In the hysteria to find a new Silverchair
, several major-label record companies decided that Radish
, a Dallas-based heavy post-grunge trio led by 16-year old guitarist Ben Kweller
, would be the next big thing. Kweller had been playing guitar and writing songs since the age of eight; when he was nine, he entered Billboard's songwriting contest and earned an honorable mention. Over the next four years he played in local, Greenville, Texas-based bands like Green Eggs & Ham, eventually founding Radish
when he was around 12 years old. Drummer John Kent
joined in 1994, when he was 14, and the group made a handful of demos with producer Roger Greenwalt. On Greenwalt's advice, they added 28-year old bassist Bryan Blur, and began shopping the demo tape.
Unexpectedly, the tape began an intense, prolonged bidding war. Eventually, Radish
signed to Mercury Records in 1996 and began recording their debut album with alterna-rock producers Sean Slade
and Paul Q. Kolderie
. After much media hype, Radish's
debut album Restraining Bolt
was released in April 1997.