Interview with Hey Radio
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
We’ve all been into music in some form or another, whether it’s playing in bands, jamming out to tunes with the buds, or even studying it in school. Honestly, if we didn’t have music in our lives, we’d probably be bored behind a desk haha
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
When we’re not playing music, we’re either hanging out together or with our families, sometimes chilling while playing Halo, Pokemon, or Diablo. Everything with that, especially the fun side, goes into our writing and style because our songs are definitely about having a good time!
How long has your band been around?
We started about six years ago. We were actually reforming a metal band that Adam (vocals) and Elton (rhythm guitar) had been in, and one day during a rehearsal, Ian (lead guitar) started playing a song (“P.E.”) from his old punk band. The guys loved it and we made a decision to kinda do a Spinal Tap thing by making a comedy punk side project. After a while, we realized that writing and performing punk was a lot easier than metal, and we’d have more opportunities in our area to play shows, so the side project ended up becoming the main project while the metal band was put to the side. Eventually, we were able to find Marcota (bass) and Payton (drums) and the band was complete, releasing an EP (“Get Loose!”) and eventually a full-length album (“Bangers”). COVID and life ended up hitting the band, and both Payton and Elton decided to leave. We ended up landing Dustin (drums, now rhythm guitar) and Donnie (drums) and are back to being a fun five-piece again!
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
We’re based in Wichita, Kansas, and to be honest, that hasn’t really influenced our sound. Our style has a real throwback feel, so if anything were to really influence it, it’d be 90s teen movie soundtracks and games like Tony Hawk Pro Skater!
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
The name came from a joke, actually. We were coming up with song ideas and one of us said “Hey, radio! Play our stuff!” It just kinda stuck haha
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
We actually had one that was the result of an idea we were tossing around, and were able to work with a local brewery and a couple of bands to pull off a Punk Rock Brunch. The response was great, and it ended up being a perfect day for a pretty perfect show!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
There have been a lot of venues we’ve really enjoyed, but one in particular is when we play the Smoky Hill River Festival’s Festival Jam. It’s a concert on the opening night of the weekend festival, there are sixteen bands, and each band gets about 12-15 minutes to play before the next one takes the stage right after. It’s actually a really cool thing, and there are literally thousands of people out there! We always have a great time and get a great response when we play. We’d also love the chance to play Riot Fest in Chicago and we’d also love to play a show or two with our friends’ band in Seattle!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
This is a tough one, because there are so many great bands past and present that we’d love to play with. Obviously, we’d love to play with some of the heavy hitters in the punk scene, but we’d love to do a cross-genre festival, so bands like Rancid, Masked Intruder, The Interrupters, Body Count, Smoking Popes, Pennywise, and even Taylor Dayne would be a blast to do a festival with!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Keep your head on straight, focus on making the best product you can, never forget the fans, and always remember there’s a difference between confidence and arrogance. Above all else, have fun!
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Take that chance, send the song, accept the gigs, don’t settle.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
It’d probably be one of our earlier songs, “(Not So) Motivated” because it truly fits us as a band. The song’s all about getting together with the buds, tossing back a few, and partying together. We want people to have a good time with our music, and that’s one of the songs that really encompasses that!
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Probably “Punk Rock Show” (our most recent single), “Cool Kids Table” (a new one we’re recording at the moment), “P.E.” (an old cover that was the first song we worked on as a band back in the day), and “Everybody” (our Backstreet Boys cover which is a big hit with the crowd).
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Most of the time, it’s a pretty laid back process. Someone will have a riff that they came up with and we’ll jam on it. If we’re feeling it, we continue working with the tune. Once we’ve got a good idea on the music, Adam will start working on a melody and lyrics, and they end up being pretty fun!
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Our songs are all over the place, but the biggest thing we like to get across is that music should be fun and enjoyable, and that you should never neglect going out and having a good time!
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Oh, all the time! Mostly, we get past them by talking through things and having a cold one!
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Right now, we’re working on a couple of new EPs that we hope to have out this fall or winter, and we’re really stoked about what everyone’s gonna hear! We’re hoping that the new recordings are the ones that’ll take us to the next level, and we’re hoping that folks enjoy them as much as we did writing them!