“Get drunk, take drugs & fuck strangers.” - Parting words of wisdom after Radkey’s incredible Coachella set. We hope the rest of the festival treated them right.
Rock & roll made a comeback at Coachella this year, featuring many unexpected acts in the line-up, including the Missouri punk band Radkey. The band consists of the Radke brothers (the band name was coined after their family surname), Isaiah (19, bass), Solomon (17, drums) and Dee (21, guitar/vox). Although young in age, they have a tight and intensely mature sound that will melt your faces and has been impressing rock critics from the LA Times to the The Guardian.
The Radke family is tight-knit. The boys even still sleep in the same room they grew up in. They were homeschooled growing up (until they dropped out to tour the world…) and both parents have been extremely supportive of having touring rockstar children. In fact their dad is their manager. “It makes things a lot easier! We never know where we’re going; I wouldn't even know where to go after this interview if our dad wasn’t here.”
Radkey has been a project for about the last five years (aka since Solomon was 12 years old, for perspective). Growing up, the brothers were collectively influenced by music like Nirvana, The Ramones, Led Zeppelin, Weezer, Foo Fighters, and their affinity for rock and roll is apparent from their opening notes and mind blowing live show. They recorded their anticipated full length debut in Sheffield, England, and it is to be released in late July of this year via Little Man Records.
They have an incredible live energy and dance around the stage, lying on their backs ripping guitar solos and sing power-stanced at the mic. Their fast paced punk grit, fluid guitar riffs and drum patterns, earned the attention of everyone in the Mojave tent and left us all wanting more. They’re young, crazy good musicians and have a long career ahead of them. You can quote us on that.
Other than the album release, do you have any other current projects coming up?
We did a “Feed My Brain” video recently, and we’re just trying to figure out when to put it out.
What do you like most about the music that you make, and what do you think is lacking from music today?
Balls. Loud guitar music. It’s nowhere - I don’t see it anywhere. Heavy shit - there’s no catchy rock music anymore. There’s just catchy-ness with no balls. It needs to be catchy and hard.
Basically we just want to put rock and roll back on top. It’s nowhere right now and it needs to be back. And there are a lot of other bands helping us out on this quest. But that’s the mission.
You recorded your Cat & Mouse EP under Adrien Grenier’s label Wreckroom Records; did you watch Entourage?
Yes, haha we thought we’d pay our respects and watch the whole show before we did it. If we didn’t, it would just be a dick move, haha. It’s a funny show.
You guys have such an awesome live energy, how do you go about recreating your songs for a live show?
I don’t know, that’s tough. We worked with this dude Ross Orten, and he basically knew how to get everything perfect tone-wise and knew how to capture the vibe where we hadn’t quite captured it before. So this album will sound really different.
Who were you most excited to share the Coachella bill with?
Steely Dan is number one. Jack White will be cool, Angel Olsen, St. Vincent, Wavves - that’s some trippy shit. Touche Amore, they’re buddies. So many bands.
You are all super young compared to a lot of other bands on the bill, what’s that like?
Aw man, it’s annoying. We got invited to this weed party and Solomon didn’t get to fucking go. We were really depressed about it. So yeah, it sucks. But it’s fun, but it’s just annoying sometimes. We just need some fake IDs or something, but I wouldn’t know where to get them, haha.
What’s your songwriting process like?
It’s kind of like every way it can go. Sometimes D will have a riff or a melody, or even Solomon will have something he’s jamming that we’ll give a try.
What’s the music scene like in Missouri?
It’s pretty cool in Kansas City… In Saint Joseph, where we’re originally from it’s got a little work to do, haha.
Is there much of what you guys do out there? Much of a scene for your type of music?
It’s been cool in Kansas City. They didn’t take us in in St. Joe very fast. They didn’t let us play a gig once because they thought we were rappers. And then they booked some band that sings about 1 and 2 and butt-fucking instead. 2 Live Crew.
How was it recording in the UK? What’s the response over there been like?
It was amazing! It’s so much different than over here, it’s like we’re a real band there. They really appreciate rock music there.
Favorite brunch spot?
We haven’t eaten a lot of brunch around here!
Ok, and second part of this question - which we’re not sure if you’re even allowed to answer - is bloody mary’s or mimosas?
I don’t think I’ve had either of those… But we drink all the time, haha.