Monday, August 18, 2014

Radio Bikini Interview


1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
Dennis; we played some shows in Holland, Belgium and Hungary and then went for 19 shows to the states. When we got back we did some cool festivals like Play fast or don’t (CZ), Bloodshed Fest(NL), Kanivo chaos (FR). Did 2 shows in Israel and currently working on songs for a new release and another USA tour for March 2015.

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the new recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Dennis; I think the best way to describe our music is crust, it used to be trashier but since we started again we slowed the songs down a bit and it sounds way better.
We recorded at BUNT studio, Menno bakker understood what we wanted and that helped to create the album in the best way possible.
Our past recordings sound very noisy and thin.
Simon: We basically grew old and fat and couldn't play the songs as trashy as before. As it turned out slowing the pace down a bit helped a lot. It's still pretty fucked up fast though...

3.The band broke up in 2006 and re-formed in 2011, what was the cause of the split and also the decision to reform?
Simon; well to be honest you can't blame Dennis for that at all. Sander, Ted and me were three drug-crazed alcoholic party animals, and looking back at it, it's a miracle that Dennis kept on going as long as he did... Most of the shows were still pretty solid, but we also fucked up big time a couple times. Nowadays I guess we can handle our liquor better, let's leave it at that haha.
One day our friends from Usual Suspects from Belgium asked us for a reunion show on their 15-year anniversary, and we decided to go for it. It's been going fucking great ever since

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
Dennis; radio bikini has always been a political band and still is but we all got older and re-thought a lot of stuff what normally is taken for granted, like we have a song about the occupy movement. Simon; You can pet yourself on the shoulder with your self-absorbed ideas, but all I see is a bunch of people discussing in tents and getting nowhere. Where's the revolution in that? But that's mostly how it went in Holland, don’t know the situation exactly in the rest of the world, so I can't tell if it was different in other places...
Dennis; If you’re a left wing minded person it works once in a while to think for yourself too and question things from your own point of view, even within the punk/hardcore scene.We try to get this across with a lot of humor too.
Same as for shows, they should be a good night out and not a political rally, doesn’t say that no one could talk politics at a show.
Simon; I have noticed that I became very cynical when it comes to political subjects, and lyrically I guess this evolved in a more abstract approach to the stuff that pisses me off. Like hippies.

5.In the record you had a comic in there, can you tell us a little bit more about it?
Dennis; well we wanted to do something special with our first full length, so we all wanted a poster inside and a text book, Ted and me did some drawings in the past so we thought why not make it a comic book.
We had 10 months to come up with the songs, draw the book, record the songs, get the rest of the artwork together... At the night of the release we we’re still folding the posters and insert poster and comic into the record. It was a close call...

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Radio Bikini'?
Dennis; Good question , we always told people it was a code name for dropping the A-bomb on the test site of the bikini islands.
But in fact radio bikini is the name of a radio broadcast to inform the general public in an effort to calm down people's fears and rally support for the tests.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Dennis; the best ones come to mind right now are; Seattle and Oakland 2013, kanivo chaos 2014, first show in Nijmegen 2012 and the goodbye show we did in weert 2006, we had a confetti canon on stage filled with flour, in no time the whole venue, people and equipment was covered in the stuff and we got banned from that place for life.
Simon; We played on a 60-bands-in-24-hours World Record festival in Venlo, that was crazy... Tell Aviv 2014 was amazing, Counter Culture 1012, the list is endless.
we would say our shows are energetic, we are doing this for a while now and nowadays shows are overall pretty well attended which makes the whole thing crazy.

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
We are booking our second U.S. tour for March 2015; we will do this with DIRTY PROTEST the other band Simon and me are in.
It’s not clear what our next release will be but we want something before March, so we’re writing songs as we speak, it depends on how many songs we record if it will be a 12" or a 7”.

9.On the new album you worked with plenty different record labels, do you feel these labels have been very helpful when it comes to getting your music out there heard?
Dennis; yes very much, music gets spread much wider all over the word, I worked with most of the labels in the past and still are grateful that they help out every time.
It’s a great network that is not based on greed or big sales but on helping each other out.

10.Over the years the band has been a part of a few splits, out of all of the bands that you have worked with on these albums, which one did you enjoy working with the most?
Dennis; Makiladoras/radio bikini split is the best, we we’re friends with them and played a lot of shows together, they helped us putting our name out there.
Simon; Unfortunately, as so many Dutch bands, they've split up, and as hard we try, we can't get 'em back together. Lazy bastards!

11.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer music by fans of punk and crust?
Dennis; feedback has been amazing since the first show, I think people didn’t expect much of it after 6 years hiatus, we all played in other bands so never stopped making music.
The first time we practiced again it felt as the old times again.
The record was received very well and reviews we got were all positive.
Simon; Sure, we still fuck up sometimes, but we have fun doing it.

12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Dennis; new songs are a bit slower with more variety than the old fast 3 chord songs. But still expect powerful crust because that’s all we can do ha ha.
Simon; We all grew as serious musicians, so expect a more singer/songwriter based indie hipster kinda poppy arena-rock anthem filled record

13.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays.
Dennis; when we did the recordings for the record we had a cd from skit system with us, not to sound like them but just for reference for the heavy sound they have on their records, after one take the engineer told me to hit the drums harder if we wanted the same aggression as them ha ha.
It totally worked out that way.
I’m a big fan of Dutch punk hardcore from the eighties but also crust from that time.
At the moment I listen a lot to HIGH ON FIRE, seen them a week ago and they sure made an impression.
Simon; I listen a lot to Swedish stuff. Wolfpack, Illdad, Project Hopeless, Kontrovers, Martyrdod, Ursut, Victims, that kind of stuff. A lot of brutal stuff, but also rock 'n' roll, disco, delta blues, jug 'n jook washboard stuff, polka and the almighty Tom Waits.

14.What are some of your non musical interests?
Dennis; working on my double decker bus for 10 years and love traveling.
Simon; I am a big fan of alcoholic beverages, so I am trying to get alcohol out of everything. I am currently making two types of elderberry wine, two types of walnut liquor, two types of hazelnut liquor, and cider. It is harvest season in Holland... Sander does a lot of backpacking in South-East Germany. Ted does nothing.

15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
2015 is to going to be a busy year for us and we hope to meet everybody again and party together when we go back to the states in March.
Thank you for this interview.

Cheers and beers!

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