Images courtesy of Radiomaniac


With no music label to assist in digital distribution, Russian experimental rockers RADIOMANIAC released their 2nd self-funded LP early last week rather haphazardly. Following the link on their Facebook page where I was taken to a file retrieval server on, the process of downloading SYNDROME in its entirety was a little too cheap, fuss-free and painless than the masochist in me would have preferred.

“Can free Art ever be good Art? Don’t you think you guys are giving it away too easily?”, I posed 26 year old frontman YURI CHE, not long after my one-click download of their album was complete. “I don’t know…”, the Uglegorsk native typed rather noncommittally, “nobody ever buys music in Russia… Perhaps only as an act of support…”

As capitalistic consumerism poisons the masses with false promises of substance and quality, the ignorant is not to blame for dismissing SYNDROME as another inferior product in the age of sub-substandard Internet music; where bedroom musicians produce lo-fidelity sounds of questionable taste. After all, if the suburban hipster brat next door only manages to churn out pretentiously uninspiring shit, why should you waste your time and bandwidth on the musical output of a bunch of crass, boorish, working class youths from a backwoods island in the middle of nowhere?

Radiomaniac circa 2012

Radiomaniac live, circa 2012

Radiomaniac first appeared on my radar in late 2012, when then-bassist Yuri messaged me on Facebook to promote 1st Transmission, their debut EP. Obliging him by going through two videos of their live performances, I was spellbound. While You’re On Air sounded like an industrial clone of Bauhaus and with its clicky double bass drums and scratchy, hair-raising guitars, It had me floored with it’s inventive synthesis of electronic samples with live instrumentation. This band will go far, I thought. I was getting goosebumps from their two and a half minute odes to existentialism, but hey, is that creepy looking bass player ever going to open his mouth and sing or not? Intrigued, as much as I was intimidated by this pale (no pun intended) likeness of a Pan-Asian Ian Curtis, I nonetheless started talking art to Yuri on Facebook. This whole feature, I would say, is a compilation of all our exchanges, as far as the written word can go…


Yuri Che, scary looking bass player, circa 2012


“I see nothing offensive in combination of the words ‘low lives’ about me or our band, cause it’s true. We really are somewhat ‘low live’ musicians.”

A room with a view : Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in Winter

Hailing from Sakhalin, a coal-rich archipelago tucked amidst the Eastern coast of Russia, the volatile quality of Radiomaniac’s music could perhaps be traced back to the island’s troubled history and industrial aspirations.


Yuri Che

Spearheaded by the 3rd generation spawn of a WWII Korean slave and a Russian schoolteacher, Yuri Che’s brooding air and mixed ancestry is many a times a dead ringer for Russian rock legend Viktor Tsoi. A shining example of a true blue proletarian rocker, this theatrical college graduate administers physical training to elementary grade students on his days off from the Sakhalin Puppet Theatre. His musical ambitions however, were ignited by a long time friend and collaborator, ANDREY ROZHKO.


Andrey Rozhko

“Radiomaniac began when two young people met in the night. They were drinking coffee, smoking, talking, listening..talking again.. These two people were none other than our old bass player, Andrey Rozhko, and I. We wanted to gather a band that plays psychedelic music full of energy, a band that mixes noise and melody. We had a rule: we must experiment. I like it when I don’t know what sound, style, mood our next work will take on next. It intrigues me.”

Despite Rozhko’s recent departure from the band, the duo nonetheless managed to assemble a permanent line up of like-minded collaborators in the short span of two years. The first two being ANDREY TRYASTSIN and VLADIMIR GORBACHEV.


Andrey Tryastsin

Lending complex Math Rock-esque polyrhythms to the tunes of Radiomaniac, this 22 year old walking metronome has a knack for dicing and doubling time on command. Many might tell Andrey that abandoning his last semester of Japanese studies at the Sakhalin State University, despite his stellar grades, to tour the Mainland with his bandmates, is sheer foolishness. Perhaps, only time can tell if Andrey will end up a naive youth chasing childish dreams.


Vladimir Gorbachev

With his gangly frame and gaunt cheekbones, I have always thought of 23 year old Vladimir Gorbachev as a young David Bowie Doppelganger. Naming the glam rock god as one of his chief influences, it is highly likely that those spacey, discordant drones and jagged, punchy riffs you hear were once conceived in Vladimir’s head.


Danil Khazhainov

If Vladimir is weed, 22 year old DANIL KHAZHAINOV is unmistakably speed. Touted by Yuri as “the most technically competent amongst us all”, Radiomaniac’s 2nd guitarist adds sonic contrast to the band’s sound by doubling Vladimir up with his slinky licks and sleek lead lines.

Egor Rychkov

Egor Rychkov

Replacing former bass player Andrey Rozhko, the latest addition to Radiomaniac is none other than 22 year old Egor Rychkov. No stranger to the music scene, Egor was fronting a cover band in one of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk’s many pubs before he was invited to join the quartet.


“They say we are a synthesis of different musical styles, genre eclecticism…”
Radiomaniac, from left to right : Vladimir Gorbachev,

Radiomaniac, from left to right: Vladimir Gorbachev, Danil Khazhainov, Andrey Tryastsin and Yuri Che

Blending the styles of Post Rock, Psychedelia, Post Punk, Noise, Shoe Gaze, Industrial and dare I say Doom Metal into a perplexing kaleidoscape of haunting melodies amidst harsh dissonances, frenetic beats and industrial synthetics, the band would describe their sound as:

“As if Thom Yorke, Thurston Moore, Dominic Aitchison and Stephen Morris got together and played a 65 days of Static tribute gig with a cover of Nirvana done in the spirit of Nine Inch Nails.”

Multifarious influences aside, it will perhaps come as no surprise that Radiomaniac is no stickler for system when it comes to the creative process. Yuri elaborates:

We strive to create our material in a number of different approaches.
Way #1: Somebody has an idea or rough draft. We work on the different parts and finalize the structure together.
Way #2: Somebody has a finished song that does not require additional work and then each of us just try to play with the different tone and timbre of it, by using different effects.
Way #3: We jam and improvise. Sometimes we get something worthwhile, sometimes we don’t.

Each member of the band has responsibilities beyond just playing his instrument. For example Andrey, the drummer might be in charge of recording and mixing a song, while one of our guitarists, say Danil, might select suitable electronic samples while another guitarist, perhaps Vladimir, invents a title and come up with the cover artwork. However, nothing is fixed, sometimes we choose different responsibilities as long as it feels right…”

If productivity is the result of their chaotic operational style, perhaps I could confirm my hypothesis of Order being the death of Creativity.

Following Radiomaniac through 2 instrumental EPs (1st Transmission & 2nd Transmission) and their debut instrumental LP (Antenna Theory), I was pleasantly stoked to discover the versatility of Yuri as a vocalist in their latest offering. Delivering in a variety of tones – from deadpan lower register mumblings to pitch-perfect emotive wailings on Syndrome, Yuri takes on his new role with effortless ease. He describes the transition in following words:

“It was a natural progression, I guess, and mutual decision made by all of us. We decided our experiments in instrumental music are finished. We have tried what we wanted and gained a valuable experience from them. A band has to keep developing. It is boring for us to produce the same thing over and over again. Instrumental was just one of phases of Radiomaniac’s development…Now it is time for something new.”



“Yes, when necessity calls, we must resort to cunning ways to keep production costs down.”

With a stash of half-baked musical ideas and unfinalized song structures, the plucky members of Radiomaniac got cracking in February this year.


Armed with just a Macbook Pro, the band rented a rehearsal space, and miked separate instruments into multiple tracks on a pirated version of Logic Pro.


A miked up guitar amp.


To subsist, the members held day jobs while huddling in the studio for their nightly recording sessions.

Finishing the final mix in July, chief engineer Andrey Tryastsin concludes:

“Estimated budget was somewhere about 15 000 rubles, or just about 500 in American dollars. Everything was recorded at rehearsal point, then mixed at home with my laptop in Logic Pro, and mastered at The whole process took about 5 months. “


“I want to get a job of a cleaner or a loader. Andrey Tryastsin is looking forward to selling hockey gear in a sports equipment shop.”

With the release of what I consider their most promising effort, it seems like these boondock youths are finally chasing their arena dreams with plans to move to the big city. However, relocating to St. Petersburg came at no small price. Revealing the move as the cause of Andrey Rozhko’s split from the band, Yuri waxes sentimental about leaving his long time friend in Sakhalin:

bye rozhko

More than just a bandmate. From left to right : Andrey Tryastsin, Yuri Che and Andrey Rozhko

“It is really a pity, and none of us can say we feel good about it. He was with us since the beginning, the very basis of Radiomaniac. He was more than a bandmate, a worthy friend, a companion. However, he has made the decision with his personal reasons and we understand and respect it.”

Catching up with Yuri this morning, I was happy to hear that he is adjusting well after arriving in St. Pete in less than a week. Having settled in a modest rented apartment, Yuri is hoping to find a job in the next week or so. When asked if he is deciding to knock on the doors of the local theatre, he replies:

“No, I am not looking for a job in the theatre again. If you want to be an actor you have to devote all your life to it. It is almost not possible to be an actor and a musician the same time. How can I combine my musical life and acting?

We need to find jobs that would let us to have a lot of free time and it must not to strain our heads, because our heads will be filled with the rhythms, the melodies, the structures of the songs, musical ideas etc.

We need a fixed schedule, because we must know when we are free to plan our work on the music. I see how people who sit in offices are constantly thinking about their works. They are thinking of their jobs and when they are home they continue to think about finishing their work projects or other paper shit.

Furthermore, because there are many local good qualified workers here in St. Petersburg, so I guess we will all end up working on menial, non-prestigious jobs. And that is good for us, because non-prestigious jobs are just what we need.

I want to get a job of a cleaner or a loader. Andrey Tryastsin is looking forward to selling hockey gear in a sports equipment shop. Perhaps only Danil will find a good job, because he is the best qualified of us all. But there is my one condition: Work must not interfere with our music making.”

With these words reeking of youthful idealism from our protagonist, I close this chapter in the story of Radiomaniac.

It is impossible to know if this pack of mangy underdogs will succeed in exporting the sounds of Sakhalin to the rest of the world or succumb to the pressures of inner city life. Nonetheless, I’d say god luck and good speed for trying.



Radiomaniac on Facebook
Radiomaniac on VK


1st Transmission EP – FREE download on

2nd Transmission EP – FREE download on


Little Faith (The National cover) single – FREE download




Unidentified Flying Dreams: The David and The TOD


Heralding from the decadent west edge of the United States known as Los Angeles lurks a being who donates all of his work to your ears for free on bandcamp, while courageously fronting one-man live shows of his brilliant material.

I’m not sure if it was the mystique of Their Only Dreams that lured me in, or the throwback psychedelic sound minus the ego. If nothing else I saw an artist hiding in plain sight, not getting nearly enough attention. Heady lyrics and psych-pop genius is how I summarize my latest discovery.

Photo Aug 23, 12 48 43 AM

David Lyudmirsky, or TOD, as I like to call him, is the high priest responsible for Their Only Dreams. From what I have experienced (TOD’s entire catalogue from band camp) the man is no one trick pony. You can hear the rich musical styles as they layer, or proceed one another. It is rock sub genre variety at its best. TOD goes from psych-rock to rock n’ soul to garage rock to folk rock. The rock never dissipates, but the wide array of complimentary tones are all over the place. My best description would be a mixtape of the most notable rock cross over giants. From Prince, to Bowie and Iggy, even Zapp & Roger, the influences are there, although never plagiarized.

I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with him for weeks via Facebook. Follow the words of this old crow, tell it TOD………

DP: Explain yourself TOD.

TOD: I am hoping that I get to share my music with as many people as possible; live and on recorded formats while I am here in this life making art regardless of an audience or not. I hope the support from an ever growing fan base I am continually working on attracting, even if it is only 1 new fan a day. While sharing my music independently will attract people who get what I am doing and want to help me. A record label that believes in my music , presses records, promotes and distributes them and an agent that wants to make sure I am playing shows and getting paid would be a great accomplishment that I can only hope for. I love making music, I believe I am here to do so and I want to share it with everyone.

DP: Your lyrics are very creative and visceral.  Are you a madman or on really good drugs?

TOD: Im a madman who did really good drugs in the past.

DP: In your words, why do you make your albums available for free downloads?  Do you think making your music free is good karma, or is it a way to get a leg up on people who try make money from their art?

TOD: I make my music available for free download because I want people to hear it, and it works. Only good can come from sharing your gifts. I am not competing with anyone else nor am I concerned how or what they do and what works for them. I am just giving away my art and doing things my way.

DP: What is your creative process?  Or, how do you write and record your music?

TOD: I write lyrics down on a daily basis in my notepad app and collect them. I also write songs in a traditional way sitting down with an acoustic guitar and i usually practice them a few times a week to remember them. Then a couple of times a year I get 3 or 4 weeks to record non stop. I have been playing guitar, bass, drums and synths for years so I just get into a flow of laying down as many groundwork tracks in my playing style that are good enough to build on.
Recording is like painting to me , I just step back and look at my instruments and listen back to  what I have been recording and keep going until I am satisfied. The latest thing I am working on, which is the 5th album, has already taken 2 of these blocks of time and I am not even finished yet.

DP: What started your conquest into music?
TOD: I guess I blew my own mind early on jamming with people and my initial foray into home recording by myself.   I felt that if I could do that to myself and with the people I was playing music with, I could probably share it with more people and be happy doing that.

There’s no such thing as a lost soul  –  Permission Statement

DP: Who influenced you to make music?

TOD: There are just so many artists and musicians who inspired and probably  influenced me early on. And I don’t want to name just a couple people and have any emphasis put on the because I have been writing my own songs for close to 18 years. In that time I have been developing my own style and not being all too much influenced but continually inspired by things I hear in passing or in deep listening to on a daily basis.

DP: Who is making good music now?

TOD: have you heard of “the humpback whales” ?

DP: Like whale songs? Touché…. What is good music?

TOD: Whatever you like.

DP: Explain your surroundings and how the music scene is in LA.

TOD: Los Angeles is a giant multidimensional mixed media landscape I traverse daily. I was born and raised here , so after all the sunshine and unique LA vibes, it becomes a…… I feel like in my teen years I got into this Australian outback sort of dreamtime with this place. Well there are scenes just like any other town and I have never been a part of any scene. I just book my own shows with whoever I feel like playing with, unless I am asked to hop on a show.

DP: How do your surroundings affect your art?

TOD: I just run wild in my  head and use the scenery as a launching point.  Native plants and trees, geological formations, UFOs, nostalgic neighborhoods, city history, local culture, personal experiences in the city etc…are all important to me in making music.

DP: How do you make a living?

TOD: I’m a superintendent/foreman for a general construction company along with website design.

DP: Some of your favorite films?

TOD: The Graduate, 400 Blows, The Last Temptation of Christ, A Hard Days Night, Velvet Goldmine, Doom Generation & Nowhere, Excalibur, Repo Man, The Quest For Fire, Pump Up The Volume……..

DP: Favorite albums?

TOD: Favorite? Here are some things I have been appreciating recently some of them are lifelong favorites:
Rodriguez – Cold Fact, Kraftwerk – Computer Love, John Maus – a collection of rarities and previously unreleased material, Foxygen – we are the 21st century ambassadors of peace and magic, Love – forever changes, Syd Barrett – complete discography, Eddie Harris – the electrifying eddie harris, An African Psych compilation my friend made me, NEU -1, Brian Jonestown Massacre – revelation, Gremlock – e.p.

DP: Favorite books?

TOD: Return From The Stars, Communion, The Second Ring Of Power, Sirens of Titan, Life, Bowie, Bolan, and the Brooklyn Boy, The Stranger, Just Kids, Childrens First Encyclopedia………

DP: Do you like sports, religion, nature, or existentialism,  or all of the above?

TOD: No,yes,yes and yes

DP: Should the human race be sterilized at birth?


DP: Tell me about your song “Wings of Horus.”  What was the driving impetus behind that song?

TOD: “Wings of Horus” was written and recorded a couple weeks after seeing Orange Orb UFO’s with my wife through our bedroom window. There were many eye witnesses that reported seeing them in the same location and it continued a few more times afterwards. It was very inspiring and still is to this day.

DP: How do you think your sound has developed over your albums (on Bandcamp)?

TOD: I began traveling towards a planet of sound and over the course of albums the sound of the planet has become louder ,clearer, and more vibrant the closer I get to the planet.

DP: Where do you hope to be with music and art in the coming years?

TOD: Planet TOD

DP: Describe a typical day of your life.

TOD: I wake up at about 6:30 am get ready and rush off to work. During work which lasts until 4-5 pm I have a lot of time to
myself even though I am working, because my work involves a lot of driving and I have no passengers.  I take advantage of this time by writing a lot of potential lyrics and notes for things. I get home from work and give my attention to my 2 daughters ( 5 year and 22 month old) and my wife. We go to parks usually. After dinner we play some more, then I give the kids a bath and  read stories to the younger one while my wife reads stories to the older one. Once they are asleep I usually watch an hour or 2 of tv with my wife and then I spend a couple hours listening to music with headphones, doing some graphic design and write down an interesting line or 2. Go to bed and hopefully have a cool dream that I can remember.

DP: Describe your name: Their Only Dreams.

TOD: After having a couple of bands and dreams of becoming successful, with them fizzled away, I continued writing and recording with the only person around me at that time which was my wife, then girlfriend. All I ever dreamed of was being able to play my own style of music and sustain a living from it. I just started to feel my age and I knew the weight of my responsibilities would only become heavier. But I never wanted to lose sight of my dream. Since I am lucky enough to not be alone in this life, I made it “their” as in “these are our only dreams”  because the first songs of this project started out as a collaboration. I remember looking at the name after writing it down on a piece of paper and even though it originated from feelings of desperation, it gave me the power and freedom to keep moving forward into a world that I could keep  growing as an artist and musician without any constraints and make my dreams come true. Dreams are really important to me in drawing source material for songs from. The name definitely is not meant to belittle anything about aspirational dreams or any kind of dream. Collectively it also symbolizes everyones dream.

DP: Are you depressed, neurotic, crazy, or do you consider yourself happy?

TOD: All of The Above

DP: Any advice for other artists trying to do something with themselves?

TOD: Give it all the love you have all the time.

Photo Aug 23, 12 47 23 AM

So again, another discovery of seemingly psychotic and brilliant art; and my fantasies of finding a degenerate maniac behind it all have, in the end, exposed a hard working and honest gentleman. Unless you consider UFOs as inspiration to be uncanny. Flying saucers are what my dad would blame when he would expel flatulence when I was a boy in the mountains. That’s the closest I have come to ET. I would do anything to hear my dad fart again. So maybe it’s not bullshit after all. Welcome to planet TOD.




“Welcome home / Home is where you’re dead.”
– Welcome Home


So, DINO PROMETHEUS and myself have been assembling a selection of taciturn tunes from now-defunct garage rock outfit DARK KORVETTES. Thanks to a stealthy stranger going by the name of IVAN KLEVLING, here’s it – the entire catalogue of essential Dark Korvettes hits and misses in its spiritless splendour.

Ravaging the tracks which Ivan sent, I was instantly transported to the angsty ethos of the last decade. Guitarist and singer FRENCH McCAIN spits out his cryptic rants like a Know Your Enemy era James Dean Bradfield while rhythm section CHANCE REID clicks his sticks with as much venomous vehemence as Jeremiah Green on The Lonesome Crowded West. From the themes of domestic dysfunction (Welcome Home) to drug abuse (Medication) to personal resignation (87 Octane), Dark Korvettes were more of a recording outfit than live band, that has sadly, failed to ascend the ranks of MTV-sanctioned circa 2005 “Indie Rock”. Whatever. Looks like McCain’s pathetic whines in 87 Octane has become somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Ivan Klevling shares with DP how this departed duo has come to suffer the fate of oblivion.

“Nothing ever happens for a reason / Nothing ever happens to me.”
– 87 Octane

DP: Hey Ivan, thanks for those tracks. So tell us, how the fuck were you acquainted with the Dark Korvettes and who the fuck were they?

Ivan: The Dark Korvettes were just two junkies who were better off without each other. I was briefly acquainted with McCain in a Cleveland madhouse. That must be around 2005. Everything was over by then. McCain was just such a nutter, too volatile. Those two brought out the worst in each other.

DP: Ahh I see. French McCain, right? What sort of an asshole name is that?

Ivan: You’re right, French McCain was a total asshole. Grouchiest fuck ever.

“Medication’s gotten me down / Only you want me around.”
– Medication

DP: How about Chance Reid?

Ivan: Never met him. Heard about him from McCain. I’d say you should try to interview Chance Reid but you might be waiting for years.

DP: Oh, is there a way I can get in touch with him?

Ivan: Sure, he’s on Soundcloud as Kevin Strang ( He lives for females so I’m sure he would get back to you immediately. You’re a chick, right? He’s one giant cock.

DP: Ahh I see, will probably hit the Strangler up sometime. So, where’s McCain right now?

Ivan: No idea, really. Heard from his third cousin, twice removed that he’s in Romania, in prison. Not sure if that was made up to distract his creditors. Last I heard he was knee deep in debt.

DP: Right, thanks for your time Ivan. Now would you tell us who the fuck you are?

Ivan: You’re most welcome. I’m no one significant, a lonely old fuck perhaps, just giving my missing old pal a hand.



By Dino Prometheus


While waiting for a perfect day to introduce our latest discovery at DP, I realized approaching is Friday the 13th accompanied by a full moon.  This happened in 2000 and won’t happen again until 2049.  Some reading this will be dead before before this happens again.  So I feel the perfect time to introduce some of the most harrowing sounds I have found on Sound Cloud.  On this macabre and anxious day I introduce to you FRENCH RADIO, hailing from Dublin, Ireland.

It merely took two noticeable genre pairings and a very confident style of production for myself to become obsessed with this project.  Surf-Rock married with vocals that take me back to the wonderful days of industrial music.  Basically two relics of of sub-genre rock n roll that can be epitomized, but not replicated.  So instead of attempting to sound a certain way, the genius behind French Radio cleverly combines his influences with his own style in a way that leaves one wondering how the hell someone could pull it off. This is what I love about DIY musicians.


Unable to reveal the true identity of French Radio, I will guide you through my respect for anonymity. The being behind it all is a working professional and quite the gentleman.


DP: Who is French Radio?


FR: As French Radio I compose and record everything myself. Occasionally my partner Fiona sings/spoken word on some tracks.


DP: I love your distorted vocals.


FR: I distort my Vocals mainly out of taste. Usually good music, for me, has either Humour or Intensity/Depth. By distorting the vocal, it ramps up the intensity. I wouldn’t consider myself a ‘singer’ as such anyway. Plus I think my natural voice is a bit too ‘ordinary’.


DP: Your sound is pretty distinctive yet not overly produced.  Explain how you achieve your sound.


FR: I always look for distinction and character in music. Polished sound seems to make everyone sound the same. I mix things up. Record acoustic instruments alongside electric, try to record stuff in the room with mic rather than fed directly in. More Lo-fi.  I’m limited though, trying to keep the noise level down for neighbours. J I would like to use the  acoustic instruments more often, as these provide character/distinction. I do prefer a simple set up. The more you get into Technology, the more choices there are, so it gets too complicated. On the other hand, I do use whatever I can, and keep an open mind.


I like Intensity in music.  Trying for atmosphere, depth and distinction. Minor chords rather than major.

I try to keep it raw, instruments wise. Unfortunately due to space, just drum programming machines. Some tracks like ‘Frisky Strut’ have toy drums I got at a flea market for 5 euro. I Would love to record with a drummer.

As Dock U 1 Star I jam with various drumming. As French Radio, I usually make up a bass line over a drum beat. Add guitar/keys/gadgets then sing over the lyrics, being the only pre-conceived part. Rest is made up on spot. I record really quickly. Usually 1st or 2nd take does it. I can record a song in 30 to 60 mins usually.

DP: Do you play live?  How are you received in your area?


FR: I haven’t looked too much into audience really. I do see on Stats on soundcloud its mainly UK , Europe and North America for me.  In Dublin I have a small network of like-minded friends/musicians. I don’t actually play live as French Radio though.  I have a network of people I jam with and play gigs occasionally. I jam with a guy and we put stuff on soundcloud as – For This I Dock U One Star……..


DP: Your doing pretty well on Soundcloud?


FR: I find Soundcloud a great channel for getting music out there. I don’t have tons of ‘Plays’ or anything, but I enjoy putting stuff up.


DP: Explain your surf meets industrial sound.


FR: Yeah I love 60’s surf instrumentals, film music- John Barry, Morricone. ‘Lounge’ music as it surfaced in the 90’s (the original stuff). I Love anything quirky/ unusual. Jandek, Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Beat Happening(And all Calvin Johnsons projects- listen to Gravedigger Blues/Red Head Walking- what a voice!).

Industrial-wise – all the Krautrock stuff, Faust, then on into Throbbing Gristle/Psychic T.V.  I love 50’s rockabilly, 60’s garage punk – the philosophy and netherworld of the Cramps has been a huge influence and education.(Crypt Records catalogue)

I could list influences all day.  Pixies, Tom Waits, Joy Division. Ramones. Sun City Girls , Felt………Sonics, Martin Denny, Lee Hazlewood…….Bongwater, Blues Explosion, Beefheart, Cambodia Rocks comp, Tin Hat Trio, Agnes Bernelle,

Young Marble Giants/Weekend, Broadcast,  Scott Walker , the Slits…….


DP: Why music?


FR: I think Music is not just about the music. It’s the back story, the mystery, the aesthetic, the culture. Eg the Jandek documentary sold me thru the mystery of it. Always influenced by quirky documentaries and films also. E.g. the one about the Toynbee Tiler.  The films of Guy Maddin, David Lynch. Italian Giallos.




DP: Where did playing music begin for you?


FR: Bass guitar was my first instrument. I was 17, listening to Joy Division, Cramps and Ramones. First thing I learned was ‘Transmission’ JD – Peter Hook was a big influence – then onto Ramones – more complicated structures but ultimately those used by Buddy Holly and early rock n roll. So that was my initial schooling.


DP: I’m guessing your not a gear snob.


FR: To me – gear doesn’t matter. Its whatever I acquire- usually cheap and second hand. I would love a Gretsch like Poison Ivy but I have a cheap Gibson copy . Would love a Rickenbacker bass like Peter Hook, but have a cheap Dean bass. (Got this purely by accident.) Don’t know much about guitars and equipment really.  I use anything from Ocarinas to dulcimers to microkorgs, banjo, thumb piano – anything that will add character/distinction. Its more about the Art and Expression. The Creativity. Instruments are just channels for this really..

DP: What else inspires you?


FR: Happy – Cool quirky music. Crazy films, Unusual documentaries. Cycling, Zen Meditation. The company of a good woman. A 3 note guitar solo! – (listen to Cramps – I Aint Nothin; But a Gorehound) Vinyl records ( I buy sell collect vinyl) . Travelling. Literature/Philosophy. Food! Pale Ale!


DP: Tools or substances for creativity?


FR: Generally, no. I don’t really need anything. I do have the occasional Pale Ale or Guinness.  I would say, Zazen , as a tool, aids my creativity. A clear mind – A blank canvas – no limits.


DP: What instruments can you play? Do you read music?


FR: Bass guitar, keyboards, melodica, ocarina, violin (one string at a time) banjo, electric and acoustic guitars. Dulcimer, steel drum, kazoo, anything I get my hands on.  Totally play by ear – I see music structure as patterns, almost mathematical.


DP: Have you played in many bands?


FR: Ive played in about ten bands, none really of any consequence. The Moolah Babies for a year. Guitarist, Brian went on to form Engine Alley. They were big in Ireland in 90’s. Recently I’ve played with Brian again in various live set ups. With the Universal Funk Orchestra (Ireland) . Harvest Ministers at inception but never gigged with them. Would like to get French Radio playin gigs but haven’t got around to organizing it.


DP: Do you enjoy working alone like myself?


FR: Yeah, easier as a one man entity. I just do whatever tickles my fancy. No agenda, I  just knock em out like sausages in a sausage factory (as a friend put it).

Out with the old dinosaurs – in with the new diy intensity.


DP: Tell me about your song Arturo.  Who is the “mexican girl who stole his heart?”


FR: Arturo , the song is about Arturo Bandini, fictional character in Ask the Dust by John Fante. This is my favourite novel. Really has a great sense of humour. It was a favourite of Charles Bukowski. In the book, Arturo, a struggling writer falls for Camilla, a Mexican waitress in L.A.  It’s a great little book. Unfortunately they made it into a film that didn’t quite work. With Colin Farrell playing Arturo. Bad casting!


DP: Are you depressed?


FR: Depression I would have encountered in my pre-Zen days. In fact, a good reason to do Zen I think.  I’m mostly a happy person.  I suppose the success of bland/boring/uninventive music depresses me.  The general hopelessness of some peoples lives.  Not sure how to answer that. Personally I consider myself lucky.

I’ve always had an enquiring mind. interest in philosophy led me to Zen. I read everything Nietzsche wrote before Zen.


DP: Explain your musical journey.


FR: My journey musically- big bro had the 1st albums I heard. Led Zep/Floyd – that kind of stuff.

Then one day post-punk/new wave was introduced via bro. (J.D,  Talkin Heads The Cure early stuff ) This was life-changing. The diy ethos. Joy Division in particular – was obsessed with their mystery (pre internet) and factory records. There was an epiphany moment, when a friend and I were rockin out to Digital a JD track. My bro had a poster of Fleetwood Mac on the wall. As the sheer intensity of the track took us over we grabbed the poster and ripped it to shreds. That was a real milestone. Out with the old dinosaurs – in with the new diy intensity. Always attracted to intensity.


DP: Who are some of your biggest influences?


FR: Musically i love TheThe Misfits The Calvin Johnsons. the Hasil Adkins, the Jandeks.

Favourite rockabilly tune – One Hand Loose Charlie Feathers – dynamite!

Have a love/hate thing goin with Nick Cave. Love some of his stuff but also find him a bit pretentious.

Favourite VU song – Sister Ray – I’ve listened that one to death. love JDs version also.


Love Art too. fave painter Tony O Malley irish painter. Semi abstract stuff.

As the cramps sang  “don’t know about art but I know what I like”, I see it circlin’ in the swamp on a saturday night.

Love outsider art like Alfred Wallis, Henry Darger. Check out the documentary on Henry Darger. Crazy Stuff.



Well, like I said, this creature is just as charming as he is clever.  I couldn’t get any dirt on him, or trick him into saying that his chaotic music is a reflection of his uncanny lifestyle.  But don’t get me wrong my low life brethren, he’s no choirboy.  He did, after all, rip up a Fleetwood Mac poster while listening to Joy Division.


So enjoy your Friday the 13th, your full moon, your heightened risk of encountering either lunatics or werewolves.  I’ve been attempting to run this feature and it is the moon which inspired me to get it together and share with you the diabolical documentation of French Radio.  Enjoy Dublin’s finest and be safe.