Interviews · music

Music Interviews : Simple Radicals

1. Would you guys please introduce yourselves and explain your role in the band?

The Simple Radicals is a retro-rock band from Chicago that consists of John Malkin (vocals/guitar), John Griffin (lead guitar), Griff Johnson (drums) and James Page (bass).

2. Where did you guys meet and how did you form this band?

I (John Malkin) developed the concept and wrote the songs last year for the “New Revolution” album and began laying down the construct of the songs in the studio such as the rhythms, lead beds, drums and vocal tracks. I reached out to my fellow Radical John Griffin who I played in a band with a few years ago and asked if he would listen to the tracks and consider laying down the leads. He loved the tracks and laid down some incredible shreds and the rest is history. We brought in Griff and James and The Simple Radicals was formed.

3. What kind of music do you make or would like to make in the future?

We combine the sounds and styles from some of our favorite classic/alt-rock bands like Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Green Day and Cheap Trick. If you like any of those bands then I think you’ll like our sound.

4. What do you enjoy the most about the process of making music together?

There really is nothing more gratifying than getting a group of musicians together to collaborate on a song or an album, laying the track down and then performing live.

5. What are some of your favourite themes to explore through your music?

I hate to sound so cliché, but I really explore the things and issues that are near and dear to my heart or affecting those that are close to me. “New Revolution” is our most personal and poignant project we’ve ever done. These are such deep-hearted issues in my life and for many others that the words and music came to me literally in the form of pictures and images. I just needed to figure out how to best express them and put them down on paper and then on an album.

6. Who are some artists that you love or who you’d say has had a huge influence on your work?

Eddie Vedder is my musical hero. I’m mesmerized with his writing and try to capture the messaging, passion and energy that he does in his songs. If I can even come within a million miles of that I’d consider it a success. Pearl Jam’s “Ten” album was life changing. Probably the most talented, electrifying and inspiring band in the last 30 years. Other bands that have influenced include Foo Fighters, Tom Petty, Pink Floyd, Green Day and Cheap Trick.

7. Where can someone looking for your music, find it?

You can check us out on:

Spotify:      https://open.spotify.com/album/4rgBmqnv7h3p5gYPGjiXfU

YouTube:   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2rmuHn02XI1CIphHvmh-Vg

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/thesimpleradicals

Twitter:    http://twitter.com/simpleradicals

Instagram:  http://instagram.com/simpleradicals.

8. What’s your favourite part about touring/ doing live performances?

We love to perform live and our fans know that. We feed off their energy and passion and try to give it right back to them in the way we play our music. We also try to interact with the audience as much as we can since our songs are so personal to many. There is nothing more rewarding than watching people lose themselves in your music. It’s intoxicating.

9. What kind of message would you like to give your fans, through your music?

Ultimately, we’re trying to convey a refreshing change from the clichés that currently permeates rock with music and lyrics that aim to both observe and reimagine the current state of affairs in the world today. We try to capture through our music and convey to our fans what’s really going on in society with poignant lyrics and straight-from-the-heart energy.

10. Where do you guys see yourselves in the future, or what are your future plans for the band?

Our goal is to play live as soon as the apocalypse is over. But until then, we have a lot going on and coming up. We continue to push our album, “New Revolution”. We just released a song and video called “Rich Man Wanna Be King” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehjT9RZdpe4) which provides a scathing lampoon of President Trump. It was just released on YouTube and it’s already racked up 200,000 views and climbing. Our video “New Revolution” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY7cm3-1m7E) has already racked up over 60,000 views and climbing.  We’re about to release a wicked cover version of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” where we collaborated with an incredible husband/wife team called Che-Val. We’ll be releasing a quarantine video to our song “The Optimist”. And we’re about to release a podcast called “Music & A Brew” where we crack open a cold one with musical artists including Kenny Aronoff (drummer for John Mellencamp and tons of others), Todd Sucherman (Styx), Vernon Reid (Living Colour), Daxx Nielsen (Cheap Trick), and Jackie “the Joke Man” Martling from the Howard Stern Show. 

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