“We are a band that plays music for people who like our music”
There are things about Star FK Radium that are hard to believe. Like the fact that a lot of trip-hop fans would absolutely love their music, even though they are a 3-piece instrumental group – acoustic guitar, violin and drums. Or that they not just list such diverse music genres as grunge or 60’s rock as their influences, but you can clearly hear the reflections of those influences in their works. If a picture is better than a thousand words, then Star FK Radium‘s music is better than a picture – within every song they create a live, vibrant, ever-changing world, that a thousand words would fail to describe.
I asked Bill Martien (guitar), Matt Clarke (drums) and Alissa Taylor (violin) a few questions about their music, their fans, and, naturally, trip-hop.
tipkin – How did you guys meet?
Bill: Matt and I met through friends. We played together a few times and it just clicked. Alissa and I were dating at the time and another musician friend suggested she break out her violin and join. I essentially hired “family” which was good and much more stable.
t. – Was it the initial plan, to start a 100% instrumental act? It takes a lot of guts and confidence to try to make it out there without any vocals, wouldn’t you agree?
B.: It was our initial plan to start an instrumental band. I was in several bands and could write okay singer songwriter material and even performed it. I naturally gravitated towards writing instrumental guitar parts and found it was what I really enjoyed. I listened to a tremendous amount of Boards of Canada at the time and really got what they were doing. We are influenced a lot by them but you wouldn’t know it. The feeling you get listening to Star FK Radium is a whole different experience than what someone pulls out of Boards of Canada. I never considered vocals except possibly as an instrument, but Alissa’s violin speaks for our band. It was hard for me to put all my eggs in one basket (go 100% instrumental) at first, meant I had to give up writing and performing vocals. People responded well early on and that helped a lot.
Matt: I don’t think it takes any more guts to start an instrumental band than it does to start a band with vocals. Which would you rather do- sing in front of people or play an instrument in front of people? I would choose an instrument any day.
Alissa: By the time I came into the picture, it was definitely Bill’s intent to start a 100% instrumental act. But I would say the attempt was less “hey, let’s make an instrumental band,” and more an attempt to find the genuine collective voice of the three of us coming together musically as songwriters and performers. I think it takes more guts to try to be something you’re not, and it’s always been of utmost importance to all of us to develop the sound that fully speaks to who we are, specifically and personally.