Gloom Pop Artists Head Out for Dark Violet Tour; an Interview with Night Riots

Four friends from high school fell in love with music and came together to form a gloom pop band, called Night Riots.

Vocalist Travis Hawley, bassist Nick Fotinakes, and guitarist Matt DePauw met in middle school. They learned to play instruments while they were in high school, and decided to form a band, to which drummer Rico Rodriguez later joined. Now, the band has progressed from performing shows at high schools and college campuses, to headlining their own tour.

“We basically came from nothing with no guidance, no ties to the industry or any idea how things worked” the band said on an email interview with Con Safos Magazine.

Gloom pop is how the band describes their music, showing how their music is fun to listen to but still includes some sort of darkness.

The band has started their U.S. tour, Dark Violet, on June. They talked to C/S magazine about what this tour means to them, their journey together, what they are planning next, and the musical influences they have at the moment.


Question: Hey guys! Are you excited for your upcoming tour? How long has it been since your last tour?

Answer: Hey, what’s up! We are super stoked to be hitting the road.  This will basically be our first full US headline tour. We actually just got back from our first headline run in the UK.  We’ve been over there 3 times in the past 6 months with a US support in between, so we’ve busy.

Q: Which cities are you most looking forward to playing?

A: It’s so hard to choose because each city has its own charm.  Denver and Chicago are always some of our favorites. Brooklyn and Philly are cool cuz we get to practice our accents.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about this tour, how did you come up with the name and what are you trying to promote with it?

A: We’ve always embraced atmosphere and moodiness in our music and live shows.  Dark Violet was just the imagery we wanted to convey for the UK and US headline tour.  It’s like the moment before sunset or sunrise where the world seems like a dream. That’s where we want these shows to live.

Q: Can you also tell me about your new single, what is it about for you guys and what was your experience writing and recording it?

A: We just put out a song called Colour Morning.  At the heart of it I think it’s about having moments where, even though the world seems fucked up right now, you realize it can still be beautiful.  It was a song written in a day during a writing session that we all thought felt good.

Q: I know that you guys just released an album last year, are you guys planning on recording another one any time soon?

A: Yeah, well it’s sorta up in the air right now.  We are back and forth in the studio finishing up an albums worth of material.  We had kinda just decided to start releasing songs, but we may compile them all into an album.

Q: How do you guys describe your music? What are the main messages that you want to express with it?

A: We used to use the term gloom pop.  It still encapsulates what we are though I think.  Our music is meant to be uplifting but we also like to ride a tinge of darkness in a fun way.  Like Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands in music form.

Q: I read that you guys know each other since middle school and you learned to play in high school, which brought you to form the band. What inspired you to form it at such an early age and how would you describe that experience?

A: We met at a young age and became friends because we all shared music as a hobby…really because there wasn’t much else to do in our town.  We had gone separate ways and tried other real life things but somehow we all ended up back together to play music again, so I guess it was destiny.

Q: I know that you guys have been together for eight years now, how would you describe your journey together? How have you progressed? What are the main lessons you each have learned along the way and what do you expect from the future?

A: The first couple years of us playing when we first started were us just figuring things out.  I don’t necessarily count them as a true timeline of what this current project is now but I suppose it has shaped who we are in a way. We basically came from nothing with no guidance, no ties to the industry or any idea how things worked.  In a way that naivety was good. It’s strange how important connections and money are to success in this business. Not knowing that we just basically had to beat doors down for people to pay any attention and do it our own way. By doing so we’ve learned a lot about every aspect of this, about being self-sufficient, dealing with failures and success.  In the end I’m just proud of what we’ve done as friends and hope people are still stoked on what we do.

Q: What are your personal influences and the influences that you have as a band?

A: We are all together so much and influenced by similar things.  Right now we are all pretty pumped on the new J. Cole album. Travelling and just life are big influences on our music.

Q: Do you have anything else to add?

A: Thanks for the questions and everyone who supports us.  Be sure to check us out on our US Dark Violet 2018 tour starting in June and keep an eye out for new music.

By Aimée Santillán


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