Time for the next edition of Metal Anarchy’s “new music showcase,” the feature where I introduce you to bands that readers of this site may find interesting. This time I have an exclusive Q&A with John Malkin of The Simple Radicals.
METAL ANARCHY: Tell me a little about your band:
MALKIN: The Simple Radicals officially formed when I reconnected with my lead guitarist John Griffin. John and I are the nucleus of the band and control the direction and overall vibe. We were working with different drummers and bass players through the recording of our album “New Revolution” but now are playing with two exceptional musicians – Griff Johnson on drums and James Page on bass. From a musical and stylistic standpoint, we describe our music as “retro-rock and roll” that combines sounds and styles from some of our favorite classic/alt-rock bands like Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Green Day and Cheap Trick.
METAL ANARCHY: Who are your main influences?
MALKIN: Eddie Vedder is my musical hero. I’m mesmerized with his writing and try to capture the messaging, passion and energy that he does in his songs. If I can even come within a million miles of that I’d consider it a success. There are so many bands that have influenced me over the years including Led Zeppelin, Boston, AC/DC, Foo Fighters, Cheap Trick, Pink Floyd, and Pearl Jam.
METAL ANARCHY: What is your latest release and why should readers of this site check it out?
MALKIN: We just released a song and video called “Rich Man Wanna Be King,” which provides a candid and somewhat mocking lampoon at our current president. It was just released on YouTube and it’s already racked up over 100,000 views and climbing. And our album, “New Revolution” has been out for about a year. For those Living Colour fans, you will recognize the guitar-god Vernon Reid who played lead guitar on our track “Medicate”. “New Revolution” is about the extremes of what people are going through today and their efforts to instill a revolution of change. About using their voices to create the catalyst for change and to better their lives and society as a whole.
METAL ANARCHY: What can people expect when they go to your live shows?
MALKIN: We love to perform live and our fans know that. We feed off their energy and passion and try to give it right back to them in the way we play our music. We also try to interact with the audience as much as we can since our songs are so personal to many. There is nothing more rewarding than watching people sing your lyrics back to you and lose themselves in your music. It’s intoxicating.
METAL ANARCHY: Where do you see your band heading in 5 years?
MALKIN: With the apocalypse upon us it’s hard to plan life even a year from now. We want to keep this going as long as we can as long as we’re constantly creating new material and still having fun. We’re remaining very busy and about to release a wicked cover version of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” where we collaborated with an incredible husband/wife team called Che-Val. It was such an amazing experience to work with them and we’re really excited about the song. It’s a very non-conventional and unique take on this iconic song. We’ll be releasing a quarantine video to our song “The Optimist”. And, we’re about to release a podcast called “Music & A Brew” where we crack open a cold one with musical artists including Kenny Aronoff (drummer for John Mellencamp and tons of others), Todd Sucherman (Styx), Vernon Reid (Living Colour), Daxx Nielsen (Cheap Trick), and Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling from “The Howard Stern Show”.