Suburban Radio Interview

We’ve covered them plenty of times on the site, but who are Suburban Radio? Drummer Scott Seabridge talks about the band and what makes them special.

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Punk is dead. That’s the general theory spat around by many a music fan, whether they’re musical snobs or apathetic rebels. It’s hardly a false statement: since the original punk breakout of the 1970’s, every band with a slightly abrasive sound has been labelled and marketed as punk. And after a while, the pop polished sound starts to be a nail in the coffin of the punk scene.

Then once in a while, you get a band that are so anti-pop that it feels like a legitimate punk revival. It’s not pop-punk. It’s not post-punk. It’s punk, as pure and filthy as it was always intended. It’s Suburban Radio.

We started the band before we could really properly play our instruments at all to be honest.” says Scott Seabridge, drummer for Suburban Radio. “I had just started to play the drums and our singer had just started to sing and play guitar so we decided to just put a band together and learn some songs and it went from there.

So, it’s no surprise the band have such a true-to-form punk sound. Just like the original punk bands were formed on a strong attitude, a stomach of lager and a middle finger to the establishment, Suburban Radio also began life as a band of friends who couldn’t properly play their instruments.

But to say that hasn’t changed would be an insult. Though I often to describe them as punk, this is more down to the ethos. The band themselves are fairly genre fluid, making for a lot of variety in their set lists. But while some acts might have trouble making this work, Suburban Radio have found a way to make it work for them: by upping their live show.

The main thing, musically, that sets us apart as a band is how we play a diverse range of styles. Our sound is influenced from anything from Abba to Against Me! and Bob Dylan to Black Flag.

“I think we stand out as a band because we’re energetic and passionate about playing music.
[We are] absolutely a live band, we enjoy playing live more than anything else. We’re a band that focuses more on energy than perfection and it’s difficult to translate the power of a live performance over to an mp3.

This is no lie. I’ve praised Suburban Radio’s live show in the past and any listener to their material will instantly recognise that it’s always designed with a live performance in mind. But this doesn’t hold the band back, or even slightly pigeonhole them. While skipping between genres like punk and folk might seem a stretch too far, the energy in each track is so high that it’s seamless.

Their latest single confirms this. A cover of Irish folk song ‘Fields of Athenry’, it’s delivered in a strikingly non-folk way that seems confusing to hear for those who know it’s a cover. But this is what the band enjoy most about the single and, possibly, about performing covers in general.

To us, it doesn’t seem like such an unusual choice because we listen to, and are influenced by, a large variety of music. We’re big fans of Folk music and it’s often more satisfying to take a song from a different genre and make it your own rather than just doing a carbon copy cover of a song.

We’ve covered Taylor Swift before and a lot of people thought it was ironic, but it wasn’t! We’re just unrestricted when it comes to our taste in music and are generally open to all sorts. If anything, doing something that might surprise a few people is far more satisfying than doing what might be expected of you.

It’s this non-conformist, carefree attitude to their own sound that forms a strong part of their punk aesthetic. Though, towards the end of the interview, Scott does slip up a little bit: the band ARE doing something that we expect of them. The band are working on an album. Kind of.

We’re really trying to sort out the logistics of recording an album, we have more than enough material and it’s long overdue we finally put together an album to release.

You can catch Suburban Radio supporting UK Subs on tour this November, or at their headline show at The Underground, Stoke-on-Trent, this December.

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