Kansas City rock foursome Radar State may be newly-minted, but the members of the band are familiar names to independent music fans. With members of the Get Up Kids, the Anniversary, and the Architects, the band’s pedigree is unquestionable.
Radar State features Josh Berwanger (The Anniversary, Berwanger) and Jim Suptic (The Get Up Kids, Blackpool Lights) trading off lead and rhythm guitar duties, with Matt Pryor (The Get Up Kids, The New Amsterdams) on bass, and Adam Phillips (The Architects, The Gadjits) on drums. Berwanger, Pryor, and Suptic all take turns on lead vocals, and that’s an integral part of the band’s direction, say the members.
“It was the most important discussion we had when first getting together,” says Suptic. “I love that we each take the lead. I also think it has challenged us to write better songs. If Josh walks in with a great song, then my natural instinct is to try to write a better one.”
Phillips agrees, acknowledging that each of the singers also has their own unique songwriting voice.
“Creative influence changes and adapts depending on what instrument you pick up or what situation you're in,” the drummer explains. “This band is its own thing. We all try to play to each other's strengths, but we haven't really spent much time talking about how or why.”
The natural aspect of the band comes out in any discussion of Radar State’s music. The band as a whole agrees that this is something that just makes sense, given the fact that they’ve all shared the stage in some shape or form over the years. A sense of mutual appreciation and respect really drives the band, and the fact that all four are friends certainly helps.
“It's funny we haven't done something like this sooner,” Berwanger muses. “We all live close to each other and want to continue making music and there is no better way to do it than with not only friends, but people you respect as musicians and songwriters.”
With members name-checking The Damned, Pegboy, Undertones, Seaweed, Dillinger 4 -- as well as a universally-held appreciation for ‘70s power pop -- it’s unsurprising that Radar State’s sound is guitar-driven and hook-laden, reminiscent of vintage Lookout Records pop-punk.
After releasing their debut 3 Songs EP in 2017, the group played a handful of shows with stints as support including Say Anything, and performed at Riot Fest 2017. The band is back with their debut full length album “Strays” set to be released on January 11th, 2018 via Wiretap Records.
The title track from the album “Strays” is the first offering from the new record.
"Sometimes folks end up in difficult situations and they need to get out of. This song is about helping people even if you don’t get along with them. Having compassion for everyone that is in need of help." Matt Pryor