Red Star Belgrade – Where The Sun Doesn’t Shine

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Released in the mid ’90’s Red Star Belgrade’s (yes, they were named after the football team) classic ‘Where The Sun Doesn’t Shine’ has been in hibernation for several years. But now thanks to RSB’s Bill Curry and indiecater it has been awoken from it’s slumber and you can buy it now in high quality mp3 for the grand price of €3.50.

Bill has been talking to us about the album giving a unique insight into how this great album was crafted.

I’ll be honest with you: it always kind of broke my heart that Red Star Belgrade’s records never reached a wider audience. I don’t say that with any sense of self-pity, but it’s true. (There I said it.) I’m certainly thankful for the 10-plus years that I spent playing music with my wife, Graham, and a cavalcade of friends, ne’er do wells, alcoholics, and manic depressives. I don’t regret a moment, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I just always believed that if more people could have heard our brand of despair-filled, self-loathing rock, they might have felt a little less alone.

If you’d have told me at the beginning that RSB would never be famous, I would have just given you a wry smile and went right back to my guitar. Although I never wanted to be famous in a “rock star” sense, I did want our music to be heard. I really thought we had something unique to say. I still do. Graham was a great drummer and we did everything with passion and a whole lot of heart. There were bands that could play circles around us (and my voice was never the most pleasing one on the planet), but we meant every word we said. I thought that was all that really mattered. I guess I was naïve—but then again, it takes a certain naiveté to start a band.

Red Star Belgrade was never an alt-country band—our music incorporated everything from pop to indie, rock and beyond—but somehow we ended up mostly playing on bills with other “No Depression” acts—some great (like The Ass Ponys and The Silos), others gutless poseurs (like Ryan Adams). There was nothing more rewarding than playing on a bill with a prima donna like Adams (complete with his expensive Keith Richards coiffe) and watching his crowd shit their collective pants as Red Star Belgrade’s sonic onslaught began. Sometimes just terrifying an audience is its own reward.

Unlike Adams, we weren’t there to entertain anyone (I never even opened my eyes while I sang). We were usually so hungover from the night before, we could barely stand. I was angry and drunk and filled with despair, but Red Star Belgrade kicked ass in a way that Adams can only dream about. The bewildered looks we got from Adams’ A&R people after the show was worth it. Fuck ’em—they’re all probably working in the film industry now, putting together another Jerry Bruckheimer production starring Nicholas Cage.

So here it is, our first full-length CD, “Where the Sun Doesn’t Shine.” After two critically acclaimed 7″ EPs (“Lose Your Temper, Gain an Injury” and “Union, SC”) and a 7″ single (“Polpot”), we recorded this CD for a small Florida label called Put It On a Cracker (run by our longtime friend, Bill Bryson). Looking back, “Where the Sun” set the stage for RSB records that would follow. Themes of anger, betrayal, resentment, depression, loneliness, despair and disappointment permeate the record. I wonder why we never made it on the radio.

Released in 1994 or ’95, “Where the Sun” was recorded on a digital 8-track at our then home in Pittsboro, North Carolina. A lot of the credit for this record goes to producer/engineer Tim Harper (who recorded a few gold records for The Connells). Tim’s bass line for “Saddest Girl” made the song a real classic and his aggressive production and mastering really made the record jump out at you. We can never thank him enough.

Thanks now go out to Kevin and MP3 Hugger. Hopefully he’ll turn a whole new generation on to Red Star Belgrade.

So pay your damn money and download the record already. And when you’re done listening, buy a guitar and start your own band. And if you’re not in it for the fame, it’ll be worth every moment. That much I’ll guarantee you.”

–Bill Curry

Free Download: Red Star Belgrade – Saddest Girl

Press Quotes:

Allmusic ‘it’s gritty, emotional, and occasionally unsettling material has an unimpeachable sense of musical (and cultural) purity’.

Puncture ‘Where The Sun Doesn’t Shine recalls Neil Young at his most determined: if Young’s voice betrays vulnerability and tenderness; Curry’s voice cracks when he tears open an old wound’

Boston Globe ‘The simplicity of RSB’s music underscores the first take feel of this indispensable music.’

Chicago Tribune ‘Red Star Belgrade’s mournful and literate country defies comparison…’

Option Magazine ‘Consistently thrilling…the kind of richly detailed writing you’d equate with a Southern author…brimming with homespun witticisms and accented guitar rock’

And our very own eulogy via mp3hugger from 2006.