Raucous rock’n’roll fused from musical educations in funk, punk, grunge and the blues means there’s plenty to get excited about with the engaging, high energy sound of Los Angeles rockers Peyote Radio.
The band released their debut EP Midnight in Palms at the end of last month, from which they sent us opening track Special K to have a listen to. It opens up with light guitars and rolling drums that drop into a big booming riff, a couple of wild screams and a bit of funky keyboard creeping in underneath.
Frontman Sean Nolan’s big vocals take over in an intriguing opening verse, which bursts into an energetic chorus, then a cool little instrumental section. A second chorus gives way to a wild effects-ridden guitar solo supported by keyboards, then feeds into a final blast of the catchy chorus.
The EP is packed with rock’n’roll goodness, including a cheeky saxophone solo on penultimate track The Whip, which gives way to a flurry of wild screamed vocals and a huge rocky ending. But a personal favourite is the lively, bluesy Damned, which opens up with keyboard taking the lead under a huge scream from Sean. The keyboard continues under a bluesy opening verse, with wild vocals keeping you on your toes throughout.
We had a chat with Sean to find out more about the band. Read on below…
GR: Who are Peyote Radio?
SN: “Literally, we’re a quintet, five friends who love playing music, yelling at each other and drinking obscene amounts of whiskey together. Figuratively, Peyote Radio is the culmination of many years slugging it out on the LA scene in various different bands.
“Jack, Alec and I are all from the San Fernando Valley and have known each other since high school. We’ve been playing with each other on and off in different configurations for the better part of the last 10 years and this is the most complete project in regards to musical vision we’ve all been a part of.
“Adrian and I met in college and played in a band there. When I moved home Jack and Alec asked me to join their project. Not too long after the keyboard player and drummer we had at the time quit and I asked Adrian if he was interested in joining. We went through many different drummers and band names before a mutual friend recommended Taylor and solidified the line-up.”
GR: You just released Special K. What should people be expecting from the song?
SN: “If I can be bold, people should expect authenticity, energy, and uncompromising rock’n’roll. Like many of our songs, Special K was musically built out of the countless hours we spend jamming. Lyrically, without giving too much away, it concerns the cliches of youth rebellion and many of the people I used to hang around with in years past as well as privileged scenesters with persecuted ‘too cool’ attitudes in general.”
GR: How would you describe the Peyote Radio sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
SN: “Loud, chaotic and sometimes broodingly quiet and on the verge of falling apart. We try to scramble brains live. The idea of genre is becoming more passé but there’s no doubt we are a rock band through and through. The kind of sort that one doesn’t see around too often anymore.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
SN: “Anything and everything. The undercurrent of dirt, grit, and grime in our city and lives. We mostly write late at night and I feel it bleeds into most of our music or at least my lyrics. I take a lot of inspiration from writers, Henry Miller, Roberto Bolaño, symbolism, and dada. I think we all more or less feel that music for us is our only way to make sense of the chaotic world we live in, man’s existence in the face of the absurd. We also all love to yell, scream, and make a bunch of racket.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
SN: “We have a pretty diverse pool of influences. Jack and I are obsessive music freaks and are always looking for more things to listen to and try. Adrian has a wide taste that leans on the folkier side. Taylor has played in every kind of band known to man so he brings a bit of everything and Alec is the steadying force keeping us grounded from going off in too many wild digressions.
“Key touchstones are Iggy and the Stooges, David Bowie, The Doors, Lou and the Velvets, P-Funk, QOTSA, Janes Addiction, grunge, Mark Lanegan, The Stones, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Tim and Jeff Buckley and all manner of fuzzed out freaks I’ve neglected to mention.”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019?
SN: “We just released our debut EP Midnight in Palms so we’re working on playing more shows outside of Los Angeles to promote it. We’re also going back into the studio at the end of July to start work on our first full length. There’s a music video/short film in the works for this fall as well.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
SN: “The music will say it better than I can. Please listen and enjoy.”