I Want You to Crowd Surf My Body at My Funeral is a fitting name for Red Tank!'s upcoming album because frontman Clipper "Danger” Arnold crowd-surfs pretty much every show he plays. But the appeal of Red Tank! goes much further than the chance to carry Arnold around any given venue by the crowd. There is an air of unpredictability to Red Tank!’s members and music.
“The album name is from a tweet that I made," Arnold says. "Well, it was a tweet first, then it was a poem, and the idea was like punk rock or music being a cathartic experience. It might be construed to be a little transcendental, like the idea of even after we die there is still something that remains. But I would probably go with the cathartic.”
Though Red Tank! may be looking to provide its fans with a cathartic experience, Arnold says his group’s music goes deeper than just partying. In fact, Arnold says the band purposefully masks its tracks about heavier topics — ranging from relationships both romantic and platonic to being sucked into the tendrils of capitalism — under upbeat and energetic music.
“I think it’s really important that it comes off as a cathartic sort of exercise that people can party and get down to. But at the same time they're not just getting wild for the sake of getting wild,” Arnold says. “There is certainly a deeper message, and I guess what it is depends on each of the individual songs.”
What shines brightest in any Red Tank! set is the band's otherworldly energy for live performance. It really is like nothing else. Even the great high-energy local acts like Playboy Manbaby and Treasure Mammal pale in comparison to the level of excitement Red Tank! brings to the table.
“The nature of our music, it’s not, like, violent, but it’s really energetic and a lot of times people construe our songs as violent because they're so high-energy. But to us, it’s not the anger or animosity, and it isn't manifested as violence," Arnold says. “It’s cool if people want to pick apart our music, but I don’t like to talk too much in-depth about lyrics like that because one of the key parts about music is that it’s ambiguous and there is a lot of open-ended imagery that people can interpret however they want, or in a way that feels more meaningful to them, and I don't like taking that aspect away from anyone.”
Even Red Tank!’s new video for the album's first single, “Sovereignty,” toes the line between energetic and violent. In fact, it literally crosses that line when Arnold connects a right hook to the face of his bass player, Elijah Pearson. Then Pearson highlights some of that good ol’ Red Tank! ambiguity when he inexplicably spits out gold glitter.
“The abstract, ambiguous nature of the glitter turned it into a weird absurd kind of thing,” Arnold says.
This post marks the release of the video for “Sovereignty” and on June 18, the band will be releasing the entire album with an all-ages show at Crescent Ballroom. Tickets are $5. Boss Frog and Snake! Snake! Snakes! will open the show.