5 Questions | A Radkey Interview

Being teenagers in a small town and jamming along to all the guitar riffs is a surefire way to becoming punk AF, and Missouri three-piece Radkey is certainly no exception. These three brothers were home schooled by incredibly supportive parents, and have taken their high energy, riff-driven garage punk sound from their bedrooms to the big stages.

Getting their start in 2010 in St. Joseph, Missouri, the band quickly gained a reputation as a trio that wasn’t afraid to make a statement at their live shows. Before they knew it, they were opening for big bands like Red Fang and Against Me!, proving that their home-grown punk rock was destined for far more than the local underground. Because you know we love great sounds and even better stories, the FRET12 crew made a point to rendezvous with the young power trio when they were slated to make an appearance at Chicago’s Riot Fest. Here's the full transcript of our Radkey interview:

💥 Q1: I met a Radkey fan here today with a glow-in-the-dark Radkey tee shirt and when I mentioned I was interviewing you guys he told me to ask about your videos. As it happens, the first time I heard your music was when the music video for “Glore” was featured on Adult Swim’s “off the air." What went into the making of that video and what was your involvement?

ISAIAH: It was really cool, our buddy Nicos, he hit us up, he played in a band called Throne and he recently actually did Iron Maiden’s new music video. And he hit us up and he wanted to do a music video for “Glore.” And we were like sweet. So he said, “we’re gonna do claymation, and he asked us to send a long list of things that we love and like things that we hate. So things from like data corruption and cartoons that we didn’t like to things that we love like Nintendo 64 and Regular Show, stuff like that. So that’s pretty much how it went together. Then he went and took that list and made a huge thing out of it.”

💥 Q2: You guys seem to have a lot of influences outside of music. What are your biggest non-musical influences and do any of those influences filter through into your music? 

ISAIAH: We were always big anime fans and, like, “Romance Dawn” is a song about this anime One Piece we’ve always loved. And yeah, we do a lot of things like comic books, and movies and video games, we play a lot of Destiny 2. We play a lot of stuff and a lot of different things filter in and then we get to go out and go crazy on the road. 

DEE: Yeah, we have a lot of influences musically. The Ramones, Weezer, Foo Fighters are a big influence, stuff like that! 

💥 Q3: So speaking of the Foo Fighters, you’ve mentioned in the past that “Monkeywrench” was the song that made you want to go out and play music. What was it like to share a stage with this huge idol of yours? 

ISAIAH: It was crazy because we watched them side-stage every night and it was really surreal, because we had grown up listening to their music. And so, we know every one of those songs they played live. And so it’s crazy seeing a band where you know every single song. Getting the endorsement from a band like them that you grew up with was really sweet and we just feel really awesome about it and it was an amazing time.

What was it like, as a professional drummer, to tour with someone like Dave Grohl?

SOLOMON: Man, yeah, that was really cool. But just seeing that band play in general was just crazy to see every night.

💥 Q4: You guys are known for being very prolific on the road. You’re all pros at touring at this point — do you have any tips for up-and-coming groups who are trying to figure it out?

ISAIAH: I would say to just play as many shows as possible and make sure to play out of town as much as you can. And when you’re first starting out you get to play the same spots pretty often, so take advantage of the amount of time you have to hone your skills live because that’s the most important for real. And like, you know, work on your songwriting as much as you can. Yeah that’s pretty much the best thing to do.

💥 Q5: Last one, if you couldn’t be musicians, for whatever reason, what would you be?

ISAIAH: I think I’d be an actor probably.

DEE: An interpreter.

SOLOMON: I’d be a video game streamer or something.

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