First/Last-The Red Western

November 9, 2012

“The Red Western formed in October of 2007, shortly after the dissolution of Jay Leon (bass) and Mark Phillips’ (drums) band My Sexiest Mistake and Sean Soisson’s (guitar/vocals) move to Pittsburgh. The band recruited Lauren DeLorenze (acoustic guitar/vocals) to round out the lineup. Jon Gunnell (Satin Gum and Derek White and the Monophobics) joined the band on drums after Phillips’ departure in 2008. By 2009, Gunnell began covering guitar duties while the band worked through several drummers before recruiting Sean Finn (Life In Bed).”

The band plays tomorrow night at Howler’s on a bill with fellow locals Grand Piano and Lowly, The Tree Ghost from Cleveland. You can check out their debut release, “Loves You” here. My thanks to the band for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • Lauren DeLorenze (Vocals/Guitar): The Beatles’ “White Album”.
  • Sean Finn (Drums): Billy Joel, “Glass Houses”.
  • Jon Gunnell (Guitar): Green Day, “Dookie”.
  • Jay Leon (Bass): Rancid, “Lets Go” or Montell Jordan, ‘This is How We Do It’ single.
  • Sean Soisson (Vocals/Guitar): Metallica, “Master of Puppets”.
  • Your last album bought?
  • DeLorenze: M. Ward, “Wasteland Companion”.
  • Finn: Tiger & Woods, “Through the Green”.
  • Gunnell: Fiona Apple, “The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do”.
  • Leon: Miniature Tigers, “Mia Pharaoh”.
  • Soisson: Woods/Amps for Christ.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • DeLorenze: The Beatles, “White Album”; Gillian Welch, “Hell Among the Yearlings”.
  • Finn: U2, “The Unforgettable Fire” or The Wedding Present, “Seamonsters”. I also love “Workers Playtime” by Billy Bragg.
  • Gunnell: Michael Jackson, “Thriller”.
  • Leon: The Clash, “The Clash”.
  • Soisson: Billy Bragg, “Workers Playtime”, The Lemonheads, “It’s a Shame About Ray”, Cock Sparrer, “Shock Troops”.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • DeLorenze: Anything Stevie Ray Vaughan.
  • Finn: Anything Bob Seger or anything ‘blues-rock’.
  • Gunnell: Radiohead, “The King of Limbs”.
  • Leon: ???
  • Soisson: The Pogues, “Waiting for Herb”.
  • First concert attended?
  • DeLorenze: Ringo Starr’s All Star Band featuring Peter Frampton in like 1990 at Station Square.
  • Finn: U2, ‘The Joshua Tree’ Tour in 1987. Fantastic!
  • Gunnell: Bad Company with Damn Yankees. I was 7 or 8. My parents took me. It was awesome.
  • Leon: The last ever Spin Doctors show in a Morgantown mall parking lot. Soisson: Tom Petty at Starlake. I know I had to have been to something with my Mom and Dad before I was 14, but Tom Petty is the first I remember.
  • Last concert?
  • DeLorenze: Grand Piano / Big Bend at Howlers.
  • Finn: Guided by Voices at Mr. Smalls. Although by the time this comes out, I’ll have seen Morrissey at Heinz Hall.
  • Gunnell: Guided By Voices at Mr. Smalls.
  • Leon: The GZA at Altar Bar.
  • Soisson: The Head and the Heart at Smalls…but by the time this comes out: Brown Angel’s last show at Gooski’s.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • DeLorenze: Death Cab for Cutie/Ben Keller last show ever at Laga with my brother.
  • Finn: A toss up between any time I’ve seen GBV, Superdrag or the one time I saw Super Furry Animals at Laga. Pretty awesome seeing The Replacements and Billy Bragg back in the day as well!
  • Gunnell: I think I’m supposed to say Paul McCartney at Consol Energy Center but I’m gonna go with Cave In at Roboto back in the day.
  • Leon: Andrew W.K. at Metropol.
  • Soisson: Bad Religion at Laga, or any time I saw Jason Molina.
  • Least favorite concert?
  • DeLorenze: Ryan Adams in Morgantown. He played for 3 hours, all slow stuff. He didn’t even play guitar so I went across the street and got drunk at the bar halfway through.
  • Finn: Man, I try to block those things out of my memory!
  • Gunnell: My old band opened for Richard Lloyd at Brillobox in 2008. I was pretty excited about it until he went crazy and stopped the show a few songsin. That was pretty lame. Actually, I think Lindsey Buckingham at Heinz Hall was worse.
  • Leon: ????
  • Soisson: Pentagram at the Rex. They played 5 songs and one was a 20 minute blues jam.
  • Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • DeLorenze: The small town feel, I always meet people who have mutual friends, it makes it seem like I’m connected to everyone. The great people and bands in the music scene, for the most part everyone is super supportive of one another and there are some very talented people! And BBT.
  • Finn: Friends, family, good times. Plus some pretty awesome sportsteams and music!
  • Gunnell: Everything, especially the Birmingham Bridge Tavern and everyone that works there.
  • Leon: The city is great because it lets people try and flesh out just about any creative project. RW may have been discouraged in a less supportive place!
  • Soisson: Pittsburgh doesn’t look or feel like anywhere else. I am relatively new to the city (5 years) and of all the places I’ve lived in my life, Ifeel most at home here.

Thanks, guys. Been wanting you to do the First/Last thing for awhile now. I really appreciate it.