Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Well I should start by saying Radiator King does not operate as a band in the traditional sense. Sometimes it’s me solo and sometimes it’s a full band. The lineup is always changing but there is usually a pool of the same musicians that I play with me at any given time. The current lineup is Shaul Eshet on Keys, Ed Goldson on Bass, and Brian Viglione on drums.
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Radiator King? How long has the band been around?
I was in a band called Margin Walker back when I lived in Boston. We were a post-hardcore band and we were around for about 4 or 5 years. We broke up around 2011. Brian, our drummer, plays in the Dresden Dolls and Scarlet Sails. The other guys are always playing with different people. I can’t keep track of what they’re re up to.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
It was actually the title I gave to a friend’s painting when we were younger. He suggested I use the name for a band sometime so later down the road when it came time for me to record an albumof my own, I decided to use the name. I think it fits the music well.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
I write the songs. Generally, I am attracted to stories about the underdog; people who don’t usually have much of a voice in our society. I always found these people to be extremely heroic in the ways that they treat others and in the sacrifices they make for their fellow man, usually their deeds go unnoticed. I also tend to be inspired by history. I never sit down and choose to write about a particular thing. It just sort of seeps out through your subconscious and you start to see it take form. You just become the conduit or the vehicle to tell the story.
I think as a song writer you try and pick out the themes and qualities that are timeless in which all people can connect with. If you can get to the heart of these matters, then you have a piece that can really stand the test of time. It’s these types of songs that have the ability to connect with people on a deep and profound level. That’s why guys like Dylan and Cohen were so incredible. They were able to write songs that no matter the time period, no matter the country or city people can relate.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
I really like this band called Tinariwen. I also think that guys like Brian Fallon and Frank Turner are making some incredible music. Then of course there’s the stuff that I am always listening to like Dr. John, Bob Dylan, The Clash, Fugazi, Nick Cave and Howlin’ Wolf. Damn, I could go on forever.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Absolutely. At different points in my life there were shows that I saw that turned me onto different elements that were important for me at that specific time in my life. I remember being around 13 years old and my brother taking me to see H20 and The Bouncing Souls at the Middle East Club in Boston. It was my first time seeing a punk rock band play live and I was just in awe! The energy of it all just overtook me and I was instantly hooked. I can also remember that seeing Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds for the first time was a big deal for me.
They made me understand that energy, emotion and power did not necessarily have to come from volume and speed. They were true masters of dynamics and they played with a certain amount of composure. They are just incredible. And Nick Cave, forget about it. He instantly gabs hold of you and you are in a trance. He’s like some sort of medicine show preacher that’s from a different time and place. After seeing you him you can’t help but feel lucky that you were alive at a time in history where he was also alive and performing; you know you saw music legend.
What do you do to prepare for a show?
Nothing specific. I try my best to focus on the task I am about to do. But to be honest, once you get out there on stage, all else melts away. It’s as if you enter into a different world and when you are done performing you go right back to the world you previously occupied. It’s really some sort of magic act.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Hmmm, I’d say this past Spring tour was pretty amazing. But then again, I feel that way about every tour we go on! I guess on a personal level, it is such a pleasure for me to be able to play and record with such amazing musicians.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
It would probably be the Bad Brains. They were an incredible band with so much style and their live shows look insane. I always wish I got to see them back in the day at CBGB’s.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We will have some new music coming out probably around springtime so be sure to be on the lookout for that. Thank you for the interview!