Q&A with Simple Radicals

Quick Q&A with Chicagoland retro rock band The Simple Radicals! Interview done with vocalist/guitarist John Malkin.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF YOUR BANDMATES?

I’ve known my fellow Radical John Griffin for some time as we’ve played in a band together before. When I first met him several years ago I thought he was one of the best guitarists I’ve ever seen but also one of the coolest looking dudes.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY PLAYING SHOWS?

We had the honor of playing The Cutting Room in New York City. What an amazing venue with incredible stage, lights and sound. Same stage where Bowie, John Mayer, Sting and even lady Gaga have performed. Plus we rocked the house to a great crowd.

WHAT ARTIST WOULD BE YOUR DREAM COLLABORATION?

Eddie Vedder. Probably one of the best songwriters in the last 30 years.

WHAT SONG ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF AND WHY?

Learn” is a really emotional track for me. I wrote it as a kind of bedtime story for my kids on what they need to know and understand to survive this crazy and unpredictable world we live in today. Not only do they need to know and understand love, but they need to understand hate as well since it exists. They need to know winning and losing. How to rise and how to fall. Just to name a few. It’s a juxtaposition on many things in life that we all experience.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR NON-MUSICAL INFLUENCES?

Life as we see and know it. When you distill it down to the basics and just take a look around, you’ll see that it’s so dynamic and malleable. Things develop and change right in front of your eyes every second. The challenge and opportunity is to capture that energy and decide what you want to do with it. It’s literally an open book with so much to write about.

WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO GAS STATION ORDER?

While filling up the beater with petrol, I’m inside looking for chocolate milk.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

Be patient. Things will work out, but you have to give it time.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS AND PLANS FOR THE YEAR?

We just released a really cool psychedelic-pop version of Jefferson Airplane’s iconic song  “White Rabbit.” We collaborated with an incredible husband/wife duo on the track. It’s truly intoxicating. We had a kick-ass 2020 planned including two showcases at SXSW in Austin, Texas, playing festivals with Molly Hatchet, Jefferson Starship, Puddle of Mudd, and Blackfoot as well as a tour starting in Chicago. But all got axed due to Covid. But we’re on the docket to play those in 2021 if the apocalypse ends in time. 

Categories: QA

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