Interview: Cicada Radio


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Cicada Radio is (Band Members and Instruments They Play):
Pat Keefe: guitar, vocals
Mike Keefe: lead guitar, vocals
Brandon Baron: bass
Josh Barsch: drums

We’re Based Out Of: Hudson County, NJ

We started Playing Shows Out In: When we first started we played shows mostly in Jersey City at venues like The Iron Monkey and The Lamp Post. Once we had more shows under our belt we started playing Maxwell’s in Hoboken and a lot of venues in Manhattan like Arlene’s Grocery. We also played a bunch of shows in New Brunswick at The Court Tavern and various DIY basement shows.

New Music Coming Out: As soon as we come back from tour we’re going to start looking into recording our new album. We had a few line up changes in the last year or so but I feel like we are all really looking forward to recording these new songs. Although our sound has changed slightly over the past few years we have really honed in on a unique sound and I cannot wait to record these new songs.

Our Sound Has Been Likened To: We have been told our sound is similar to that of a lot of early emo/post hardcore bands from the mid to late 90’s. Bands like sunny day real estate and jimmy eat world..but we have also heard people compare our sound to early 90’s indie rock like pavement and shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine and slowdive.

Photo Credit: Greg Pallante
Photo Credit: Greg Pallante

You guys are playing THE FEST this year, which is amazing. Can you talk about how you guys got to be a part of such a cool fest, and what bands are you stoked to see perform down there?

We played Fest for the first time last year and we had a blast! Not only are there a lot of very well known touring bands like Title fight, Pianos become the teeth and Beach Slang..but a bunch of great NJ based bands like Prawn, Banquets, Hodera, The Scandals and Gatherers play the fest as well. There is a great sense of community at fest. Bands and fans from all over the world participate. We met fans from all over the world that we didnt even think we had. It’s a great honor to play the Fest and have the opertunity to tour on the way down is always a great experience.

We booked you guys to play one of our first shows ever at The Wonder Bar back in 2012. How do you guys feel you’ve changed, and evolved as a band since then?

Like I mentioned before, we underwent  some line up changes in the past year or so. But playing with Josh and Brandon has been a lot of fun and we continue to grow both individually and as a band. We are really building on our sound and continue to write some really fun songs. The past year or so we have toured a few times and had the chance to play in cities that we haven’t had a chance to play, and make new friends and fans all over the country. Touring is truly addictive..and although can be tiring sometimes, we are so thankful for our great experiences on the road thus far.

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What was a mistake you made starting out in the music business did you learn from the most?

I believe that we continue to learn from mistakes even today. The more we record and the more we play we continue to learn what works and what doesn’t. Whether it’s how to improve your sound sonically or which shows to avoid (mainly the pay to play shows) and avoiding sketchy, lazy promoters.

Wildest thing that’s ever happened at one of your shows?

We always have fun at our shows..both in NJ and abroad. One show that stands out in particular is a show about a year ago at Tierney’s in Montclair. Our bassist Brandon was positioned right in front of a window on the second floor. We finished our set with our song “Insecticide” and Brandon was moving around and dancing a bunch and came very close to falling out the window completely. He fell on the floor instead and the crowd went nuts. That was a pretty close call!

If someone hadn’t heard your music before what song would you recommend they check out in order to fully understand what you do, and why?

Although a lot of our songs have a similar vibe..I feel like our song “Oceans” encapsulates our sound pretty well. Its driving an loud with plenty of gang vocals..Yet maintains a shoe gaze droning type of sound that seems to resonate with our fans even today.

There are so many bands out there in the Asbury scene, what makes you stand out from everyone else?

We play Asbury from time to time, and although we play a lot in North Jersey, we always had a great time playing in AP. There is a very eclectic music scene in Asbury..Ranging from folk to punk to blues. Its very unique and we are very happy to be apart of the scene, even if we only play there every once in a while.

Plans for the rest of 2015?

Once we get back from the Fest tour we want to record asap. We have a bunch of new songs that are ready to go and we are anxious to get out there. Other than recording we want to keep playing some fun shows with our friends and keep the momentum going!

Cicada Radio performs with New Strange and Negative Traction tonight at Happy Mondays at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park.

Bill Bodkin is the Owner, Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Pop-Break. Most importantly, however, he is the proud father of a beautiful daughter, Sophie. He is beyond excited that Pop-Break will be seven years old in 2016 as this site has come a long, long way from the day he launched in it in his bachelor pad at the Jersey Shore. He currently works as a project manager in the telecom world, and is a freelance writer for NJ.com. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites