A few beers into this interview Owen Lukawesky and Kendall Orr ordered the same pepperoni jalapeño grilled cheese sandwiches and side caesar salads. But Lukawesky got his salad without the croutons. The duo, who together make up Red Hot Gospel, are an example of great minds think alike—even in their food choices.
“We’ve always seen eye-to-eye on things,” Lukawesky says. “We’ve always had certain rules that we’ll always try each other’s ideas. No matter how stupid a suggestion is, we’ll try it just to prove how stupid it is, or sometimes how not stupid it really is.”
Red Hot Gospel was formed as the result of a long-term friendship and the now-defunct reggae project Old World Sparrows, which faded away after a hiatus. Lukawesky and Orr decided it would be easier to do their own thing and eventually released the EP Surrender…Or…Be Destroyed in the summer of 2014.
With the help of local label Sometimes Music, Red Hot Gospel is now gearing up to release a heavier and decidedly grittier self-titled record. Alongside Renny Wilson, Lukawesky and Orr pieced together a grainy 20-minute opus with hefty chunks of guitar and impactful vocals replete with certain moments of Les Claypool-style attitude.
“On this record we actually started writing together,” Orr explains. “We used to have a bass player, but then he quit and we realized we could still do the less-is-more approach. We can still be big enough and loud enough.”
With the ongoing mentality of keeping things fun and light, the band will often make up random words or recycle lyrics on stage and spontaneously try out songs that aren’t even finished, just to see if people will like them.
“Music is first,” Lukawesky says. “I will often yell unintelligible shit and just work with random vocal patterns. It’s a simple process. I’ll come up with the lyrics after the fact. It’s better to be open to bigger ideas in the end.”
And, as a testament to the duo’s friendship, it was Orr who served as best man in Lukawesky’s wedding. When planning the bachelor party, Orr didn’t have to go to any great lengths to make it a memorable time.
“I didn’t have to worry about hookers and blow,” he jokes. “I got to take this guy to a punk show and the waterpark. Mind you, it was still a shit-show. We should not have been at the water park in that state of mind!”
Sat, Jun 11 (9 pm)
Featuring Jay Higgs of Borrachera on bass
With Feminal Fluids, Versions
Filthy McNasty’s, $8