-Who are you and what are you doing here? (what is your name, and what is your role in the band?)
I’m TJ Courtney… I’m the singer and guitarist for RadioBlack.
-How did the band start?
I was starting to write songs for this project and was able to get the attention of the guys at Studio 606, the Foo Fighters’ studio, before I had a band together. The house producer / engineer there Lou (John Lousteau) had me in to record, and before I knew it Taylor Hawkins from the Foos volunteered to play drums on those songs and some other big name players, like Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy) Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction) Jim Rota (Sound City Producer) and Mick Murphy (Chevy Metal) were stepping in to play guitar & bass on the tracks.
Creating a sound with those seasoned rock guys helped me figure out what this band was going to be, and lead me to want to get full time members together and do the rest of the album together. The assistant engineer gave me Derek’s name and we hit it off right away — he’s a such a good drummer. Then we went on a hunt for bass players and eventually found Hayato through a craigslist add. He’s a great all around musician.
-How would you describe your band?
We are trying to bring back organic rock — in a time when music has become very synthetic. We want to flip that on its head a bit. We all grew up on 90’s alt rock and grunge, and what we’ve come to love about it is that it flipped the overproduced and synthesized sound of the 80’s completely upside down. We’re in a similar era now and trying to bring back that 90’s spirit with a few modern elements.
-If you had to choose one song you’ve written that best defines your band which one would it be?
I think the song “Enemies” on our debut album best defines us. It has a guitar-driven, raw, angsty chorus while retaining some pop sensibility.
-In this day and age where anyone is pretty much able to pick up an instrument, what would you say sets your band apart from the rest?
We put our blood, sweat, and tears into this band and our debut album. We could have rushed the album out much more quickly for a pretty good result, but we nitpicked, re-recorded, re-mixed, retracked vocals, guitars, scrapped probably over 50 potential songs for the album — we made sure every song had something very unique and memorable to offer and then obsessed until it was just the way we wanted it — part of that being how to reign it back in to the original inspiration for the song when it drifts away from that.
The other thing that sets us apart is that we are a song and vocal-driven rock band, but we don’t subscribe to “stock-rock” recording techniques and tones. The album is polished but we left some raw elements in there the way recordings did in the 90’s and we think its completely different than anything new out there right now. I think the energy driving these songs really translates at live shows too.
-Where are people able to hear your songs?
They are up on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, all the big digital outlets. You can also grab physical copies with some cool extras on our website, radioblackband.com. We have music videos for 6 of the songs so far and plan to do a video for all 12 songs on the album. Our handle is @radioblackband on youtube and all social media as well.
-Are you playing any shows anytime soon (if you live outside of Australia, do you have any plans for a trip down under)?
We are touring in the fall in the U.S. again, with a similar routing to what we did in the spring — the midwest and east coast. We’ll be playing a few shows in LA before that as well, which you can find on our website. No plans to play Australia yet, but I would love to! Home to one of my biggest inspirations, Silverchair, and also our mixer for this album is from Australia.
-What is your proudest moment/greatest achievement as a band?
I would say getting this album finished and out there, exactly the way we wanted it. Every other album I’ve been a part of has been released and I still had doubts about it, was unhappy with certain elements, etc. This one I stand behind fully — I think we all do.
-Tell us 3 bands that we should be listening to/be keeping an eye out for?
Highly Suspect is a great band on the rise, from my home state of Massachusetts. I’m also into Mondo Cozmo right now, and Dead Sara, who was recording just before us at Studio 606.
-Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks so much for having us! You guys rock — its not easy getting authentic music made and out there, and we are so grateful for outlets like this. Hope to see you down in Australia sometime in the near future.