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Class of 2018: Radattack

If there’s one thing to learn when it comes to scouring Columbus for new music: Don’t let age blind your vision. And should you be blurry-eyed, discouraged about the current state of music, don’t let that ailment add to any post-30s denouement. Judging from what’s been seen and done in these pages by the likes [...]
Kevin J. Elliott

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If there’s one thing to learn when it comes to scouring Columbus for new music: Don’t let age blind your vision.

And should you be blurry-eyed, discouraged about the current state of music, don’t let that ailment add to any post-30s denouement. Judging from what’s been seen and done in these pages by the likes of Cherry Chrome, Inner Mikey, Stems, or the cadre of young hip-hop entrepreneurs who were featured a few seasons ago—youth is not wasted on the young. Not in the slightest.

And just as that sentiment sinks in and the audience starts to read it as fact, in walks Radattack, with a hyper-simulacrum of the rock and roll revival that was felt when the yoked were genuinely frightened of Y2K. They’ve already sold out local shows, got prime-time slots on CD102.5, jaunts to Brooklyn, a manager, and some pretty plausible stage names—including Henry and Leonard Velour, Eric Duke, and Nicholas Von Salvador. This, and 3/4 of the band have yet to even enter their senior year of high school. This summer, instead of unearthing the last vestiges of adolescence one learns in that particular edge-of-seventeen transition, the band will instead be carpet-bombing festival crowds at Nelsonville and Yellow Springs with an indomitable spirit and a confidence that’s rarely seen in bands so green.

“We had a strategy of how we wanted to implement everything, how we wanted to get hype, to get people to the shows, how we wanted to record our stuff,” says Velour, the guitarist and vocalist responsible for the entirety of Radattack’s songwriting and sonic palette. “There was just a natural energy when we started (only about six months ago) and I think that was a culmination of all the experiences we had in our other bands.”

To wit, Radattack is, in Velour and Duke’s words, a “cherry-picked supergroup,” with members of Cousin Simple, Rat Motel, and the Comos, joining forces and putting their collective effort into one concentrated band. Again, no fault if you’ve never heard of those other bands, but to a large contingent of barely-legal concert goers, they all comprise a healthy scene of individuals faithful to the current garage rock resurgence.

“We are heavily influenced by a lot of what’s coming out of Chicago right now. Be it Twin Peaks, or the Orwells, or Fidlar,” says Duke. “It’s funny though, a lot of the kids our age who come to our shows, don’t know the things that have come before those bands. Like they can’t make the connection between Twin Peaks and the Rolling Stones.”

“So there’s definitely a gap in Columbus,” Velour intervenes, “a lack of raunchy, sexy, rock and roll. To be a rockstar you have to act like a rockstar.”

With that, Velour’s presence on stage, and his self-taught prowess on guitar (the kid will take most seasoned professionals for a wild ride), matches his swagger-filled rhetoric. At first it was hard to take as serious, but after browsing the catalog they’ve amassed so far, from the razor-sharp fury of “Montana Psychedelic,” to the anthem driven romp of “Bye Bye High School,” and the classicist blues of “Swamp Dog,” Radattack have enough cache to back up the attitude. Their penchant to color their world with nods to pop art, 1950s rebellion, James Dean, Japanese monsters, rayguns and nuclear scares, furthers that revolution, a desire to “make things happen.”

When plied about what’s next and what they define as success, their modesty is refreshing, if not poetic to a fault.

“Right now, seeing as we haven’t even graduated yet, we’ve got plenty of time,” says Velour. “We are just leaves in the wind, headed wherever that wind takes us.”

Though Radattack may have replaced the sex and drugs with board games and skateboarding, the rock and roll is central. And that’s what matters most, right?

Radattack will be playing Friday, June 8 with Garbage Greek at Ace of Cups, and then Wednesday, June 13 opening for the Cold War Kids at the Newport. Visit radattack.com for music and more information.

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Music

Local rocker Angela Perley shines on solo debut

Mike Thomas

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This article was originally published in the September 2019 issue of (614) Magazine.

Folk, alt-country, or indie rock—however you choose to categorize her sound, Angela Perley remains a pillar of the Columbus music community—and highly in-demand as a national touring act, to boot.

(614) caught up with Perley to discuss her new album, life on the road, and what it takes to make it as a musician in the Capital City.

Photos: Brian Kaiser

(614): YOUR NEW RELEASE, 4:30, IS YOUR FIRST AS A SOLO ACT. WHAT LED TO THIS CHANGE?

AP: Since 2009 until last year, I had the Howlin’ Moons. It’s always been myself, Chris Connor on lead guitar, and then we had bassist Billy Zehnal in the band up until last year. We’ve had a rotating extended family of drummers. Billy’s not in the band anymore, and we were also on Vital Companies, which is a studio/label in Columbus that did our previous albums.

https://open.spotify.com/album/04pKByd2ygDHXdvl1TcdWP?si=6njCmRpfR5GRWe5kLNghVw

So this one—it’s a solo one, it’s my first independent release. There’s no label involved, I own the masters to the songs. It’s hard to keep a band together, so Chris, who’s been in the band since the beginning, and I, we’re kind of the only members, and we have an extended family of really great and talented people who have other projects they’re in. It just works a lot better with what I want to do.

YOU USED KICKSTARTER TO HELP FUND THE ALBUM. WHAT WAS THE CROWDFUNDING EXPERIENCE LIKE?

Before, with Vital, they had a studio and video production, and they took care of all of our recording in-house. We didn’t realize how expensive everything was. We had paid for studio time [for 4:30] through show money, but to look at all of the other expenses of making a record happen and trying to get it out there, it’s pretty intense! There have been a lot of independent artists that we know that will do Kickstarters, and I’ve never done anything like it before, so I was really nervous doing it. But it was a success, and I actually just finished sending out all of the preorder vinyl that people ordered.

YOUR SOUND IS OFTEN DESCRIBED AS ANYTHING FROM AMERICANA, TO ALT-COUNTRY, TO PSYCHEDELIC ROCK. WHAT’S IT LIKE WORKING WITHIN THOSE TRADITIONS IN 2019?

You kind of have to make your own path, because although there is a resurgence of rock ‘n’ roll, everything’s been done before. It has those roots, but we’re not breaking the mold or anything. You just have to be true to yourself and to the music, and just go from there. Everyone’s voice is important as an artist, so that’s important to remember.

YOU’RE ON THE ROAD TOURING QUITE A BIT. DO YOU STILL KEEP TRACK OF WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE COLUMBUS MUSIC SCENE?

Columbus is definitely growing, and moving toward doing things independently. I’ve seen a lot of bands touring, which is good. It’s an affordable place to tour out of, and there’s a community here for sure. Whenever I have a chance, we go out to the shows. We love The Cordial Sins, and we’re having them as our special guests for our album release. The High Definitions, Souther—there are just so many good bands.

When I go to other cities and I realize that there’s not really much of a scene going on, it is kind of cool to see that in Columbus, people are very aware and supportive of musicians. Even the businesses around here, everyone’s trying to work with musicians in some way. There are so many gigs, be it at breweries, at restaurants, or little festivals that pop up. There’s work for musicians here. And some other cities, there’s really not.

IN THE PAST, YOU’VE PLAYED SOMETHING LIKE 150 SHOWS A YEAR. ARE YOU KEEPING UP THE SAME PACE THESE DAYS?

I’m glad that we played that many shows at that time. We were playing anywhere and everywhere, and a lot of that was pressure financially. If that’s the way you’re making a living, you’ve got to take every gig. We’ve spread out the shows since, especially since we have been doing it for this long. We’re kind of gearing more towards quality shows. I will say, playing that many shows—I needed that. We needed the experience, and just the repetition. Every venue is different, every environment, every crowd. You cut your teeth and it makes you stronger.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO LOCAL ARTISTS HOPING TO MAKE A CAREER IN MUSIC?

It’s tough, because for each person it’s so different. Getting out there and working hard, playing as many shows as possible—that's all really great experience. But also focus on the music itself. If you’re going to make a music video or a recording, take your time—don’t half-ass it. Wait until you know what you’re doing. Although, you kind of have to learn from your mistakes, too.

Catch Angela Perley with special guests The Cordial Sins on September 6 at Skully’s Music-Diner for the release show of her new album, titled 4:30.

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(614) Sessions

614 Sessions: Doc Robinson

Mike Thomas

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4QdxpbrZgg&feature=youtu.be

Doc Robinson, the collaboration of Columbus music stalwarts Jon Elliott and Nick D’Andrea, joined us for this session in the 614 offices to share their unique brand of "Backyard BBQ Breakup music."

While here, the duo played stripped-down acoustic versions of their songs "Wilderness" and "Wild Beauty."

To hear more from Doc Robinson, follow them on your streaming platform of choice, or visit https://www.docrobinsonofficial.com/

Be sure to catch the group at Woodlands Tavern on Saturday, September 21, when they'll be joined by Hebdo, Parker Louis, Honey and Blue and many more for their Family Jamboree.

Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/artist/5O0efDEpkqEmWbXD2zpkjz

Apple Music:
https://music.apple.com/us/artist/doc-robinson/1116027164
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Producer: Mike Thomas
Videographers: Adam Fakult, Mitch Hooper, Mike Thomas
Audio Mixing/Mastering: Jared Huntley
Video Editing: Mike Thomas
Contact: [email protected]
Website: 614now.com

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(614) Sessions

(614) Sessions: The Turbos

Mike Thomas

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ThYK1D0000

The Turbos’ high-octane heroics have earned the group a fierce following in the Columbus rock scene and beyond. Combining shredding guitar virtuosity with soaring, anthemic vocals, co-frontmen Alex D. and Lucas Esterline lead the group in a sound that combines the best of the old and the new. Rounded out by the multi-talented Cameron Reck on bass and mononymous local music veteran Jahrie behind the kit, the Turbos are leading the charge for a new generation of rockers.

For the first of what we hope will be many in a new music series we're calling The (614) Sessions, The Turbos joined us in our offices for a stripped-down acoustic set. Despite leaving the electrics at home, the power of their performance was still enough to garner multiple noise complaints (sorry, neighbors).

For show dates and more, be sure to follow The Turbos on Facebook. Big thanks to the group for sharing their music as our first-ever guests in this new endeavor!

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Producer: Mike Thomas
Videographers: Mike Thomas, Adam Fakult, Mitch Hooper
Audio Mixing/Mastering: Jared Huntley Video
Editing: Mitch Hooper
Contact: [email protected]

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