Riots are Tom Lynam, Russ Carlin, Lars Wickett and Luke Hicks from Birmingham and its surrounding areas. They met at an X Factor audition, decided they needed a pint and left for the pub. It was there that they discovered they could form a band, and according to Tom “a stray badger walked past and said ‘you lot look like you’ve been pulled from the aftermath of a riot’, it was then we knew our destiny.”
Tom Lynam, lead singer of new band on the block Riots answers a few of our questions:
Q: I caught your first ever gig at the Yard Bird in Birmingham and was impressed that it was the band’s first live show. Are you planning any more gigs?
A: Thank you for coming. Yes, we’ll be doing some more gigs in 2014, for the rest of the year we’ll be working towards the EP. We plan to record it with Elliot Vaughan at Unvibe, we like it there. Elliot makes us feel very relaxed and manages to get a great performance out of us.
Q: How do you gel as a band?
A: We are all very competent musicians so the song process is nice and easy. I’ll normally introduce the band to a song and they’ll add their parts and make some changes, which really brings the songs to life.
Q: You’ve got a new song released/recorded. Will this form the basis of an EP/album?
A: We’ll be releasing a free track for Christmas and following it up with a new EP in the spring of 2014.
Q: How do you go about composing a song? Do you use a situation you’ve been in or take inspiration from other situations?
A: I like to either tell a story or draw from my own life experiences, which makes it personal and I think that comes across in the music. The free single Start Again draws from my experience within music and bands, sometimes things don’t work out. It can be a person, not your time, whatever the reason I like to think I come back stronger every time.
Q: What hits you first: music or lyrics?
A: Mainly it’s a lyric and melody, it makes for a stronger song because it’s the first thing that you listen to as a music listener. Musically I like complex time signatures and discordant chords, I try to find a balance between the two which is how the Riots sound is created.
Q: Whose musical career would you most like to emulate?
A: Dave Grohl’s, to have the ability to work with pretty much any musician in the world and be on top form for nearly 3 decades, legend.
Q: Name a song that you wish you’d written.
A: That’s a tough question, I’m thinking bout songs I want to save that are brilliant, but because they were written by pedophiles they wont be on the radio or heard live again, which is such a terrible outcome for a piece of music. I also think of songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Stairway to Heaven”, I can’t imagine what was going through those guys minds when they started writing those songs. I cant possible single out one song, sorry.
Q: If you could be anyone dead or alive who would you be?
A: A Tyrannosaurus Rex pleases.
Q: What music are you listening to? Which current bands do you like/admire?
A: I’m really into the Djent genre, especially Karnivool. I had the pleasure of seeing them and TesseraccT at Koko a few weeks back. Powerful, melodic music, very pleasing to the ear.
[Note from the author: For those that don’t know – Djent features heavily distorted, palm-muted guitar chords .It is progressive, rhythmic, and laced with technical complexity.]
Q: What do you think about when you are alone in your car/train/bus?
A: I’m currently studying a music business degree so I’m going over marketing strategies, event management terms, digital and physical release schedules…etc. But when I’m not focusing on that, its normally song ideas. Making music is a massive part of my life, it’s as important as eating food.
Q: What song best describes your personality?
A: “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf
Q: You’re currently studying Music Business. Does learning about the industry give you more confidence to embark on a career as an artist or does it make you more cynical about the industry as a whole?
A: I’m excited about the future of the music industry, I think more experimental, genuine artists will get a chance to make a career rather than the same old crap that we get bombarded with on the radio and television. Individualism will play a key part of a band/artists success, just like it used too, be great and stand out.
Q: Can you tell me something surprising/interesting about yourself (the sort of fact/gem you might be saving for your Rolling Stone interview)?
A: I don’t drink hot liquids, Tea, Coffee, hot chocolate? No thank you!
Riots are giving you an early Christmas present – their new single ‘Start Again’. The free download/stream will be available from 16th December. Head over to their website www.riotsmusic.co.uk