Micah Redding Has Some Brotherly Help
Micah Redding — part of West Virginia’s Redding Brothers — has been touring the U.S. and Middle East. The Redding Brothers have been known for creating their own gigs, writing a song a week for a year and boosting other West Virginia performers while getting their own alternative rock in the spotlight. For more info, check out www.reddingbrothers.com.
Graffiti: What’s it like to have been touring steady for five years? How did you manage to do that?
Redding: It’s a lot of different crazy experiences. Key ingredients were lots of Jones Soda, not being afraid of the rain and somehow surviving Josiah’s driving. We tend to run into bad weather when we travel — so you’ve got to be able to deal with that. We’ve also done things like staying up all night recording and then leaving on tour at 8 a.m. You learn to adjust to things — you get used to being in small spaces for hours at a time. You learn to be able to sleep crazy places — like on the hood of your car.
Graffiti: Are there other members of your family who are musical?
Redding: Our dad and grandfather got us started playing acoustic guitar. Dad played Johnny Cash songs to us while we were growing up, and our grandfather sang pop and folk songs from the ‘40s.
Graffiti: Have you ever been in a band with non-family members?
Redding: Not really. We did jam in one guy’s garage until the police showed up. He went on to form a band called the “Garage Prophets.” Another weekend we got together with a guy named Turbo, formed a band called “The Rolling Oddballs,” played a big show wearing sunglasses and carrying squirt-guns and then promptly disbanded.
Graffiti: Where in West Virginia did you grow up?
Redding: Out in the woods on a mountain somewhere near Teays Valley. Our grandfather had to make the road himself and every winter our power went out and our water froze over. There were whole sections of the year where our vehicles couldn’t make it home and we’d have to hike home carrying our groceries and everything. We spent a lot of our free time blazing trails through those woods.
Graffiti: How’d you make the decision to move to Nashville?
Redding: We were traveling a lot and we knew we’d be traveling a lot more. Nashville is a good place to tour from — you can go three hours in any direction and be in a major city. It was getting hard to drive through the backwoods of Ohio to get anywhere. So Nashville is good geographically. Also, it’s not too far from West Virginia and it’s close to Lexington and Cincinnati, the other main places we were playing. The moving process took us a while. But it’s been good.
Graffiti: What venues — other than those you created — in West Virginia do you play?
Redding: We’re pretty random; in the last year or so, we’ve played at The Charleston Civic Center, at the Huntington riverfront and in a park in St. Albans. High schools and colleges bring us in a lot — we’ve recently been booked at Marshall, Glenville State and WVSU.
Graffiti: How’d you get the entrepreneurial spirit to create your own performance venues?
Redding: I think we just always thought that way — that we had to do things for ourselves. We always had big, crazy ideas and set out to do them. We decided to do one of our first big shows in a movie theater, because it seemed like a really fun idea and something really campy.
Graffiti: What music are you listening to these days?
Redding: Queen, Kings of Leon, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber … hmmm … apparently we’re into royally-named music. We tend to listen to eclectic things — from kitschy old musicals to odd folk-rock albums we find in bathrooms. That happens here in Nashville. Our favorite music is still the rock music that was coming out in the late ‘90s. So whenever we find new stuff of that caliber, we listen to it a lot.
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