Born to take modern rock to the next level

Gold Coasters Redstarborn say they formed for a sacred purpose: that of creating and performing intense and inspiring music. With each of the four members passionate about different musical genres, they say they share an instinct for great song writing. They enjoyed underground swell in their first two years and received industry acknowledgement for being high energy and creative.

They’re just a bunch of 30-something dudes with a drive to make cool tunes and rock it hard. And our Editor Samantha Morris fired off some questions to get to know two of the members of Restarborn just a bit better.

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Tell me a bit about yourself and how you got into music?

Matt Skea (drums): As an 8yo, mum put me through keyboard lessons. By the time I turned 10 it was obvious that I was meant for something louder, so dad bought me a hand drum kit. Both my dad and my brother play guitar, so I guess I was always destined to be a drummer. RSB is actually the first GC band I’ve been in. I’d done some session drumming over the years, but then in early 2014 I heard that Redstarborn were going to be auditioning for a new drummer. Three months later after a couple jams with the boys, I got the call telling me I was in.


Tell me about the rest of the band?

Matt: Shane’s a tradie, I’m in event production – or that’s what I tell everyone, Dan’s a finance officer, and Donny’s a fireman! We’re yet to determine which of these skills is most useful in a rock band.

Dan Newton (guitar / vocals): Everyone’s got their little spot in the group dynamic. Shane is the deep, emotional one – the overthinker. Whereas Donny, well, he’s definitely the under-thinker. I think I’m the angry pragmatist of the group. I’m not delighted about that but somebody’s gotta do it. This new guy seems ok. In fact, he’s probably the nicest, happiest person I know. Which of course, is how people on TV interviews describe their serial killer neighbour. So far so good, but let’s just say we don’t have any band camping trips planned at this stage.

Matt: Aw come on. I know this great spot. You’ll love it.


You’ve been performing as Redstarborn for two years, what has that experience been like? 

Dan: Ah it’s ridiculously cool. We’ve met and played with some incredible acts and have met a lot of inspirational people, both other musos and fans. It’s a lot of hard work but the privilege of being able to create and perform this stuff is never lost on any of us and the response we’ve had validates that we’re doing something right.


The film clip for Electricity is really powerful and well produced – tell me about that process?

Dan: Yeah, full credit to director Tai Chan from V1 Studio and his crew – we’re stoked we were in such capable hands. We filmed over two exhausting days and I think the production team spent another 40 hours or something stupid piecing it all together. We love how intense it is – really serves the song well.

Matt: But we’re still cleaning dirt and crap out of our gear. I hate to think what was in that mud.


How important is it to have strong visuals these days? 

Dan: Great question. It’s important on a couple of levels. Youtube is the first place most new listeners will go to check out your music, so not having clips is gonna limit your exposure. Also, the sensual feast of a good song and a good video should intensify our initial connection with not only the song, but the artist. That said, I reckon there comes a point in our progressive relationship with a piece of music where the visuals become a distraction from letting the music do its deeper work. Turn off your iPad kids! Go listen to a record in the dark.


Tell me a bit about the bands you’re sharing the stage with at the Cooly?

Dan: We’ve got Brissy alt rockers Love Hate Rebellion: sick grooves and big, big melodies. Local legends Kip Casper probably need no introduction to Blank GC readers – fusiony pop-rock bliss. Actually our main goal for the night is to replace the damned catchy KC tune that they will put in your head, with one of ours. And of course, the indomitable Smoking Martha. Smokin’ hot n heavy hard rock. You can see why we’re pumped for this.


What are your thoughts about the GC music scene?

Matt: There is so much amazing musical talent out there and it’s on display all over the Gold Coast. You just have to go out and see it and it’s not that hard to find. When I used to commute to Brisbane for work, there was this one guy who played guitar in the pedestrian tunnel near Post Office Square. He was stupidly talented. And he played to thousands of people every day. But they all had their headphones on, totally oblivious to the amazing talent that was sitting right there as they walked by.

Dan: It’s the same all across the country, not just the Goldy. Sure, attendance is down, live music venues are closing or being castrated into pokie farms by ridiculous licensing demands and no one’s making any money, but you know what, the music scene is still there – staunch as ever. Because there are always gonna be people – artists, promoters and punters who just live and breathe this stuff. So they find a way to just keep doing their thing, and everyone else can get stuffed. The net result is a rich and diverse music scene made up of incredibly talented and passionate people.


Redstarborn is Shane Seale (vocals), Dan Newton (guitar / vocals), Shane ‘Donny’ Morse (bass) and Matt Skea (drums)

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Redstarborn + Smoking Martha + Love Hate Rebellion + Kip Casper
Sunday 29 March, Cooly Hotel


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