INTERVIEW - JOSH PAUL, SUNSET RIOT
By Will Hollands
If you could please start off by telling us a little about the bands background for the people who don’t know you or might want to check you out?
Hey Will!!! Great to be chatting to you!!!
Well Sunset Riot is Sydney Australia’s heavy hitting Rock n Roll wagon!! Made up of 5 dudes known as JP, lead guitar (myself), Del Rio the front men of all front men on the pipes, Ziggy Scott on the humour and dirty chops of rhythm guitar and the Resh Train, hitting stuff and giving us groove in the back on the drums.
WE are a hard working, nonstop touring band and have been touring the east coast of Australia for the last two years, as well as a 3 month USA tour in that time.
We promise to bring a live show full of energy, sweat, love, loss and a whole lot of fun!!
We have an EP available on Itunes ,where you can go and have a sample of the tunes and also hopefully buy them.... haha!!
And we have our début single “Rattlesnake”, with video clip up on youtube , so make sure you go and check it out!!
As a band, who are the main artists that influence you?
It’s hard to say as an entire band because we all come from such diverse backgrounds, but favourites that we all admire are AC/DC, Guns ‘n ‘Roses, Velvet Revolver, Alter Bridge, Bon Jovi.
There is a whole heap of blues influence in there as well.
Your latest EP is amazing! I for one love how melodic your songs are. How do you go about writing your songs?
Well our writing has evolved a great deal since that record. For the self titled EP, it was a real mixture of songs that were written during the formation of the band; some by myself, some by Ziggy, and when bought to the table it was definitely a collaborative process, in what turned out to be what you hear on the record. We all write the songs together.
Most times Zig or I will come in with stuff we are working on. Then everyone jumps in and the song writes itself. There has never really been a consistent writing pattern where only two or three people write the tunes and then the others are told what to do. There is just something about when we all get in a room to write, there is this magic chemistry we have with each other and it’s a real blessing to be a part of it.
After releasing your EP in 2010, you have pretty much not stopped touring and playing shows. How has that been?
We love playing live and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Touring like this comes at a huge cost in our personal lives but we love playing to people and telling stories of love, loss, faith, struggle and hope in our music and want to give people something to relate to but also get them thinking.
Not many independent bands get to tour an overseas country. What was the experience like touring America, and as a band spending time with each other all day, every day?
Not many bands do at all which is why we said, “Let’s just do it. Put everything on the line and get in a big arse 29ft RV and tour during one of the hottest summers the US has had in a long time!!”
It was a definite learning experience and it takes a lot of patience and humbleness to keep the machine going.
There were times when it all got a little too much..... like when the only thing you’re not sharing in the confined space your living in is your tooth brush! Then Del takes your tooth brush and uses it! At the time I was devastated!! Although we laughed about it and it all made for great memories that none of us will ever forget.
I think after the tour, we came back bigger, stronger and better mates!
After a great effort on your last EP, you have released your first single “Rattlesnake” along with a kick-ass video! Could you please give us an insight into the making of your debut video?
Well the video was a complete guerrilla style video where we took over an old abandoned factory in the city of Sydney, with only a generator, one camera man and us doing our thing!!
Gabor the camera man did a great job capturing what we wanted.
We didn’t really have a plan other than to just go in and have as much fun as possible!
Oh, and I got to skate, which was a heap of fun, as I don’t get to do it as much as I would like to. So that was great!
After great success in the past, you have attracted attention from world-famous producer Mark Opitz. How did you guys get in touch with him, and what he is like to work with?
With Mark, it was really one of those what we like to call “God things” of right place, right time.
He liked what we were doing and said he would like to make a record with us and we were pretty pumped ! Half of the great Australian rock bands have worked with him so it was a real blessing! Mark definitely helped shape SR into what it is now and also did a lot for the way we think about our music and what we are doing.
I understand you guys have a new EP coming out soon? What can we expect from the studio on this recording and when will it be released?
We do!!! It is currently in its final stages of mixing. We are at the moment aiming for the release to be March, with all things going well!!!
We are very excited to get it out to anyone and everyone!
We currently have the new record titled “UPRISING” available for pre sale order.
So if you want to get your hands on it before its official release date, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org titled "pre sale uprising” and we will be in contact.
What is the best way to describe your live show?
Full of energy, passion, hunger, fire, up lifting and a whole lot of fun!!!
What songs go down best live? Do you throw any covers in from time to time?
Rattlesnake always gets a great response, Mama Said, Something’s Gotta Give and Red Ferrari. I’m not sure? (hahaha.) They all seem to gel well together in the show we have!!
We do have some covers. We play our own punk’d version of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell' and have now included The Wright’s version of “Evie” and Slash’s Snakepit track “Mean Bone,” which is always a favourite with the Slash fans!!
Tell us a bit about the local scene, how strong is it in Sydney?
The local scene in Australia has been really welcoming of us and we love to do our bit in keeping it alive!! The Sydney scene has grown a little more since we have started playing it, and there are always new faces around whenever I’m out and about. So it’s good to see it growing!!
What are some of your favourite places to play?
Lincoln Nebraska, at a place called “Red Nine!” This was where we filmed a mini concert that you can check out on our youtube channel.
The Whiskey a Go Go, on the Sunset Strip in LA.
My favourite in Australia, is the Annandale hotel in Sydney. That place oozes rock n roll. I feel so at home whenever I am there and it was always a dream of mine to play there.
What sets you guys apart from every other young band trying to “make it?”
We are always on the road forever trying to improve our live show, improve our craft as musicians, and meeting and connecting with our fans and audience.
We are dedicated to making a career of honest music that moves people.
We aren’t fazed by fame or fortune. We do this because we love it and because we can’t do anything but music. It’s in our bones and blood and I think it’s what draws punters to our shows.
What does 2012 hold for Sunset Riot? Any big plans?
2012 brings out our latest EP “UPRISING,” more touring both nationally and internationally and a couple more video clips!!
Who knows what will happen this year? We are a ‘head down and go for it’ band, so you never know where will be or what will happen!!
What kind of music are you listening to at the moment?
I’ve got three bands on rotation at the moment which are
Chase The Sun’s - “Red Necks and Gentleman”
The Darkness‘ - Greatest Hits.
Taking Back Sunday’s latest self titled release.
Who inspired you to pick up the guitar?
I wasn’t inspired by a person to actually pick it up and learn the guitar. I just felt like that’s what I should do.... so I did it! I got my mum’s old beat up heap of junk, nylon string guitar and learnt how to finger pick and play chords. It wasn’t until I saw Tommy Emmanuel play, that I was like ‘Oh, I want to be like that. I want to express myself the way he is.’ It’s like some kind of switch got flicked. And after the show I got to meet Tommy, and he gave me the single greatest piece of advice I’ve ever gotten in this industry “Don’t ever give up mate”. So off I’ve gone to pursue a career in music.
What is the best way to keep in touch with all things Sunset Riot?
The best way would be to jump online and check out our Facebook page and become a fan! We update that regularly with all things Sunset Riot.
If you could have been involved in the creation of any piece of music at any point in history, what would it have been and why?
That’s easy......Appetite for Destruction.
What is the meaning of life?
I always ask myself the same question? That’s something I think we will all find out when we meet the big man upstairs face to face.
Any final words for our readers?
Thank you for taking the time to read this interview if you are at this point!!
Please check us out and support us in any way you can!! Buy our record, share our videos around online, get your mates onto us and invite your friends to our shows. Oh, and we also take cash donations if you would like to help us out with funds, as we are a completely independent and self funded business, and without funds we can’t keep giving and bringing the music to you all.
Will's review of SUNSET RIOT's UPRISING EP
Sunset Riot facebook page
Sunset Riot’s official website
Sunset Riot’s Reverbnation
Rattlesnake video clip
Sunset Riot mini concert in the USA! (As mentioned by JP in the interview)