DCMD Interview: RDGLDGRN On New Music, Never Working At Best Buy Again, and Staying Loyal To D.C.
It’s a popular misconception that in order to find mainstream success, bands must move to entertainment hubs like New York or Los Angeles to pursue their dreams. But the members of RDGLDGRN (pronounced Red Gold Green) have been able to accomplish this feat and more, without ever moving out of their hometown.
“All of us are still based in D.C., and we’re never leaving!” says Gold, who represents one-third of RDGLDGRN. The band’s loyalty to D.C. is not only evident from a geographic sense, but also from a musical standpoint. RDGLDGRN has been acclaimed for popularizing the “indie go-go” genre, fusing together a garage rock sound with a go-go influence that was born and bred in the District. It wasn’t long before Dave Grohl, Pharrell Williams and famed producer Kevin Augunas of Fairfax Recordings quickly took notice of this young group. Teaming up with these music heavyweights helped to solidify the production efforts for the group’s self-titled debut EP. “Being from this area, go-go was in our blood, so we just made a conscious effort to bring it to the forefront,” says Gold.
After the EP’s release in early 2013, RDGLDGRN hit the ground running with a string of tours and appearances at Warped Tour and SXSW. Eventually, Red, Gold and Green finally landed their first major television appearance that year on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which catapulted their success. “I remember when we played the DC101 Chili Cook-Off last May and there was a sea of people singing “I Love Lamp” and a few of our other songs back to us,” says Gold. “It was an unforgettable event.” RDGLDGRN released its self-titled debut album in September 2013.
Throughout all of their success and accomplishments, Red, Gold and Green remain humble and true to their roots. The group attended the same high school in Reston, Virginia and also was active in the local music scene before forming RDGLDGRN. “The three of us were in another band, and when that one folded, we started RDGLDGRN around summer 2011,” recounts Gold. “Naming the band after ourselves seemed like the only option, since we couldn’t think of anything better!” Even before the celebrities came knocking on RDGLDGRN’s door, the band always knew that fame was inevitable. “We always envisioned success, even still now, greater than what we’ve already achieved. Failure was (and is) never an option.”
Failure seems like a long shot for this ambitious group, who plans to have more songs and a new EP out within the next few weeks. But despite all of RDGLDGRN’s accomplishments, the fear of losing everything is still a reality. “Our primary goal is to never have to go back to working at Best Buy!” jokes Gold. “But, our ultimate goal is to create and share all the music we make for all to enjoy. We have such a range of music that we make and we just want to be able to get it out there. We hope people stay tuned to RDGLDGRN.”
After being on the road for the past month, the trio is looking forward to being back in D.C. With Summer Spirit Festival and a headlining show at The Fillmore checked off the tour list, RDGLDGRN’s next stop will be Doah Fest, a new three-day art and music festival near Shenandoah National Park, on August 9.
“It feels like we are playing for family when we come back to D.C.!” says Gold. “Other cities have mad love for us, and we always enjoy the road, but nothing compares to a hometown crowd. Nothing.”
Listen to RDGLDGRN’s latest single, “Turn”: