Go Radio are at a pivotal point in their young careers where they either have to go hard or go home, and from the looks of it, the four-piece aren’t unpacking their suitcases anytime soon.
While the Tallahassee, Florida-based collective are winning fans over with invigorating and uplifting rock elegance, their main objective is to usher in a rebirth of music consciousness.
Nowadays, there’s a stronghold of bands that convey messages about despair and Go Radio refuses to be another victim drowning in the pool of self-pity. So when they spoke with Tim O’Heir, who executive produced the group’s debut album Lucky Street, everyone agreed that a flip in the trendy script was needed.
“When we talked about it, he seemed to really get the idea that we wanted to make songs that changed a generation. I know that's a bold statement, but we do,” Lancaster explains. “We want people to hear this record and think about how much time everyone spends singing about the one that got away, and talking about the time they were sad. No one says anything about the beauty in life anymore - about how there are so many things worth writing about that have nothing to do with love. We wrote about religion, and we wrote about life and death.”
Rebirth of Music Consciousness
Those sentiments are captured all throughout Lucky Street and seemingly every composition on the 13-track collection holds a personal connection to Lancaster. For instance, “Redemption In The Verse” is his personal anthem that focuses on showing love to people who are different from you and “Forever My Father” is an ode to Lancaster’s dad who passed away. Writing that record served as a healing process to the 27-year-old and was his way of saying goodbye.
That isn’t the first time Lancaster had said goodbye to someone though. Over the past couple of years, it has become the story of his life. The front man gives it his all, takes a few hits and then, goes through a rebirth of his own.
In 2005, Lancaster was a member of Fearless Records’ alternative rock band Mayday Parade and was core songwriter for the group’s full-length debut A Lesson In Romantics. But shortly after completing the album in early April 2007, he had to depart from the band. “It just wasn't the place for me,” he says. “I love each and every one of [the members] and we still stay close, but my place was never there. My dad was getting sick and my family needed me home, so I made a choice.”
Go Radio refuses to be another victim drowning in the pool of self-pity.
Though he returned home to help take care of his ailing father, Lancaster kept writing music. In fact, he launched Go Radio in the weeks to follow and while the thought of starting from scratch again played on his conscience, any insecurities he might have had soon vanished.
“It was a little daunting at first, but by the end of the first week, it was just like never stopping,” Lancaster recalls. “It quickly became something I am proud of. I'd spend all my time with a guitar and paper, just trying to come up with things I thought were good enough. We spent every second together and even had a place.”
For the next year, Go Radio would feverishly work hard on developing their sound and craft the material that would comprise Welcome To Life, a 6-track EP that was used to get attention from various record labels. Despite receiving enough offers, none of them felt like a good fit for the band. Then in October 2009, Bob Becker – CEO of Fearless Records – approached them and signed them to the roster.
Go Radio spent the next year touring on the road, promoting their sophomore EP Do Overs And Second Chances and recording their official debut album Lucky Street, which was released this past March.
The stellar 13-track disc features an array of diverse resonance like the rhythm-rich banger “Kill The Beast,” the uplifting, horn-savvy pop rock smash “Fight, Fight (Reach For The Sky)” and the mainstream-tinged “Singing With The King,” where Lancaster creates a story of playing with music legends like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Keith Moon and Freddie Mercury. But this well-rounded effort also sheds a softer side to the Tallahassee quarter, especially on the melodramatic ballad “House Of Hallways” and the majestic confessional “The Truth Is.”
Although there are depressing moments the strike Lucky Street, it’s much more powerful than that. It’s an album with identity and that identity finding inner peace, keeping hope alive and having the capability and strength to turn the corner.
The Band Members
- Front man/guitarist: Jason Lancaster
- Guitarist Alex Reed
- Bassist Matt Poulos
- Drummer Steven Kopacz
“This record is all about being happy with what you've got. Finding something to cling to. Finding something to float on when your ship goes down and you can't find land. It's something we thought about a lot, and it's something we all lost sleep over - just wanting to get out a message that even when things get darkest and there is everything to cry about, people should focus on the one thing they have to smile about,” Lancaster explains. “Life never gets easier. It gets easier to handle and this is the way we've handled the life that's been given to us. We're happy where we are, and we know there is always something to be upset about, but just beyond that is something that makes being sad kind of pointless.”
Lancaster has gone through a tremendous amount of ups and downs over the past five years, but now with life in order, he is ready for Go Radio to go hard in bringing some optimism to a generation of music listeners that have the tendency to wallow in despair. Bright days lie ahead, even when the clouds appear at their darkest.
For more from Bear Frazer follow him on Twitter: @BearFrazer