INTERVIEW: Pacific Radio

Los Angeles is undoubtedly a tough market to break out of, with a plethora of artists and bands saturating the city. Hard work is definitely key to making it out, and Pacific Radio have been putting in the hours to make something notable. The band’s latest EP, “Kitchen Table”, recently came out, as well as the video for the title track. With a lot more in store, we caught up with the band to see what they’re up to:

B&E:  Introduce yourselves! Who are you?

JR:  We’re Pacific Radio, an indie rock and roll outfit from Los Angeles.  I’m Joe Robinson.  I sing and play guitar

HS:  Yo yo.  I’m Hyke, I play drums.

JS:  Joe Stiteler, bass.

KB:  My name is Kyle, I am a guitarist.

B&E: Your debut EP, “Kitchen Table”, has a variety of different sounds. What bands influenced this collection of songs?

JR:  I’m from Minneapolis, so The Replacements are a big one for me. Guitars and poignant lyrics. Their guitars are about perfect, not too technical, but Westerberg has a feel you can’t replicate.  He’s truly in it.  I think it was the perfect balance of Lake Street in the mid 80s, minimum sleep, and alcohol.

KB:  We draw from a variety of influences, this EP has everything from Rolling Stones guitar tricks to Pet Sounds harmonies and arrangements.  We set out to make every song unique and still hold the core band as its priority. I think all the songs sound like the a 4 piece Pacific Radio live show, however when you listen a little deeper there are quite a few things creeping beneath the surface to dig into.

B&E: What are your favorite songs on the EP?

JR:  “Kitchen Table” is my favorite right now. Or should I say they’re all great in their own way.  Which they are.  ALL GREAT

HS:  For me, it’s a fight between “L.A. is Pretty” and “Katie”.  Those two tracks really allow me to express two different sides of my musicality.

JS:  “Tight Jeans” is fast and ballsy and fun.  I put it on when I wanna go surfing without leaving the couch, or go surfing at all.  I don’t surf.

KB:  “L.A. is Pretty (but it’s killing me)”

B&E: What was shooting the “Kitchen Table” video like?

JR:  It was very professional which I appreciate.  The director used our song for his web series and agreed to direct the video in return. We prepped it pretty heavily and pulled favors for budget so it was only a two day shoot.  Two very long days.  But that’s an advantage of Los Angeles, there are so many people grinding at their art that we can help each other out.

JS:  Shooting “Kitchen Table” was a marathon two-day banger that beat the shit out of all of us – and we couldn’t have been happier.  It was guerilla-style with our locations and we made adjustments on the fly, up until the final print.  We’re getting great feedback on it and stoked to have it represent us out in the world for those that haven’t seen a show.

KB:  Shooting the video was great. We had a awesome crew that our director, Caleb King, put together. It was two long days of shooting, but it never felt like work.

B&E: Do you think there’s any advantages to forming a band in a city with as big of a pool of talent as LA has, as opposed to starting out in a smaller market?

HS:  Yeah, there are definitely a ton of musicians that have migrated to L.A. which gives it a strong advantage when looking to start a band. But there’s some serious talent all over the world and getting a good band takes a lot more than a few good players.

JR:  Yea, but everyone is in a struggle except Young Thug so it’s a similar sentiment wherever you are.  We just pass a lot more Bentleys on the way to our soundcheck.  In the end, a good song is a good song whether you write it in Los Angeles CA or Wahkon MN.  I’ve lived and written the same in both.

KB:  The talent in Los Angeles is pretty amazing at times.  However, great chops do not necessarily make great bands. There are so many factors when a group of people are working on original music.  Things like vibe, camaraderie and passion play huge roles. Just like JR said, good songs can come from any city.  Just because you don’t have washed up  rockstars at the local starbucks doesn’t mean you can’t have a mean band.

B&E: What are the future plans for Pacific Radio? Will we see you in Milwaukee anytime soon?

JR:  Midwest, definitely need to get home soon.

HS: As of now, our plan is to hit the road and finish our record.  Milwaukee is definitely in our trajectory!

JS:  Milwaukee and Madison top the list of great live music cities we haven’t played yet.

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