by: JONATHAN BROOKSHIRE/Feature Editor
The drums shake the walls, and the symbols ring in everybody’s ears. The crowd sits quietly, in complete awe of the skill of Rich Redmond.
His arms fly around the set as sweat pours off his face. The music stops, and he finishes at the exact moment, making for a seamless end. The crowd roars in applause.
Redmond came to the Tom T. Hall Recording and Production Studio in the Creative Arts Building on South Plains College’s Levelland campus on Sept. 24 to present a clinic to students about his C.R.A.S.H. Course for Success.
Redmond created the C.R.A.S.H. Course for Success to help anybody from musicians to those working in corporate America to achieve success.
Attending the C.R.A.S.H. (commitment, relationships, attitude, skill, hunger) clinic, there is a sense of genuine care for the listener’s success and love for the music. Throughout the entire clinic, there are anecdotes and many amusing jokes and expressions from Redmond. But underlying the entire speech is a serious, sincere tone.
Redmond brings forth moments from his past to engage everybody in the audience. It shows that he is focused and has the power to influence everybody there. In addition to speaking, Redmond also performs a few times, which makes the clinic that much more entertaining to listen to.
Redmond began playing the drums at the age of 8 on a snare drum that he had received from his father. Just three years later, in 1981, his father got a job in Juarez, Mexico, relocating Redmond and his family to El Paso, Texas.
In El Paso, Redmond was in band for the entire course of his high school career. Also while in high school, Redmond joined a heavy metal band at age 16.
“I always knew I wanted a career in music,” Redmond explained.
To further his dream and career in music, Redmond moved to Lubbock in 1992 to study music at Texas Tech University. At Texas Tech, Redmond trained hours on end. He explained to the musicians in the audience during the clinic, in order for them to broaden their horizons and expand their knowledge, they need to be able to read all types of music. That’s precisely what Redmond did. He read more than 200 musical documents while attending Tech, expanding his knowledge on his chosen career.
Shortly after, Redmond transferred to the University of North Texas at Dallas. During his time in college, Redmond actively participated in collegiate ensembles.
“You have to chase this dream,” says Redmond.
That is exactly what he did. At the age of 17, Redmond went professional. He explains that there are three major cities in America that are centered around the music business, New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville.
After graduating from UNT, Redmond decided to move to one of the big music cities. In 1997, he packed his things and tried his luck in Nashville.
However, Redmond didn’t start recording for a record label right away.
“I taught kindergarten, waited tables, and traveled all around downtown Nashville, talking up everybody I could trying to book a gig,” Redmond said.
Redmond explains that the biggest obstacle was that it was a new city for him to live in, and that nobody knew who he was.
“There are a thousand other people who play the drums just as good, if not better, than me,” Redmond said. “I had to prove to them that I was better.”
Moving from city to city means that he had to reinvent himself and rebuild his reputation from nothing after each move. Following his own advice, Redmond gave a name for himself, illustrating one of the main points in C.R.A.S.H.
Redmond says to, “Take the ‘dirty’ out of networking,” and puts forth the “out of sight, out of mind,” idea.
“You have to press the flesh,” Redmond said, meaning that you have to make yourself present and build your network of contacts.
Redmond was a busy man while building his reputation. He focused on relating and talking to people directly, as well as always making his presence known.
While playing the drums for 38 years, and having a long and accomplished career in the music industry, Redmond has come in contact with many famous musicians and has recorded 17 number one singles. He has sold more than 7 million albums, and 13 million single downloads.
In the process of reaching such tremendous numbers, Redmond has come in contact with many notable musicians, such as Ludacris, Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Brantley Gilbert, Kid Rock, Trace Adkins, Hank Williams III, Steel Magnolias, and, most of all, Jason Aldean.
Redmond has been affiliated with Aldean for 10 years and six albums. In 1999, he even performed at showcases with Aldean in Nashville.
“I knew Jason and his band back when we were traveling in a van before he blew up,” Redmond said. “I have a blast with them. We’re a band of brothers.”
Redmond described touring with the band as, “Blood, sweat, tears, and diesel fuel.”
Throughout his career, Redmond has appeared on a series of shows such as “The Voice,” and “The Today Show,” along with a number of GAC and CMT specials. He also appeared on a number of talk shows, with hosts Jay Leno, Conan O’Brian, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Ellen Degeneres.
Some of Redmond’s favorite memories have been performing in Madison Square Garden, at the Houston Rodeo, touring for the troops overseas, and just hearing his own music on the radio.
Redmond describes, “spending a lot of time with people [he enjoys],” and “surrounding [himself] with like-minded individuals,” as the most enjoying parts of his life.
“Music is the highest form of communication, and our greatest gift,” Redmond said. “What I want to do is expand my skill set and form an ‘entertainment umbrella.”
After all the success Redmond has experienced, he is still building on his career by becoming a member of the production team knows as New Voice Entertainment (NV) with David Fanning, Tully Kennedy, and Kurt Allison.
A developing talent that Redmond has been working with in NV is Thompson Square, who released the number one single, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not,” in 2011.
There is a never-ending pursuit with Redmond. His most recent practices are in the area of music management and voice acting. He would even like to appear in a TV sitcom.
Redmond tells his audience to “hold on to the conviction,” and backs it up by saying, “Never once have I ever thought about quitting.”