RadioDrone is part schizoid Five Finger Death Punch on the heavy edge, part Foo Fighters rock with the commercial aspects and part hard grooves(Nu-Metal); RadioDrone seamlessly barrels from churning head banging riffs to skyscraping chorus’ and back again with smooth radio made transitions and underground power. They are equally able to dial down their bluster into deft moments of crystalline beauty when the mood takes them there.
RadioDrone has released 2 songs that are equal to the best top radio singles, “Want it Back” and “NeverLution” that can be found on Reverbnation both songs are a gut-punching blend made all the more powerful by a keen lyrical sophistication and philosophical undertone which separates them out from their contemporaries with an Americana back bone and a rebellious big government undertone, you can see their first released video on YouTube: RadioDrone, has done a fantastic job with mainstream radio friendly vocals with thought provoking lyrics with modern Nu-Metal grooves.
They recently performed with Grammy Award-nominated rock band P.O.D., won a national Battle of the Bands competition and were chosen as one of 10 bands to perform at Localpalooza, an event organized by a local radio station, on November 15.
The band, consisting of Ethan Hedayat (lead vocals-guitar), Randy Cash (vocals-guitar), Steven Appel (bass) and Danny Molgaard (drums), was originally formed several years ago as the Beach City Cowboys.
Exclusive Interview with Radiodrone
Coming Up Magazine talked to lead vocalist Ethan Hedayat about the band’s recent success, the importance of buying a physical copy of music and how he finds the time to operate his own company, run a martial arts school and still be the front man of a rock band.
Radiodrone recently was part of two separate competitions. Could you elaborate on what exactly these competitions are?
One is a competition called Localpalooza organized by a local radio station in Riverside that does this annual show and concert. From what I understand, they go through several hundred cd’s before they make choices and then they pick the top ten. We were one of the ten chosen. I’m not sure how they got a hold of our music but we have a publicist and she probably sent them our CD. It’s coming up on November 15 in Riverside and it should be really cool.
We were actually just informed that we won the COLDCOCK Whiskey Battle of the Bands competition. COLDCOCK Whiskey is a company that’s hugely involved in the music industry. Its quickly becoming the musicians brand.
Radiodrone was originally called Beach City Cowboys. What led to the changing of the band’s name?
We were submitted to KLOS for this competition the Heidi & Frank Show did and we won it. We swept the whole contest. When they were listening to us on the show they really loved the music but they had made a comment that “Beach City Cowboys” didn’t match our sound. We had already been tossing around ideas anyway so we made a name change.
I’ve read in some of the previous interviews where you said there is “unity lacking not only in the local music scene but in the world in general.” Could you elaborate on that?
It seems to be a resounding situation that I think is almost at its peak. Everybody has had this ‘out for themselves’ attitude focused solely on their own agenda. You can see that throughout the world in corporate, political and religious situations. You can see it everywhere.
It was in the 80s where bands started to cop an attitude and make it more of a competition. That being said, there has been some things like certain music festivals that bring it b
ack together. I do feel that bands are starting to realize that it works better when you work together and it provides a lot more creativity and entertainment for the people coming to the shows. People in general are starting to get the idea that being a little more selfless, open minded and maintaining positive common goals is actually a good thing.
What is your opinion on streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify? Do you see the death of fans buying a physical
copy of a band’s music as a bad thing?
I have a lot to say about that. I think MP3s are a double edged sword. I think it’s great that it’s easily accessible but it bastardizes the sonic levels of the recording. It also draws away from the artist a lot. You get one song which really doesn’t give you a picture of the artist and unless you go from that download and start seeking out their website, you really don’t know or learn anything about them.
On a CD, the music comes in the form of a wave file, so it’s a much larger audio file. It’s better listening. It’s not pressed down and all the dynamics aren’t washed out.
To me, MP3s are a great tool for business. But if you want to enjoy an artist and give a little respect to the time, effort, heart and soul that is put into the recording, you should honor yourself and get the CD. See who these people are, listen to more than one song and have a decent sound system.
You are involved with several different community organizations, own a martial arts school and operate Happyboy Inc. How do you find the time to balance all these things and still be a front man for a rock band?
It’s brutal (laughs). I don’t know… I’m just kind of designed to move. My martial arts school is close to my house and Happyboy Inc. is at my house so it keeps the driving at a minimum. I have kind of a rhythm depending on what I’m doing. I teach at the school in the morning, shut it down for a little bit in the afternoon, teach again a few hours later and then I’m in the studio for rehearsal. On show days I will have students who cover my classes.
Right now, Happyboy Inc. is producing a music video for “Battle Call” one of the songs on our album. That is a handful within itself. I spent this afternoon working on a fight scene. I’m doing martial arts in it. It’s going to be a really cool video. I’m fighting evil.
How would you describe a typical Radiodrone concert to people who have yet to see the band perform live?
High energy. Our live performances go hand in hand with the energy of the album. I take my job as a front man very seriously. I train hard and I keep moving and we have a good time.
Is there any particular dream city or venue the band would like to play at someday?
Being from around here, I’ve always aspired to play at Irvine Meadows Amphitheater. It’s like my backyard and I grew up going to concerts there. To me, that would just be really cool.
You recently performed with POD. What was that like?
It was super cool. The band is awesome and the audience was great. It was a packed house from the get-go. There wasn’t a lot of attitude or weirdness going on with them either.
I’m going to coin a new term–Business Rockers–and that’s kind of like what we are too. We are rock n’ rollers but we do take it very seriously. You’re not going to find us doing stupid shit you hear these rockers do. It just doesn’t happen with us. We have a good time don’t get me wrong but we are all very responsible. We make sure we’re 110 percent on our game when we roll out.
The band has released one album, The Truth Syndicate Diaries, so far. As of now, are there any plans for a second album in the future?
Damn straight. I was just working with Randy last night. He came over and threw down some rough drafts that we’re going to start working on. We’re tentatively booked for studio time in February though I think we’re going to do an EP not a full album.
How has your love of Martial Arts impacted your approach to creating music?
Music and martial arts are different but they share the same principles. They both stress attaining a supreme state. By this I mean that a musician relies on detailed body mechanics and dexterity as do martial artist. When you are able to accomplish a state where your subconscious is tapped in, thus allowing an intuitional realm in a conscientious state, this would be the essence of all arts. Art is the expression of emotion, emotion is an energy, when it is interpreted though a physical medium this is art both martial and musical.
Martial arts gives me the ability and stamina to put on a great live performance and the discipline and focus to continue to grow. Music makes me a more creative and open martial artist. The two are like brother and sister.
Where do you foresee the band five years from now?
In 5 years I see RadioDrone continuing to produce great music and touring the world to deliver it to our fans personally!
Interview Written by By Sean Stroh
** If we used your photos in this post – Thank You!!