I’ve been listening to Razorwire Halo’s debut EP for a few days. While I draft the review, here’s a bit more about the band themselves…
Tak: All members are currently based out of Kansas City, Missouri, although in the past we have had members from all over the U.S.
How did you meet?
Tak: I created the band years ago and have brought in the members throughout the years from within the Kansas City music scene. Other than myself Skylar has been in the band the longest. Darrell joined the group in 2012 and Kyle and Billy are the newest members to join the group.
Billy: I was working the door at a venue in Merriam, Kansas called Aftershock, sitting on a stool air drumming to house music in between bands and RWH was playing the show. Tak came up and asked if I played and we talked from there and the rest is history, I guess.
Skylar: Tak and I met when we were teenagers, long before I was in the band.
Darrell: I was playing a show with a different band, and we were on the same bill as RWH one night.
How long have you been playing as a band?
Tak: 2011 is when the band really found its defining look and sound. Before that the band went through several major changes to become what we are today.
Billy: I’ve been in the band for 2 ½ – 3 years… but the band’s been around for a while.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Tak: When I was trying to decide on a band name I wanted to make sure the name had some depth to it and would look nice fully spelled out and be able to have an abbreviation. (We shorten it to “RWH”). There isn’t actually a deep meaning behind “Razorwire Halo”, just a desired look and feel.
Skylar: It came from Tak!! ;)
Tak: Nine Inch Nails, Orgy, Meg Myers, Garbage, Placebo, Smashing Pumpkins, Portishead, Stabbing Westward, Silversun Pickups, Metric.
Billy: Chevelle, Deftones, Hanson, Ugly Kid Joe, Keb Mo, White/Rob Zombie, Black Stone Cherry, Nine Inch Nails, The Used, My Chemical Romance.
Skylar: Nine Inch Nails, Daft Punk, Smashing Pumpkins, Massive Attack.
Darrell: Smashing Pumpkins, Beatles, David Bowie, Muse.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Tak: I feel like our music is more of an electronic/industrial rock based sound in a dystopian future. Our sound has a unique feel to it because we blend many different styles together. Crushing heavy guitar with upbeat hooks along with straight rock drums blended with hip hop drum beats. We are not afraid to cross over into other genres and we are always looking for unique ways to make new sounds.
Billy: It’s pretty nice as well because we have some tracks that are more rock and heavier and some that are more electronic so we can go whichever route on choosing a setlist. Based on who we’re playing with on any show.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Tak: All of our albums have a unique concept. Our lyrics are based around that centralized idea. It allows us to challenge ourselves by locking in a theme but at the same time it allows us to become even more creative and really think about what we are writing.
Skylar: Depends on the album, but we always try to tell a story or express a feeling or emotion.
Tak: I have played hundreds of shows over the years. In the last 2 and half to 3 years RWH has really picked up the frequency. We are working to play 50 – 100 shows a year. We like to explain our live show as a large scale production in a small venue. We are constantly adding to it. With our enhanced live show we can visually transport fans out of the venue and pull them into our reality for the entire duration of the performance.
Billy: It’s a trip for sure, it really is a 3D live experience to see. Lots of images doing the strobe thing (not the best if you are epileptic).
Skylar: We have a live show like you’ve never seen before.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Tak: I get a little crazy at shows. Darrell usually gets constantly slammed into and dragged to the ground. I have also had a bad habit, when in the moment, to destroy guitars, keyboards and drums. I just let myself go when I’m onstage.
Billy: I’ve been touring for a few years now and been working on music venues for 6 or 7 years now and seen a share of crazy stuff. I’ve seen someone passed out on a parking lot soil themselves, seen a dude shove a giant knife through his arm during a performance front row. A lady was pretty drunk and fell off the toilet and got stuck in between the toilet and the stall… I could go on for a while…
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
- Shure PSM300 Pro In Ear System
- Shure SM58 Handheld Wireless Mic System
- TC-Helicon VoiceLive Vocal Processor
- Fender American Professional P Bass
- Hartke 1000w amp
- Ampeg 4×10 cab
- Sennheiser EW100 G3 wireless
- Ddrum amx kick
- Ddrum diablo snare
- Ddrum diablo toms
- Zildjian cymbals
- Sabian china
- Vater sticks
- Pdp 5000 kick pedals
- Gibson Les Paul Studio
- Mesa Dual Rec
- Marshall cab with a mix of speakers
- LTD EC-300 with an EMG 81 in the bridge
- Orange CR120
- Mesa 4×12 traditional
Tak: We are excited to be promoting our upcoming release titled Retaliate. The release date is set for March 27th.
Billy: New release Retaliate, and we just shot a music video for the song “Sweat” which is on that release as well.
What are your plans for 2018?
Tak: We will be touring in support of Retaliate and we will start working on a new album. We are constantly writing new material and will start our next album most likely in June with a release in the Spring of 2019.
Skylar: Tour, music, fun, hard work.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting?
Tak: I would have to say, Nine Inch Nails.
Billy: Nine Inch Nails would be great, Chevelle would be sick too.
…and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Tak: This wouldn’t really be who would open for us but more of who we would love to play with. I would have to say, Puscifer or Meg Myers just to throw in some unique sounds. Some other bands we have toured with that would be awesome to have on the road with us again would be Curse of Cassandra or You are a Toy.
Billy: Stabbing Westward would be cool. I recommend a couple other Kansas City bands to check out I’m really good friends with. Hyborian and 34 are absolutely my favorite in the scene here and they just crush live!