Song of the Week: “Coping Hazards” by Rad Dragon

Central Texas punk rock band Rad Dragon is known for its high-energy songs such as “Coping Hazards.”

Rad Dragon was formed in 2018 and consists of Josh Riddle (vocals/rhythm guitar), Austin Parker (bass), Bryce Buchmeyer (lead guitar), and Zack Zajicek (drums).

The origin of “Coping Hazards” goes back to Riddle’s college experience. The song opens with the lyrics, “I wanna fall down on the sidewalk and let the blood pour out of my mouth. I wanna hear these people panic as they begin to scream and shout.”

“I was hitting levels of stress and disappointment I hadn’t had to deal with before, and I just needed an outlet,” said Riddle. “I felt like giving it all up in the most dramatic way possible.”

While the song found its early roots in Riddle’s college career, it did not fully come together until the band formed and created the music to go with his words.

“We had the bones for that song early on, but when Austin wrote the bass lines, Bryce brought his precise touch on guitar, and Zack put his energy behind the band, it just became something even more authentic to the inspiration of the song,” explained Riddle. “I think it’s important to look at what the song has become through the band.”

The video shows the band during one of its “gaRAGE” sessions, where they get together to play music and let out their rage. The video for “Coping Hazards” is important to the band because it was for Keep Waco Loud’s Waco’s Got Talent contest.

“Everything was locked down for COVID. We lost what were supposed to be a few really good shows, and we were just stuck in place with that disappointment,” said Riddle. “So we entered the contest to give us a reason to meet up and play together.”

The band ultimately made it to the contest’s semi-final round. Their love for performing carries into their live shows, which sparks energetic audiences in return.

“I love seeing people really getting into the music we wrote. It’s still kinda surreal, especially seeing just how much energy the crowds can bring,” said Riddle. “The smaller the spot, the more intense the crowd usually is, and we love it.”

Rad Dragon plays at Rogue Media Network on November 20, 2021, at 8 pm.

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Alyssa Erchinger was an intern at Waco Insider in the fall of 2021 and is a 2022 graduate of Baylor University's Professional Writing and Rhetoric program.

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