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Interview With Caps Fanatics Redline Addiction
I thought I’d seen every creative use of the Capitals logo until I saw Redline Addiction on a T-Shirt. What is it? It’s a band made up of several fellas who happen to be huge Caps fans. They’ve also written a song about the Caps, which you can listen to below. I caught up with lead singer, Rob Robinson, who told me a bit about the band and their love of the Washington Capitals.
How long have you been a Capitals fans?
“I know the other guys have been Caps fans at least dating back to Ovi’s arrival, but my roots specifically date back to US Air Arena/Caps Center and the Kelly Miller, Dale Hunter, Michael Pivonka, and of course Bonzai [Peter Bondra] days. I always rooted hard for Brendan Witt for some reason, too. Not sure why, but I was convinced he was a star in the making. Loved Al Iafrate, and Calle Johannsen also. Mike Ridley is a personal favorite as well.
“In the early to mid 90s I would go to a handful of games every year with my buddies, one a canuck from Toronto and a die hard Leafs fan. I love the Phone Booth [Verizon Center], don’t get me wrong, but I do miss the [U.S. Airways] Arena (aka Capital Centre). I vividly remember jawing at the Penguins fans (insert Rangers/Flyers fans interchangeably) during intermissions with no regard for the fact that we were only in middle school and were trading verbal blows with much older and probably much less sober opponents. We had the kind of guts that only a hockey game could bring out in someone. Something about that sprawling parking lot, concrete walls, and dim lighting just gave that place a real hockey feel to it. Nothing too flashy, just working class and honest. Though I’ve had many great memories at the Verizon Center, I would have to concede that the memories from the Arena are my fondest.
How did you come up with the band name?
I don’t want to lie to you and tell you that the band name is specifically linked to the Caps, because it isn’t, at least not directly. The idea actually came from Nikki Sixx’s book (Motley Crue) and his discussion about the mainline addiction. We thought that it had a nice ring to it, but we also didn’t want to front like we were heroine junkies… we are not. So with that concept in mind we tried to think of ways to associate the name with our DC roots and with our style of music. We came up with redline because of its association with high energy, speed and aggression, all of which we try to bring to our live shows. Cars, speaker levels, and in fact the caps all factored in at some point in making this connection to these attributes. And yes, there is also the fact that we all live our lives at one time along the redline as well, which factored in, but only secondarily.
Favorite memory you’d like to share?
Favorite memory about [the band’s logo on the T-shirt] is sort of bittersweet. I was at game 5 of the Penguins series in 2009, when we lost in overtime off of an own goal (I think it went in off of [Tom] Poti’s stick). We were standing outside by Clyde’s just staring blankly in shock when I saw someone walk by wearing the band’s shirt. I kind of snapped to for a second because I thought I knew everyone who had one of those shirts. We hadn’t really started making actual fans up to that point, you know people that we don’t know personally, but only through the fact that they like our music. So I asked her where she got the shirt. At first she was a bit cautious, but then she recognized me as the singer and we talked about how she saw us playing at Hard Times in Germantown a few weeks prior and really dug the band. It was a pretty surreal, pseudo celebrity moment.
Read more about Redline Addiction on their site, www.redlineaddiction.com.
Also, listen to and download Redline Addiction’s Capitals Chant.