Call them talented, call them unprofessional, call them interesting but whatever you do, do not call the three members of local punk-rock band Residual Kid cute.
Residual Kid is made up of guitarist Deven Ivy, 14, drummer Ben Redman, 14, and bassist Max Redman, 12. Instead of throwing spitballs or squashing ants, the three Austin boys spend the majority of their time playing their instruments, practicing with the band and even writing their own original music.
Despite their young ages, Residual Kid is a force to be reckoned with, and they demand to be taken seriously.
“We hate it when people yell from the crowd, ‘You’re really cute!’” Ben Redman said. “It makes me feel really sad, like they’re not really listening for the music.”
As of now, the band has released two EPs, “Box” and “Faces.” “Faces” features songs about a myriad of topics, from the rough, angry vocals of the title track “Faces,” to the staccato guitar riffs of “Lost Cause.” The two EPs serve as elaborate diaries for a group of boys who have grown up and are preparing to enter puberty together.
“The songs are about feelings and terrible break-ups,” Ben Redman joked. “No, just kidding, we’re not Taylor Swift.”
For now, there are no plans to record and release a full-length album anytime soon.
“The time that it would take to write 12 songs or whatever, it seems like your style is always changing,” Ivy said. “With an EP, it kinda captures what is happening right now.”
The music of Residual Kid can best be classified as something near punk rock. What the boys lack in age, they make up for with powerful and gritty guitar riffs and robust drum patterns.
Residual Kid has even had the opportunity to play in some venues that most college freshmen can only enter with false identification.
“It’s fun playing with kids your age and your friends, but it’s totally different playing around a bunch of drunk people,” Ivy said.
Their young age does not make them impermeable to the evils of bar life and rock stardom, however.
“I once got asked out by a drunk guy,” Max Redman said, motioning toward his long, blonde locks. “I get mistaken for a girl a lot.”
A lot of parents might be wary about allowing their 12-year-old son to step foot in a bar, but the parents behind Residual Kid have been nothing but supportive of their young rock stars.
“We’ve exposed them from a very early age to the live music scene of Austin,” Dan Redman, Ben and Max’s father, said. “It’s been very inviting to them.”
When they aren’t parenting their preteen and teenage sons, the parents of Residual Kid fill the role of band roadies, driving the boys to gigs and hauling their gear.
“It’s our duty as parents, I think,” Dave Ivy, Deven Ivy’s father, said.
Despite landing a few good gigs, band members said they still encounter problems from time to time, especially when it comes to being taken seriously as musicians.
“There’s always that one band that’s like ‘I don’t want to open for these kids, they should be playing at noon,’” Ben Redman said.
At times, it’s hard to remember just how young the members of Residual Kid are. They look just as at ease sitting at a table at Spiderhouse as they do riding around on their skateboards.
If it weren’t for their small size and young faces, the members of Residual Kid would be just like any other band that’s played Local Live before.
“We don’t wanna be known as that kid band,” Ben Redman said.