Image credit: Mariza Capsabeli
Working towards releasing their third album in 2022, progressive rock band Deaf Radio are a band from Athens that are making noise around the world. They have performed around acts like The Killers, The Kills and All Them Witches and plan to do more live shows as the lockdown restrictions ease further. Their latest single ‘Model Society’ is filled with off-kilter synths and riffs that feel like we are bouncing around in a time portal when those riffs and synths burst into electronic fusions. We look forward to what the lads unveil next.
While we all wait for the release of the new album, we had a chat with the band and found out about their thoughts on the music industry.
Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?
As young lads, we were very much into punk and post-punk. We’d go to occupied buildings and DIY concerts downtown Athens and spend our night in the pit. After adolescence, all this gave space to the broader culture, spanning from rock to electro. And this shift was gradually reflected in our music and our approach to production. Lately, due to the lockdowns, we dug more into home production, which inevitably drew us closer to electronic sounds.
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?
There’s always a beginning of an idea brought up by somebody. We’ll usually sing or play the melody and give a couple of reference songs (or sounds, if it’s a guitar riff for example) so that the rest can get their head around how this idea can be shaped into a song. Back in pre-covid times, we’d then jam the idea in the studio but with restrictions in place we’d just sit in front of a computer and carry out our own preproduction.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
It’s first and foremost about internal feelings triggered by a break-up, a fight, a joyous moment, or just seeing a stranger in the bus and trying to grasp how the world looks through their eyes. It may also be a movie (for example Lynch’s Mullholand Dr. inspired us to write one of our first songs ‘No hay banda’), a book (we’ve got songs with lyrics from Dostoevsky’s and Arthur Koestler’s books), or a poem (recently we used one from Tasos Livaditis in our new album).
As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?
The very existence of the music industry may up barriers for independent talent. Since people start thinking of musicians as a complete “product” to sell, there starts the whole discussion. The reasons why the industry exists is understandable, and we’re not suggesting it should be eliminated, but undoubtedly it should be more open, transparent, and more accessible to “outsiders”. Simply put, when you cannot enter the industry and all your access points are limited to a “letterbox” or a “submit your enquiry” email address, this leaves so much talent out.
In Greece, on the other hand, there is no industry at all. Networking is happening through personal connections, which is even worse as there is no room for meritocracy.
Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?
We used to be in-between liking both. But now that it’s taken from us, we just crave live performances.
What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?
One day somebody sent us an image of a tattoo on his leg with our album cover. That’s was just to show himself how important the album was to his life.
Another person told us a story of him being in a warzone and listening to one of our songs while explosions could be heard from afar.
When you hear stories like these you just think “it’s all worth it”.
What’s on your current playlist?
Overmono’s remix of ‘I have a Love’, Bicep, also rock/post-punk stuff like Fontaines DC and Molchat Doma.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?
So Deaf Radio is coming out of the lockdown, having just released the lead single off of our third album called Model Society. The track is on youtube and all streaming platforms. A series of new singles will follow in autumn-winter and by early 2022, you’ll hopefully see the release of the full album. We are very excited about this album because it incorporates all the different influences, pulling us away from desert/heavy rock to more electronic and alt-rock paths. You’ll find synths, samples, electronic drums and references spanning from Moderat, Jamie xx to Foals and War on Drugs.
Famous last words?
This is all yours (from our song ‘Backseats’)/
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