Interview: Josh Berwanger of Radar State

Consisting of Matt Pryor and Jim Suptic of The Get Up Kids, Josh Berwanger of The Anniversary and drummer, Adam Phillips of The Gadjits, Radar State released a three song EP last year. On January 11, 2019, the superground will release their debut full length album, Strays. We got a chance to asked Josh Berwanger a couple questions about the members’ history together, how the album compares to their other bands, and what to expect from their US tour starting in late January.

All being veteran musicians, I imagine you have long histories together. Do you remember when you first met?

I saw Matt play in his first band called Secular Theme at the Waldo Astoria in 93. Then all our high school bands played a show together which I believe was the Get Up Kids first show in 95 also. Adam and I were friends but I didn’t really get to know them until a few years later.

Who approached who about starting Radar State?

Jim, Matt are part of a custom song group ran by Bob from Braid and Mark Rose called Downwrite. Jim was putting up his profile and I think we just started talking about let’s start a band, as none of us (at the time…a year and a half ago) were super busy with our other bands. Jim mentioned it to Matt and Matt was in and then we needed a drummer, we asked Jon Sonefeld and he said our demos and songwriting were complete crap and he would never do it, so we asked Adam and he said the songs were magical.

With multiple songwriters in the band, what was the writing process like for the album?

We practiced once a week while writing the album, in that time we would each write a song and send the basic demo through email. So practices we would play each song over and over and go through the ones from the last week and week before and so on.

How do you think Radar State compares to the work of your previous band(s)?

Anything a person does in art should feel it’s as strong or stronger as anything you’ve done before. It’s different than previous projects in the sense there are 3 main singers but it really works for our band and the album.

As you embark on a US tour to support your debut album, what should fans expect from the shows?

We are playing smaller clubs which I’m really looking forward to. It’s more personal and easier to meet and talk to people who come to the shows. We’ll be playing the whole album as well as our 3 song EP that came out last year as well as a few others.

Since many of the members are in other active bands, do you think the album is more of a one off or do you think Radar State is something you guys will return to?

I have an album coming out in spring of next year, the Get Up Kids have an album coming out in the spring of next year and Adam is in like 4 other bands so I assume he has multiple things coming out as well. We will tour on this record and hopefully try to get over to Europe and then when spring comes tend to our other bands. Radar State is a great avenue for us to have fun and write songs we normally wouldn’t write for our other bands, and we all really enjoy hanging out and the writing process. So if we don’t put out another album, I would be bummed by that for sure.