[SXSW Interview] The Radkey Brothers Are Bringing Punk Back

Radkey by Ra Ra Photography

Photography by Ra Ra Photography

By the time I had gotten to The Hangar on 4th and Colorado, SXSW had begun to weigh on me. In what is easily evident from the journals throughout the week, this year’s South By was filled a bit more to the brim with corporate positioning and exclusive shows than actually enjoying new, fresh music on the cusp. These three brothers from St. Joseph, Missouri, however changed all that pretty quickly. I jogged up the last step to the rooftop of The Hangar with my photographer, Asia Ashley, right on my heels as Radkey tore into the beginning of their set. As a decent crowd stood back, drinks in hand, smug looks in place watching the three young artists it became readily obvious these guys were a little different. With powerful chord progressions and vocals that stack beautifully and play well to the ear melodically, Dee Solomon and Isaiah pulled the crowd toward them one by one. As if in a trance, couples began gyrating towards each other, older men nodded their heads and stomped their feet and some stood open-mouthed. It seems somewhat uncomfortable, if only because it had been awhile since anyone had heard an act like this in today’s electronically-saturated music climate. Isaiah rolled on the floor furiously tearing away at his white guitar as Dee handled the vocals and stood, power-stanced at the mic. As calm as could be, the youngest brother Solomon kept pace on the drums. The three brothers stand out in punk rock, a genre that has been largely out of the spotlight for the better part of a decade, both for their smooth playing and their age. As part of a new resurgence in the genre that is led by both them and The Orwells, these three brothers from a little town in Missouri are ready to take the music to the forefront once again, with true punk grit to match. While their live show may be a frenetic, in your face experience, Dee, Isaiah and Solomon may be the nicest bunch I’ve had the chance to interview. The next few months will find them across the country and in Japan, the mecca of some of their favorite pastimes: Anime and video games. Check out my candid Q+A with the next big thing out of St. Joseph, Missouri.

Jake Krzeczowski

Jake Krzeczowski is a writer based in Chicago. Since graduating from the University of Iowa in 2012 he has written for the likes of The Chicago Sun Times, Complex Magazine, and Elevator Magazine.

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