We live in a world where everything, including music, is itemized and made into a genre (indeed the sub-genres grow daily!). Yet rock is all about rebellion plus rejecting norms and Hamilton, Ontario’s marvelous award nominated Radio Free Universe are very much their own creation. In vocalist George Panagopoulos’ words, they are “genuine, honest, heavy, sonic…liberating.”
Radio Free Universe’s debut album Casa Del Diablo is set for release on March 17th, 2017 via Jet Pack Records and features twelve infectious rocking tunes. The album was mixed and mastered by Glen Robinson (Voivod,) along with him producing tracks “American Gun”, “Disclosure”, “18 Wheels” and “Six” with the rest of the release produced by RFU vocalist George Panagopoulos and Mark McMaster.
Breaking down the album, vocalist George Panagopoulos also explains:
“I spent a good deal of time living in the US. It’s a vibrant real culture from coast to coast. I don’t believe in the devil, but I do believe that people trap themselves in things. The enticement of pleasure and wants that the country truly offers a great deal of opportunity, but it’s also lined with a thirst that is unquenchable. Money can be good, but in the United States it fuels every fire. The country has literally become an evolved beast that feeds off people’s desire and fear. Everything you can think of corruption-wise is alive and thriving there. As well as every great innovation and creative spirit. This album is about those things combined with my experience there. At the same time, it’s a celebration of sorts. No song judges anyone at anytime. Nothing says this is bad or that is good. It’s just an observation. Example “American Gun” is one of those tracks that work for people who don’t like them and people that do. All the songs are observational not so much political. The most amazing thing about that country is with all that going on you find people who are happy and full of love. That’s amazing if you think about it.”
Panagopoulos explains liberty is a big part of the inspiration behind Radio Free Universe’s unique name.
“It is inspired by Radio Free Europe, which began as part of the resistance against tyranny in World War 2. Now its journalists report the news in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We apply this to our music. Trying to break free of the chains of genres and just focusing on the song and serving it.”
1. “American Gun”
3. “18 Wheels”
7. “Magnolia Girl”
8. “The Rest of Us”
9. “Dirty Little Things”
10. “Rhythm and Bones”
12. “Armageddon Road”
Prior to preparing for their debut release, Radio Free Universe has made quite a name for themselves on the live scene in Southern Ontario and greater Toronto area since their formation in 2010. In their hometown of Hamilton, ON, they’ve performed at the Hamilton Music Awards plus have been nominated twice for Recording of The Year. Other appearances by RFU include Canadian Music Week, Lock Street Festival, NXNE, KOI Fest and Big Music Fest ft. Aerosmith, Bryan Adams and Slash.
Radio Free Universe:
George Panagopoulos – Vocalist/lyricist
Ryan DavieBackup – Vocalist, guitarist
Ashton Norman – Drums
Adam Neumann – Backing vocals, bass