Here it is, the start to the new section on F5F. If you didn’t already know by my hint in the last post, My first preliminary interview is with Ra Ra Riot. They will be gracing us with their presence on December 16th at The Ottobar, and at which i will be following this post up with an in person interview and show review! I hope to see some of yall there.
F5F:I know you started the band as a project in college up north, how did this progress into a full time venture?
RRR: Well, we started the band with the intention of simply having fun, and it ended up being more fun than anything else we were doing. So at the end of the semester, when most of the band was graduating, we decided to keep it going and see what would happen. We were just kind of winging it!
F5F: What were your musical influences growing up? And what are the biggest influences musically on the band as a whole?
RRR: My mom would always sing Beatles songs to me, and I remember listening to a lot of Robert Palmer with my dad. As for the band, everyone has pretty different tastes, so our biggest collective influences are pretty classic artists that we all grew up with – The Beatles, The Police, U2, 80’s pop, stuff like that – and we’ve all been getting progressively into Kate Bush.
F5F: Recently we have seen a lot on indies coming out of the college grass roots scene, how do you think Ra Ra Riot stands out in that pool of artists?
RRR: What’s interesting to me is that most of these bands seem to share pretty specific rhythmic and melodic sensibilities – I like to think that we offer a unique take on them.
F5F: What is your favorite part about being able to perform live?
RRR: Pretty much everything about it is wonderful – you get 45 minutes to play music with your friends in front of people who (ostensibly) enjoy and appreciate it. I also love it when I have a lot of room to run around – but I suppose if I’m being entirely honest, my favorite times are when my bandmates ask me to turn down my bass amp, and I just pretend to and get away with it.
F5F: Who are some new artists that you really like? And if you had to choose, what other acts would you pair yourself with in putting together a tour?
RRR: There are too many to list here – we’ve been listening to a lot of The Virgins lately, and some of us have been really into White Denim as well. Vampire Weekend have always been favorites of ours, and right now we’re touring with a band called Princeton who we’re all really excited about. We’ve been lucky enough to have played with all of those bands! As far as choosing bands to tour with, I always vote for The Fall and/or U2.
F5F: On a lighter note, what is something you cannot leave home without when going on tour?
RRR: I always bring a book by famed beer expert (and NOT pop sensation) Michael Jackson. It’s a guide to his 500 favorite beers – most of which, co-incidentally, are impossible to find on tour. I usually just end up reading a few pages before bedtime so that I have wonderful dreams.
F5F: Now that we have a new President, what are you doing to celebrate on January 20th for the inauguration?
RRR: I think we’re all going to be at Wes’s house at that time – one of our favorite band retreats. I’m not sure what the plan is, but there’s going to be a celebration for sure. We’ll probably make a pinata that symbolizes the Old World Order and then smash it.
See Live Music,