The Simple Radicals of Chicago are making an appearance for an interview on the blog today. They have been busy making new music, drinking beer and making podcasts. Maybe someday my cat, Manny Pacquiemeow, and I can flip roles with the Simple Radicals by being their guest. Road trip with Manny!
Please welcome the Simple Radicals!
Where have you been staying in 2021?
I’ve been out east near New York City. My fellow Radical John Griffin is in Chicago. But we’ve still been able to work together on new material and keep moving the band forward.
What have you been doing during times of quarantine?
We’ve actually been quite busy as a band even though we can’t play live yet. We continue to push our album, “New Revolution” (https://open.spotify.com/album/4rgBmqnv7h3p5gYPGjiXfU) which has the guitar-God Vernon Reid from the band Living Colour playing lead on the track “Medicate”. We 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’s already racked up 190,000 views and climbing. We just released a wicked cover version of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”.
And, we have a podcast show called “Music & A Brew” where we crack open a cold one with musical artists. Our first show was with world-class drummer Kenny Aronoff (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1np3s_EoBA&t=2110s). Our next show is with Todd Sucherman from the band Styx.
Have you found or re-found any hobbies?
Is sleeping later a hobby? If it is then I should turn pro.
What have you been listening to lately?
I’ve actually been spending a lot of time listening to Tom Petty. I’m a huge Petty fan and I’ve been paying a lot more attention to his song writing style and how he writes and uses bridges in his songs. It’s a fantastic combination of simplicity and complexity that has produced some of the most incredible music.
Has your songwriting process changed this year?
It really hasn’t changed dramatically although not playing live has given me more time to write. I see a lot of images and moods when I write. Certain chord progressions, finger pickings and riffs often direct me on how the song is constructed and then the lyrics start to flow. It’s a bizarre process but it works for me. I actually write a lot of my songs on an acoustic guitar. Even riffs such as the songs “New Revolution” and “Medicate”. I feel that if it sounds good on an acoustic then it’s going to sound even better when plugged in. 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” (https://open.spotify.com/album/4rgBmqnv7h3p5gYPGjiXfU) is my most personal and poignant project I’ve ever done.
Is there any message that you would like to convey to fans or soon-to-be fans?
We’re a retro-rock and roll band that combines sounds and styles from some of our favorite classic rock bands like Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Green Day and Cheap Trick. If you like those bands then I think you will like our sound. You can check us out on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/4rgBmqnv7h3p5gYPGjiXfU and YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2rmuHn02XI1CIphHvmh-Vg and follow us on http://facebook.com/thesimpleradicals, http://twitter.com/simpleradicals, and http://instagram.com/simpleradicals.
What is something positive that has happened to you during 2021?
If I can find one good thing during the apocalypse it’s been spending more time with my family. And thankfully we all still like each other.