Coming home with new album 

Redeye Empire brings new music to the Celebrate Live in Whistler concert series as part of Cultural Olympiad

Who: Redeye Empire

When: Saturday, Feb. 16, 3 p.m.

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 release, 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 album.”

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 starting rehearsals.”

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 Village Square.


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