Where once was PK now stands Night Riots. Same amiable five guys one name change later.
HV: How many times have you been told you look like Ryan Philippe?
Matt: I like it! This is a first. I’ve gotten Justin Timberlake and Macklemore before…
HV: The friends I’m with tonight started having that conversation in the middle of the set. They said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, he looks like…” I asked, “Who are you talking about?” They said, “Ryan Philippe.”
Matt: I get Malcolm in the Middle. My ego’s just getting bigger and bigger! Thank you.
HV: Now I have no idea why you changed names. What was the legal drama behind the change?
Matt: It was a trademark issue. So basically there’s different classes of the trademark, so there were a couple of things under PK. So we didn’t get notices or anything like cease and desists, but it was just something that could come down the road and present itself as a problem.
HV: So how did you come up with Night Riots?
Matt: Well, it was a chance to represent ourselves. PK was a great name and it became us, but it was always a little bit difficult for people to understand. There was no imagery that came from it for people.
HV: Is anything changing for you, as far as the music?
Matt: I think we’re evolving. We’re really learning how to write songs, which has been pretty cool.
HV: What’s different about these songs [Young Lore] from the last EP?
Matt: I feel like they represent us more, that there’s more of us in them in a way.
We were also able to work with different producers [Aaron Rubin – Angels & Airwaves, Blink 182 – and Eric Palmquist – Waaves, Bad Suns], so what is neat about that is it brought different things up. We were really able to kind of step back. I don’t feel like we were as influenced by other artists as much on these songs as we have been in the past. So what came out was something that is really kind of new for us. It’s the beginning of a sound and that’s what every artist wants.
HV: What do you think may have influenced your sound on the previous songs?
Matt: We all grew up listening to a lot of punk stuff even if it was more on the pop end of the spectrum. And then the Killers kind of came in and they were an influence for us. Bruce Springsteen, as well. Those bands will always be there. We did a lot of work, spreading out as much as possible and trying to just take in everything.
HV: Is the writing collaborative?
Matt: Yes, I think we all take our turns at different things. So sometimes it will be one of us or two of us and sometimes we’ll all polish it together. It feels like there is a time for every member to kind of shine in various parts of the songs, whether there in a drum part or a bass part. Whereas, in the past, we were balanced or we’d interfere with each other… I feel like it’s getting tighter, stronger, but simpler at the same time.
HV: What are you listening to these days?
Matt: Savages, Lorde, Talking Heads, Haim, Kanye West, Alt-J, Cheap Trick, X Ambassadors, The Drums, Shout Out Louds, Death Grips.
HV: You’re still up in San Luis Obispo: Why do you stay up there? I’ve never been there, I don’t even know what it looks like.
Matt: You know, it’s our base and we have a real strong support system up there and it’s a great place to live. We’re able to have seclusion when we’re writing; we don’t have to be worrying about the hustle and bustle of the city, which is perfect for us. That’s where we’re from. It’s the happiest city in America, according to Oprah.
HV: Thanks so much for your time, guys.
Night Riots: Ryan Philippe approves this interview.
PS – Random Fact About Night Riots:
Mikel is the carpenter of the band. Ask and he will build.
Rico’s favorite thing in the world to do (outside of music) is play video games.