The Red
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The Red

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"Record Review - Burn"

By Steve Fenton

The title from this self-released concept album from The Red comes from several different places. The burning desire of love; getting burned by a relationship; the fact that their studio (and this recording) almost got lost in a fire and finally because, if you get hold of this album, you`re going to end up burning copies of it.

Strange as it sounds, The Red have put this album in the public domain - producing 3,000 copies of Burn to distribute for free. All they ask is that if you like it, burn copies for three of your friends and ask them to do the same ("Burn it Forward"). So will you like it enough to run off copies for your mates?

The Red are a three piece US band that play an acoustic led rock with subtle instrumentation and strong vocal parts, creating songs that compare to Mick Jagger`s "Goddess in the Doorway" album or various combinations of Damien Rice, Coldplay and Keane.

The album starts with "Want", an uptempo track with creative drumming and harmonious vocals. This song has all the qualities of a great pop track and this quality runs throughout the record.

A more laid back approach is taken for "Tell Me", with its break and build approach after each chorus.

The mid-section contains some rather sweet love songs that neatly fit with the burning desire side of things before my personal favourite, "Run", which, with it`s really tight chorus and it`s attention grabbing verse, is an absolute classic.

The Red seem to like mixing the slower and faster tracks up, which avoids any `slow section` to the album, although the combination of "Love, Fear and Levity", "Dreaming" and "Broadway Brazil" could arguably constitute the `Ambient Section`.

This is a record of American rock songs and love ballads, which means slick production and high quality recording. However, this particular disk finds itself right in amongst the sound that is filling the more alternative side of the Top 40 at the moment and will hopefully bring The Red the recognition they deserve, even if they don`t get a penny from it!

In the true spirit of things, I too will be burning 3 copies of this record to send to my friends.
- The Mag

"Featured Album: Burn by The Red"

By Gary Francis

This is an American band that got in touch through this website. After some correspondence with Marco Aiello (acoustic guitars and vocals) he sent me their album 'Burn'. After sending it from America to the UK i was hoping that i wouldn't let them down by doing a bad review, or they let me down by sending me a bad album, but thankfully i really enjoyed it. I had listened to some songs of their's previous from their website so i suppose i knew partly what to expect.

The Red are Marco Aiello as already mentioned, Steve Striegel (drums), and Tony Nolley (bass). Marco originally performed as The Red solo. He then decided to add more dimension and texture to his music and started to look for other musicians. At this point along came Steve and Tony. Have a look at their website for the full biography HERE.

Before i pass you over to them; it's a good album. There were a couple of songs i didn't like at first and some i thought were great but i've now listened to this album several times and it's really growing on me even though it's not the sort of music i usually listen to. Great stuff guys. I'm going to make this a feature album and add some of The Reds songs to the sample sounds section of this site.

The album was named 'Burn' for several reasons, one being at one point the building next door to the studio caught fire and they thought that they would lose the studio and a year's work. In their own words... Our new album is entitled 'Burn' for many reasons. The fire was actually more of a confirmation than inspiration. This record was about burning before we ever recorded a track. The thing is we knew from the get-go that this album was going to be free. The insane state of the music industry was perhaps the biggest factor.

Something called MP3 had taken off a few years back and all of a sudden things just changed. For example, when we made 'Mano' in 1999, we would sell albums faster than we could stock them. If a couple came to our show and liked it they were likely to buy 2 copies, one for each of their cars. By the time we released 'LN&SWD' in 2001 the music buying culture was already changing. Groups of friends would love the show and want to get a cd. Except they would buy one copy for the group and then say right in front of us “I’ll just burn copies for my friends so they don’t have to spend the money”. We quickly realized that none of this was personal. People just didn’t see anything wrong with it. It just became the culture. When I was a kid I used to make tapes. Why should I be surprised that people burn cds?

So we watched the industry struggle and fight. We watched the fall of Napster and then the rise of 3 Neo-Napsters. We watched Metallica take a well intended disastrous stand. We watched the labels sue customers out of pure desperation. And we started using iTunes and iPods. We bought firewire drives and put our music libraries on them. And where are the labels now? Well… there are fewer of them. And they can’t seem to make any real money. They still don’t seem to “get” what most of us already know: change is not only here – it’s here for good. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not shunning them (labels). Rather, we’ve been taking a time out from them and waiting for them to get it together. So in the meantime, we made our own record and decided to have some fun with it.

We threw all the rules out the window. We decided we wanted to make 3000 copies and NOT sell them. Huh? No, we’re not stupid. Here’s the math. On our last record deal, guess how much money we made from album sales? ZERO! You see with labels, you’re always working off debt. All that money the label spends on you is actually your money. Your record sales pay them back. It’s basically a loan. So we’re already used to not making money on cds. We created our own unique packaging system to cut cost and be able to produce more actual cds (the packaging is what drives the costs of cds up). So basically – we got rid of the whole jewel case thing. We figured since you’re not paying for the cd, you wouldn’t mind getting your own stupid jewel case. Besides, maybe you don’t use jewel cases anymore? Maybe you use cd wallets. Or maybe you just download music into your MP3 player? We did some fun things like make multiple covers that YOU could choose and interact with.

But why do all this? Look, it’s simple. As an Independent band, we can do anything majors can – Record, Manufacture, even Distribute. The internet is the little guy’s friend. The one place they still have the advantage though, is getting the word out: Marketing, Radio, Publicity. These things exist to create a public awareness of a band or artist. If people don’t know you exist – they don’t know they want to listen to you. So we’re trying a little experiment. We trade you the cd and instead of money you give us something else. All we’re asking is that you burn 3 copies of the cd for 3 friends and tell them to do the same. BURN IT FORWARD.

We want this record to get into the hands of the people we don’t have the resources to reach. We want them to become aware of our music because we have a strong urge to get it out there and we believe in it. (OK, maybe we’re kinda like drug dealers – 1st one’s free, we get you hooked and then we jack up the price on the next hit… Music never hurt anyone though [Ozzy’s 'Suicide Solution' aside] and so our conscious is clear). If you listen to this record and like it then take ownership of it. We believe that you, as listeners, as consumers, have the only true power. So we’re putting our music in your hands. Sharing is Caring! We used brown paper lunch bags and ziplock bags to inspire nostalgia for the times when you used to brown bag it to school and trade with your friends, split your twinkies. This is the same thing, share this band if you believe in us.

Someday we’ll all look back and you’ll know you were a part of the story. Maybe you ARE the story. Without you, what’s the point? So do your part. It’s really not a bad deal. But first you have to like the album. If you listen and don’t like our music then don’t do us any favors. If you do like it then you know what to do. Burn is a very focused album exploring the yin and yang of love. The songs explore the Burning desire of love or getting Burned by someone you love and everything in between. It’s a love album. It works really well with fire. For example, if you’re feeling romantic, try tracks 3 and 6 and light a candle. If you’re psycho ex won’t leave you alone, try track 9 and light them (or their letters) on fire. It’s Fun! There’s even a track on the album with you in it! We recorded our fans before and after shows and put you in the album. 'Burn' isn’t The Red’s new album. 'Burn' is everyone’s album. Copy, distribute – it’s all fair game as long as you don’t try to profit from it.

That day in the studio, I remember watching the fire swallow up a building and I was struck by a few things. 1, fire is scary but beautiful. 2, fire moves fast. Very fast. 3, fire is powerful and almost unstoppable. We’ve given you plenty of fuel. It’s our new album, 'Burn'. You’re the fire. You have more power than you know.
- The Unnamed Domain (UK)

"Choice Cuts"

By Adam McKibbin

Artist: THE RED

Album: Burn

The Scoop: MORE FREE MUSIC. Well, for your friends. Buy your copy of Burn and you’re heartily encouraged to “burn it forward,” passing three copies along to friends. For those wanting a taste of a possible future, there are even flash drives available for purchase (containing the entirety of the album along with artwork and et ceteras). Red leader Marco Aiello is an articulate man when it comes to his passions, and this comes across both in and out of his songs (check out for an interview from 2001..god, 2001?!). In that interview, he said the things that mattered most in life were music, food/drink, shoes, and love/sex. Burn is largely focused on the latter, and his earnestness on the subject, combined with the smart hooks and instant-singalong choruses, is such that it overpowers and forgives the occasional forced or easy rhyme. Aiello has a soulful voice with an occasional hint of David Gray, well suited for the gentle acoustics and light flourishes of keys and horns. The Red may be even better, though, when they shift into brisker tempos. Girls grow up dreaming that some sensitive soul will serenade them with these songs—these pledges—from outside their bedroom window. Well, maybe except for the one that goes “I don’t love you.”

Highlight Tracks: “Want” and “Run”
- Suite 101

"New Music Reviews (BURN)"

By Mish Mash

Burn It Forward
13 Song CD

Now here's a great little acoustic rock band that's obviously not in it for the money. It's not that they can't make it---these songs are stupendous. They actually encourage people to burn copies of their disc and pass it on for free--hence the title Burn It Forward. But I'm going to save you the trouble of waiting for someone to hand over a copy to you, because you need to go online and buy one, copy it and pass it along to your friends.

Why? Because your friends will be impressed with your musical tastes, and you will be the man. Simply put, singer and main songwriter Marco Aiello will just blow you away---these songs are tight, catchy, and definitely worth passing on to somebody else.

MISH MASH Mandate: Take One Down, Pass It Around
- Mish Mash

"Music 101 * Cd Reviews"

By Chris Craig

Campus Circle
Music 101 * Cd Reviews
July, 2001

The Red
Let’s Not And Say We Did

So you want to finish reading some Hunter S. Thompson but your pals are coming over for some beers and poker. Or maybe that girl you’ve been seeing for awhile comes over for a mid-day make out session and you’re sick of Journey’s Greatest Hits. In both situations do yourself a favor, put on Let’s Not and Say We Did by the masterfully soulful and eclectic acoustic duo The Red.

“Be In L.A.” and “I’m a Man” are so infectious that they should be on the radio any day now. Guitarist, singer, songwriter Marco Aiello and singer, songwriter, bassist Victor Langhaar are so good on their respective instruments that they freely allow themselves to experiment and create a tapestry of sounds that inspire, awaken, and give spiritual insight to the listener. Melding two part harmonies like a hip Simon & Garfunkel with the lounge cool of Beck, The Red are incredibly unique and refreshing. “Go” should be a coffee house staple. “Give In to Me” is a beautiful soulful ballad. “Hey I Love You” is the perfect example of lyrical simplicity combined with musical craftsmanship.

Let’s Not and Say We Did was composed on The Red’s 1999-2000 North American tour. The lyrics of each song tell a different story from varied perspectives of different characters. Many facets of human nature - happiness, fear, love, loneliness, joy and desperation - are contained herein, each beautifully accompanied by this intelligent new duo.

Grade: A- Christopher Craig
- Campus Circle

""Test Spin""


Essential Record Reviews Every Month

The Red
Let's Not And Say We Did

It seems that, for a change, an American band is actually ahead of, or at least parallel with, the fast changing British scene. The move toward intelligent, well-crafted, almost folk-oriented music that we are seeing eminating from the mother land has been superbly anticipated by The Red. The band is the project of Marco Aiello and Victor Langhaar, who co-wrote all the songs on this CD, with occasional assistance from Randy Seals. The opening track, "Be In L.A." sets the scene perfectly for this wonderfully introspective work. The poetic images presented in lyrics like, "It's a lot of bliss with a white mist just like gods are kissing," pop up throughout, while the heavily acoustic dominated arrangements are both infectious and varied. "War" is another stand out track with lyrics such as, "Are you tired, ambush waiting, open fir, death creating life in oppression, crusade crazy and aggression, blood stained and hazy." Even more haunting when at the end you realize with the words, "Your love's just like WAR," that these lyrics are directed at a lover. New performers such as Badly Drawn Boy and Turin Brakes are a suitable reference point, but the vocals and some of the overall feel are powerfully reminiscent of World Party. This is a wonderfully entertaining and fulfilling way to spend an hour.

- Mean Street

"POP MUSIC The Red Bends, Breaks the Rules"


Wednesday, April 25, 2001
The Red Bends, Breaks the Rules
The duo with a fondness for unpredictability produces edgy songs with acoustic guitar and upright bass.
By JOHN ROOS, Special to The Times

Being somewhat of an enigma is a source of pride for the L.A.-based duo the Red.
For starters, despite using acoustic instruments, lead singer-guitarist Marco Aiello and bassist Victor Langhaar do not play folk music.

Closer in style and spirit to the Violent Femmes than Ian & Sylvia, the Red, instead will bring its free-wheeling, rock 'n' roll intensity and predominantly edgy, experimental songs to the Gypsy Lounge in Lake Forest on Tuesday.

The Red thrives on delivering curveballs, like the whimsical, pretty-sounding "The New York City Snowflake Song." In this romanticized fairy tale of sorts, the protagonist, far away from his lover, becomes a snowflake that travels the skies until it eventually lands on the tongue of his sweetheart.

If this tender ballad is at odds with the album's overall harsher, serious-minded tone, it matters not to Aiello.

"We're really comfortable being sensitive as artists," he said during a recent phone interview. "There are aggressive, harder songs on this record, which we obviously like too.

"As far as I'm concerned, there are absolutely no rules to art or music. Wherever the line is drawn in your head, step over it. You can't worry about being cool. . . . It's OK to act like an 8-year-old dork if you want to. I believe that as long as there's truth and honesty behind what you do, you'll be fine."

With a fondness for unpredictability and a shared desire to create acoustic pop and rock with thought-provoking lyrics, Aiello and Langhaar formalized their musical partnership early in 1999. After disappointing stints in other bands, including the original, four-piece Red, the two recorded and released a debut CD, "Mano;" purchased a van; and booked a national tour from September 1999 to June 2000.

The material on the band's new "Let's Not and Say We Did" was inspired by that experience on the road. Self-released April 10 on ORC/Bella Records, the album offers an ambitious collection of story songs that peel away the complex layers of modern urban life. It's an unsettling journey filled with dispirited tales of loneliness ("Be In L.A."); unsavory, self-absorbed entertainers ("Go"); and unquestioned conformity to the dictates of corporate America ("Robot Man").

"We had just finished our debut album and were pretty excited about our first tour," Aiello said. "But until you get out there, you don't realize that being on the road is hard and not very glamorous. No matter how many people you meet, or friends you make, you're still an outsider. We ran into a lot of absurd, scary or funny people, so it just made sense to make a record about how we saw others around us."

But what about the Red's unusual, all-acoustic format of guitar and upright bass? Can't this be taken as an attention-getting ploy?

"It was not planned," Aiello said. "At first, when four of us made up the Red, someone else sang and Victor and I played guitars. We went through several personnel changes because no one else was focused or dedicated enough to meet our standards. So while Victor and I were looking for a singer and drummer, we kept working as a duo just to keep from getting stale."

The duo found that even though they turned down the volume, people listened.

"We're still interested in adding a drummer, but I think working just as a twosome has made us better musicians. It's pretty naked up there," Aiello said. "If you make a mistake, there's really nothing to cover it up."

With two composers at work, there's no shortage of originals in the Red's arsenal. But onstage, the duo is known for its quirky covers, including Prince's "Little Red Corvette," Madonna's "Like a Virgin," Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," and the latest entry, Jennifer Lopez's "If You Had My Love."

Although many singer-songwriters shy away from doing covers, Aiello sees them as an important tool to sometimes help break the ice with newer audiences.

"When people hear a song, they recognize, they feel comfortable and instantly become a part of the show," he said. "But just as important is choosing songs that are vastly different than what you'd expect to hear from us. We'll strip it down, twist it a bit, and give it a fresh angle, like we do with 'Like a Virgin,' which is pretty much unrecognizable until we get to the chorus."

During a gig several weeks ago at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles, a patron who didn't appreciate the Red's experimental approach began mildly heckling the band. Aiello, who thrives on audience interaction--good or bad--seized the moment by first asking the man for his name and occupation, and then making up a song about him.

Talk about crowd control. "Yeah, it's called, 'survival,' " Aiello said with a laugh. "But as long as people either love or hate our music, then I'm doing my job."

Music should never walk the middle ground, Aiello said, and that is the point behind the band's name.

"It's an attempt to get at the emotion, rather than the color, of red. To some people, 'red' means sex and passion. To others, it means war, burning and blood. But it's never neutral, and that's what we're striving for with our music-- that you will feel something."
- Los Angeles Times

"Live Show Reviews / Knitting Factory"


May 2- 15, 2001 Vol. 11 Issue 09

Live Show Reviews
The Red @ The Knitting Factory’s Alterknit Lounge – April 11
By Doug Simpson

Live music is vital, where musicians can express appreciation to fans, gain more listeners, try out new material and let events fall where they might. That’s what LA pop-folk duo The Red did during a recent Hollywood presentation. Singer/guitarist Marco Aiello and unplugged bassist Victor Langhaar have been together since the mid-‘90’s, quietly creating a devoted fan base and writing catchy acoustic-inclined rock/folk/pop songs.

The twosome warmed up and did a quick sound check as the small audience drifted to comfortable chairs amid stone and wood walls and were enveloped by lighted candles. The Red fit right into the intimate surroundings.

Instead of relying exclusively on tracks from current CD, Let’s Not and Say We Did (Bella Records/ORC), Aiello and Langhaar furnished selections ranging from surprising cover picks to older, less familiar work, with a just a taste or two from The Red’s sophomore release.

The friends are natural humorists and heartfelt romantics. Early in the evening’s entertainment, Aiello contributed a serious/comic spoken word narrative about a bad day, a self-deprecating piece that mixed reality with fantasy. A little later, Aiello said he wished he’d written the next composition, or else he wouldn’t be driving a broken-down Honda, but rather a “Little Red Corvette.” The Prince single was transformed into an ingenious neo-folk composition which also showcased the interplay between Aiello’s hoarse guitar and Langhaar’s driving bass runs. Near the end of the short set, Aiello noted how young fans in Indianapolis thought the pair had penned the next cover, a Latin-tinged reinterpretation of “Billie Jean,” sort of Michael Jackson meets Ricky Martin, which demonstrated how a classic works well in any genre.

The Red’s originals are like the band’s moniker, symbolic of the emotions saturating every day. “Thirtyseven” and others had well-dressed women nodding to the melodies, while couples snuggled, immersed in Aiello’s engaging harmonies and lyrics about how finding love is a difficult but fruitful journey.

The Red’s gigs are not bland affairs. When the set list was abandoned, a middle-aged man requested “something new.” Aiello leaned over to ask his name and profession, and The Red immediately improved a wry tune about “My New Friend,” Mike the cinematographer.

The Red certainly triggered positive reactions. Afterward, people queued at the exit to talk to Aiello and Langhaar, temporarily blocking anyone from leaving. Check out for upcoming summer shows in the Southland.
- Campus Circle

"Review - Burn"

By Austen Zuege

The Red

2005 [Self-Released]

There are plenty of bands that put out records on their own. Few make them as polished as Burn by The Red. Consistently turning out mellow rock songs, the L.A. band has their sound firmly established. It falls into a category with popular bands of late like Train, Maroon 5 and The Wallflowers.

Mainstream pop rock has never been—how shall I say this—particularly an interest of mine. But The Red undoubtedly can fill the requirements for the genre. Their sound has everything it would take to make them one of the next big pop sensations. Burn at least shows that potential. Although, it won't be Burn that makes them big. The album has its highlights. “Jacie” is a smooth, comfortable song that strikes just the right balance between pure emotional discourse and reflective melancholy. Still, there are no hit songs here. The hooks—the music itself—would need to be a little bigger to take some of the songs on a more varied course. In baseball, the pitcher doesn't throw a fastball every time. Sometimes he throws a changeup (a slow pitch). The up and down, the change of pace, it keeps the game going in a more interesting way. Perhaps with Burn under their belt, The Red will come back with a follow-up that answers that call. What that will take is something the band will have to discover on its own. Of course, inescapably, it will require letting go of their current design enough to grow and expand beyond the feelings and thoughts that produced Burn . As I mentioned, this album should only be a start.

As a final note, don't be surprised if you find this album with a different cover. There are 16 different album jackets available—at live shows fans can take their pick.

Train – Drops of Jupiter
Maroon 5 – Songs About Jane
Matchbox 20 – Mad Season

- Blue Dark

"Record Review - Burn"

By Nick Collings

Before delving into the music, the band's proposal for their album is a bold and inspired one. "Burned" by their previous record company, The Red decided to do without their assistance, produce 3000 copies and not sell them. The Red's objective is to distribute their 'Burn' album for free, asking people to burn three copies for friends and "burn it forward". Packaging is kept to a minimum, plastic zip lock bags and inlays are provided if you got a spare jewel case. I've got loads of empty jewel cases, so if anyone want to borrow one, lemmie know! The album's title was also named after a dramatic fire that set the band's Hollywood studio alight, but luckily the building and album survived. The band mention the songs explore burning desire of love and getting burned by someone, so you may have noticed an obvious "fire" theme running through the album.

After all this talking of burning, let's concentrate on the scorching music. The Red is a trio comprising of Marco Aiello (Vocals & Guitars), Steve Striegel (Drums) and Tony Nolley (Bass) who focus on acoustic, laid back sensitive rock. When listening to 'Burn' I can't help but imagine the likes of 'Don't Help Me' or 'Tell Me' soundtracking teen dramas The O.C. or Smallville during the emotional scenes when you'd expect a tender love song in the background. The album is slick, well produced and Aiello has a decent singing voice, all heartfelt phrasing and crooning in the right moments. Your enjoyment of 'Burn' will depend if you're in a laidback reflective mood, but oh boy! 'Run' is an optimistic and catchy song no matter your mood. It's got the same template as the other tracks, with the added bonus of a top-drawer chorus. Another track that stands out immediately is 'I Will (never leave u)' which I first thought was Smashing Pumpkin's cover of Fleetwood Mac's 'Landslide' included by accident in the burning process. But after a few seconds, the song goes into a different melody, and you realise it's an original. Every time I hear the chorus to 'Jacie' I think of 'J.C.' a person I know, but enough of personal thoughts that no-one will get. Instead let's discus other artists that comes to mind when racking my brains for comparisons. Of course - Damien Rice, the vocals are close and music of the same ilk, especially on the closing track simply called (Live 11/03). Put the disc on the stereo for a pleasant, relaxed pace, ideal for lovers and chill out sessions. But hey, it's not all same tempo and sound throughout; the opening track 'Want' is more upbeat than most and there is a little diversity with Andy Stephen playing a variety of instruments including saxophone and organs to give some needed texture. Fans of the current wave of UK "quiet rock" such as Keane and Coldplay (I just made up a pigeonhole!) wanting a transatlantic US offering will find interest in The Red.

- Alternative Rock Review


Burn [2005]
Let's Not & Say We Did (ORC) [2001]
Mano (Bella) [1999]


Feeling a bit camera shy


red P Pronunciation Key (r d)
a. The hue of the long-wave end of the visible spectrum, evoked in the human observer by radiant energy; any of a group of colors that may vary in lightness and saturation and whose hue resembles that of blood; one of the additive or light primaries; one of the psychological primary hues

The Red began with singer/guitarist Marco Aiello’s strong desire to create great songs. Born and raised in Los Angeles CA, Marco began playing guitar at an early age and gravitated towards music that painted a wide and diverse landscape of stories and emotion. After years of honing his guitar and songwriting skills playing colleges and coffee houses throughout California it was time to step it up a notch. Marco’s desire to keep the focus on the music and not solely on the artist led him to form The Red. The early stages of the band saw Marco crisscrossing the United States in support of two well received albums entitled “Mano” and “Let’s Not and Say We Did”. The latter yielding indie success with earthy driving ode to their hometown “Be in LA”. As the praise for The Red’s songwriting started to gain serious momentum, Marco’s creative vision for the band became more focused and concise. No longer content with the limitations of solo performing, He began to seek out new musicians to add more textures and dimensions to the already sophisticated pop music that was being created. A chance meeting through a mutual friend brought Marco together with drummer Stephen Striegel. The Berklee songwriting grad had been searching for years for a creative environment that would be open to his wide variety of percussive and lyrical influences. Finding each other turned out to be a perfect fit. The two musicians became even more solidified when bass player Tony Nolley joined the band. Tony’s diverse playing experiences from reggae to hip hop to old fashion soul anchor the group and contribute to the already adventurous approach to writing and performing great pop songs. That approach is very reflective of The Red’s current members. Their style is a healthy balance of simplicity and complexity, seriousness and humor, intelligence and emotion. Much like the name of the band, they themselves defy categorization to one side of the other. Never neutral, and always fiery, complicated in their simplicity, they are The Red.