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One’s to Watch 2014 – Radstewart (Interview)

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As the first of our ‘Ones to Watch for 2014’ features (aka. milking the new year for page views features) we spoke to the chaps from Radstewart about David Foster Wallace and their post-tennis hygiene plans.

Do you guys get fed up of the constant Pavement/Malkmus comparisons? It’s a lazy journalism trap that I definitely fell into but there are definite similarities. How do you define your sound and are there any acts that you are trying emulate?

Dylan: It was really cool when we were just starting out because Pavement are a real band and they are really, really good. I’m not sure if it is just lazy journalism because we’ve been told it at live shows too, ha.

Chris: Every time we get somebody knocking us down because of the Malkmus comparison we generally just find it incredible that anyone gives enough of a shit about us to spend their time getting angry about it!

Dylan: We all share a pretty playful attitude to writing music and I don’t think we’ve thought too much about defining a sound – we’ve not written a manifesto yet, though that would be pretty funny. So far we’ve avoided drenching all the guitars in effects and we enjoy how naked and clattery those instruments feel.

Chris: Trying not to fall into the big opera house sized reverb hole that a lot of bands employ recently was pretty much the only stylistic choice we’ve made as a band.

Dylan: All four of us are into all the old Flying Nun stuff; that was an inspiration when we started writing. Stuff like The Clean, Tall Dwarves, The 3Ds, Look Blue Go Purple, The Bats etc… We’re also fans of newer bands such as Veronica Falls. We all listen to lots of different (read ‘Trap’) music though. All the genres!

With lyrics being seemingly more of an afterthought for a lot of bands these days, it’s clear that you guys put a large focus on lyrics that are not only thought provoking but witty. Do you value the importance of lyrics in music and are you conscious of the focus you put on them?

Dylan: I’ll call Jac.

Jac: I understand how to some bands lyrics are an afterthought but they’ve always been a big part of music for me; they give an extra element to the tunes. As for inspiration behind my vocal delivery, the phrases come to me first and it’s a case of placing them onto the song. David Foster Wallace was a big inspiration for my lyrics; using huge slabs of eclectic extraneous details to create meaning is pretty sexy.

Dylan: He spits hot fire.

How do you feel being based in Wales has affected you guys as a band? You’ve played quite a wide array of places across the UK already so have you noticed many regional differences between areas?

Dylan: I think we’re more a Cardiff band than a Welsh band. I don’t think we’re part of any Welsh scene, as we aren’t really aware of one (not saying it doesn’t exist, we’re just kinda ignorant).

It was really nice seeing people in other cities going out to watch a gig without even checking who was on. Like, it was a thing people did regularly in some places. It can be a bit of a push in Cardiff sometimes, even when the bands are amazing. Promoting seems HARD.”

Chris: I’m from Cornwall, so I prefer the term Celtic band

And finally it’s the generic ‘what are your plans for the future?’ question! This is probably more just for my own curiosity than anything else but what have you got brewing with Alcopop?

Dylan: Jac and I have just played some tennis (badly) so immediate plan is wash my vile body. We’re trying to wrap up some musics what we gone and done. We’re pretty happy with what we’ve got so far! Hoping to have that with you shortly.

Chris: Calvin has disappeared off to Switzerland for a few months but will be back at points throughout the year for some shows. Gonna give long distance writing a go, which should be interesting. I envision more trumpet.

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