For brothers Solomon, Isaiah, and Dee Radke, life has been an interesting trip so far. At 17, 19, and 21 respectively, these young men have spent the past few years gigging across the globe, brandishing their instruments and kicking out raucous jams with acts like Red Fang and Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears.
The fraternal power trio released two EPs in 2013, Cat & Mouse and Devil Fruit, each one asserting them as viable and valuable members of punk rock's resurgence. Drawing influences from various mediums, like fantasy novels, comic books, anime, and movies, Radkey's tunes are literary and often story-driven. In their time as a band, the Radke brothers have come to understand that, in order to grow, you must constantly be learning.
Metro Times: How do you prepare for tours?
Isaiah Radke: Usually, a lot of practice before a tour. We're actually home long enough to get that done. Thank goodness.
MT: You have an intense touring schedule.
Radke: Yeah, it's been pretty insane recently. This has been our longest bit of time off in quite a while.
MT: What do you do to relax when not on the road?
Radke: We'll either write or we'll just hang out and go see movies, play video games and shit like that. Basically, the least amount of things we could possibly do. (Laughs)
MT: You guys were home-schooled. Usually, people hear "home schooled" and they assume something negative.
Radke: Yeah. [Laughs] I guess we are pretty weird. If you choose to get out there and socialize with people, you can get better at it. It's something you have to learn, but you're not totally hopeless. For some people, it's hard. It was kind of tough, but I found it to be pretty great.
MT: You don't hear of many home-schooled kids starting punk bands.
Radke: We stayed at home and did our school stuff and we learned. We just kept out of a lot of the drama, and I'm really glad we avoided that. We tried going to school, and it was kind of lame. It gave us a lot of time to do things and be creative. If you're in school, especially at different ages, you're separated a lot. I wonder how different it would be if we actually went to school full-time. I feel like I would definitely not be a musician.
MT: What would you be doing?
Radke: I'd probably be doing some standard stuff, like getting a GED.
MT: Have you guys gotten any scrutiny for being young?
Radke: Not that much, like a surprisingly low amount of times that we have ever gotten any shit for being young. Sometimes the clubs will be weird about it, but usually it's pretty cool.
MT: How did you end up opening for Fishbone for your first show?
Radke: Our dad messaged this guy because a band dropped off, and the guy asked if we could play 30 minutes and we said yes, which wasn't true. We didn't actually have a set that long. It was really surreal.
MT: Are you working on a full-length?
Radke: Yeah, we're hoping to put it out in January. We've got half of it done. We're working with Ross Orton. He did the latest Arctic Monkeys record.
MT: How does the new material compare to the old stuff?
Radke: They're better-written songs, and a lot of them are heavier and stronger. We've worked with some different sounds, and we've come up with some really cool stuff that we're into. We're really stoked for people to hear it. — mt
Radkey plays the Crofoot Friday, Sept. 5, at 8 p.m. 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac.