Sub-Radio are an indie band from Washington D.C. and they have a song that pretty much sums up most of us in complicated “relationships” and it’s called “What Are We.” Pretty straight forward, right? As you can probably guess, it’s pretty much a song simply asking, “What is this that we have?” Relatable much? The sextet of members (yes, there’s six of them!) behind the song created their own version of Childish Gambino’s own memorable lyric on “Heartbeat”: “Are we dating? Are we f***ing? Are we best friends? Are we something in between that?”
Check out our interview with Matthew Prodanovich and Adam Bradley of Sub-Radio to learn more about this up-and-coming band. If you like Walk The Moon or Two Door Cinema Club, you’ll find a lot to love about Sub-Radio’s sound.
The Young Folks: First off, for our fans hearing about Sub-Radio for the very first time, tell us a bit about yourselves! How did you guys meet and decide, “Let’s make a band”?
Matthew Prodanovich: We all met in high school and have managed to keep going since then. It took a few months of line-up changes but we’ve had the same core group of dudes since 2009. Back then we were just stringing together some songs that we would play to our friends three or four times a year at the same venue. Thankfully we’ve moved on to playing venues all over the east coast.
The Young Folks: If you weren’t in this band, what do you think you’d be doing?
Adam Bradley: I don’t even think about it. Learning to cook? Going to a lot of shows to fill the empty void in my heart.
The Young Folks: What is it like with the six of you in one room trying to put a song together? Basically, what is a typical songwriting session like?
Matt: It’s actually very collaborative! Luckily for us we’ve been songwriting with each other for half of our lives so we all know what to do when one of us brings a song or a riff to the rest of the band. Generally I’ll have a riff or a little Logic session that I’ve been working on and we’ll all fill in the rest of the parts from there.
The Young Folks: Your latest single “What Are We” is so good and so relatable. What was the process like putting this song together?
Adam: Every song comes together in its own way and this one just snapped into place really quickly. It seems like the lyrics are really resonating with people, which is interesting because they came last in this case. I knew we had the potential for this big, ringing, almost gospel-inflected line in the chorus, but was struggling to find the words. I was actually on a run, thinking about a conversation I’d had with a friend earlier that day about this flaky dude she was “seeing” and how she had no idea what they were, and it just popped into my head – that’s the line you’d want to shout in someone’s face over and over.
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The Young Folks: In this weird dating world we have now, what does “talking” mean to you? And when do you know when you’re actually in a serious relationship?
Matt: I think that “talking” can be one of the most frustrating situations if you’re really into somebody. You never really know what the other person is thinking or how serious they are about you. It can be tricky to tell if you’re in a serious relationship sometimes. I personally like to just talk to the person I’m dating/seeing/”talking” with and try to get a sense of what they want out of a relationship and see if that matches up with what I’m looking for.
The Young Folks: Being that this song is so relatable, is this a reflection for the rest of your songs on your upcoming EP? Can you spill the beans on a bit of it?
Adam: I hope it is! I think this EP is the best reflection of who we are as people and songwriters that we’ve ever released. All I’ll say about the rest of the songs is that we really let loose, lyrically and musically, and I think it shows. I’m glad it’s coming out right before summer.
The Young Folks: Your last music video with the ASL interpreter was pretty epic. Will you have a music video for “What Are We”? If so, what do you envision it to look like?
Matt: Making the video for “Up” was such a great experience. The girl who did the interpretation is a close friend of ours and she absolutely killed the performance! We will have a music video for “What Are We”! It’ll be out in late February and we’re pumped to show everyone what we’ve been working on. We’re doing this one with great videographer and crew. I think the concept we’ve worked out nails the point of the song in a lighthearted way. We don’t take ourselves too seriously in our videos as you might be able to tell.
The Young Folks: In 2017, you did some major things like perform at Firefly! What are some of your goals as a band that you want to knock out together?
Adam: Firefly was a blast because we got to meet and learn from some artists we really admire, and if we could do that again by jumping on someone’s tour or playing more festivals, we’d be all about that. We also want our guitar player Mike Chinen to learn the sax.
The Young Folks: How will you know when you “made it” as a band? How do you define as success?
Matt: “Making it” for me would be writing, recording, and touring most days out of the month and making a living doing it! As long as we’re able to keep doing this I don’t think any of us would ever complain. Success is just that.
The Young Folks: Good luck on your upcoming tour! For those of us (like me on the West Coast) who can’t make it, what’s a Sub-Radio show like?
Adam: We’re really just dorks who like to have fun on stage and I think that shines through. It’s fun, but also dorky. I hope we’ve gotten a little cooler by the time we hit the West Coast.