Thursday, April 3, 2008

interview: Ra Ra Riot

"Nevermind what your daughter is taught in school"
Today we start a new feature on the Bobka where we chat with some of our favorite artist's about music, life and whatever the hell else pops into what's left of our mangled brains. For our inaugural interview we caught up with Allie from Ra Ra Riot about the bands recent trip to SXSW, recording their first album and what the rest of the year holds in store for the Ra Ra's.
CB: You just got back from playing a ton of shows at SXSW, any highlights?

RRR: It was all pretty much a highlight. The weather was glorious. It was a good time.

CB: Catch any bands you’ve been meaning to see?

RRR: Yeah, I saw The Whip, The Virgins, who we toured with, they're friends. Tokyo Police Club, White Denim…they’re awesome, soo good.

CB: How many shows did you end up playing?

RRR: 7 in 4 days. 3 the first day, 2 on Saturday and a couple in between.

CB: Rumor has it you recorded another Daytrotter down there?

RRR: Yeah, we did, but it’s not finished. We’re going to go back in and finish it sometime soon.

CB: You played a show at the magnificent Red Rocks last summer. Are there any dream venues you’d like to play, or favorites you’ve played?

RRR: I don’t really know a lot about venues, but I’d love to play Red Rocks again. We played in Iceland at Iceland Airwaves and I’d love to play there again. It’s in Reykjavik and it’s amazing. I think we’d all love to go to Japan, but we’re pretty happy wherever we go.

CB: For recording I know you use an acoustic cello, have you ever toured with it?

RRR: Haha. No, I would never tour with the acoustic. When we started touring I got the electric just cause it is a huge relief. Plus, performance wise, it can go loud, it doesn’t feed back, it’s resilient. Not a hassle at all. Just performing with the electric is easier, lower maintenance, and you can move around quite a bit more.

CB: The band just finished recording an album at Bear Creek Studio in Washington, which seems like an ideal place to record an album (see pics). Besides the fact that a lot of great bands have been recorded there (Built to Spill, Soundgarden, Clapton, Mountain Goats), is there any reason you chose Bear Creek?

RRR: You know it was kind of a vibe thing. We went there and messed around and met Ryan and really hit it off with him. Then we stayed there on tour for a night a couple months ago, and it was like ‘wow if we could make a record here that would just be amazing’ and so that’s pretty much how it worked out.

CB: Did you have most of the songs written before going into the studio or did you pen some there?

RRR: Well, we did it in two sessions. And we pretty much had everything done before we got there. Then we added a couple more songs the second session but we only worked out one song there, the rest we worked on in Frenchtown, NJ at Wes’s house.

CB: Does the album have a title yet?

RRR: I think so, but we're gonna sit on it for a week and make sure we still like it.

CB: Songs tend to evolve on tour, are there any in particular that have evolved in the live setting?

RRR: Mostly just tempos. Sometimes we play certain songs a lot faster or a lot slower, depending on the setting. In terms of arrangements we’ve changed a lot of our older songs .

CB: Can we expect to hear any of those new arrangements on the new record?

RRR: There are a couple.

CB: Which ones?

RRR: I’m not gonna tell!

CB: Have you settled on a label yet or are you going to self release ?

RRR: We’re working it out with labels in the US now, but we still don’t have one in the US. Everywhere else we’re on V2. So that stuff will start picking up in a little while. I think probably within the next month it’ll be a bit clearer.

CB: Any plans for the summer?

RRR: Probably going to be a lot of festival stuff. Probably not in the US since were doing that right now. Most likely festivals in Europe.
If your bumming around Europe this summer be sure to catch Ra Ra Riot at one of those ridiculous festivals they throw over there. If not, don't worry, they're currently touring the states and probably coming to a town near you. We'll be catching them at Maxwell's on 4/23. Get your tickets now, they're going fast. Click HERE for dates.

Ra Ra Riot- Suspended in Gaffa (Daytrotter)
Ra Ra Riot- St. Peter's Day Festival (Daytrotter)
Ra Ra Riot- Each Year (Daytrotter)

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