Durban black metal stalwarts, Theatre Runs Red are back in business, tearing a swathe across the northern reaches of South Africa. After a long break, the band is in business once again and getting plenty of exposure. Theatre will be playing the Emalyth Arts Expo next month, so we caught up with the band to check in and see what to expect.
M4A: The band is most certainly back following your hiatus in 2014. Has it been easy to get back into the groove of regular gigging or have their been teething problems?
Yeah, it was easy enough, once we waded through about two weeks of disgusting sounding practice. Stamina was a big thing though – it’s difficult to admit this, being a dude, haha – but we were pretty useless after a rather long absence. But absence made our black hearts grow fonder and we are back at it once more.
M4A: You’ve been involved in almost all of the high-profile international gigs in recent months as well as getting prominent mainstream media coverage. How does it feel to be so highly regarded in the local scene?
It really has been an honour and it feels good to see our hard work paying off over the past 7 years. It’s been the stuff of dreams, this, but let’s face it – without the tireless toil of events organizers and endless support of our fans, we would still just be jamming in our bandroom. To say we are grateful to everyone who has been a part of the journey along the way, is to put it rather mildly!
M4A: There has been a lot of debate lately around the moniker of “female-fronted” metal bands. Do you think there is a distinction to be made or is it all a load of bunk?
Nice usage of a nearly 200 year old word there! Jokes aside… it’s a load of bunk. Having witnessed all the female-fronted metal bands in SA, we can easily say that this idea needs to stop knocking around the metal crowd’s cranium. Females dish up the heavy alright, right up there with any male-fronted band, so the distinction is moot.
A little, perhaps… Whilst we gig like fiends, we are making progress, albeit slow, on our album. It becomes a tight balancing act, preparing for gigs and knuckling down and doing recording. We are really putting our time into it though, so the end result will certainly be worth it.
M4A: How was your Witchfest experience? Being one of the openers – Friday slot and all – must have been quite daunting.
Absolutely phenomenal! Witchfest gave us sleepless nights for weeks, trying our best to be ready for the biggest gig we have ever played. Most all of the members of TRR shit themselves before a gig, though, whether we are playing to two gnarled old geezers propping up the bar or to a crowd of 800. But the booze was flowing hard by the time Friday afternoon rolled around – liquor certainly puts some oil into those awkward little joints in the crowd and, as it turned out, our gig went down pretty well.
M4A: What can fans expect at the Emalyth Arts Expo after your knockout set at Witchfest?
More of the same, I’ll wager! We bring our A-game to EVERY gig so fans can expect the usual finery, catwalk makeup and soft, tender ballads we are known for. And, if everyone plays their cards just right, we might revert to playing a bit of blackened death. To please the lady with the pearls in the back row. Our gig will invariably be followed by an evening of poor decisions, lots of alcohol and regret the next day.
M4A: One look at your Facebook page shows that Theatre is very supportive of the local scene. Which bands are on your radar at the moment and are any of them making their way to Emalyth in June?
The Overmind caught our attention recently, handing out new assholes for all those torn asunder by their set at the Red Door not so long ago. But we’re biased, because they’re from Sleepy Hollow (DBN) and are another much-needed metal band in our town. Demogoroth Satanum have quickly become of our SA favourites. Another band we cannot wait to see again, who shall be playing the Arts Expo, is Lesuth.
M4A: What will Theatre be up to in the near future? Are there any plans for tours and the like?
An album, first and foremost! New merch, possible new photoshoot, some new tracks if time permits, for starters. Touring is going to be placed on hold until such time as we get the album done and dusted and then we will be sowing our vile seed both inland and along the coast of SA once more.
Watch Theatre Runs Red‘s promo video for Witchfest 2015 here!