Crannk Interviews Deaf Radio
Hailing out of Athens is Deaf Radio one of the most exciting psych, alt-rock bands emerging out of Greece at the moment. Deaf Radio’s debut album “Alarm” commanded attention and had thousands of streams online and seen Deaf Radio sharing the stage and with the likes of The Kills and the Killers. Deaf Radio has a sound in which I draw some similarities to QOTSA. Deaf Radio has honed the sound and feel of these new songs off Modern Panic on the road and live to create an amazing alt-rock album full of great moments. Deaf Radio’s latest album “Modern Panic” is due for worldwide release on the 15th of November and Jai recently caught up with Deaf Radio
Deaf Radio thank you so much for making the time to go through some questions for our readers, Crannk, and Myself Jai to go through a few questions to find out some more about Deaf Radio and congratulations on the latest album “Modern Panic”.
DR; Thanks a lot for having us, it’s a pleasure.
Q; First off who are Deaf Radio and how would you describe the sound?
DR; Deaf Radio is a four-piece rock band from Athens, Greece, comprised of Panos Gklinos, Dimitris Sakellariou, George Diathesopoulos and Dimitris Georgopoulos. The band is active since 2015 and has released one EP (Deaf Radio, 2015) and a full-length album (Alarm, 2017).
While our music definitely goes under the guitar rock genre, our influences span over a broad spectrum from desert rock, post-punk to pop.
Q; How did Deaf Radio form?
DR; Some of us were already playing together in another group. The turning point was when George joined on the drums, during the summer of 2015 and just after the release of the self-titled EP. That’s when the band starts to develop a more coherent sonic approach and to compose the debut album, Alarm.
Q; What was your first guitar/bas/drum kit and do you still have it?
Dimitris’ first guitar must have been a REALLY cheap and crappy Yamaha and an even more crappy amp that he can’t even remember the name of! Panos’ first gear was much more legit: a fender squire Stratocaster and marshall amp.
Q; And what guitar/drum kit/bass are you using now?
Panos’ plays with a Gibson SG and uses a Hiwatt head as his main amp (by the way we love these machines a bit more, being endorsed Hiwatt artist as well). Dimitris S. is rather a Fender guy, with a Tele and an HotRod amp. Basso/timpaaanaaa??
Q: Musically who do you feel has helped influence and inspire you?
Each one of us has different starting points in music. Panos and Dimitris S. have a punk and dark wave/post-punk history, George is more into psychedelic rock and some pop stuff while Dimitris G. loves bands like NIN and Chemical Brothers. But we consider it a good thing, as they all blend into our songs in a nice way.
Q; If you had to pick a favorite track off the first album “Alarm” which one would you pick and why?
Hard to pick. Maybe we’ll say “Backseats” just because it’s a song in which we all sing and usually keep it for the final place of our set list in our shows, so it has this special vibe.
Q; The latest album for Deaf Radio is Modern Panic can I ask first how you approached the song writing and song composition for this album?
It was quite different than everything we had then done. While Alarm was largely written inside the studio, with everyone contributing ideas during jamming, Modern Panic was all composed from a distance. We were living in different areas of the world such as London, New York, Athens and Cyprus and going through divergent realities. One would wake up to go to work to the City of London, while the other one was at a minefield in Cyprus, assisting the detonations. Those coming up with a rough idea had to elaborate it a lot and pay attention on the pre-production in order for the rest to get a grip of how they envisage the song to end up like. Composing a song in your living room instead of the rehearsal room, it gives you the time and means to strip it down from the noise, get to the core idea and realise what it is that you are trying to achieve. On the downside, it takes more effort to get everyone’s views incorporated.
Q; Can we go through the first three tracks that have been released off the album so far and what they mean for you starting with Astypalea
“Astypalea” is all about togetherness and how it’s amplified when the conditions are right. But let us set the scene first. You are at a quiet, secluded island of the Aegean Sea, sitting on the rooftop of an all-white church and watching the sun come up after a long night. Alongside you, the people you love and trust. The view is shocking, the surrounding breathtaking and no one needs to talk. People come together, feel like one. This was bigger than us. Reflections above you are controlling the space, you can touch each other’s soul.
“Animals” tells the story of a love affair. Love hunting is deep-rooted in our DNA, so falling in love, failing and trying again is part of our identity. The song balances between those magical moments when you find cover under the someone’s skin, digging a hole that oddly leads to the light. And other times that there’s the downfall; how it all breaks apart and the world is getting stranger. The song climaxes while getting to the final part (outro), like a relationship intensifies and drives you to push your limits and overcome all obstacles.
Every love story is different, so the core idea is that love knows no boundaries and no gender, religion or colour should be an obstacle. There could have been no better way to express this idea other than Evan Marangoudakis’ video. We do feel that the music and picture are intertwined in a great harmony, talking about homophobia and racism that’s all but gone in modern Greece.
“Dance Like A Reptile” stands between Animals and Astypalea in the tracklist but also lyrically. It’s slightly aggressive, a bit selfish. Talks about fervent compulsions. You know, the ones that create the need to break the locks and finally speak up (or scream the lullabies inside your head). And that’s when you’re finding yourself amidst long-dead situations, where there’s nothing left to feel. So as cold hearts take over, you can’t seem to get any help from the crowd. Then you know you gotta walk away but shouldn’t look vulnerable. You gotta leave in style, madly dancing, like a reptile.
Q; Can you tell us about the recording and production process for “Modern Panic”?
With regards to the recordings, almost everything was new to us, in the sense that we changed pretty much all the components compared to Alarm. Not that we didn’t like it, just wanted to try something new. Different producers, studio, and on top of all, different approach. We teamed up with Planet of Zeus’ guitarist Stelios Provis and Greg Magos, our loyal sound engineer. These guys contributed a lot in shaping Modern Panic and giving it a contemporary feel.
Q; Have you approached Modern Panic differently to Alarms and if so how?
Modern Panic isn’t just Alarm’s successor, it’s a record through which we redefine the band’s identity. Composing it felt like looking at a mirror, suddenly noticing something is changed and then embracing it.
First off, like we said before, the songwriting process differed largely. Also, in terms of production and recording, the new album is much more detailed, with attention being paid to the smallest things in order to achieve a high-end result.
Compared to Alarm, Modern Panic is more romantic but equally straightforward and fast. It’s probably closer to what we crave to be.
Q; If you had to pick a track that you are most proud of which one would you pick and why?
It’s even harder to pick one off Modern Panic than it is with Alarm. The self-titled track (Modern Panic) does have some interest as we all contributed in writing parts of the song and love singing the chorus.
Deaf Radio thank you again for taking the time to go through some questions for myself and crannk it is greatly appreciated and congratulations on the latest release.
Kind Regards Jai Anderson & Crannk.
“Modern Panic” due for release on 15 Nov. Preorder the full-length album here: https://deafradio.bandcamp.com
Deaf Radio have a launch show in Athens on the 13th of December event link here https://www.facebook.com/events/2574797785911589/
Follow Deaf Radio: https://www.facebook.com/deafradioband
Check out some more interviews from the amazing Crannk Team at http://www.crannk.com/interviews/