Sounds Under Radio are an Austin based alternative pop/rock band. They distributed their first album, Cinematica, independently in 2009. it was highly successful. Their song Portrait of a Summer Thief was featured on the Spider-Man 3 Soundtrack. After a brief stint with Sony/Epic records, Sounds Under Radio continue to embrace their independence for the time being. Theyll perform at SXSW 10 as they await the release of their new album My Communist Heart. We spoke with Lang Freeman.
How would you describe your sound in your own words?
Kind of an Americanized version of Brit-rock. It has large anthem elements but also with intimate and personal moments. Its cinematic, movie music in a centered pop medium. Lately weve attempted to test our limitations, and redefine what boundaries wed previously had.
How did your band form?
I moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas at Austin. I then started playing with Bradley Oliver (bass, keyboard). The rest of the guys we met through the scene more or less organically.
What are your musical influences?
The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Nirvana, Radiohead, Sigor Ros. Were consumers as much as creators, we tend to like a lot of things and that influences our sound.
How did you come up with your band name?
The name was an attempt to reflect what we thought was our desired sound, which is a kind of a rock/pop with a more intellectual flavor thats also genuine and sincere. We wanted a name that kind of described the foundation of our music in a way.
Whats your biggest vice?
Indecision, which is reflective of our new record. The conflict aspect of indecision.
Whats your musical guilty pleasure?
Whats the craziest thing youve seen or experienced while on tour?
I dont know if i can actually talk about that. Well, about a year ago when we were in Louisiana, we left the venue and had a very crazy drunken evening sort of situation with the folks we were staying with. The husband ended up disappearing all night, I spent an hour talking on the phone with the cops discussing this, everyone was wasted, at one point we got locked out of the house we were staying in, nobody had any keys, and the people who had the keys werent there. So we kind of broke in through the window, one guy made it through the doggy door, then finally the husband shows up at 7 am still drunk. Everything was fine at that point, but we still really have no idea what happened to these people. It was crazy. That was in Monroe, LA, at what used to be the blue monkey tavern.
Who or what kind of people would you recommend listening to your music?
The audience ranges from indie snobs to metal kids, Death Cab for Cutie to Nirvana fans. Really just anybody who enjoys a good song or melody. Our main goal has been to write great songs.
What works or accomplishments is the band most proud of?
Independently releasing our first record. For a time we got picked up by the label (epic), things got mixed up wth some inter-label politics. Fortunately we were able to get our record back, and we released it independently. I think were the only independent band with a song on the Spider-Man 3 Soundtrack.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
At one point we thought kind of jokingly wouldnt it be awesome if we convinced everybody that I was dating Kirsten Dunst. That obviously didnt happen. I still have never even met her.
When and how did your musical career technically start?
I had been playing in bands since High School. When i moved to Austin, it really convinced me that i could actually do it after I finished college. Then the band conveniently came together in this very collaborative way.
What key moment made you feel that the band had really made it?
I think that when you walk into a room for a venue in your hometown, and theres a line out the door that you cant really account for and you have people you dont even know who are singing along to all your songs. Thats when you really feel that youve made it.
Whats your latest music related accomplishment?
The new album, our second. It will mean that we didnt just quit after the first record. It will mean that we overcame something to keep the band alive in this way. Its called My Communist Heart and should release around March 30th. By September we hope to release My Capitalist Mind. The two sort of go together and play off each other.
The darker side of lifes consequences is what propels the MOTHERS ANTHEM experience. Musically the path is riddled with torment, heartache, turmoil and conflict. However, the belief is that confrontation and release through song allows the band and the listener to realize the road is one that is universal and facing the dark allows one to find hopeful light. MOTHERS ANTHEM proves that the final destination is worth the journey.
While longtime and new fans of each member are emotionally connecting with the bands recently recorded debut material, ultimately, it’s MOTHERS ANTHEM’s live show that generates the most enthusiastic reviews. The focused vision and raw, overwhelming energy of their stage presence is brought to the stage every time no matter the circumstance. Their devout belief that every show is a new chance to share their message enables them to give the audience a performance to remember and carry with them long afterwards.
Mothers Anthem is a dark Pop/Rock band with a classic edge and a soulful feel; music is at its most powerful when it has purpose