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Q&A with Night Riots' Rico Rodriguez
Fresno Famous - Night Riots is a fairly new name for you guys. What have you guys been up to since the change? Why that name in particular? How long have you guys been thinking about this change?
Rico Rodriguez - The idea and execution of the name change came about rather quickly within a couple of months. During that time we probably went through 200 names but it felt like we reviewed a million! Seriously, thinking of a band name is a tough thing to do, unless of course you are just really good at it like the guys from Hootie and the Blowfish or Korn. In the end we chose Night Riots as the winner and we couldn't be happier with the new name. To us the name represents the energy and camaraderie we experience with our fans during a live show. Plus, try making a goofy rhyme out of it or figuring out a way to make fun of it. The name is practically bulletproof!
FF - Since the name change we have been hustling to write and record new songs. We are already sitting on enough newly recorded material to release another album and we are preparing to record even more! We have definitely gotten better and more efficient and the song writing/recording process.
Night Riots released the single “Spiders” back in February. What can we expect in regards to a new album or single?
RR - Expect a new album to come out this summer and be ready for an interesting variation in the songs. We don't like to write the same song over and over again. I've always felt that music is a deeply emotional creature and as people we are definitely not in one certain emotional state all the time. On top of that the band has been more interested in exploring new frontiers musically now then ever before so the new songs have been eclectic and unbridled. Even though we have new songs like "Spiders" that are very different from our older music we also have unreleased material that is more like our old stuff. Each song has it's own personality, they are all their own beasts. Basically what I'm saying is that the new album will be a trip! Something that new fans and old will be able to appreciate.
FF - You guys have been doing fairly well for yourselves – from opening up for Angels & Airwaves and the past Rolling Stones contest. Have there been any difficulties with getting picked up by a label you guys feel comfortable with?
RR - There are some offers out there for us but the right one has not come along yet. The trick with labels these days is to work really hard and get to a place where you don't need them (easier said then done) and they need you! This concept works well with dating by the way.
These last couple of years we have made media trips out to New York for interviews and such. We have had play time on MTV (at one time we were the number 4 video on MTV beating even Justin Bieber himself!) as well as the TV stations Palladia and Music Choice. People e mail us from all over the world, even places like Peru and Germany, to tell us that they heard us on the radio. We have had reports and have seen pictures of our music videos being played in places like Journeys, Macys, Nordstroms, and even Taco Bell! We will just keep making noise until the right label takes interest. We are a tirelessly working machine with a relentless pace and I think that it's only a matter of time until that happens but for now we are still DIY (do it yourself) like we have always been.
FF - You guys changed your name, but the music is still very consistent with what you guys were playing under PK. What influences have been consistent within the band and what do you believe is a new influence with the music you guys are making now?
RR - Growing up we all played in more aggressive punk, metal, or indie bands. I think the intensity of the punk rock kids we were in the past is still inside us and we can channel it into music that we make now as adults. Since I was young I always tried to learn from all genres of music, I think it all has a lesson to teach you. Anything from Mariachi music to Lady GaGa has at least one thing you can learn from it. We are all very open minded with music and try to draw energy from everywhere.
FF - You guys are playing Victory Café in Fresno. I’ve heard quite a few people talk about it but I have yet to visit! You guys have played there once before. Tell us about your experience there.
RR - Victory Cafe is a new venue in Fresno and it is huge! It's basically an old theater so it has a big stage and seats like a movie theater. The room has a ton of personality since it was built such a long time ago. I encourage everyone to come check it out this Thursday night!
FF - I know you are from Fresno. How do you balance being in Fresno with family in being in the SLO area with a band that is so busy?
RR - My life is a busy adventure! I'm always burning trails up and down the state but my heart truly is in Fresno. Whenever I can get away I sneak back home and the 559 always embraces me as one of it's own.
FF - Any final thoughts?
RR - Be excellent to each other! Also, come out to the Night Riots show on Thursday. We have some surprises for you all.