Alien Vacation is the new EP from The Cudas and features four brand new songs. Power Pop in its purest form. Add The Cudas to the list that also includes Radio Days, The Reflectors, and The Speedways
Sweet Sweet Music spoke with Reinhard van Biljon about the all-time hall of fame fantasy camp, the Boss BR-600 digital recorder, and Tommy Lee.
You can pick 3 co-writers to write new songs with. Who? … and Why?
Wow, that’s a big ask. I’ll go ahead and cheat here. Rivers Cuomo from Weezer, Ric Ocasek from The Cars (RIP), Andy Sturmer from Jellyfish, Adam Schlesinger from Fountains of Wayne (RIP), Mike Viola, and throw Brian Wilson in there as well since we’re dreaming. Those would be my all-time hall of fame fantasy camp. But there are so many guys I would love to brain milk in the independent scene at the moment. Guys like Kurt Baker, Dario Persi from Radio Days…okay this is getting ridiculous, but can I get Tom-Lord Alge to mix the thing?
Cassettes are back. Which 5 five songs would make your first mixtape?
Fountains of Wayne – Maureen
Redd Kross – Get Out of Myself
Teen Machine – Bitchin’ Camaro
Mike Viola – It Does A Number On My Brain
Weezer – Since You Came Around
What was the moment you knew you were on to something?
I’ve been writing little snippets of music for the longest time, but they never went beyond a little melody over a guitar part until quite recently. I always put it off, but then one day about two years ago I just got a little Boss BR-600 digital recorder and finally finished one little demo. That was “Kids Want Hits.” I might have posted it in a group somewhere, but when a few people started playing it on podcasts and a couple of radio shows, I thought I might be able to do something here.
How great is the urge to stay creative? To keep writing songs and lyrics?
It’s huge. I have way more little ideas for songs than I have time to actually finish them. I tend to come up with loads of little 20 second songs, usually just a hummed melody over guitar strumming, and then I move on to something else. I’ll come back to it at some point to turn it into a song, but sometimes I browse my files and I have no memory of the little tune.
What’s the gig you will always remember? And why?
Might sound like a strange choice, but Steel Panther in Los Angeles. I went to the States to visit my brother and we flew to California so I could see the holy land for all things skateboarding-related from my teen days. We’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for 80s hair bands, so we went to see them on the Sunset Strip. The guy at the door was so happy with how far we came that he handed us these armbands for an after-show party at the top of the venue.
While watching them play, my brother and I stood right next to Tommy Lee and Gilby Clarke, which was kind of hilarious. But really the highlight of the memory for me was when we went to the little party thing they had with band members later on and I saw Rivers Cuomo there…I couldn’t muster up the courage to say anything, but hey. If I did, maybe some butterfly effect would have sent him on a collision course and we would have Raditude III now.