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Spotlight on The Simple Radicals

originally published: 03/10/2022

Spotlight on The Simple Radicals

The Simple Radicals are a retro-rock band from the great blues and rock city of Chicago. Their music is influenced by the sounds of Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Green Day, Cheap Trick and Tom Petty. The Penguin Rocks presents this interview with The Simple Radicals.

How long has the band been around? Is there a story behind the band name?

We formed the band in 2019 and was immediately invited to play a festival in Chicago. The Simple Radicals came out of the way my lead guitarist John Griffin and I look at life and music. We’re somewhat non-conformists and non-conventional. We like to look at things differently. Stay simple. But think radical. Hence The Simple Radicals. 

Who are the members of the band and what instrument do they each play?

The Simple Radicals is John Malkin (Vocals/Guitar), John Griffin (Lead Guitar), Grif Johnson (Drums/Vocals), James Page (Bass Guitar).

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Tell me about your latest record. What songs are you most proud of on the record?

Our latest album is titled New Revolution. It’s hard to play Sophie’s Choice in selecting which of your children you’re most proud of but I really like the title track "New Revolution" and the song "Learn" where John Griffin shreds a David Gilmour-esque solo.

How many records, eps, or singles has the band put out in total? How has the band changed over time?

In addition to the “New Revolution” album which has eight songs, we’ve also released three additional singles including "Let's See What You Got", "Rich Man Wanna Be King", and a really cool cover of Jefferson Airplane’s iconic song, "White Rabbit". We’ve been really excited on how the band is growing through our songwriting, arrangements, and collaborations.


What was one of your favorite gigs? What made it memorable?

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We had the privilege of playing the iconic Cutting Room in New York City.. It was such an honor performing on the same stage where other great acts performed including John Mayer, David Bowie, Sting and Sheryl Crow.

What would be the “next step” that you’d like to see the band take?

We want to continue to play more live shows. Our shows have tremendous energy and excitement and our fans (old and new) really enjoy the music and show. In 2022, focusing our attention on playing festivals.



Finally, if the band does any cover songs. What artists do you cover? Who would be an artist you haven’t covered yet that you’d like to cover?

We’ve covered several bands/songs in the past and recently included Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World", Social Distortion’s cover of “Ring of Fire” and Tom Petty’s “Honey Bee”. I’d love to include a song from one of my favorite bands Pearl Jam like “Better Man” or “Corduroy”.

For more on The Simple Radicals, follow them on FacebookTwitter,  YouTubeSpotify, and Instagram.

The Artist Spotlight series features interviews with artists and bands from around the world.  If you would like to be considered for an interview, email and provide a link to your website or socials for us to check out.  There is no cost to being part of the series.  Interviews run at The Penguin Rocks and

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