PS: Wow. Metallica on cassette? That’s going back away.
BL: That’s so lame. But, I mean, my first CD was probably like Backstreet Boys or like, Brittany Spears [laughs].
PS: I’m stunned into silence.
BL: [laughs] Yeah…I really liked pop.
PS: Which do you believe to be most important: quality or like ability?
BL: It depends, but I’d probably focus on quality. But that’s not a pass to be an asshole. Quality is pretty important; you’ve got to put out good material, not just a random thing. The music will speak for itself, in honesty. But, I mean, I look at smaller bands and artists and they might not have the means to make everything so professional and put it out there, but they’re making good music. But there’s still a lot to be said for packaging and making sure you look professional, which can entice people to give you their attention for at least the first ten seconds.
PS: Now I have to ask, since your Backstreet Boys/Millennial days are over, but not forgotten, can we expect to see you busting out some boy band choreography on tour this summer?
PS: Gelled hair and frosted tips included?
BL: Oh, definitely. We’re getting our routines down and making sure everything looks sharp.
PS: Do you think more bands, especially the younger, fame-driven ones, could do well to remember that they’re friends first and foremost?
BL: Yeah, I’ve been in a lot of different situations where I’ve had to kick out friends from bands because we had musical differences, but it’s better to stay friends. Friends first and foremost, I think. Setting the grounds before anything is smart, but you need to maintain a friendship.
PS: Well, you get bands that seem like friends, and then you meet them and they tell you how much they hate a bandmate.
BL: Yeah…well, we’re a very…together, band. I mean, Brandon and I have been playing music together since we were 14. I like everybody in my band, everybody I’m working with. We’ve put together a group that is likely to work out in the longterm. I feel like now we’ve found a solid team now.
PS: Okay, so last question about the album. What do you hope people come away from it with?
BL: Um…I hope they just feel inspired. I hope they dig it and don’t hate us too much for sounding different. That’s something that’s going to continue to change. That will be consistent…[laughs] our sound will be transient. But yeah, I hope they just get positive vibes from it, and inspires them to go out and do something they’ve always wanted to do but never had the time to do. [laughs] Just find the time to do it all before we die. Live in the moment.
PS: Final question, and I have to clarify, as I do every time, that this is in no way, shape, or form, a threat on your life. But if this was your last interview, your last chance to speak to another human being, what would your last words be and why?
PS: No pressure.
BL: Be well and take care of each other. I’m happy with that.
PS: Ben, thank you so much for doing this. You’re a gem.
BL: Aw, well thank you for taking the time to do this!
Redland’s sophomore EP, Adventurer, is out on July 14th! Click HERE for more information on the band.