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RED - Release The Panic

Two sides inhabit the lifespan of a storm: first, the suddenness of the chaos in the storm itself, then the damage, debris and, hopefully, renewal and new growth in the aftermath.

The members of RED -- vocalist Michael Barnes, bassist Randy Armstrong, guitarist Anthony Armstrong and drummer Joe Rickard -- have lived the storms, and need you to believe you can come out the other side while listening to the tracks that make up the bands new project Release The Panic.

The duality infused in all of Release The Panics songs -- be it musical or lyrical, from the title track all the way through -- is absolutely intentional.

Every song on this record is two-sided, Randy says. Damage is a great example, talking about how all I do is damage, yet our character is determined by how we repair that damage.

Same thing with Release The Panic, he continues. We as humans can panic and be worried about our everyday lives. In the end, the battle has already been won.

Thats the double-sidedness of it, Michael says. Releasing the panic, you either let go of the worry and the anxiety, or you actually panic and go crazy.

For the band, releasing some of the panic that comes with making a record meant embracing creative change. From teaming with veteran rock producer Howard Benson (P.O.D., My Chemical Romance, Daughtry, Skillet and many more) to introducing even more loops, beats and yes, danceable elements alongside REDs trademark heaviness, Release The Panic brings you RED in ways youve never heard before.

When you look at the whole scope of the record, weve got more heavy songs on this record than ever, Anthony says. Release The Panic and Damage are two of the heaviest songs weve ever done.

At the same time, its OK for us to do a song like Die For You and Same Disease because something like If We Only balances it out, Joe says. It all fits in; its just growing and changing with the times.

That growth is designed to take REDs impact to the next level, and involved the band reinventing the way it made music. RED came off the road completely in the first part of 2012, a first for a band known for its non-stop touring schedule, and based out of Los Angeles while making Release The Panic.

Were both excited and scared to death of some things because were so much closer to this project than we ever have been, Randy says. We were on the road touring when we were making all the other records. Here we were, 100% locked into writing and making this record. It was amazing.

Known for getting passionate performances out of some of musics most powerful singers, Benson knew he had something special when first working with Michael Barnes.

Hes really committed to being a disciplined, great singer, Benson says. In my world, most of my singers are completely the opposite of that; they dont take care of their voices, or they treat them like guitars and just throw em around.

The one creative element that has remained consistent is REDs ability to take feedback from fans -- be it through social media presences or face-to-face communication after a blistering live show -- and filter that into the new music created.

Its that trust gained across thousands of shows and now four records that allows the band to be transparent with that fan base, maybe saying things others in those fans lives cant say.

We can talk about the darker things, Anthony says. Were still challenging people to get outside their comfort zone in certain ways, where theyre rethinking themselves and being honest with themselves about who they really are.

Those ideas show up on Release The Panic on songs like So Far Away (dealing with emotional distance), Glass House (where even at our most transparent, no one can see into our true motives) and the albums initial single, Perfect Life.

As we recorded in Los Angeles, and looked at pop culture as a whole, the inspiration for that song was all around us, all the time, Anthony says. There are people who have themselves convinced theyre living the good life, but its the clawing their way to live this kind of life thats troubling.

So these multi-faceted themes, meshed with fiery and sometimes unexpected musical moments, team to create REDs most electrifying project yet, something the bands new production partner watched coalesce.

The thing I like about this record is that theyre very forward-thinking songs for a rock band, Benson says. These guys are sitting on a powder keg, frankly, and I just cant wait for the rest of the world to hear it.

Its time to unleash the storm. And its time for new growth to shine through. Its time to Release The Panic.

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