In the beginning...
Straight On Red is not a band born of a dramatic conception or peverse twists of fate (it’s more like peverse conception with some twisted drama). None of us spotted another on a railway platform with a Steely Dan album under his arm*. Instead, the band’s origins are somewhat ordinary – emphasised by the fact that 6 of our 8 come from Birmingham (arguably one of the most steadfastly ordinary cities in the UK**).
Some of this ordinariness was unavoidable – Mikey and Chris Davis (woodwind and percussion respectively) met because they share the same parents who couldn’t help but introduce them. Almost comparably joined at the hip are Chris and the phonetically identical (but alphabetically distinct) Kris Chase-Byrne, who believe that outside the Davis family they were the first members of Straight On Red to meet***.
This happened at Hatchford Brook primary school in Solihull, where both attended a bullying workshop where they pledged to start hitting drums rather than other pupils. The bond formed over transferred expressions of violence was to be life-long (well, we think they’re still talking, but they do like being at opposite ends of the stage...), and explains why they hit their instruments with such vehemence.
* although there's no doubting the considerable crossover in our collective music libraries…most of us have 'borrowed' CDs from others never to return them and repeatedly deny their possession. Mistrust is a powerful creative force in any band.
** 'ordinary' is, some might say, being kind to a city where earthquakes been known to cause millions of pounds worth of improvements
*** this assumes Tim and Ben are not bastard twins, separated at birth (highly plausible given a shared love of questionable heavy metal and the fact they both sleep with their eyes open)