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The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

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NU Band Spotlight: Red Bellows

Photo courtesy/Red Bellows

By Marielle Evangelista, News Correspondent

After spending the past three months recording in the studios in Shillman Hall at Northeastern, Boston-based ambient/progressive rock band Red Bellows plans to release its first album at the end of this month. The band includes 2010 Northeastern alumni Marc Pellegrino on vocals and keyboard and Sean McDermott on guitar, and two non-Huskies – Jim Haney on bass and Don Taylor on drums. Red Bellows is taking the DIY route, buying and copying the CDs themselves, and focusing on marketing the band. “We’re trying to get our music out there to as many people as we can, for free,” Pellegrino said. “We’re gonna give out physical CDs, and do the pay-as-you-go model for the digital.”

Huntington News: How long have you been playing together?
Sean: Marc and I have been playing together since 2007. Our first band was called Plastic Reverie. It was me, Marc and two other Northeastern students. Then our drummer couldn’t do it anymore. So we decided when we were getting a new drummer would be a good time to change the name and kind of re-establish the sound. So summer 2009 was the official start of Red Bellows.

HN: How did you find the others?
Sean: Don found us through a Craigslist posting, and we tried him out and we really liked him. We actually ran into him at a Caspian show, and felt like that was a good omen. So that night me and Marc decided we had to get him in the band. So we called him up and interrupted Don on a date. We called him like five times, and he had to pretend to go to the bathroom.
Marc: Jim found us in the fall. Over the summer we were just jamming as a three-piece.

HN: How did you come up with the name Red Bellows?
Marc: When we first moved into the apartment, we set up our all our music shit in the basement. So we were all down there getting pretty lit and playing music in our new place for the first time, which was exciting. And our old roommate was a photographer, and was showing us this vintage camera that literally had red bellows. The bellows distort the picture so there’s one piece of the image that’s focused, and everything else kind of warps around it. And she’s like, “have you ever looked through a camera with red bellows?” And I was like,“Ah, this is it!”
Sean: What’s important is that it sticks in your head. And it generates some image when you hear it, which is really cool.

HN: What’s your favorite venue in Boston to play at?
Marc: Wadzilla [Mansion, in Allston],– for sure. It’s a venue, kind of, and a house, kind of, and a party, kind of.
Sean: That would be the venue, if you told me I could only play at one venue for the rest of my life, it’d be Wadzilla.

HN: What would you say your main influences are?
Sean: One of the cool things about this band is that we all have completely different musical interests. We all like the same music, but our personal preferences are really different, so we each bring a little bit of that into the band. When Marc and I started out, we were listening to a lot of Mute Math. They have some really cool grooves.
Marc: One thing I respect about us is that all the pedals that Sean and I have collected over time has been stuff that wasn’t trying to emulate someone else. I think that we’ve created a pretty unique tone with the band because of these very different influences coming from like blues, jazz, classical, 60s acid rock and everything in between.
Jim: My bass playing is influenced solely, 100% by Eddie Murphy’s stand-up special “Delirious.” I’m not joking.
Marc: You can hear the Eddie Murphy in his bass playing.
Marc: Jimmy and me plan on getting some Eddie Murphy tattoos.
Jim: On our butts.

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