Played at 1984 on 9/7/2018
Shane Gentry - Guitar/Vocals
Billy Price - Bass
Abdala Saghir - Drums
Located in North Carolina
A: Thanks for the taking the time for the interview and making the trip up to Delaware all the way from North Carolina! I loved your set - you guys are absolutely amazing! Your music definitely stood out, in a great way, of course! First things first, how did you guys come together to form Red Dog?
SG: I was looking to get another project going. I have been blessed in my music life to have played with some amazing rhythm sections. For this project I knew I needed my long time friend, Abdala Saghir, on the drums and Billy Price on bass.
AS: I’ve known Shane for years. I was walking one day in Downtown Clayton or Raleigh and heard this guitar solo...there was Shane. A long time ago. Billy doesn’t remember but I jammed with him once or twice, a while ago too haha.
A: What made you choose the name “Red Dog”? SG: Red Dog came out one day when I was thinking about my dog and we decided it was cool. The conversation has come up about changing it recently. It’s just too generic. Lack of research on my part, haha.
A: I wouldn’t say it’s generic! I dig it! How long have you been playing together?
SG: The band has been together for a couple years so far, maybe a little longer.
AS: About 3 years I think.
A: Awesome! You guys collaborate very well together and it shows. What do you like most about playing live?
SG: Live is my favorite. I love it for the improv!! I’m way better on the fly than I am planned. We have semi-structured jam opportunities but they’re always different. It really makes you listen to your band mates and strengthens the bond.
AS: Seeing people dance in front of the stage.
A: Who would you say are your biggest musical influences?
SG: My influences are actually drummers! I play guitar but I play with a lot of chucka chuckas. I’m not thinking what would Jimi do, I’m thinking what would Ginger Baker do? I do have some guitar heroes as well like Audley Freed, Jeff Beck, Paulo Mendonca to name a few.
AS: Wow, too hard of a question.
A: What genre would you consider yourselves?
SG: It’s just Rock n Roll, baby!
AS: I’ve never been one for categorizing music styles...I believe that you play with different attitudes, just like the way you talk formally in front of an audience vs. at the bar with your friends.
A: Do you have any crazy and/or funny stories from being on the road?
SG: This one show we played up north. We stayed in this half hotel, half apartment kind of place. We met maybe the creepiest dude EVER. He had to be in his 70’s and just was an odd fella. Kept inviting us to “the gardens” and kind of overstayed his welcome. But all in all we are old and usually in bed shortly returning back to the hotel after a show, haha.
AS: Yes! This creepy guy that owns a hotel where we stayed here in Delaware...a friend of the band nicknamed him “The Garden Gimp” hahaha.
A: Oh man, hope the “Garden Gimp” didn’t scare you off from Delaware completely! Haha! Where can people listen to or purchase your music?
SG: All of our music is out in digital land. Spotify, iTunes, all your favorite streaming services.
A: What do you wish to bring to the music scene?
SG: We just want to put the player back in the music. We don’t have a cool look, except Billy, no gimmicks. We just want to play music with our friends and the face that people like it is just a bonus.
AS: Bringing back the band! Especially the power trio! There’s nothing more boring than a DJ with a laptop pretending he’s having fun and a bunch of uninvolved people standing around sipping on their chemical of choice.
A: I definitely agree! Do you guys have a record label?
SG: No label. If we did they couldn’t afford us.
AS: Nope. Completely and proudly self-produced and financed.
A: How has your music changed or improved since you first started playing?
SG: The music is always moving and morphing. Right now my head has been in horn section land. I’m working on writing some riffs for some of the new tunes that will be phrased as a horn section but played on the guitar.
AS: It has grown to find its own identity, whatever its own identity is. We played a few covers in the beginning, songs that we all liked.
A: Nice! What would you say is your biggest challenge as a band? How have you been able to overcome it?
SG: We don’t have too many hurdles. We keep it respectful and open. We are a trio so it’s easy to come to an agreement.
AS: Finding time to jam, believe it or not. Fortunately all 3 of us play proficiently and everyone in the band at some point or another has
played professionally, which gives you the tools to put it together on stage, on the fly.
A: You guys clearly have the experience so what advice would you give to people who are just starting a band?
SG: Advice for a new band? Get the hell out of your hometown. Your friends will come see you once or twice. Northern gigs we have done have been the best received BY FAR! We play Raleigh as little as possible.
AS: As cliche as it sounds, be yourself, don’t try to be or sound like anyone. Worse yet, don’t get a mouthful of “I can play any style of music”. While it may be true that it’s possible to be proficient in multiple kinds of music, especially when you rely on it as a means of income, an audience will always know when your heart is in it and when it isn’t. I’ve been down that road and failed.
A: Sounds like great advice! What’s your ultimate direction/goal for your band?
SG: My direction has always been the same. If Cry of Love and COC had a baby I would want this to be it. Also, if you have to play after us, we want you to have to bring your A game, haha.
AS: Play, Record, Repeat.
You can check out Red Dog on Facebook, “Unofficial: RED DOG” and follow them on Instagram @reddogbandnc for music updates and events!