Drummer, producer and songwriter Rich Redmond’s daily life spans beyond playing to sold out crowds every night; he is the epitome of a true entertainment entrepreneur. Redmond is the touring drummer for country artist Jason Aldean, a position Redmond has held since 1999. Redmond has recorded on each of Aldean’s seven records (including Aldean’s yet-to-be-titled upcoming release slated for later this year), twenty #1 hits and two Grammy-nominated records. Redmond has recorded, toured and/or performed with notable artists including Aldean, Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, Bryan Adams, Lit, Jewel, Thompson Square, Joe Perry, Trace Adkins, Keith Urban, Bob Seger, Chris Cornell, Florida Georgia Line and Ludacris, among many others. Redmond has appeared on The Grammy Awards show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Craig Ferguson Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Jimmy Fallon Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Academy of Country Music Awards show and The Country Music Awards show, among others. Rich continues to give back to the drumming community as an instructor and clinician who holds lessons via Skype in addition to orchestrating and hosting performance and marketing clinics, including his C.R.A.S.H. Course For Success™, for aspiring drummers nationwide. Rich is the true definition of a “jack-of-all-trades”, continually honing his skills as a marketer, actor, speaker, voiceover artist and author, as well, most recently appearing in the horror film Reawakened as Lieutenant Paxton in addition to numerous short films with directors based out of Los Angeles, California. “Each day I want to strive for constant improvement,” says Redmond. “My life’s purpose is to entertain, motivate and inspire all the people of the world through my musical gift.” I sat down and spoke to Rich and asked him a few questions about his current time in the studio recording for Jason Aldean, touring, teaching, and entrepreneurial success. Here is Part II of this exclusive interview with Rich below! If you haven’t read Part I yet, click HERE.
Entertwine: What’s are these television performances like?
Rich Redmond: Once you make it to the Today Show, Fox and Friends and Good Morning America, it’s going to be a really early day! (You fly) from Nashville, land at six o’clock and by the time you get your baggage and get to the hotel, fight traffic, it’s eight o’clock. Lobby call is (at) 3:30 in the morning; my buddy (drum tech) John Hull, he’s there at the crack of dawn setting up the DW drum set. They haven’t even made the coffee yet because the bars are just closing in New York City.
I like Jimmy Fallon. (He’s) earned the right to have that show because he’s so talented. He’s a great host; he’s a very warm person, plays musical instruments, is a music fan…he knows our names and he’ll take the time to shake everybody’s hand in the hallway. He’s great. Jimmy Kimmel’s got a great show and a great green room with a full bar, pool tables and all the beautiful people there right in the heart of Hollywood. That’s always a favorite!
Entertwine: Who have you been listening to in recent months?
Rich Redmond: I always revisit the classics: The Beatles, Zeppelin, 1970’s Rod Stewart, The Faces. I love singer/songwriters like Lucinda Williams and Shawn Colvin (too). I like a lot of the Triple A-type alternative artists you hear on Lightning 100 and like classic rock radio. These are (the) records that everyone’s like, “Yeah, check this out!”: (the) new Disturbed record, Jason Isbelll, Gary Newman’s new record “Splinter”, The Bad Sons and what was that — “20 Seconds to Summer”?
Entertwine: No, five, five!
Rich Redmond: “5 Seconds of Summer”! I want to buy that record. Henley’s got a new record, Ryan Adams covered Taylor Swift’s album (“1989”), Chris Stapleton killed it with “The Traveller”…my friend just told me about Illan Rubin on the Paramore record. Mark Ronson’s record is great and our buddy Keio Stroud (is) on the last Big and Rich record. I love those Rival Sons guys…and Alabama Shakes are killer. I’ve got a lot of downloading to do.
Entertwine: Tell us about New Voice Entertainment.
Rich Redmond: New Voice Entertainment started as a result of those gentlemen I mentioned earlier: Kurt Allison and I met in 1997 (and) Tully Kennedy and I met in 1999. We’ve been working together since 1999 with Jason Aldean. We cut the first Jason Aldean record in 2004 and we’ve been recording nonstop (since). We called ourselves “The Three Kings”…we went through a period where a lot of people would be calling us to play on their demos, records, a ton of showcases…showcases aren’t as popular (now) but there was a ten-year period in Nashville where at 6:00 p.m. every night (members of the industry) would come to (hear) new artists showcasing and we’d be back there playing the five songs for this new artist. It was great. We evolved into New Voice Entertainment when we met our friend David Fanning, a recording artist in his own right. We started working with him and he signed a record deal; we started recording and producing anybody that would give us a chance. Benny Brown at Broken Bow Records gave us a shot to work with artists over (there). We worked with Blake Wise, Ash Powers, Kristy Lee Cook…we did the first Parmelee record, the first Thompson Square record…instead of just calling all the shots from behind the glass we played on the records as well. David’s a great singer and lightning-fast Pro Tools engineer so he quarterbacks things behind the glass with the engineer and does all the vocal coaching as well. Me, Kurt and Tully (are) on the floor, so we’re getting two perspectives of what’s happening. It’s a cool thing to be able to have a home-base production company with your best friends in the world. With the sessions we do now, somebody will reach out to me and say “Somebody told me that you’re a good point person to put a session together. I have this much money to do my record.” I book the studio, hire the players, get the charts done and lead the session (in addition to) playing drums.
Entertwine: Well that works then, makes it easy…
Rich Redmond: It’s nice when the phone rings and it’s some new person you’ve never met before. All these great producers are coming from the coasts and moving here with very different influences. For the last four years, I’ve had a publishing deal with Magic Mustang Publishing and every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I’ve been working on my skill set as a songwriter. I had a song cut by Colt Ford called “Crank it up” (which) I wrote it with the lead singer from the band New Medicine, a nu-metal band (in addition to one with) Kevin Kadish, who wrote “All About The Bass”…you know he’s doing great. (The Colt Ford cut) speaks to the power of relationships; we played shows with Colt Ford over the years and then when Colt found out that I was writing songs and I called him and he came over my house and we wrote the song together, he liked I, he cut — which is harder to do, it’s harder to write songs as a strain just for publishing company and then turn it into the publisher and hope that they pitch the song and try to break through all the red tape to get it to the artist. The fastest way to get a cover of a recording artist is to write the song in the room with recording artist over coffee or crown royal or something you know
Entertwine: It seems like a lot of the times songwriters sit down and are like “Boom, a song, boom another song”…
Rich Redmond: Practice makes perfect. The ones that are really successful right now don’t overthink it. They’re coming from a pretty honest place, maybe three chords, and they’re speaking about what resonates with middle America. Now our music has gone cosmopolitan (for) people in big cities. It’s like a new (form of) pop music.
Entertwine: Where do you see country music going in the next couple years? Do you think it will become more mainstream, more Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line-style, or is Chris Stapleton’s going to bring the roots back into country?
Rich Redmond: That’d be nice. You never know with friends and how it’s going to go, (with) what’s behind the scene. It is radio calling the shots…
Entertwine: Right that’s the thing I mean…
Rich Redmond: There’s a big brother element of it all. But that’s what’s great about us being drummers; everybody, no matter what their angle is on music, is going to need a good drummer in the recording studio to bring (the song) to fruition. On the stage, too. Since I’m involved with education, I’m seeing this trend of people coming from Musicians Institute, University of Miami, University of North Texas, USC, Berkeley…they are coming here, like a mass migration
Entertwine: And a lot of them were just at your drummer’s weekend.
Rich Redmond: Yeah!
Entertwine: Was that your second or third year?
Rich Redmond: Third annual.
Entertwine: Your drummer’s weekend you incorporate your C.R.A.S.H. course into, correct?
Rich Redmond: Yeah, I always, as host and MC, always at least (hold) a one-hour C.R.A.S.H. course where I address the music, mental and business skills needed to be successful in Nashville and in life. (Then) I talk about programming clicks and loops, about playing with a rhythm section…The Three Kings come in, we do a demo…and I also talk about charting, doing phrase charting, which is a really great skill, and then I host all my clinicians at a round table…this year we had Lester Estelle, we had Matt Billingsley, Tracy Broussard, Kevin Murphy, Keio Stroud, Chris McHugh…I had Thomas Lang come in for pure inspiration, to inspire the kids to see what they can do. I’m so happy. It’s a model that seems to be working, where the kids have three eight-hour days of training. There’s plenty of time for us to mix and mingle.
Entertwine: That’s probably just as inspirational, to sit down and have a meal with inspiring drummers.
Rich Redmond: They go, “Wow, this guy washes his hands, has to pay taxes and actually goes to the bathroom! He is human!” We all have to pay taxes, we all have to pay our mortgages…it’s amazing that we can do that and give people the insight and (help them) to see the possibility is there if you roll up your sleeves and do the hard work.
Entertwine: You said “kids”, but with the camp there’s really more of an age range, correct?
Rich Redmond: We had an age range of 11 to 55 this year. We’re all at about the same mental and maturity capacity because you can either be a drummer or you can grow up!
Entertwine: Thanks Rich for the incredible interview! Connect With Rich Redmond below!