Members: Brad Henderson, bass; Ryan Henderson, lead singer and guitar; Paul Mendenhall, guitar; Ryan "Ryno" Williams, drums
Who we talked to: Williams, 23
You guys moved to York recently, right? We just moved here in September. We're from all over the state. Some of us lived in Pittsburgh at one point. I'm from, like, the Bloomsburg area. Paul's from the West Chester area. We've been touring and playing everywhere. When we're not out on the road, we kind of just live wherever. I . . . work for Hot Topic. With Hot Topic, they let you leave for three months (to go) on tour and you still have your job when you get back, but it's not always at the same store. Right now . . . I'm working in the (York Galleria).
I didn't know Hot Topic had that policy. Yeah. They do all kinds of cool stuff. They actually pay for people to go to concerts, too. They definitely support the whole music thing. Pretty much due to Hot Topic, we played (Vans) Warped Tour in 2008 and in 2009. This past summer, we went out on our own tour, which we actually hopped on . . . with some bigger bands. That was out in the Midwest. We've played (more than) 80 shows just this year. We actually ended the tour in York. Club 19 was our last show.
Did you guys get to stop and do any sightseeing? We actually played a show at Rob Dyrdek's skatepark in Ohio (in June). That was, like, made from all (Dyrdek's) favorite skate spots across the country. It was just nuts. It was a good time.
How did you guys meet? Our lead singer started out as an acoustic (act) on his own. He's just always been known as Ryan Riot . . . and then everybody wanted to hear him play these songs live, so he had to get a band. There've been a couple of lineups through the years. I've been in it since 2007.
What would you tell people The Riot's music sounds like? It's progressive rock. It's the catchy stuff that gets stuck in your head. (It's) like Jimmy Eat World and Foo Fighters meets the pop punk of All Time Low.
Have you guys played any other local shows? We've done LAUNCH (Music Conference) this past year. We've done the Millennium Music Conference in Lancaster. We've played Chameleon Club. We actually (played) there (Dec. 17). It (was) the Christmas show. We don't really have too many shows booked right now. We're recording a full-length (album) with an indie record label out of Northumberland. We're working on a 12-song CD right now. We're kind of low-key. We just hang out in York and practice in our dining room. We practice all the time. We go in the studio with everything ready, every part that's written. So, it's not, like, to just mess around. We know what we're going in and doing. I actually recorded all my drums parts for it, like, all 12 songs in literally, like, a day and a half.
Is this your first full-length album? Yeah. It's the first full-length. We have an EP out, which is six songs. It's everywhere on the Internet (including) iTunes (and) Amazon. (It's also) in Hot Topic. That's another way Hot Topic supports us - they carry our CDs.
Have you met any local bands? Yes. From around here, there is a band I know that's called Starting Over. They're doing some pretty cool things. Also, there's another band from around here called Hold Your Breath. Those kids are always in the mall. (Laughs) They're all good guys.
You're doing some big things with the drumming. Easter morning, I got a call from Shine (Custom Drums and Percussion) out in California. They are a custom drum company. (They supply) huge names and huge bands (including) Justin Bieber's band. They saw what I was doing and all the shows we were playing. They were just like, "We'd be interested in working with you." So, I gathered up every penny I could, and I bought a drum set from them, which got me my sponsorship. After that, they offered to have me as their featured artist (on MySpace).
What drummers inspired you? There (are) lots. I like Mike Portnoy (of Dream Theater and Avenged Sevenfold). (I also like) Travis Barker and anything rock 'n'roll really.
Any plans after the recording sessions are done? In March, we are headed to Texas for this national music conference called South By Southwest. We're booking a tour around that, so we'll be going down the coast, heading over to Texas and then back up through the Midwest. I think it will just be cool to see a lot of the other bands we've played with along the way.
- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF
For details about The Riot, visit theriotrocks.com/home.html.
To listen to the interview, visit www.flipsidepa.com.
Read more meet-the-artist interview at www.flipsidepa.com/musicdirectory.
Check out The Riot's Ryan Williams for Shine Custom Drums and Percussion at www.myspace.com/shinedrums.