Brandon indie rockers Red Hill City started their band in February 2005 and, after a year of shows, recording, mixing and remastering, recently released their 7-track CD entitled "Ill Attempts." The band won Northwest Rankin High School's Battle of the Bands earlier this year. Armed with Stratocasters, drums, a bass and a powerful keyboard, the band is forging their way in the Jackson music scene.
Where did the name Red Hill City come from?
A school playground! Tyler was working there, and he uncovered a battered piece of paper in the gravel pit. Written at the top were the words, "History of Brandon," and there was a quote on the page about a "city of red hills laden with golden opportunity."
Any favorite bands or major influences?
Radiohead, Death Cab for Cutie, Muse, The Shins. Our biggest influence would probably be Jimmy Eat World.
Somebody said you guys were the "next Dashboard Confessional"?
Oh, that's a lie! We are not that good, and we're not that styled. Dashboard is emo, and we have very few influences from that genre. Our music is like a research paper. You have to take several sources and put them into your own words.
What "next" are you?
We are the one and only! (Laughter) Actually, we are pretty much a blend. A happy blend of complicated indie pop.
What is the indie sound?
"Indie" stands for any independent group. It represents anything that steps away from the mainstream. It can be very broad. There are punk bands that call themselves "indie."
Tell me about the beginnings of Red Hill City.
The band started with Tyler, Josh and Ben, and after three years, we added Joe and Gant. One of our first shows was at The Gravity in Clinton, and since then, we have done probably 40 shows.
What is the best show that you have done so far?
We played a show at Cups in Brandon, and we were in the middle of an upbeat tune called "Stay." There were over a hundred people that had come out to see us, and they all started dancing to the song! We like smaller gigs, actually. W.C. Don's let us play one night, and the crowd was small, but we thought the acoustics were really nice. We got good feedback from everybody.
What was your worst gig?
(Laughter) There was this one place that refused to mike our amplifiers. We couldn't hear a thing. It was horrible!
Tell me about your latest project.
Our first EP "Ill Attempts" came out this month, and it's available on iTunes or CD Baby. It took us about six months to a year to put it together, and the final recording was done at Cool Water Studios in Clinton, with further mastering by Euphonics in Memphis. Jacksonians can get it at Borders or BeBop Records. Once we got the EP done, it wasn't hard to sell it. In Jackson, you can go almost anywhere, and if you have an official-looking packet, they'll usually take your music.
Outside of the musical sphere, who are some of your major influences?
We salute George W. Bush for being in the situation that he is in and still maintaining his Christianity. We all grew up in the church and still attend. Gant and Joseph still play for church functions.
Red Hill City can be found on MySpace and their home site here.