Punknews.org
Redd Kross photographed by Jonathan Krop

Redd Kross






Hometown: Los Angeles, CA (USA)

About:

Founded 34 years ago in Los Angeles by brothers Jeff and Steven McDonald (then pre teens), Redd Kross cut their teeth opening for Black Flag during the first wave of LA punk rock. Their debut EP "Red Cross" caught the attention of Rodney Bingenheimer, who spun the Ramones inspired songs on the world famous KROQ.

The following releases maintained their firmly planted punk roots, and the band started to experiment with different elements. Redd Kross boldly broke new ground by intuitively and inventively mixing their eclectic inspirations. They understood the esoteric commonalities between the Partridge Family with the Manson Family; the Beatles with Black Sabbath; Sony and Cher with the New York Dolls. The results were daringly original, artistic and uncontrived. "Teen Babes from Monsanto", "Born Innocent" and "Neurotica" are said by some to have been catalyst of the Seattle Grunge movement, and unquestionable an inspiration to many indie and alternative rock bands.

A sampling of evidence to this are songs from "Born Innocent" being covered by the Pavement ("Pseudo Intellectual") and Mudhoney ("Notes and Chords"). Several Redd Kross songs have been documented to be included on mix tapes by Nirvana's Kurt Cobain. Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore went on record in Entertainment Weekly by saying '(Redd Kross) are definitely one of the most important bands in America.'

In 1991 the band released their major label debut, "Third Eye". The song writing matured with more complex arrangements and harmonies and lush production. Redd Kross had their first single chart with "Annie's Gone", and began to tour with notable artists such as the HooDoo Gurus, The Posies, Jellyfish, the Lemonheads, and Sonic Youth.

Robert Hecker took leave as lead guitarist and the McDonald brothers were joined by Eddie Kurdziel (guitar), Brian Reitzel (drums), and Gere Fenneley (keyboards). They released the critically acclaimed "Phaseshifter" album in 1994 featuring the hit songs "Jimmy's Fantasy", "Lady In The Front Row", and a cover of Frightwigs "Crazy World".

Redd Kross toured relentlessly for the next several years and appeared on television sets across America performing on the John Stewart Show (pre Daily Show), Conan, and the Tonight Show.

Perhaps the band's most polished album, "Show World" followed with a string of singles and tours with Sloan and the Presidents. After nearly 20 years of non stop activity - touring, recording, and making movies, the band went on a hiatus. Fans wondered when they would return, and things seemed more uncertain after the untimely passing of guitarist Eddie Kurdziel in 1999.

The McDonald brothers launched ReddKross.com and began to innovatively reconnect with their fans and make new ones. As they experimented with the new medium, Steven McDonald released an online only mashup album called "Redd Blood Cells" by adding bass tracks to the White Stripes album, Jeff McDonald began podcasting ("Hit It!") before iPods or podcasts were invented, and also released a web based video series (Bitchin' Ass") far ahead of YouTube.

Redd Kross reissued their classic "Neurotica" album as they worked on a variety of other projects including "Ze Malibu Kids", "The Steven McDonald Group", and worked in various capacities with other bands on stage and in studio such as the Donnas, Turbonegro, Imperial Teen, Anna Waronker, Sparks, Jack Black's Tenacious D, and Beck. Current Redd Kross members Steven McDonald also plays bass in OFF!, Roy McDonald drums with The Muffs, and Robert Hecker fronts his band IT'SOK.

In 2006, Jeff and Steven were ready to saddle up again and reunited with the "classic Neurotica" line up - guitarist Robert Hecker and drummer Roy McDonald. They are currently playing select shows and festivals such as the Azkena Festival, Coachella, and Pop Monteral.

A new album's worth of songs is nearly finished, and being prepared for a 2012 release.

Related Bands

Bad Religion, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, OFF!, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Samiam, Spinnerette, The Misfits

Related Stories

Interviews: Ron Reyes (Piggy / Red Cross / Black Flag)
There is no modest way to say it. Ron Reyes is a pivotal part of West Coast punk. He played drums in Redd Kross when they were still called Red Cross. He got a Germs Burn directly from The Germs. He cut the vocals for Black Flag's Jealous Again. He was one of the main subjects…
March 14, 2013
Interviews: Dennis Lyxzén on Refused's future
With their 2012 reunion completed, Refused vocalist Dennis Lyxzén has posted an update on what he and his bandmates have planned for 2013: I am recording a new record with my band Invasionen. In January.…
December 20, 2012
Interviews: 'We Got Power!' detailed
More details have been revealed, including a release date, for WE GOT POWER!: Hardcore Punk Scenes from 1980s Southern California, the book we first talked about earlier this year. As we noted then, the book will include essays by four former members of…
September 28, 2012
Too Tough to Buy: New releases for the week of August 7, 2012
Too Tough To Buy is a new column brought to you by Punknews.org. Every Tuesday, Bryne Yancey will highlight anticipated new releases, spotlight underappreciated new releases and torchlight other things on fire. Have a question or want to submit your band for inclusion? Email Bryne…
August 07, 2012
Videos: Redd Kross: "Stay Away From Downtown"
With their first new album in fifteen years due out today on Merge Records, Redd…
August 07, 2012
Videos: Circle Jerks documentary due in September
The trailer has been posted for My Career As A Jerk, a new documentary about the Circle Jerks. The film was directed by David Markey (1991: The Year Punk Broke, The Slog Movie) and is set for release on…
July 23, 2012
Videos: Refused, Desaparecidos, Quicksand to play FYF Fest 2012
The organizers of FYF Fest have unveiled details about this year's festival. The event will take place September 1st and 2nd in downtown Los Angeles, CA, at L.A. State Historic Park, and will feature performances from Refused, Quicksand,…
June 18, 2012
Videos: Redd Kross to release first album in fifteen years
Seminal rock/punk outfit Redd Kross have announced their first new full length in fifteen years. The band, which at various times included members of Bad Religion, Black Flag,…
May 08, 2012

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go