In 2005, while looking for his next big project, Jeff Lyons came across an online ad for a drummer. In that band was lead guitarist, Paul “Friz” Frislie. After only a few rehearsals, it became clear that Friz and Jeff shared similar influences (Alice in Chains, Muse, Foo Fighters, Nine Inch Nails, Filter, Soundgarden, etc.) as well as musical ideas with just enough variances to make things interesting. After two years of writing, recording, rockin’ all over Southern California, and several lineup changes, the duo decided to dissolve the band and start over.
Shortly thereafter they started looking for new blood under the name Roqbot. The search was on for a singer, but Jeff wasn’t sure if he wanted to continue on drums or switch to bass, which he has also played for many years. Ultimately, Jeff felt that playing bass would keep him closer to the songwriting process (and he was tired of lugging all of the equipment that comes with playing drums). The decision was made to find a singer and a drummer. Over the course of a year and after countless unsuccessful auditions, Roqbot appeared to be stalled. Although writing continued, the unfruitful search for fellow band members was beginning to take its toll.
In the summer of 2008, Jeff decided to take a stab at writing a vocal part for one of the groups songs. He recorded a quick demo and sent it over to Friz. He responded with the “thumbs up” and the two decided to proceed with Jeff as lead vocalist, a position he had never held before in any band. But any trepidation he felt was tempered by the buzz of being able to move the band forward, if only a few steps. It was around this time that the duo decided to change their name to RED9, an obscure reference found in the classic sci-fi film, Star Wars (of which both Paul and Jeff are longtime fans).
Despite their excitement, the absence of a permanent drummer proved limiting. After releasing their EP, 1 of 9, and eager to play shows, RED9 resorted to using pre-recorded drum tracks (provided by Jeff) and hiring local talent. Finally, after nearly two years of ads, no-shows, and painful auditions, drummer Giovanni “Gio” Fuentes answered the call. From the first audition, it was clear that RED9 had found the backbeat it so desperately needed.
Gio joined the group while the band was in the midst of recording the band’s first full-length effort, The Host. The album proved to be a modest success for the local Southern California band. The song Last Mistake was a featured and well-received addition to the Rock Band 2 video game and Facedown became an immediate crowd favorite. Real Love from the band’s EP also made into the Rock Band 2 video game.
After two years of performing and writing, the band released its second full-length effort. The band decided to simply call the new album, RED9, as it is truly the first set of songs written as a complete band, with all three contributing to the process and giving it their personal stamp. While the album includes their signature thick bass lines, melodic guitars, punchy drums, and thoughtful vocals, there are a few surprises that deviate from the expected.
RED9 is ready to take some giant steps forward. It’s time to make a mark on the music scene. It’s time to ROCK!