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Posted September 19, 2012 by Always Acoustic in Interviews
 
 

Brett Ditgen Interview

Thursday, September  23, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. CST

Red Line Chemistry a.k.a. RLC is a band from Kansas City, Missouri. Before Brett Ditgen joined the band, RLC used to be called Penumbra. Red Line Chemistry has performed in front of 20,000 rock fans in 2007 and 2008 at the KQRC-FM’s Rockfest in Kansas City. RLC’s single “Dumb Luck” has entered #35 on the Active Rock Charts and their acoustic infused ballad “So Many Days” is a sure-fire hit. Brett Ditgen and I discussed Dying for a Living, the music video of Dumb Luck, The Stache video, playing acoustically, the storyline behind “So Many Days” and finally his snowboarding skills.

AARON KEKER:   Brett, good evening! How you doing?

BRETT DITGEN:  Doing well! How you doing Aaron?

AARON KEKER: I’m doing good man! Unfortunately, I missed RLC’s performance last Saturday at the Oyster Festival in Chicago.

BRETT DITGEN:  Awe that’s too bad!

AARON KEKER: Yeah! First, how was RLC perceived by the Chicago audience? Second, when will RLC be performing in Chicago again?

BRETT DITGEN: We’ve been perceived pretty well. So that was a good show and a good vibe. We got to hang out with 10 Years and a couple of the other bands. I think we’re going to be heading up this way in late November. We just did a couple week radio promo tour. Like Wisconsin and Michigan. We’ll be routing back up that way and into the Northeast towards the end of the year.

AARON KEKER: Sweet! I can’t wait to see you guys!

BRETT DITGEN: Yeah man! It would be great to have you out at the show!

AARON KEKER: I read RLC’s Twitter message posted on August 20th about Dying for a Living either selling out at stores like Best Buy or sales being backed up at Amazon or going nuts on iTunes. Congratulations by the way!

BRETT DITGEN:  Awe! Thanks man!

AARON KEKER: How excited were you to hear about the early success of the album sales?

BRETT DITGEN: It’s encouraging! There’s not a lot of weight on CD sales in this kind of age. The digital era, you know, is affecting things more than physical sales, but it was awesome to see in the Kansas City/St. Louis areas [that] the markets are doing real well in sales.

AARON KEKER: Do you believe the visual impact of the album artwork may have slightly contributed to the success of the album?

BRETT DITGEN: Everything on this album kind of all ties into as a similar theme. That’s kind of being at the crossroads. Just being able to have a real shot at all this stuff. Artwork for everything really plays into the meaning behind the record for us. I hope that kind of iconic image helps portray what’s behind it.

AARON KEKER: Before finally deciding on the crossroad album artwork, did you guys consider any other designs?

BRETT DITGEN: We tossed around a few, but nothing that really stands out. The idea behind the sign just seemed to make sense.

AARON KEKER: Now you didn’t put them in any significant order it’s just random, right?

BRETT DITGEN: Yeah! It’s pretty random! Obviously, the album title is the top one.

AARON KEKER: Right.

BRETT DITGEN: I don’t think we knew the album order of the songs at that point. (Laughs)

AARON KEKER: (Laughs) RLC has performed alongside bands like STP, Seether, Shinedown and Chevelle.

BRETT DITGEN: Uh-huh.

AARON KEKER: Were any of those bands influential in RLC’s debut album Dying for a Living?

BRETT DITGEN: Yeah! There’s a lot of influences, you know, that we’ve all taken from. Stone Temple Pilots is definitely one for me. Those other bands that you mentioned, they’re all bands that we respect and play with fairly frequently. Majority of our influence comes from more of the 90’s era and even back in the classics like Zeppelin and Floyd. Mötley Crue and that era as well.

AARON KEKER: Okay. Well you remarked regarding the interpretation of RLC that “For us it defines our intent in pushing it to the limit… pushing each other as hard as we can, while still trying to get along.” When The Blue Diamond “Phillips” suddenly crashed and was destroyed, did the chemistry turn to anger against Dave for a short moment?

BRETT DITGEN:
 (Laughs)


AARON KEKER:
 (Laughs)


BRETT DITGEN:
 No not really! (Laughs)


AARON KEKER:
 (Laughs)


BRETT DITGEN:
 No, we knew there’d be another chapter. (Laughs)


AARON KEKER:
 (Laughs) One of my favorite songs from Dying for a Living is the acoustic infused ballad “So Many Days.” Does RLC enjoy playing acoustically?


BRETT DITGEN: 
Yeah, man! That’s actually what we’ve been doing, you know, for the last couple of weeks. Me, Dave and Andy have been traveling around doing radio stops and acoustic performances only. Throughout the whole summer we were going to all the radio stations that we could and playing on air. We’re doing multiple songs off the album acoustic. We do a Pink Floyd cover acoustic and live. We love playing acoustic[]. A lot of the music is actually written from that in the beginning.

AARON KEKER: Okay. Did you guys perform any songs acoustically in Chicago?

BRETT DITGEN:
 In Chicago we did an acoustic show for 95.1 WIIL Rock. We did an in-studio there that was live. There was a studio audience. We didn’t do any acoustics at the show. We generally stayed plugged in for our shows.

AARON KEKER: What is the storyline, if any, behind “So Many Days?”

BRETT DITGEN:
 It’s kind of maybe a utopian kind of perspective on just hope and patience. Being careful in love and all that stuff. It’s more of a fairy tale that sometimes I don’t even think exists. It’s just kind of a cool little ballad. Things in love that are very hard to find and everybody searches for one.


AARON KEKER: 
Will RLC be releasing “Dumb Luck” on iTunes any time soon, the video?


BRETT DITGEN:
 I’m not sure. I know they’re preparing to move it through multiple avenues for viewing, but it’s up on our Facebook and posted on You Tube for everyone to see right now.


AARON KEKER:
 I watched the RLC video The Stache on YouTube. Awesome video! 


BRETT DITGEN:
 Oh, did you? (Laughs)


AARON KEKER:
 Yeah! (Laughs) Do you believe it will quiet the skeptics that aliens in fact exist?


BRETT DITGEN:
 I think I kind of have to believe. Yeah. I don’t know how there couldn’t be something else out there, but I’d say yes.

AARON KEKER: Especially with a stache right?

BRETT DITGEN: 
Yeah! I mean Al’s living proof —

AARON KEKER: (Laughs) Yes!

BRETT DITGEN:
 that they do exist and you know they’re really friendly too.

AARON KEKER: According to your Facebook page, one of the activities that you enjoy doing is snowboarding. Do you perform any snowboard tricks?

BRETT DITGEN:
 I mean yes and no. (Laughs)


AARON KEKER:
 (Laughs)


BRETT DITGEN:
 I can do some ramps and stuff. You’re not going to be seeing me roll any back flips or anything. We live in Kansas City so it’s not readily available whenever I want, but I get out to Colorado a couple times a year probably. I’ve been doing that for around fifteen years. I can hang with some people, but I’m not going to be in the half-pipe or any of that stuff.


AARON KEKER:
 (Laughs)


BRETT DITGEN:
 I’m more of a free-rider. (Laughs)


AARON KEKER:
 (Laughs) “Carry Me Through” sounds like it might be a good song from RLC’s EP Escape Plan. Besides the CD being available for purchase online, do you know whether the EP will be available digitally anytime soon?


BRETT DITGEN:
 I know it was up on iTunes, but we switched to agreements and stuff with some of the companies and took it down. I think right now the big push is obviously on the new single “Dumb Luck” and the new album Dying for a Living, but if anyone is wanting to check out our old stuff, definitely it’s up on the web site.

AARON KEKER: Would RLC ever consider recording and releasing a cover song? If so, which one?

BRETT DITGEN:
 The answer is yes. We’re going to record a version that these guys put together and have been playing years, even before I was in the group. But it’s a Pink Floyd cover “What Do You Want from Me” off The Division Bell and then “Echoes” combined into one song with a musical interlude. We are going to be recording that in the near future probably.

AARON KEKER: Probably releasing it on iTunes and everywhere else?

BRETT DITGEN:
 I would assume. Yeah! I mean we’ve been playing that song for years. It just continues to really be well received by everybody in the crowd. It’s that type of thing that crosses generations.


AARON KEKER:
 I was on Billboard.com and actually it says in RLC’s profile that the band used to be known as Penumbra, is that right?


BRETT DITGEN:
 Penumbra, yeah! That was their group before I joined and then we changed the name.


AARON KEKER:
 Nothing against Penumbra, but I think RLC sounds cooler.


BRETT DITGEN:
 Finding a band name is not easy nowadays because everything is taken. I know there was a Penumbra over in Europe that, you know, released like six albums. A kind of hard name to remember and not very many people know what it means anyway. (Laughs)


AARON KEKER:
 Right. (Laughs)


BRETT DITGEN:
 I think everybody kind of just wanted to move forward in a new direction.


AARON KEKER:
 RLC enjoyed back-to-back years as a featured attraction at KQRC-FM’s Rockfest. When RLC walks up to the stage and performs in front of 50,000 energetic rock fans, what is it like?


BRETT DITGEN:
 Oh! We did that in ’07 and ’08 and that was our first real experience at a big festival show. I think when we played, we were the opener and we played at noon; there was probably 20,000 people as opposed to the full 50 for the later bands. For us it was completely exhilarating. Encompassed everything that we want to be out doing. It was rough (Laughs) doing that type of stuff and then having to go back to work, you know, —


AARON KEKER:
 (Laughs)


BRETT DITGEN:
 on Monday when all the bands that you were hanging out with are going off to their next show or they’re doing something in sustaining it consistently. All it did was just push us to continue working as hard as we could so that we could find that day where we can do it consistently for a living.


AARON KEKER:
 RLC was signed by Bulldog Productions earlier this year, correct? 


BRETT DITGEN:
 Last September.


AARON KEKER:
 How did the band become involved with SKH?


BRETT DITGEN:
 The label was built for us [in] Kansas City and they went and found our management. Through relationships and networking, those guys brought SKH into being involved.


AARON KEKER:
 Well, last question. Blower from Hinder attempted to smash an acoustic guitar with his head several years back at a radio station in Flint, Michigan. Do you have any memorable events on tour like Blower?


BRETT DITGEN:
 Probably hundreds of those moments. We’ve had multiple moments of breakdowns. Our first run was going up to New York City and we were in an RV on I-81, I think up in Harrisburg. We’re pulling up into the rush hour and we stop. We’re in the center lane and the thing just dies. There were state troopers there and we ended up having to ride in the back of the troopers’ cars — (Laughs)


AARON KEKER:
 (Laughs) Awe! That’s awesome!


BRETT DITGEN:
 while the vehicle got towed. We’ve had tons of mishaps and tons of crazy stories. I’m sure they’re only going to continue to grow.


AARON KEKER:
 All right dude! Well thanks for your time! Can’t wait to see you guys in Chicago!


BRETT DITGEN:
 Yeah man! Keep in touch and we’ll definitely hook up when we’re out the next time!

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