Dayton, Ohio’s most prolific punk band, Rad Company, create frentic pop-punk that combines two part vocal harmonies, catchy guitar leads, and pulse quickening percussion to fuel booze-soaked circle pits. In addition, lead singer Josh Goldman has been pressing fine punk wax with his girlfriend Brandi Smith under the Rad Girlfriend records umbrella. Following the band’s tours of Japan and the Midwest,
Ghettoblaster caught up with Goldman to talk about the band’s forthcoming split 7” with Tight Bros., which drops in late September, as well as some unreleased material they recorded for other forthcoming records. Here’s what he told us…
When did you begin writing the material for the split?
We began writing a batch of new songs a few months ago. We have a few records that are in the works so we recorded six songs and we are not really sure exactly which ones are going where yet. It is difficult for us to write new songs due to the fact that we tour a lot and often have to spend a lot of time rehearsing with support members or for tours and shows.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
There is this song called “Your Own Show” which is pretty troublesome for us. We wrote the song with a different drummer and there are a bunch of tempo changes that have proven to be difficult in the recording process. It’s sometimes difficult to get the original feeling or concept of a song across with a new member. It is definitely the weirdest Rad Company song we have ever written.
Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
We are usually pretty good in the studio. All of the songs are usually pretty well rehearsed and we know how we want them to sound. Unfortunately, they can often be rushed. We find that most of the songs on our records sound different now live than on the record. This is because I think that songs develop the longer you play them and this is the case with all of our songs. We often need a new record to tour with and we rush ourselves into the studio before the songs are completely finished but, they usually turn out mostly how we want them. It’s usually just back up vocals and little guitar things that develop as we play them more live.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
Yes, we actually got Joe Queer from the The Queers to sing a few lines on this one song called “Awkward.” It’s a 20 second song but we think it’s pretty cool.
Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
Joe Queer produced the six songs that we recorded. We recorded with him at his home studio in Atlanta. We also had a really great engineer that we were working with. Joe’s input was mainly telling us when something was good enough or not good enough as well as telling us how he thought we should actually record the tracks. It’s pretty easy to second guess your performance in the studio so it was really nice to have an extra set of ears and an honest opinion. We knew what we wanted and I think he recognized that. He let us do our thing when we were on a roll and he gave us his opinion when he thought we needed it. He was a pleasure to work with.
Is there an overarching concept behind the split that ties the record together?
Our songs are usually not about happy things. We don’t do it on purpose, I think that we just end up writing songs about things that are relevant and important to us which can often come from darker places. These six songs deal with the death of my friend, the end of a relationship, and all around anxiety and feeling lost. It’s more or less a way for us to deal with the stressful problems in our lives. Pretty boring stuff.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
We started playing these songs out a few weeks after we wrote them. Which is to say, not very long ago. We’ve found that our newer songs keep grab peoples’ attention a bit more than our old ones. I think that is because anyone who is actually a fan of our band knows our songs and get excited when they hear them, but when we play a song they don’t recognize, their ears may perk up a little bit. If you’ve never heard of us or seen us before, I would say that the new songs mix well with the old songs, but I think they are better.