"Hell is full of musical amateurs. Music is the brandy of the damned." - George Bernard Shaw
"From Pennsylvania hails a quartet without limitations to their purposes and without shame regarding norms and dogma within new rock." — Tarkus Magazine
The Red Masque is an original avant rock band from the Philadelphia area. Part art, part alchemy, the group's experimental songwriting style is both angular and eerie, accented by freeform space rock improvisations, intricate acoustics, dark atmospherics and chunky riffs. Unconventional and eccentric in musical form, the sophisticatedly sinister The Red Masque fuses together such disparate musical references as horror movie soundtracks, rock-in-opposition, progressive rock, experimental, zeuhl, heavy rock, gothic, psychedelia, space rock, and kraut rock.
Founded in February 2001 by bassist/keyboardist Brandon Lord Ross and vocalist Lynnette Shelley, the Red Masque went through several lineup changes over the years, but its intent and integrity has always remained the same. The band's goal was, and is, to create original music that pushes the envelope of the listener's expectations. With such influences as Magma, King Crimson, Hawkwind, Gong, Pink Floyd, Bauhaus, Art Bears, and Van Der Graaf Generator, The Red Masque's compositions are as intense as they are unique.
One of the group's first concerts was at the Prelude to the North East Art Rock Festival (NEARFest) in 2001. Other notable shows include the 2005 Rogue Independent Music Festival in Atlanta, the 2001 World Con Science Fiction Convention, the New Jersey proghouse series, Orion Studios in Baltimore; the Philadelphia Landing Pad Space Rock Festival; and The Gate to Moonbase Alpha concert series at the Rotunda in Philadelphia. The Red Masque also organized and performed in the 2002 and 2003 Philadelphia Underground Music and Culture Festival as well as the 2009 Philadelphia Experiment festival. The Red Masque have also opened up for notable performers and musicians such as Chris Cutler (Henry Cow, Art Bears), Fern Knight, Cheer Accident, Moraine, Martin Bisi, The Muffins, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and Present. They have also performed on stage with such well-regarded drummers and percussionists as David Kerman (5UUs, Present, Thinking Plague) and Paul Sears (The Muffins, Thee Maximalists). Kerman also released two Red Masque albums through his private label Ad Hoc Records, though RER USA.
Steadily growing an audience within the underground progressive and psychedelic music communities for their uncompromising and intense style of music, The Red Masque have released to date one EP ("Death of the Red Masque" in 2001), and four albums ("Victoria and the Haruspex" in 2002, "Feathers for Flesh" in 2004, "Fossil Eyes" in 2008, and "Mythalogue" in 2013), as well as one single (2003). The band has garnered critical reviews in the press, including Wire Magazine, Harmonie Magazine, Progresiste Magazine, iO Pages, Colussus Magazine, Tarkus Magazine, Progression Magazine, Expose Magazine, the Philadelphia City Paper, Metro Philadelphia, and various online newsletters, blogs, and review sites. Their most recent record, "Mythalogue", was mixed by acclaimed producer and musician Bob Drake and released through Beta-lactam Ring Records in May 2013.
The Red Masque are currently working on new material for a forthcoming recording.
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The Red Masque: (L-R) Brandon Lord Ross, Jim Harris, Lynnette Shelley, David Carle, James Tunnicliffe. Photo courtesy Gina Andreoli / La Regina Films .
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