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Memphis Radio Kings – Closet Show Tune Fans

Posted by August 11th, 2004 No Comments »

Charlie and Tony bring the rock circa 2003, The Year of the Memphis Radio Kings.NadaMucho.com Interview – Memphis Radio Kings
Q & A with Charlie Beck and Tony Leamer
By Matt Ashworth

NadaMucho.com: Hey kids, how’s it going?
All: Excellent, thanks.

NM: Tell the good folks a little about your band.
CB: Well, we’ve been together for about four years now, playing shows all over the Northwest. We’ve released three CDs on our own label, Hot Stack Records, which are distributed by Burnside out of Portland. We also put on a hot live show and basically rule.
TL: We were all in another band together before this. Much more rawk.

NM: Do you think any of your songs have actually ever been played on the radio in Memphis?
TL: Probably. We get heavy radio exposure in every major city, so why would Memphis be any different?
CB: We actually sell a decent number of records there.


Charlie and Tony bring the rock circa 2003, The Year of the Memphis Radio Kings.NadaMucho.com Interview – Memphis Radio Kings
Q & A with Charlie Beck and Tony Leamer
By Matt Ashworth

NadaMucho.com: Hey kids, how’s it going?
All: Excellent, thanks.

NM: Tell the good folks a little about your band.
CB: Well, we’ve been together for about four years now, playing shows all over the Northwest. We’ve released three CDs on our own label, Hot Stack Records, which are distributed by Burnside out of Portland. We also put on a hot live show and basically rule.
TL: We were all in another band together before this. Much more rawk.

NM: Do you think any of your songs have actually ever been played on the radio in Memphis?
TL: Probably. We get heavy radio exposure in every major city, so why would Memphis be any different?
CB: We actually sell a decent number of records there.

NM: Nice work. Have you ever been there?
CB: Not yet.
TL: Now I’m not sure we can go there. They might think we stole the name of their city for our band.

NM: Steve Earle is from Memphis. He’s pretty good.
CB: Yes, he was doing "alt cunt", as Bobby Bare Jr. calls it, long before someone hung a sign on it.
TL: I think Jerusalem is just about one of the best records ever.

NM: Were you influenced by a lot of the Sun Records stuff? What other artists most shaped the band’s sound?
TL: One of the things that makes this band work is the diversity of the music we all listen to. I listen to tons of stuff, but tend mostly towards indie rock and punk stuff.
CB: I am a big Elvis fan and a fan of the Sun Records stuff, definitely. We all grew up listening to a lot of metal and punk. Judas Priest and The Ramones and the Replacements were my gods along with the Beach Boys and stuff from my parents record collection like Gordon Lightfoot, Elton John, The Beatles, and
Show Tunes. I never listened to country music until recently.
TL: Can you take out that last bit about the show tunes reference? Jesus. And mention Iron Maiden. We loves us some Maiden.

NM: 2003 was really good to you – The Stranger sent you to South by Southwest and you won the Seattle Weekly’s Best Roots/Americana band. How is 2004 shaping up, comparitively?
TL: Crappy, we haven’t won a single contest this year. This year sucks.
CB: We’re playing Bumbershoot this summer, which has always been a dream of mine, so, to me, that’s on par with winning The Weekly and The Stranger contests. So, I would say 2004 is already better than 2003, or at least as good.
TL: We also released our best record yet, and the shows are better than ever. So except for not winning any contests, we’re doing pretty well.

NM: Did all that 2003 hype ultimately do more good or harm for the band?
CB: Well, we are still together, so I don’t think it harmed us in any way. It got our name out there and we are still reaping the name-recognition benefits. We’ll take whatever hype we can get.

NM: Is the new record, Devil’s Dutchmen, out yet?
TL: Yes, it came out in May.

NM: How does it compare to your previous efforts?
TL: It’s way better than anything we’ve ever done.
CB: Both sonically and lyrically it feels deeper than our last record. We added keys and bass to this and really worked hard on a lot of the sounds with our co-producer (and now bassist/keyboardist) Jon Goff.
TL: This was a hard record to make. We did most of the tracking in Portland, and it wasn’t really the right situation for us. It went more smoothly once we got back to Seattle, but it still took a lot of effort. We’re really happy with how it came out, but it was a tough road getting there.

NM: What can folks expect from your live show this Saturday at the EMP
Liquid Lounge?

CB: We’ve been working on a bunch of new songs, so if people have seen us before they can expect some new stuff they probably haven’t heard. Plus it always sounds really great in there so it should be an excellent show.
TL: They can expect two things: 1) That they will get in free (since it’s a free show) and 2) that they will be served a heaping, steaming platter of delicious rock.


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