POZ Behind The BIG Comp: Radiator Hospital
More than two months ago PropertyOfZack, Lame-O Records, and Big Footprints began piecing together The BIG Comp. When we were finally finished we looked at our 75-band charity compilation and thought “how the hell did we do that?” Every band and label we contacted, not only supplied us with songs, but let us know how excited they were to be a part of something so unique. We knew that every band who submitted a song had their own story.
For our sixth segment of Behind The BIG Comp, we spoke with the power-pop band-Radiator Hospital. Featuring members of Waxahatchee and Swearin’, the band is fronted by Sam Cook-Parrott- who first started Radiator Hospital as a solo project back in 2010. With fun music, cheeky lyrics and a sense of going through your grandmother’s old photo album nostalgia in every song, we believe that this upcoming release is one to keep an eye on.
For Fans Of: Swearin’, Modern Baseball, Waxahatchee
Social Sites: Facebook, Bandcamp, Website
Thanks for talking to us! Before we go on can we get your name and role in the band?
My name is Sam Cook-Parrott and I am the singer and guitarist of Radiator Hospital.
A theme in this segment is asking the bands how they chose their name- how did you decide on Radiator Hospital?
I was just walking around in my hometown of Grand Rapids, MI and saw this garage called Radiator Hospital, and the sign looked really nice and I just thought it sounded cool!
There is a feeling of nostalgia when listening to your music, who and what are some of your influences?
I’d say the strongest influences on my songwriting are 60’s bubblegum music and soul music, 70’s/80’s power pop and new wave music and 90’s indie pop bands; basically the pop music of the 20th century.
You have announced a new full-length set to release this summer-tell us a little about it! Are there any specific themes? How was the recording process? What sets it a part from your other releases?
I’m really excited about this record; it’ll be the first Rad Hos full-length to come out on vinyl. Our friend Marco at Salinas Records out of Detroit is putting it out. It’s a very important record for me; it’s the first record I’ve made since moving to Philly in the fall so it represents a big transition in my life. It’s a record about finding love in a new city, and losing yourself in stories and your imagination. The recording process was awesome; we made the record at our house. A handful of the songs I did by myself in my room but most of the songs we recorded with our roommate Kyle. It was so easy working with a friend and just sort of working on it whenever we wanted, and I think it’s easily our best sounding record, not to mention our first with this line-up.
Do you plan on doing any touring to support the new full length? Maybe some weekend trips?
We don’t have anything booked right now but we are planning on doing some touring this summer and fall.
I want to ask you about your artwork choice for all of your releases so far- they are always the strong leading ladies from classic movies. What made you decide on this theme? Who should we expect next?
Well movies and fiction are a general theme throughout our music, and I liked the idea of having an aesthetic for our band and having these strong images for the covers. That being said, I made a conscious effort to do something different for this release because I don’t want to get stuck in a rut, and also because I want this record to stand on its own. Moved to a new place, got a new band, change it up a bit.
I want to switch gears really quick-for everyone who doesn’t know, you play bass in Waxahatchee. How did you guys meet up? How has it been playing her first full band shows?
I first met Katie a few years ago when she was in Grand Rapids on tour. My bands had played shows with her and I’d set up shows for her so we became friends. We were moving to Philly around the same time so we moved into a house with a bunch of our other friends. We all play music together in different bands and I was just around so she asked me to play for her! It was a blast playing those songs; she is truly in a class by herself. Our other roommate Kathy is playing bass for her upcoming European tour. She sort of runs the band how I run Radiator Hospital, like she is Waxahatchee and the backing band changes depending on who’s around.
I know you have recently moved from Michigan to Pennsylvania-Philly to be exact. How do the music scenes differ from each other-if at all?
They are similar in a lot of ways but the Philly DIY scene is kind of unstoppable right now, so many good bands and awesome spaces and amazing people. Michigan is a truly amazing place though; people who come from a state with that much natural beauty coupled with such an awful political/economic landscape definitely have a different perspective and approach to DIY/anarchist culture and music.
What’s your favorite dessert?
That is tough but lately it’s Little Baby’s Birch Beer Vanilla ice cream!
What were you for Halloween last year?
I didn’t dress up for Halloween last year. I’ve always loved the holiday mostly because I love horror movie marathons and the romantic autumn scenery, but I’ve never been good at picking a costume…
What’s your favorite sci-fi movie, and why?
Blade Runner, it’s the ultimate movie. Runners-up: The Alien Quadrilogy, Dark City, Serenity, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers
Name Top 5 Romantic Comedies:
The Apartment, Broadcast News, Stardust Memories, Pretty In Pink, High Fidelity
Say you guys were going on tour and only could bring 3 albums to listen to- what would they be?
Well if it was just me who got to pick it would probably be “Totally Crushed Out!” by that dog., “Exile In Guyville” by Liz Phair, and “Life” by the Cardigans
What bands are you currently listening to? Any 2013 releases you guys are excited for?
A short list of bands doing cool things right now: Swearin’, Waxahatchee, Great Thunder, Ambulars, Modern Baseball, Ghost Light, Batty, Chit Chat, Catnaps, California X, Pity Sex, All Dogs, Places To Hide, Dogbreth, Quarterbacks, Cayetana, Crybaby, Nona, Sourpatch, Joyride, and about a gazillion more! Looking forward to records by all of those bands soon.
Anything else you would like to add?
Keep an eye out for news on the new record, which should be out late June/early July. Check out Salinas Records for more info! We have shows coming up in Philly on June 1st at Golden Tea House and June 13th at the Great Indoors with Batty, Ghost Light, and Places to Hide!
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