Music is what musicians do. They play music; live, eat and breathe music.

"The road is the meat and potatoes of our job," Radiators bassist Reggie Scanlan told the Deseret News during a phone call from Wyoming. "Record sales are like the icing on the cake for us. Other bands have the idea flip-flopped. They live on the record sales and don't have to tour if they don't want to. We need to."New Orleans-based Radiators - featuring Scanlan, drummer Frank Bua, keyboardist Ed Volker and guitarists Camile Baudoin and Dave Malone - will play the Zephyr Club, Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 12 and 13. Doors open at 7 p.m. and show time is approximately 10 p.m.

Music wasn't always the only thing that got Scanlan to play music when he was a kid in the mid-1960s.

"It was to meet girls," he confessed. "They were screaming over the (Rolling) Stones and the Beatles. Since they weren't around, I decided to learn to play and become the next best thing."

The Radiators formed in New Orleans in 1978. Scanlan and the others came together after two hard-working bands fell apart. They decided to meet at Volker's garage and play a little. The next day, they decided to come together permanently.

"We knew we were going to play professionally by then," Scanlan said. "We had already committed to that in the other bands."

The Radiators formed their style from the eclectic sounds of its hometown.

"In New Orleans, there are all types of music going on," explained Scanlan. "It was a great place to grow up. Radio stations would play a bunch of local music and we heard everything."

After its formation, the band began looking for a record label but found none who were interested.

"This was back in the early 1980s," remembered Scanlan. "Back then no one was interested in blues and rock. They wanted punk and new wave. So we started our own label."

Two albums later, CBS picked the band up and signed it for three albums.

"This was during the transitional period when Sony took over," said Scanlan. "And we really wanted to get out before we were cut. We did and reactivated our label and did two more albums."

Since then the Radiators signed to What Are Records? label, and for Scanlan, the move was very beneficial.

"Up front, we wanted to be in control of our music, album covers and production," he said. "W.A.R. has been very good with us. We basically did everything and just gave the album to the company to sell."

The band's new album, "New Dark Ages," continues the Radiators' progress.

"We wanted to make this album as fresh as we could," said Scanlan. "It took about three weeks to finish. We tried to do as much as we could live and worked on whims."

That process also follows the band to the stage.

"There are some times when we write up a song list and by the time we finish the first song, we've not followed it," Scanlan said. "It keeps thing fresh, though we will keep with the set if it feels good to the crowd.

"We're planning to play until we die," Scanlan continued. "I mean, you look at musicians such as Duke Ellington and Count Basie - they played until they dropped - literally. That's what I'm going to do."