Written by Jordan Barela, Editor-in-Chief and Mayah Cantave, Asst. Opinions Editor
Walk into Ashley Street Station on a Friday night and you will notice three things: beer, beards, and bands. Last Friday night, something was different.
Unfiltered, unadulterated, and pure rock-and-roll was in the air, and Radio Birds controlled the air waves.
Trading the Atlanta skyline for a life on the road, Radio Birds played Ashley Street Station for “Oktoberfest”.
The band consists of four members: Justin “JK” Keller (singer/guitar), Jaz Dixon (guitar), Chase Lamondo (bass) and Colin Dean (drummer). The origins of the band traces back seven years ago when Keller was recording another record. The record was being recorded by Dixon. Keller’s guitar player at the time bailed, and Keller asked Dixon to step in. Musical vibes clicked and the two have been playing together ever since. Lamondo joined the band after running into Keller at a concert and being asked to join. Dean got the true rock-and-roll test when his first show with the band was for a crowd of 10,000, after being asked to fill in for a couple of shows.
Evolution has been a constant theme within the band since the beginning.
“It’s definitely been an evolution, and that’s what kind of formed Radio Birds in the first place,” Keller said. “This constant evolution and once we finally got the group together, that’s when we went and did the change [to the music] and made it official.”
The band has a look and sound like a grittier Band of Horses, and on stage the comparison fits perfectly. On stage, all you can see and hear is hair flying, Keller’s husky voice, florescent beards, and the band’s fans singing away.
The Radio Birds have the ability to capture their audience’s attention and keep them hooked. Like most artists, the band gathers their inspiration from all around them.
“Women and booze…. Anything you can draw inspiration from. Whatever gives you the fuzzy feelings,” the band said.
The band’s unique name idea sparked from a two-part online competition they held.
“We got some really, really great submissions. Most can’t be printed because they are really inappropriate. One’s like Alter Boys to Men was one of my favorites… The village Peephole… Radio Birds just ended up on top,” the band said.
Unlike many, The Radio Birds idea of success is not worldwide recognition. The band just wants to be able to make music for a living.
“We’re not living the dream or anything right now. We’re still struggling, but for the most part, we don’t have side jobs anymore. We all have to do something small to get by, when we realize we were touring enough and playing enough where that was kind of our job, that was kind of cool. To me that’s a huge success. We are right on the cusp of being able to do this full time. We may not be making the big bucks. That’s what we’ve been striving for,” Keller said.
The band will continue to tour and make music. To listen to more of Radio Birds’s gritty, sultry, rock-and-roll tunes head to the band’s official site HERE.