BIOGRAPHY: Short Version - pdf version

BIOGRAPHY: Part One (interview with Phillip McIntyre -1997). - pdf version
BIOGRAPHY: Part Two (interview with Phillip McIntyre -2006). - pdf version
 BIOGRAPHY: Short Version

Texas Radio and the Big Beat have been together for some twelve years. After playing at most venues in Newcastle and spending time in studios in both Newcastle and Sydney their tune Wasteaway was featured on the 'Cat in A Hat' compilation album. The compilation was released here in Australia and played on college radio in the United States.

Texas Radio released their first full-length album in 1997 on the independent label, PMP Records. The album was well received by the critics and they undertook a few short tours from Sydney through to the North Coast to promote it, as well as landing support slots with the Saints and Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes. Texas Radio have accumulated an extensive media file with Prime Television broadcasting a news story about them. They have featured in radio interviews and live to air performances on 2NURFM, Austereo station NXFM, 2BOBFM and NEW FM. Their songs have received regular airplay on internet based ILR radio with tracks being played in Europe, the USA and Australia. After releasing NASA (Be Informed) as a Christmas single and video in 2002, Paris Island, a song on Texas Radio’s self-titled album, went to number one on the ILR Radio ‘Aussie’ charts in 2004.band photo 4

The Radio's, as they have become affectionately known, are now mixing and mastering their next album and have been busy developing their website. Joe Velikovsky, who is also a successful screen writer and games designer is on bass and vocals and Dave Carruthers, who plays various sessions around town and practices law in his spare time, is on drums. Phillip McIntyre (now Dr Phillip McIntyre PhD) has a long history in the music industry and is on guitar and vocals.

 


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BIOGRAPHY (from an interview with Phillip McIntyre: Published in The Good Guide; MR Times June 25, 1997).

"Anyway I put together a band with Joe Williams [now Velikovsky] on bass when we got back from America. We got on to Dave Carruthers who's a fabulous drummer and a great bloke. He'd moved up from Canberra where he'd been playing guitar in a band called Room 101. Before that he'd playedband 01 drums in a touring dance band. We had some auditions and he was the first guy there and we loved him so we cancelled the rest. We rehearsed ourselves into the ground and played a few shows around towns. It cost us money to play solely original stuff! Anyway Dave didn't want to get too serious and he wound up playing in a covers band to bring in the money. That didn't stop us recording with him though!

We called the band Texas Radio and the Big Beat which proved to be pretty amusing. People invariably got it wrong. Texas Radio and the Big Boot was a good one! Either that or they thought we were two separate bands. Some people thought we were a Doors concept band! Fair enough, because that's where the name comes from but I just loved the imagery in that song.

"I want to tell you about Texas Radio and the Big Beat.
It comes out of the Virginia Swamps, cool and slow,
with a backbeat, narrow and hard to master.
Some call it heavenly in its brilliance
others, mean and rueful of the Western dream
I love the friends I have gathered together on this thin raft
we have constructed pyramids in honor of our escaping.
This is the land where the Pharaoh died."

 band 02Anyway we had a friend who worked at Trafalgar Studios in Sydney who was a bass player in Boris and the Karloffs which was my old band. He went out on his own freelance engineering and had some downtime lined up at Rich Studios in Kent Street so we went down there and recorded a couple of tracks. Then we went over with Mark Tinson to what used to be Skyhigh Studios in Jesmond and some of the recordings we did there are on the CD. They've got a really good vibe.

Actually one of them, Wasteaway, wound up on the Cat in A Hat compilation album that Wayne Hindson from 2NUR FM produced. We took a few people unawares because most of them hadn't heard us and weren't expecting it. The Groove entertainment guide said we were `surprise newcomers who wowed us with their tune Wasteaway'. To Concrete Press we were `great new local talent'. They were excited to come across `relatively unknown gems.' Our `pop melodies were refreshing in this age of heavy guitar rock'! Anyway that album's been taken to Germany and France and Wayne took a trip across the States to promote it to college radio. We were featured in a television news story that Prime TV did and we also got airplay with Wasteaway on 2NUR and also NXFM's show `Alive and Brilliant' that Stephen Pickett hosted.

We also made a video clip for that song which I was pretty happy with but I've done a few since forband 03 other people and learnt a fair bit more. I've just finished editing Weld's video and it's dynamite! Anyway, with some of the money from recording demoes for other bands, the PA/sound jobs I was doing, and producing Gorillafish's CD, we went over to Forefront Studios in Adamstown and laid down some more rhythm tracks, this time with Ric McCann on drums. He was in Bleutongue who were signed to Polydor. Then we took the tapes back to Mark's Overhead studios in Cooks Hill and I engineered the rest with Joe's help and we did it all from there.

Bob Spencer, who used to be in the Skyhooks and The Angels, was in the studio because he's a good mate of Mark's and was interested in playing so we got him to play a solo on one track. We got in a few other friends who'd been playing in various bands and I even managed to get the old Boris and The Karloffs line-up down on tape for one song. The guys from Rum Jungle also came into the studio. We had a great time recording that track. band 05

We took the album to Keytone studios in town to edit and then down to Don Bartley at Studio 301 in Sydney to master which I'm really happy about. The artwork was done here in Newcastle by Wayne Hindson and we got a good deal to get it manufactured through Oracle Records in Brisbane.

While we were waiting for it to come back we scored a support with The Saints and that's kind of a neat twist because it was seeing them when they came out with Stranded that made me want to play electric guitar in the first place.

Anyway the album's been christened Texas Radio and the Big Beat and we'll be releasing it at the Lass O'Gowrie Hotel with the original band. The reaction so far has been pretty positive. 2NUR has a preview copy and they've been playing tracks from it and Rob Meaton from 2BOB FM was more than impressed. He's been featuring the album on his breakfast program. The comment we got from Anthony Scully who writes for the Post/TE entertainment guide was,......`BLOODY EXCELLENT!!!'"

 


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 BIOGRAPHY (Part Two): Interview with Phil McIntyre - June 2006:

"Well.....a lot of water under the bridge since the last album came out. Where to start!? The album itself would be a good point I guess. It was certainly well received. The reviews were great and I think lots of people were pleasantly surprised, including us.

The launch night itself was a lot of fun. Tony Cause, who used to play occasionally with Boris and the Karloffs, sat in on sax for the night. That man can blow your socks off! We had a ball and the crowd was singing along by the end of the night. Smiles all 'round!band pic

 

Chad Watson, who has always been a supporter of the band, wrote a wonderful review in the Newcastle Herald. He said, "it was a relief to hear sublime pop instrumentation from solid players. The album opens with Wasteaway, a haunting song that smacks of urban reggae. Hope and Glory oozes with gorgeous keyboards while my favourite, Temptation, was built on moving lyrics and a diverse base of splendid guitar work. An impressive debut album." That was exciting to read especially in a mainstream paper like the Herald. Greg Cormack's review in the street mag Concrete Press was just as exciting. Greg wrote that, "Texas Radio bring relatively simple arrangements to life with terrific energy. Highlights are many. It has lots of fun, a lot of feeling and I could only be more impressed if there was actually someone who didn't like something about this record. Seek this album out."

The CD was distributed locally in stores like Sound World and Beaumont Street Beat. It's been selling steadily. We made the occasional foray up the coast trying to widen our base a bit and sell a few more. It was a thrill to get the fist cheque back. We did a few acoustic live-to-air broadcasts and interviews to promote the album mainly on the local community stations like 2NURFM and 2BOBFM. 2NC also played a few cuts from the album. I guess apart from Wasteaway, which was also on the recent Cat in a Hat compilation, Temptation, No Mystery, Indian Ocean and Wonder Why were the ones that radio seemed to favour.

band pic 2After the release we set out on what we called our Winter Campaign. Hey, we figured if the Red Army could do it so could we! Part of the campaign was landing a support slot with Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes and hitting the road up the coast again. We played at small pubs and one show up the mountains for the hippies up there. It was great. We did it all on our lonesome with the orange 'Texas Radio' Volkswagen van loaded to the gunnels and no crew - just the three of us, lugging and setting up the PA. We hired an old friend of mine, Dave Ball from Mixtbag, as our sound guy and we had a ball. Joe belting tunes out on the acoustic guitar propped up in the front seat as the Pacific Highway slid by; sleeping on borrowed floors and sampling the breakfast fare of old style roadhouse diners; fried-eggs, bacon and toast washed down with a big pot of tea as the ubiquitous Lindsay Brothers' Mack trucks clearing their diesel-clogged throats for the long haul. All this and Jack and Diane on the well worn Rock-Ola jukebox!

In amongst all this Joe also found time to keep working on his movies. He scored himself a contract with Fox Studios as a screenwriter and started working on the preliminary stages of a sci-fi series for that company. He'd already been involved in writing a short film Retro Sheilas in Space: Aliens Are Tooling Our Sheilas that was broadcast on SBS television's Eat Carpet program. It was a piece about 'Aussie super sheilas who defend the earth against alien invaders at an interstellar truck stop'. Too much time on the road and on his hands! 

While he was out there in that stellar zone Joe penned a dynamite little tune called NASA Be Informed (There is a Santa Claus). Recognising a good tune when we heard one we went straight into Terry Latham's Studio with Mark Tinson behind the desk and recorded it. Mark took the tapes back to his Overhead Studio and mixed it and we had it mastered at Tony Heads' Keytone studios in town.

joe black and whieJoe took it to a mate of his at Polygram and she wanted us to pass it on to Richard Kingsmill at JJJ so Joe sent it off. While all this was happening Mike Stavrou, who has worked with artists like The Pretenders, Queen, Brian Ferry and a host of other during his time at George Martin's AIR Studios in London, listened to the demo. He was impressed and was keen to get us into the studio. He wrote to us saying that the demo 'sent chills down his spine' and that it had 'great potential as a commercial release'. He was asking $5,900 to record it to mastering stage. A pity we couldn't find the finance! So Joe put together a video from NASA footage he scrounged and we released the song as it stood as a Christmas single for local sale only and continued on our merry way. Joe then landed himself a contract to write games for the new Sony Playstation 2 with RatBag Games and he’s kept his head down writing film scripts.

Meanwhile I continued with my sideline alter-ego, Johnnie Clott. In my mind Johnnie is a music journo in the classic sense. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, if you know what I mean! He/I was writing for Concrete Press doing interviews and stories with all sorts of colourful rock and pop figures; Paul Kelly, Tim Rogers, Dave Faulkner, Dave Vanian, Don Walker, Andrew Farris, David Bowie to name a few. Johnnie/I also found time to host 2NURFM's Smallgoods local music radio show for a while. That was fun. There's some great local talent here and to be able to give some of the songs an airing was a thrill. Weld's For Rosie's Sake was a favourite!

dave Black and white

All the time we were working on writing new tunes for the next album. This time I figured we could do the whole thing ourselves. Which we did. I wanted to get Dave, our drummer, more involved as he is a great guitar player as well. I've been using Dave to play sessions for me on my current outside projects. Peter Mackie, who played bass in the Cockroaches for twelve years, sat in one night on bass with the Radios in Sydney while Joe was off doing his thing. Pete was mightily impressed with Dave so we used him on Pete's new album which I've been producing and engineering. Anyway, back to the Radios! We booked Terry Latham's Studio in Mayfield to get the basic rhythm tracks for our new album. Once we were happy I took the tapes back to my place for the overdubs as I'd put together a small home studio for this very purpose. I call it Big Bad Wolfe Studios. Anyway, the album's just about done.

The band also took the time to do a few shows in Sydney with Supersonic. I manage Supersonic so it was good to work with them on that level. I shot, directed and edited a couple of videos for them which were broadcast on RAGE on ABCTV so that was fun too. They've accomplished a lot. I mean, they're an incredibly good band. I've done supports with bands like Moving Pictures and Chisel and Eurogliders when those bands were running around the country as well as working for bands like Silverchair, the Cockroaches and TMG so I've got a fair idea of what to expect from a live band and these young guys really know how to write a good song! 

Kim Honan from the Oz Music Project was at each of these shows. Her review of the Radio's performances was great. She said; "If I wasn't already impressed by Texas Radio and the Big Beat via their first CD, experiencing their music live sure as hell cemented it. The line up included memorable tracks Satisfaction, Wonder Why and Wasteaway. The switch of vocals between guitarist Phil McIntyre and bassist Joe Williams was intriguing and the instrumentals by McIntyre, mesmerising. phillip black and whiteNew tracks like Juicy Flirt left us believing the new CD, due for release next month, may well surpass the stature of their first. The trio, including drummer Dave Carruthers, have a unique musicianship matching the likes of Midnight Oil. A great cover of The Stones' Can't Always Get What You Want ended the set." 

To finish off Wonder Why and Satisfaction and a few other tunes have been getting airplay on KaosFM/Ison Live Radio. Sean Ison puts together programs for syndication to free-to-air stations in California and the mid-west of the U.S., the U.K., Ireland and Portugal. He gets music sent to him from all over the world and then he sends it right back on out again. Imagine that eh!...some fisherman on the Baia de Setubal on the Atlantic Coast near Lisbon listening to one of the Radio's tunes while he goes about the business of his daily life... a truly strange world! To top it off Paris Island, which is track twelve on the self-titled album, went to number one on ILR Radio’s ‘Aussie’ chart in August of 2004…. Now it’s time for the new album!”

 


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© Copyright 2006 - Dr Phillip McIntyre
Updated - 21/07/2008