Local go-go fusion group RDGLDGRN (pronounced “red gold green”) will headline 9:30 Club on Oct. 23. As an up-and-coming band from the suburbs of D.C., playing at the iconic venue is like a dream come true.
“It’s wicked, to be honest,” said Marcus Parham (better known by his stage name “Red”), the band member who plays guitar during the group’s live shows. “This city made us.”
RDGLDGRN has played at 9:30 Club before, but never as the headliner. Parham said it was a “beautiful thing” for the band to have its own green room as the opener for frat rapper Chiddy Bang several years back.
The group hails from Reston, Virginia, in the suburbs of D.C. Originally, there were four members of the band — including a “blue” — yet it was these three core individuals who have continued to make music together. Their unique band name came naturally.
“Coming up with a band name is a nightmare,” Parham said, laughing.
An easy solution was to name the group after its members, and removing the vowels makes the band more searchable on Google or YouTube.
Living in D.C., Parham and his band mates Andrei Busuioceanu, who uses stage name “Gold,” and Pierre Desrosiers, who uses stage name “Green,” learned to appreciate the intricacy of the go-go genre, a brand of music genuinely unique to Washington. At the core of go-go music is what is called the pocket, or a continuous drum beat that carries throughout the changes and progressions of any given go-go song. Go-go strongly resonates with the members of RDGLDGRN.
“It’s the honesty in it,” Parham said. “It’s about embracing where you’re from unequivocally.”
While their music is typically described as indie go-go or go-go fusion, Parham said that this only accurately describes pieces of their first project, the “Red Gold Green EP,” such as popular tunes “I Love Lamp” and “Million Fans.”
“A more accurate blanket description would be hip-hop alternative,” Parham said.
Music released in 2014 showcases this shift, including the first single off their latest EP, “Elevators,” released on Oct. 20.
Since their formation in 2011, RDGLDGRN has already had the opportunity to work with superstars who hail from the D.C. metropolitan area, such as Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame and Pharrell Williams. Grohl drummed on every song but one on their first EP, and Pharrell co-wrote and helped produce the band’s song “Doing the Most.” Parham attributes these opportunities to a combination of sheer luck, the magic of Internet searches and connections made by their producer, Kevin Augunas.
“We’re more of a production group,” Parham said. “We create the music in the studio, but people always enjoy our live shows since there is twice as much energy at the live shows. Fans have a chance to love our music in two ways.”
The band’s skill and entrepreneurship has already taken them overseas to perform, but Parham hopes that building a larger fan base will allow them to headline tours in Europe in the near future. Closer to home, the band would like to play more festivals because of their fun atmosphere.
Fans may not immediately (or ever) recognize the distinctly D.C. go-go influence in RDGLDGRN’s music, but no matter. The group’s consistently creative content is a harbinger for great things to come.
RDGLDGRN will headline 9:30 Club on Oct. 23. Opening acts include locals Mista Selecta and Redline Graffiti. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15.