Recently announcing the acts appearing at the 5th Big Red Rising, it’s great to see Red Hawk Rising back at the top of the bill. As Hosts and regular headliners of this popular London rock event at The Big Red, Holloway Road, DTF thought it high time we caught up with them for a quick chat, to find out how things are going, and what plans they have for 2018. Naomi spoke with Guitarist Rich Wearz.
Red Hawk Rising are Derin Adebiyi (Vocals, Guitars), Rich Wearz (Guitars, Backing Vocals), Calvin Lever (Bass) & Tim Churchman (Drums).
DTF: It’s been a little while since we last had a chat, and back then you were very excited about the launch of a new London event that you would be hosting and headlining. With the fifth Big Red Rising fast approaching, how has the event been going and has it been working out the way you had imagined?
RHR: It was all a bit of a whirlwind to be honest and it was only until we had a fully lit stage, full back-line, a huge backdrop and three bands waiting to perform on October 7th 2017 our first show, when reality struck. This idea we had with Ben at the Big Red was actually happening so it was a mixture of nerves and a buzz as there were so many people who came to the show. It really has gone from strength to strength and we think we've given this platform to some fantastic bands this last 5 months so we couldn't be happier. We thought it would be quiet for January's show due to the post Christmas/New Year blues but it was rammed. The help we've had from our sponsorship including your good-selves, Total Rock radio, Blackstar Amplification, Jack Daniels Number 7 and Motorhead Beer has really given us a footprint to lift the stature of Big Red Rising.
DTF: What has the response been like to this event both from bands applying to play and from the crowds gathering to enjoy a great evening’s entertainment?
RHR: Huge. The demand is saturating the supply at the moment but in time I am hoping to give as many bands as possible the BRR stage in the coming months. The crowds have been very good, if we have a band who has a following then even better but we have no idea on numbers until the show kicks off as it is a free door and anyone can walk in, grab a beer and watch over two and a half hours of live music. We have had many people saying how much they enjoy the show, regular members of the public passing by who walked in to see what is going on.
DTF: The format appears to be working really well; are you planning to keep the format as is going forward? Or have you some changes planned?
RHR: I am looking to extend to four bands later in 2018 due to the demand. I wanted to keep it to three so there was no danger of ear coma but I think a four band line up is inevitable. We try and finish the show at around 11pm as some of the audience may need to leave to get home, and we also want to retain the resident DJ's at the Big Red to crank out the rock classics so once BRR finishes The Big Red takes over till 4am.
DTF: What is the band criteria and what do they need to do if they wish to apply to play at Big Red Rising?
RHR: We are looking for original rock bands, it’s a broad spectrum it can be anything from bit of punk, grunge, rock and roll, rockabilly, heavy rock and even something more eclectic. If a band has something unique or special we want them on the stage. Unfortunately we aren't putting on metal, I love my metal but there are many events catering for that genre and we wanted to bring back Classic Rock on a big stage and it is only now we have realized how much of it is out there. Bands should send their EPKs to firstname.lastname@example.org ideally we like to see a video of a live performance included in the press kits and don't forget to give our Facebook page a 'like' and follow us on Twitter, if we can't see you we don't know you are there!
DTF: You’ve had a line up change in Red Hawk Rising recently with the departure of Bassist Steve Parsons. He’s been replaced by Calvin Lever, how has this changed the dynamic of the band?
RHR: Calvin is a very good friend of Derin and myself he was our bass player in a covers band a few years back, I played guitar in Calvin's metal band and Calvin played bass in Derin's previous band so it will be like having your mate back. He is a machine so we will stick him on the end of the stage and let him loose!
DTF: What can we expect from your set at Big Red Rising #5 with your new line up?
RHR: We have two new songs 'My Devil Woman' and 'Kill & Go' that's all I'm going to say; you'll have to come to the show to see the rest!
DTF: What plans have you got for the rest of 2018 as a band?
RHR: We are looking for some PR involvement to kick us on to the next level; we also have enough material for almost two albums so recording our debut album will happen in 2018. We'd also like to expand our profile but Big Red Rising has kept us very busy. We have gigs booked in 2018 and would like to play more out of London, so until Dave Grohl asks us to open his shows we'll just keep writing riffs and exercising Derin's vocal pipes!
Come along to Big Red Rising #5 at The Big Red, Holloway Road, London on Saturday3rd February: https://www.facebook.com/events/460531387682696/
Check out Red Hawk Rising here: https://www.facebook.com/redhawkrisingband/
Photo Credits: Linda Flynn Photography