Rocking Chicago with Spinning Red
by Erik Oldman
Spinning Red is hard rock band from Chicago. Their sound is rooted in driving, blues-drenched hard rock, with lyrical themes that tend to focus on the trials and tribulations of everyday life. The tracks off of their self-tited demo showcases the band’s strengths as songwriters; hooks, dynamics, accessibility. At times Spinning Red is reminiscent of Alice in Chains, classic Robin Trower, a bit of Stone Temple Pilots. This band really rocks, and hopefully their songwriting skills and direct, no-nonsense sensibility will take them far in their career.
Vocalist Mark Burd and guitarist Art Rento met in February of 2010. The two began writing and recording music that became the framework for Spinning Red’s sound. After some auditions and experimentations, the lineup was completed by Dom Airdo on bass guitar and Jeff Iversen drums.
The band’s name came about one day when Mark came to practice after cleaning out his parents’ garage. He found an old red beacon light, which has become an atmospheric staple of the rehearsals’ mood lighting. When the band was working on figuring out what to call itself, Mark sat there staring into the spinning red beacon light , turned to everyone and asked “what about Spinning Red?” while pointing to the light. The name resonated with the rest of the band and it stuck. Since then, Spinning Red has incorporated the imagery of a red beacon light into its artwork and themes. In the band’s words “It seems much deeper than a name if you think of the social relevance of the ever-watching eye in the sky or the instantaneous recognition of an authority figure from a beacon light behind you on the highway. The name becomes a representation of a discomforting omnipresence that music can help you escape!”
The inspiration for the Spinning Red sound comes directly from traditional rock music . The band wanted to maintain a modern sound while paying homage to the guitar-based rock bands from the ‘60s to today. The band describes their sound as “Nostalgic hard rock driven by poetic lyrics, melodic vocal lines and classic blues riffs with a power rhythm section. Imagine Led Zeppelin’s music having babies with Stone Temple Pilots’ music. That’s our music.”
Spinning Red’s live set really showcases their musicianship and they have a knack for really connecting with the audience. In their words” We are not one of those stiff bands that goes on stage, plays their tunes, thanks the crowd politely, and then rides off into the sunset. At each of our shows you can expect to hear high-energy originals and a handful of classic rock familiars that will drive the crowd wild.” Spinning Red live is a true-blue rock and roll experience.
Reflecting on the band’s songwriting abitilities, Spinning Red was performing their original song “The Void”, at a local battle of the bands competition: ”We had to argue with the judges about it for a few minutes. One of them even said “the song sounds familiar – I’m pretty sure I heard it somewhere before.” The host announced that the judges would have to tally the scores again. When he returned, we somehow had gone from last place to first place and advanced onto the semifinals. We eventually would also become finalists for this battle. The funniest part of this is that all night long, between each band’s set, they were playing the battle’s radio station sponsor over the P.A. system. As it turns out, they were using our song “The Void” in a promotional commercial to advertise the battle of the bands. No wonder it sounded so familiar!”
The members of Spinning Red are strong supporters of Chicago’s local music scene. “We’re huge advocates of having a healthy, thriving local scene by supporting your friends’ bands. Most of the bands we’ve played with we’ve developed great friendships with…. some Chicagoland bands that we love: Today’s Wreckage, Mumbojumbo, Angry Mixtape, Milano, W.O.R.M., Sinister Fate, Catalyst, The Flips, 4Without, Glass Block Factory, Yellow Jacket, Biomimic, Synapsis, Royal, and Hot Dang… just to name a few. Sorry to anyone we may have left out!”
Spinning Red continues to gig around Chicagoland and hopefully play some dates on the festival circuit over the summer . A new full-length release is in the works. “Some of our crowd favorites such as “Firing on All Cylinders” and “Pyromancer” will be included. We expect the recording to begin during the summer and the CD release to come by end of year.”
You can catch Spinning Red at The Elbo Room in Chicago on Saturday June 8th in Chicago.
Spinning Red is featured on the May Rock in Chicago Show.