You've Never Heard of Them!

24 Jun 2005
If you're in Dublin, you soon will have. Welcome to The Radiators (Plan 9).

Steve Averill, aka Steve Rapid, was once part of the legendary Dublin band The Radiators (from Space). They were the first punk outfit in the world to gain a top-20 single, and went on to make the critically acclaimed album Ghostown.

By then, Steve had left the band to focus on graphic design. He met Adam Clayton along the way, gave U2 their name, and has worked on their design from album and single sleeves to t-shirts - ever since.

The Radiators (from Space) reformed last year as the Radiators (Plan 9), with Steve back on board - and now they are preparing to play Croke Park, Dublin, tonight, Friday June 24th, along with a band that would otherwise be known as the Hype.

More on Steve Averill's design, with and without U2
More on The Radiators.

Who decided to get the Radiators back together?
Well, we'd all kept in touch, and used to meet up at Christmas. Over the years, other people have suggested we reform, but we didn't ever just want to be a tribute band to ourselves. Anyway, there was a gig in honour of Joe Strummer being held in Dublin and we thought, why not play a couple of songs? I spoke to the organisers and they were delighted. We did it, it felt good and we got a great reception. So we decided to take it one step further. Philip Chevron, myself and Pete Holidai from the original band were joined by Cait O'Riordan (from the Pogues) on bass and Johnny Bonnie on drums. Cait turned out to be a huge Radiators fan. It was a fresh line-up, and made us feel we were doing something new and different.

And how's it been going? Are you still crazy after all these years?
It's been very good. We played two concerts last year, one in a place called the Village, with a bunch of Radiators fans who hadn't seen each other for years (they loved it); then we played the Oxygen festival in Dublin to about 5,000 people, which was interesting for us, because most of them hadn't seen us before and didn't know who we were, but enjoyed us nevertheless.
Since then, we've been writing new material, with the aim of recording an album which picks up where we left off. We wanted to bring the sound forward, not keep it exactly how it was all those years ago.

And are you pleased with the new material?
Yes. We recently recorded three brand new songs and re-recorded some of the
early material, and are releasing an EP to coincide with the concert in Croke Park. And we're very pleased with the way they've turned out.

Are the old songs still alive and kicking?
They're sounding powerful. Someone said that one of them sounded like Green
Day, which is a compliment, for a 25-year-old song.

Why did you leave the band first time around?
I left - during the making of the first album - mainly because I felt I was a more of a performer than a singer. I freely admit that I don't have a singing voice or musical talent, which was fine for the punk days, but not for the direction the band were heading in. Also, my first son had just been born, and I didn't want to bring him to London and into a precarious lifestyle. So I decided to stay in Dublin and pursue my career as a graphic designer.
As it turned out, it proved to be a very good move: within six months I'd met Adam Clayton and we'd started talking about various bands and what was going on. That was when the relationship started with U2.

And in the end, the Radiators' loss was U2's gain..?
I have said it before, but it's true: without the Radiators, there wouldn't be a U2. When I say that, I don't mean that in an arrogant way, that they were totally influenced by the music; but if I hadn't been in the Radiators, Adam wouldn't have made the connection and come and seen me to talk to me about the band; and I wouldn't have come up with the name U2.
So there is truth in the statement that without one, there wouldn't have been the other.

Read the whole of this interview on the U2.Com Subscription site


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