This Bank Holiday weekend, the likes of Twenty One Pilots, Foo Fighters, PVRIS, The Distillers and more will descend on Reading & Leeds for one of the biggest events of the music calendar. Taking their place amongst the buzz are Night Riots; the band’s Travis and Nick fill us in on what they’ve got coming up.
Hello guys, how are you doing?
Hey, what’s up, we are doing well. It’s hot here in California, but we are sitting around drinking some iced coffee so no complaints.
Tell us about your new album, what’s ‘New State of Mind’ about?
‘New State of Mind’ is intended to feel like a summer record. We’ve always had a darker vibe, which we still embrace, but we wanted to bring Night Riots into the light a little bit for this one. The New State of Mind theme represents the shedding of old skin and embracing the new.
When did you start writing the record, and what was your frame of mind like going into it?
Some of the writing for this record started in 2017, with even some ideas predating that, but was recorded in bulk of late 2018. With this album, we wanted to simplify, bring in some hip-hop elements that we love and have fun with the writing and production. We wanted to come in fresh, not care about what people think and just write songs we like.
How was your time in the studio, did it come together easily? Were there any unexpected challenges?
There are always songs that come together fast and easy and others that can feel like pulling teeth. They’ll be moments where lyrics or a certain part just doesn’t feel right, and you’ll spend a couple of days sitting there with nothing hoping for an epiphany. But really the studio is where we thrive and want to spend more time in. The writing of music for us is always the easy part. Honestly, the most challenging stuff is the business side of the industry that can sometimes muck up the art process, I think.
Who are you most looking forward to seeing or catching up with at Reading & Leeds this year?
That’s easy for us, our good friends in the Hunna. Those guys are amazing and have been some of the best supporters and champions of us, and it’s rad to see them killing it. But we got a grip of homeland friends too… Dreamers, The Maine and Moontower will all be there. It’s gonna be awesome.
Which of the headliners is your fave?
Man, that’s hard. I’d probably say I’m most excited to see Post Malone because we’ve never seen him live. Really all the headliners are rad, what a good line-up.
Do you have your set all worked out, anything special planned?
We are gearing up for some US shows, so, for the most part, we got our set worked out. We had some wire acrobatics planned, so I hope the crowds are ready.
What makes a good festival set do you think?
Festivals are different than a club show, especially if it’s day time you can’t hide behind mood or atmosphere, so it’s all about the songs. I think a good festival set is short and sweet. There are so many artists playing that I think a good set is something with energy but still dynamic and can keep a crowd’s attention. You wanna be able to make them move, whether physically or emotionally and you gotta do that usually in a short time. So, come out swinging.
Have you guys spent much time in the UK before? Is there anything you’re looking forward to experiencing while over here?
Yeah, this is our fourth time back I think. We love the UK. We spent a few days just travelling around our first time and went up to Northern Scotland. This time we’re just stoked to see some good friends and hang out in London for a minute.
What else have you got coming up this year?
The rest of the year is all about ‘New State of Mind’, followed by US dates, the UK shows and more US touring in the fall.
Taken from the September issue of Upset. Reading & Leeds takes place from 23rd-25th October.