Interview with music band Radiana

What do you like most about being a musician?

 Lisa Hammer:  I feel free when I am singing, and I feel most at home when I’m either on stage or in the studio. I love the feeling of going into a trance when writing music, it’s a very spiritual experience. I also love the weird things that happen, at shows and on tour, they make for great stories!

Levi Wilson: I mean, it’s music. Music is how people share emotional experiences across a vast audience. Playing music is externalizing your own feelings and allowing everyone else to feel them with you. It’s a very powerful and fundamentally human. I’m interested in anything that is at the heart of being human.

What’s your favorite album from another artist?

Lisa Hammer:  Too many to list, and it changes almost daily…But this very moment it’s Tone Soul Evolution by Apples in Stereo.

Levi Wilson: I think the album I can listen to repeatedly and still not get tired of is Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Take It to the Man!. I have no idea how Anton does it. I hope that mental illness and drug abuse aren’t the necessary precursors to musical genius. Can I just drink a lot of coffee? Special brownies (gluten free, of course)?

What song of yours are you most proud of?

Lisa Hammer:  I’m proud of them all, but I’m especially keen on Tigress on a Train Moving Fast, that song has really intricate harmonies and I have no idea how I came up with them, it’s as if I was a conduit for some spectral weirdo. The bass line on that song, written by Dan Kohler, is so bonkers difficult we almost couldn’t figure out how to play it live. And Steven Deal’s guitar parts are so tastefully sparse and open that they allow for the rest of us to freely play around inside the song. He was a true genius.

Levi Wilson: I love Over the Moon. I think it’s the song that tells everyone what Radiana is about. It’s the song that automatically pops into my head when I think of the first album that Lisa and Steve created. It has very simple but fun power chord progressions that Lisa finishes off with her amazing vocal compositions. Then Steve adds these little punctuation’s with his guitar. It’s just a very satisfying song.

What is the formula for success in the music industry?

Lisa Hammer:  I could have answered that in the 90’s, because it was an easier puzzle to figure out. I was very successful playing out live gigs where we sold tons of merchandise, gathered fans, gained exposure in magazine articles, toured and made music videos. Now, I have no idea how to get as much exposure, the online music scene is just flooded with artists, all clamoring for attention, and none of us, except the corporate backed musicians, are getting much of a chance to be discovered. We had an  easier time in the 80’s and 90’s getting played on the radio, making live appearances and advertising in actual paper-based magazines. We talk about all of this in our web series Maybe Sunshine, where my character is an aging rock queen who can’t figure out the new musical landscape and complains about it in the funniest ways.

Levi Wilson: I’ll be honest, I have no idea, either. Making a web series featuring the music was an attempt at doing something different to promote the music. I have no idea if it is working. It’s too soon to tell. Nobody has done anything like this since the Monkees, really. And the Monkees came from a network to everyone. Maybe Sunshine is built from the ground up and it’s not meant to be shiny pastel colored eyeball candy. I do think there’s something to be said for consistently plugging away and making good music for as long as possible. And there are a million bands now. In a weird way, labels are almost as important as they ever were because they still have the ear of music outlets and mass audiences. Which means Radiana needs to pivot to a quasi-hip hop band.

 Lisa Hammer:  Oh my god. Hahahahahahaaaa.

 

 

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