-Interview- Retro Riot (4/26/23)

Retro Riot talks about having their signature Rock sound, upcoming plans and much more.


From: Florida
Sounds like: Rock

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name "Retro Riot" and is there any meaning behind it?

I was lucky enough growing up to be exposed to a great variety of music, Rock, classical, country and pop. From my earliest memories I remember always being surrounded by Music, it was everywhere and I absorbed it all like a sponge. In the early 80s I started to discover bands like Twisted Sister and Motley Crue and became interested in actually being in a band. At 17 I went from jamming with friends straight into the deep end of music. I was the vocalist and front person for several bands from 1988-1993 And then I took a very very long break from music. I’ve never stopped writing but being in a band for many reasons was no longer appealing to me. But I’ve slayed my personal demons and I’m back.

I’m a solo artist and I was searching for a band name for a band that didn’t even exist Because a band name looks cooler on album art than my name alone. I saw a quote from MLK that starts, “A Riot is the language of the unheard”. Now the quote goes farther into issues with inequity but I read it and said I’ve been wanting my music to be heard for a very long time so,, Retro Riot was born.

2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

I’ve always seen music as a place to go to escape the world, I daydream in music and I hope my listeners can escape reality for a short time. Let your mind wander and have a daydream on me. The imagination is still free. You can do or be anything in a daydream.

3. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

It’s in the name. Retro. The overall sound is without a doubt “80s glam / metal. My music is a product of everything I’ve grown up listening to. If you listen closely you will pick up on hints of Pink Floyd, Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, Prince and some old school country music simply because of my heavy southern draw. I lay down rock n roll Easter eggs in almost every song, a homage to the bands that shaped me. Most notably the opening lyrics to Final Approach, I pay tribute to Aerosmith’s dream on.

4. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

I would have loved to open for Motley Crue, Kiss or Iron Maiden in their prime, That’s a very short list. I could name over 100 bands I would love to tour with. And the countless new rock and metal bands out there.

5. What is your song writing process?

I usually come up with a guitar riff and build out from that but I also hear something said or even have the occasional thought that sparks a lyrical reaction. I usually start a text to myself and using voice to type I will keep sending lyrics to myself until I run dry. I most always write and record late at night. I’ve always operated at my best and most creative in the late night hours.

6. What’s your take on the current state of Rock?

That’s a question I recently got self confirmation on. To be honest I’ve been concerned about the future of Rock as I knew it for many years but! The bands I see emerging these days have even reignited my Rock n Roll torch. Greta Van Fleet and Dirty Honey are just 2 of a long stream of young musicians I believe are the future of Rock and I feel we are handing it off to very capable hands.

7. What's your take on freedom of expression

I am a very proud transgender female and advocate for the transgender rights. Rock and metal are about freedom and individuality if nothing else. When the transgender community is under fire, metal and rock are not a far jump as the next victims in a world bent on extinguishing individuals who are different. We as artists should be shelter for the outcasts of “society” we are collectively the champions of freedom of expression.

8. What’s your take on the royalties that streaming services pay out to artists?

The whole game has changed drastically from my younger years. The record companies have lost control of the beasts and we run free range now. You were lucky if anyone outside your small group of friends ever heard your music, if you ever got together enough money to get studio time to lay it down. Now you can write and record damn good quality sounding songs in your home and release it to a world wide audience on a budget of nearly nothing other than the cost of instruments and an iPad. I recorded 10 songs in a 3 month period at home by myself. 20 years ago that was a pipe dream. As far as payouts go?,,, I’m an artist and I make music because it’s as natural as breathing is to me, it just feels good. If others love it, it puts a smile on my face. I would love to make a living in the music business but I think that’s where the innocents is lost and music as an art form suffers. Would I like to get rich, well yes please but, I Dont make my music with the intent of how can I get paid for each song. I just make music, maybe money will follow?? I think that’s where the corporations come in.

9. What's next for Retro Riot?

I will continue to write songs and release them as they emerge. I’m searching for band members to join me on this project but I’m not in a huge rush to throw it together at the detriment and suffering of my music. They will come and when it feels right it will come together. I’m always open and receptive if any guitarist, bassists or drummers are out there looking for a band to join forces with. I’m not opposed to possibly lending my voice to other bands also.

10. Any shoutouts?

Yes first to my wife of 23 years, thank you for believing in me and my music and putting up with my shenanigans over the years and without a doubt the reason I’m still alive to enjoy this new chapter. And to anyone who loves my music I thank you from the heart for your support. Buckle up. I’ve waited a very long time to unleash my music on the world and I think I’m finally in a good place mentally and the music I enjoy making is once again relevant. The 10 songs I’ve released are just primer, I’m just getting started.