interview with Raw Radar War

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What´s the name of your band? Raw Radar War.  Early on we were called Septic Youth Command.....a name that came out of an inside joke with one of our friends.
Where are you from? We're from Boston, Mass.  USA.
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you?
We're all in our 40's and have been playing in bands since we were in our teens.
Mike Cahill (drums)
Charles Corey (bass)
Jonah Jenkins (vocals)
Pat Tapia (guitar)
Mario Travers (guitar and background vocals)
Previous members of the band are Scott Gallagher (guitar) and Matt Quinn Dylan (guitar).  
Have any of you played in other bands? 
We've all played in played in a number of bands before RRW.  Jonah played in Only Living Witness, Miltown, Milligram
and has done a number guest appearances on records by Converge, Crash and Burn, 36 Crazyfists, and Enahre.  
Mike has played in Toe Tag and A Poor Excuse.  Pat has played in Betrayed (Chile), The Ladybug Smashers and Ugly Stick.  
Charlie played in a number of bands with members of Ichabod and I played in a Boston metal band called Ohm back in the 90's.
How was the band formed? We formed in 2002 in Boston.  We had all been friends since we were kids but were in bands with other people.  At the time we all found each other band-less for various different reasons so we decided to put a band together. The band consisted of myself (Mario) on rhythm guitar / background vocals, Jonah Jenkins on vocals, Scott Gallagher on lead / rhythm guitar, Charles Corey on bass and Mike Cahill on drums.  Jonah had played in several amazing bands such as Only Living Witness, Miltown and previous to RRW, Milligram.  I had played in a local metal band called OHM and Mike had been playing in several different local bands (Toetag, Kozik, A Poor Excuse).  Shortly after our first record "Double Equals" was released on Traktor7 / Shifty, Scott left the band and Matt Quinn Dylan (Oblivionation) joined on guitar.  After recording a seven inch for Land O Smiles, Matt left the band and was replaced by Pat Tapia on guitar.  Pat is currently the second guitarist in the band. 
We've been playing now as a band for a solid 13 years.
What was the ambitions of the band when you started? We really didn't have any ambitions other than putting together a band, playing the kind of music that we loved and doing it with good friends.  We never had any thoughts of being rock stars or anything remotely like that.....we just wanted to play heavy music leaning on our influences at the time such as Discharge, Doom, Bolt Thrower, Celtic Frost, Poison Idea, His Hero is Gone, Jerry's Kids, the F.U.'s and Eye Hate God.  Period.

How would you describe your music? Short blasts of sludgy, crusty, punk metal.
Who writes your songs?/ Who writes the music who writes lyrics? In general we all are very much involved in the song writing process.  Much of the time myself, Pat or Charlie will come up with riffs and then we'll get together chopping and pasting parts together.....Jonah will generally arrange the order, length etc. of the riffs to make a cohesive song and then write lyrics for it.  
Why did you pick that particular style? / What are your songs about? I think we basically arrived at this style and sound because of the influences that we all have. We really didn't think about trying to achieve any sort of style or genre.  We were really just trying to find a musical style that satisfied us.  If people like what we're doing that's great but if not, we really could care less. In terms of what our music is about lyrically, we've focused on many different themes from the brutality of war to the inner struggle that many people face in their own lives.  I Think Jonah has taken concepts that he feels passionate about and then abstracted them so that we're not coming out and shoving something down your throat about what we care about.....instead we're giving you the opportunity to make your on interpretations of the music and take from it what you will.
Do you write your own material or mainly covers? We play all original songs but have covered some of the bands that we've been influenced or moved by.  We have done covers of Doom, Crumbsuckers, early Prong, Black Flag, Jerry's Kids, Siege,

GG Allin.  
Have you made any albums?/If yes what are they?
Discography:
- 2007 Raw Radar War - == (Land O Smiles) 12" vinyl, limited pressing of 500 copies
- 2007 Raw Radar War - == (TRAKTOR7/SHIFTY) CD
- 2007 Raw Radar War/Deer Creek split (Game Two) 12" vinyl (limited press of 500, colored
vinyl) and CD
- 2007 Raw Radar War - Pharmacopoeia: Volume One (Land O Smiles) 7" vinyl box set compilation
(with Coffins, Misanthrope Project, Kongh, Deadbird, Fistula, Noosebomb, Ravens Creed, Witch
Lord, and Fossegrimen) limited pressing of 250 box set copies, 50 split 7" copies (with
Deadbird)
- 2010 Raw Radar War - Defend Finland 7" - Chainsaw Safety Records
- 2012 Raw Radar War - THIS IS GOOD: A BLACK FLAG TRIBUTE TAPE - Limited Cassette  (Land O Smiles)
We're currently working on new material in the studio and are hoping to be releasing a full length before the end of 2015 if not early 2016.

Unfortunately it takes us a long time to write songs and record them.  We're really happy with what we put together so far for the new record and 
think it may be one of our favorite recordings to date.  We're really looking forward to getting out there.
We'd like to get some distro or other help from a label but if not.....no big deal we'll press it ourselves and get it out to people on our own.
Do you have any clips on YouTube?
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=raw+radar+war
What are your sources of inspiration? We're influenced and inspired by all sorts of things....musical and non-musical.  We're inspired by history, science, technology....we draw from many things that we're passionate about.  We're lucky in that we tend to read a lot and are interested in many subjects.  It makes it really
easy to find things to write about.
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? I think we are influenced by all kinds of bands, old and new. I think because most of us love music so much we're Always turning each other on to new stuff or old stuff for that matter. Bandcamp is one of the places that  I spend a lot of time checking out new bands and downloading new music. It's really one of the  cooler things that's happened to music over the last 10-15 years. For me it's a valuable resource for inspiration and energy.  Luckily for the last 5 or 6 years I've been able to make it to Maryland Deathfest every year and have seen a ton of great bands live.   Many of which may only come to the US for that one festival......totally inspiring.
What's the first step when making a new song? It's very simple, one of us will write a riff, have a drum beat, or a theme lyrically/musically and bring it to the practice room.  From there we try to work out a number of riffs that work together to create a basic arrangement.  Then we basically start building on top of that.  Jonah usually
becomes the driving force at that point and helps us to create a final arrangement that he can work with lyrically.  
How do you feel about the downloading of music instead of buying albums? Of course we would love people to buy our records but we have no problem with people downloading our music and promoting our band.  Many people forget that this is how bands in the 80s and 90s, long before MP3s existed, were exposed to their fans.  People created mixed tapes and traded with their friends.  Bands like Metallica have tape trading first and foremost to thank for their early popularity.  I personally love to buy the cd or vinyl because I love to have the artwork, the lyrics and the physical media, so I try to pick up the records when I can.
Besides your own music, what genres and bands do you listen to? We listen to many different types of music and we draw from many of those influences.  I listen to everything from jazz, to classical, to grind, to crust to noise and really Everything in between.  It really depends on my mood at the time.  That's one of the things that I think is great about the people in the band, I think we're all very open minded about music.  Lately I've been really listening to a lot of Scandinavian crust and
hardcore.  Bands like Avskum, Wolfbrigade, Vicitims.....etc.  I've also really been listening to a lot of trip hop sort of sounding stuff and ambient noise.  Bands like Death Grips, Scorn, Dälek etc.....but really It all depends on my mood.
Have you been part of any other projects? Yes, myself, Jonah and Pat have been involved in several different projects spanning various different musical styles.  I'm currently trying to get a project off the ground with Pat and some other friends singing in a band that I'm hoping will eventually end up being total Bolt Thrower worship.  Jonah has appeared as a guest vocalist on several different albums including Converge's Grim Heart / Black Rose....Pat has been involved in various different projects with ex-members of Boston thrash legends Wargasm.
I've been personally also working on an experimental noise project using my computer as well as my guitar and eventually am hoping to do some collaborations with other musicians.
What do you like to do outside of music? Drink beer, play ice hockey, shoot guns and cook.....for me.  Pat is an amazing artist and he spends a lot of time
drawing and painting.  Jonah is really into cooking and also camping on his land in Vermont. Mike enjoys riding his motorcycle.  Charlie is a huge baseball fan.  We all have very good jobs that allow us to play music that we love so we're not very concerned with writing music that appeals to people only to make money. It's actually a great luxury.
How important are your fans? Fans are always important to us however we don't write music hoping they'll like it....instead we write music that we are passionate about....if people like it, great, if not it's their loss.  Like I've said multiple times we love what we do and really that's all matters.  If you love it generally someone else 
will too.
How often do you rehearse? We generally rehearse and write 1-2 times a week.  If we're in the studio or have a show we may add some 
additional nights to the schedule but for the most part we usually stick to once or twice per week.  We're actually moving into A new rehearsal room this week which we're really psyched about. It will be the first time since we've been a band that we've had our own room that we weren't sharing with another band. Kind of exciting for us.
What language do you sing in? We sing exclusively in English.
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? We definitely try to vary what we play for set list from show to show......although we really don't play out very often so it probably wouldn't hurt to do the same songs for every show. I would say that we do tend to have a good mix between older songs and newer songs when we play a show. 
What drives a band that isn't all that famous and renowned to try to make a living on their music and to keep playing? Just being able to create music that you love and really that's the only reason to even be in a band in my opinion.
Do you have any web pages?/How can you be contacted?
People can contact us through our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Raw-Radar-War/361749294700
Describe your show, visually and musically: Aggression, intensity, rawness, brutality, low end.  If your head wasn't torn off then we didn't do our job.
What advice would you like to give other bands? Create music that you're passionate about....if you believe in it, someone else will as well....if not who fucking cares.  At least you can 
say that you were involved with writing and playing music that you love.  I'm sure that's more than many successful bands can say. Treat other bands like you want to be treated, treat the soundman / staff of clubs with respect and don't be a fucking dickhead. I guarantee that you're definitely not as good as you think and if you are, treating the people you interact with, with a level of respect will definitely take you further than being an asshole.  
Do you have anything to add? Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. We really appreciate it!
 
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