EMQ’s with RADIANT KNIFE
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Lafayette, LA based Experimental Rock/Metal band Radiant Knife. Huge thanks to Greg Travasos and Stephen Sheppert for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Radiant Knife – Members – Greg Travasos – Drums, Stephen Sheppert – Guitar, Vocals, Synth. We began playing early 2016’ish. Greg had just moved back from Portland OR to Lafayette La. in early 2012. Greg, at the time, and still today does session drumming with local artists and touring with Brother Dege (International Touring local musician) from Lafayette La. The band I was in at the time (Raedon Kong) was coming to an end. We both come from a metal/rock experimental background and know each other from playing shows with our past bands. Greg was in (The Object at the End of History) and I in (Collapsar) both early mid 2000’s Lafayette bands. We both like doing something different and experimental so it just felt natural. Once we began jamming together, we never looked back.
How did you come up with your band name?
We had a running list of close to 20 possible band names, which was eventually paired down to 2-3 options. Radiant Knife kinda stuck out and had a nice ring to it, with no rhyme or reason behind the name.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We’re from Lafayette, La USA, about 2 hours from New Orleans. Lafayette has birthed some great metal/rock bands over the past 30 years. I can’t say the metal scene is as strong as New Orleans or Baton Rouge, but that’s to be expected from a smaller city. Still, I’d say it’s thriving, and a lot of touring bands have been coming through here (thanks to our local metal bar the Freetown Boom Boom Room).
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
We have two releases this year. One EP titled “The Body” to be released 28th August and one LP titled “The Ghost” to be released 10th October. The albums are very different but also very connected. We recommend listening to one after the other.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Stephen – For me I’d have to say Mahavishnu Orchestra, King Crimson, Zeni Geva, King Crimson, really too many to list.
Greg – Lately for me has been 70’s prog and Hard Rock. Some drummers like Matt Cameron, David Garibaldi and Bill Bruford lately too have had influence on my playing and style.
What first got you into music?
Stephen – My dad mostly. He had a listening room full of records and was also a guitar player. I always had access to guitars and there was always music playing in the background. It was a natural progression to start playing in a band.
Greg – By age 11 I started to listen to music more seriously. A relative played “…And Justice for All” for the first time, and I was floored by how heavy it was. It of course musically changed for me over the years, but I never looked back and listened to music the same since then and have been playing in bands since.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Stephen – That’s a tough one. Maybe Mike Scheidt? I feel like he could make a great acoustic album that I could get into.
Greg – Kim Thayil and Robert Fripp
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Stephen – Maybe Psychofest or Hellfest? Both seem like they’d be a killer way to spend a weekend.
Greg – Wacken or Pink Pop. Great bands have played that, and it looks really fun.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Stephen – Ha I can’t say I’ve ever received anything but a beer, shot, some smoke or a place to crash after the show.
Greg – A Bible, some smoked pork and cheese with a cutting board and knife.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Stephen – Really just thanks for listening, it helps us keep momentum.
Greg – Yes, thanks for listening to our weirdness and being supportive.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Stephen – Jimi Hendrix or Stevie Ray Vaughan. I’d love to see them live.
Greg – Neil Peart
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Stephen – I really enjoy just creating art. Bringing it to fruition with a show or an album is just icing on the cake. As far as what I hate, not much really.
Greg – Playing my instrument. Being creative, experimenting and constantly learning. Nothing really to hate.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Stephen – Man we pretty much do everything ourselves, so we don’t get exposed too much to the “industry” side. I guess one change would be giving more back to the artist from streams. It’s pretty wild how little is kicked back to the artist when it comes to streaming royalties even though some gains have been made.
Greg -Agreed, giving more back to the artist. A lot of blood and sweat go into doing what we do. We love doing it and doing it on our own budget can put limitations on things we would pursue more of. To have something to keep the engine moving is always a plus of course, but all we know is the way we have been doing it, so no complaints…
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Stephen – King Crimson “USA”
Greg – Soundgarden “Superuknown”
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Stephen – Honestly, I mostly listen to music in the car or while running so typically I listen to downloads from bandcamp. That being said, when it comes to sound quality vinyl has that 3D vibe that you don’t hear from other media.
Greg – I do downloads, mostly because I’m running around a lot. But I do enjoy vinyl and cassettes when I’m sitting still.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Stephen – Hmmm we had a pretty good gig in Nola at circle bar a few years ago. We need to get back there soon.
Greg – Same
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Stephen – Music is only part time for me and I have to keep a day job as a mechanical integrity project manager to keep the cash flowing. If I could make a living doing music fulltime I’d do it in a heartbeat.
Greg – Probably running sound or studio engineer.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Stephen – My closest family and friends. Can’t go wrong there.
Greg – Robin Williams, James Gandolphini, Neal Peart, Miles Davis and George Harrison
What’s next for the band?
Stephen – Continue writing, wait for this Covid shit to die down and see where we land after these two upcoming albums are released.
Greg – Writing, playing shows when the pandemic is done and releasing more albums.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Stephen – I don’t have a clue but they look like a Pepperidge Farm cookie to me. The fancy kind my grandma used to buy.
Greg – Well I haven’t had one of these tasty looking treats, so I haven’t the clue dear sir…
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Stephen – Just thanks for the interview and helping us get the word out. Cheers!
Greg – Thanks for the interview and everyone taking the time to read the interview.
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