The Radical Thought Resistance
When the package arrived, it was mangled, the CD case cracked and broken; another victim of the mail Gods. I hesitantly put the CD into the turntable and as I listened, I realized that I was in for something a little bit different.
Radical Thought Resistance consists of drummer/songwriter Howard Alper, Akihisa Ishibashi on Guitar, Bass X on bass and Freedom Bremner on vocals.
Reality TV fans may remember Freedom as a finalist on the CBS TV show, "Star Search." Freedom also appeared as a guest vocalist on Moby's last CD, 18, singing lead on "At Least We Tried."
Alper worked on Corey Glover's solo CD release entitled Hymns, co-writing and playing on several songs. He was also recently featured in Modern Drummer's, "On The Move" section.
Radical Thought Resistance has a fresh, funky rock sound with hard-hitting, edgy lyrics. "Our New Reality," written by Alper/Ishibashi after the September 11th attacks, is a perfect example. "September mourning, Skies an azure shade of blue, New Day Dawning, Fanatic feels his time is due...Welcome to our new reality."
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[Kathy Brackley] Your lyrics speak to the current state of world and what's happening around us. Was this intentional or just a natural progression?
Howard Alper As a lyricist, I've always been compelled to draw on social matters for lyrical content. I don't know why, maybe it's my Political Science degree rubbing off on me? I think I'd much rather write love songs! Anyway, even before the "dark" events that occurred over the past couple of years, I was "naturally" writing lyrics that commented on the state of the world. On our CD, Empowered Species, there's only one song that was written post 9/11, that being "Our New Reality." The other tunes were written before all the drama. Not proclaiming to be a "Soothsayer," but we all thought it was kinda' weird :-)
[Kathy Brackley] How did you, Akihisa and Freedom all hook up?
Howard Alper Ok, this is really strange...I used to play in Freedom's band, a NYC based Funk band called D'TRIPP. I left D'TRIPP and started working with Living Colour front man Corey Glover. When I wanted to start my own band, I asked Freedom if he knew any Bassists, he suggested one and when the bassist and I started getting together the bassist brought Aki in. We formed a band named iNRSPACE and when that band broke up, Aki and I continued to write together. We wrote a whole bunch of songs but couldn't find a singer that fit ... enter Freedom!!! Kind of a round about way to form a band, huh?
[Kathy Brackley] Who has had the biggest musical influence on your career?
Howard Alper We've all had so many diverse influences ... Rock/Funk/Reggae/Electronica/Jazz ... you name it, we've listened to it and probably played it! However, Aki, our guitarist, has been influenced a great deal by Japanese Anime films, drawing on the sound effects in the movies and using similar sounds for our songs. Freedom has been influenced greatly by bands like Earth, Wind & Fire and singers like Steve Perry of Journey. As for myself, Sting and the Police have influenced my drumming and lyric writing and Noam Chomsky, Carl Jung and George Orwell have certainly influenced my thoughts.
[Kathy Brackley] Which artists currently inspire you and why?
Howard Alper This was a tough question. There aren't a lot of artists out there that are taking chances and that's what we all really like. However, the Deftones are pretty dope. They're all great musicians, they have clever arrangements in their songs and most importantly, they ROCK!!!
The group is currently working on pre-production for new material and hopes to be recording by the end of August. Their upcoming release is tentatively titled "Notes From The Underground," with songs that touch on topics from world peace to subversive thought.
Freedom Bremner is also working on a solo project called "House of Freedom" and will be releasing an EP this summer; while Alper is working on co-producing for a female singer named Stephanie St. Hilaire. You can catch RTR performing live this fall after the completion of their upcoming release.
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