Fly Radio are a great indie band consisting of Josh Brooks, Derek Wenz and Eric Dilday. All three are originally from Yuba City, a small city near to Sacramento, but now are living and working in Los Angeles. At Song Revelation, when we first listened to their music we were really impressed and are therefore one of our Featured Artists of the month. Read the full, in-depth, interview below where Josh, Derek and Eric discuss their musical background, their current career highlights and what they’re hoping to achieve over the next 12 months.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
Our music spawns from a cluster of thoughts and emotions and this is how we have interpreted them sonically.
Q: What is your musical background?
We all started playing in playing music I think all at a relatively young age, maybe 11 or so, we didn’t actually start playing in bands until our Sophomore year in high school though. We are all from the same small town called Yuba City, California and only a handful of kids played instruments at that time and even fewer had interests in playing in a band so we all kind of ended up playing together at some point or another. I think Eric and I had a band called “Pocket Junk” ha ha, like many small town rebel musicians, we started our journey with Punk Rock. As we aged we took more and more appreciation not only to all genres of music, but music its self. . In 2009 Derek, myself, and Eric got in touch with each other and talked about starting a new rock band. Eric at the time was in Los Angeles going to the Musician’s Institute for drums so Derek and I packed up literally a month after and moved to Los Angeles. Once we settled in Derek began doing session work with various independent artists in the Los Angeles area, I began schooling at the Los Angeles Recording School working on my degree in Audio Engineering while Eric was finishing up his schooling and behind the scenes we were writing and recording in our crammed (tiny) rehearsal space and playing all over Los Angeles.
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
The last 12 months have been great! Since embarking on our third year in Los Angeles have been playing bigger shows, gaining more fans, and writing better music. Our new album is almost done, which is coming a long fantastically, and we are gearing up for an amazing line up of summer time shows. The previous years before that are definitely another story but I guess you gotta pay your dues ha.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
Hmm. There is no specific artist or person I guess. I would have to say all the amazing artists that preceded us and laid the pavement for Rock music today, from B.B. King to John Lennon, or David Gilmour to Kurt Kobain and everyone in between.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
I think we could go on forever here on amazing artist but if I had to paint a picture I would say: Tom York, Brandon Boyd, Travis Barker, Josh Freese, Maynard James Keenan, Mike Johnston, Justin Vernon and Dave Grohl are just a few.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
Again there is a ton of amazing artists I would love to collaborate with, but if I had to choose only one right now I would say probably Butch Vig and David Grohl the music they have done and worked on a lone is amazing enough but also because of there commitment and dedication to Rock music and it’s culture.
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
Right now I’ve (Josh) really been into this group Other Lives and there album Tamer Animals, but on an average day I like to keep it on shuffle with anything from the Beatles, Flaming Lips, Queen, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Incubus, Nirvana and on and on.
Eric would probably tell you The Way you Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson, Fight Till You Die by Pennywise, The entire Saosin Translating the Name EP, Always By Self Against City and Prints of Guinness by Against Me.
Derek’s got Black by Pearl Jam, High Hopes by Pink Floyd, Clean by Incubus and Little Black Submarines by Black Keys.
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
Usually the process starts with Derek or myself prepping and writing most of the material by ourselves, once we have a solid foundation and back bone for a song, all three of us will get together and work out the dynamics, guitar work, and percussive arrangements and structure of the material. Then we’ll finish everything off with the lyrical content if it hasn’t been written already.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
Well, to us both are equally important. To be honest most of time we only have a melody in our heads that accompanies a guitar riff with no lyrics until the song is tracked, then we’ll dissect the song and write lyrics that are both thought out and have the right melody attributing to the emotion and feeling of the song. But we also have written lyric content first and written accompanying guitar parts. The important part is that you feel the song, no matter what if you just close your eyes and feel the song the right lyrics and melody will come out.
Q: Where are you based?
We all live in the Los Angeles area, but we are originally from Yuba City, CA (a small town north of Sacramento)
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Los Angeles is a little crazy to say the least, yet astonishingly enough its just enough crazy to keep things interesting and balanced. I swear this city will drive us crazy sometimes but on the other side of things that craziness inspires some, otherwise unobtainable ideas. I guess it’s a love hate thing.
Where we are from however is very much so different than Los Angeles, Yuba City is some what of a farm town I suppose and for the most part I think everyone knows everybody. Its nice to have a place like that to call home, we all try and visit back as often as possible to visit friends and family, plus a break from the madness in Los Angeles is always nice.
Q: What are you currently working on?
Currently we are in the studio working on our sophomore release, which we are pushing really hard to get released in late July or early August. The album will be an EP consisting of five brand new tracks, which we feel are our best songs yet. We are also booking several out of state dates this year in Colorado, Seattle, Arizona and Nevada.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
I would say that getting an honorable mention from the Billboard Organization for an earlier song of ours “I Can Change” and receiving the award for “best song by an independent artist” (then known as The Mainland) at the 2009 Malibu Music Awards where we shared the stage with rock legends Tom Petty and Grace Slick.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?
Really all our goal has ever been is to connect with people through our music because it is what we love to do and there is no greater feeling than finding an intimate connection to someone through the power that is music. It doesn’t matter if one person or ten thousand people hear our songs, the importance is what they get from the content, and if in 12 months just one person says to us “that’s a great song” then we have achieved success.
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
We have some amazing gigs lined up this summer. We are heading to Fairplay, CO August 18th to perform on the main stage at the South Park Summer Festival and have a gang of other great Los Angeles and Southern California shows scheduled at various venues so please visit one of our social media sites for more details.
Q: What do you do to relax?
To relax we spend time with our friends and loved ones, watch a lot of movies and slay a lot of zombies (addicted to zombie games)
Q: Where would your favorite holiday (vacation) be and why?
Probably Barcelona Spain or anywhere in Spain, something about the culture there looks very pure and organic.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?
Always remember this life is what you make of it. Its constructed much like a song, each part leading and attributing to the next, as a musician you have the power to change the feeling of the song at any time by doing as little turning a minor to a major, life works this way too so grab by the strings and fuckin shred it for a while.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
Mention this article on any of our social network sites and receive our entire album “Sprectrums” for free!
Editor’s Note: Fly Radio have a great indie sound with pleasing harmonic overtones to create something with tremendous commercial potential. Definitely one of Song Revelation’s bands to watch.
If you’d like to learn more about or get in touch with Fly Radio just follow the links below: