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The Red Western on food, beating Foals at basketball, and the best parts about being indie
Written by:
Emily Plazek

"...the best part about being independent for us is being able to write anything we want." - The Red Western

The Red Western deserves a big high-five welcome into our The MIC MVMT; also they're playing a show this Saturday 5/6 at Mr. Smalls, so click here for the event link and go see them!

So, as you know, the Sanctuary is all about the IMBM and sharing indie music success stories, and The Red Western is one of them. Personally, I get chills down my spine when I hear an indie band echoing loving wisdom about music, because they really get the paradigm shift that is the indie music world, so this interview is particularly satisfying.

Also, I should've asked them way long ago about where to dine in Pittsburgh (I go to Mad Mex so much it's sickening, and beautiful), because when it comes to great food in our city... they go deep.

Lastly, you apparently don't want to take them on in basketball -- they make nationally-renowned bands weep tears of defeat (I made that up.)

Let's get to storytime:

What's your origin story?

"We came together nearly 10 years ago as an excuse to work out a couple songs my long time friend Sean Soisson had written while he was living in Utah, and after a few months of practice we decided to make it a bit more official and play some shows. After about a year or so we realized that this was something we really loved, and it's been going ever since."

Why do you like being independent?

"The best part about being independent for us is being able to write anything we want. The band has morphed from a straight up alt-country band, into whatever you wanna call what we are now with a few stylistic stops along the way. This has been great for us, as you can imagine no one maintains the same taste in music over the course of a decade..."

What are some of your struggles as an indie band?

"It's super hard to get your music to folks. It's very easy to feel awash in content when Spotify tells you about 30 amazing bands you have never heard of each week.. so how do you find a way to stand out in that environment? But that's just part of it honestly, it's hard to complain when you can create great recordings quickly and relatively cheaply. Seems like that is the trade off we have dealt with so far."

Any advice for up-and-coming indie bands who admire and want to be like you?

"one word. Plastics."

"Advice? I'd say the best advice is to try to remember to enjoy yourself and the friends you get to make music with. It's very hard to keep moving if you don't love your band mates..."

Favorite restaurants/bars in PGH? How about parks/other nature places you like to visit?

The band says...

"As for bars... BBT in south side was our home base for like 6 years, truly great place w the coolest staff. Nicos is wonderful. Brillo and Gooskis are probably the most fun places to play for sure. Arsenal Cider House has been very good to us too.  Nothing is better than catching a show in their garden area in Lawrenceville in the summer. Get the bone dry stuff."

Jay says...

"Station in Bloomfield is amazing. The pork tagliatelle is crazy good and they have excellent cocktails. Wings on the bar menu will make you weep.

Morcilla is maybe one of the best meals I've ever had. The bacalao dish was one of the greatest things I've ever tasted in fact. Gotta get the sour / cloudy Spanish cider poured out of the giant copper arm.

Chengdu is excellent. Get the Szechwan style spicy chicken.

La palapas is an under-sung taco cart. Everything is good. Get the plantain empanadas.  

I could continue... can I turn this into a pittsburgh food blog post??? Yes? No? ....get a Leona's ice cream sandwich. Might renew your sense of faith in humanity."

Craziest/funniest tour story?

Our touring has been fun,  but not really crazy (Finn is so well organized, how could things not go off with out a hitch? Just don't suggest how to pack up the van...) 

I guess the funniest band memory was pretty recent. Finn is good friends with the Brooklyn band Bear Hands. They were playing a pretty crazy show at the Peterson Event Center with Foals and Cage the Elephant of all bands... anyway we got to go backstage with Bear Hands which was pretty rad in and of itself, but after about 20 minutes of hanging out everyone decided to go into the practice gym for the Pitt basketball team and shoot around. So there we were (in non gym appropriate footwear I should note, black marks all over the place...) shooting around with these bands, and eventually a game of 21 formed up.

Now I don't wanna tell tales outta school, but I'll say this... although we may not have the notoriety of Bear Hands or Foals, Red Western has very sound basketball fundamentals.




Watch this dope video, follow them on Facebook, and on Spotify -- and hit up that Smalls concert on Saturday! Their social media will keep you informed of all their other cool shows this summer, too -- and actually, if you want to hire a PGH food tour guide, you might want to DM them, right?

The Red Western on food, beating Foals at basketball, and the best parts about being indie
The Red Western on food, beating Foals at basketball, and the best parts about being indie
MIC is my baby.

"...the best part about being independent for us is being able to write anything we want." - The Red Western

The Red Western deserves a big high-five welcome into our The MIC MVMT; also they're playing a show this Saturday 5/6 at Mr. Smalls, so click here for the event link and go see them!

So, as you know, the Sanctuary is all about the IMBM and sharing indie music success stories, and The Red Western is one of them. Personally, I get chills down my spine when I hear an indie band echoing loving wisdom about music, because they really get the paradigm shift that is the indie music world, so this interview is particularly satisfying.

Also, I should've asked them way long ago about where to dine in Pittsburgh (I go to Mad Mex so much it's sickening, and beautiful), because when it comes to great food in our city... they go deep.

Lastly, you apparently don't want to take them on in basketball -- they make nationally-renowned bands weep tears of defeat (I made that up.)

Let's get to storytime:

What's your origin story?

"We came together nearly 10 years ago as an excuse to work out a couple songs my long time friend Sean Soisson had written while he was living in Utah, and after a few months of practice we decided to make it a bit more official and play some shows. After about a year or so we realized that this was something we really loved, and it's been going ever since."

Why do you like being independent?

"The best part about being independent for us is being able to write anything we want. The band has morphed from a straight up alt-country band, into whatever you wanna call what we are now with a few stylistic stops along the way. This has been great for us, as you can imagine no one maintains the same taste in music over the course of a decade..."

What are some of your struggles as an indie band?

"It's super hard to get your music to folks. It's very easy to feel awash in content when Spotify tells you about 30 amazing bands you have never heard of each week.. so how do you find a way to stand out in that environment? But that's just part of it honestly, it's hard to complain when you can create great recordings quickly and relatively cheaply. Seems like that is the trade off we have dealt with so far."

Any advice for up-and-coming indie bands who admire and want to be like you?

"one word. Plastics."

"Advice? I'd say the best advice is to try to remember to enjoy yourself and the friends you get to make music with. It's very hard to keep moving if you don't love your band mates..."

Favorite restaurants/bars in PGH? How about parks/other nature places you like to visit?

The band says...

"As for bars... BBT in south side was our home base for like 6 years, truly great place w the coolest staff. Nicos is wonderful. Brillo and Gooskis are probably the most fun places to play for sure. Arsenal Cider House has been very good to us too.  Nothing is better than catching a show in their garden area in Lawrenceville in the summer. Get the bone dry stuff."

Jay says...

"Station in Bloomfield is amazing. The pork tagliatelle is crazy good and they have excellent cocktails. Wings on the bar menu will make you weep.

Morcilla is maybe one of the best meals I've ever had. The bacalao dish was one of the greatest things I've ever tasted in fact. Gotta get the sour / cloudy Spanish cider poured out of the giant copper arm.

Chengdu is excellent. Get the Szechwan style spicy chicken.

La palapas is an under-sung taco cart. Everything is good. Get the plantain empanadas.  

I could continue... can I turn this into a pittsburgh food blog post??? Yes? No? ....get a Leona's ice cream sandwich. Might renew your sense of faith in humanity."

Craziest/funniest tour story?

Our touring has been fun,  but not really crazy (Finn is so well organized, how could things not go off with out a hitch? Just don't suggest how to pack up the van...) 

I guess the funniest band memory was pretty recent. Finn is good friends with the Brooklyn band Bear Hands. They were playing a pretty crazy show at the Peterson Event Center with Foals and Cage the Elephant of all bands... anyway we got to go backstage with Bear Hands which was pretty rad in and of itself, but after about 20 minutes of hanging out everyone decided to go into the practice gym for the Pitt basketball team and shoot around. So there we were (in non gym appropriate footwear I should note, black marks all over the place...) shooting around with these bands, and eventually a game of 21 formed up.

Now I don't wanna tell tales outta school, but I'll say this... although we may not have the notoriety of Bear Hands or Foals, Red Western has very sound basketball fundamentals.




Watch this dope video, follow them on Facebook, and on Spotify -- and hit up that Smalls concert on Saturday! Their social media will keep you informed of all their other cool shows this summer, too -- and actually, if you want to hire a PGH food tour guide, you might want to DM them, right?

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