Bolingbrook singer-songwriter Brad Redlich has been on fire online lately, using the pandemic pause to create new music along with sharing a steady stream of cover performances. Today, his birthday, Redlich imagines life after a breakup with his new single “Bottle Down.” Rife with a subtle country charm and built on an alternative vibe reminiscent of Stroke 9 or The Wallflowers, “Bottle Down” explores not the animosity after a split, but the fire that built the relationship in the first place.
Redlich, who moved back to Bolingbrook from Chicago during the pandemic, answered a few questions about the single, life in quarantine and what’s coming up next.
Your new single “Bottle Down” seems grounded in a reconciliation after a broken relationship. What was your mindset when you were writing it? Did you have a particular story in mind?
I think it’s a story most people can relate to, including myself. Most people these days, when they quit a relationship, it’s just cut them out of their life, block them on all social media, and hope to never see them again. I wanted to write something that challenges the way we think about breakups, like it’s just some disposable period of time spent together. And maybe, instead of sitting at home, reminiscing, and “bottling up” your regrets, it might be a better form of therapy to do the opposite and “throw that bottle down” and go out with a bang, one last time. Not saying the characters will get back together, but at least celebrate why you came together in the first place, out of respect for one another.
From a music perspective, I wanted to give it a feel of being in sort of a drunken, lonely stupor in the verse, where the character is talking about being all alone. And then as it hits the chorus, the character is thinking about what it would be like, or maybe they couple met up, and it turns into one of those “bar-burning” (as opposed to “barn-burning”… LOL) hard rock songs people love to belt out at the bar. I wrote, performed and produced this whole project myself so I was very detailed in my approach and the whole track feels very authentic to how I wanted it to sound.
Recent releases you’ve shared and videos you’ve posted online all lean heavily toward country influences. What artist (or artists) would you say has steered the direction of your music the most?
I love country music songwriting. I’m all for a fun, catchy pop song or a rippin’ guitar solo but I think the storytelling is my main focus. I strive to put all of that together in my music. My first intro to true “country music” was probably Eric Church when he released “Springsteen.” The melody, the lyrics, that Eagles-esque laid back vibe, it all just caught my ear. I’ve always been into rock artists with a country/folky flair such as Tom Petty, the Eagles, Allman Brothers Band, Bob Dylan, The Wallflowers, Kings of Leon, the Byrds, etc. From current country artists, my favorites right now are probably HARDY, Luke Combs, Parker McCollum, Darius Rucker, etc. I love the simplicity of country and folk runes, it’s just “four chords and the truth” as they say.
What have you been doing to keep connected to the music scene and fans during the pandemic? And are you working with other musicians through this?
Unfortunately I haven’t had much chance to work with other musicians during the pandemic. I opened for Primal Moon for an online show back in January at the House of Music in Orland Park but that has been about it. The pandemic forced me to pivot online. It was a little bit uncomfortable at first because I felt the live performance is something I really excel at, but it ended up being a great tool to add to my artist arsenal (“artistenal”, if you will… LOL). I’ve met a lot of great people who post just about everyday on social media, just like me, and we all share songs and support each other. The online community has been an instrumental outlet for me during this time. I have also been fortunate to gain quite a few fans who check in on my videos and request songs on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. The online atmosphere can be intimidating at first but once you figure out (or the online algorithms figure out…) your niche, it becomes extremely rewarding and fun!
Early on in lockdowns, you were doing a series of cooking videos on Instagram (with a few good-looking meals, I might add). How did that come about? And what other things of that type have you done to keep entertained/sane over the last year?
I have taken up about every hobby known-to-man since lockdown, haha! There’s something about grilling out, listening to music on my Bluetooth speaker, and drinking a cold Miller Lite that has become the most relaxing activity to me. If the sun is shining, I will probably grill out on the Traeger that day. There’s a song called “Grillin’ and Chillin’ by Sammy Kershaw that I throw on every time I grill and it never fails to put me in a great mood!
The biggest thing for me, since I work from home most days, is do something active every day. I train MMA 3 times a week and on my off days I go to the gym or I go for a run outside if it’s nice out. I recently bought a motorcycle which I will be riding when it gets a little warmer. I enjoy suburb life during this time more than when I lived in the city. There’s been a lot more outdoor activities I have been able to get into.
Aside from playing music and going to shows (because … aren’t we all?), what are you most looking forward to once things open up more?
Truthfully, I am just looking forward to everyone getting the chance to go out and socialize like we used to. People need people and I can’t wait for festivals, sporting events, bars and restaurants to bring people back together again.
What else is in the works for you?
After this release, I plan to more steadily release new music. I wanted to get my social media in order before releasing music again so now that I have that figured out, I plan to keep writing, recording and releasing original material! Stay tuned for another song in two weeks… 😉