The Radio Beats

The Radio Beats are from Pittsburgh, PA (via West Virginia), and they play lots of rock'n'roll. I had the pleasure of meeting them when they played here in Buffalo a few weeks ago, and found them to be upstanding young gentlemen of the very funny variety. They're an energetic live band with some chops onstage, and almost equally entertaining off the stage. They bent a lot of people spokes, drank a lot of beer, invited me to Pittsburgh to egg Tom Savini's PT Cruiser, rocked like hell, appeared to have a shitload of fun, and were actually very grateful just to be there. Now that's class. They have an LP due out any second now on Big Neck, which they recorded at Steveland with Baise himself to follow their "Blow You Up" EP. Yes, they have the Dogs seal of approval from both Stevie and Andy G. (Mighty Joe was unavailable for comment), but please don't write them off as mere Devil Dogs apers. They're much more than that, but I'll let the band (or at least Steve) do the talking. Our man in Florida, Troy Canady, caught up with master sandwich eater and bass/vocal Radio Beat Steve for a little Q&A.

TB:So when and why did the band start?
Steve: The band started in December of 2002, I believe. We were already playing together, but we just jumped out of the gate with a new name and a more rock n' roll sound. I guess because we wanted to do what we were listening to and be money.

TB:What are the band's influences?
Steve: We are influenced by any great rock n' roll band. Devil Dogs, Spaceshits, Teengenerate, Dwarves, and all kinds of stuff. Everyone in the band likes a lot of different stuff, but it's all rock n' roll, really, and nothing lame.

TB:The band before the Radio Beats was the All-stars, right?
Steve: Yeah, we were just your run of the mill Mutant Pop style pop-punk band. We had fun. Nothing special.

TB:It seems a lot of kids who were in pop-punk bands go into emo or hardcore, what is your view on this change and why did you go in the direction that you went in?
Steve: I think it's definitely true. Most of them turn into wannabe Turbonegro boners, or they play in bands with neck-high guitars and just generally suck balls. I mean, there's always been great rock n' roll out there. The Ramones were rock n' roll, so there's always something influencing them. It just so happened we found out about the bands that were still playing real rock n' roll.

TB:Are there any bands that you like that you wouldn’t really want anyone to know that you like?
Steve: I love stoner rock. I don't care what anyone says. I am listening to Sleep play a one hour-long song as we do this interview.

TB: How did you hook up with Big Neck Records?
Steve: We recorded six songs in my garage and sent a CD-R to ten labels who put out good records already. We thought the songs were good, so we were hoping to hear back from somebody. Greg Lowery from Rip Off Records thought we sounded too much like the Devil Dogs, Danny from Alien Snatch Records said we needed to mature, Fred from Zaxxon Virile Action Records said our recording sounded like shit, and no one else even responded. Bart Hart from Big Neck Records took a chance and emailed me three days later. There you have it.

TB:Has the band got any other offers from other labels?
Steve: Nope. Not a one.

TB:So what would you say to people who think the Radio Beats are just Devil Dogs wannabes?
Steve: Go ask Andy G. and Steve Baise if we are. Anyone who listens to the fucking record can't say we're ripping them off, I mean, yes, they're my favorite band, but come on. I like other bands, too. What do YOU think?

TB:What kind of recording gear did Steve Baise use for your recording?
Steve: He used an old 16-track analog board with a 1" tape machine, then he had a Marshall 100W and a Fender MusicMan combo amp. I don't know anything about gear or recording, so that's the best I can do.

TB:How long did the actual recording take?
Steve: Tracking everything took about twelve hours or so. Mixing took three or four. We were in and out in about almost two days.

TB:Why did you do an Angry Samoans cover?
Steve: We were sitting in the studio scrolling through me and Pat's I-Pod's trying to think of a cover song because the one we wanted to do didn't turn out real well. We get to the Samoans and someone says "'Lights Out'?" and then Steve Baise goes, "that'd be fuckin' awesome if you did that". So we learned it right there and recorded it about ten minutes later.

TB:Are there any funny stories from that weekend?
Steve: Jesus Christ, yeah. As soon as we show up three hours late, I made fun of Steve's headband from 1981. That opened the floodgates. We were slagging each other all weekend and it was hilarious. He would call me a queer and I would call him a zombie old man or something like that. And he got me so high that I basically cleared out a Waffle House at 3 AM. Also, he and I drank the entire weekend, but he started as soon as he walked in the door. I waited about three hours. So it was a good match, plenty of tension and hilarity.

TB:When will the LP be out?
Steve: I would guess late October/early November at the earliest, but if it takes till December then that's the way it goes.

TB:Are you gonna do any touring to support the LP?
Steve: Yeah, we just gotta figure out where we're gonna have the money to go, but if it all works out, early next year we'll hit the road and get it going. Europe is where we wanna go, but the Midwest is the option that is always there. Everything's real close to us, so we could do a week out there easy. But we'll go wherever we can. Now that we'll have a CD to sell instead of singles, maybe we won't be eating gas station ham.

TB:So do people treat you any different now that you have a record out...do the girls come running up to you now?
Steve: No one in Pittsburgh cares we have a single out or an LP coming out, I think. We're considered elitist sexist assholes with bad attitudes. Whatever. You can think whatever you want while I use your money to buy a sandwich.

TB:Speaking of girls, who gets the most action in the band? Why are you guys considered sexist?
Steve: We get people pretty pissed off at us because I talk about getting head while we're onstage. Feminists wanted to rip my head off a few weeks ago. We also cover "Get On Your Knees" by the Devil Dogs live, which can cause some pretty hilarious responses.

TB:Do you guys play out much and when you do what kind of response do you usually get?
Steve: We have been playing out a lot lately. We make a few new fans every time and we have some supportive friends. I'd say we do OK. It just depends what kind of bill we're on. We always do well with a bar crowd.

TB:So if you could form a band, who would be in the lineup?
Steve: I'd just make us Andy G, Steve Baise, or Mark Sultan's backup band. I can't recall any "amazing" garage drummers or bassists. We'd be so fucking good.

TB:Umm, Steve, I meant you wouldn’t be in the band.
Steve: Oh well fuck this question then. Ha ha.

TB:What other new bands have you been digging on?
Steve: Baseball Furies may be my favorite band going right now, I also like Andy G and the Roller Kings. The Ponys are doing some cool stuff, too. I am not into the whole art-damaged scene. I love the Leg Hounds and Firestarter, too. I also really want the BBQ LP. Oh! The Fevers!!! I can't forget about them.

TB:So who is the worst band out right now?
Steve: Umm. Shit. I dunno. I really don't like a lot of stuff. I am not afraid to talk trash, but there are so many bad bands that it's hard. I'd say 99% of the bands in Pittsburgh suck shit. And 100% of the bands in West Virginia.

TB:A certain writer for MRR who happens to be mentally retarded said that Radios Appear is better than LAMF by Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers. Which is better: LAMF or Radios Appears?
Steve: I like Thunders better than Radio Birdman.

TB:Who would win in a death match: Devil Dogs or Teengenerate?
Steve: The Devil Dogs, hands-down.

TB:Wrong!!!...The Rip Offs would come in and wipe the floor with both of them.
Steve: I laugh at such a statement. And I love the Rip-Offs.

TB:Any last words?
Steve: Yeah. From now on, all my interviews are about Prince. I just wanna talk about Purple Rain now.

TB:Alright...so what's better…Sign o’ the Times or Dirty Mind?
Steve: Dude, "Raspberry Beret", "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man", and "Take Me With You" are his three best songs. Out of those two, I'd choose Dirty Mind, I think. That's a tough call.


Thanks to Troy and Steve. Like I said, their LP should be out any minute on Big Neck (which means December or so in Bart time), but check out their EP and split-single until then. And if they come to your town, make sure to check them out. And buy them a few beers while your at it.

Interview by Troy Canady
Pics courtesy of somebody the band knows
Radio Beats Official Site: www.rocknrollreaction.com