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Rising Stars


UK based band Riley have released an EP to crtitcal acclaim & have already toured with Paul Carrack (Ace/Mike & the Mechanics).

1. What are you currently up to? (E.g. touring/studio, etc.)

Well we've just finished recording around 13 songs that we will use in one form or another in the future- the first of these songs will be released 16/2/04 for the sit up E.P which is our first release with our new record company Mi5 Recordings UK- We are also touring as regularly as possible (a full list of dates can be found at our website we never stop gigging really, trying to get new fans. We have been and will be doing a few more radio sessions and interviews for local BBC stations, and are busy plugging the major stations trying to get a bit of airplay.

2. Who was/is are the biggest influences on your career?

Personally our friends are a massive influence on us always giving us the energy and belief to carry on in a business that is very corrupt and painful at times but when you gig and get the reaction we do it reminds you what music is truly about- reaching out and touching people and reminding them that music can still be about talent and passion and not just what they get forced to watch and listen to on TV and radio. Seeing good bands eventually breaking through is an influence on us and also seeing so much crap music in the charts influences us to carry on and try and put things right. But probably our biggest influence is ourselves- music is what we want to do and is all we can do- we want to make a living out of our music.

3. Brief history of your work to date and the style of music you play.

We are described as an indie band but we feel we have our own sound, we are compared to Coldplay, early Radiohead, Starsailor, The Verve etc

We started working with Mi5 Recordings UK around June last year, same month we won the Heart fm battle of the bands, September we appeared at the Birmingham arts festival and Manchester's In The City festival, early October we went to upstate New York, we did several acoustic radio sessions and interviews and then gigged at James Gandolfini's (Tony from the sopranos) restaurant, October we also appeared on Carlton TV's Xposure. And performed on the BBC Raw Talent radio show.

Recently we have just supported Paul Carrack again and appeared on BBC WM, UCA Radio Scotland, and sit up is on the play list at 2xs radio Sheffield and was recently played on JOHN PEELS RADIO 1 SHOW he responded with saying he liked the song very much. Sit Up was featured on Windows Media Player UK Guide and was song of the day on UKsounds, USAsounds and OZsounds.

4. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoint(s) of your career to date?

Highlights: Going to America, Carlton TV show, John Peel liking it and so many strangers digging the music when we play to them. Lowpoints: Male streakers!! Being let down by several major labels throughout our period together, the van breaking down constantly and reaching in your pocket and only feeling your leg (no money).

5. What would Riley like to achieve by the end of 2004?

More recognition I think would be nice, better gigs, better press attention and building on our fan base- and hopefully a couple of very well received records.

6. What ís the most rock 'n' roll moment the band has had so far?

Probably finding ourselves at a swingers party in a hidden house in a forest our last night in New York 8 hours before having to catch a plane- strangers naked in a hot tub- all sorts of drugs, girls and stuffed creatures on the walls. Apart from that travelling in a bloody cold van for the last 2 years meeting new people and experiencing Britain.

7. What has been the live highlight(s) for the band? How easy/hard is it to get gigs and promotion for gigs?

Certain gigs where we have played to a packed crowd of strangers and really made them wild with appreciation- and constantly having strangers coming up to us after gigs saying we are the best band they've ever seen- the gig in America was great because they really appreciate live music over their. It is pretty hard to get good gigs and promotion these days- the whole business is no longer about talent but about numbers and figures

8. Do you see the interest in rock & metal music growing in the UK at the moment? What bands do you admire and/or are an influence?

Not sure really- good guitar music will always have a core following- but in the last 10 years or so that following is more underground because all you can get on radio and TV is the charts.

There arestill great bands in Britain but they don't get the attention bands of the past received- it would be nice to have a golden age of bands again like the 60's but it's hard to see that happening because record companies know that bands are about passion and are unpredictable when it's much easier to have a pop idol show, dress a gimp in a suit sit them on a stool, make them sing and do what they want and pay them peanuts.

There are still plenty of people in the world who know good music and they will always support it. Our influences are vast and many- basically great guitar bands and great song writers - Beatles, Stones, Neil Young, Dylan, C.S.N, Stone Roses, Radiohead etc etc

9. How did then tours with Paul Carrack & Go West go? Do you think you won over any new fans? How easy/hard is it to get decent tour support slots?

They were good, It wasn't really our target audience but we were received very well and did make new fans from the shows. It is virtually impossible to get decent tour supports unless you've got contacts and money or are very lucky.

10. If you could create a fantasy band - what would be the line-up and why?

(Now your talking!!) difficult one- drummer would probably be john Bonham from led zeppelin, bass probably John entwhistle from The Who, Lead Guitar Hendrix from the past John Squire and Johnny Marr from the present, rhythm guitar and vocals John Lennon, with Dylan, Neil Young and Crosby, Stills and Nash over seeing it all.

11. What state do you think live gigs are in at the moment in the UK? to get gigs and promotion for gigs?

When you have to pay around £5 to watch an original band we would say live gigs are in a very bad way- venues need to do more to get the general public watching live bands which would have a knock on effect with the whole industry.

Things need to go back to the 60's a bit more where you could go to a pub or club free or very cheap and watch an original band- at present venues just book bands who have an extended family of 30 people or more- this doesn't benefit the band because they have to constantly rely on their friends for support which isn't really the purpose of playing live. If more strangers were encouraged to come to venues because it was cheap they would probably return to the venue again and again- so everyone profits.

12. What CD's do you currently have available and where can they be purchased from?

Our debut E.P (SIT UP E.P) is available from HMV and other record stores from 16th February for £3- you can pre order the E.P from any HMV now and from the HMV website. It can also be purchased or downloaded from our website the shop in our website also has a list of other places it can be purchased from.

13. Message to your fans...

Anyone who hasn't got an E.P yet you would be helping us massively if you go to a HMV and pre order a copy- just ask the at the counter and they can do it from their computer- the more pre orders we get the stronger chance the Shops will stock the E.P- so please help with our first release- You can join our mailing list at our website for more news. We hope you can make a gig soon and remember to live the life of RILEY - spread the word and support original music. Thanks.

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Interview © 2004 Jason Ritchie
Format and edit: The Music Index.

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