Interview w/ Radclyffe Hall
Heading into the Labor Day weekend with an interview from Brighton, MA's fastest risers Radclyffe Hall! The band have been gaining some steam as of late with their blend of dar electro-pop that has been winning fans over left and right, and has been bringing about a different type of music that is somewhat unfamiliar to listeners, but will gradually grow to appreciate as time progresses through the duration of their music. Dhy and the band were rad enought to take some time out of their hectic schedules to do an interview as we seek to learn a little more about the band, plus their thoughts on living in the mecca of Boston music otherwise known as Allston Rock City. Here is the transcript from our chat:
Take us behind the early formation of Radclyffe Hall and how each of the members met?
Sean: Dhy and I met while working an event earlier this year for Berklee. We started talking and Dhy was like "do you play an instrument" and I said, "yeah I play drums," and then she was like "oh you should play in my band.” At first I was hesitant, but, she let me hear one of her songs and I was sold.
Dhy: Jaqui and I met through a mutual friend, Zoya, who is actually our general manager. Jaqui and I both share a love for Metric and really connected over that. Carl and I met in college and we recently reconnected when he moved back to Boston from Austin.
Jaqui: I was planning on moving back to Seattle but decided to stay for many reasons, and this band was one of them.
Carl: I met Jaqui and Sean through Dhy at the beginning of this. We all made it a point to not only play together but to spend time together outside of the band right from the start since we were all brought in independently. Dhy is correct, though we met when we were in undergrad at Berklee simply through friends and whatnot.
What music influenced you when you were younger and how has it shaped the sound of the group today?
Sean: The Beatles records that my dad would put on when I was younger. The Beatles helped me to think outside of the box.
Jaqui: I grew up listening to a lot of bluegrass, fiddle tunes, and I played classical cello, so I think my eclectic musical upbringing has allowed me to dive into this band. I haven’t had much experience with the genre for Radclyffe Hall other than from a consumer standpoint.
Dhy: I grew up listening to R&B, disco and funk, so these genres heavily influenced my songwriting for this project.
Carl: I grew up listening and playing along with a lot of pop/rock/top 40s styles, and my mum always had jazz playing in the house.
What is it like to be a part of the Allston music scene and to be among so many young bands getting their start here?
Carl: Allston is an incredibly eclectic neighborhood, and I feel that it's appropriate that the four of us come from such varying musical backgrounds and interests just like so many of our friends and colleagues here. It helps us to both fit in and set ourselves apart as a band here.
Sean: We don’t know where we fit just yet, but we know we want to be apart of the electro scene. And we are supportive of all our friends within this scene and others.
Dhy: We are a new band, so as Sean said, we are trying to see where we fit in.
Jaqui: We don’t fit into one set genre in the Allston scene.
How would you describe your sound to those who may not be familiar with your music?
We say were dark electro pop. It's a mixture between, Metric, Santigold, and Goldfrapp. We have two drummers so the music is very heavily percussion driven.
What was the recording process like for your debut EP? How do you all feel about the finished product?
The recording process was very DIY. The songs were created straight into Ableton and then Dhy would lay down vocals in her friend’s room. From there, they were handed over to different producers (i.e Heath Hyman, and Sam Burke of Clifflight) for input and additional production ideas.
If you could be transported to any decade of music, which one would you pick?
Dhy: The 70s, right at the height of r&b, funk and soul.
Sean: The 40s, because everyone dressed well in the 40s and there wasn’t one piece of music that wasn’t terrible in the decade. All the music was soulful and swinging and everyone was happy to be a part of it, it wasn’t forced in any way.
Carl: I'd join Sean dressing so sharply in the 40's in the Jazz era, or the 60's where I'd double-dip in both the jazz and rock scenes.
Jaqui: 2020's so I could know what is coming next.
What is one album you enjoy listening to that has also inspired each of you guys to become a musician?
Sean: I would be lying if I didn’t say “Parachutes" by Coldplay.
Jaqui: Billy Joel’s “The Stranger".
Carl: Foo Fighters' - "The Colour and the Shape", Coldplay's "Parachutes" and "A Rush of Blood to the Head" and Gorillaz "Demon Days".
Dhy: I didn’t get into albums until later in my teens, so I would have to say just listening to the oldie’s radio station when I would drive around with my mom growing up.
What do you guys like to do for fun in your spare time when not making music and playing shows?
Sean: Riding my bike and watching movies.
Carl: Listening to NPR programs like Radio Lab and This American Life, eating Tex-Mex (who doesn't love tacos and burritos?) and biking around the city.
Dhy: Riding my scooter, enjoying a good beer and hanging out with my cat, Gordita.
Jaqui: I love to hike and to backpack and to travel to different places and meet my family there.
What's coming up next for the band this year? Planning any shows in support of the new EP?
We are excited to release our EP, Extended Play, this upcoming September. Also, looking forward to hopefully performing at CMJ (fingers crossed).
Lastly, where do you see Radclyffe Hall going in the future?
More shows, touring, recording, and trying to establish some sort of footprint within the music industry.
Thanks once again to the members of Radclyffe Hall for being so awesome in doing this interview! It's great to hear from upstart bands in the Boston scene and hear about their experiences getting started, and learning more about them allows us to draw a connection between that said artist and develop an appreciation for what it is that they do and how much energy they pour into their craft. For more info on Radlcyffe Hall, 'Like' them on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter right here.