With a name based on a shadow religion in video game lore, REDCult takes the deep symbolism and mysticism surrounding the blood god-worshiping sect and applies it to life in modern day. The brutal musicianship of Zack Robin (New Dilemma) and malevolent vocals of Greg Haberek (The Body Rampant, Will They Follow?) breathe life into a world of ritualistic macabre and the occult.
REDCult has released their debut single, the powerful “Severed”. This marks the first single and lyric video from the new endeavor of Greg Haberek and Zack Robin. “Severed” comes at you full force with a wall of energy and fierce metal aggression.
We had a chance to chat with the band about the new single as part of our Refrain Interview series.
RMB: Is this single part of an album?
Severed is the debut single of a three song EP in the works
RMB: How does this single differ from your previous work?
Severed is probably the most musically, intense song that I’ve done compared to my previous bands. I have turned the guitar technicality up to 10 and greatly increased, the speed and aggression compared to previous work
RMB: What’s the story on how it was recorded?
SeverEd actually started as a riff that I recorded out of boredom during the lockdown phase of the pandemic. I literally wanted to see how fast I could do alternate picked triplets and downpicking for a sustained amount of time before my arm gave out. A year later, I revisited the riff and ended up building an entire song out of it. The aggression stemmed from the break up of my previous band where I felt that I poured years of time, effort and money into a giant sinkhole. That frustration And sense of wronging was the fuel for the fire that became severed.
The recording process was actually a lot of fun and I tracked the guitars and bass in my studio. Since Greg and I live in different states, we had to collaborate remotely where Greg recorded his awesome vocals in his studio. Once everything was tracked, I sent it off to producer, Jordon Beal in Chicago for mixing and mastering. Overall, it was a very smooth and enjoyable process.
RMB: Tell us a little about the band.
Right now Red Cult is just myself and Greg. Greg and I actually go way back over a decade. We’ve played in quite a few projects together and have maintained friendship over the years. It’s kind of cool how this all started….
To set the premise, I currently play in a hard rock/ alternative metal band. I absolutely love the music and my band mates. However, I am a true metalhead at heart and always have a desire to play heavy music so I started recording instrumental, extreme metal tracks just to get it out of my system. Greg heard one of the tracks and wanted to put his vocals over it, so I figured why the hell not? Once I heard the vocals, he recorded over the track I was sold! It sounded absolutely phenomenal. We started collaborating, and severed was the first result of that collaboration.
RMB: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
For me, I actually have quite a few. It all started with a Metallica believe it or not. When I was a little kid, they made me want to play guitar and they were sort of a gateway band to the heavier stuff. Today I draw a lot of inspiration from The Black Dahlia Murder, Trivium, Arch Enemy, Veil of Maya and Soilwork. As far as my lead guitar style goes, I’m heavily influenced by Jeff Loomis, Michael Romeo, Yngwie Malmsteen and Brandon Ellis. For Greg, some main influences range from Incubus, Glassjaw and Circa Survive to Portrayal of Guilt, Currents, Invent Animate, to Greyhaven, Fear Factory and Soilwork.
RMB: What’s the one thing you are most proud of in your career so far?
Being able to make music that people enjoy and resonate with. Nothing is more satisfying than bringing joy to people with the music that you create. Having the freedom to do things in our own time without the pressures and deadlines of others. So many people answer to others for their creative ideas and we do not have to.
RMB: If you had to pitch your music to a potential fan in less than 10 seconds, what would you say?
An all out audio assault on your ears
and a call to all of those who know their worth.
RMB: What’s one piece of advice you’ve gotten that you think everyone needs to hear or that has meant the most to you?
To always keep pushing, no matter what happens down the road. Being a musician can be a rough journey with extreme highs and extreme lows. It’s how you handle the lows that defines your character and staying power. Sometimes when the going gets tough, you have to resist the urge to give up, power through it and remember why you are in this.
RMB: If you could go back in time, what’s a piece of advice you would give to a younger you?
To practice more, and to not be afraid to not settle for less just because you were friends with a band mate or out of a desire not to hurt any feelings.
I can definitely say I’ve shot my musical progress in the foot many times out of catering to others, who would not do the same for me. I’ve stayed in bands much longer than I should have because I am empathic and I would feel bad about hurting another member’s feelings. But at some point you have to put your foot down and do what’s best for yourself. You have to realize just because someone calls themself your friend doesn’t mean they are beyond manipulating your good heart for their own selfish purposes. This was a hard lesson that took me many years to learn.
RMB: What’s coming up next for your musical project?
We have two new singles in the works that will greatly complement severed
RMB: Anything we haven’t thought of that you want to talk about? Now is the time!
With the current music climate, we want to bring back autonomy and passion for the music. So many people are more concerned with mass appeal and give up on the creation of true and honest music. Our approach is all our own and we write what we love first. Hopefully this will inspire others to do the same and make raw and true music.