Today we have an exclusive interview with one of the season’s sensations, Radical Dads. They hail from Gowanus in Brooklyn, and have influences from Sonic Youth, Pixies, Built to Spill or Dinosaur Jr. Offering a known formula but one which is no less effective. Unpretentious rock . Energy and rudimentary. Blending sounds with poisoned riffs and catchy melodies inflate the songs with every listen.
But despite having a common denominator, and sometimes being shoe-gazer friendly, each tune in Mega Rama has its own way, and that ends up completing an enjoyable album from beginning to end.
Radical Dads are formed by Lindsay Baker and Chris Diken on guitars, and Robbie Guertin on drums. Most of you will know Robbie as the keyboardist / guitarist from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, but in this case, he deals with the band’s rhythm section.
We had the opportunity to talk with them and this is what they told us:
I have to admit the very first thing that caught my attention was the name of the band. Where did you get the idea for Radical Dads?
I think we all secretly had the idea as soon as we were born and radically raised. But the term didn’t emerge in language until much later. We like it because it can be easily shortened into “Rad Dads” — which is perhaps a better band name — and because it enables use to create slang such as “Dadical” — something rad in a particularly dad-ish way.
Are you still based in Brooklyn aren’t you? How is a normal day in the skin of a Radical Dad? Are you focus on your music and concerts or do you still have “normal” jobs?
Yes, the Radical Dads headquarters is still in Brooklyn. We focus on music as much as we can outside of our other obligations, which unfortunately do include normal jobs. We wish we had some abnormal jobs, like trout juggler or bulldozer psychiatrist.
One lady and 2 guys, but who wear the trousers in the Radical Dads family?
Lindsay wears the pleated slacks, while Robbie and I wear the cut-off shorts.
You’ve made one of the most exciting albums of this year so far. Are you happy with the reaction of the people and the media? Is there something else you’d like to do to promote it? Any crazy idea admitted.
Thanks! Yes, we’re definitely super happy about the reaction so far. People we respect have said some really nice things about it, and that feels really good. If we could do anything to promote it, I think we’d want to have a big concert for all of the world’s dads. Moms can come too. They all deserve it! While we work on that plan, we’re going to take an intermediate step and release Mega Rama on vinyl later this year.
Who in music do you admire right now and why?
We admire Sat. Nite Duets because of their lyrics and pure contemporary dudeness. And Yuck because they really know how to use those guitars.
Seems like the music industry wants to be rejuvenated with lots of new bands, and each year new groups come and go, do you feel strong enough to reach the top? Are you here to stay?
Oh yes. We’re hell-bent on wrestling that #1 ranking away from the Rolling Stones. We’re here to stay as long as it’s fun and as long as there is energy to make electricity to power our amplifiers.
What can we expect from your gigs?
Broken spectacles, spontaneous combustion, constructive criticism, deep introspection, and a pretty big racket.
Do you have any tour planned for autumn? Are you going to visit Europe/Spain sometime soon?
We’re doing a micro-tour of New York City in October — we’re aiming for 10 shows in the 10th month of the year. We hope to visit Europe and Spain soon — maybe in 2012 when they finally finish that bridge across the Atlantic.
We had to ask… do you like any Spanish musician? Band or solo artist?
How about a Spanish writer? Javier Marias is a badass.
Robbie seems pretty comfortable with this new “project.” Is it compatible with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah?
It’s compatible except when Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is on tour.
If you could choose a band or an artist to play live with, who would it be and why? Any song in particular?
We’d like to do “This Here Giraffe” onstage with the Flaming Lips and an actual giraffe. During the chorus, we’d point to the giraffe and the song would suddenly become incredibly literal. We hate metaphors.
Last question…. Are you happy?
Last answer: When we’re all playing together, yes, we are happy.
Mega Rama has been published by Uninhabited Mansions and is available in your web www.uninhabitablerecords.com. Below, the New Age Dinosaur and Recklessness singles.