An Interview with John Malkin of The Simple Radicals

Recently, we had the pleasure of speaking with John Malkin of Simple Radicals. Among other things, we touch on what he’s been up to during the lockdown, his newest music, his origins, and what he’s looking forward to the most once COVID-19 breaks.

Andrew:
John, I appreciate you taking the time today. How have you been holding up over the last year or so? What have you been up to?

John:
We’ve been quite busy. We’re currently recording some new material including a really cool rocker called “Let’s See What You Got.” We continue to push our album, New Revolution, which has the Guitar God, Vernon Reid, from the band Living Colour playing lead on the track “Medicate,” We just released a Marilyn Manson-esque re-imagining re of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” where we collaborated with an amazing husband/wife team called Che-Val. And, we have a podcast show called Music & A Brew, where we crack open a cold one with musical artists. We’ve done shows with world-class drummers Kenny Aronoff (Mellencamp, Fogerty, McCartney, etc.), and Todd Sucherman (Styx), and just recorded a show with Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, which will be out in a few weeks.

Andrew:
Before we dive into your professional career, let’s go back a bit. What first got you hooked on music?

John:
I grew up addicted to Classic Rock and would burn the grooves in the vinyl or CD from constantly playing their albums. Then, I became a drummer and played in some bands until I took up guitar. The rest is history.

Andrew:
Who were some of your early influences?

John:
Eddie Vedder is my musical hero. I’m mesmerized with his writing and try to capture the messaging, passion and energy that he does in his songs. If I can even come within a million miles of that I’d consider it a success. Other bands that have influenced us include Foo Fighters, Cheap Trick, Pink Floyd, Green Day, and Tom Petty. If you like the sounds of those bands, then I think you’ll like our band and sound.

Andrew:
Let’s talk about recent events. Tell us about your new album, New Revolution.

John:
New Revolution is about the extremes of what people are going through today, and their efforts to instill a revolution of change. About using the power of their voice to create the catalyst for change, and to better their lives and society as a whole.

Andrew:
What lyrical themes are you exploring with your new music?

John:
Ultimately, we’re trying to convey a refreshing change from the clichés that currently permeate Rock with music, and lyrics that aim to both observe, and reimagine the current state of affairs in the world today. We try to capture through our music and convey to our fans what’s really going on in society with poignant lyrics, and straight-from-the-heart energy.

Andrew:
How about the production side of things? Do you self-produce, or do you bring in outside voices?

John:
The album was produced by Kenny Cash, at Factory Underground Studio, in Norwalk, CT. He’s an absolutely incredible producer, and musician, who is loaded with ideas and experience.

Andrew:
Are you into vinyl? Cassettes? CDs? Or are you all digital now? What are a few of your favorite albums, and why?

John:
For the most part, I’ve gone digital, but I recently dusted off my album collection and purchased a new turntable. It’s a lot of fun to hear the crackle of vinyl again. One of my favorite albums is Lights Out by UFO. Other favorites include Led Zeppelin IV, Collective Soul’s Dosage, and Dada’s Puzzle.

Andrew:
What other passions do you have? How do those passions inform your music, if at all?

John:
I just love the outdoors and try and get out as often as I can. Especially to the mountains. Getting out gives you the opportunity to truly observe life as we know it, and get ideas and inspiration to write, and create.

Andrew:
In your opinion, what is the state of the music business these days? Should artists be hopeful? Scared? Both?

John:
A little bit of both. The music industry today has incredible opportunities but also huge challenges. From an opportunity standpoint, with such advanced technology and portability, you can create some amazing music in your bedroom and even collaborate with people without having to be in the same room. On the flip side, there are thousands of songs being released on Spotify, and other platforms every day, so the ability to break out, and get noticed is highly challenging. You’re on your own to develop your sound, talent, and audience, and then you can try and make it. Tough times no doubt, and it’s only for the diligent, and resilient bands that want to really invest in their music, and build an audience. You constantly have to think, and rethink what it takes to break out, and get noticed.

Andrew:
Last one. We seem to be nearing a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of COVID-19 restrictions. That said, what’s next on your docket? What are you looking forward to most in the pos-COVID world?

John:
We’re just so anxious to get out and play live again. We have such a tremendous and loyal fanbase, and we love to feed off their energy in a live show. We’re going to be smart though, and make sure the conditions are right. Like we tell our fans — Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay Radical.

Interested in learning more about the music of The Simple Radicals? Check out the link below:

Dig this interview? Check out the full catalog of VWMusic Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interviews

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

With an immense passion for music, a disposition for writing, and an eagerness to teach and share both, Andrew decided to found VWMusic in 2019 as a freelance column under the column Idle Chatter. Over time, the column grew into a website that now features contributors who further the cause of sharing both a love of music and the art of journalism with the world through articles and interviews. While Andrew enjoys running the website, his real passion lies in teaching and facilitating others to do what they do best, and giving them the opportunity to explore their passions in the process. Some of Andrew’s favorite artists include KISS, Oasis, ACϟDC, Elvis Presley, Ace Frehley, The Rolling Stones, Rush, The Pretenders, Led Zeppelin, The Gaslight Anthem, Iron Maiden, John Lennon, The Melvins, Noel Gallagher, Regina Spektor, Rory Gallagher, The Stone Roses, The Strokes, Thin Lizzy, Elvis Costello, Van Halen, Neil Young, Blur, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and many more.
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: