Red Penguin

Red Penguin

BandRock

Red Penguin is high-energy, catchy modern hard rock with classic and progressive rock roots, hailing from Alaska. Sounds like Queens of the Stone Age with keyboards and irreverent, satirical lyrics, sometimes very political, sometimes not.

Biography

From the freezing wastelands of Alaska, where people have little to do but mill around aimlessly or attempt to reshape the sound of modern rock music, comes the band Red Penguin. What does a band with a crazy name like that sound like, you ask? Take a keyboardist/singer who knows every Counting Crows song by heart, a guitarist that idolizes Rush and Pink Floyd, a drummer/backup singer who grew up on country and blues, and a multi-talented jazz bassist who enjoys everything from polka to thrash, and see what they come up with. Red Penguin is edgy and fresh, intelligent and high-energy. Drawing upon their inordinate reserves of spare time, the group of four have worked tirelessly to create a unique, instantly recognizable sound, as demonstrated in their debut EP released September 2006.
The Red Penguin EP features eight tracks that, while varying in mood and style, maintain a common theme. From the bluesy, piano-driven "Take a Deep Breath," to the somewhat darker and heavier "Say Hello," to the upbeat and infectious "Oubliette," the EP showcases an incredible talent for songwriting. In addition to the catchy vocal melodies, intricate harmonies, and infectious riffs are instrumental performances skillful enough to make any die-hard progressive rock fan turn their ear. "I think music should be meaningful, and either communicate new ideas in an accessible, emotional way or communicate feelings and ideas that we're all very familiar with in an innovative way," said guitarist Chris McGraw of the songwriting process, "That's what we like to try and do. We make music that excites people that's still easy to understand. Aside from that, we all love playing, and we like to jam and just have fun.”
McGraw, already an established recording artist with his purely instrumental solo album “Photon Life” garnering favorable reviews by nationally-syndicated 20th Century Guitar Magazine and local publication AK This Month, originally desired to form the band as an all-instrumental group with whom he could perform his material. He asked two close friends, Mike Collins and Levon Bryan, to form the band with him in April 2005. Collins, a great guitarist in his own right, offered to play drums for the band, and Bryan offered his keyboarding talents in lieu of a rhythm guitarist. The band went through several bassists, including Gabe Serencha (who can still be heard on the track “Inside Joke” on the EP), before finally scoring multi-talented Jeremy Strunk. Strunk’s powerhouse bass work finally complemented the band in all the right ways.

It was readily apparent from the start that the band was going to go in a different direction than McGraw had foreseen, and so writing began, and Bryan was elected lead vocalist and primary lyricist. The band completed their initial demos in late 2005 with recording equipment set up in McGraw’s family-owned Alaskan business, the Digital Cup, with drum parts recorded at Frozen Lake Studios by Jeff Morgan.
The manager of the band, Andrew Beegle, shared his sentiments regarding the band's work ethic, "I'm very privileged to work with this band. Not only are they talented musicians and good friends, but they're steadfast co-workers as well. They are willing to put forth the time and effort that is necessary to promote yourself, and in this business it can be pretty brutal. Luckily for both them and I, everyone is able to work together both creatively and professionally."
Singer and keyboardist Levon Bryan concurs, "It's definitely easier to make music with your friends. While we all take this project seriously as individuals, the creative process is, by necessity, a team effort. Every word, every note, is worked and reworked until everyone is happy with it, and believe me, I couldn't imagine going through that process with anyone but these guys." He adds, "The respect and friendship we share is essential to creating our own sound, allowing everyone to add their input and musical elements to make each Red Penguin song as unique and personal as we can. The way I see it, if someone in the band doesn't like the way something sounds, or doesn't look forward to playing it, we can't play it. End of story. We want to be able to enjoy hearing our music as much as our fans do, and that controls our writing and composition from the very beginning."
Having played to captive audiences around south-central Alaska, at venues including The World Famous Chilkoot Charlie’s, The “O”, The Refuge, Bitoz, The Wasilla Amphitheater, and many more, the band continues to grow their fanbase and promote their new EP. With instantly catchy guitar and keyboard hooks, powerful drumming, and memorable lyrics, Red Penguin is a band you won't want to miss. If you haven't heard the music already, visit their webpage at http://www.redpenguinband.com or their MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/redpenguinband today!

Discography

Recent Demo Songs (2007):
"Sheep"
"Pharmaceutical Esteem"
"Good Days"

The Red Penguin EP (2006)

Set List

Typical set consists mostly of originals with a dash of covers. Originals run approximately 1 hr., and about half an hour to an hour of covers.

Originals:
"New Game"
"Oubliette"
"Take a Deep Breath"
"Say Hello"
"On the Run"
"Black and Grey"
"Inside Joke"
"Sheep"
"Pharmaceutical Esteem"
"Good Days"
"Power of Suggestion"

Covered artists include Neil Young ("Rockin in the Free World"), Franz Ferdinand ("Take me Out"), Bad Religion ("21st Century Digital Boy"), Bloodhound Gang ("Along Comes Mary"), Rush ("Anthem"), and more...