Friday, September 01, 2006

Mini-Interview: Rademacher

If the word hadn’t been completely co-opted by crafty soft drink manufacturers, you could say that it was “refreshing” how different Rademacher sound from your typical indie rock band.

Previous attempts at categorizing them have marked them as a happy intersection of such disparate acts at Tom Waits, Pavement, and Tom Petty. While we here at RFSL have remarked that “their songs often begin in ridiculous lyrical fiddle-faddle but twist and turn with a carnival barker’s logic towards their inexorable choral conclusion, one usually couched in some kind of undisputable point about love or death or whatevahs.”

But, long story short? Rademacher aren’t just good, they’re great. With that in mind, we really recommend that you 1) take a minute listen to the tracks they have posted for free download here, 2) pick up their three EPs, and 3) go see them perform live at two shows in LA this weekend (details below).

I mean, they’re from Fresno. It’s not like they play here every goddamn night or something…

So with them in town for a visit, we thought it was an ideal time to check in with Rademacher’s Malcolm Sosa to learn more about where the band’s been and what they’re doing next.

You guys are from Northern California. What's the music scene like up there?

Well, to be fair, we're actually from Central California. Northern California is a bunch of hippies. We're mostly meth-heads here.

There have been a lot of great bands that have come out of our neighborhoods -- Pavement is from Stockton, Grandaddy is from Modesto, and Earlimart and Great Northern are LA bands, but are both helmed by Fresno kids.

Yeah, that’s true. I should know that, I lived in SF for six years. There’s still five more hours worth of driving to the state…

So, how did the band first come together? What were you all doing beforehand?

The band came together because I was putting on a bunch of shows in this old warehouse in Fresno. All ages sort of arts events -- and I needed another band for the bill and there were no takers, so me and some friends wrote some songs and invented a band.

Before that I was living in New York and playing classical guitar in the subway and at trying not to go broke while living in Williamsburg. You know. The usual avante hipster b.s..

Rademacher has a much different sound than a lot of current independent acts. Who are some of your influences?

Thanks! Sometimes I think everyone sounds like everyone. Especially when all your friends are musicians and you are constantly surrounded by music. My ears get a bit numb sometimes, so that is a big compliment.

The big influences would be Sonic Youth, Man Man, Os Mutantes. I don't know how much of that is audible in the recordings. We're always tearing apart our songs and trying to rebuild them. We so want to be really, really good. We work hard. I don't know if that counts for anything these days though. Especially in LA.

Your lyrics are pretty often really sharp, even poetic. This is a terrible question, but what are you trying to capture with them?

Sometimes when we're in the studio and we're recording I try to imagine my friend, this crazy painter from Fresno named Vincente Aello, I try to imagine the way he talks about big ideas when he gets drunk.

Like that passionate shout you can do when you have something life changing to say to someone. Seriously. Vicente is a great drunk to hang out with.

You've recently come out with your third self-released EP. How would you say it's different from your earlier recordings?

It’s better than all the others we've done. At least the recordings and the consistency and we tackled it with a lot more technique. We are working up a bunch of material to record a full length with, which is a lot of the stuff we're performing right now.

We were talking to Aaron Espinoza about recording with him at The Ship and making a great kinda Fresno album together, but then he stopped returning my myspace messages.

I guess he hates us or is busy doing his own album. I figure if we guilt trip him enough in this interview he will come to his senses and pick up his phone and text us or something.

You recently toured the states in support of the EP. How did that work out? What were some of the stand-out nights?

The best show, hands down, was in Wyoming at this house called the Sherriff's Posse. Middle of nowhere and no alcohol and lots of kids yelling and jumping around.

We stayed at our friend's dad's house that night and I broke his piano bench. Little Rock was also great.

What's next for you?

Hopefully we'll be getting a text from Aaron soon and we can start making a new album.

Final question: Who are some of your favorite current bands?

I'm in love with Mates of State. I really like Awesome Color who are on Thurston Moore's label, Ecstatic Peace. Pretty much everyone on that label is dang rad.

I'm really trying hard to like Tapes 'n' Tapes, but I just don't get it yet. But I'm trying!

Mostly I just let Todd from Sea Level Records tell me what to buy.

That’s it! Thanks for your time, Malcolm.

Rademacher is playing on Saturday night at The Cog party in Glendale or on Sunday The Cocaine at Live Jazz in LA’s Little Tokyo neighborhood.

- Great Northern Mini-Interview
- Earlimart Mini-Interview


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