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INTERVIEW: RadioBlack

Pic by Samantha Madnick

-Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
We’ve been great. Super busy, but in a good way. Thanks for having us!

-Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Nothing Is Permanent”?
For sure. In a nutshell, the song and video speculate about a day when the world suddenly falls apart around us in an apocalyptic kind of way. All the things we depend on to be there like technology, natural resources, etc. are all gone in the wake of a major disaster.

-Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
It was definitely inspired in part by a tornado that wrecked my hometown and my house several years back. I actually woke up one day with destruction all around me, similar to the way we do in the video. More generally speaking it is inspired by the magnitude of problems we face as a society today and the volatility of so many things in our world right now.

-What was it like filming the music video?
A lot of the b-roll was shot in the aftermath of the tornado I mentioned earlier. I remember feeling like I had to document what was happening and calling up a good friend of mine with a camera. We drove around the area filming and also ended up helping several people in need while we were out there. Later the lightbulb went off that the footage would make for a good music video. The rest of the shoot was really fun – just the band and a one man crew. We brought some whiskey and just had fun with it.

-How was the recording and writing process for the new song and album?
I have to say we were extremely lucky with the sessions for this album. RadioBlack was jumpstarted with a recording session at Studio 606, the Foo Fighters’ private studio. For the first couple songs I didn’t have the band yet so Taylor from the Foo’s, Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction), Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy), Mick Murphy and Jim Rota sat in as my band. Through our producer John Lousteau (Lou) and our assistant engineer Vanessa, I was able to find Derek and Hayato and make it a real band, which was what I wanted. Derek can boast a pretty big credit too, being the founding drummer of Smile Empty Soul. We got to make the rest of the record all around town at The Village, Wishbone Studios, and Ocean Way, and our buddy Jason “Space” Smith put together the mixes. As far as writing goes, I’m a stickler for making the song feel special just with an acoustic guitar. Then these guys come in and really tie it together and make it feel massive.

-How did your love for grunge music start?
I remember I had a good friend growing up who had very mature taste in music when he was only like 7 or 8. I’d go over there for sleepovers and he’d introduce me to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden records. I remember feeling like I was doing something wrong listening to them (laughs), but I was quickly hooked back then and over the years grunge and post-grunge has always been the music I gravitate back toward.

-Are there any other styles you’ll be playing with on the new album?
No! We really think this style needs more attention and needs a breath of fresh air and that’s our mission, for better or worse.

-Are all of the songs socially-driven topics or do any of them take a more personal approach?
Actually most of the songs are more personal. This was a rare “social statement” song for us, born partially out of a personal experience.

-How has this new lineup affected the band’s sound?
I think the sound we’re aiming for is basically the same, but it has evolved / continues to evolve into a more distinctive and more cohesive version of it. I think the subtle tendencies of each player are really what makes a band unique and gives it a true sound, and I really hear that in the more recent tracks. We’re all excited to see how that continues to take shape.

How’s your new album coming along?
It’s coming along great. It’s essentially done, other than a few very minor tweaks. We’ve decided to put it out song by song because that’s really how it came together for us. I think sometimes we (bands) are a little greedy, expecting everyone to drop what they’re doing and focus on a full album. This way hopefully everyone feels like they’re experiencing it at a pace where they can really digest it, and when the full album is out they can enjoy the experience more since there will be more familiarity there.

-Any tentative release date or title in mind?
I would say – tentatively – the album will be out in the spring of 2017. Probably sometime in April. We’re still back and forth on titles, but leaning toward a self-titled album. Some people may see that as a cop out, but when you’re a fairly new band like us, and putting everything you’ve got into the band and wearing so many different hats like we all are, the band name really defines you. It really defines our lives right now and defines this album.

-Any plans to hit the road?

Absolutely – we want to hit the road hard next year and start hitting places other than Southern California. A run out to South by Southwest will probably kick off our touring schedule in 2017.

-What else is happening next in RadioBlack’s world?
We want to release one more single before the end of the year – and we’re also going back in to record an in-studio acoustic performance for about half the songs on the album soon. We’ve got a few music video shoots coming up as well. You can stay up to date on our socials and website.

radioblackband.com
@radioblackband (instagram, twitter, facebook, youtube)

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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