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simple radicals

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The Simple Radicals are: John Malkin/Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, John Griffin/Lead Guitar, Vocals

James Page/Bass Guitar, Griff Johnson/Drums, Vocals - based in Chicago, Illinois.


What genre would you describe yourself as?

We are a retro-rock band that combines sounds and styles from some of our favorite bands like Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Green Day and Cheap Trick.


What is your main inspiration?

Life as we see and know it. When you distill it down to the basics and just take a look around, it’s so dynamic. Things develop and change right in front of your eyes every second. The challenge and opportunity is to capture that energy and decide what you want to do with it. It’s literally an open book with so much to write about.


What is your songwriting process (which bits come first?)

I tend to write all my songs on acoustic guitar first before plugging in. The riff or song structure usually comes first and then the lyrics. The music generates ideas for me in terms of images and concepts and then I put them down on paper.


What made you want to start in music?

As soon as I heard Led Zeppelin for the first time I was totally smitten. And then when I heard Pearl Jam’s “Ten” album I was all in. I actually started out playing drums for several years before switching to guitar.


What is on the horizon for you?

We’re continuing to promote our album, "New Revolution" (https://open.spotify.com/album/4rgBmqnv7h3p5gYPGjiXfU). Vernon Reid from the band Living Colour plays lead guitar on our track "Medicate".

We just released a song and video called “Rich Man Wanna Be King” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehjT9RZdpe4) which provides a scathing critique of Trump. It was just released on YouTube and it’s already racked up 100,000 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 duo called Che-Val. We’ll soon 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 different musical artists. So far we’ve had one with Kenny Aronoff (drummer for John Mellencamp), Todd Sucherman of Styx, Vernon Reid of Living Colour, and Daxx Nielsen of Cheap Trick.


Who would you most like to collaborate with (alive or dead)?

I’m absolutely mesmerized with the writing of Eddie Vedder 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.


What is your ultimate goal?

We put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into “New Revolution” and we really hope our fans old and new like what they hear. We want to play live as much as we can. And of course, we’d love to capture the ear of potential labels, managers and bookers. Our fans tell us that our music permeates them on an emotional and visceral level, and they feel that they are not alone in what they are thinking and feeling today. And if it helps spark a new revolution in how we approach society in a smarter way…then so be it!


If you could cover any song, what would it be?

Pearl Jam’s “Better Man”.


Tea making: milk first or last?

We’re from the US. Our tea is iced!


Tell us your funniest joke!

What did they say to the guy who invented the zero? Thanks for nothing!


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