Quintet is more than good chemistry, it's good music
Lifestyle BY TROY DIFFENDERFER, 19, Freestyle Staff Writer
Pop quiz: What do you get when you mix chloride and sodium? Easy, right? Table salt. All right, a tougher one: What do you get when you mix sodium, hydrogen, oxygen and carbon together? Give up? Baking soda.
Last one. What do you get when you mix five blue-collar musicians from Missouri? Well, it is a form of chemistry -- the hard-rocking band from Kansas City, Red Line Chemistry.
Growing up in the Midwest, this quintet has been performing since 2004. The band mixes progressive elements from the likes of Tool and Deftones, with a grungier side, similar to Chevelle and Alice in Chains.
In recent phone interview, lead singer Brett Ditgen talked about some early influences.
"I really admired guys like Scott Weiland and Layne Staley," Ditgen says. "Those guys really had an influence on us, and we also wanted to incorporate harmonies that bands like the Eagles had."
The band's latest album, "Tug of War," will be out April 20 and is its third full-length album and first since releasing an acoustic EP inspired by former tour mates Shinedown.
"We opened up for them when they were doing their acoustic tour, so it really gave us a chance to experiment with different arrangements. We eventually used them to put out an acoustic EP," Ditgen says.
The band worked with Nick Raskulinecz, who has worked with popular bands Stone Sour and Alice in Chains. Raskulinecz worked with the band on a previous single, "Ultragigantor," and offered to produce "Tug of War."
"Waiting for Nick to work with us was really a blessing," Ditgen says. "To be able to work with someone as good as him, we couldn't turn it down."
Going on 10 years together, Ditgen agrees that many aspects of being in a band have become a lot easier.
"The writing process has been a lot easier," Ditgen says. "We've gotten a lot more touring experience and everyone is really able to contribute and work together to make awesome songs."
Ditgen also sheds some light on how the band stays so close during months together in tight quarters.
"There's always going to be tension when you've been together, but the highs have been so high that it outweighs any problems we encounter," Ditgen says.
The first single, "Unspoken," has gotten steady play on Sirius Radio. It was one of the first recorded, along with "Quiet Hurricane." Both tracks take elements from the grunge genre, opening with a slow, clear intro, before bursting into a heavy chorus. Think Tool mixed with Alice in Chains.
My personal favorite though, has an appropriate title. After an epic eight-minute acoustic track, "Through the Haze," the next song, "Suckerpunch," is a shot of punk-rock adrenaline similar to Velvet Revolver's "Slither." A hopeful single, this song is sure to get a crowd going.
The band will be hitting a few festivals, including Rockfest and Ohio's Rock on the Range.
"We're hoping to tour all summer long after that, starting in June," Ditgen says.
In the meantime, Ditgen says most of the band will be hanging out with family and friends before heading out on the road.
"I'm big into snowboarding, so I make sure to head to Colorado to stay active," Ditgen says.
And no matter how cold it may be on the slopes, Red Line Chemistry will be heating up along with the weather.