Interview: Introducing RKDN, Your New Favorite Alt-Pop Group
We've got something for you! Meet RKDN - a four-piece Utah valley band who channel shameless pop melodies through beat driven anthems and a whole lot of groove. Their debut LP, Stone Cold (via Mono Label Group/UMG), is expected to arrive in early 2016 and promises a compilation of feel-good tracks. The first taste of what the guys are made of presented itself in fall 2015 - 'Silver' was their first track previewing RKDN and let us tell you, it's quite the tune. RKDN themselves coproduced their debut with Scott Wiley (Neon Trees, The Moth and The Flame) in their hometown of Provo, Utah. The heart of the band’s tone stems from writer/lead singer/guitarist Matt Orr, drummer Cam Faerber, bassist Kyle Hooker and keys/programmer Clark Wiesenberg’s love for driving indie rock and moody electronic production. RKDN is the rare band unapologetically creating huge pop rock anthems free of pretense or false attempts to fit a certain mold. Even rarer is the fact that the band undoubtedly has the chops to back it up.
We caught wind of these guys when we found out they are in the midst of opening for Bastille, stirring our curiosity even more (this is NOT the show to miss!) It was only right to be in touch. We got ahold of Matt, the lead singer, to hear a little more of their story. Here's what he had to say...
How would you describe your sound?
Alternative pop, through and through.
What was the inspiration for your single “Silver”?
Silver is kind of a brief summary of the early stages of falling in love. Lyrically and vibe-wise as well. At least in my experience.
How has growing up in Utah impacted your music? If at all?
Our music is inspired by so many things, it's hard to say if growing up in Utah has shaped me as a songwriter. Probably, seeing as I’ve lived here for so long, but I think our music is more inspired by internal factors rather than external. That being said, I love Utah! Best skiing in the world, literally. And we have a really great food scene that not a lot of people know about. Try The Copper Onion in downtown SLC, or Chimayo in Park City if you’re ever in town.
When did you realize that you wanted to be musicians?
For me, it was at an Imagine Dragon’s show at a local club called Velour in about 2010. I was one of the 150 people in the club, seeing the passion for what they were doing even in a half full venue was contagious. Now look where those guys are!
What is the most important thing to keep in mind when putting an album together?
There’s no such thing as a bad idea. Every idea is worth seeing through. Some of our favorite elements of our songs have come through messing around on an old Moog.
What do you have planned for the future with the band?
We just want to keep making music together!
What do you hope your legacy will be?
We want people to know how much we love being RKDN.
Aside from other musical influences, what in your life inspires you to create?
Nature! We live 15 minutes from the Rocky Mountains, and as a band we spend a lot of time up there. It's impossible to not be creative when you’re surrounded by 500 foot cliffs and evergreens.
Who have you been listening to this week?
Tame Impala! Can’t get enough of their last record.
Is there any song by another group or singer from the past that you wish you had written? Why?
"Hey Jude" by The Beatles. It's iconic!
How has music guided you to discover new things about yourself?
Music has shaped me as a person! I don’t know where I’d be right now if I wasn’t making music. Music has guided me into being me, really.
If you could travel to any place in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
Rome! I just saw an 'Anthony Bourdain' where he ate this pasta at this little cafe there, it was the ultimate spectacle of food porn. I gotta have that pasta at some point.
If you had to choose one song that describes your life right now, what would it be?
What are some of your guilty pleasures?
Charcuterie! This fantastic cured pork/cheese plate dish. Its a veritable lunchable for adults. Whatever city we’re in, we always try to hit the best restaurant of charcuterie- but we have yet to top the charcuterie board at a local restaurant up at Sundance called The Foundry Grill. There’s a good spread at a place in LA called The Churchill, but you just can’t top that local Utah goodness! If you can’t tell, RKDN loves eating.
If you could be really good at anything (besides music) what would it be? Why?
I’ve always thought it would be rad to be the town’s barber. I love my barber, he’s such a good guy- and nothing brightens my day like a conversation with Drew while I get a trim or a straight razor shave. If RKDN drops off the map I think I’ll just open a barber shop in Park City or something.