It's fitting that McRad sounds like a skateboard trick. The act has been featured on several skateboard videos, and mastermind Chuck Treece had more than a few sponsorship deals as a pro. McRad's new album, FDR, is the group's first since 1987; the upcoming split with Denver's Frontside Five will be the second. And while you may not be familiar with Treece, you've no doubt heard his work on tracks by G. Love, the Roots and Sting. On FDR, Treece is McRad, performing all instruments, dub tricks and production. Bassist Avery Coffee and guitarist Gary Dread join him live for tripped-out reggae, surf dub and skate thrash. We asked Treece about his split with Frontside and, more important, why McRad, why now?
Westword: How'd you get hooked up with Frontside Five?
Chuck Treece: They set up a show for us last year about this time. We've done two tours of Colorado, a West Coast tour and an East Coast tour. The whole Colorado run and basically most of our tour I'm playing with Frontside Five and Smiles Project.
Were they fans of yours?
No, I think they knew about our music and stuff. They're skaters and love the same music, so it just works. They started it off by giving us some shows and supplying back line when we flew out there. So we make sure to keep in touch.
It's been twenty years since Absence of Sanity, so why now? Why here? Why McRad?
McRad has always been my number-one source of appreciating music. McRad started in late '82, '83, when I was nineteen. I figured if I'm going to keep playing music, I should keep the one thing I loved the most about music sacred. It doesn't hurt that punk rock is respected now as a society-driven force in music. When I was coming up, it wasn't the case.
A lot of people put their kids on their answering machine, but you put your daughter on your album, as well.
Yeah, and on the Frontside Five split, all my children are on it. There's a song called "Isaac Dovi Kieran Jurni." My oldest son, Isaac, plays drums, I'm playing bass, and the other kids are saying all this crazy stuff. My oldest daughter is playing the violin.
You might be able to take that on the road, like the Von Trapp family.
Hopefully, someday. My son's a total metalhead; he's so entrenched in the grindcore right now that I don't think he'll play live with me.
You've been a pro skater, and you've worked with Bad Brains, Urge Overkill and Billy Joel. So do you have a problem holding down a job?
Well, not really holding down a job. It's more like session work with Billy Joel and Amy Grant, whatever like that. I like playing with so many different styles of musicians and learning from them. You know, you can't really learn that from school or from playing live gigs if you keep playing with the same people.
Why should I come see McRad when Robert Goulet is playing the same night?
I don't want to get in the way of anything Robert Goulet is doing. If you want to hear some raw music and watch some people have fun, that's what we're about.
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