February 8, 2007

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Just the good parts
Prostitunes and Dirty Joke spawn The Free Radicals
By Erica Febre efebre@hippopress.com

In less than two months, the Free Radicals have planted themselves firmly in the cover band scene.

They are another rock ‘n roll cover band with ambitions to take dominion of the music circuit. But the Free Radicals believe they’ve got an upper hand.

“An original band can do whatever they want, even if the audience doesn’t want to hear it. It’s the same principle with us. We could play our personal favorite covers. But we won’t book rooms or draw a crowd like that,” said Greg Mitchell with Free Radicals.

Free Radicals is Mitchell on lead vocals and guitar, Rob Clemens on bass, Eric Anderson on drums, Mark Bradford on guitar and Doug Sally on keyboard. All the members contribute backup vocals for heightened harmony effects.

Free Radicals is actually a consolidation of two separate bands.

Clemens and Anderson both come from the Prostitunes, while Mitchell and Bradford were former members of Dirty Joke.

All those combined years of band experiences bring Free Radicals to their musical hypothesis.

“We say we are a cover band but, at the same time, we’re putting together arrangements that are completely different from the original. We take different songs and weave them together into one. We find the upbeat part, plop it into the middle of another song, weave it in, weave it out and close it at that,” Clemens said.

Mitchell said, for instance, Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” is a good song that everyone knows and recognizes. But, everyone also knows, it’s one of the longest songs ever recorded.

Free Radicals would cut out the good parts of the song and blend it in with another. They get to play more songs in a set because they’re only playing bits and pieces — the good parts — of songs.

“The point and purpose of a cover band is to play the music that people want to hear, as opposed to playing what we as the band want to hear. Attack the audience each time with a song that they’re just waiting to hear next. We don’t have any filler material in our set list, or even in our songs,” Mitchell said.

Free Radicals play everything from Bon Jovi to Bob Marley and Bryan Adams to Britney Spears.

“I know it’s kind of corny to play Britney Spears, but think about it. When you see five grown male adults doing ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time,’ it’s humorous and silly,” Mitchell said.

Free Radicals
When: Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23 and 24
Where: Slammers Billiards, 547 Donald St., Bedford, 668-2120
For more information: Updates, a complete song list and schedule are available at freeradicalslive.com.