The origin story of Red Blue One Two is as chaotic a narrative as the music they play. Story by Sam Limerick
The roots of the band lay in the initial partnership of singer/guitarist Austin Wyman and bassist Marcos Vera — both English majors, who met in a Selected Plays of Shakespeare class at the UT. Drummer Sam Sterling joined the fold after a mutual friend of his and Wyman’s suggested he would be a good fit for the racket Wyman and Vera were stirring up. Formerly known as Archery, the band initially contained a keyboard/synth player as well, which lent to its jangly ‘60s pop vibe. Guitarist Andrew Malesky later replaced him, however, and his entrance signaled a shift toward the more punk-oriented sound of Red Blue One Two.
The group describes itself as “chaotic surf indie pop,” a sound that, as the name suggests, draws inspiration from a vast breadth of different artists. The band is a veritable time machine, infusing elements of the aforementioned ‘60s pop, ‘80s post-hardcore in the vein of Fugazi and even early indie rock, such as Dinosaur Jr. and Pavement. “We all have our particular tastes,” Vera says of the disparate influences each member brings to the round table. For example, Vera and Wyman cut their teeth on the ‘80s and ‘90s indie and punk of yesteryear, Malesky has his roots in heavy metal and Sterling’s heart is in fast-paced pop music. Rather than create a musical disconnect among each band member, these different approaches all find a way to shine through in the musical melting pot that is Red Blue One Two (RB12).
A relatively new band, Red Blue One Two have been blazing a trail for themselves over the last few months at house parties and various venues around town, such as Spiderhouse Ballroom and Holy Mountain. They have been honing their live performance to a razor’s edge and working to indoctrinate audiences into their manic blend of music. One of their primary motivations as musicians is seeing the impact their work has on people at their shows. “It’s the best feeling to see people dig what you’re doing. And another step to have people singing along,” Malesky says.
The band will have nary a moment’s rest in the upcoming year. In addition to establishing themselves as a staple of the live Austin music scene, they are working on recording their first EP, which has a working title of Oral Fixations and a tentative late summer release date. But for a band whose secret weapon is a wild energy constantly teetering on the brink of madness, this will be far from a simple “plug in and play” ordeal. When asked about their mindset toward recording, Sterling says, “We’re going to try and capture our live sound as much as possible.” For Red Blue One Two, this means not only fractured time signatures and a frantic pace, but also a dearth of effects and over-production to give the music the sonic flourishes it deserves.
The group has even expressed a desire to do a mini-tour around Texas at the end of the summer, after the release of its EP. Additionally, the bandmates may move in together to stimulate the creative process. As the band weaves itself into the fabric of the members' lives evermore, their output may only increase and diversify from here.
Red Blue One Two is playing a number of shows in the coming weeks, starting with Mister Fest in San Marcos, a huge multi-venue festival showing off local music, on April 25 and 26. To keep up with RB12, like them on Facebook.