The 3-piece oi mob are making waves in Europe. We spoke to guitarist jack about the band’s journey.

Formed in May 2013 of punk roots and Oi style, Grade 2 started out as a covers band playing hits from bands like The Stranglers, The Jam and Booze and Glory. Guitarist Jack told us about the bands influences: “‘A Bomb In Wardor Street’ and ‘Something Better Change’ are two of the tracks we covered. As for the influence from these bands on our own writing style, I’d say that comes down to the bass. Bruce Foxton and JJ Burnel are two great bass players, and their playing style has definitely had influence on Sid whilst writing the new album.”

“We rarely play on our home island anymore, which is a shame but it’s just the way it is.”

It wasn’t long before Grade 2 started writing their own songs, playing local pubs and clubs and supporting other bands from the punk scene. They’re a 3-piece band from Ride on the Isle of Wight, so we asked what the music scene’s like over there: “It’s pretty dead! For punk and oi it’s almost non-existent. There are only a handful of venues that struggle to pull a crowd even when good acts are playing. We rarely play on our home island anymore, which is a shame but it’s just the way it is.” Told lead singer Sid.

By November 2013 Grade 2 were signed to Contra Records, a German record label. The band have played regularly across Europe including Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, UK and Ireland. We wanted to know what they loved about touring: “We have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to play quite a few different countries around Europe. It’s an experience we will be forever grateful for. The main thing we all enjoy about touring, is having the opportunity for our music to reach new people, that’s the goal. Experiencing new cultures is another thing we’re able to do on tour. We’ve made so many friends through this band, people that we wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity to meet.”

The band have recently finished work on their debut album ‘Break The Routine’. We wondered if the cover artwork of a rat in a wheel was a reference back to their Stranglers influence! “We were completely stuck for ideas on artwork” Told drummer Jacob. So we asked Cat James from Pinkeye Graphics to try make something up related to the album message of ‘Break the Routine’. She created the concept of the rat in the wheel which was excellent.”

The guys went on to reveal more about the new album. Sid told us: “Break The Routine was recorded at Skinny Mammoth Studios in Rookley, Isle of Wight. We’ve been working with this studio since our first EP Broken Youth. We managed to get it recorded in 7 days.” Jack picked up the story: “After the recording we let the studio do the mixing for another 4 or 5 days I believe, and finally sent it off to be mastered by a top UK mastering engineer Pete Maher. Who’s worked with artists such as The Rolling Stones, Linkin Park and Jack White.”

Impressive stuff, the new album is sounding great and we can’t wait to catch the boys live!

Self-Titled Album Out February 17 on Hellcat Records

Way Out Radio – A Brief History

Way Out Radio is a music brand dedicated to reviews, interviews and radio. The fire was lit in 2012 when we held our first event at The Queen Charlotte in Ramsgate and launched a fanzine. Poets and artists performed with Riskee and The Ridicule topping the bill. We also held a raffle and gave away a signed Buzzcocks t-shirt.

Led by music journalist, writer and drummer Paula Frost, the brand has gone from strength to strength over the years. We hosted a successful radio show on Kane FM for five years and undertook a world tour in 2017-18 meeting fans and bands across the globe and DJing live.

We look to the future with excitement and joy for music will never die! Keep dancing.