Editor’s Note: Madness To Creation is fortunate and blessed to have a frontman in Michael Barnes of Red conversing with us. We found him to be pleasant and very down to earth, and that singing songs is more than a career to him, it’s what he feels is his purpose in life. Red makes music for everyone. There are people that love them for their music and hard-hitting ways and there are people that love them for the ballads that they also create. It’s why I personally consider Red to be my favorite in the mainstream rock world. They’re also very much embraced in the Christian music industry as they’ve played the Winterjam festival and do a lot of charity work for World Vision and Cure International. Fans can find Red at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Thank you for taking the time to talk to me today! How is the tour with Lacey Sturm, Righteous Vendetta and Messer going so far?
Michael: It’s going great, the crowd response has been awesome and it’s always good to get back out there and play music and to meet the fans.
Madness To Creation: What is the hardest part about touring?
Michael: I would say the hardest part about touring is being away from family. Everyone in the band is a father and we are away for about seven weeks on this tour. My kids will be on spring break coming up, so I’m going to fly home for a couple of days to spend time with them, the other hardest part with me as a vocalist is not being able to utilize my voice as I would like to because of me resting my voice. I talk to my wife for about 15 minutes per day for those two days and I’m thankful that she’s really understanding about that aspect of my job. Being away for seven weeks is a long time, so I would just say that.
Madness To Creation: What is the most rewarding part of touring?
Michael: The most rewarding part of the tour is seeing the fans, and meeting them at the VIPs and soundchecks and hearing the stories about how our music has inspired them and encouraged them. It never gets old hearing the stories and we’ve had people come up to us and state that they were heading down the wrong path in their life and that they’ve turned around their life because of something that they’ve heard in our music.
Madness To Creation: I love that you are activists for clean water around the world. What can we do to solve the water crisis?
Michael: The reason why we advocate for clean water is because those people go through so much in their lives already. In some countries, they believe that if they have a disease, a cleft palate or a club foot, it’s because of something that they’ve done in the past or in their previous life, and they are outcasted for it. It brings about the foundation of building a community and brings hope to these people. We’ve been a part of World Vision to advocate for clean water and for Cure International to help with people that have club foots, cleft palates, they will even fake it in order to just get a job that pays very little money, it is such a really sad unfortunate thing that they go through. You have to start a foundation in order to build a community.
Madness To Creation: Awhile back, I remember you all opening for Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace, and one of the bands started playing poker during your set, now you are headlining shows, do you all “initiate” the opening acts? What’s the biggest prank you’ve pulled?
Michael: Sometimes we initiate the opening acts if we are headlining! Sometimes we don’t, it depends on if we like you or not! *laughs*. In the music industry, when a band gets pranked that’s an opener, that’s their way of saying we like you, if not, then we don’t like you. We don’t get too crazy, however, I remember when we opened for Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace, that they shone a spotlight when we were playing “Breathe” and had a card table set up and were playing poker while we were playing, it was the craziest thing!
Madness To Creation: How did you react to Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace pranking you?
Michael: I reacted by actually jumping on the table and singing and that got the crowd even more involved.
Madness To Creation: Who is the biggest prankster in the band?
Michael: Randy Armstrong is the biggest prankster in the band. He’s more of a dark, sadistic humor kind of guy, like he might say, “you’re mom died”, and we’re like, what???, and he waits a bit and is like just kidding. We call it getting Armstronged.
Madness To Creation: What can fans expect from the “Unstoppable Screams” tour with Red, Lacey Sturm, Righteous Vendetta, and Messer?
Michael: Fans can expect what we usually do at shows, shows that are packed with a lot of energy, and a set that runs through all of the emotions because we base a lot of our music on emotions, for example, we start off with the song “Step Inside The Violence”, and it’s a song about how it’s dangerous to even step outside your front door because this world has gotten so violent and out of control, and it’s an absolutely hard hitting song with screaming and a lot of energy. But we go through our ballads as well to bring the show in because we’re an emotion-based band.
Madness To Creation: Your songs have changed lives and your work outside of the band has helped make the world a better place? If you’re President and I give you power to make one change what would it be?
Michael: That is a really tough question and I’ve never thought about that, I’m usually complaining about people all of the time! *laughs* I would change for there to be less government, bring the power back to the people!
Madness To Creation: I love the lyric video to “Still Alive”, can you take us into that song?
Michael: The lyric video to “Still Alive” goes through what it’s like when you have nothing left, it’s based off of our “Gone” album which means “leaving your legacy” once you are done with this life, and “Still Alive” kind of goes through that Ecclesiastes part where it talks about how everything is meaningless, that existential question that talks about our purpose and meaning of life and it really hit me when Chester of Linkin Park passed away and I really wanted to write a song about no matter what you’re going through, you are never alone in this world, it doesn’t matter where you’ve been or where you come from, you are not alone and there are people that will help you get through this. I remember just sitting for two days after Chester died and it really hit me hard when he took his own life.
Madness To Creation: I can tell that Chester meant a lot to you, if Chester and Chris Cornell were sitting here with us during this interview, what would you say to them?
Michael: If Chester and Chris Cornell were sitting here right now, I would tell them that they are not alone in this world and whatever it is that you need from me to help you get through the pain.
Madness To Creation: I know that you have a soundcheck and a meet and greet to get ready for, is there anything else you want to add in regards to the “Gone” album?
Michael: Absolutely, “Gone” is about what are we going to leave behind as our legacy, the album runs through a lot of different songs, we have our songs that are emotion-based, but they offer a lot of screaming in some songs but there are several songs that cover the different emotions that we go through in order for those songs to be uplifting and encouraging, fans can pick it up on Amazon, I-Tunes, wherever CD’s are sold, and stream it.
And there you have it! Check out Red with special guests Lacey Sturm, Righteous Vendetta, and Messer on the “Unstoppable Screams” Tour! Tour dates are below!
Wednesday, March 14th- Knitting Factory in Spokane, Washington
Thursday, March 15th- Knitting Factory in Boise, Idaho
Friday, March 16th- McDonald Theatre in Eugene, Oregon
Saturday, March 17th- Hawthorne Theatre in Portland, Oregon
Sunday, March 18th- Neumo’s in Seattle, Washington
Tuesday, March 20th- Ace of Spades in Sacramento, California
Thursday, March 22nd- The Fillmore in San Francisco, California
Sunday, March 25th- The Regent in Los Angeles, California
Friday, March 30th- Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona
Saturday, March 31st- Sunshine Theater in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Tuesday, April 3rd- Jake’s Backroom in Lubbock, Texas
Wednesday, April 4th- The Rock Box in San Antonio, Texas
Friday, April 6th- Scout Bar in Houston, Texas
Saturday, April 7th- Canton Hall in Dallas, Texas
Tuesday, April 10th- Tower Theatre in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Thursday, April 12th- Pop’s in Sauget, Illinois
Friday, April 13th- New Daisy Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee
Saturday, April 14th- Top Golf in Nashville, Tennessee
Sunday, April 15th- The Masquerade in Atlanta, Georgia
For tickets and further information on any shows for the “Unstoppable Screams Tour” listed above, click here!
Check out some Red one-off appearances below!
Friday, April 20th-98Rockfest Big 10 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida (w/Three Days Grace, Fozzy, and Seether)
Saturday, April 21st- WJRR Earthday Birthday at Central Florida Fairgrounds in Orlando, Florida (w/Three Days Grace, Fozzy, Seether, and Dead Girls Academy)
Sunday, April 22nd- Ladson Exchange Fairgrounds in Charleston, South Carolina
Thursday, July 12th- Chippewa Valley Rock Fest in Cadott, Wisconsin (w/Incubus, Rise Against, Seether, Nothing More, GWAR, Beartooth, Through Fire, Blacktop Mojo, Dead Girls Academy, The Missing Letters, Old Voltage, Nivrana, Nuisance, Scattered Hamlet, The Everyday Losers, Brokenrail, Lydia Can’t Breathe, Greater Than Three, and Lady Luck)
Friday, July 20th- Alive Music Festival at Atwood Lake Park & Amphitheatre in Mineral City, Ohio
For tickets and further information, click here!