The Red Western On The Morning Mix

Joey Spehar interviewed The Red Western’s Lauren DeLorenze and Jay Leon in anticipation of their performance at WYEP’s Community Broadcast Center for November’s Third Thursday show. They shared some insight into the band, and what they love about Pittsburgh.

The Red Western has been around since 2007, but most of the members of the band had known each other for a while longer. The guys asked Lauren to join the band because early on they had recognized the potential of her voice. Joey asked why she joined The Red Western when she hadn’t joined other bands that asked her before. “It was something interesting for me to do. I went to music school and after two years I decided not to do it anymore, so I quit,” Lauren said. “I was pretty interested in getting back into music.”

In 2013 The Red Western teamed up with another Pittsburgh band, Grand Piano, to release a split LP. “We wanted to release vinyl really bad,” Lauren said. “Yeah, we wanted to release vinyl, but not pay for all of it,” Jay laughed. Lauren continued, adding, “I just love the idea of doing splits. I always remember buying old punk rock splits, and I just thought it was something bands in our genre don’t do as often as I’d like to see.”

Joey wanted to know the story behind the song “Love For Free”, which is a favorite around the WYEP studios. “Listen, all of our songs have incredibly deep and layered meanings,” Jay joked. “It’s basically a ‘giving up on relationships’ kind of a song. I guess you might want to think ‘free love’ is kind of a hippy-ish idea, but it’s really about just not wanting to try. You want someone to care about you, but you don’t want to try for it." 

The Red Western’s sound originally was very much alt-country inspired, but lately they’ve drifted into more into the rock and power-pop genres. Joey asked what caused this shift, and they cited a change in musical taste as the reason. Lauren said, “My music taste definitely changes as I get older. I’m a little more sophisticated in my taste now too.” John agreed saying, “I think when the band started, it had more of a project feel. We were really into alt-country at the time, and we wanted something that fit that. But all of us grew up on punk rock, so it was only a matter of time before things got louder.”

They wrapped up the interview with Joey by talking a bit about the Pittsburgh music scene. “I think Pittsburgh is the greatest city to start a band in. There’s such an incredible pool of talent, of unpretentious really sweet and special people that are great songwriters from so many walks of life, and you can get a show in a month and a half if you want to,” Jay said. “I think it’s the coolest place for people to share ideas and everybody is very supportive of each other.”

Check out more about The Red Western on their website, theredwestern.net, on twitter, and bandcamp. And don’t forget to check them out at Third Thursdays!