Band spotlight: Petal Bomb

Pictured is Petal Bomb. Photo credit Kerry Kadel for Flyer News.

Kerry Kadel | Arts and Entertainment editor 

With the new school year comes new beginnings and fresh starts. When I came back to campus, I knew I wanted to try something new: seeing the student bands play in and around the Student Neighborhood. I was eager to have some fun along with my friends, classmates, and the bands themselves. There was one band I had in mind: Creasers. I was able to get in touch with their guitarist, Junior Charlie Radgowski, and ask when and where the band’s first event would be. To my surprise, I had been told that Creaser’s was getting a rebrand, a fresh start, and a new name. 

I met with Charlie to discuss the new beginnings of the band, what the band hopes to achieve this year, and introducing me to a variety of songs they hope to play. 

Kerry: Alright, so, let’s start with the first question, so–well, actually, I should ask: is there a name yet? 

Charlie: Yes, there is. So, the name we got is Petal Bomb. It doesn’t really mean anything, we were just kind of throwing ideas out there and then somebody said, “Petals,” and we were talking about…I don’t know, “bomb.” Some imagery we were kind of thinking of too was…I had an idea of like a drawing of a flower with a fuse on it. 

Kerry: Oh, kind of like a cartoon? 

Charlie: Yeah, a cartoony bomb, I thought that was pretty cool. So, that’s really the only meaning behind the name, it’s just something we put together creatively. 

I loved the name for the band, the juxtaposition gave me a good feeling about the band’s personality. 

Kerry: Can you talk about the whole rebranding of Creaser’s? The new fresh start of everything, your plans for this year, and what you [the band] hope to achieve? 

Charlie: Last year the band was mostly seniors, everybody except me, two out of the total five, so the rest of us who were still here decided we still wanted to play but we needed some new people, so we’ve got some new people. 

Kerry: That’s great. Same kind of things you want to achieve, just having fun? 

Charlie: Yeah, we just want to have fun, play music for people, that’s all we like to do, go out and play music. It’s fun for us mostly, for me personally it’s my favorite thing to do… The band won’t be very different, we’ll be playing similar type songs, hopefully it’ll be fun, I’m excited. 

Kerry: Yeah! So, you kind of answered this, but how did you all meet? You say there were two [band members] left? 

Charlie: Yes, me and two others. 

Kerry: So, how did you find the rest of the band? 

Charlie: So, the other guitarist, my good friend Coleman, he met these two people, who were in a group before called PDA…Kat Riddle and Isaac Burkart are their names, very nice people. Coleman met them, I’d seen them on Instagram and knew they made music, it’s very good stuff, so it was cool to work with somebody who had already done their own thing too. And they’re great, they’re awesome, it’s been great so far. 

Kerry: So, what kind of music do you guys like to play? 

Charlie: Just kind of indie and alternative pop songs, rock and roll too, obviously. We tend to play relatively newer songs, so I’d say 90’s to the present is a good range of eras that we play. We don’t really try to focus on one…we’ll just talk throughout songs we know, and if one of us knows how to play it then we go from there. 

Kerry: Sweet, and good because I like 90’s–and I kind of only know 90’s [for the eras]. So, do you guys have a setlist? How do you choose? 

Charlie: We do. Coleman, the other guitarist, that’s his field of expertise, he always puts them together, he knows how to do it pretty well. But yeah, we got some good songs [for the first event]. 

Kerry: Do you have any idea of the few songs? 

Charlie: One that I thought sounded particularly good was “Just a Girl” by No Doubt, and then another that I really like to play–it’s from the 90’s, but it might be a lesser known song to some people, is called “Gigantic” by the Pixies. They’re a good 90’s band, but the reason we chose it was because we all like the song and we’d known it, but the singer is actually from Dayton, she still lives here, her name is Kim Deal, so she’s been in a couple really cool bands, but I think we play that song really well too. 

Kerry: That’s awesome, I’ll have to check that out. 

Charlie: Yeah, it’s a good song. 

Kerry: So, I read the print edition of Flyer News you guys were in…I think last year, and that was about the campus police, and I read a part where there was talk about having a permit. Is there anything you can say about that? 

Charlie: No, that pretty much all went away when that article came out…nobody’s really had issues. Honestly, I think it was more rumors than anything, honestly, I don’t know. I didn’t see much directly from a source, but there’s been no issues. 

Kerry: That’s really cool about the permit, you know, not needing one. So, what instrument do you play in the band? 

Charlie: I play guitar. 

Kerry: Any specific [kind]? Bass? 

Charlie: No it’s just the electric guitar. Bass is a little bit different, but I joined the band and I started playing bass and then eventually switched around really early on, but yeah, guitar. I’ve been playing for quite a while, so it’s fun and I like doing it. 

Kerry: That’s cool. Going off that, what inspired you to play guitar, pick up music? What made you say, “I wanna play guitar”? 

Charlie: Just one day, literally like a switch flipped and I just kind of liked music all of the sudden. I don’t know what it was, nothing really specific but I really like The Beatles. I would watch videos of live concerts and do what they did, basically. 

Kerry: Wow, really? So, can you read music? 

Charlie: No. 

Kerry: Holy crap–that’s awesome! 

Charlie: I just taught myself, I never took lessons or anything. 

Kerry: Okay, that’s awesome, that is super cool!

Charlie: Thank you, I appreciate it. It’s funny, it never felt like work or anything, it was just something I liked to do, and then it kind of paid off I guess, I get to do it a lot now which is really fun. 

Kerry: That is awesome. You said you like The Beatles, so who else do you really like to watch and learn from? 

Charlie: The videos that I watch were mainly Nirvana, Oasis, a lot of punk bands, and then individual songs and music videos. 

Kerry: Yeah, something that just kind of sticks out to you and you’re like, “I like that.” 

Charlie: My two favorite things to do are writing songs and playing live, so I liked watching the live videos to kind of figure out what that was about. ‘Cause at this point, I still have played in more concerts than I’ve been to. 

Kerry: Really? 

Charlie: Probably, it’s probably getting close. 

Kerry: Well, it’s not a secret, I tell people all the time, but I went to my first concert over the summer, and it was Taylor Swift. 

Charlie: It was T-Swizzle? 

Kerry: T-Swizzle! 

Charlie: T-Swizzle! That’s valid. We’ve played “Love Story,” it’s a good one, pretty easy to play too. 

Kerry: For those interested in learning to play guitar, what advice would you give? 

Charlie: Well advice: make sure your guitar’s in tune all the time. It’s hard to tell when you start playing if it’s in tune or out of tune, but with somebody else you can tell, especially if it’s really close. [Also] Don’t make it work, it doesn’t have to be–it shouldn’t be, and if it is, take a break. It’s not going anywhere. 

Kerry: Nice. Do you have a good starter guitar? 

Charlie: Anything by Fender for starters is good. They have really good starter kits and things like that for acoustic and electric. Fender is a good brand, it’s widespread, it’s cheap and it’s high quality. 

Kerry: What do you like playing more: acoustic or electric? 

Charlie: Just whatever’s there, it’s not really a preference, when I’m playing live I’m gonna use an electric. 

Charlie’s comments really put the band’s new beginnings into perspective, and filled me with excitement for their first official event as Petal Bomb. 

I attended Petal Bomb’s live event Saturday, September 23rd, and my expectations were exceeded. Many songs from the night were recognizable, my favorite being Joan Jett & the Blackhearts’ “I Love Rock ‘N Roll.” The pandemonium from the crowd of students added to the energy from the band. The night was full of dancing, singing, and cheering. 

It was so much fun, a completely different atmosphere to engage with. A student commented that he was more excited about this event over the usual UD Saturday nights like bar-hopping. 

I recommend everyone attend a live event by a student band, and I cannot recommend Petal Bomb more. The momentum they bring with them is shown through their music and their actions show they are passionate about what they do. Their teamwork never fails when an amp is acting faulty, the music never stops and the members carry on. I was more than impressed with everything about Petal Bomb, and my favorite part had to be their interaction with the crowd after the show, posing for pictures and talking to students, thanking them for coming. 

I want to thank Charlie, Liam, Kat, Isaac, and Coleman for letting me cover Petal Bomb and introducing me to a new experience on campus that I definitely can’t wait to attend again. 

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