Radio Laika @ Moles + Exclusive Interview
Following the release of their debut single Video Game, Radio Laika played their first headline gig at Moles on Wednesday. I caught up with them before hand to get an insight into the band.
What’s the story behind your name?
Darragh: I watched an opera one Christmas, I think it was called moon radio or something and I thought that’s quite a cool band name. I suggested it to Felix and we kinda worked from that; this idea of space and radio
And how comes the name Laika, where did that come from?
Darragh: We were just thinking of space and Laika the dog was the first dog [to travel] in space
Is there any reason as to why you chose orange and blue for your colour scheme?
Felix: I think we just wanted to go with something really striking. We realised some people wear loads of orange and some people always wear blue – but they rarely wear them together. We also had a guitar that is orange, there were a lot of signs; we just had a lot of stuff that was blue and orange
Darragh: It was initially yellow and blue
Felix: …but then I was like, I don’t really like yellow a lot – it’s not my favourite colour
So do you think as your sound develops, there would be a change in colours?
Darragh: We’ve talked about it a lot, you know, about picking other two-toned colours
Felix: I think there’s always that sense of like, every single colour gives an emotion. I remember someone saying once if blue is sorrow then orange is pride
Darragh: It’s like our music, happy music, sad lyrics
How would you describe your music and who do you think it appeals to the most?
Felix: Our lecturer Davey described it perfectly as “energetically unhappy”
Darragh: It’s generally aimed at people our age, although weirdly on Instagram we’re finding we’re picking up emos… like really young emos, about 14!
Felix: I think musically we are definitely sort of childish and melancholy. It’s ironically arty
Darragh: It’s super arty but also we’re aware of that and we’re not afraid to take the piss a little bit. I definitely don’t think we are pretentious… I hope we’re not anyway… are we?
Certainly not! And genre wise what would you class yourself?
Darragh: We’re alt-pop or like indie pop. I think that’s like something that people will go “oh okay I know what that is”
Do you have a certain process for writing songs?
Meg: The lyrics are always the last thing usually
Darragh: Normally it’s Felix coming up with a bunch of random ideas and then we filter through them together working out what works, and then we round it up with Megan with a vocal top-line and lyrics
Finally, If Radio Laika was a sandwich what would you be?
Darragh: Probably a marmalade sandwich
Felix: No no no no… peanut butter and blueberry jelly – it’s really nice!
Meg: I had it the other night, thought it was great
Many thanks to the band for taking the time to chat with me on a busy schedule!
To begin their set, session drummer Tom Dummer plays a solid and addictive beat on drums – this was a great way of summoning the audience and opening the show. As the band forms on stage, the signature Radio Laika colours are in every aspect of their aesthetic, from matching dungarees to orange fairy lights over the drum kit; illustrating the togetherness and strong connection they demonstrate whilst playing. Front-woman Megan Clements has an innocence to both her voice and stage presence, which is a joy to watch. This is complimented by both Darragh and Felix, who are much more fluid in their performances, especially in Something Something when Felix crowd dives and screams with much passion into the audience.
On guitar, Darragh’s playing provides a raw and intricate sound, using unusual techniques such as bouncing drum sticks off of the strings. Notably, Tom Dummer drums with precision and energy, a really gripping performance. The thing I love about Radio Laika is their ability to produce a different sound and mood with each song, always keeping the audience engaged. Their attention to even the smallest of details is enlightening and makes their music quite mesmerising at times. You never really know what to expect next from Radio Laika, and this unpredictable quality that is part of their charm and like-ability.