Radar Fiction is an all-out rock & roll band—energetic and visceral, fronted by a distinct voice with a powerful point of view. There's a tremendous amount of passion and fight packed into each and every song. While post-punk in their roots, Radar Fiction is carving out its own genre, unbeholden to any scene or style.
"When the inevitable question of what/who do you sound like comes up, I never know what to say" guitarist Jason Robinson stated. "Sometimes I'll say post-punk / rock & roll but the whole vocabulary has been so twisted and turned in on itself. There's really no agenda, sound, or genre we're seeking. Whatever our sound is, it's evolved organically and is constantly expanding."
The band had its genesis when brothers Mick Vonn and J. Robinson, alongside Mick Simone, started writing songs together in a sweaty kitchen in Brooklyn, NY. After bringing their friends Mick Nude and James Steady on board they began recording and playing shows around Brooklyn and Manhattan. Performances in several small festivals and tours of the North East, both as a support act and on their own, ensued. In March 2011, when Nude deferred his duties to focus on school, another close friend, Dan Nicholson, joined the group adding his own gifts on bass guitar. Drawing comparisons to Wire, Modern Lovers, Television, and Gang of Four, Radar Fiction started recording at the end of 2011, finishing up their debut self-titled LP in March 2012.
- 'Radar Fiction are fast and furious and have it all wrapped up in an 80’s punk soul. The bass and drums are tight, the guitar riffs are sharp, and the vocals have that fantastic, “I don’t care what my vocals sound like,” quality.'
- 'These are their first recordings, and fearless ones at that.'
- 'Already you can tell that all five members have shed whatever was happening around them and are dodging one another like two World War I biplanes dog fighting. There are a few close calls (read: head of guitar meets head of human) that I don't think they are even aware of.'
Mick Vonn - Vocals
Mick Simone - Guitar
J. Robinson - Guitar
James Steady - Drums
Dan McNickles - Bass
126.96.36.199.5 (2009, EP)
Danger, Lady (2010, EP)
Radar Fiction (2012, LP)
The Fiction at The Mercury
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Radar Fiction works a nicely over-the-top NYC punk vibe. Fans of the recently reunited D Generation ...Radar Fiction works a nicely over-the-top NYC punk vibe. Fans of the recently reunited D Generation will dig these guys' wired, swaggery moves.
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As recent posts would suggest, I've been all up in the clouds, riding a blissed-out missile of chill...As recent posts would suggest, I've been all up in the clouds, riding a blissed-out missile of chill. And you know, eventually that thing needs to make contact. Even if we catch those currents again as soon as later today (likely), the past hour called for a straight fuming of rock and roll. Brooklyn's RADAR FICTION had it.
RADAR FICTION EP (2010)
Singer Mick Vonn will be the deal breaker here. He knows it, and he doesn't give a shit. Vocally (and at times lyrically) he can be abrasive, but hits that up-front, punk rawness we usually look back in our collections for (Iggy Pop, The Modern Lovers, Television, etc). These are their first recordings, and fearless ones at that. They've played a few local shows (Union Pool, Arlene's Grocery, Public Assembly, Knitting Factory). So keep em' on your radar.
Posted by Sutton at 5/20/2010
Labels: brooklyn, EP, radar fiction
The Rock Science of Radar Fiction
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The Rock Science of Radar Fiction By Dustin Wilson When "Mick Simone," Michael Stalios to mo...The Rock Science of Radar Fiction
By Dustin Wilson
When "Mick Simone," Michael Stalios to most, guitarist for Brooklyn band Radar Fiction sits down across from me at Fada, a French restaurant in Williamsburg, he nonchalantly comments that he doesn't want to talk about the band. He doesn't really want to give an interview.
"Let's just talk about your beard," he jokes as he scans the restaurant to call the waiter over. He has his own facial hair to deal with, his mustache hangs long with an up-twist at the edges giving him a devilish carnival look. He keeps himself busy shifting things around the table to make our space a little more open. He even acts as a showman sitting down.
You might not know Radar Fiction because they've only played two shows. But they've recently been smiled upon. Radar Fiction has already self-recorded an EP with Ian Love (of Rival Schools fame) and secured a few shows at certifiable rock spots around Brooklyn as well as having their song 'Someone (To Put My Mouth On)' featured in avant-garde production company, Le Chat Noir's forthcoming film Werewolf.
We're joined by two other members of Radar Fiction - Michael Robinson, who's chosen the nom de plume of Mick Vonn, and Jason Robinson, two brothers who also make up the core members. Jason, who refuses to adopt the Mick alias, seems the most laid back, with his large beard and lean frame and willingness to talk about whatever while his brother runs second color behind him. They seem to act as co-managers, filling in for one another when asked questions, while Simone plays the act. They're the lookouts while Simone is flipping the cards over, taking the money.
The other two members, bassist Mick Nude (Michael Alfred Hunecke) and drummer Mick Steady (James Galbraith),weren't able to join us due to prior engagements.
"We keep on trying to find 'Mick' names for Jason, but he really hates it," they all laugh.
"The Mick thing started a while back." Vonn informs me. "For years I used Mick Von Rubenstein, which was just a play on my name. Mick Simone got his name early on, and from there it was just a joke with the band that sort of stuck," he adds. " The 'Mick' thing might be paranoia, more than likely it's a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing that we have going on."
"It'd be better if we just play for you," Jason says, after ordering our second round.
I meet up with them later in Bushwick, where they take me into a catacomb-like basement where several other bands seem to have similar late-night rehearsals in mind.
"You guys just want to run through the set?" Simone asks as he finagles one of his guitar pedals. Before anyone can really give a yea or nay, Mick Nude and Robinson rip into their first song (from the set list for Thursday), "Fibonacci", a song written about the Italian mathematician and his number sequence.
Already you can tell that all five members have shed whatever was happening around them and are dodging one another like two World War I biplanes dog fighting. There are a few close calls (read: head of guitar meets head of human) that I don't think they are even aware of. They're working with a blueprint that, for what it's worth, works.
There are no gimmicks, there are no wry tricks to make the audience swoon over them. They're not flashy, they don't evoke sexiness, their image is a complete tabula rosa. Harboring tradition, they like to keep things simple. At Simone's feet there's no wide array of guitar pedals; he mostly switches back and forth between his wah and distortion as the rest of the band, without question, plows through the set list as he finds his tone.
One of the greatest things about Mick Vonn is that he doesn't prefer to be a lead singer. He's adopted this role now, but tells me that he's primarily an actor, and that this is his first time fronting a band. Here he is taking a big swig from his Modelo tallboy and shouting over the music, shaking and thriving as if he were trying to conjure some bastard child of Iggy Pop's machismo with Tom Verlaine's New York swagger. Watching him is a little exhausting at times, and when the camera is on him he does tend to bat an eye and turn away. He doesn't pay attention to the music. Instead of trying to guide his band members, he's off in his own lyrical world of sexual innuendo and surrealism.
"We really wanted to be Fiction," says Jason. "But there was already a band down in Austin named Fiction, so what the hell."
"We only had a few rules," added Vonn. "Most band names now sound stupid. Black whatever, crystal whatever, when were deciding we said no colors, no animals. None of that."
"Saturation point," Simone adds. "I think it's a saturation point that everyone reaches when it comes to naming a band."
Regardless of what you think of when the music scene in Brooklyn comes up, it's always evolving. Years prior it seemed that everyone was following the hybrid dance indie pop, the harmonizing boy and girl duos, and now it seems anyone could be in the lead. With bands like Vivian Girls, Yeasayer and MGMT still ruling the roost, there is always an underground current that seems to constantly pick up steam and chug along despite still practicing in living rooms and dank basements.
"New music? I don't think we're at all impressed with all the new music," Jason is quick to speak on behalf of his band. "We don't really have a place in this current realm. I really don't see anyone else doing the kind of stuff we're doing. What we do isn't exactly unique, I just don't see anyone else doing it right now. I listen to a lot from The Wipers, Wire, Television, stuff like that. The most recent band I can follow right now is probably The Libertines."
"The thing about right now is that everyone's coming from a certain but unique place. When I think of real rock and roll right now it's The White Stripes and everything that Jack White is doing. People today look at rock and roll and think Led Zeppelin, which is what what people want. Rock and roll."
Simone is quick to correct Vonn. "No! Jack White is a complete Detroit guy! Not Led Zeppelin. That guy was born from The Stooges," they all laugh at his bravado towards Jack White. "White's approach to songwriting is different, like all those bare bones Detroit bands. If I have to go on the record, I'm a huge fan of Ween," he adds, "Their earlier stuff, like 'The Pod' and also 'White Pepper.' Those guys are always in the pocket. Mickey Melchiondo (Dean Ween) is a really an influential guitar player to me."
They finish the set in record time, just under half an hour - that would make any promoter happy. That's excluding setup, mind you, sound check, and the last run to the bar.
Radar Fiction plays Brooklyn's Public Assembly March 4 to support fellow musician Kendra Morris on her music video debut, produced by Le Chat Noir.
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Radar Fiction RADAR FICTION – Sunday, 7/11 at 7pm Radar Fiction are fast and furious and have ...Radar Fiction
RADAR FICTION – Sunday, 7/11 at 7pm
Radar Fiction are fast and furious and have it all wrapped up in an 80’s punk soul. The bass and drums are tight, the guitar riffs are sharp, and the vocals have that fantastic, “I don’t care what my vocals sound like,” quality. Catch them at the Mercury for a pulse pumping set this Sunday.
Radar Fiction plays all originals. We typically perform for 30 minutes to an hour but have 90 minutes of material if a longer set is preferred.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.