Ones To Watch – INTERVIEW – The Simple Radicals

A new year means there are lots of new and exciting shows, music, albums, comedy and much around the corner and we have an exciting month for you! In true Phoenix Remix tradition we are chatting to lots of different acts all about what they have in store for 2022. Today we talk to John Malkin, the guitarist of Chicago based band The Simple Radicals about music and shows.

Hello tell us all about yourself?

I am John Malkin, vocalist and guitarist for the Chicago-based rock band The Simple Radicals. Our music is inspired by the sounds of Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Tom Petty and Cheap Trick. 

How did you get into music?

I’ve been playing music virtually my entire life. First as a drummer and then as a guitarist. I grew up listening to classic rock like UFO, AC/DC, Zeppelin, Petty, Pearl Jam to name a few. As soon as I started listening to those bands, I knew I wanted to be a musician.

What have been your favourite songs you have released?

We just released a new song called Let’s See What You Got which has a really cool driving rockabilly vibe along the lines of Queens of the Stone Age and ZZ Top. It was the soundtrack for a kick-ass Video featuring WWE wrestlers doing some incredible moves and aerials. We also teamed up with a phenomenal husband/wife duo called Che-Val and released a really cool re-imagination of Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit.

What are your plans for 2022?

We’re booking some great shows now. We’re headlining a show at the Fairfield Theatre Company outside of New York City on January 14 and then in Chicago at a great rock club called Live Wire. Our focus is to play music fests in 2022 and we’re talking to a bunch of them now.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing perform online or in person to this year?

I just saw Bob Dylan and was absolutely blown away. For a guy who is approaching 80 he sounded amazing. What a legend and pioneer. I’m really excited to see a lot of local and regional bands to see some of the up-and-coming bands that are trying to make it in the biz. I also want to get to some music fests like Lalapalooza and maybe Bonnaroo.


What styles do you hope to see more of in music this year?

I’m pretty much a rock guy so likely to see a lot of that in the coming year. But I am going to see John Mayer in New York City. He’s such a master of the guitar and I’m excited to see him live. 

What musician is your one to watch in 2022 and why?

You must check out this jam band called Goose. They are on fire and touring across the country selling out venues. Incredible musicians, vocals, and energy. Probably one of the hottest bands in the U.S. right now.

Do you have any new years resolutions? If so what are they?

Yes. My resolution is to never make a new year’s resolution. Too much pressure! 

Are you on social media? If so how can people find out more about you?

Absolutely. Follow us on:







Three words why people should come and see you this year?

Visceral. Poignant. Rock and Roll.

Quick Fire Round

The movie or television show you are looking forward to seeing this year?

I just started watching this show called Dopesick about the greedy Sackler family that single-handedly caused the opioid crisis in our country. That crisis was one of the inspirations behind our song Medicate which is about the overdependence on drugs in our society.

Your favourite book?

I’m currently reading Mellencamp by Paul Rees. Man was he a hard-driving, hot-headed rocker but put out some of the greatest music. 

If you could paint anything what would you paint?

 I can’t even draw a stick figure. But if I had to pick one thing, I’d like to repaint my house.

What is the most delightful word you can think of?

Vibe. It’s just so self-explanatory. 

Favourite album?

Tough one. But I gotta go with Lights Out by UFO.

Where would you love to go on holiday this year?

Anywhere warm. The winter is setting in and I’m already starting to hate it.

What is your favourite quote from a television show?

Walter White from Breaking Bad had a great line … “I am not in danger, I am the danger.” 

Who is your favourite film character and why?

Austin Powers. The epitome of coolness baby.

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