I want my MTV! Check out My Radio on the MTV Music blog

Needle In The Haystack Presents: My Radio

Posted 11 hrs ago by Sarah in Needle In The Haystack


My Radio is an indie rock quartet based out of Virginia that has been gaining momentum not only within the music industry but also in Tinseltown. My Radio’s “Yeah Yeah Yeah,” will be featured in the upcoming movie for The Joneses, starring Demi Moore and David Duchovny. Find out more about their new bar, love on the road, and the roadside attractions in their backyard.

Who is My Radio?

My Radio is: John Paul Powell (lead vocals and keys), Hunter Johnson (drums), Brett Lemon (guitars) and Jeff Hofmann (bass). My Radio is named after a 1960’s transistor radio that sits in our rehearsal space.

Favorite tour moment?

We were traveling through North Carolina after a gig and we stopped at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. A super cute local girl working behind the counter looked us up and down and then inquired with a heavy Southern accent “Y'all band?” Laughter followed.

What’s the song “Yeah Yeah Yeah” about? 

The super cute girl working at the gas station. Seriously. You know, the usual stuff like being lucky at love or lust. A guy not wanting to have his world turned upside down by a girl, but in reality the attraction can’t be stopped. You don’t want it but you’ll do anything to get it.

We are happiest when__________?

… we’re making records. The band loves to be in the studio. It’s a combination of hard work and hard play. We like to be in a studio where we can record, eat, sleep and play the occasional ping pong match. It’s an amazing process and we like to soak up every part of it.

What’s the music scene in Virginia like?

First of all I would say very diverse. Virginia has great bluegrass and country, as well as folk, gospel and even world music. Second, I would say that it’s emerging. When compared to New York or L.A. Virginia’s rock scene seems small, but  there are advantages to that. Roanoke allows us to live well on the cheap while staying fairly close to the likes of DC, Nashville, NYC, etc. There are also great venues like Kirk Avenue Music Hall in Roanoke and Iota in Arlington. Music fans in Virginia are passionate about music and also very respectful.

Spare time activities? 

We are opening a bar in Roanoke, VA called Lucky. Lately, we’ve been auditioning 45’s for our 1971 Rowe AMI jukebox that will go in the corner. So far we’ve got some George Jones, Johnny Cash, Otis Redding and even Jukebox Hero by Foreigner.

How do you describe your music to people? 

Hit songs in the key of E.

Favorite foods on tour?

Beer and anything fried or refried. We always start off trying the clean living thing and it never works out.

Best roadside attraction you’ve seen?

You know, we’ve seen some great ones along the way but it is hard to top 2 that sit in our own backyard. We have a giant neon star that sits on a mountain (hence the name Star City) and also a miniature Graceland. Hard to beat that.

Musical influences?

The Beatles (Revolver), The Rolling Stones (Sticky Fingers), ELO (A New World Record), Tom Petty(Full Moon Fever), U2 (Joshua Tree), Radiohead (The Bends) and The Killers (Hot Fuss) to name a few.

Life influences?

At the end of the day, it’s all about good people trying to do good things in the world. We’ve been blessed with a wealth of friends and family who fit that profile.

What’s your creative process like?

The best way to answer this question is by describing the process for one of our songs. I like to write about very specific things and then try to make them universal. The Lucky Ones (a new song that will be on our next record) started over something an Italian musician told me last year. He said that in Italy you would say “into the mouth of the wolf” in place of “break a leg” which obviously means “good luck.” It gave me the idea to write a song about luck (good and bad) and then use that specific phrase (the mouth of the wolf) within the lyrics. I then sat down at the piano and worked out some basic lyric and melody ideas. The real work begins when I take the sketches to the band. Sometimes I’ll bring a song to the band and they won’t want to do it. I’m fine with that because everyone should be excited about working on a song. There’s no room for ego in the songwriting process. It only serves as a blockage to potentially good ideas. Everyone then comes up with their own parts and the final arrangement is a total collaboration. Producer Micah Wilshire has kind of become the “5th member” of My Radio. Not sure if he’s aware of that or not… seriously though he adds a lot of great production value to our songs and he usually ends up playing random guitar or keyboard parts.

For More Information on My Radio visit OurStage.com