Radio Drive - 10 Questions Music Interview
Radio Drive is Kevin Gullickson’s solo career. Gullickson wanted to create an uplifting message and sound in his songwriting and call it “motivational rock.” Radio Drive has been played on indie, college and online radio stations throughout the US, Canada and Europe. His music has also been the subject of many nominations including Best Alternative Song of 2012 for his song “Never” by the Hollywood Music Awards. Gullickson has been noticed by many Grammy Award Winning Producers such as Robert L. Smith and Stuart Epps. Many songs such as “Humanity” have music videos, and in the coming months, Gullickson hopes to create more videos. Radio Drive is one of the artists who will be featured on BWH Music Group’s ‘On Peace Street,’ a compilation album featuring 19 songs about peace and social justice.
What is the name of the song you have on Peace Street?
What is the inspiration behind your song? Or, what is the song about?
The inspiration behind this song came from all the division I see in America, and certainly in other parts of the world. There's division in politics, society, ethnicity, and so much more. There's too much hate out there in the world. It's so pointless. If only people would see the commonality in each other. We really are one big family. I wanted to write a song to capture that idea. A song that would bring unity, healing and love.
How did you write your featured song? Or, can you describe your songwriting process?
I had a previous version of the song on a music community, where Producer Stuart Epps heard it. He reached out to me and said he would like to redo the song and produce it. So I began working on an updated version. Stuart has worked with some of my favorite artists, including Oasis, Elton John and Led Zeppelin. I told him I'd like to capture the feel of "Wonderwall" by Oasis. He said, "Okay, then we'll need an acoustic guitar and a piano...." Stuart started to craft what instruments we would need in the song and the sounds we need.
I'm thankful that I have my own home studio, so I began putting the tracks together. I played all the instruments on the recording. I sent the finished tracks to Stuart. He re-did the drums and added additional vocals and harmonies to fill it out more. I may have sent a revised track or two. He then put it all together, did the final mix and mastering.
Who are your major music influences?
My major influences are, first and foremost, The Beatles. Then Led Zeppelin, U2, ColdPlay, Foo Fighters. Those are the main ones, but I have so many influences along the years.
When you wrote this song, did you have a goal in mind? For example, were you trying to raise awareness about an issue that’s close to your heart?
Yes, I definitely had a purpose with this song. I wanted to put a message out there for people to stop seeing the differences in each other that divide us. Instead, let's start seeing what we have in common that brings us together. I know that's not a new message. But it's certainly a "now" message.
How did you get started in music?
I got started in music at an early age. I first started playing drums at age 7. A few years later, I was given a guitar and started writing songs with a classmate. I think we were in 4th grade at the time. All thru my teens I played in bands. When I graduated high school, I went full on with guitar, keyboards and singing. I've been doing that ever since playing in bands in Minneapolis/St Paul and playing the clubs when I lived in New York City.
Of all the songs you’ve written, what was the most challenging and why?
That's a good question. Some songs have been challenging only because they're not coming together as quickly or easily as I thought. So, I get an idea for a song. Then the work begins with crafting, arranging and putting it all together. That's when the work begins. I may sit on a song for a year or more, until I get that inspiration to bring it all together. Maybe it's changing the beat or muting an instrument. I've had quite a few songs that have posed such a challenge.
How do you think music help promote world peace and social justice? Do you have a favorite social justice song?
Music is powerful. No doubt about that. One song can change the mood of a nation. We've seen over the years how a patriotic song can encourage a nation. A song at a sporting event can inspire the fans and the team. Bob Dylan has always been one of my favorites when it comes to writing social justice songs. I think one of my favorites is "You Gotta Serve Somebody". John Lennon is also one of my favorites when it comes to social justice songs. "Imagine" is definitely my favorite.
What’s coming up in the future?
I've got so much going on, it's great! It's crazy busy, but a good busy. I'm getting the engines fired up to get the band back together and get back to playing the clubs. I've got some new music in the pipeline to release soon and I've already got song ideas for my next release. I'm working on a couple music videos from my last album "In The Light". I've got a huge radio campaign going on in Europe. So much!
Tell us where fans can access your music?
Fans can hear my music at: