Having played in a variety of punk and hardcore bands in New Zealand, including ZHUKOV, Master Blaster, Nervous Jerk, Blamethrower and a bunch more, members of RADIUM are no new to the scene and their newest offering proves that they manage to tug at your heartstrings with some 80s nostalgia, while giving you a solid beating with their raw and in your face sonic approach. Just released via their own DUST UP Records, their debut 7” “Witness For Yourself, The Healing Properties of Radium” is a straight-up, ugly slap in the face… and we kinda like it!
We caught up with RADIUM to chat about the band, the EP and the Christchurch music scene at large.
Can you give us some background on the band and members, what kind of lives you lead etc?
Johnny [bass]: We got together in May this year. We’ve all played in bands previously in Christchurch. Luke, Dan and I played together in Zhukov and Ardo played drums in Internet Death, who we were big fans of. Internet Death weren’t doing a huge amount and I didn’t want to play drums any more, so we started a new band.
Dan [vocals]: We wanted to do something faster and heavier than the previous few bands.
Ardo [drums]: I was playing in Internet Death, which was an electronic punk project with live drums. Think Machine Girl, or Death Grips but faster. I wanted to play in a more traditional hardcore band for a while, and Dan asked me to join Radium.
Luke [guitar]: (Luke is being an international jet set guy in Australia and isn’t actually here).
Are there any standout influences on the RADIUM sound?
Johnny: I’m pretty into 80s hardcore music and feel like that comes through in the sound, especially the more frantic bands like Void, Koro and Deep Wound. Also fast and slow stuff like Infest, Crossed out definitely comes through in RADIUM.
Ardo: Just lots of fast, raw, primitive hardcore. A lot of noisy, ‘mysterious guy’ hardcore like Cult Ritual, Hoax, Total Abuse.
Dan: I am a big fan of early 80s shit which is a definite influence on RADIUM, but especially Swedish stuff like Anti-Cimex and some of the more distorted of Japanese hardcore like Framtid.
What else is going on locally?
Dan: Christchurch punk scene is going extremely hard at the moment. Dust Up! Records does a mean job releasing local bands, and some fun shows happening fairly regularly, new faces every time getting pumped on punk.
Johnny: Local bands like Crustaceanz have released an album this year, Bear Trap have an upcoming EP, Nervous Jerk album this year, the Tacks have a (posthumous) album coming out, Anti Stasi new releases including split with Carradine Choke. It’s all go baby!
Anything exciting on the horizon for RADIUM?
Ardo: First live show at Never Mind the Punkfest in Poneke (Wellington) will be fun. Then we have shows in Christchurch for Anti Stasi’s 7” release, plus supporting Stress Ghetto (Wellington) and Knifed (Auckland) on their tour here.
Dan: Absolutely stacked line ups, can’t wait.
Johnny: Plus writing and recording a new EP which will be out whenever it’s ready, probably not far away considering the last one took 45 minutes to record.