Radar State Establish a Super Sound on Their Own Terms

Radar State (courtesy of the band)

Three familiar voices in the emo world have joined together, but the members would hardly consider themselves a super group.

Jim Suptic and Matt Pryor of the Get Up Kids, as well as Josh Berwanger of The Anniversary and Adam Phillips of The Architects, formed a new band, Radar State, about two years ago and released their first full-length record, “Strays,” on Jan. 11 via Wiretap Records.

And while the group — which boasts more of a punk rock sound — does include known artists from the emo genre, Suptic says he wouldn’t consider the band to be on the same “super” level as, say, Temple of the Dog or Chickenfoot.

“I’m flattered that anything I do would be considered super, but I don’t think we think of ourselves that way,” Suptic says. “Super groups sound like temporary things to me. I don’t think this is a temporary thing. People are always going to consider anything Matt or I do as emo regardless of what we do. We could put out a ska record, and they’d call it emo-ska.”

Suptic, who sings and writes alongside Pryor and Phillips, says the group formed during a Get Up Kids hiatus and as a way for the four members to “maintain [their] sanity” while hanging out with friends and making music.

Radar State comes as a form of relief for the members, Suptic says, because the group doesn’t feel pressured to release a certain amount of records or commit to a mandated number of months for touring each year, unlike their other outfits.

“Everyone in the band is a full-time musician, so we have sort of gone through this before with our other bands,” he says. “I think we just kind of wanted this to be a fun thing to do where we didn’t want to have to take it too seriously, but I take it seriously in the sense of songwriting and wanting to be good. We didn’t want to have the pressure of other bands. There’s pressure to make money and be successful sometimes. I would love for this band to be successful, but I don’t think that’s exactly why we started it.”

Because each of the members has had experience in other bands, Suptic says the songwriting and recording process for “Strays” came easily. The group also released a seven-inch self-titled EP last spring.

He says they wrote “Strays” quickly and recorded it in three days.

“That’s the way we used to make records, where you basically play the songs live, you know the songs and then you just go and make a live record,” he says. “That’s how we made this record. It was kind of refreshing. It just forces you to make decisions and gives it a sense of urgency, which kind of fits to the style of the music we’re playing.”

The band, which supported Say Anything in its 2017 winter tour and played Riot Fest in Chicago earlier that year, has embarked on its first headline tour, which includes a free show at the Slidebar in Fullerton on Saturday, Feb. 9.

For more information about the band, visit https://www.facebook.com/radarstate/.

By day, Brittany covers hard-hitting city news in San Diego. By night, she’s prowling the Orange County music scene, and is usually a regular attendee of local ska and punk shows. Reporting and music have always been Brittany’s passions. She wrote for her middle school and high school newspapers and studied journalism at Cal State Long Beach, where she graduated in 2012. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her French Bulldog, watching probably too many Disney movies for someone her age and napping.

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