Interview by Shannon-Lee Sloane – The Colourful Writer.
It’s most definitely true that Radolescent are in fact, super rad. The four-piece garage punk band from the Gold Coast is made up of three long time mates, Isaac Atkinson on guitar and vocals, Lachlan Barker on bass and Kurt Pearce on drums. With the addition of Kerrod Chant on lead guitar to chunk up their sound some more, these guys are the most lovable ratbags and create some killer music all while having a bloody good time. The guys have got a lot of good things happening right now and on Friday dropped their debut album, ‘Prehab’, much to the delight of their fans and anyone who loves some garage punk with a slight hint of surf rock. The 10-track album is hot as hell, with the two recent singles, 406 and Tuck Me In both on high rotation on my playlist right now.
I had a chat to the man on the bass, Lachlan Barker on Friday, the day of the album’s release and even though he was at work like any other day, it was clear to hear he was in high spirits with the album finally being unleashed to the public.
The first time I caught Radolescent play live was at Halloween Hysteria at the Jubilee Hotel in Brisbane last year and I was a fan from that moment on. I mentioned this to Lach at the beginning of our chat.
“That was a good gig, but it was an odd gig, it is always weird when we play during the day or to like a sober crowd. But hey, it’s all good, we love it!”
It’s definitely a whole different ball game when you have a sober crowd or a crowd with a few drinks under their belt…
*laughs* “It’s definitely a whole different ball game and we kind of excel in the latter of those two.”
So, starting back at the beginning though. When did you guys become a thing? How did the band first get together?
“We used to get blind in our drummer Kurt’s unit. He had this one-bedroom unit on Chevron Island and we used to get drunk, we were like 18, Kurt is a year or two older. This unit was like the size of a station wagon car and there was 25 of us kids who all grew up together, surfing and skating together. All of jammed into the tiny place, Friday and Saturday nights and we would play punk music, like Fidlar and all the classics and we would go nuts and have so much fun. Then we would go out and it was when DJ’s were huge and we would go out, all psyched up and then stand there and have to listen to this repetitive music that none of us were into. Then Kurt was like ‘Let’s start a band!’ and me and Isaac were like ‘Dude, we’re not starting a band, fuck that, we just wanna party!’ But he convinced us and then we started.”
So you decided to make the music and get the music out there that you guys would like to listen to?
“Yeah, some of our first shows, we started playing the Shark Bar Sundays and people were looking at us like ‘What the hell are you doing!?’ like it was almost laughable but we had such a good time, like fuck it, let’s just do it! Would have been like 3 years ago, maybe more since we played our first show at Shark Bar.”
And you guys just did the Shark Bar send off gig? Which is bittersweet, it’s sad but it sounds like it would have been a rad gig, playing with DZ Deathrays, Being Jane Lane…
“Yeah, it was loose, we actually played a show with Guttermouth that afternoon and then drove down and then we played, and we were half drunk. Our mates in the Beddy Rays jumped up on stage and it was kind of wild, there was beer everywhere. But that’s the way you want to send off Shark Bar. It was an epic night. “
So that was the same day as the Guttermouth boast cruise!? Boat cruises are always fun!
“It was the exact same day yeah. I had always heard about the boat cruises and I always imagined like a pirate ship. I don’t know why. And then I get there and it’s just like a regular style party boat and I was like oh that makes way more sense, but I have always pictured like bands playing on this big pirate ship. I think cos the first time I heard about it, my mate went to a Captain Morgan party, so I think I just put the two together and yeah.”
I feel like this could be a thing, like we need to do a pirate ship boast cruise!
“Hey, if you get a pirate ship, I’ll come party on it!”
You’ve released two new singles recently, 406 and Tuck Me In, can you tell me some more about each single?
“406 is kind of like, we have always sung about partying and we always want to be honest about what we do, and we never shy away from it. But there is always a downside, we don’t want to glamorise it and suggest that it is always a good time. 406 kind of shows the dark side of partying all the time and going out and drinking until God knows when and doing all the other stuff we may or may not do…With Tuck Me In it is kind of in a similar vein but it is more the few days after and the come down begins and it is like bad dreams, the lack of oxytocin, and it’s about sleeping in bed and being in a world of hurt.”
Well, we’ve all been there…
“I mean we want to sing and party and have a good time, but we try not to get pigeonholed. We often sing about the good side, but we also want to highlight that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be sometimes”
So moving on the album ‘Prehab’, today is THE day, it dropped today which is really exciting! You must be super stoked?
“Yeah it’s exciting for sure but it’s just like we are all at work right now. We are going to practise tonight, and we will probably have a few beers but just feels like another day. It’s weird, last night I listened to it one more time cos like that’s the last time I would listen to it privately. And then, now it’s out there and we will see how it goes! It’s a mixed bag, probably as you can tell from the singles, we kind of wanted to cover the whole spectrum, all the songs, from some of the first ones we wrote to the more recent, we wanted to cover that whole kind of growing up as a band and include the good and the bad sides of it I guess. So, it’s pretty wild.”
Well that’s what you want with an album, it sounds like it’s a journey…
“It’s a journey, but it’s a punk rock journey, it happens pretty quickly!”
The album art is super cool! The beer bottle with the weed plants and the poppies and everything, who did the artwork for it?
“Yeah that was Glenn Smith, he’s a local artist. It is epic, it is sick.”
I kept seeing the album art come up in my news feed, but I didn’t look at it properly until this morning and I was like ‘wow, that has much more depth than I originally thought!’ it’s really cool…
“Yeah well that’s what we were going for, we wanted something really beautiful when you glance at it, and then when you look in closely, you see the kind of darker undertone. It’s pretty gnarly to have the poppy plants and everything there but it is just one of those things, we kind of, we want to make cool stuff but we also want it to be reflective of the times I guess.”
To celebrate the release of the album, you’ve got a sweet tour lined up which kicks off soon, you must be super pumped for that?
“Yeah I can’t wait. All the boys are pumped. We’ve all been back at work, so we are just getting ready to go down there. We are going to drive down to Sydney and then probably fly to the other places, but we will have the best time. We have mates down there now so it will be good to go see everyone and get loose I guess. We get to play shows which is what we love doing. We’ve been working hard, we’ve got new songs to play, so it’s exciting!”
The tour ends with a huge bang ‘cos it finishes up at this years massive Dead Of Winter Festival in Brisbane, that’s so perfect!
“Yeah it’s sick! we will get back from Adelaide that day and then we play that afternoon. We can’t wait, it will be sick. It is such a cool venue, it was such a cool place to be at (for Halloween Hysteria). It’s big enough to hold everyone but it’s also kind of intimate ‘cos of where they put the stages and everything. It is really cool what they did there for Halloween Hysteria.”
The ‘Prehab’ tour kicks of in Sydney on June 14 and continues through Wollongong, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Adelaide and then winds up in Brisbane again for Dead Of Winter Festival on July 14th! We highly recommend you get to one or even all of these shows because it’s guaranteed to be a punk rockin’ good time!
Follow the guys on Facebook HERE for more details on their upcoming shows and all things RADolescent!