RAQ on Phish After Parties, Nudists, and New Music?

Phot courtesy of RAQ

RAQ is all about having a good time. While the band (originally named “Shadrach” in homage to the Beastie Boys song of the same name) doesn’t tour as frequently as they used to — they still bring a great time when they’re in town. Just yesterday they did Jams on the Sand in Asbury Park, and this weekend they will be performing two special Phish Baker’s Dozen after-parties at the Mercury Lounge in New York City. These ragers will go to about 4 a.m.

The guys were super busy, but able to do a quick interview with us about the Phish post-shows, and potential new music?

You guys just performed on the beach at Jams on the Sand in Asbury Park. While beachfront concerts are that unusual, I am curious what has been the most unusual place you guys have performed?

While the setting wasn’t particularly unusual, we did in fact play a nudist event. That in fact was the first and last time.

You’ve planned countless club dates, as well as numerous outdoor festivals — which do you prefer to play? And does playing outdoors, like you will at Jams, put you guys in a different and/or more creative mindset than playing indoors?

Both indoors and outdoors have their respective advantages/disadvantages. What seems to matter most besides having a nice onstage mix and good sound for the audience, is the vibe and energy. When those to elements are clicking, inside or outside, it’s a great show!

You’ll be doing two Phish after-parties in New York City at The Mercury Lounge. You’ll be performing to 4 a.m. That sounds absolutely nuts — how do you mentally and physically prepare yourselves for a show that will run that late/early?

Clarification – we will be finishing at 4am!  Physically we train on a strict shake weight regimen. Plenty of naps and ramen to fuel our bodies.

Also, for shows like that, I know you had been asking fans on social media for requests but do you guys form a solid setlist before a show like this, or is it all improvisation, and you play what comes to you?

We always have solid setlists so we are prepared.

For those who’ve never seen RAQ perform live — what can they expect from one of your shows?

High performance jam rock.

The band has not released a full length studio in a while — are there any plans in getting back in the studio to record a new album in the near future?

Just wrapping up second round of mixes for the new studio album – “Raq Europe Tour ’88”

What do you have planned for RAQ for the rest of the summer?

Summer = Fun is coming!

Catch RAQ at the Mercury Lounge on Friday and Saturday nights!

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites