Thursday, August 07, 2003

Radiator Experts

Along with The Party, we really had have been spoilt for lo-fi-ish self-releases this month, with both that and this waiting for me on my return from the jaunt to Central/Eastern Europe as detailed on page 2. The Radiator Experts’ ‘Dressed In Yellow EP’, while not of such a singular vision, is supremely inventive, energetic and idiosyncratic. We open with a dapper drumbeat crudely interrupted by static-fuzz guitars and dazed-alien vocal - 'The Doctor Lied', they tell us in a style akin to a bedsit Weezer overdosed on sugar laying waste to a 4-track. 'Californ-I-A' is another track that grabs your hips and your head and shake both from side to side in the manner of a 'Happy Days' extra. Good funtime pop, like the B-52's, Byrds, Beach Boys, Bis and even some bands that begin with other, less important, letters. The Radiator Experts use lo-fidelity as a source of strength rather than a cover for weaknesses and that is quite a rare thing, so we thought we’d get hold of them for a quick interview. Skif

>Please introduce yourself and your associates. What qualities do you each bring to the band musically & otherwise?
Paul rides a scooter & plays bass. Musically he brings lively bass lines to simple songs. Otherwise he makes the average height of each band member a little more respectable. Becky likes long stripy socks, plays keyboards & sings. She adds enthusiasm & sweet vocals. I play the guitar & sing mostly, sometimes I play the photocopier but not often. I write all the songs so I guess that's my contribution. I've also got the best fringe (self-proclaimed) & the most brown clothes.

>How did the Radiator Experts come together?
I met Becky at a roller disco back in '92 and not long after we started doing gigs together & more often than not a guy called Paul would turn up on stage playing bass. We were too shy to tell him to go away and anyway we kind of liked him & his interesting bass lines. Lately Paul's been super busy & we've had to call on Ben Seymour who we purchased from a street salesman in Paris for three "shiny" marbles.

>What inspires you musically & lyrically?
Musically Dressy Bessy, lyrically Belle & Sebastian. In times gone by the Rad Ex sound was predominantly post rock/ spoken word, and playing live was becoming a chore as the songs were so complicated. Then I saw the wonderful Dressy Bessy live first in Nottingham & then Liverpool and was so moved by how much fun they were having & what a great sound they were making that I decided to concentrate more on the pop side of my writing and ever since they particularly have been a great influence on me. We are also influenced by: Henry's Dress, Of Montreal, The Sound of Music Soundtrack, Kincaid, Boyracer, Godspeed, Bearsuit, Ladytron, Kindercore Records, pretty grrrls and long summer days.

>If the musical world was ideal it would…

Be small enough to fit in your pocket but big enough to change your life.

>Why should people buy your EP?
Because its got a nice front cover, five songs & a healthy dose of pop hidden beneath them walls of distortion.

>What motivates you to gig & record?
The satisfaction you get from reading an email from a total stranger saying how much they love one of your songs, or reading a great review, seeing someone dancing or standing with their eyes closed totally lost in your music at a gig.

>What with regards the music scene upsets you?
I try not to get too upset by something that is so fickle. On the one hand it annoys me how labels jump onto bandwagons without even thinking just 'cos the NME says a certain scene is in "vogue". Also I sometimes get upset at how so many manufactured bands get millions of pounds pushed there way when true geniuses are going totally unnoticed and left to record on four track in their bedrooms. But on the other hand I kind of like the fact that there are so many albums that are special to me that the average person will totally miss out on, like the Empress album on Geographic, most people will never here it but those who are lucky enough to will truly treasure it. I think I'd prefer the Radiator Experts to be special to just 500 people who are really moved by us than 10 million who buy it just 'cos everyone else has it.

>What are your future plans for gigs and where particularly would you like to play and why? What bands would you like to support?
Well we've already played with Of Montreal (was slightly let down by them though if I'm being honest here) so I guess to support Dressy Bessy or the Aislers Set are the two biggies left to do. It'd be cool/ interesting to play with Numbers, the All Girl Summer Fun Band or Printed Circuit as well though. Regarding venues, I rather like Bunkers Hill in Nottingham 'cos it's just like having a band play in your front room. I'm not a fan of the "big" venue.

>If you weren't in a band just what would you do with your evenings?
Maybe I'd be reading a dictionary under the light of a full moon. More likely I'd be going to more gigs, perfecting the art of the perfect compilation, watching Columbo re-runs (or Futurama) and playing Scrabble.

>What more would you like to achieve with your music?
Id like to write the perfect pop song or at least write a song that changes someone's life a song that'd fill you with the same kind of joy as do the opening chords of the Shins "Know Yr Onion!" if that's being too ambitious, maybe just to accomplish a fuller sound & touch a wider audience.

>Do you see yourself still doing this in a few years time?
Unless someone snaps off all my fingers.

>Radiator Experts Desert Island essentials

V/A - Blow Up! Exclusive Blend 4, V/A - The Red Bird Story, Godspeed You Black Emperor - Slow Riot For The New Zion, Essex Green - Everything is Green, Of Montreal - The Gay Parade, Dressy Bessy - Pink Hearts Yellow Moons.

The Bible.

>Luxury Item:
Could I take the All Girl Summer Fun Band? They sound like good company. No? ok I'll settle for a guitar.


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