[Interview] Radar Men From The Moon [NL]

Radar Men From The Moon
With the release of their amazing second work "Echo Forever" last summer, the Dutch trio Radar Men From The Moon consolidate themselves as one of the best acts Netherlands has to offer along with Het Droste Effect and (judging from what I listened until now) Monomyth, following the steps of outfits like 35007, offer us their own personal sci-fi take of psych heaviness.
Next week on 26th and 27th they're going to give two gigs in Greece (Athens and Thessaloniki), so we grab the chance to make an interview with them before they visit Greece. The interview was intended to take place after their Roadburn appearance but things changed that's why our post-Roadburn question took a different route... Interview was taken by me and Victor, who also organises their gig in Thessaloniki so let's wish him (and the band) all the best...

Downtuned: First of all give us a brief background history about Radar Men From The Moon.
Tony: Radar Men From The Moon is an instrumental space rock band from Eindhoven, the Netherlands.  We started about 2,5 years ago when our former band disbanded (actually only the singer left). We  started out our first year with an EP called: "Intergalactic Dada & Space Trombones". A year after that, we released a full length album called: "Echo Forever", which is going to be released on vinyl via Fuzz Club Records.    

Downtuned: Before RMFTM was Boners Inc. Did Boners Inc. have the same lineup as RMFTM? And why did you split up back then after releasing only one album?    
Tony: Titus and I started Boners inc. when we were teens. We used to listen a lot to Kyuss and other stoner  related bands back in the day. We played a couple of years with that formation. And eventually we had to leave our guitar player because of drug related problems, which was a really hard thing  for us to do. Then after a few try-outs with different guitar players, we found Glenn. We instantly fell in love with his style and sound and decided to bring him in. We wrote a couple of new songs that weren’t released and after a few months our singer suddenly decided to quit due to musical differences. After that we just figured that we don’t really need vocals to make interesting music, so we went ahead and started Radar men from the Moon.  

Radar Men From The Moon - Echo Forever
Downtuned: Few months ago you released your full album "Echo Forever" which personally, as I wrote,  loved it. Tell us a few things about the whole song writing process. Are you the kind of band that gives birth to their music through a jamming/experimenting process or there is a "plan"?    
Tony: We always see song writing as one big ass puzzle. We usually have some riffs or rhythm sections that  work well together and need to be shaped into a song structure. Sometimes that process means allot of jamming, but usually we just figure out the song piece by piece. The sounds and experimenting come after the initial song writing.    

Downtuned: Sci-fi movie samples (either sound or spoken) are playing a major role in your tracks' structure. You're not only using them as intros for example but they're a structural part of your music, like an  extra instrument. Which are the reasons that led you in such extensive samples' usage?    
Tony: In the beginning we kind of noticed there was this huge gap in the live performance where awkward  silences would come to play because we don’t talk during our set, at all. The samples were actually only used to fill the gaps between the songs and give it a space theme. After that we figured we could go nuts on the records and experiment with samples and synths, and so we did.   

Downtuned: Are you fans of sci-fi cinema too? Favorite movies of the genre?    
Tony: Yes we like the vibe and feel of old sci-fi movies, especially some of the cheesy and classic voices/  speeches. I don’t really have favorite movies, because I watch a lot of them. I can remember MOON  being one of my favorites, though that movie is fairly recent comparing to RMFTM or "The Brain that wouldn’t die" and "A Space Odyssey".    

Downtuned: Some time ago you gave a web live-streaming performance (a very successful one), something  I found really interesting and I wish more bands to organize similar "events". How did you came up with the idea? And how it worked as an experience?    
Tony: Well it actually was an assignment I had to do for my study (international event, music &  entertainment studies). I had to do a "live stream event", and it didn't really matter what topic or kind of live stream it had to be. So I just figured, hell why not do it with the band? The reason for this was simple; we had so many people who wanted to see us live, but couldn't really travel the distance  for our shows. And we didn't have the resources to do a big tour either, so the live stream was a  perfect solution to the problem. It was awkward, but at the same time really cool to do! We had  about 130 users logged into the chat (some of them watching with 2 or 3 people), so you might say it was indeed successful for a first tryout. We are definitely going to do this thing again, and I think more bands should try it, since we do live in a digital age and all that.    

Downtuned: You're under Fuzz Club Records roof where you released "Echo Forever". Fuzz Club wouldn't be the first label crossing my mind for releasing your work though since it's mainly focused in a  different spectrum of psychedelia's interpretation. How this collaboration started out?    
Tony: First off all, we are really happy to be with Fuzz Club. They inspire us to look at a broader perspective stylistically and musically. The collaboration really just started out because someone on facebook had  tipped us to Casper, head of Fuzz Club. We started talking about a deal, and he immediately invited us  to play at the Reverb Conspiracy release show in London and feature our track "Heading for the Void" on that record. So we met the guys from the label and we had a great time there, Casper was really enthusiastic and a few weeks later we signed a deal with Fuzz club Records. Oh and to tell you that a lot of the labels that you are probably thinking off just didn't want us. Most of them said our music was to jam based and that instrumental music doesn't sell enough. I have yet  to experience that.   

Downtuned: Last November you took part in The Reverb Conspiracy fest in London, curated by the Bad  Vibrations crew, Fuzz Club Records and The Reverb Appreciation Society, being the heaviest band of the event. I suppose that your audience there was much different or if you prefer diverse than normally. What feedback did you get and how was the whole experience worked for you?    
Tony: As I said above, it was absolutely amazing. We were indeed one of the heaviest bands there, and we  got a lot of positive feedback from the audience. Most of them didn't know us and were surprised  to see us. We got people to dance, something which most stoners won't. We met some awesome people and we really want to get back again!    

Downtuned: What was the reason you played under the stage among the audience? Too many amps?  
Tony: Haha, I am actually surprised you know that! (note: Victor was there as we write below and he had a very interesting report here) Well, we did'’t really like the stage, because there  was a backline we had to use and there was no room for us to change drums. And damn it, I really wanted to play on my own kit. So we got the crazy idea to just set up in front of the stage and it turned out really great! I think if we see the opportunity, we would definitely do it again.    

Downtuned: And you've just played in Roadburn which I think is a major point and experience for every  band. What did it add in your experiences' backpack?    
Tony: Well, I am writing this on a Thursday. We still have to play at Roadburn tomorrow! But I am sure it  will be a great experience, we are really looking forward to it. Roadburn has been both an inspiration and a home to us the past couple of years.

Radar Men From The Moon, Routes, Thessaloniki
Downtuned: And your next stops are in Greece for two gigs in Athens and Thessaloniki... Have you ever  been there before?    
Tony: Nope, we have never been in Greece before. So we are really looking forward to travel through  Greece and hopefully meet a lot of awesome rock minded people!    

Downtuned: Have you checked any Greek bands and generally have any contact with the Greek scene?  
Tony: Yes, we played with a band called 1000Mods here in the Netherlands. We were supposed to play  with them on the way back from Greece, but we both just noticed that 1000Mods will be here in  Eindhoven at the same time we are in Athens. So that is too bad, would have really liked to play with  those guys again, especially in their hometown!  

Downtuned: After a few stops in Serbia, Slovenia, Austria, it's time for Freak Valley Fest in Nepthen, where  I'm going to catch you. What should I expect, and in general your audience, from a RMTFM gig?   
Tony: I really don’t know yet. Normally we have a dark mood with some visuals going on. But this time it’s  on an outside stage in the afternoon. So we won’t be able to do visuals and lighting at all. Think we will just have to play as tight as we can!    

Downtuned: Any new releases that caught your attention recently?    
Tony: Uhm, well yeah. I really like GOAT, the new Black Angels album and I have been listening a lot to  Follakzoid these days. Also really looking forward to the new Dead Meadow record, don’t know when  that one will come out though. Oh and I almost forgot the new Mogwai – Les Revenants Soundtrack.    

Downtuned: You also have a summer tour going on and "Echo Forever" vinyl is just released. What's coming  next for RMFTM.    
Tony: I am still looking for shows in the summer tour schedule. Right after we come back from the tour,  Titus, our bassplayer, will leave to India for a couple of months. So we are trying to get another album recorded before we go on tour. But as of yet, no real deadline is set, so we don’t really know when that new record will be out.    

Downtuned: That's all from our side. Thanks a lot for the interview. We'll see you soon (Victor at  Thessaloniki and me at Freak Valley). Last words is up to you...    
Tony: Thank you Victor and Thanos! We’ll see you then, be sure to say hi and grab a beer with us. Really  looking forward to both those gigs. Cheers!

A big fat thanks to Tony for the interview as well as Victor for arranging/taking part in it.
Pre-order "Echo Forever" LP: Fuzz Club Records

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