The news has come today that Little Red bassist, Quang Dinh, has left the band, following months of speculation from inside the industry that the future of the Melbourne band was in doubt after the departure of founder, vocalist and keyboard player Tom Hartney for side-project Major Tom & The Atoms; as well as drummer Taka Honda having already departed some time before that and is now reportedly residing in Japan.
In announcement about his own new side-project, Naked Bodies, on Little Red’s Facebook page – Quang Dinh has effectively put the writing on the wall…
“To all friends of Little Red. The fuel tank is empty, the dinosaurs are extinct, the power has been cut, the milk is sour, the toast is burnt, the fire extinguished, the back is broken, the needle worn, the train delayed till the end of time.
Now, the dog is dead, the body hungry, the mind alone and the spirit tired.
Thank you for the past 6 years. I have been blessed and privileged to have experienced as much as I have with this band and I hope some joy or good came out of it for you and everybody else involved. But as you make a contract with life, you make a contract with death. And without sadness, there will be no more footsteps here.”
Following his grave open letter, Dingh points to a link for Naked Bodies’ official debut show at Melbourne’s Espy. The snag? The post is dated from July 8. Which basically means that Dinh left the band, and no-one (ourselves guiltily included) has reported on it until now because nobody noticed.
Though there’s been no official statement from Little Red or either of its two remaining members – guitarists/vocalists Adrian Beltrame and Dominic Byrne – rumours have persisted of a major rift in the lineup ever since Hartney left to focus on Major Tom & The Atoms.
Meanwhile Taka Honda posted an update on his Facebook page for new band, The Hondas, writing “I survived another deportation. Back in studio and working on the new record.” Which also would suggest that Little Red is no longer part of his musical life.
It’s a real shame to see one of Australia’s biggest success stories in recent years disintegrate in such a slow-winding fashion.
Starting off in high school, Little Red quickly found success with their debut album Listen To Little Red, which they quickly followed up with a more polished sound with sophomore Midnight Remember, featuring their hit single ‘Rock It’ which made it to #2 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 in 2010.
But success doesn’t come without its pitfalls, and Little Red were said to be fighting for some time about the future direction of the band, and though they’ve previously been reportedly working on the follow-up to Midnight Remember; with Hartney, Honda – and now Dinh – all officially departing to form side-projects, the future of the band is especially bleak.