The Red Eyes
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The Red Eyes

Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia | MAJOR

Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia | MAJOR
Band EDM Reggae


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Review: Red Eyes - Corner Hotel"

‘Let the good times roll, there’s room for everybody.’
The audience of the Corner Hotel on the 12th of March sang along with this mantra in the early stage of the night and they were not disappointed.
Supporting New Zealand reggae outfit The Black Seeds, Melbourne’s own The Red Eyes brought the sounds of the world to Richmond. Headed by El Witeri with proud Maori heritage, they are a support act capable of eclipsing a main act.
Launching the single I Get Wild/Wild Gravity from their highly anticipated second album, The Red Eyes kicked off the launch tour in style in front of a sold out crowd and completely blew us away.
The single, a cover from the Talking Heads album Speaking In Tongues, was done absolute justice by its dub reggae renovation. Having attended the gig with an enormous Talking Heads fan and both of us being incredibly impressed by their interpretation is a testament to the band. Lead singer El Witeri’s on stage dancing may also have been influenced by David Byrne as he strutted about stage with energy and charisma, backing this up with mighty vocals.
Whilst Witeri shone with stage presence, so too did the rest of the outfit. The talented group of musicians impressed with their tight set and ability to concentrate on individual sounds amongst the mass of noise surrounding them. Each member of the 7 piece was completely absorbed in their music, playing with conviction and making each member as appealing to watch as any other.
The Red Eyes are renowned for their dynamic and innovative live sets and their brilliant launch show at the Corner was no surprise. Dan Marsh on keys was experimenting with some seriously cool sounds such as an antenna whilst James Orr and Adrien Shaw blew a trumpet and a sax as well as controlling beats and samples.
Evan Tweedy on bass and King Charlie on guitar sang along with Witeri and looked to be having as much fun as the crowd whilst Julian Goyma kept the rhythm on drums.
The Corner Hotel proved the perfect venue for this dub reggae outfit as technicians assisted the band throughout the set creating delay effects on Witeri’s vocals and creating a light show for the crowd on the sell out night.

The patrons were treated to a sensational opening act, setting up the party mood for the rest of the night. Whether this crowd knew of the band already or if like me, it was their introductory show, it probably took only half a song before all punters were tapping feet, shaking hips, pumping fists and being swept up in the rhythm and fun that was Melbourne’s very own reggae superstars The Red Eyes.

Tess Armstrong - PBS FM

"The Red Eyes - Red Army"

Melbourne’s The Red Eyes have just released their second long player and in the process have cemented their status as one of Australasia’s greatest exponents of dub reggae. Red Army is an hour of deep and solid grooves that easily matches the standard set by similar acts from New Zealand like Salmonella Dub, Black Seeds and Fat Freddy’s Drop.

Red Army runs the gamut of styles within the reggae genre. It gets righteous, hits the dancefloor, seduces and hypnotises with great variation across its fifteen tracks. Early on they even indulge in a cover version of Talking Heads’ I Get Wild / Wild Gravity and convincingly make it their own. The variety in sound doesn’t swing wildly in an attempt to cover all bases, there is still a cohesiveness that ensures a flow and sense of continuity to the album.

It is almost impossible to stop your head from nodding as the bass drops on Titokowaru’s War, a tale of war when the Maori were forced to defend their land against colonial attack. The theme of land control and cultural imperialism also appears on Road To Jericho, a seven minute slow jam that sways along, heavy lidded in mood but deep and prophetic in content. The hook line is impossibly catchy with frontman El Witeri quietly unleashing sweet and soaring melodies in a lovers rock style.

Witeri is the key to The Red Eyes not becoming pleasant background reggae music – BBQ Dub – as it is disparagingly referred to by some. He possesses the ability to sing in a sweet, warm tone and then change it up on a track like Remedy with its party vibe, chants and growling ragga-isms. Too often reggae singers ape the obvious influences of Marley, Tosh and Minnott and though Witeri doesn’t ignore those voices he has certainly developed his own style.

When the 7 piece band stretch themselves you hear instruments like guitar, horns, keyboards and appearing and disappearing, all the while with the mix locking the song in. Interludes like Martian Repairs and Friend Or Foe? highlight the electronic leanings of some in the band, something that works wonderfully when they expose their more adventurous side by utilising dub effects like reverb, delay and echo to create space and mood in the music.

Red Army packs a lot into an hour but there is very little filler. If taken in the right context and with a lack of regard for time then it is an absorbing journey. Theirs is the kind of music that sounds magnificent in headphones but as shown at recent shows it can also become a larger and more dynamic musical beast when the bass hits you in the chest and the riddims take out a mortgage on your legs. The Red Eyes have stretched themselves and captured their sound brilliantly on Red Army. A global audience is surely waiting. - Faster Louder


Red Army (LP - 2010)
Rudeworld (LP - 2007)
Prolific / My Kingdom (EP - 2005)
Highplace (EP - 2004)



The Red Eyes, “Melbourne’s very own Reggae Superstars” (PBS FM), have firmly established their position as one of Australia’s leading original acts in the Dub / Reggae genre. They have received critical acclaim for 2010 album release ‘Red Army’, including a nomination for ‘Best Blues & Roots Album’ at the 2010 Australian Independent Record Label Awards, ‘Album of the Week’ on PBS FM and Radio Australia, with recent invitations to perform at major festivals including Victoria’s ‘Pyramid Rock’ Festival NYE ’10-’11, St Kilda Festival ’11, the national Australian ‘Raggamuffin 2011 Tour, Bluesfest ‘11, and Fest'Napuan (Vanuatu, Nov ‘11).

“The Red Eyes have cemented their status as one of Australia’s greatest exponents of dub reggae... easily matching the standard set by similar acts from New Zealand including Salmonella Dub, Black Seeds and Fat Freddy’s Drop.” (Chris Familton, Faster Louder, June 2010)

Founded in 2002, The Red Eyes explosive live shows feature a core group of 7 multi-instrumentalist musicians who together produce a melting pot of beats, soul, heartfelt lyrics and shake the house dub rhythms that have set a benchmark for Australian Dub / Reggae. The Red Eyes present a unique antipodean spin on the broad Reggae genre, with lyrical content that eschews the usual religious themes instead offering a more local narrative that people in Australasia can relate to.

The band is led on stage by enigmatic front man El Witeri (2011 APRA Songwriter Award Finalist) who draws on his New Zealand upbringing and Maori heritage for inspiration. Witeri introduces and closes each show in Maori to represent himself and welcome people into the whanau (family), and it is this sense of close community that fans and audiences respond to.

Recent release ‘Red Army’ captures the massive live sound that The Red Eyes have become known for through their energetic live shows. They have yet again delivered a layered, intricately produced album, incorporating live studio takes and calling on a line up of guests and Red Eyes past, present & future numbering well over 30 of Melbourne’s finest talents. If a big atmosphere performance is something that audiences expect from The Red Eyes then this album will not fail to please.

“Red Army is expertly produced dub goodness...full character, tight, catchy and brimming with soul.” (Chris Chinchilla, Inpress, May 2010)

“A cracker of an album” (Kylie Northover, The Age)

The Red Eyes debut full length release Rudeworld (2007), along with their two EP’s Highplace (2004) and Prolific/My Kingdom (2005) has enjoyed solid airplay in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Pacific Islands and Canada, collectively selling over 12,000 copies worldwide, with Red Army (May 2010) following suit - described as “taking the genre to ingenious and inventive new levels”.

The Red Eyes profile has steadily risen and they are renowned for their larger-than-life festival appearances and successful nationwide tours. They have toured internationally to New Caledonia, and have supported or been billed alongside the likes of The Original Wailers, Horace Andy, Luciano, The Mad Professor, Easy Star All Stars, Dub Syndicate, Salmonella Dub, The Black Seeds, Katchafire, Cornerstone Roots, Concord Dawn, Sola Rosa, Pitch Black and The Resin Dogs to name a few.

‘The Red Eyes’ fan base flock to hear the Melbourne outfit’s party dub sound.’ (Rolling Stone Australia, April 2007)
‘…such is the power of top-shelf dub. True to the spirit and messages of the music’s long history, The Red Eyes are breathing new life into dub in Australia and are doing it with soul and authenticity.’ (In The Mix)
‘Say what you like about John Butler, he has backed an absolute winner in the form of The Red Eyes…’ (Beat Magazine)

Career Highlights
2011 Raggamuffin 2011 National Tour; St Kilda Festival; Byron Bay Bluesfest.
2010 Nominated for Best Blues and Roots Album, Air Awards; Nominated in shortlist for Triple J Hottest 100; National Tour with The Black Seeds; release of 2nd studio album Red Army, Album of The Week – Radio Australia and 3PBS FM.
2009 Woodford Folk Festival, QLD; Australian World Music Expo mixed onstage by Mad Professor (UK), VIC; Utribe Festival, QLD
2008 Rudeworld track featured on ‘Kiss My Grass’ compilation CD; Bellingen Global Carnival, NSW; The Soundscape Festival, Tas
2007 Tour of Tropical New Caledonia; Released Rudeworld to sell out audience in Melbourne; Rudeworld voted #7 on Radio Toronto charts by listeners; Arms over Jordan track featured on The Rolling Stones compilation CD; Woodford Folk Festival, QLD
2006 The Pyramid Rock Festival, Vic; Peats Ridge Festival, NSW
2005 Recipient of Victoria Rocks Music Touring Grant; recipient JB Seed Music Making Grant; released My Kingdom/Prolific EP; Woodford Folk Festival, QLD; Peats Ridge Festival, NSW; Earthcore Global Carnival, VIC
2004 Released Highplace EP; Meredith Music Festival, VIC; The Great Escape, NSW