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Mars Red Sky is the first band of Toonari Post’s niche and underground music column “Out Of Mainstream”.
Formed in Bordeaux, France, in 2007 and composed by Julien Pras – singer, composer, and guitarist – , Benoit Busser – drummer – , and Jimmy Kinast – bassist – , Mars Red Sky is one of the main emerging bands of the stoner/psychedelic rock scene.
Julien Pras, “brain” and spokesman of the band, told Toonari Post how they gathered in this music project after their previous and different music experiences in other bands:
”What we do now is very different from what each of us did before. For over ten years I had been guitarist, singer and composer of a band called “Calc”, which was formed in 1996 and was more pop-folk oriented.
Benoit used to play in another Bordeaux’s band, the “Berlin vs. Brooklyn”, which was a math-rock duo. Jimmy and I saw him playing, we liked him and I wanted him to play with me. He already knew my music but we didn’t know each other personally.
We started very quickly, just Benoit and me. Just after a couple of rehearsals we realized we needed also a bass to intensify low frequencies. So we called Jimmy.
I knew him since 15 years, we were old friends but we had never played music together before. Playing for him was more a hobby. At that time he was working for a management agency and he also had been in charge as tour manager of my previous band.”
Their music is heavy and aerial at the same time, is quite different by the dusty and aggressive style of the Palm Desert scene. They create a different atmosphere, almost spacey, mixing the intensity and the energy of stoner grooves with the ethereal lightness of vocals and lyrics.
“Of course we were influenced by other bands, in particular we were attracted from the cloudy and hazy atmospheres of Dead Meadow and Sleep, or from the heavy electric weather of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, but not from the violent and angry part of stoner rock”, told Pras.
Talking about the name Mars Red Sky, Pras explained that it comes from the Sleeps’ song “Dragonaut” from the album “Holy Mountain”: “While listening to the song I was reading the lyrics – ride the dragon toward the crimson eye / flap the wings under mars red sky – and the image of the intense red colour of Mars attracted me. Beyond the red colour I liked also the space elements it recalls, which were a kind of visual description of the spacey sound effects that we were creating at that time.”
Encouraged by the good audience of their first concerts in Bordeaux, they decided to record their songs properly and in December 2010 they released their first single, the seven minute long “Curse” on Emergence records, that included two tracks, “Curse” and “Sabada”. This was soon followed in 2011 by their first album “Mars Red Sky” – also released on Emergence – recorded few months later in the suggestive desert of Las Bardenas, in the north of Spain.
“Jimmy went there for holiday some years before and he liked it. Our basic idea was to record the music in complete isolation, with no distractions, and he thought it was a good place to do it. So we rented a house there with our sound engineer Pierre Fillon and we recorded the album in four days – recording all the time even at night. We recorded there just the music, we did the vocals just in France”, told Pras.
The result is amazing, a succession of seven track which brings to mind the visual sensation of a comet burning in the sky. The album starts with the deep and spacey “Strong Reflection” and the more up-beat “Curse”, followed by the acid and noisome instrumental “Falls”. Then come “Way To Rome”, elegant and refined with surf-rock elements, and the acoustic instrumental “Saddle Point”, followed by the bluesy-rock “Marble Sky” and the aerial “Up The Stairs”.
In addition to the cd, in November 12th they will release the limited edition vinyl of their debut album with a bonus track “The Ravens Are Back”. They will also be on tour all around Europe, if you want to discover dates and cities of their concerts check out their website http://www.marsredsky.com/
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/marsredskyband
Image courtesy of http://www.marsredsky.com/