“I asked the audience to raise their hands if they had a flag sticker on their car,” relates KillRadio singer Brandon Jordan. Sweaty yet adrenalized, the diminutive ska/punk/rock singer is relating an amusing anecdote of his band’s first foray into live performances.
“About three-quarters raised their hand,” he continues. “I told them they were fucking idiots because they’re breaking the flag code. Flags are only supposed to be flown on poles. They’re not supposed to be stickers; they’re not supposed to be bandannas, they’re not supposed to be jeans… it doesn’t make you a patriot. The cloak of a scoundrel is a flag. They wrap themselves in it. A lot of people wanted to kick the shit out of me for ridiculing them.”
Garnering attention not only for their hook-filled rock songs but also for their forthright political nature, California’s KillRadio (Jordan, bassist Dirty, guitarist Jasten King and drummer Duke ) are currently supporting their debut album Raised On Whipped Cream. And while the band are clearly raucous, Jordan admits that over time they’re toning down their antics.
“[That behaviour] made us feel good for a while, but it’s not going to turn people onto our music. We’d rather make people happy and listen to the message in the music and we can play our songs than start fights. Even when people don’t agree with our stance, they’ll still listen to our music. Instead of being Captain Bring Down The Party, we want people to enjoy the album and laugh along with it.”
Learning a huge lesson on last year’s Warped Tour from buddies and not-so jokey politi-punks Anti-Flag, KillRadio have tamed down their attack, opting to suck people in with the infectious melodies instead of beating them over the head with fiery imagery and lyrics.
“Anti-Flag have inspired us about what not to do,” says Jordan with all due respect. “We’ve been around them for a long time and we’re on an A-F Records compilation, we love what they’re doing, but we feel that the movement needs to be diverse. It’s going one way and it gets pinned down. When you’re protesting, you don’t want it to follow one line. It needs to take different forms and our protest is a different from than theirs. People already know why Bush sucks. They don’t want to hear it. It’s like yelling into the mic, ‘There’s no Santa Claus!’ No shit. We want to take a different approach. We’re going to get you subversively.”