Hot off the Press

Ryan Hoke and drummer Brian Dugan of Candlelight Red

by Deb Rao
– Senior Columnist —

Earlier this year Hardrock Haven introduced their readers to an up and coming band that hailed from Pennsylvania called Candlelight Red. It has been a whirlwind year for the band. Candlelight Red recently wrapped up the Uproar Festival and has unleashed their Demons EP and video. I recently had the opportunity to catch up with singer Ryan Hoke and drummer Brian Dugan at Rock Vegas at House Of Blues in Vegas in which they were asked to perform for the dynamic event.

Candlelight Red

HRH: It was great to see you perform tonight at Rock Vegas. What do you most enjoy about performing in Vegas?

Ryan: It is a different crowd. The nice thing about Vegas is that it all different people. We go to a lot of different cities. We go to Chicago and that crowd is a little different. So it is nice it has a little bit of everything here.

HRH: Candlelight Red is a great cutting edge band. They only picked the best bands to perform here tonight at Rock Vegas and you made the cut! Congratulations.

Ryan: We felt very privileged to be here tonight.

Brian. We are very fortunate. There is a great bill of bands playing here tonight.

Ryan: There is a lot going on behind the scenes for the band. A lot of people that are helping us and pushing us.

Brian: We are all here touring and working trying to do it ourselves also. It is a hard road for sure.

Ryan: We tell all the people. We are not a LA band. We are not from a big city at all. We are from the middle of nowhere.

Brian: My hometown is probably the smallest in PA. The graduating class had only 34 people in it. We come from a hardworking background.

Ryan: We just tour nonstop. Where we are from there is no music scene at all.

Brian: We got to work a little harder than any other band.

Ryan: People are finally starting to notice. We are starting to get a few stragglers.

HRH: What was it like performing at the Uproar tour? The band got to play to the masses. What was it like from going to playing clubs in PA to 10,000 people a night?

Ryan: It is definitely a change for us. We love club shows. But there is something to be said for being onstage in front of 10,000 people. It is totally different. All the people from Uproar were such nice guys. It has been a great tour for us.

HRH: Did you get to watch some of the bands at Uproar?

Ryan: Everyday. We have seen every single show every band. Once we leave the stage we got to see all the bands.

Brian: From the side of the stage to the front of the stage we got to meet everybody.

Ryan: Everybody from Shinedown to the opening band.

HRH: Let’s talk about Demons and the new video.

Ryan: We released an official video and we are getting ready to release a live video from Uproar. We had nine cameras and I had one my mic.

HRH: The EP Demons contains four songs. Morgan Rose from Sevendust produced it correct?

Brian: For preparation for Uproar we didn’t want to tour on The Wreckage. We have been touring on that since last September. We got a hold of Morgan Rose. He was stoked to work with us. We did four songs in five days.

HRH: How would you say it differs from The Wreckage? Everything seems to come together on this record.

Ryan: This band has had its waves and ups and downs. We got Jamie on board now and Brian drumming for us. All the pieces just kind of clicked. We have a really good chemistry now.

Brian: Morgan Rose helped direct everything.

Ryan: He is a great producer too. Sevendust has released tons of records. He has taken a little bit of everything he has learned throughout his years of performing.

HRH: How would you describe your sound for fans coming to see the band for the first time?

Ryan: Bipolar (Laughter)

HRH: It’s like heavy and melodic at the same time.

Ryan: There’s heavy stuff and light stuff.

Brian: It is darkness and tranquility. It is like Ying and Yang.

Ryan: Everybody in this band has a love for music. There are so many styles of music that we are into. Brian brought new stuff to the table. Jeremy and I have our stuff. But there is a common area of bands that we all have in common. It shows in our music. There is heavy and light. There is everything.

HRH: Whom did you grow up listening to?

Ryan: Pantera, Slayer, Deftones, Guns N’ Roses.

HRH: It’s cool though. You just go out and play the music. You don’t need a huge stage show.

Ryan: It is like Phil Anselmo said when he was on tour with Rob Zombie. He said Pantera never had dragons jumping out of a PA system. That has been what music has always been about. When we get onstage it is a connection. We capture the audience. We pour our hearts and soul out onstage in attempt to make the fans connect with that. Hard rock has that ability.

Brian: At the end of the day we are fans. We go see shows on our day off.

HRH: What’s on tap for the band next?

Ryan: We head home for a little while. We go out in the middle of October with Fozzy for a handful of shows. The we hit the studio in November with Morgan and we are going to bang out a full length CD to the EP.

Brian: From being on Uproar we are going to be more focused. I am really excited to hear what is going to come out.

HRH: I think your next single should be “Cutter.”

Ryan: We were talking about that for the first single. A lot of people kind of latch onto that song. I think it wasn’t the first single is that for new music we wanted to come out a little bit heavier with Demons. I think it paves the way for making “Cutter” next. It is funny about Demons a lot of people think it is about Satan.

Brian: We get a lot of flack on our facebook page about it. It is really not.

Ryan: It is about your inner demons. The song is about Karma. The bad things you do in life will eventually find you. What goes around comes around.

HRH: Thanks so much for the interview! Enjoy Vegas.