We talked to Dave Malone and Reggie Scanlan just prior to the band’s sold-reunion shows on January 18 and 19, celebrating both the club’s 35th anniversary and 35 years since The Radiators first formed. After the shows captured on The Last Watusi, Malone admitted to having to “chill for a while and let the end of the Rads sink in.” Since then he has joined forces with his brother Tommy of the subdudes as the Malone Brothers Band, along with forming Raw Oyster Cult with fellow Rads Baudoin and Bua (along with John “Papa” Gros on keys and Dave Pomerleau on bass).
Reggie Scanlan hit the ground running after The Last Watusi shows: he was on stage with the newly-formed New Orleans Suspects (drummer Willie Green, guitarist/vocalist Jake Eckert, CR Gruver on keys and vocals, and hornman Jeff Watkins) two weeks after the Rads’ 2011 good-bye shows. Scanlan’s full-speed-ahead attitude was meant with a serious challenge in early 2012: diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he underwent a 16-hour surgery followed by a month in the hospital. His fellow Suspects were waiting for him, however: two days out of the hospital, Scanlan was on stage at JazzFest – a true survivor, sitting on a stool and playing his beloved bass. Since then the band has released two albums (one studio/one live) with a third of all-new material on the way.
Both Malone and Scanlan cautioned that there were no Radiators plans beyond the January reunion shows. Scanlan, fully focused on The New Orleans Suspects, likened the “get-back-together” rumors surrounding the Rads shows as the sort of talk you’d hear when a divorced couple gets together for coffee to talk about the kids: “Everybody on the outside thinks they’re going to get remarried and it’s great – nobody knows what’s really going on except the people themselves.”
We conclude with some reflections from both.