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Hailing from New York City, Rahim are the new kids on the block, despite having already completed 3 tours and selling out of their first 2 7” releases. Over the past year of recording (with J. Robbins for an EP out on Frenchkiss Records July 26th) and touring, Rahim have come into their own. Sonically, the band is an amalgamation of Blonde Redhead, Q and not U, Fugazi and Sonic Youth, pulling influences from former torchbearers and catapulting the sound into something completely new.
The members of Rahim, Phil Sutton, Michael Friedrich and Eric Staciwo, began playing together in late 1999, under the name Radio Raheem. This early incarnation was a harsher, more aggressive trio than the current line-up. Their early live shows were the stuff of basement show lore and cassette tape demo fable across the suburban sprawl of Long Island, NY. It was not until late 2000 that Eric Staciwo left the band and was replaced by Ryan McCoy.
With the addition of Ryan, a new dynamic was brought to the bands already DC-influenced sound. Vocally and rhythmically the band was beginning to carve its own niche out of intertwined guitar/bass lines, dual vocals and drumming that would make fans of both No-Wave and Hip-Hop take note. Thought never losing its edge or artfulness, the band was beginning to craft songs that were both artful and memorable.
The Summer of 2001 saw the band record four songs for release on two separate 7” vinyl releases, a 3-song single on Zoo Music and a split 7” with fellow Long Islanders Knox Overstreet on Pony Collision Records. Armed with two 7”’s, the band hit the road in August of 2001 for a brief tour throughout the East Coast, Midwest and South. Upon returning home, both singles were out of print.
2002 was a year of writing and rehearsing, further refining their sound and becoming accomplished musicians. Their playing and songwriting both improved tremendously throughout this year, and the live shows became even more exciting and cohesive.
Excited by the success of their local shows and crowd enthusiasm towards their new material, the band hit the road again in the summer of 2003 for a month-long trek through the Eastern half of the country. Once they returned home, they quickly scrambled to throw together a winter tour for 2004, which occurred in January of 2004 with fellow rockers Gospel and Sheryl’s Magnetic Aura (now Meneguar).
2004 has certainly been an exciting year for Rahim, who had their most successful shows to date including shows with Red Light Sting, Year Future, Gogogo Airheart, Party of Helicopters, Decahedron, White Flight and Navies. In December of 2004, the band traveled to College Park Maryland to record a 4 song EP with producer J. Robbins. The fit was perfect and J.’s experience and ear were a huge help in shaping what would be the bands best recording to date…by a landslide.
2005 should be a very exciting year for Rahim. With expectations for touring, the release of the EP as well as their debut full-length, this is certainly a band you will be hearing a lot more about in the months to come.
Phillip Sutton: drums, percussion
Ryan McCoy: bass, percussion, vocals
Michael Friedrich: guitar, percussion, vocals
I have these two really old 7’s by a band called Radio Raheem. Is there any relation?
Yes, Dainty Susan, Frothy Martin, and Dagadegundae are indeed slang terms for cigarettes.
Is that your sweet white van?
Yeah, it’s fucking mint.
What does question 3 mean?
More like, what DOESN’T question 3 mean?
Didn’t Michael have dental braces really recently? What happened?
The puberty fairy beat the shit out of Michael on a fairly regular basis. Besides giving him random, scraggly “chest hair,” the puberty fairy also let him keep a small number of baby teeth. Said baby teeth obviously needed to be put under Michael’s 22 year old pillow in exchange for an open bag of skittles. Now Michael is the proud owner of man-teeth.
How tall is your Ryan?
That question can not be accurately answered. There is a small manufacturer’s label detailing the specifications on the back of its neck, though none of us are fortuitous enough to examine it (the air is quite thin up there). I can tell you that it is the tallest man-baby in Rahim. Ray and Jeanne created two large mouth-breathers, and both of these creatures have the ability to look down upon other inhabitants of this earth. It should also be said that one looks like Ray, and one looks like Jeanne.
How hard was it for Phil to make question number 7?
This is obviously the best question. It is actually probably easier to describe what was easier for Phil, rather than describe how hard it was to come up with such a cerebral, textured, amazing question. It’s very easy for Phil to sit in his seriously disgusting bedroom, wallowing in his own filth, while watching horrible MTV easy for Phil to watch Michael and Ryan analyze our music and make the decision between “cool” and “stupid” (it’s a fine line) while Phil picks his nose (and quite possibly eats it) during the entire practice. What a brilliant question.
Why is everything an inside joke to you guys?
Can I drink this mysterious bottle of juice that I found in your van?
We STRONGLY advise against that. There is a 100% chance that it is Phil’s urine.