GRAMMY.com Exclusive First Listen: Redlight King
On Sept. 10 L.A.-based alternative rock unit Redlight King will release their sophomore album, Irons In The Fire. Ahead of the album's release, GRAMMY.com has your exclusive first listen to the thought-provoking track "Times Are Hard."
Redlight King are led by Hamilton, Ontario, native and principal singer/songwriter Mark Kasprzyk, who is better known by his stage name Kaz. With influences ranging from A Tribe Called Quest to Neil Young, Kaz started recording music at age 16. As an athlete practicing judo, Kaz gained admittance into Canada's Olympic training center in preparation for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. When he didn't make the Canadian team, Kaz headed to Los Angeles where he began writing the songs that would comprise Redlight King's debut album, 2011's Something For The Pain. The album peaked at No. 3 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart and featured "Old Man," a song paying tribute to his father that includes a sample of Young's 1972 hit of the same name. The track reached No. 24 on the Rock Songs chart.
Co-produced by Xandy Barry, Wally Gagel and Kaz, Irons In The Fire features 11 tracks propelled by an underlying theme of middle-class angst. The video for the album's lead single, "Born To Rise," features Kaz riding his 1950 Harley-Davidson Panhead motorcycle with a growing pack of bikers. Musicians contributing to the album include drummer Jaydon Bean, bassist Anthony Levanski and guitarist Julian Tomarin.
"This record is made from different genres, themes and lyrical approaches — it's definitely a hot rod," said Kaz, who also painted the album cover for Irons In The Fire. "When we jump in and hit the road, it's bound to turn some heads."
Redlight King will kick off a U.S. tour in support of Irons In The Fire on Sept. 11 in Los Angeles, with dates scheduled through October.