Interview: Radkey

It doesn’t take a very observant music commentator to tell you that British mainstream guitar music is in a bit of a rut right now. Sure, a reverb soaked telecaster is still an indie mainstay, but the over-intellectualised rock that tends to chart just doesn’t seem very fun does it? Enter three uninhibited teenagers from small-town Missouri who were brought up on a diet of classic rock and grunge. Radkey is a one-band hardcore revival and they’re currently playing some of the most energetic live shows this country has seen in years. Plus they have guitar solos! Lots them! And without any irony!

We caught up with the band backstage on their tour supporting Drenge. Although they’re a group of very few words, they’re by far the most polite and cheerful hardcore punks we’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting:

You must be sick of comparisons to the Misfits by now, but what are the top influences for you guys?

Isaiah: Nirvana.

Dee: Nirvana, yeah.

Isaiah: And Led Zepplin!

I guess the Misfits thing is because of the vocals...

Isaiah: We’re happy to be compared to the Misfits, and I guess Dee’s voice is pretty similar, but that’s probably as far as it goes.

What have been your first impressions of the UK?

Isaiah: Everybody from the UK is really enthusiastic about American guitar music, a lot more than Americans I think.

Dee: [Laughs] Yeah!

Isaiah: It’s also cool being able to drink over here.

How has it been touring with Drenge?

Isaiah: They’re really cool because they share all their food and beer with us!

Do you not get much of a rider yourselves?

Isaiah: Yeah look... [Points to a table of oranges, crisps, houmous etc] I guess it’s kind of standard stuff.

You played Jools Holland recently, was that the first time you’ve played in a studio?

Isaiah: It was the first time we’ve played in a real studio, we’ve played on a small TV show back home but nothing like this. It awesome! It was kind of weird, you do one live song on the TV and then the rest of it is pre-recorded for the internet.

As brothers, how do you manage not to kill each other on tour?

[All laugh]

Isaiah: We were all home-schooled so that made us all abnormally close, so we don’t hate each other as much as most brothers.

Is there a big hardcore scene where you’re from [St. Joseph, Missouri]?

Isaiah: No not all!

I read on your website that you’re big gamers, do you get to play many games on tour?

Isaiah: No sadly, unfortunately. Maybe next time though!

So you’ve missed out on GTA V so far?

Isaiah: Yesssssss! [Pained expression] Everyone is talking about it too.

When will you get the chance to play it online?

Isaiah: We get two weeks off at the end of this tour, so I guess we’ll get to play it then.

Who is the best band in the world right now?

Isaiah: Ugh... Arctic Monkeys are definitely up there right now...

Dee: The Foo Fighters.

Isaiah: Um, who else? Queens of the Stone Age are doing pretty well right now.

What is the best movie you’ve seen this year?

Isaiah: [Instantly] World’s End!

Dee: World’s End, yeah! [They all nod in agreement]

Interview by: Joseph Smith

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