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Sunset Riot: From the undercurrent of hope

Australia is the home country of good Rock acts like AC/DC, Rose Tattoo or top artists like Nick Cave. All those have been around for a while, but still there are new Australian bands with the potential to become world stars. We introduced this band as Fresh Act in 2011 which is slowly making their way to the top. Sunset Riot have it all to compete with the top guns – great sound, Rock attitude and a charismatic singer with star appeal. We talked about their latest album „Uprising“ and their plans for a US-Tour.

Hey guys, it has been a while since our last interview, how have you been in the mean time?

It’s great to be here again, we’ve been incredibly busy!! Since we last spoke we’ve toured the USA a couple of times, released a new record (Uprising) and a video for the song “Save Me From L.A.” as well as plenty of Australian shows and a few new songs written!

You released a new record called “Uprising” in the beginning of the year, which includes six new tracks. Can you tell us little bit more about it? When did you find time to record it, as you have been touring almost constantly?

Finding time to do most things is always hard for us, but we managed to record the new record in 2 parts, all the drums and bass guitar parts were recorded before our first USA tour, then we recorded the guitars vocals after we returned to Australia. “Stir Crazy” was actually a late addition to the record and was recorded in its entirety after we’d finished recording the rest of the record.

This record is a mixture of songs we’ve been playing from the very beginning (“Red Ferrari”, “Red Leather” and “Stir Crazy”) and our most recently completed songs (“Mama Said”. “Something’s Gotta Give” and “Save Me From L.A.”)

The record was produced by Mark Opitz, who already worked with Kiss, AC/DC and Bob Dylan. How was it to work with him?

Mark Opitz is a legendary figure in musical history especially in this country. His wisdom and expertise was great to have as part of our process.

You made also a new Video for “Save me from L.A.” (http://youtu.be/nxgyaEiaZn4 ) which shows you during your first tour in US last summer, what inspired you to this song and why “Save me from L.A.”?

Well, this song was actually one of the quickest to write and lyrically it pretty much just ‘flowed’ which was really cool, I think the best lyrics are the ones that just flow without a whole lot of conscious intervention. In this song L.A. is used as a metaphor for the darkness that is in everyone. I spent a few years in L.A. and I found it to be a place where you could very easily lose yourself and forget who you really are. I like to use physical places or things to represent feelings, and I guess in this case Los Angeles was the best representation for me of a place that has plenty of promise, lots of shiny lights and enchantment, but also has a dark underbelly and a lot of depression and broken dreams as well. I think the whole scene is summed up in the first lyric “Broken bottles and shattered dreams”. Having said that, it´s not a completely dark song for me, because there is an undercurrent of hope. I think all of us have people in our lives who ‘save us’ from ourselves.

You played two tours in US last year already, how was that experience and how were the reactions there?

We’ve had an amazing reaction in the USA and our experience has been largely positive so far. Every show we play we gain more of a following and we look forward to many more successful tours there.

You had the chance to perform at the Rocklahoma Festival in Pryor, Oklahoma., I think that’s one of the bigger festivals in US. You played there next to artists like Slash, The Darkness, Hellyeah etc. how was it for you and how was the crowd during your show?

This was an amazing experience for us, both from a fan perspective getting to mingle with so many of childhood musical heroes, but also from the perspective of getting to play in front such a crowd, over1,500 people were there to see us take the stage, which is very encouraging since we’ve never played there before!!

Which bands checked you out at the festival?

I don’t really know what bands checked us out, I hope all of them haha. I DO know that Hellyeah was having an artist signing right next our stage while we were playing tho.

Watching your tour-videos, it looks to me you have a lot of fun together. I guess you have many stories to tell from those tours, is there something special that happened, coming to your mind right away, that you can share with us?

This tour had a lot of special memories, but for me I think the most special was being able to show the world of touring to our new bassist, Simo. He had never traveled to the USA before, so it was pretty cool to watch him experience a new culture for the first time.

You are spending several weeks in US every time you go there, how do you guys keep the costs low? Do you have friends there to stay with, or how do you handle this?

It is very difficult. We stay with a lot of friends and fans who have become like family. We also are very blessed to have a lot of fans buying our music and merchandise. All the money we make goes right back into touring and making records and music videos. Hopefully we’ll make enough to get to Europe before too much longer!!

You survived a heavy thunderstorm, got some new tattoos as tour souvenirs, ate chocolate-cream bread and a lot of other things happened during that tour. What was the best/ worst part of the tour?

Best part would have to be getting to play in front of thousands at the Rocklahoma festival, and worst part I must admit would be leaving. It´s always sad when we have to get back on the plane and leave, we love touring around playing live shows

During our last interview you mentioned that one of the goals you want to reach within the coming year is to try to focus on US and Europe. So we know that you had success in US, how does it look with Europe?

Still working on building a fan base in Europe, but it is coming along as we’ve recently been played on Italian radio as well as interest from a Ukrainian label. Hopefully we can get there before long.

How do your plans for the next few months look like, now that you are back from the US tour? Any chance we see you soon in Europe?

Our next few months are filled with planning, writing, rehearsing and getting ready for the next step in our constant evolving process. We never really stop. We will be back in the USA within the next 9 months and are constantly seeking ways we might be able to get over to Europe to play as it has always been a dream of ours. A lot of it comes down to demand and with magazines such as Stalker supporting us and giving us promotion, it will only be a matter of time we show up somewhere close by!

Last but not least: Is there a question you always wanted to be asked in an interview, but never been asked before?

Haha, well I’ve sure there are plenty of questions we haven’t been asked before, but nothing comes to mind. We DO want to make sure that our fans know how we appreciate them tho. Without fans we couldn’t do this and we are grateful every day for the blessing of being able to tour and play music.

Thanks a lot for your time and hope to see you guys soon playing live!

All Videos of Sunset Riot: http://www.youtube.com/user/sunsetriot



Author: Sandy Mahrer Photos: Sunset Riot
Date: 2012-09-06

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