- Fri, 2009-05-22 10:53
Formed of childhood friends, Charlie (vocals), Karnig (Guitar), Mike (Bass) and recent addition Rich (Drums) make up Wall Street Riots, a London based rock pop foursome who have been tearing apart clubs up and down the UK with their sing-a-long choruses and catchy riffs.
Having only settled upon their band name in September 2008, Wall Street Riots recently released their debut EP Playground Politics. Currently working on their debut album, I Like Music caught up with Charlie to chat about Playground Politics, working on a debut album and watching Slipknot live.
"I Like Music because… it is what I do and hopefully I'll get to keep on doing it forever!” Charlie, Wall Street Riots
ILM: How would you describe the vibe of Playground Politics?
Charlie: The EP has a punk edge, but they're pop songs. It's got a really raw vibe to it. We're definitely influenced by our own limitations. There are four of us, there's one guitarist, it's not cluttered with loads of harmonies. They're definitely pop songs, they all have catchy hooks. But they're definitely raw and they have a bit of a gritty vibe to them.
ILM: Which track was the most fun to lay down in the studio?
Charlie: We did them all at the same time. So we were kind of jumping between the tracks and stuff like that. The whole experience of being in the studio was very fun, there was a lot of laughter, a lot of pissing about, plus we decided to do some work as well! Haha!
ILM: How would you describe the Wall Street Riots' process of making music?
Charlie: Our guitarist Karnig is usually working on a melody or a riff. We do a lot of riff based stuff. Then we'll take it to the rehearsal room where we meet a lot and just jam something out. Sometimes him and I get together and work on a chorus or melody. Once we have the main structure we focus a lot more on the melody and the hooks, we try and work out what is making it a good song and what will make the song stand alone without having to over produce it. We want to focus on what makes a song tick. Get some lyrics. Then we record!
ILM: What can fans expect when they come to see you live?
Charlie: A lot of laughter! We don't take ourselves too seriously! Although there are more serious moments than others! A lot of energy. A hell of a lot of sweat! We have a great ability to sweat! Haha!
ILM: Out of all your shows so far, which have been the most memorable?
Charlie: We recorded the video for our track Dr.King across three different shows. One of the shows was in the Albany Theatre near New Cross London. That show was great! Loads of the audience knew the lyrics! Last month we played the Underworld, there was a similar vibe there too.
ILM: How is the work going on your debut album?
Charlie: Yeah! We've just sat down and decided it's time to write an album! We're about five songs in. Our goal is to write 20 to 25 and pick the best 10 to 12. The plan for the summer is to play some gigs, maybe head along to play a couple of small festivals but mostly to sit down and focus on the album. Step it up a notch and see if we can do a good one! I think we'll release a single in September.
ILM: What's your earliest musical memory?
Charlie: Um....I think I must have been about three or four and I remember dancing to Michael Jackson in my living room! That's probably my earliest memory. That leads to all sorts of terrible music, right through to bubble gum pop! We all wanted to be in pop groups, that's how it evolved! We thought it was all fun and it just got a lot better for all of us when we got into better music!
ILM: Haha! You've known each other for quite some time haven't you?
Charlie: Karnig and I have known each other since we were about nine, we went to school together. We started writing music together when we were about thirteen. We've known we wanted to be in a band from a young age. Our bassist Mike joined us around the age of 15 or 16. Drummer Rich was the latest edition. We've been through about a billion drummers and he joined the band about a year and a half ago. So we've known each other a while.
ILM: What would be your advice to any young bands out there?
Charlie: Concentrate on writing good songs. That's what we're trying to do. A lot of people tend to focus on whether they're all wearing white belts or something like that, but it's the songs that are important. Also, just stick at it if it's what you know you want to do.
ILM: What music are you listening to at the moment?
Charlie: It really ranges. Our bassist Mike DJs and is really into electro. Plus we all like to go out. It's really cool when people get to remix our tracks. It's music we like, but not music we do. At the same time we're listening to the new Gallows album. Our guitarist is really into the rap artist Common, but he also loves Bruce Springsteen! We share a passion for good cheesey pop tunes and guitar pop tunes as well! Haha!
ILM: Out of all the gigs you've seen, which will you never forget?
Charlie: We all went to see Slipknot at Hammersmith Apollo. We saw that a few months ago. Joey Jordison and his revolving drums were incredible! It was amazing stuff! They are definitely my favourite live band. We like big concerts, gigs where you can really feel the energy. Even with hardcore bands like Come Back Kid and Enter Shikari and stuff. We were lucky enough to see those bands when they were relatively small.