Seven Story Redhead emerged in the fall of 04’ with a simple goal: to create the leanest, most un-bloated rock-and-roll distilled from the purest pedigree. Think early Kinks and The Who, and then add a healthy dose of The Jam and The Clash - a sort of proto 60’s r&b garage punk band.
In deference to their ‘do-it-yourself’ ethos, the band knocked off an initial seven song EP, “Super-Fancy Hobo” live in their basement, recorded with two entirely inappropriate microphones which none-the-less made the local campus radio charts.
A second EP, “Live From the Work-At-Home Institute” benefited from having a song featured prominently on X 92.9’s Exposure program. “I Was Yer Mate” received daily commercial airplay for more than five months helping to generate an even broader fan base.
The Redheads third effort, a full length self titled album was released in the fall of 2008 to much acclaim and further radio play.
In 2010 they released their fourth album, a 7” EP entitled “Shake It Out!” which has already won them the much coveted X92.9 exposure contest, and continues to gain exposure through regular radio play and national campus radio charting.
2011 Saw the release of their fifth album, an ambitious 10" entitled "Uptight/Downlow" so keep yer head up cause this one will knock you down!
The band continues to bounce around Western Canada, playing any stage that will have them and continuously recording new music in their custom built rehearsal/ recording studio. In the band’s words, “The closer you get to awesome, the better it gets”.
Kelly Sutherland - Guitar, VOX
Franklin D Gallant - Bass, VOX
Lonnie James - Drums
EP - Super Fancy Hobo, 2005 Independent
EP - Live from the work at home Institute, 2006 Independent
Debut full length - Seven Story Redhead, 2008 Independent
EP (7") - Shake It Out, 2010 Independent
EP (10") - Uptight/Downlow, 2011 Independent
SEVEN STORY REDHEAD: "Joey Ramone said you always gotta sing to the back"
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Tipping a straight mic and donning a fedora, this quartet of Brit-punk rockers, garage gangsters and...Tipping a straight mic and donning a fedora, this quartet of Brit-punk rockers, garage gangsters and dance-rock mod-revivalists belong happily at home in irreverancy, halfway through the soundtrack to a forgotten Buddy Ruskin flick. The floor is shakeing...(and) the room is caught in black and white film pounding Quadrophenia and Brit-Noire. The bands groove and energy are unavoidable. Despite having been on the scene for a little over six months, they play with the mutual awareness and interplay that's rare anywhere...
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A new local group, Seven Story Redhead hit Calgary's music scene with a nod to good old-fashioned ro...A new local group, Seven Story Redhead hit Calgary's music scene with a nod to good old-fashioned rock'n'roll...their music is nothing less than "danceable rock"...
-Diane Klaver, Entertainment Editor
SSR introduces non-indigenous species to the wild
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Igpy Spencer September 25, 2008 Thanks to Seven Story Redhead's lead singer, guitarist and c...Igpy Spencer
September 25, 2008
Thanks to Seven Story Redhead's lead singer, guitarist and chief songwriter Kelly Sutherland, there is a sasquatch in Banff that wasn't there before.
"We lived in this band house in Banff and they're not very clear on how this band house works," bassist Frank Gallant recalls. "So you go in, and the main floor is a living room and a kitchen and it looks like somebody stays there a lot and upstairs it's very spartan. We didn't know this at the time, but they expect the band to hang out upstairs 'cause the downstairs is actually someone's house, right? So, we're all hanging out, and doing our thing, but Kelly takes this painting off the wall-- genius, it was genius. He takes this landscape thing this bird had painted and he paints a sasquatch in the middle of it."
This is how Seven Story Redhead were "sort of" banned from Banff and summarizes the joie de vivre which is inescapably captured in their music and in their garage-cum-studio. The group is set to release their first LP after their two EP efforts. Sutherland say the change in format gave the group a little more musical freedom.
"We had a lot of stuff and we wanted to throw it all out there," says Sutherland. "If we made an EP, a lot of the songs wouldn't have made [it], but with [an LP] you get a little more leniency toward including weird stuff. Hence why we have a lot of stranger songs on there."
Seven Story Redhead is admittedly a record that is difficult to place in the current Canadian rock scene. SSR take their influences from overseas and it shows. Listing the Kinks, the Clash and the Beatles as influences and featuring a musical aesthetic similar to those of Swedish rockers Mando Diao and defunct British indie gods the Libertines, Seven Story Redhead are somewhat atypical of a local scene where dreamy, ambient music sometimes seems to reign supreme. While they enjoyed some mainstream attention when their song "I Was Yer Mate" was featured on X92.9's eXposure program for eight months, they've remained largely under the radar despite having been active since 2003. The group cites the depressingly chronic tendency for the only audience members for many Calgary bands to be other Calgary bands as a reason for their struggles.
"Too many kids like what they're told to like," Gallant says. "It's like, 'Fuck, what are you doing? Find something you dig. I don't give a shit what it is, but just don't take what the mainstream tells you to listen to and listen to it.' There's a lot of really great local bands and nobody's coming to see it. There's a million people in this city. What are you guys doing?"
Guitarist Chris Bell agrees.
"Listening to music is weird," he says. "But participating in it, making it is the most natural human thing to do. Cave people didn't listen to recordings. They did it themselves. You got to come out if you really love the music."
The group could give a lot of reasons to come to their shows, but all they want is for people to give their music a listen.
Telling Tall Tales
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by Laurie Fuhr September 2008 It’s the “first full frontal ever” for Seven Story Redhead, says f...by Laurie Fuhr
It’s the “first full frontal ever” for Seven Story Redhead, says front man Kelly X with a sideways grin over pints at the Cat & Fiddle, the Rosemont boys’ neighbourhood pub. Unlike their previous EPs, the band’s self-titled debut full-length album has the advantage of having been recorded at their new studio, a completely converted garage called the Too Much Fun House.
Not truly satisfied with the results of collaboration with a producer, the band invested money building their studio, equipping it, and learning, rather than dropping the money on an expensive session in a pre-existing studio. The result is an upbeat, up-tempo 13-track disc of admirable quality that, like some disheveled young girl in the Seven Story audience, grooves heavily without shame until it begins to gleam.
BeatRoute: What made you take your fate into your own hands when it came to recording and mixing your full length?
Frank Z: You get to a point where you finally have to say, fuck it, why bother trying to explain ourselves. We’re a bunch of crazy mother fuckers and it’s hard to explain ourselves to someone who doesn’t know who we are or why we work. It’s just easier. Gratitude absolutely to the people who have helped us in the past, but now we’re at the point we can record anything we want, any time we want. We recorded a lot. I’ve probably got four or five more songs ready for another EP.
Kelly X: Every time you collaborate with a producer you have to give and take, and you have to give up some control. Once you figure out you can get what you’re after yourself – well, we’re really happy with this one.
BR: Did your conception of what your album would be differ from what you ended up creating?
KX: We were looking at making this coked-up vinyl of minute and a half snippets of songs, and all this rich texture, like The White Album but with us making it. But then reality dictated that we had to make a proper album. All the songs are about characters, like degenerates and weirdos and ne’r do wells of society. The Kinks’ Village Green Preservation Society was our big influence because Ray Davies can write songs about nothing, and they’re very impressive, they’re fantastic. So we wrote songs and thought basically nothing was wrong. Just about what we knew really, no big, heavy-duty ideas but characters and little vignettes.
BR: You’ve enjoyed some higher profile gigs lately, including a Junofest show at Broken City and a set at Sled Island. Has anything changed about the way you go about booking shows?
FZ: We are getting a bit more picky choosing our live shows. We’re starting to try to listen to the other bands that are going to be playing and see how well they fit.
KX: We used to be way too eager to play anything possible and then we’d be on a bill that was just like, now we’re stuck trying to prove a point and safely get out of the venue.
FZ: We’ve gotten the shaft from opening bands who clear rooms, and then there’s nobody left to listen to us and it’s like, fuck this, why are we playing with these people? I mean, there’s so many bands we dig playing with, so let’s stop playing stupid shows. I think the promoters in town are starting to get a lot more savvy about this. I think if the bands start being aware of who they’re playing with and being able to say no, it’ll change the scene.
BR: What are some local bands that you like?
KX: Secret Broadcast, Pine Tarts, The Cryptomaniacs, Fast Romantics…
NY: The Cryptomaniacs’ Sled Island show was an impressive night of rock and roll, the best night I’ve seen in a long time.
KX: They had a snowball fight that night at Vern’s too!
BR: Do you have any strong influences from outside city limits?
KX: One of the frontrunners would be Mana Deoau, from Sweden.
BR: It sounds like a name for Ikea furniture.
KX: Yeah, I hear the name means ‘hastily assembled’.
Attack of the 50 foot band
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by Shain Shapiro September 25, 2008 Seven Story Redhead understands the importance of patience a...by Shain Shapiro
September 25, 2008
Seven Story Redhead understands the importance of patience and determination in building a band from the ground up. The quartet has been performing within and around Calgary for over four years now, with two home-recorded EPs. Finally, after earning some radio play on X92 and gigging steadily, the band has put aside time to record an LP, slated for release this month. It’s been a long time coming, but as bassist Frank Gallant explains, the wait was necessary. “This is the first of our recordings that we feel really capture our sound,” he says. “For the first time in our career, we feel like this is what we are. Take it or leave it.”
The eponymous full-length has not come without its struggles, however. Last year, the quartet’s vocalist and founding member Ian Ward left the band. The band had to abandon much of its repertoire, and to scrap a number of songs that were in development. This delayed the recording process further, forcing the band to rethink their strategy.
“Our second EP got us a lot of recognition, which was inspiring,” says Sutherland, “but with the retooling of the band, a lot of the material became sort of moot when Ian left about a year ago. So, as we thought of it, focusing on this release became one where we would take two steps forward [for] one step back.”
The final product is the defining statement Seven Story Redhead was hoping for. Each song is a flurry of blaring guitars, scowling vocals and heavy rhythmic accompaniments akin to current British post-punks The Cribs and Arctic Monkeys. It’s quick, mature music, a sort of academic punk for those enamoured with ’70s rock.
“We did rethink certain elements on the record, but what remained is our deep fascination with all things British when it comes to music,” Sutherland continues. “There tends to be an inherently melodic sensibility throughout, and it really does it for me. Those influences are within the debut, as we tried to ensure each melody and line was there for a reason, as some sort of statement.”
Following the album’s release, the band will finally leave Calgary to perform for audiences across Western Canada and beyond. “We haven’t spent enough time and energy getting ourselves out to other parts of the country or the world,” says Gallant. “The plan now is to start getting outside of Calgary and explore places out of our physical comfort zone. We don’t really know yet what that means or where it will take us, but we feel as though we’ve done what we can here and there has to be more markets like this that would be receptive to what we do. Simply, we want to find them, exploit them and nick their women.”
Seven Story Redhead
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by Jesse Locke September 19, 2008 Calgary’s Seven Story Redhead are a garage rock group in the ...by Jesse Locke
September 19, 2008
Calgary’s Seven Story Redhead are a garage rock group in the
most literal sense of the term. Behind the home of singer,
songwriter and guitarist Kelly Sutherland sits the “Too Much
Fun House,” a soundproof, converted car hold complete with a drum riser, carpeted walls and even a disco light. This clubhouse-style jam space also served as the DIY studio for the recording and mixing of their self-titled debut full-length, which follows up their two previous EPs, Super-Fancy Hobo and Live From The Work-At-Home Institute.
Several years after forming the band, and following a shuffling out of two earlier singers, the ginger kids now seem set up with a solid lineup.
Alongside Sutherland, bassist Franklin D also contributes vocals, with second guitarist Chris Bell and drummer Noah Umholtz bringing it all together for a vintage rock ’n’ roll sound. They have no qualms about name checking such classic touch points as The Kinks, The Who,
Velvet Underground and The Clash, but they also bring up a fewnewer
influences—specifically The Strokes, Libertines and Sweden’s Mando
Diao. More than anything, Seven Story Redhead simply seem concerned
with having an outrageously good time, offering up songs that
anyone in Calgary can understand, relate to and get down with.
1.5 hours of original material
There are no upcoming dates at this time.