Music Existence had the opportunity to chat with the lovely Canadian band, Attica Riots. We talked about their upcoming record, their new single “Misery”, dream lineup, and more. Check out the interview below. They also played an amazing show at Rockwood Music Hall– Psst, they go on tour soon, be sure to catch them live!
Music Existence: How did you guys first met and then decided to form a band together?
Bobby: Each one of us played in Winnipeg and are from Winnipeg. Eventually over time, your bands will play alongside other bands, then we became friends years ago we started a cover band together and jamming around town. Things went on from there.
Music Existence: What is your songwriting and recording process like?
Bobby: We’ve been writing long enough that I don’t know if there’s a typical way we go about writing. Everyone comes up with a stem of an idea, an entire song. Generally whoever has the biggest heart for a song, one just takes it and runs with it. Overall, its collaborative. There’s no one specific way we do it. Everyone has a say in what each of us is doing.
Kyle: Yeah, it’s collaborative but there was also such roles we all fulfill in the band. Lyrically is more of Bobby’s strength well as for me it’s more the music and production. Anders has both kind of and we all juggle the process together.
Music Existence: Collaborative but everyone brings in their forte and unique twist on it.
Kyle: We pass it along to each other and see what everyone can bring to the table, they can refine it then we all look at it together and go back and forth until the finished product.
Music Existence: Is a trademark sound and image aesthetic you guys try to achieve?
Bobby: It’s certainly something that gets discussed however it comes about naturally. We kind of decided that there are certain color scheme you like and a specific way you like how the name looks in writing you have to decide but the aesthetic of the band is just things we are comfortable doing, wearing, etc. It’s pretty natural.
Anders: It is important. We do most of the artwork, like for the album that will be coming out soon we did the artwork for that and for some of the lyric videos we’ll do the film for that; the footage and editing. And when a director takes a grab on our songs, we are still a big part of the process.
Music Existence: Congratulations on your new song and video release, Misery. I love the song and the music video for it. Can you tell us a bit about the filming experience?
Bobby: Yeah, I worked with Black Fawn films. That was such a fun and awesome experience because when you work with people who are professional at what they do, everything runs so smoothly. So when we went in there, it was a long day, probably from 9AM to 10PM for filming and getting ready. It was really an enjoyable experience. It wasn’t as hard as we thought it was going to be.
Music Existence: Outside of music, do you guys have other hobby?
Anders: Filmmaking! Graphic arts as well. We are such musical based band so whatever else we do it’s roots always goes back to music.
Bobby: I like writing. I do short stories. But I’m always taking stuff out of them for music. It’s the major umbrella that everything else goes underneath. I guess cat memes too.
Kyle: I guess because I do a lot of the technical music side of the band like the production and putting together demos. Whenever I do have some free time, I work on mixes and stuff like that.
Music Existence: First show you guys ever went to?
Kyle: The Rolling Stones. I was in grade 7 and my dad took myself and my brother, Anders here. My dad was a huge fan of them.
Anders: I remember seeing Green Day when I was in grade 4. Kyle and I were huge fans, we had their cassettes too.
Kyle: They lit their gear on fire and we thought they were pretty cool.
Bobby: I went to shows but nothing grabbed me until a little later when I started seeing bands that I liked. In terms of music I enjoyed when I was younger, Bad Out of Hell was one of them. But earlier shows I went to, I was just dragged out by people because at the time I wasn’t into music until I was about 16 or 17 years old. I had gone to numerous shows but it was all to go out and socialize and hang out.
Music Existence: What was it that sparked your interest to play music when you were 16 or 17?
Bobby: I picked up a bass guitar and started playing and realized i cannot sing along with the bass guitar I just sang to each note that i played which sounds really terrible. And so when I started picking up the guitar I started singing and writing immediately. I think it was the writing process that got me involved in music not so much the listening to it. Just the expression of it, I would learn two chords and begin writing a song then go back to learn new songs and it kept going.
Music Existence: So the technicality of it was going along you writing your own songs.
Bobby: Yeah, exactly. So I was writing and learning to play the guitar at the same time.
Music Existence: You guys recently went on tour and played shows with Mainland and Rooney. How was that experience?
Bobby: We had a blast. They are all such a great and sweet people. We got to play with and to awesome people. We got to go to cities we’ve never been to, me personally. Also, tonight’s show is the first show off that tour and I have their songs in my head like I’m going to hear them tonight even though I’m not going to. It was bittersweet and such a fun experience.
Music Existence: Do you guys have a dream lineup or bands you would like to tour with?
Bobby: Arcade Fire is a band I’d like to open up for. Strength of their writing and theatrical production of their show speaks for itself.
Kyle: A band that has been a major influence on us us Vampire Weekend.
Anders: The Flaming Lips, for sure I’d love to tour with.
Music Existence: How do you guys prepare to play a gig?
Anders: A couple drummer stretches.
Bobby: Before the show arrives, you just have to be mentally and physically prepared. Because you eventually just load in and make sure everything works and then just play. The prep happens in the jam space and all of us having been playing shows for a really long time now.
Music Existence: How long have you guys been a band?
Bobby: I’ve been saying we’ve been writing together for 7 seven years.
Kyle: I think it’s been 8 years since the summer.
Bobby: I was in a different project as a songwriter and guitar player and they [Anders and Kyle] were in their own project and we would all get together and work on their band and then that kind of switch to them working together on my songs and then their songs and my songs became our songs. And so we became a band. We realized that we were each other’s side project and that when we worked and wrote together our work had more depth to it. We were definitely born in the jam space.
Music Existence: What I love about your music is the contrast between the sad and deep lyrics with feel good music that is uplifting, I guess you can say.
Bobby: It’s uplifting. You actually nailed it on the head. That is actually something we have all talked about and laughed about. We chuckle to the idea to certain songs where, I don’t know if you’ve heard songs, “Race to be the Saddest Guy” and different things that are going to be b-sides to the record or maybe on the next record or that are filling this record out. I love the idea of embracing sadness and melancholy with positivity. I don’t think any of us are really afraid to talk about our feelings or talk about tough topics or hard issues. We do it interpersonally as friends and we also try to touch on it in music. They are some lyrics where you’ll be playing it and there are people singing it back to you and they’re smiling so much and there is nothing happy about it. But isn’t that something that is kind of positive as well?
Music Existence: I think so, it brings a true connection in a human level.
Bobby: The Shins did that a lot. One of my favorite bands when I was writing. I remember one of my friends ended up having to go to the emergency room in Calgary, Alberta when we were there one time. I waited in the car while he was being checked out by the doctors and I was there long enough to listen to Oh, Inverted World and Chutes Too Narrow. I had never realized how depressing those records were and hits home so much. I just love that feeling.
Music Existence: It really does hit you to the core with profound emotions.
Bobby: And it doesn’t create the mood for you. You create the mood by paying attention a little more. If you just hum along, it’s just a happy giddy song and you miss out on catching the depth to it all.
Music Existence: I feel like songs that have sad and profound lyrics and uplifting music, if it’s about getting over something the meaning behind it is to live with it/that certain thing instead of getting over it.
Bobby: Yeah, that makes sense.
Kyle: I think Misery is kind of along those lines.
Bobby: Also, we have a song called “Take and Leave Some”. It’s about leaving a part of yourself if you’re just going to be taking it. It was written a long time ago.
Kyle: It’s actually going to be the last song on our record and it was the first song we ever did together. We got together one morning in this old garage and it was freezing cold because it wasn’t heated properly and he showed that song and we started jamming. That song also became a mainstay for our set too.
Bobby: That song was during a closing chapter of my life where I was no longer going to be selfish just because I could be selfish. You know, when one is 22, 23, 24 or around that age and it seems maybe that life is really easy at that point even if you’re making it difficult for yourself. It was just this whole thing about not being selfish, don’t use things, don’t use people. The song was definitely an anthem for a new chapter in my life. It’s funny how it’s going to be the last song on this record and move on from there.
Music Existence: Going with the meaning and depth to the songs, what do you want your fans and listeners to get from your music?
Bobby: I just want to continue to be honest and I don’t think you need to be profound when you’re being honest. You don’t need to unearth or reinvent the wheel, you can talk about simple things. We have a song on the album that’s just about loving someone that doesn’t love you. There’s songs about everything and we don’t want to be a political band. We don’t want to be a love song band. What we want to do is keep getting stronger musically a have a range of lyrics.
Music Existence: Nice. Now to wrap the interviews, I’m going to ask you guys some quick random questions. What is your ringtone?
Bobby: This says a lot about me when it comes to technology, mine is the ringtone that comes with the phone.
Kyle: Mine is the generic one as well, haha.
Anders: Mine is the generic one too. So when someone’s phone rings in the van, we all look around.
Music Existence: Favorite day of the week?
Bobby: Mine is Sunday because no one can bother you. You can look at your phone on Sunday and people could understand that. I get some thinking time done. I like doing my laundry, making my dinner, and getting groceries. I like having Sunday to be for me because we rehearse and work a lot. To be honest, the only thing I respond on my phone on Sunday is the group chat with the band.
Kyle: Saturday is my favorite day of the week. Its the day my girlfriend doesn’t work so it’s a day off to go to park, go out with some friends, and a night in the town.
Anders: Saturday for me too. It’s the night most friends are down to go out.
Bobby: (laughs) My answer sounds so antisocial. My second answer would have been anytime during the day where you have to yourself. I promise I’m a social being.
Kyle: He’s the most social out of all of us.
Anders: He’s the talkative one.
Bobby: I guess my recharge time is my favorite after a lot of socializing. Sunday is the day I spend time with my loved ones.