Radars to the Sky
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Radars to the Sky


Band Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Between Love and Like (NYC)"

"Then there’s Radars to the Sky. Everyone reading should absolutely download their podcast twice and give a copy to a friend, then immediately go get their latest EP, 'Big Bang,' that’s how great they are. Out of the Silver Lake area of LA, Radars to the Sky’s music has this lofty, lovely front paired with a great rock back, and I’m keeping fingers and toes crossed that Radars and their baby Spitser show up at SXSW 2009. If all is right in the world, these guys should be the next big thing out of Silver Lake."
- betweenloveandlike.blogspot.com


Live Review:

"The name Radars to the Sky may conjure up the name of the title to any Carl Sagan book or even the movie Contact (based on one of his books). Not the case here. I recently had a chance to catch them live at The Fold in Silverlake. Radars to the Sky are the Los Angeles five piece indie rock band that should be included with the crop of hip “Silverlake Scene” bands. With influences ranging from My Morning Jacket, Built to Spill and one of my old favorites of days past, Chicago’s Seam, Radars to the Sky aren’t afraid to take chances with their music, which is true indie rock. Lead singer Drew Spitzer sings in a high falsetto one moment, then down to bass tenor when needed as one guitar jangles while the other plucks out the melody. There’s even a girl keyboard player who can actually play, and adds depth with her subtleness and backing vocals. Before you start dropping this band’s name while trying to impress your indie rock friends of new bands to know, go see Radars to the Sky for yourself. You’ll be glad you did."

and Featured Artist:

"They combine the traditional indie rock guitar centered, multiple-part stylings of bands such as Built to Spill, Modest Mouse, and Pavement with some more traditional rock elements and then throw in a bit of alternative country introspection along the lines of Wilco to form their very own indie rock perspective."
- Epitunes.com

"LA Times"

Review of "The Big Bang EP":

"Five intense volleys of indie rock with arcs back to a time indie rock was less self-conscious. [T]he gnarly interplay between guitarists and the time signatures might bring Pavement or Sebadoh to mind.... [B]ig and bold (and tender, when Kate Spitser's vocals enter the mix), rock whose working-class trappings disguise an essayist's soul."


"Baby, that Radars to the Sky set was rockin'

Not only did local quintet Radars to the Sky deliver a scorching opening set Saturday night at the Troubadour, they might have induced labor. Well, let's just say the band's expectant parents wouldn't have minded.

The loudest cheer of the night came when singer-guitarist Andrew Spitser's wife Kate (the group's former keyboardist) joined Radars onstage to provide vocals on "I Might" and "Long Walk Home." After all, Saturday was her due date, and, well, she was big. 'I wore black because it's slimming,' she joked."

- LA Times Buzz Bands

"Radio Free Silverlake"


"Radars to the Sky are easily among the best new live indie rock acts in LA.... Your new favorite live band...."


"It’s hard to write any way but in the most straight-forward fashion about how much I like LA indie rock outfit Radars To The Sky: I enjoy every song on their EP and never get tired of seeing them play live. It’s that simple."

So, without any further preamble, here’s an interview with Lead Andrew Spitser.

Hey, Andrew. How’s life? I understand you’ve got another band member coming on the way any day now.

Yep, Kate [my wife and our keyboard player/ other singer] was originally due this Saturday, about the time we were both on stage at The Troubadour. Little Maya is going to get very tired of hearing that story when she's older, I fear! But, yeah, I've been trying to figure out if a guitar would be an appropriate present for a newborn....

How are things going for the band?

Frankly, we're a bit bewildered. We spent last year just kind of incubating-- practicing and recording an EP -- then started playing shows this past December. Never in our imagination did we think that by this summer we'd be playing The Troubadour, The Echo, The Silver Lake Lounge, and Spaceland; not to mention getting to share the stage with such great bands.

We've been so grateful for all of the positive feedback and enthusiasm. And we feel like we've really grown together musically. Like a lot of new bands, we started off with me bringing songs to the band almost fully formed. But it's increasingly become a more organic and collaborative process as we've worked on new songs. I think that's a big reason why we've been getting better and better.

How did you first start up?

I'd played in bands before but stopped when I went to law school. But I'd just gotten a hold of some home recording gear and just couldn't kick the music habit (at the expense of some of my reading, I'm afraid!). Luckily, at about that time I met Kenny, our drummer, who was my classmate, and he was having similar music withdrawals, so when we finished our first year we started playing.

I think we were both surprised at how much fun it was. So we recruited Martin, who I've played music with for about ten years, to play bass; had Kate start playing keyboards and singing with us; and were lucky enough to find Seamus to play guitar. By then it was sort of out of our hands- we were a band.

What are the backgrounds for everyone in the group? What bands were they in before?

Kenny's played in a couple of different projects around town, including a band called Elephonic that did really interesting down-tempo electronic stuff with live drums. Kate's a classically trained piano player. Seamus played drums and guitar in a few bands in Houston before moving out here. Martin was the bass player and then the drummer in our old band, avelar. He's also the drummer in a really cool band called Maxwell Demon.

I know you’ve mentioned before that seeing The Archers of Loaf live for the first time was an epiphany for you. What other bands inspired you and the others?

Yeah, growing up I was a Smiths/Cure kind of kid. When I got to college, I met these guys that were into Pavement and Sonic Youth and The Pixies, etc. Really blew my mind.

But the real moment was seeing Archers of Loaf - to realize that music could be so big and momentous and intricate and creative and raw and powerful and, well, rocking, without resorting to any of the cliches or lazy songwriting of metal or grunge that was dominant at the time was really a revelation. A little after that, I saw a video of Built to Spill. That was another, um, "moment of clarity."

At the same time, I grew up in a house that listened to folk music - I think I was the only guy under 30 who choked up when he heard John Denver had died! So what bands like M. Ward, Bright Eyes, Pedro the Lion, Death Cab and Pinback to some extent, and Wilco have been able to do with the genre has really impressed me.

As for the others, we gain, I think, from having somewhat disparate tastes. Kenny, at his heart, is kind of a prog rock guy really. Seamus grew up more into the punk and gothic side of things; Martin's other band is much more punky and grungy; and Kate studied Chopin and Bach, yet also idolizes Kim Deal. I think it's a strength that, while we all know and like the same core music, they're not all kneeling at the same Isaac Brock/Doug Martsch altar that I do when we write.

How would you describe your music, if pressed to?

Well, probably a combination of the influences we have: a good part "throwback-indie rock" (if I can coin a genre) -- jangly, noodly, multiple-part guitar-based rock; with an emphasis on melody; plus a dash of more straight-ahead, more danceable rock; and a pinch of folk influence; with lyrics that try their best to say something interesting in a poetic way.

So, you’ve known Mikel from The Airborne Toxic Event for a long time, eh?

Mikel and I were the two kids in Junior High with the least trendy clothes and the only two who didn't really get why everyone was so into Guns 'n' Roses -- a natural friendship! We learned to play guitar at the same time. At least as for me, I've always been inspired by his songwriting talent and probably prodded by that to improve myself.

What's your name from? (Not Andrew. You know, the band name.)

A lot of our songs are about what happens after death and wondering about other life out there, questioning the ideas of faith and belief and the old "what are we doing here" thing (sometimes prompted by having a baby, probably). So we all felt that Radars to the Sky -- the whole idea of searching and looking outward/ looking for meaning-- was really powerful.

I thought the book Contact by Carl Sagan was mind-blowing in the way that it played with the ideas of science as faith and with the uncertainty of our place in the universe. For someone trained as a scientist, it's some astonishingly perceptive philosophy and damn good prose. So it's from there that the image of the radar looking upwards was inspired.

Do you have any special message for young people? (I hear this often question asked to music groups in Japan, for some reason.)

That's funny. We recently did a show for a career day at a school where my friend's the principal. We were trying to stress that it really is possible, if not preferable, to play music and also get an education and career options, etc. But they just wanted to know what we thought of Slipknot....

What’s next for Radars? A new EP, touring, residency, video, etcetera?

We've got a couple of shows we're really excited about -- an acoustic show at our friends Thailand's residency in a couple of weeks and then a Saturday night at The Echo that we got to book (so the other bands are all great!).

Then we're going to take off more than a month to take the bar exam, clean diapers, and bang out an EP by August. By this fall we're planning to head out of town here and there to play some shows in some other places, and are very much hoping to play a residency.

Last question: What LA acts are you liking the most right now?

We've gotten to play with such amazing bands lately -- from Death to Anders to The Happy Hollows to The Airborne Toxic Event (and no, not just because...) to Thailand. Plus, we can't wait to play with Molecules, The Henry Clay People, and Tigers Can Bite You. I was so impressed by Rademacher and The Switch at the last Let's Independent!.

Kissing Tigers, Division Day, The Western States Motel, and The Deadly Syndrome all have myspace pages I've abused in the last few months. And I'm a sucker for the Maxwell Demon. As you've written, there is a tremendous amount of good music to see in this town these days.

That’s it. Thanks for your time, Andrew!

If I can just add a quick semi-public thank you to Regina who has filled in on keyboards for us the last few months. We really appreciated all of her hard work, and it was fun having her on the team.

Anyhow, thanks a lot, Joe! - Radio Free Silverlake

"Web in Front"


"Radars to the Sky have grown more and more confident with each successive set of nervy, off-kilter lit-rock burnished with serrated, guitar-honed edges. Though this may have been the Airborne Toxic Event’s show, Radars nearly stole it and made it theirs—not only did the band rise to the opportunity afforded them by opening in such a lager venue, they rose above it and played the set of their career.... It was a show that easily carried the epic swagger of a headliner. It may have been Airborne’s show, but, for nearly an hour, it felt like Radars to the Sky’s night."


"A tight, furiously whiplashed set list of pounding, literate, and intricately arranged indie rock, surrounded by the twinned bookends, 'You Take it To Heart' and 'Big Bang.' The two songs glide from aching balladic drifts to shattered rhythm and brass implosions (sax and trumpet lines crossweave on 'Heart') of Seamus Simpson's knotty, finger-bled guitar lines, the spaced bliss of Kate Spitser's keyboards, and vocalist Andrew Spitser's impassioned howls."


"A stylistic push and pull between a cat's cradle of arcing artistic directions, Radars... is a band of spiraling musical extremes. Theirs is dichotomy music, with a sound that vacillates between hazily beautiful dream-pop nebulae like 'I Might,' a song haunted by Kate Spitser's smoked-glass vocals, to a song like 'Big Bang,' which is the Radars gone nova—Andrew Spitser and Seamus Simpson's jagged, stungun guitars thunder around Andrew's howling, unhinged lyrics in a shoegaze crush of intricate, sprawling arrangements, while the rhythm section of Kenny Kupers (drums) and Martin Avelar (bass) maintain a hypnotic, percussive sway that bridges the two musical worlds together." - webinfront.net

"Berkeley Place (NYC)"

"The EP begins with 'Long Walk Home,' a fuzzy, charming duet that has all the importance and hook of the best indie singles.... 'I Might' is the real revelation here: the drumming is some of the best around, and the fast pace and booming vocal tracks show off the best parts fo this exciting new band.... This may be the best EP of 2008." - BerkeleyPlace.com

"Little Radio"

"Radars To The Sky proved to be extremely worthy of their residency at the Echo with a compelling performance.... 'Victoria' was a dynamic blast of frantic guitars and bouncy keyboards that were pulled together nicely by Andrew's longing vocals.... Radars To The Sky nailed it." - littleradio.com

"Classical Geek Theatre"


"I can report to you with confidence that Radars to the Sky took advantage of the opportunity to play the El Rey in every dimension conceivable; it was by far the best show I have seen them play.

Yes, Radars to the Sky are the ideal t-shirt and flannel indie rock band, but they are also purveyors of an epic sound that demands and thrives on an excellent soundsystem. Their clever musical moves, swift guitar flourishes, keys that haunt beneath the skin of the thing, Andrew Spitser's undeniable voice, and their penchant for roping you in with the beat and rhythm were as engaging as any piece of musical entertainment you could ask for.... Radars to the Sky has been given far too few opportunities to shine and, in this writer's opinion, their wildly successful opening set was 'the story' of the evening. I'm hoping the casual music goers in attendance took note. I'm thinking they had to."


"Radars to the Sky, one of Los Angeles' best-honed acts, had the embarrassing opening slot at Sunset Junction. (They should have been playing just before Broken Social Scene) They made the best of it though, delivering a passioned, energetic (if shortened) set of their classic-styled indie rock. The impact of a Radars to the Sky set exponentially increases as the songs follow each other...."


"The energy they exuded was unfathomable. Any time I tried to look for somebody else, buy a drink at the bar, or write some notes I would immediately have my attention taken back by whatever was happening on stage." - classicalgeektheatre.blogspot.com

"A Limerick Ox (NYC)"

"'Victoria' is one of those surprisingly charming pop tunes which calls upon the punchy blast that only a good set of post-punk guitars can deliver, offering up a bouncing, endearing moment of catchy wonder. Singer Andrew Spitser's longing vocals endow the song with emotional charge, while harmonious guitars surge, swish, and swing together with measured exactitude, supported by ululating keys in the background, the nervousness of it all netted together by fluttering drums. As sweetly enamoring as it bubbles with enthusiastic nervousness, its tale of regret and bitterness exposes a soul in need of purging." - alimerickox.com

"LA Weekly"

"Literary and historical allusions crop up on 'Prufrock,' which sparkles with chiming post-punk guitars as Andrew Spitser confides with a Morrissey-like sense of regret, 'The crashing waves drown out all I say.' He duets with his keyboardist-wife Kate Post Spitser on 'Long Walk Home,' where his jangly guitar spirals blend enchantingly into her breathy delivery. The title track evolves from a spacy, languid intro with its flickering scrapes of Television-style chords into an impressively stormy landscape of whirring keyboards and crashing guitars." - LA Weekly Pick of the Week


* Self-titled Debut EP (5 songs) released Jan 07.
* "Big Bang EP" (6 songs) released Feb 08.
* "Selfish Kids" digital single - forthcoming Feb 09
* Full-length album - forthcoming Apr 09

* #9 on CMJ Adds chart (March 08)
* Charted on CMJ (April 08)
* Charted in top 20 on more than 30 CMJ stations
* Radio play on commercial stations KROQ and Indie 103.1 in Los Angeles.
* Single, "Long Walk Home," on Pistol Records "LAX" compilation on iTunes; highest-selling song on disc (as of 7/08)
* WOXY.com Airchecks Band of the Day (have played "Long Walk Home")



When Andrew Spitser quit his job, broke up with his girlfriend, and moved back in with his parents to go to law school, he thought he was done playing music. But somewhere along the way, those plans changed.

First, he found himself in the possession of some ProTools gear, and over the next few months he spent long late nights alone in the bathroom of his childhood home, cigarette dangling on the edge of the sink, singing a new batch of songs quietly into a makeshift reverb chamber (the shower). Those recordings would become the first few Radars tunes.

Then he met the woman he'd soon marry. Kate was a classically-trained piano player, and though shy, once she was convinced to sing, showed she had a beautiful, untapped voice.

So when drummer Kenny Kupers showed up in the same law school class with Andrew, the idea of quitting music had pretty much been swept aside. They were a band. They called up bassist Martin Avelar, who'd met Andrew as a student when Andrew was teaching high school, they recruited Houston native Seamus Simpson to play guitar, and soon found themselves accompanied by Brent Dodson and Matt Kozloff on the trumpet and sax. Suddenly those bedroom recordings were a 7-piece band.

They spent their first six months writing and recording, and started playing shows in early 2007. After releasing their debut e.p. in February 2007, the group started concentrating on its live show. By the summer, they were headlining Silverlake scene staples The Echo, Spaceland, and The Silverlake Lounge. They recorded five more songs in the fall of 2007. Those recordings are what make up "The Big Bang e.p.," which they celebrated with a month-long residency at The Echo, one of the L.A.'s two premier indie rock venues.

Martin has since gone off to other projects, and Kate's long-time friend and ex-Longwave bassist Dave Marchese has joined the band.

This summer they'll be playing the Sunset Junction festival in Silverlake with Broken Social Scene, The Black Keys, Menomena, and a bunch of other great bands. They'll be playing The El Rey with The Airborne Toxic Event and The Morning Benders. They're supporting The Republic Tigers at Spaceland, and headlining shows from San Diego to Orange County to Los Angeles to San Francisco. Oh, and they'll be bringing Andrew and Kate's one-year-old girl along as a mascot.

A long way from those lonely, late-night recordings in his parent's house, for sure.


NOTE: Two different groups have already expressed interest in hosting Radars for a SXSW show, including one East Coast music blog (and that's saying something, since we know they normally ignore anything from Los Angeles!!).