On average, the n-metal Christian rock band Red receives about 500 MySpace messages a day. But at the height of Red's most recent misfortune, the band was receiving upward of 2,500 from its MySpace friends.
And, just as the band has done since its inception, the guys responded to each and every person who wrote them.
"What's most amazing is just if you say, "Hey, thanks for writing us. We appreciate you coming out to our show,' how much people will appreciate it," guitarist Jasen Rauch says. "Just something as simple as that really makes an impression on people."
Red is unlike most bands of its ilk. The group is Christian rock, but sounds more like Linkin Park, inserting strings and piano into a heavy sound. Its members are also oddly cursed, enduring stitches and van crashes as they tour in support of their debut release, End of Silence.
Still, the guys try to spend a few hours each week poring over the messages they receive at myspace.com/dropofred.
"Sometimes we miss one here or there," Rauch says.
The band saw a swell of support just a couple months ago. After saving up some funds, it had reached a milestone, purchasing a tour bus.
"It's a big moment in a band's life," Rauch says.
But on the way to pick the bus up, they crashed the van they had been using on tour. As a result, the group had to cancel a show.
"We're still a little freaked out a bit," Rauch says. "If we hear a screech on the road, we all get quiet. Right now, we're all lucky to be alive."
As the MySpace messages came in, checking to see if the band was OK, the guys, again, dutifully responded.
"When we started out as a band, the only thing we had control over was our ability to talk to people on MySpace," Rauch says. "So now we feel we have a responsibility to respond."
The band experienced another calamity earlier in its tour. While playing an opening gig, guitarist Anthony Armstrong swung his guitar around on stage, knocking singer Michael Barnes in the face. The blow required a handful of stitches.
"We do have a pretty active live show," Rauch says. "We just had different people in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"Anthony hit our singer in the head. It was a bloody mess. It was pretty bad. That was the first of a string of injuries we've had."
Despite it all, Red has continued to tour on its debut for close to two years now. Currently, the band which also includes pianist/bassist Randy Armstrong and drummer Hayden Lamb are working on a new release, which Rauch expects to finish sometime in March.
In the meantime, Red continues to connect with its fans. On the road, and online.
"Hearing from people constantly gives us a fresh perspective," Rauch says. "It allows us to stay humble, keep doing what were doing. It's a really good thing."
Red with Sounds Under Radio and Son of Man
The Black Sheep,
2106 E. Platte Ave.
Friday, Jan. 18, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $9.43, all ages; visit ticketweb.com or call 866/468-7621.