Big shout out to something different! I have to admit – pushing play on this act confused me! At first I had no clue what I was listening to – though I could tell right away that hard work and effort had been put into the structure, music and production. It took several tracks before I got on the inside of the joke and the foundation of seriousness that underlies in Radio Enemy.
A group of four personalities? One musical madman disguised as four? You decide. Talking with this band was a wicked experience – unbeknownst to them yet – we grew up it sounds like right in the same musical heyday. However – I need to make one compelling argument here, upfront right away…at one point soundtracks are discussed and Radio Enemy suggests that the soundtrack to The Crow would be the best of all time…I’d just like it on record that I think they’re either spot on correct OR the Singles soundtrack needs to have a serious side by side listening to determine the overall champion…though the COULD be right on the money – I’m thinking this over…
There’s a lot to like in the music and overall this ain’t no joke. Certainly no middle of the mall shit here. Radio Enemy is making well produced beats that pull you in through excellent storytelling and lyricism. There’s a craft deep at work here, one that comes out of love for what they do and can create – and by which hold the rest of the bands comparatively accountable to. Read this!
Interview with Radio Enemy
SBS: Oh my god. I LOVE what I’m listening but I have NO idea just WHAT I’m listening to yet! I just booted up your website and your track “She” started playing right away (I love it when I hit up websites and that happens!) – the opening guitar is fantastically textured and just an incredible sound. Overall – right away from the production and mix on the vocals I can tell this a very well-produced collection of tracks. “She” sounds like it would be an incredible track to play live – one that could really get the crowd going. How close is the live version to what we hear on the recording? What can we expect overall from a live show with Radio Enemy on stage?
Radio Enemy: F’in A Right Jer! Pershiate the time my brotha! That track “SHE” is one of our favorites. The live performance is as identical as it can probably get to the recorded version. Being musicians for a very long time now, we take HUGE pride on the live performance. We can’t stand seeing a performance that is garbage compared to what is put out on wax to the world. There’s too much fake shit out there. As far as the RADIO ENEMY live performance, it’ is ALL the way live. It’s also where it gets a little tricky. If you didn’t notice when you checked the site out, each of the 4 members look a LOT alike, almost identical even. Just with a different style and head piece.
Certain R.E tracks are written by certain members of the crew. So for instance, the track “SHE” is a Nani Roma composition. Typically he opens the show, plays his hand full of tracks, dips off stage for Siir Ender aka S.E to take over and do his thang. After S.E comes Getha D and so on. Mr Lovable will be present, ukelele in hand. It’s most definitely an experience. We’re here to blow minds like Gary Busey blew coke! BOOM.
SBS: I have to admit – I’m multiple songs in and I can’t HEAR that this isn’t taking itself seriously. Despite the pictures on the main site – the lyrics don’t completely reflect “joke” rap like say, The Lonely Island does – this is somewhere in between. Enjoyable – comical moments that drift in and out of the seriousness. A track like “Voices” is a perfect example of that. This is a pretty Rage Against The Machine inspired beat and musical track is it not? I’m thinking you’ll agree on that…
That’s a hole that’s never truly been filled since they left wouldn’t you say? One that was potentially vital and important to the world – one that when you hear a track like that you wonder if Radio Enemy couldn’t potentially fill that spot…thoughts?
Radio Enemy: Ahh Snap! RATM has been a big influence and yes the composition is very much inspired by them. “Voices” was actually written lyrically inside a cubical at an old 9-5 of mine. I used to collect on peoples debts. One of the worst jobs ever, or at least that I’ve ever had. That song is a very descriptive day to day play book while working in that hell hole. From when I awoke, up to when I would clock out. N yes I would most definitely agree that once Rage left the scene, there has been nothing like it since. I remember catching Audioslave and was beyond disappointed. Not that it wasn’t good, it’s just Zach De La was the voice behind that band. The music was still RAGE but with Cornell behind the mic, it didn’t rub me the right way. Cornell is good; he just doesn’t fit the glove with Rage like Z to the D does.
SBS: Rage had a TON to say about society and the state of the world – a lot of the lyrics from these tracks are lighter in sentiment but again coming back to “Voices” – you can hear that serious side creeping in more and more lyrically. Does Radio Enemy have a lot to say through the music or are they here more to simply provide a groove and wicked time listening to it?
Radio Enemy: The RADIO ENEMY most def has a lot to say and the message for the most part is on the serious tip. Not saying that there isn’t and won’t be any “funnier” type jokester tracks, but I speak a lot on past personal experiences in hopes to relate to the masses. I think it’s important to be relevant and to speak on things that I know others have experienced in one way or another. For instance, “Walkin Shoes” is more of a comedy track (although I do have a weird shoe fetish) while “SHE” is me speaking on my experiences with the “Devil.” I’ve done a lot of dirt and bad things in the past that I believe were driven by what people would say is “evil.” You can hear a lot about my past through the lyrical content. We also try our best to write our music compositions to match the emotion of the lyrical content and vice versa. I like to think we seem to do it fairly well……
SBS: Steel drums in “Walkin Shoes” – perhaps they’re digital simulations but the fact remains that musically Radio Enemy can flip through genres and take on pretty much anything. Still – I can’t help but wonder just HOW that goes for you. What I mean is this: When people hear a rapper rapping – doesn’t it just become “rap” to them? As in the one and all encompassing genre? Cause I have to say I would think that would be the reality though musically it’s almost unfair! Give me an example of what other people have told you your music sounds like and how do you yourselves view it genre-wise?
Radio Enemy: Yes indeed those steel drums are digital – added in production. With each member being influenced from complete different genres of music, it allows us to really create whatever we feel at the time of creation. Music is really all about the moment and what is being felt at that very time. Often times I’ll come with a lyrical idea and then sculpt the music to it. As far as Walkin Shoes, some people would just consider it a rapper rapping, but what they don’t know is that very same rapper will also smash on the guitar while spitting those raps with a full band. We like to keep it all the way live unlike the typical rappers you see perform nowadays. We really try to separate ourselves from the norm. As far as what we sound like, we hear a lot of different comparisons from listeners. People have the tendency to compare us to something else based off of one song. When I describe it, it’s straight Funk/Rock/Jazz/HipHop or whatever it is you want! You will hear a lot of different genres come through in the R.E crew.
SBS: OK! Hold up. I just “met you” on your site at http://www.radioenemy.com. That was……well it was…..uh…..hmmm…..let’s just say it helped me get to know your band lol. Getha D is like, speaking to me right at this moment – but for real you know? You talk about influences – and mention The Cure right away and then Portishead….the list continues and goes on with Prince and Marvin Gaye etc. Getha D – BIG shout out to you my man – I’m a huge fan of The Cure especially and listen to the others you mentioned relentlessly as well. We got the same taste my friend! You’re younger than I am and slightly less bearded but I always think it’s cool that people can arrive at the same place musically without age being a factor. You say you all come from a blend of musical styles and influences to form and create the music of Radio Enemy – but what initially got you all into music at all? Where did it come from?
Radio Enemy: Ha! Getha D is the Guy. The ladies love him. We got into music around the young age of 13. I remember vividly it was around the time when Pearl Jam was at their peak. The Cobain era. I also remember it was the same time the film “The Crow” hit the theaters – which by the way is by far the greatest movie soundtrack of all time. It was actually my oldest brother’s best boy that had a major influence on me picking up the guitar. That guitar chest piece of mine is the actual American Strat that was given to me by him. My folks got me a used Yamaha acoustic for my 13th birthday, I swooped up the Pearl Jam “Ten” tab book and 16 years later here we are, full force as RADIO ENEMY. It’s funny cause the first CD I ever owned at the age of 10 was Too Short’s “Get in where you fit in.” My buddy’s mom ended up trashing it. I was pretty upset. My favorite record of ALL time is the RHCP Blood Sugar Sex Magic. Something about that record just doesn’t give up. We get down with everything………just not country….
SBS: Actually – now that I notice it – there’s not a single beard here! I can see a lot of shadow gentlemen – but C’MON. A band of four and not ONE beard? I’ve mentioned to my crew on this side about pre-screening our interviews to make sure they’re bearded-interviews but it looks like you’ve slipped through the cracks! Why you hatin on chin hairs yo?
Radio Enemy: Ha! I like ur style but we def don’t hate on the hair. We keep the ass hair burly cause it’s not a bother but for some reason we get hit with the fuckin itches after the face hair hits a certain length. And it kinda grows in patches. Very similar to Keanu Reeves when he tries to grow face hair; it just doesn’t work but he gets an E for effort fo sho!
SBS: Whatever the reason – we’re cool. I liked the original correspondence with you & talking about Mike Tyson – who you said was your collective hero. How did he get that honor of distinction from you all – what kind of character traits does he possess that you admire and how did he go about displaying those in a way you could see them and draw influence from?
Radio Enemy: We like to think that RADIO ENEMY holds very similar characteristics as those of Mike’s. Although we don’t like to think we’re half retarded in any way, the guy is a beast. I’ll never forget watching him as a kid. He was destroying grow men as a teenager. He was very unfortunate as he was taken extreme advantage of and lost everything. Although he is a beast, he’s got a huge heart. When you see him now, in interviews and whatnot, the guys loves to joke around. He likes to have fun in any situation. With that said, he will not allow to be disrespected without destroying. He is strong like Bull, yet soft like Teddy.
SBS: Alright – right after the Mike Tyson part of the conversation and in reference to your live show it says this: “It’ll eat yo children.” I’ve heard of giving up their first born child to see a show but never a show that would eat someone’s kids! That’s a hell of a descriptive tag line but let’s see if you can back it up! What in the hell do you MEAN by that exactly?
Radio Enemy: We definitely aren’t trying to eat anyone’s children. We love kids. What I mean by that is our goal, as live performers, is to have the viewer leaving a performance in awe like “what the fuck was that?! That was the coolest shit I’ve seen in a long, long, time!”
SBS: For the record I hope you’re not too hungry – cause I got nothing for ya – no kids here. You come to sleepingbagstudios gentlemen it’s to make music! Tell me about where you guys all get together to practice and jam – what’s that place look like and why is it the best place for you to make your music? What makes it comfortable for you to let loose in?
Radio Enemy: Our sesh space is about a 20 by 20 foot basement room laced with sound foam and black curtains covering every wall. The lights are kept low. We like black and we don’t like bright light. Our PA system throbs too. It’s really not necessary but whatever, we like getting loud. All of the actual writing and recording is done in my basement. Logic 9 with a MacBook Pro, 1 preamp, 4 guitars, a midi controller and a vocal mic set up in the concrete corner is all this team needs – for now at least. It works. I mean what you hear isn’t all that bad is it? It’s funny cause we pay a lot of attention to other groups here in the city. The hip hop/rap cats especially like to floss these 100 thousand dollar studios that they produce mediocre productions with. I do it all except for the live drum recordings in a shit hole space and still turn product that clowns these phony rappers. We laugh……….(like buffalo bill would say) AAARRRRRRRRRRRDDDD!
SBS: Alright – I tried. I want you to KNOW I tried. I made it this far after “meeting you” through the videos before I asked…what is up with Mr. Lovable? What is a day on our planet like through the eyes of this guy?
Radio Enemy: You had to go there didn’t you? Ha! Mr. Lovable is only tolerated in increments. The guy is a complete lover yet at the same time a complete creeper. He’s see’s the absolute best in everything. Probably the most positive guy you’ll ever meet. You’d really like him! Everyone needs a little positive influence on their squad and he’s our guy. We have fun with him. In increments that is……..
SBS: And Nani Roma! Holy shit guys! I mean….straight up don’t even bother mentioning this interview to him cause I don’t want to get him riled up! Is it even possible for your fans to get close to this guy?
Radio Enemy: Nani isn’t always that angry, he actually just had a blow out with his girl before he stepped in front of cam. He just needed a good hump sesh and he was golden. At least as golden as he can get. He’s definitely the most negative of the group. He’s got a short fuse that’s for sure. He gets along well with the fans but as soon as someone gets stupid, he gets as real as real can get. He’s a little scrapper that Nani…
SBS: Always interested in things I don’t know – especially words. At the end of your initial contact with me you closed with “Pershiate Cha” – what’s that mean and where does it come from? How much do other cultures influence the music you’re making?
Radio Enemy: Pershiate Cha is a BoogieBonics interpretation of “I appreciate you.” A good boy of ours went to the south to wrestle crocodiles and came back hootin n hollerin that shit. It’s been quite the expression for years now. You know I never really thought of a culture being an influence to the music. I did have the opportunity to open as main support for Arrested Development. They had these African boombada shaekwons doing the African booty shake and man did they work it. I was pretty influenced by that at the moment. Apologies if I sometime make no sense. It happens.
SBS: Siir Ender (AKA S.E.) and Getha D mention production – I might have missed it in the other two videos from the crew – but tell me about that cause you obviously have tremendous skills in mixing all kinds of styles of music – so – self-taught? Schooled-up?
Radio Enemy: We all work and help with production as we are all self-taught as well. Trial & error I would call it. We most definitely have a whole lot of learning in ahead of us but having the ability to do what we can on our own totally fits in our budget. Ha. We all we wish we had the paper to mix and master tracks with the big boys but for now, we do what we can. Eddie Fisher, the drummer for One Republic (he’s the one drumming on the track “You Ain’t”) is a buddy of mine. They happen to be Interscope’s most profitable act on their label from the start of 2012 to present day. He says they spend up to 50 stacks on mastering a record. That shit is crazy to me. I do my mastering for nothing but I guess the difference if heard. That would be dope to say I spent 50 on mastering tho…..
SBS: Can the production itself be an art form? Share your views on that.
Radio Enemy: Production is most definitely an art form. Often times I’ll spend hours upon hours trying to get a mix right. With the recording programs these days there is so much that can be done to take something that sounds alright to a whole new level. Having an ear for shit is super important in production and the final stages of creation. I’ve observed a few techniques from multiple engineers that have helped me along the way. You can tell just by hearing a piece if the engineer behind it is “on top of it” or “on stop…. That. Shit.” Ha.
SBS: All your tracks are available for downloading! LOVE IT! Tell me why you’ve chosen to spread the musical love for free! Was that something you were all able to easily agree on?
Radio Enemy: Free is for eva mo betta! Not everyone will pay but everyone will take. It’s more important to us to get our shit out to the world than it is to make a few dollars. At this point we say fuck it. In the end, the big money is gonna come from playing across the globe as well as us doing our thing independently. The last thing we want to do is sign over the ownership to our shit for a boost to what is already there. In fact, we won’t. We refuse. Slug said it best…….”Fuck a major label til it limps! Put that deal up on the table and we’ll show you who’s the Pimp!” We like that guy.
SBS: Give us some short term stuff – what’s coming up for Radio Enemy in the near future?
Radio Enemy: Well…….. We have high plans and big ambitions to be playing in Japan 1 year from now. We want them to love us long time! We are constantly working to perfect our performance. We strive for the individual response of “Oh shit! That? That was legit!” We plan to be over in Canada soon too ‘n you better believe we’re comin through SBS to get fuckin silly! (*Jer’s Note: ACCEPTED!)
SBS: Getha D – I’m coming back to this thing about us liking The Cure man….I’m wondering if you wanna do a Top 5 with me! Here’s mine – starting with #5 for top songs of all time by The Cure…
#5 – The Same Deep Water As You
#4 – To Wish Impossible Things
#3 – Out Of This World
#2 – From The Edge Of The Deep Green Sea
#1 – Treasure
#5 – Love Song
#4 – Pictures of You
#3 – To Wish Impossible Things
#2 – Lullaby (Acoustic Session)
#1 – Burn
SBS: Rap-rock in general has had a tough time since Fred Durst and his crew beat the concept to death back in the day. Will it have an easy rise back to the forefront of the mainstream? Is that even something you think about in Radio Enemy is it simply not a concern?
Radio Enemy: That’s really not something that gets much thought. We feel that as long as the music is the shit and the lyrical content is right there with it, it shouldn’t be a hold back. Fortunately that’s not all we have up our sleeves. It’s gonna get interesting and weird all at the same time. I have heard a few others try to do the rap/rock thing and not make it work. I think that there needs to be more of it, but only if it’s done right.
SBS: Between the four of you – what would you say the common denominator is? What is it about you all that makes it so easy to get along with each other and do what you do? What will keep you together over time?
Radio Enemy: You know…. we are all really very much alike. We also know when enough is enough. We all love what each and every one brings to the table. Everyone is very open. No feelings really get hurt but sometimes we’ll catch Mr. Lovable tearing up over in the corner. Sometimes it’s simple tears of joy and other times it’s tears of heartache. Either way it doesn’t help the situation. Especially with Nani’s insensitive ass.
SBS: I want to thank you guys very much for finding us and taking the time to do this interview with SBS. Totally liked the music and I’ll be listening again in the future – there’s no doubt! No telling what direction that you’ll take it in, so I know there will always be something there to capture my interest. We end these interviews with our traditional “open floor” for you to say or shout out anything we missed or you wanted to cover further. Have at it my friends – the floor is yours – and thank you again for your time.
Radio Enemy: BOOM! We thank you as well for doing this entertaining interview with us! We really do hope to share the same space some day in the future. We get silly! To any one that reads this, we fuckin love you! Now GO get ALL of our music FREEEEE @ www.RadioEnemy.com. We spend a lot time doin what we do. All we ask in return is a couple minutes or yours to download all of our shit!! SO DO IT! Hope we cross paths with EVERYONE, one day, some time, somehow, some way! PERSHIATE ALL OF YA!!!
– RADIO ENEMY