Sam Gilchrist and Arturo Gamboa both had several key events in their adolescence that led to the politically charged punk music they make today in the band Rade. With parents of mixed backgrounds and being part of the LDS church, Gamboa was immersed in clashing worlds. “It was a game of ‘try and be as Americanized as you possibly can’,” says Gamboa. In addition, having a family tradition of military service revealed to Gamboa how America’s international affairs affect the community of the world as well those who serve. “It’s not fundamentally broken—it’s perfect,” he says. “This is exactly how the system is meant to function. The American system is a steam train that’s always been fueled by black and brown bodies.”
Gilchrest’s eye-opening experiences came out of his time living in Germany after growing up in the United States. “Before I moved to Germany [when] I was 10 years old, if I broke my leg it cost my mom out of pocket and a deductible and I never really understood that as a kid. And then when I moved to Germany and I got hurt and [we went] to the hospital: nothing. It was just covered,” says Gilchrest. “I wasn’t even a citizen of Germany and they were taking care of me without charging my mom an arm and a leg.”
These early experiences, along with more recent events such as the shooting of Trayvon Martin, led Gilchrist (vocals), Gamboa (drums), Andrew Bergstrom (guitar) and Brianna Thatcher (bass) to funnel their frustrations and encourage change through their band, Rade. “Punk rock has its own way of expressing discontent with societal, political and economic failures in the current society. It’s an outlet that is a more direct way of expressing grievances,” says Gamboa. “It’s a way of releasing these angers and frustrations in a constructive way with the community—in a way where we can get together, dance and form a stronger bond.”
Last year the group released their second EP, This Is A Riot. Looking back on the project and other previous material, the band is motivated to further their impact in the community with their platform. “At some point there was the feeling that this needs to go deeper than just music. It was a necessity to express ourselves deeper and go further into [dismantling these systems],” says Gamboa. Plans for a full album are shaping up as the band has continued to develop new ideas and sounds in their fight against American injustice.
You can keep an eye out for new material from the band over on their Twitter and Instagram @radeband, and Facebook. This Is A Riot, as well as all of the band’s releases, are available wherever you can stream music.