The debut LP is a milestone in any musician’s career. When offered the opportunity to record in another country, with a highly renowned producer, in an amazing new studio one would imagine this would result in that memorable milestone. The four shaggy-haired, long legged boys from Adelaide band City Riots would have agreed not so long ago. However, time, personal growth and creative integrity, have re-written their story.
Lead single ‘Burning Me Out’ from City Riots’ ‘08 EP Socialize, was the first glimpse of their enticing indie-pop charm that caught the attention of national broadcaster triple j. As momentum spurred and an uncanny friend of a friend connection was revealed, five months later, City Riots found themselves shacked up in a two bedroom apartment in Chicago, USA working with producer Bjorn Thorsrud whose resume sites the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins and The Dandy Warhols.
Armed with over twenty songs and an album in their sights, the band was ecstatic to be working with a producer of such caliber. The overwhelming excitement of being away from home, recording in an amazing studio, with amazing gear and an amazing producer was confronting for the four-piece. “There were moments of the recording that we felt uncomfortable with but we were embracing it because we felt it was about being pushed outside of our comfort zone and making a record that we might not be able to make on our own, hence why we were there, and why we were working with Bjorn” recounts front man Ricky Kradolfer.
Upon returning home to Adelaide in the latter part of 2009, there was a sense of relief amongst City Riots, which is when the project began to feel dangerous. The initial excitement of a completed debut record began to erode and what came to light was the reality of the record that they had spent months recording but were not happy with.
When opportunity knocks at the door, it’s silly not to answer. City Riots spent the next year seizing amazing opportunities that arose across the globe. Showcases at SXSW and CMJ, Filter Magazine’s Culture Collide Festival in LA as well as an Australian tour supporting The Smashing Pumpkins, are only a few that surfaced.
With the album release postponed due to a whirlwind year of touring both nationally and internationally, late 2010 saw the band revisit the recordings. Under rare circumstances, “we had the luxury of sitting with the record for a while before anyone heard it, and we realized that it really didn’t represented us as a band. I guess we never really grew into the parts that we were uncomfortable with in the first place. In actual fact, it was the reverse. The songs weren’t exciting us like they should. We wanted them to make us feel excited like the songs that had originally excited and inspired us to write the kind of songs we were writing. You only get one shot at releasing your first album,” outlines Ricky.
A rapport with Melbourne based producer Paul ‘Woody’ Annison (Children Collide, Hunting Grounds) saw City Riots entertain the idea of re-tracking a couple of songs on the record. As they entered the studio, songs were stripped back to bare bones thus rekindling their fundamental mission to create indie-pop gems full of catchy hooks and killer melodies driven be edgy guitar sounds. What originally began as a few songs, lead to the band re-tracking their whole record.
“To get to this point, we had been out of people’s attention for a while. To come back and put a record in people’s hands, didn’t feel right. As a band, we weren’t ready for it,” Ricky explains.
October 7th has been a long time coming for City Riots. On that day they will unleash a five track EP, Matchsticks, featuring their brand new single of the same name.
With Australia the firm focus for the foreseeable future, City Riots have already made an impressive impact upon their return. Leading into the 2011 EP release, City Riots have been touring extensively. A massive tour opening for British India and Boy in a Box and shows alongside Alpine and Papa vs Pretty and the national support for Ball Park Music, marked by the first taste of their EP with single ‘In My Head’. Another lap of the country quickly followed, supporting The Get Up Kids (US).
“We’d rather have a bangin’ EP with five killer tracks that sound like City Riots, rather than an album of ten songs that we feel compelled to put out just because it was recorded in America with a hot shot producer, but which actually sounds nothing like what we are as a band and doesn’t make us excited about playing music,” Ricky excitedly announces.
Matchsticks – EP Release – Out October 7