“We put a song on the Internet and it spiraled from there, but we thought it was justified because we had something unique that stood out.”
Marcus Parham, one-third of RDGLDGRN (pronounced Red Gold Green), tells me the backstory behind the success of the band’s 2011 hit “I Love Lamp” while on the road to Raleigh, North Carolina for a show later that evening. The guitarist (RD) and his bandmates, bassist Andrei Busuioceanu (GLD) and vocalist Pierre Desrosier (GRN), continued to gain popularity following the release of the track, even collaborating with Pharrell and Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl.
The Reston-based, multi-genre trio actually played together as another band before RDGLDGRN, with a fourth member identified only as Blue. Even though their partnership spans nearly a decade, Parham says the three are just scratching the surface.
“We’ve just created so many memories,” he says. “We went to Europe a bunch of times, and we’ve played cruises and stuff. It’s all these different things. It’s all growth.”
RDGLDGRN brought a unique blend of different genres to the music scene when they first hit airwaves, combining elements of hip-hop, rock and go-go music to concoct an original sound. Their backgrounds play a part in the diverse sounds of their musical style.All three artists hailed from other parts of the world before settling in the DC area.
“We have so many different influences, so it makes sense that our music is always changing,” Parham elaborates.
Going back to their initial self-titled LP, the focus was almost entirely on the band’s use of rock and hip-hop. On the releases that followed, including the band’s most recent drop Red Gold Green 3, they slowly set out to reveal their entire repertoire. For instance, the last record shifted away from their heavier guitar riffs and established a more electronic sound as the album’s foundation. Parham says he feels like the band is still just making an extended version of their first album.
“We’ve [always] shown more of our palette. [We’ve] shown all the things we can do from day one. It’s not that we’ve gotten bored of a sound and evolved per se; it’s just us giving our fans a taste of everything we do.”
Not much has changed for the group apart from their music, including their process. The guitarist says they still record songs in their parents’ basements when in the DMV. Of course, they make use of professional studios as well, but they want to maintain the same authenticity that put them on the map.
“We never lost that. We haven’t changed; that’s just who we are. We record whenever we have a thought or idea, and the beauty of technology is we can do it wherever.”
The name on their albums remains the same, too. The group decided to repeat the title a la Led Zeppelin 2 and 3 in an effort to get the name’s phonetic pronunciation stuck in people’s heads.
“Our band name looks like gibberish, so it’s not something that people remember instantly,” Parham says candidly. “To make it easier, we decided to stick to our brand.”
Even with Red Gold Green 3’s February release and their busy touring schedule, he says the band is set to drop more music throughout the year.
“Any time you get music from us, it’s more of who we are. We have two EPs and another album that are already far along in the process.”
The band is set to return to its de facto hometown for ShamrockFest at RFK Stadium on Saturday, March 23. While fans can expect popular hits, Parham assures there will be some DC flair added to their set.
“Different people from the area [will] come and play songs with us,” Parham says. “We’re definitely from different places, but we’re DC at heart.”
RFK Stadium: 2400 E. Capitol St. SE, DC; www.shamrockfest.com