Better Late

The Creative Process With Raedean…

Pursuit of musical passion is about discovery and fulfillment in the creative process. And it’s about finding joy, with or without fame and fortune. Enjoy Magazine spent some time learning more about Raedean, a local band that features Zak Lugo on lead vocals, Preston Faires on drums, Jesse Holden as lead guitarist, Dylan West as rhythm guitarist and Kyle Schwenning on bass.

ENJOY: Tell us how the band started.
LUGO: We started in about 2013, and we’ve gone through an array of members. Some left and then came back. [After the initial departures,] we took an indefinite hiatus for a few years and Preston and I joined a couple of different bands while
Raedean sat on the back burner.

When COVID-19 and quarantine hit, Dylan, Preston and I ended up working together at the same location and began talking a lot about music. Us coming back together was a surprise to all of us, I think, but it just felt natural to start writing again, like it was meant to be. That’s when Jesse and Dylan came back and we recruited Kyle, who had played bass in Preston’s and my previous band project.

ENJOY: So, how did five guys come up with the name Raedeen and what’s its significance?
LUGO: When we started the band, we were practicing in our drummer’s grandmother’s garage and her name was Raedean. The way the [music] scene was at the time, a lot of names felt predictable. We wanted something more original and decided to call ourselves Raedean in her honor.

ENJOY: On the band’s single, “Coming To,” did we hear a hint of a Green Day influence? What are the band’s other main musical influences?
LUGO: Sure, to an extent. Green Day and bands like Blink-182 influenced us during our growing up years and they really kind of started the pop-punk style, but I would say that nowadays, bands like So The Story Goes influence us more. Personally, I listened to many different artists growing up. My dad was a musician in a rock band and listened to a lot of the old school metal bands – Metallica, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath. My stepmother listened to The Chicks and was into country music, and my mom listened to rap – Snoop Dog, Dr. Dre, Tupac – and R&B artists like Usher, so I had a variety of musical interests and influences from different genres. Today, I was listening to the new Drake album.

ENJOY: Wow, that is an eclectic mix! You mentioned the “pop-punk” genre. Is that how the band classifies its music?
LUGO: Genres are so weird, right? And it’s so hard these days to compartmentalize a style of music into one “genre.” It’s almost more for the listener to decide, as opposed to us as the artists. I would say that we’re pop punk, but you could describe us rock or alternative, or even emo.

ENJOY: Tell us about the band’s songwriting process.
LUGO: The bulk of the songwriting is done by me, Jesse and Dylan. We write on guitar and then piece in the drums and the bass. Sometimes we’ll come in with a half of a guitar song written and the other guitar player pieces that together. We all play other instruments, so I feel like we have a lot to add when it comes to helping each other with our parts. Once we have the foundation of the song, we really work hard on picking up pieces and putting them together in the way that’s going to flow the best to us. Sometimes that can be the longest process.

ENJOY: After releasing back-to-back singles in the spring and playing live at Gym’s House in July, what’s next for the band?
LUGO: We released our first album, Better Late Than Never, in September with eight new songs. This month we’ll record a five-song EP.

ENJOY: Congratulations. When you say “album,” we
envision vinyl…
LUGO: Yeah, the technology has changed but the names are the same. The album and EP are both digital. Back in 2014, with other bands we pressed and sold CDs and now they’re dinosaurs.

ENJOY: How can people buy your music?
LUGO: Apple Music and Spotify.

ENJOY: What’s the band’s philosophy about its purpose?
LUGO: We want to see how our process unfolds naturally. Creating singles and album artwork, social media posts and music videos are outside of creating music, but still part of the creative process of the band that contributes to the fun and excitement for us. It’s about joy. •

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