001: Red Dons
Bass / Vocal – Hajji Husayn
Drums / Vocals – Richard Joachim
Lead Vocals / Guitar – Douglas Burns
Guitar / Vocals – Ruby Sparks
Before moving to Amman, Jordan in 2001, Daniel “Hajji” Husayn made a pact with Douglas Burns that upon Husayn’s return to Portland, the two of them would start a band together. The project would be called Red Dons. It took five years for that plan to come to fruition. This was in part due to their commitments to other bands (The Observers and Clorox Girls), but also a result of often living in different places from one another (Washington D.C., Germany, Jordan, Thailand, and Seattle).
In 2006 the first line-up for the Red Dons was assembled in Portland, Oregon. Burns and Husayn’s nomadic tendencies continued and by 2009, Husayn had moved permanently to London, and Burns to Chicago. Drummer Richard Joachim has remained in Portland. Despite having members spread out between Europe and the United States, Red Dons have toured and released records every year since 2007.
Along with Burns, Husayn and Joachim, the Red Dons feature a rotating cast of members and collaborators. Ruby Sparks plays guitar for the group. Zach Brooks, Will Kinser, Andy Foote, and Justin Maurer have also served as the the Red Dons featured guitarist. TV Smith wrote the lyrics for A Vote for the Unknown and preforms the lead vocals on the song’s recording. David Wolf is a featured guitarist on the Red Dons album The Dead Hand of Tradition. Derek Willman has preformed live with the Red Dons and is the bassist on the recording of It’s Your Right. Jonny Cat and Jimmy “Hollywood” McCann have both recorded vocals with the band. However, those recordings are currently unreleased. Jesse Michaels, and John Nuclear have both contributed lyrics to the project. Derek Skokan (Revisions) was the Red Dons drummer in 2006 and appears on the Escaping Amman EP. Burns, Husayn, and Joachim all play together in The Revisions, and are also original members of The Chemicals; a band fronted by Jonny Cat.
Hajji Husayn (Role Models, Clorox Girls, Thee Spivs)
Douglas Burns (The Observers, Endless Column, The Butlers)
Richard Joachim (The Chemicals, Priory)
Ruby Sparks (The Stops)
Zach Brooks (Piss Test, Soda Pop Kids, Scott Baio Army)
Jonny Cat (The Chemicals, The Triggers)
Andy Foote (No Secret Between Sailors, Physical Challenge)
Will Kinser (No More Art, Born/Dead)
Justin Maurer (L.A. Drugz, Clorox Girls)
Jim McCann (Tyrades)
Jesse Micheals (Operation Ivy, Classics of Love)
John Nuclear (The Insaniacs)
TV Smith (Adverts)
Derek Willman (The Estranged, From Ashes Rise, Hellshock)
David Wolf (Daylight Robbery, Endless Column)
The band is named after a group of highly respected British Intelligence Officers who were later revealed to be Soviet spies. Kim Philby, Anthony Blunt, Guy Burgess, and Don MacClean all meet as students at Cambridge University in the 1920?s. At Cambridge, professors are referred to as “Dons”, thus Red Dons became a moniker used by the British press for the spy ring. Historians more commonly refer to Philby and the others as the Cambridge Five. What is known about them publicly is cloudy at best, but it is suggested that during World War II they were responsible for passing misinformation to the Nazis. During the Cold War it is suspected that they passed valuable information to the Soviets. Despite having close ties to the Queen and the British government Burgess, MacClean, and Philby all eventually defected to the Soviet Union adding more intrigue and mystery to their story. Learn more about the original Red Dons by clicking the link below.
Red Dons "Genocide" b/w "Letters" 7"
RED DONS “GENOCIDE" b/w “LETTERS” 7”
Red Dons return with their 10th vinyl release and their first new music since the 2015 LP, "The Dead Hand of Tradition". From numerous tours to past collaborations with venerated punks like TV SMITH (THE ADVERTS) and JESSE MICHAELS (OPERATION IVY), the Red Dons have proven that a band can continue to accomplish a great deal despite growing life obligations and even when its members scattered all over the world. Now in their 11th year as a band, the Red Dons have established a formula of dark, driving punk rock with catchy melodic hooks and the songs on this 7” deliver on that tradition. Genocide nods to early-Southern California punk (e.g., Dangerhouse Records, Agent Orange) with its downstroked mid-tempo rhythm, layers of subtly distorted guitars, and anthemic chorus; however, as Red Dons has done in the past, they are able to evoke the reference without aping the style. Letters is slightly slower with the bass driving the bouncing music under Doug’s signature vocal melodies. If you are familiar with Red Dons, then the quality of the songwriting on this release will continue to fulfill expectations. If you are just now discovering the band, then you will be both pleasantly surprised and baffled that they such an amazing punk band has escaped your attention before now. Man In Decline Records counts Red Dons as one of our favorite bands and we are excited to collaborate on this release. The 7” will be released in a limited edition of 500 copies with 150 red vinyl copies available only through the band and/or Man In Decline Records.
Coming October 2017