“Red, Gold, Green?!” Asked the attendant to Webster Hall in New York City, on a balmy fall evening. “Sorry they’re not on the roster” he continued. Peering over his shoulders, pointing at the letters “RDGLDGRN” elicited an “oh, yes! Of course they’re here tonight”. That’s not an atypical response from anyone who first encounters the name of this hardworking and relatively speaking, upstart band.
Those letters that offends the tongue of even the most skillful linguist, is pronounced “Red”, “Gold”, “Green”, and is made up of three friends who, quite literarily named their band after themselves. That’s right, their individual names are “Red”, “Gold”, and “Green”. Straight out of the suburbs of Washington DC in Virginia, they found reason to believe that combining hip-hop, rock and go-go music would find wide-spread appeal. “Since we liked it, somebody out there has got to like it too,” responded band member Red who is the guitarist and quite possibly a Bob Marley love-child.
Only been together for less than two years, the band identify strongly enough with their assumed names that they constantly dress in their respective colors. Asked why, Red sought to draw parallels with batman. Although, he quickly qualified his statement when he it was pointed out that Batman isn’t always Batman. “That’s how we’re different from Batman,” he retorted. Yet since that auspicious day in 2011 when the band uploaded their single “I Love Lamp” on YouTube, they’ve accomplished several milestones that even veteran bands dream of. With a colorful name devoid of vowels (pun intended), they’ve release a full length album, gone on national tour twice within the same year, and have worked with some of the biggest names in both Rock and Hip-hop.
“What’s in a name?” A phrase, immortalized by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet, which eventually sealed the lovers fate. And, later asked by Isaac Asimov as he meant to demonstrate that names are able to identify our nature and our character. “Fate” and “character”, two words a band should consider as they seek to name themselves. A band’s name is irretrievably linked to its ultimate fate. Ultimately, the band’s music, however, governs that fate. A band’s name should also be characteristic, one way or another, of the band. It should elicit the essence of the band, without unnecessary contradictions. Like a gift under the Christmas tree, a band’s name wraps up its music as well as both its successes and its failures.
The lyrics and music of RDGLDGRN, like their name, go beyond the simple and mundane. They entertain and evoke rational thought, like modern-day philosophers in an era dominated by the so-called NINJAs (No Income, No Job, No Assets). Characteristically in “Hey O”, a track from their self-named freshman album,
“Graduation comes and I’m looking for a job,
twelve months pass, yeah I’m living with my mom.
And these problem student loans are costing me a leg and an arm.
Now I’m stuck here working for a golden arch”