Interview w/ LA Based Upstarts Pacific Radio
Have another interview all ready to go featuring LA based newcomers Pacific Radio. You may remember these guys from a feature I did on them a few weeks ago, and I remarked that they were a band who didn't take themselves too seriously, and were a group that were on a mission to bring their unfiltered blend of music and their infectious personalities in tow to a willing and receptive audience waiting in the wings. I got a chance to interview the guys as I sought to find out more about them, their origins getting started in sunny California, their experiences recording their EP, and what they're like away from the stage. Here is the transcript from our chat:
PACIFIC RADIO IS:
Joe Robinson: Guitar and Lead Vocal
Joe Stiteler: Bass
Kyle Biane: Guitar
Hyke Shirinian: Drums
Give us your names and positions in the band?
JR: Joe R. I spit the lyrics and shred the axe
JS: Look here; Joe Stiteler. Bass.
KB: Kyle Biane, Guitar
HS: Hyke , drums and percussion
How did the band originate and where did you all meet?
JR: Joe S. And I were in a band, The Ringers. It's collapse lit a massive barn fire in my loins to keep creating. This stemmed from the vacant depression that follows a traumatic situation. Pacific Radio is the Xanax, Prozac, and Jack Daniels needed to move forward. I couldn't be happier with where we are today. Maybe a private jet would help.
JS: The band is a product of Craigslist, coffee, and stamina. I’ll leave the order to you.
KB: I joined the band in about 2011 after recording the band’s first demos.
HS: I played a single show with the band about three years ago, then jumped on board about a year and a half later.
What would you characterize your sound as for those who aren't familiar with you?
KB: I think alternative indie rock is a good general descriptor. We are always striving in the studio to take our 4 piece rock band and add enough details to come up with something that we at least find unique. It is always hard to describe the sound, but I hope people have fun while listening.
HS: I see it as Rock Music with some throw back elements to various styles and a bit of modern direction.
Who were some musical acts that inspired you when you were young and how have they shaped you today?
JR: As a young JR, Wham didn't leave my tape deck for a year. My dad was embarrassed. Looking back, I am now too. Then I started liking girls. Wham wasn't doing it. Then I found The Rolling Stones and Pet Sounds in my dad's record collection. That did.
JS: My first eight CDs from Columbia House were as follows: Blood Sugar Sex Magic, Appetite For Destruction, Ten, Nevermind, and four others. When I was REAL young I heard ‘Walk This Way’ on MTV and rushed straight to Wal-Mart to buy the tape; you know, Run-D-M-C. It didn’t take me long to realize ‘Raising Hell’ wasn’t the genre I was typically accustomed to, but I lost my shit over hits like ‘It’s Tricky’ ‘My Adidas’ and ‘You Be Illin’ - I wore my walkman out on those jams.
KB: I really liked Weezer and Nirvana in my younger days. The guitar rock lessons that were bestowed stick with me to this day.
HS: My inspirations came from all over the place.. Michael Jackson, Depeche Mode, NIN, GnR, STP, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, some classical stuff.
Describe your typical writing process for songs, is it one person bringing in ideas or is it a collaborative effort?
JS: Initially, the process was to go to El Coyote over on Beverly Blvd right around 11am (because they didn’t open earlier), where they sold $5 scratch margaritas and allowed smoking on the patio. Sometime between 2:00 and 3:00 in the afternoon, the inspiration would take hold and we’d head to the writing area after grabbing another twelve beers or so. Somewhere between a piano, acoustic guitar, electric bass and spiraled notebooks staggered out a few songs like newborn twin calves. When we needed inspiration, we looked out the window at a bondo black late 60s Pontiac GTO, sometimes we’d go out and take pictures next to it with our shirts off. It’s name (per the license plate) was TWO TONS. Thank you TWO TONS, wherever you are; shoutout!
KB: It typically starts with J.R. bringing in the song and structure. We then go into a demo recording process, with our producer Eric Weaver, where we dissect the song and decide where we can embellish or edit. After that there is a bit of testing at live shows, then we head into the studio. Typically we do drums to scratch tracks followed by multiple days of overdubs.
JR: Both of the above are extremely accurate.
What was it like to shoot the "Kitchen Table" music video and can you give us any candid behind the scenes moments?
JS: Let’s see. I was originally gonna appear butt-booty naked in the shower scene but after much deliberation, decided against it. We thought it’d look too much like me and JR had spent the night together and were more comfortable in one another’s nudity than we truly are.
KB: It was a lot of fun. It was a two day shoot, the first of which was in a hotel room, I did not have to much to do that day. Then came the live performance day… playing a song in full gig party mode for 8 hours really took it out of me. It was a lot of fun though. As far as a candid moment… I think watching our drummer try to catch underwear in his mouth was a rare experience. He nailed it like a pro as well.
Were there any challenges when it came time to record your new EP or was it pretty much straightforward?
JR: I think the EP got us all comfortable in knowing what was possible. Now we know that we can make high quality recordings with no corners cut, we can move on the full-length at a much more efficient pace.
And party, party hard.
JS: Challenges?! We don’t need no stinkin challenges!
KB: I would not say that we ran into any challenges. However, we go down many paths in our recording process. We try idea after idea, sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. The difficult part can sometimes be knowing when it’s time to move on or to bail on a idea that worked better in my imagination than in reality.
Give us an idea of what you like to do for fun in your spare time when not recording or playing shows?
JR: I'm a broke musician so all I can afford do is throw a ball to my dog. He brings it back. Repeat.
JS: Any opportunity to shoot shit, lift shit, climb shit, eat shit, take shit, give shit, or F shit up; I’m in.
KB: Go Karts and guitar practice.
HS: Thinking about recording and playing shows.
What's on tap for the rest of the year, any touring in support of the new effort?
JS: If I’m not up by 15 Facebook friends come Fall, something went wrong. Very wrong.
KB: Yes, we are going to be in Austin, TX in March and are doing a west coast tour ending at the Bottlerock music festival in May.
Lastly, how has being in this band changed your life?
JR: I'm all in. No plan B. Before there was always the “If this doesn't work, there's alway ____”. Not this one, we have something good here.
JS: Not so fast...you’re gonna have to wait for the autobiography/self help/tell-all like everybody else.
KB: It has been a lot of fun to get to make music that we truly enjoy playing and seeing people honestly respond to it. I think we all have been playing in bands for a long time, but, speaking for myself, this is the first band I have been in that we have had such great support from our fans. It’s humbling.
HS: I’ve consistently be in serious bands growing up..bands with a darker, more introspective vibe. This band is the first band I have actually been able to just smile with while playing music!
Thanks once again to the Joes, Kyle, and Hyke for being so awesome in doing this interview! You really begin to get a sense of their hilarious and infectious personalities during the course of this chat, and it's quite apparent that these guys have a great time driving each other crazy all while in the quest of their musical mission to make people feel satisfied. For more on Pacific Radio, give them a "Like' on Facebook directly located over here, and check out their official homepage here for more in depth info about them including possible shows coming to the Boston area sometime soon.