RADIO EXILE Offer Listeners "That Classic Rock Feel"
March 2, 2016, 2 years ago
Even to a casual rock music fan, the artists that the members of the newly-launched Radio Exile have previously played with are extremely impressive - Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Hall and Oates, Allison Krauss, Billy Idol, John Waite, members of Pink Floyd, Styx, Journey, Van Halen, the Rolling Stones, and Black Sabbath, among others. And as evidenced by their recently-released self-titled debut, the band - which is comprised of Chandler Mogel (lead and backing vocals), Charlie Calv (piano, keyboards), Jimmy Leahey (guitars, backing vocals), Kenny Aaronson (bass), and Dave Anthony (drums, percussion, backing vocals) - the band possesses a throwback sound to when bands like Foreigner and Journey ruled the radio airwaves. Calv recently spoke with BraveWords correspondent Greg Prato.
BraveWords: How would you describe Radio Exile's sound?
Charlie Calv: "I think it's got that classic rock feel. If you like bands from the late '70s/early '80s, I think it's right in line with that kind of stuff - Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, or Foreigner. But it's got a little bit of a modern twist to it, obviously, because we made it in 2015. But I think it's pretty deeply rooted in that classic rock sound."
BraveWords: The list of renowned artists that the band members have previously played with is impressive.
Charlie Calv: "We put this together a couple of years ago. Myself and Chandler basically wrote the record, and what we were looking for was really good players - guys that were seasoned and had been around the block, very versatile, that could play any style of music. And Dave I had known for a long time, and Dave is a longtime drummer with Glen Burtnik, and he's toured with Dennis DeYoung, he's worked with Joan Osborne. And Jimmy I have known for quite some time, and he is also in Dennis' band now, as well, but he has played with John Waite, Alison Krauss, Anna Nalick - a very diverse guitar player. He can play any style of music. And we've got Kenny Aaronson on bass, and I don't now what more to say than that - the guy's resume reads like a 'Who's Who?' in rock. From his early days in Billy Squier, Billy Idol, Joan Jett, and a bunch of fantastic bands."
BraveWords: How did the band come together?
Charlie Calv: "Myself and Dave, we actually went to high school together, and we had our first high school band together, many, many years ago. It was kind of one of these things, where he's your friend and you run into each other every couple of years, and you always talk about doing something together. Years go by, and it never happens. So I ran into him about two years ago, and we talked about again, 'If we're going to do something, we better try to do it soon.' So we committed to getting some material together. I had been working on some stuff, so I got it to him, and he was into it. I asked him if he knew of any really good singers, because I kind of needed a writing partner, because I'm good with coming up with the music, but I'm not the greatest with melodies and lyrics. So he recommended Chandler, we got together, and we hit it off right away. So we started talking about how we wanted to proceed, and the other players we were looking at, Jimmy was at the top of our shortlist of people that we wanted to play with. And luckily, he was available. And Kenny actually came in by accident, because as we were putting this together, Chandler was doing a gig locally, and Kenny was on that gig with another artist, John Eddie, who Kenny also plays with. So kind of got to talking, and Chandler said, 'Hey, how about Kenny Aaronson?' Obviously, you're not going to say no to that, so we sent Kenny the material, and he liked it as well. We just had to get everyone's scheduling together, and we got the ball rolling."
BraveWords: Does the band's name have any special meaning?
Charlie Calv: "It kind of in an indirect way does. It's actually the second name of the band - we had a previous name that had 'Exile' in it, and as we were getting near the end of putting this thing together, we started talking about the album cover and the whole concept, Radio Exile got thrown out there, and we thought, 'That sounds kind of cool. And it goes with the idea that we're doing this almost classic rock kind of feel, and who knows if anyone is going to hear this record? We can end up in radio exile - it may never get played.' So, kind of a little tongue in cheek way that the name came about."
BraveWords: What are some memories of making the album, and what are your favorite tracks?
Charlie Calv: "We had a great time making it. I want to make the point that it was done the old fashioned way - there weren't any parts recorded in anyone's home studios or anything. Me and Chandler wrote the record together and then from there, the band rehearsed together and went into the studio and we tracked it together. Just had a great time making it. It took a little over a year to make, because of everyone's schedules and to be able to do it in proper studio, the right way, we had to make sure all the scheduling worked. So it took some time. I'm happy with the whole record. It's one of the few records that I've made that I go back to and listen to time and time again. Favorite tracks, it's hard to pick. I kind of like 'No Pity on the Highway' - the raw, in your face aggressiveness of that. And on the flipside, I really like 'A Cross on Stone.' I like the epic-ness and the way that turned out in the end, with all the guest vocalists we had on it. It really came out fantastic."
BraveWords: What stands out about the filming of the “No Pity On The Highway” video?
Charlie Calv: "We had to get up really fricking early in the morning. I think we had to be there at like, 6:00 am, because the director wanted to catch the natural light and the way it came up. But it was fun. We really had a good time making it. The guys are all fantastic. It was great to get together and go through the song a couple of times and actually play it as we were playing on stage. It was the first time that we had done that. In rehearsals, we were really concentrating on the song, so it was kind of the first time we got in a room and had fun together. It was just awesome. And the director, Adam Gendler, was fantastic to work with. We actually did a second video that he worked on with us, as well."
BraveWords: Has the band played live yet?
Charlie Calv: "We have not. And we keep getting asked that, and the demand is starting to happen, so we're looking at it. There are a couple of festival dates that we've been offered. Our biggest challenge is the scheduling, because on one side, it's a blessing to play with such great musicians and players, but on the flipside, they're in such high demand that to get everyone together to do any sort of proper touring seems highly unlikely. But a couple one-off shows, that's what we're working on now."
BraveWords: What do you see in store for the band's future?
Charlie Calv: "We've actually already started working on material for the next record. I've probably got about three or four songs pretty much structured and over to Chandler to start working on. With the hopes that if we do any live shows or not, possibly getting in the summer time to start the next one. I think what happens often with these kind of bands is you do one record and then it falls apart and you never hear from them again. So, there's definitely a conscious effort to get back in there and start the second one some time this year."