The brothers Radke, collectively known as garage/skatepunk (but not punk if you ask them) family band Radkey, consist of Isaiah on the bass, Solomon on the drums, Dee on vocals and guitar and their dad, Matt, managing the whole act. I called Isaiah for a rapidfire Q+A before their show at the Black Cat on October 4 with Wanted Man.
You just released your first full-length LP, Dark Black Makeup. Do you think this is the sum of the past five years or something more recent?
It’s definitely five years and more recent stuff. All of our experience, everything we have, we took from that and just put it into the record. It’s something we’ve been figuring out for a long time. It took quite a long time to write it all.
You’ve played festivals like Riot Fest and Afropunk. Do you prefer a festival setting or a smaller venue where you’re the headliner?
A festival is cool and stuff, but usually it’s kind of hard with sound sometimes. We’re definitely more at home in venue shows.
Who’s your dream band to open for?
I would probably say something like the Foo Fighters or maybe Weezer or something like that.
A lot of people describe your music as garage punk or skate punk, but I feel like that doesn’t really completely fit. Have you figured out a way to describe your sound to people who have never heard you before?
We consider ourselves rock, cause that can really be anything you want it to be. We do get called punk a lot, which is cool because that’s a vibe that’s there. It’s cool to get more credit than that because punk is pretty easy to do. I feel like a lot of the things we’re doing are harder than that.
How old are you guys again?
I’m 20. My younger brother [Solomon] is 18 and Dee is 22.
Do you ever feel like you missed out on some parts of growing up because you were on the road?
Yeah, I mean only things like girlfriends and shit. But that wasn’t really that important to us. Playing music and doing all the things we’ve done and hanging out with each other was definitely more of a priority and a lot more fun then we could have been doing.
Who are your biggest influences in punk and rock?
Probably the Ramones. We don’t really listen to a ton of punk music. Honestly, we mostly listen to stuff like Nirvana and Weezer.
So you’re more influenced by classic rock?
Yeah, like Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Beatles and stuff. Pearl Jam, Soundgarden.
Do you write your music or lyrics first?
It depends. It goes a lot of ways. It goes almost every way really.
Your Twitter bio says you’re on a quest to save the world from false rock. What do you mean by false rock? I think I know but I’d rather hear you explain it.
Bands like Nickelback and shit that are just kind of lame and go for the same kind of vibe that a bunch of stupid people love. Really lame, mass-produced and shitty.
Who do you think is the strongest voice in rock right now?
I guess it’s probably Dave Grohl. I can’t think of anyone else in a rock band who has more power.