We were honored that we got the chance to set down with the band Radkey, when they came through town supporting Flogging Molly. Read below to see what they had to say to us…..
YOU THREE ARE YOUNG, HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING MUSIC?
We have been playing music in the band about 5 years, but Dee has been playing longer.
DEE: I have been playing about 12 years
AT WHAT POINT IN YOUR LIFE DID YOU SAY THIS IS WHAT WE WANT TO DO?
I think it was sometime after our first show. Our first show was opening for a band called Fishbone and that was really cool for us. It was kind of a lucky gig to get and the turn out of that show gave us the feeling that this was what we wanted to do.
I KNOW YOUR DAD IS YOUR MANAGER, DOES THIS CAUSE ANY PROBLEMS BETWEEN YOU?
No, he is pretty easy
HAS HE EVER PULLED THE PARENT CARD ON YOU?
No, never, not yet
YOUR DEBUT ALBUM HAD BEEN A LONG TIME COMING. WE SAW YOU TWO YEARS AGO AT SXSW. DID YOU DO THINGS IN BETWEEN OR JUST WORK ON IT SLOWLY?
It took a long time to write. We did four songs in San Francisco and then went to Sheffield and did the rest. It took awhile to write, we just didn’t have the material for a full length until recently. We think it was a good idea to wait.
WHO IS THE WRITER OF THE BAND?
All of us. It all alternates, you know, who writes the music and who writes the lyrics
WHICH COMES FIRST, MUSIC OR LYRICS?
It depends. We write a lot of songs in different ways. like sometimes the lyrics come first, or jut the melody, or its a riff. It really depends
AT SXSW WE SAW YOU AT WATERLOO. WE KNEW WHO YOU WERE, YOU WERE ON OUR LIST TO SEE. WHEN WE WERE IN THE CROWD DURING YOUR PERFORMANCE, IT WAS APPARENT A LOT OF THE CROWD HAD NO IDEA WHO YOU WERE AND WERE SHOCKED WHEN YOU CAME OUT ON STAGE AND STARTED PLAYING IN YOUR FACE HARD ROCK AND ROLL, BECAUSE OF YOUR COLOR. THAT WAS THE ONE THING WE KEPT HEARING ” OH MY GOD THEY ARE BLACK AND LISTEN TO THEM ” IS THIS A COMMON THING YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH?
We don’t have to deal with it up front, everything has been surprisingly non-racist and stuff, but I am sure there is a lot of that going on in the crowd when we are playing in front of people who have not seen us. But you know, I think it is important for people to know that blacks can make true rock music if they want to with out being questioned like…Holy shit how are they doing that.
WE LOVE THAT YOU ARE BREAKING THESE BARRIERS, SO WHAT MADE YOU CHOSE TO PLAY ROCK INSTEAD OF THE GENRE MOST PEOPLE WOULD EXPECT OF YOU?
Well we were homeschooled, so our dad had this really cool record collection and that is just what we listened to, so I guess that just kind of translated to making music like that.
ANOTHER THING THAT I PERSONALLY LOVE ABOUT YOU IS YOUR LOVE OF THE RAMONES. I KNOW YOU HAVE COVERED SEVERAL OF THEIR SONGS, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE OF THEIRS THAT YOU COVER?
Ummm, Bonzo goe to Bitburg *** ( released as a single in the UK in 1985 ) ***
ALL OF YOU AGREE ON THIS ONE SONG?
I HAVE ONE OF YOUR EP’S AND I HAVE HEARD A LITTLE BIT OF THE NEW ALBUM. TO ME IT IS A BIT DIFFERENT FROM YOUR OTHER CD’S AND THE MUSIC PLAYED WHEN WE SAW YOU AT SXSW. THOSE WERE VERY THRASHING AND HARD. HAVE YOU TONED THE MUSIC DOWN A BIT? KEEP IN MIND I HAVE NOT HEARD THE ENTIRE ALBUM YET.
You will be surprised how heavy the album actually is. We’ve got some pretty crazy numbers in there, it will be cool. We just thought, you know, we never really thought of ourselves as a punk band, we have always thought of ourselves as a rock band, so heaviness and catchiness and yeah, so we kind of figured out how to write different types of songs, so we have been enjoying that. We are also doing the heavy kinda thrashing as well. You know I think an album should represent everything you are into.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU ALWAYS BRING ON TOUR WITH YOU FROM HOME?
Hmmm. I don’t know if we have one thing thats like a special thing. We do like Haribo Gummy Bears before the show. Thats a thing. Yeah I don’t know, we bring our toothbrushes and shit.
OTHER THAN THE GUMMY BEARS DO YOU HAVE ANY PRE-SHOW RITUALS BEFORE WALKING OUT ON STAGE?
Not really. Pretty much just the gummy bears, they kind of coat your throat.
WHAT ARE THREE SONGS YOU REQUIRE ON A ROADTRIP?
Lets see, there is a Weezer song in there somewhere. As well as Nirvana and there would probably be a Led Zeppelin song in there. I am trying to think. We like Bonzo for fun of course. Um, I would say, what Nirvana song? Lithium and In The Garage by Weezer.
IF YOU WERE TO FANBOY OVER A FELLOW MUSICAN, WHO WOULD IT BE?
Paul McCartney. I think the Beatles would be the only ones that would make me feel like a fanboy. You have to be pretty high level to fanboy me.
THE LAST GIG YOU WENT TO AS A SPECTATOR ?
TV On The Radio. No. Local Age in Chicago. They are a really good band from Chicago
AT WHAT POINT IN YOUR CAREER DO YOU THINK TO YOURSELF ” I HAVE MADE IT “
I don’t know. Maybe when you have got guaranteed rent payment for awhile ?
WHAT IS THE ONE THING RADKEY WOULD LIKE THE WORLD TO KNOW?
That we are on a quest to end false rock
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS FALSE ROCK TO YOU?
WHAT IS IT ABOUT NICKLEBACK THAT MAKES THEM FALSE ROCK?
It is like music by the numbers. All calculated. You know what everyone is going to like so you keep doing the same shit. It’s weak sauce and not cool and that is part of rock music, being cool.
SO YOU ARE SAYING THAT IT IS MORE REAL IF YOU ARE WILLING TO TAKE CHANCES WITH YOUR MUSIC AND GET OUR OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE?
DO YOU AS A BAND TAKE CHANCES? DO YOU WORRY IF FANS WILL LIKE YOUR MUSIC?
We do it from the heart. Like basically we have a policy, we only write songs we love and if you do that, no one can really ever hurt you.
IS THE FAME AND FORTUNE IMPORATANT TO YOU? OR IS IT ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC?
Music is more important yeah, but, like, you know, the more fans the better. That’s the goal. I feel like it should be the goal of any band. Have as many people possible hearing your music. If it is uncool to want to be a really big band, then I guess we are just uncool.
DOES THERE COME A POINT WHERE YOU GET SO BIG YOU NO LONGER WANT TO MEET WITH YOUR FANS? WHAT DO YOU DO ON DAYS YOU JUST DON’T WANT TO DEAL WITH ANYTHING? WE ALL HAVE THOSE DAYS..
You know, you gotta suck it up. Everyone has bad days, but if you take it out on someone else you could lose fans and they could just spread that, so ..it is kinda the worse thing to be an asshole band. You don’t want to do that, cause you know you are nothing with out the people coming to see you anyway. Why would you treat them like you are better than they are when you are nothing with out them.
** We ended on that note, we think it was the best thing a band has ever said to us.
Thanks guys for taking the time to speak with us. Keep a lookout on Radkey, they’re ones to watch!