Red Cortez is a band from East Los Angeles, band members are
You recently released your debut album. Has the path leading up to it been hard?
Harley: We've recorded our debut record but haven't released it. The path leading up to making the record wasn't so hard, but choosing which songs to put on it was a little tricky--we had written so many songs at that point. It's been said you know you have your whole life to make your first record a just a short time to make your second. I supposed there are pressures with both as one makes a statement and the other reaffirms that
What inspires you to your songs?
Harley: Our songs are filled with odd characters, idiosyncratic choices, the average outsider, influenced by bizarre films, adversity, writers, pirates, and about 100 years of varying musical styles. I used to write a lot about taking down kings, then it became a little more about taking down walls, now it's more about taking down blame --as long as it doesn't lead to taking out the trash.
Which other bands influenced you to your music?
Harley: Influences are probably so innate that we wouldn't even know. We're all so different from each other and at the same time very the same in our music palette. One day Philip Glass or Charlie Parker and the next day Link Wray or Suicide. Stax records or Trojan records or Creation records. Just got a great Alan Lomax record 'Saints and Sinners' . We're like sponges. Everything influences us.
When we go into our rehearsal space we never try to make anything that
sounds like a specific thing -- we just make what comes out...
If you had a meeting with young talented artists, what advice would you give them in order to follow their dream?
Harley: I wouldn't give any advice, I would listen but not try and aside in any way - if you have a dream then that's all you need right there, everything else are just the mistakes you need to get you there.
Do you have a favorite song on your new album?
Harley: They are all pretty special in their own way - however cute or scary.
If your band has time off (do you ever?) what is it you do?
Harley: Build cabinets, draw, travel, see alot of music, spend time with girlfriends, friends, pub crawl (ive been nick named the pub philosopher, sadly), make films, read phone books and cook vegetarian food.
More on Red Cortez and free songs: