Red Wood grew from the corpse of Sonoma County hardcore stalwarts Strike to Survive. Drummer Campbell McIntosh and bassist Patrick Rice decided they wanted to still make music together even though STS would no longer continue. Pat moved to guitar, handing the bass duties over to Austin Houlgate, and Anthony Diedrich Boyd came in to handle the singing duties. They first practiced in the summer of 2014, Patrick supplying the riffs that formed the foundations to the songs, with the rest of the band forming their ideas around that. Everything clicked very quickly. Pat came up with the name Red Wood because he liked the sound of it and the simplicity. Anthony enjoyed the connection the name has with the breathtaking redwood trees found in Northern California (where the band all grew up). Austin and Campbell thought it was chill. They played their first show at the Funk Den in Santa Rosa, CA. a few weeks later.
In the two years since that summer the band has self released two EP's (on Patrick's own label Don't Look Down Records). After the first EP, with Austin taking an extended teaching job for half the year in South Dakota, the band enlisted their friend Kevin Parnow to fill in on bass, but it soon became clear that what they really needed Kevin to do was play second guitar. After Austin returned to the bay, the band became a five piece, and recorded their third EP, titled Wildfire, set to be released this October.
As a five piece the band has found its true groove, Pat and Kevin's guitars swirl in psychedelic twisters of feedback and blues inspired rhythm, anchored by the soul shaking syncopation of Austin's bass and Campbell's drums. Anthony shouts, screams and croons his lyrics over the chaos, words of that range between the subjects of social justice and inner emotional turmoil, sometimes in the space of the same song.
Five sun drenched lizards from the Bay Area, on the constant hunt for deafening riffage and emotional meaning, the band brings to mind the sounds of Dischord circa 1985, with the hard edge and musical prowess to cut right through the introspective rain cloud to create a sense of brevity in the songs. This is music that, despite the often depressing subject matter and dark, effect-drenched riffs, seeks to create a sense of hope in the listener that will stick with them when they need it most.