RADIGALS kicked off their music career with a 5-song demo in 2013. It was then followed with the debut selftitled “Radigals” EP released in 2015. This is an all-female hardcore unit from Singapore and they’re back in early January 2017 with astonishing 6 tracks EP “Fight To Unite”. The recordings are absolutely impressive. “Fight To Unite” was released on tapes by Dangerous Goods, and later available in CD by the band independently. Keep your eyes on these pontential girls. Here we have the bassist, Esty talking further about Radigals.
Hello Radigals. What’s up today?
Hi Noise From Hell! Nothing’s up today, just woke up from hangover for me while my other bandmates are off to work and one has to finish up her school assignment hahah.
Please share in brief regarding the band history; when and how Radigals get formed? Also, let us know little bit about background of the current line-up?
It is quite a chaotic band history we have but I will try to keep it short. We started off with a 6-piece all girl band influenced by a female fronted band, All For Nothing who came to Singapore in 2012. One day, me and one of my girl went out for lunch and suddenly thought “hey, lets try making an all girl hardcore band” She’s up for it and we started thinking of who wants to do what in the band. I chose to play the bass cos it looks easy for me to learn (I was wrong hahaha), the other two wanted to do vocal. Then we went to look for guitarist and drummer whereby we go to shows, we ask the girls if they can play any. We found a guitarist, who is now still with us, Alin hehe. We found a drummer too from the metal scene however, she’s no longer with us any more.
We went through some shits along the way and had to alter the band members which now consist of Aisyah (vox), Alin (guitar), Cheryl (drums), and me, Esty (bass).
Aisyah is 22, as student. She loves to sing, yes her voice is great honestly but usually we’ll tell her its not hahah. We love to disturb her, for no particular reason. She’s my long lost childhood friend whom I found back, because of Radigals haha. It’s a great choice to have her on board, personally because I believe she’s undergoing an unstable emotion at some point of time and I really hope she’d use Radigals as a port for her to release herself.
Alin is 23, she works in a retails store, Crumpler. For quite a long time already to think about it hahah. She’s working to support her family and also partly because of Radigals hehe. She love cats like a lot, and she used to have many cats. She loves to eat chicken, she’ll get cranky if we don’t feed her while touring or before show hahah. She’s the only straightedge in the band, who stays true and takes pride in what she stands for. I feel that its a great choice for her too to be in this band and the hardcore scene, for a lot of reason actually. Especially, to distract her from the negative things.
Cheryl is 23 too. She’s a student, she’s got a baby face and skin hahahah. Cheryl is actually the only one who kinda know what she wants to achieve or what she wants to do for a living, basically have plans for herself in time to come. Which is great. Hmm, she learned playing drums while she was with her church band last time hahah knowing that she knows how to play the drums, we approached her to ask if she wants to play. I’m glad she’s a part of us now. Funny how me, Cheryl and Alin always see each other years back at gigs but didn’t really talk much, not until we’re all in this band together. Oh yes, while all of us have cats as pet, Cheryl has a dog named Ninja, we love him!! Also, for Cheryl, I felt like its great for her to be in this scene and band, knowing how sometimes she can struggle too with her emotions and personal issues, its best to have a few factors to give her the support and strength.
Now, myself, hahaha my name is Esty, 23 too. I’m a therapist. I think the girls hates me yet loves me the most in the band hahaha. I love this band, from the start despite the bull shits and this band means a lot to me. I learned to play the bass as soon as we started this band, through youtube videos. I hope to be a better player in time to come hahah. I smile a lot, really, people who knows me knows how much I smile and laugh. Nothing much about me, basically almost the same as the rest having a reason to be here heh.
How do you feel as an all-female hardcore band in Singapore? Do you accepted well in the country?
Honestly, it wasn’t really okay at first. One of the reason is we do not have much self confidence. After awhile, we kinda get the hang of it, and we really fuck it for every show and simply just have fun together hahaha. There are a few times where we got people calling us names, shouting unnecessary comments during our shows, mostly about our body size, and how we’re women and that they can try to get our contact number and simply just want our attention hahah. As far as we have gone, we don’t see or hear much of that comparing to before. Now, everyone is more open minded, supportive and encouraging. Plus, most women in Singapore are more independent and daring to speak up, write zines or form their own band.
Tell us further about your latest EP “Fight To Unite” (2017). How long it took you to prepare for the songwritings and recording session?
"Fight to Unite” consist of 6 songs. Lyrics in all the song in that EP talks about equality, friendship, hoping for segregation to stop and decision making in life. It took us around 3 months to finish preparing plus recording for our EP. We started working on it right after we are done with our show in Philippines, October last year.
How do you see the band progressed and developed in “Fight To Unite” since the previous one “self-titled” EP 2015?
We as a band actually became more tight together in our relationship and also as a band. Along the way while working on “Fight To Unite”, we did go through some disagreements and miscommunications with each other which makes us love each other and accept each other’s flaws more. Personally, I feel that in this EP everyone got the chance to express themselves in every songs, which is great. Cos I believe the songs does not reflects only the vocalist, it reflects the band as a whole.
Comparing to our previous Self-Titled EP 2015, I felt that something was missing. A soul was missing as the lyrics are mostly from our ex-vocalist and our current vocalist is the one screaming for the recording. I felt like we’re having more fun and really satisfied with what we have produced for “Fight To Unite” hehe.
What is the best definition / description for the music of Radigals? Where does the influences / inspiration come from?
I believe from our music it can reflect to our personality whereby we can be fun yet feisty at the same time. Its like, we can have fun and be crazy but if anyone messes with us, we definitely won’t hesitate to give a punch or break their face.
The influences, firstly I am very sure it comes from our home. We have our own issues or feelings that we bottled up from home and also the surroundings. Secondly, definitely the different bands we listen/look up to. Trust me, all of us have got different taste of music and what I can say Radigals has their own sound from our mixture of influences.
“Fight To Unite” was released on cassette tapes by a label called Dangerous Goods. How do you got the deal with the label and were they help Radigals a lot in promoting the band and tape selling?
We knew Paulo from Dangerous Goods as he is staying in Singapore and he’s one of those who has his own distros, always taking bulk orders from the hardcore kids or whoever if they wanna get any merchandise from any website. He has also been releasing for a few others hardcore bands in Singapore.
So, we first released our EP on bandcamp and after that Paulo approached us asking if we would like him to release our EP on tapes under his label. Well, on our side, there’s no reason to say no to that hahaha we really appreciate and thankful that he’s interested to release this EP for us. He does know what we love and he made the tape cover of different colours (we had enough of black) hehe. Definitely, Paulo helped us a lot in distributing the tapes worldwide, promoting, and tapes we sold online, pre-order and all. He handled everything, Paulo is a really great, supportive and humble person. Shout out to Dangerous Goods, much love from RG!
We heard that the EP also available on CD released independently, right? How well the CD get distributed?
Hahaha yes, the CD was a total DIY self-released. We just felt like we need to do something ourself, since Paulo is handling everything for the tapes. Plus, not everyone likes buying a tape. Those who didn’t get the chance to get the tapes end up getting the CD. I can humbly say, the CDs were distributed equally at a great pace as the tape. Really a big thank you to everyone who supports us.
Who come up with the “Fight To Unite” cover artwork? What does it represent for?
A friend of our guitarist (Alin) drew the cover artwork of “Fight To Unite” and it literally and exactly represents each of us. People can easily tell who is who just by looking at the artwork because of our usual features, favourite band t-shirt, favourite food hahaha. The best part is, our lovely pets are also in the cover with us. Basically, everything is purely us :)
Please share something about your experience in playing live shows and gigs?
The best experience of playing gigs is that every time we got to make new friends be it locally or overseas. Also, every show we will try different things, stupid things so that we can laugh at each other hahah. Its also great when we see the audience/our friends singing along and having fun with us too!
Tell us your view on Singapore’s Hardcore/Punk scene? Are there any other all-female bands?
Singapore’s hardcore/punk scene is really small. Always the same faces, but what I can say now, it becoming a little bigger, there’s kids of atlas 14 years young coming to shows (quite something for us here). Plus there’s more new hardcore punk bands coming up, which is really great. Yeah we do have a new all-female hardcore band called Fuse. And we have Obstacle Upsurge that got back together with a new line up.
Do you have any new recordings, new songs and plan for any new releases in the near future?
Owww yes we have! We’re still making more new songs and most probably we’ll record and release next year if all goes well? We actually wanna get out of Singapore to play shows more in 2018 hehe.
Thank you. Last words please.
Thank you so much Noise from Hell for this interview! We hope to see you some day. Also, feel free to check out our songs and gig updates at:
*Replied on December 17, 2017