Red This Ever: synth-based pop

If you go

What: Red This Ever

When: 10 p.m. Sunday

Where: The Lemon Grove, 122 W. Federal St., Youngstown

Tickets: $3; call 330-744-7683

Place:Knox Bldg

110 W. Federal St., Youngstown

By John Benson

Red This Ever bassist Ava Ruiz promises audiences will enjoy the synth-based band’s retro tunes when it make its Youngstown debut Sunday.

“People will come out of our show laughing and giggling,” said Ruiz, calling from Baltimore. “They’ll really be entertained. Even if people don’t know us that well, we know the second we start playing, people run to watch us.”

More and more people are seeing the East Coast band, which is on a two-year stateside tour. The current legs finds the band finally making its way to the Buckeye State. Ruiz said Ohio’s rich music history is why the outfit is rolling through the Midwest now. When the group arrives, audiences will see a band whose image defies its sound. Despite its punk-goth-looking attire, the group traffics in a synth-pop-rock sound that has drawn comparisons to the likes of Depeche Mode and The Cars to The Pixies and Joy Division.

“I could see people lining us up with The Killers, but because we have so many synths in the background, you can dance to our music,” Ruiz said. “Whenever I see some venue that has an ’80s night, I think, ‘Oh perfect because we’ll go great with a crowd that likes the ’80s.’ But then we also have the younger crowd.”

Ruiz said the band’s music is defined by Red This Ever singer Roy Retrofi, who is also her husband. She said his lyrics not only vary from dark to tongue-in-cheek but are patterned after, um, yeah, Dr. Seuss books. Think “Green Eggs and Ham” only the food is poisoned and Sam I Am is depressed. It’s this mind-set that fueled the band’s most recent album “Never Listen,” which is based around a dark time in Ruiz’s life.

“I was going through a really bad time, and I was in the hospital trying to come to grips with who I was,” Ruiz said. “I’m bipolar and suicidal, and Roy wrote a lot of these songs while I was in the hospital trying to find me. He was wondering why sometimes I’m so happy, we’re on the road doing things, and then because of my bipolar-ness, it just snaps. So this is just him coping with not being able to have me all the time.”

Red This Ever’s publicity material describes the music as portraying shy anger. What exactly is this?

“That would be the singer,” Ruiz said. “When you meet him he’s kind of shy but when you see him live, he’s different. He turns completely insane.”

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