Who: Redeye Empire
When: Saturday, Feb. 16, 3
Where: Village Square
Returning to Whistler for a
show is like coming home for Mike Redmond, the lead singer for Redeye Empire.
He lives in Vancouver now,
but for more than a decade he rode the chairlift up Whistler Mountain and
downloaded into the music scene in the evening.
At one of the weekly open mic
nights at the Crystal Lounge (the longest running jam night in Whistler),
Redmond first broke his guitar strings. A few weeks later, he was playing solo
sets at the Crystal then at other pubs, clubs and patios around town as a
member of the Living Room band.
Like so many who came before
him, the call of opportunity to work for a real estate development company
drove him down Highway 99 to the city where both his “real” job work ambitions
as well as music ones really began to take root.
The originally-named Redeye
band grew to empire proportions and following a 19-show sold-out tour opening
for G. Love and Special Sauce during the spring of 2007, the group of Redmond,
Gabe Davis, Ali Siadat, Eric Stephenson, Ben Brown and newcomer Andre Arsenault
stepped into the recording studio.
On the G. Love tour Redmond
met producer Chris DiBenneditto who produced for the likes of Ben Harper, Jack
Johnson and Slightly Stoopid. Dibenneditto loved the band’s sound and was only
too happy to agree to co-produce what would become Redeye Empire’s second
The Diary of Everett Miley.
Dibenneditto’s reggae dub
attack was sharpened with co-producer Ben Kaplan’s edgy rock and roll. Kaplan
previously worked with Shakira, Chevelle, Biffy Clyro and Sarah McLachlan.
“This album is definitely
more dynamic and more punchy; it came out more hard edged,” Redmond said. “We
approached this album differently. We did a lot more preproduction and all of
us in the band had more say in the album. And with the two producers having
different backgrounds (in musical style), it really made for a more diverse
Tour stories live on in the
album’s name, paying tribute to the tour bus driver Everett Miley.
“He was a pretty interesting
guy,” he said. “The stories this guy had. It pays some homage to him because he
made an impression on us.”
A soft release of the album
was launched in Whistler at the Longhorn Saloon earlier this year; however,
another tour headlining for a major act waits in the wings for this April. Mums
the word on the band, but Redmond is confident the tour will push their new
album forward to larger audiences.
“We have an offer to go back
on tour … with another band which is a huge influence for us so that is really
exciting,” Redmond said. “We are hoping it’s going to the next level. It’s
going to expose us to large number of people in the U.S. We are already
Rehearsals are also getting
the band in shape for the Celebrate Live in Whistler concert series that kicked
off last week with another Whistler adoptee Wil Mimnaugh. The free outdoor
showcase tunes the entire village in from Feb. 14 to 17 from 3 to 6 p.m. in
Village Square. FreeFlow and You Say Party! We Say Die! perform Feb. 14,
Paramedic and Cadence Weapon Feb. 15, Redeye Empire is joined by Maestro Fresh
Wes Feb. 16 with the aboriginal band Bitterly Divine wrapping up the showcase
Feb. 17. In between band set-ups, the Whistler Film Festival’s locally-produced
short films will entertain the crowds throughout the week with an all-afternoon
showing of 11 of the Whistler Stories films screening Sunday, Feb. 17 in