Interview With:: Night Riots


Kara Kokinos, a new addition to the LOL team, had the opportunity to sit down with Nick Fotinakes, Travis Hawley, and Mikel Van Kranenburg of Night Riots this past Sunday (3/8/15) at the Brighton Music Hall during the East Coast leg of their tour with Draemings. The CA gentlemen, previously known as PK, released their “Howl” EP this January and have been featured on Sirius XM Alt Nation and placed on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.

Catch up on the band’s recent signing with Sumerian Records, Kickstarter, and SXSW and be sure to follow their socials for upcoming tour dates!

LOL: Hi guys! First off, I want to congratulate you guys on the release of the “Howl” EP! So how has the reception to that been so far?
Travis Hawley: It’s been great!
Nick Fotinakes: Yeah, it’s going surprisingly pretty well. Well, not surprisingly, but you never know what to expect. It’s been received super well and all these shows we’ve been playing have been really great, people are responding to the new stuff. So better than anticipated.

LOL: Very nice! You guys premiere the first single, ‘Contagious’, a while back and did a video for that. Can you tell me a little bit about that process?
Travis Hawley: Yeah, I mean we have a certain aesthetic that definitely follows us, it’s just how we like to see the world in general. But we’ve been working with a music video director named Chris Buongiorno and he has kind of captured that for us and it’s really helping realize that. We’re discussing different ideas, we had some really elaborate plans before and then, with the label, we wanted to put a simple, solid performance video out first before we got into the crazy stuff, that’s for the future.

LOL: You guys are a newer Sumerian Records signing, how’s that been going?
Travis Hawley: It’s been amazing, it’s been a platform for us and we’ve been surprised how many people have been greeting us with open arms. Especially because we’re an alternative band on a metal label, it’s very different. But it’s cool, we’re not the black sheep, we’re set apart and we stand out, which is very cool.

LOL: You guys actually crowdfunded the last EP you did before signing to Sumerian, “Young Lore”, how was that process for you guys? Did you enjoy it or was it more of a struggle?
Travis Hawley: I think that the decision to do it was a little bit of a struggle. Just because it’s hard to ask people who have always supported you and they’ve already given so much coming to your shows so it’s hard to say, “Would you give us money?” We really tried to give cool, unique rewards out. We tried to make it worthwhile for everybody and put everything we could into it. We figured that’s the only way people would give back to us. And they did! It was huge, we didn’t want to be one of those bands that starts a Kickstarter and then gets halfway through and then just dies. So for us it was amazing because we got our goal really fast. And it wasn’t even a rich aunt or uncle that came in and was like, “Hey, here’s five grand. We’re gonna give it to you.” It was just a bunch of little purchases all over the United States. All over the world, really. So that was really cool.

LOL: Have you guys seen a lot of those people who donated when you’ve come through on tour?
Travis Hawley: We’ve seen the shirts and sweatshirts!
Nick Fotinakes: Part of the rewards for it was doing a string of acoustic, private shows so it was a good chunk of those people that we see at shows all the times and have become friends with too. We basically went over to their house and played and ate dinner with them.

LOL: Very nice, how is this tour going?
Nick Fotinakes: Good! It’s been cold.
Travis Hawley: Best tour.
Nick Fotinakes: Yeah, that’s for sure.
Mikel VK: I like it, it’s a nice change of pace.

LOL: Well you guys are going back down to SXSW next week-
Nick Fotinakes: Is it that close?
Travis Hawley: Yeah, and that’s usually hot and humid. But last year it wasn’t too bad.
Nick Fotinakes: It was pretty cool.

LOL: How was your experience there last year?
Nick Fotinakes: It was good! We weren’t there for too long, it was a pretty quick trip.
Travis Hawley: It was perfect. We played really good shows and that’s actually where we met Sumerian for the first time. They came to a show and we had some perfectly packed performances.
Nick Fotinakes: We were there for three days, we weren’t there for the whole time. So we came in, played a couple cool shows. We had a hotel right down town and we got to come in and get out of there really easily. Got to get out of there before all the bands and before we got too tired so that was the perfect SXSW experience.

LOL: What does this year’s SXSW look like for you guys?
Travis Hawley: I think it’ll be a good one.
Nick Fotinakes: Pretty similar, we’re only there for two or three days.
Travis Hawley: You know what I think it is? I think that everybody in the industry is so pumped on SXSW. Everybody is, except, and I can’t say this for all bands, but I will say that for our band, we’re not super pumped on it. This thing is that it is amazing, you get to see a lot of great artists but it is so overwhelming. And we do this all the time, we’re on tour living that lifestyle, the party atmosphere, all the time. So for us it’s just another one of those except to the tenth degree.
Nick Fotinakes: Yeah, times one hundred.

LOL: And you guys just did CMJ.
Travis Hawley: That was different though, that was cool cuz it’s kind of spread out over the city, which I thought was cool.
Nick Fotinakes: SXSW is that whole party crammed into that one street so it’s just like a Mardi Gras for bands and no one cares that you’re playing music because everyone’s i  a band there so it’s like, “’Oh, I’m playing a show, you should co- oh shut up.”
Travis Hawley: Well how we did it last and year and how we’ll do it this year is really fun if you come in there and you’ve got a place to stay. We went the year before and we stayed in our van, we had bunks in the back, and we were about two miles out.
Nick Fotinakes: {groans} It was really hot.
Travis Hawley: So we would park outside of the downtown and just hike.
Nick Fotinakes: About a mile out.
Travis Hawley: We would carry all of our gear, it was humid and hot. You would wake up and you’re drenched in sweat and then you have to load in gear. We were playing shows at around ten in the morning at a bar on the outskirts and there would be nobody there.

LOL: Looks like it paid off though!
{all agree}
Travis Hawley: I was just about to say that.
Mikel VK: It’s not to say that SXSW is a terrible place, there are upsides to it as well.
Travis Hawley: There are so many rad bands.
Mikel VK: You get to see awesome bands, there are awesome people, you make tons of connections, and we’re super grateful for the showcases that we do have this year, they’re going to be awesome. It goes both ways.
Nick Fotinakes: Yeah, I think it’s about how you go into it. That first year we had no idea what to expect so we did it completely wrong so now that we’re going into it knowing things –
Mikel VK: That first one just put a sour taste in our mouths.
Nick Fotinakes: But we have good showcases, we get to see a lot of friends. We get to see bands that we never cross paths with and hang out. We saw some cool people last year like The 1975, CeeLo, Young The Giant, it’s great.
Travis: I really liked CeeLo.

LOL: Is there anything you want to tease after the end of festival season?
Nick Fotinakes: Aww man, is there anything we want to tease?
Travis Hawley: Do a little tease.
Nick Fotinakes: I don’t know if we have anything teasable, we’re playing a couple of festivals, one in FL after this, doing something in NY too. Hopefully maybe some UK stuff, that’s a tease.
Travis Hawley: We’re also at South By So What.
Nick Fotinakes: Oh yeah, that’s at the end of SXSW for us, we go there. I guess the only tease is that we’re going to be touring all of the time, you won’t be able to get rid of us. We’re going to be in your backyard all of the time, in your ear like a little bird chirping.
Travis Hawley: It’s true.

LOL: Sounds great, thanks guys! Anything you want to leave us off with, social plugs?
Nick Fotinakes: Oh yeah, follow us on Instagram is @nightriots. Twitter is @nightriots. The website is It’s really easy.
Travis Hawley: Night Riots across the board
Nick Fotinakes: You can follow Mikel’s personal account as well.
Mikel VK: Oh yeahhhh.
Travis Hawley: You can also find that @nightriots 😉

50 Acts You Won’t Want To Miss At SXSW (Part 1)

It’s that time of year again and South By Southwest (SXSW) is just around the corner! We’ve decided to bring back our “50 Acts You Won’t Want To Miss” feature, which will run from today until March 16th, the day before the Music section of SXSW begins! Check out our first installment (acts 1-10, in no particular order) of artists we think you need to check out below!

*Note: some acts we’ve included are performing at South By So What?! and not South By South West. However, since the festival takes place during the week of South By Southwest, we’ve decided to still include them in our list!


Royal Teeth
After being a standout at the second Boston Calling festival, Royal Teeth have found continued commercial success over the last eighteen months or so. While they’ve been heard in a handful of ads or trailers, don’t mistake them for sellouts – it’s not their fault that their dual-vocalled brand of high-energy pop is unignorably catchy. Or, well, I suppose it is.
Where to catch Royal Teeth: 3.20 – 5pm – NoiseTrade Day Party @ Swan Dive; 3.21 – 5pm – BAM! The Future of Rock and Roll Vol 2 @ Peckerheads; 3.21 – 10PM – Official SXSW Showcase @ Buffalo Billiards; 3.22 – 4pm – South By Sendoff @ Stubb’s.

Following the success of their revival, coupled with a 5-year anniversary Illuminate tour, Lydia have been keeping busy. With performances booked at SXSW, Bled Fest, and a nationwide tour in support of The Early November, there are plenty of chances to catch these guys play. But why would you want to wait any longer than you have to?
Where to catch Lydia: 3.20 – South By So What?! @ QuikTrip Park.

While their first full-length is still eagerly awaited, what we’ve gotten thus far from COIN (a three-track EP that will dance you out of your shoes) leaves me very optimistic for its June release. I’m sure their set will be more than three songs, so I’m jealous of anyone who will get to hear what else this band has to offer.
Where to catch COIN: 3.18 – 8pm – Hype Machine @ Hype Hotel; 3.18 – 1am – Paradigm @ Maggie Mae’s Rooftop; 3.19 – 3:45pm – Most Definitely @ La Barbecue; 3.19 – 11pm – SONY @ Tap Room At The Market; 3.21 – 4:30pm – IFC @ Palm Park.

Night Riots
In support of their latest EP, Howl, a half-dozen songs packed with bright, moody electronic pop, this LA five-piece are preceding their summer on Warped Tour with a run at SXSW. If you miss your chance to catch them now, you’ll have another shot when Warped stops in your city, though their crowd is bound to be much bigger by the time that rolls through.
Where to catch Night Riots: 3.19 – 4:20pm – Big Picture Media Showcase @ The Bling Pig; 3.19 – 10pm – Official SXSW Showcase @ Buffalo Billiards; 3.20 – South By So What?! @ QuikTrip Park.

Dylan Gardner
This time last year, Dylan Gardner’s record landed in my inbox. And it didn’t take long for me to hear that there was something special about this 17-year-old kid’s self-written, self-recorded, self-produced debut album. And after jumping at the chance to sign such a great young talent, it seems it didn’t take Warner Bros. Records very long to realize it, either.
Where to catch Dylan Gardner: 3.20 – 8pm – Official SXSW Showcase @ Victorian Room at The Driskill; 3.22 – 7pm – House of Blues Cambridge Room.

One of the newer bands we’ve been introduced to, Denver’s Redlands blend together elements of country, pop, and old-fashioned rock & roll into a tightly-structured sound that could appeal to most music fans. Before their newest album hits shelves early this summer, this is a band you’ll want to get acquainted with.
Where to catch Redlands: 3.18 – 7pm – The Prophet Bar; 3.20 – South By So What?! @ QuikTrip Park.

The Maine
Since the announcement of American Candy (expected March 31st), The Maine have had their fanbase in a stir since word of their fifth album hit the internet. As a band that has progressed and matured with each album or tour, I’m always interested in whatever The Maine have lined up next.
Where to catch The Maine: 3.18 – 9:30pm – Official SXSW Showcase @ Emo’s; 3.20 – South By So What?! @ QuikTrip Park.

Whether it’s lead vocalist Mandy Lee’s soaring voice, the band’s catchy dance-pop sound, or any combination of these along with countless other factors, there’s a lot to be said for MisterWives. But whatever I could say about them wouldn’t do justice to what they’ll show you themselves.
Where to catch MisterWives: 3.19 – 6pm – The Spotify House; 3.21 – 7pm – House of Blues Dallas; 3.22 – 7pm – Fitzgerald’s.

To help celebrate 10 years of Chroma, one of the most solid pop/punk records of the era, Cartel are embarking on an anniversary tour later this Spring. But before they hit the road, they have their sights set on Austin, ready to make all of those high school emotions flood back.
Where to catch Cartel: 3.20 – South By So What?! @ QuikTrip Park.

MC Lars
The self-proclaimed master of lit-hop puts on a show that few can rival. Energetic, entertaining, and potentially educational, Lars shouldn’t be missed (if you’re hyphy enough to handle it).
Where to catch MC Lars: 3.17 – 10:25pm – Official SXSW Showcase @ Flamingo Cantina; 3.19 – The Bedlands.

Want to win Night Riots’ new EP? [CLOSED]


We’ve teamed up with Night Riots to give away a copy of their latest EP, Howl! This EP debuted at number 17 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart and has been making its way up SiriusXM Alt Nation’s Alt 18 Countdown (currently at #2)! 

To enter: retweet this post and follow us on twitter! That’s it!

You can catch these guys on the road this summer at the Big Guava Music Festival and select dates of the Vans Warped Tour!

New Music: 

“Old House” | Armors

Orange County based band, Armors, have just released this new track alongside two tour dates with Night Riots and one with Conway! Dates can be found below! 

For more on Armors: Facebook | YouTube | Twitter

Upcoming Tour Dates:
2.20 – San Luis Obispo, CA @ SLO Brew w/ Night Riots
2.21 – Bakersfield, CA @ B-Ryders w/ Night Riots
3.9 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite w/ Conway

Night Riots Announce New Album

So-Cal rockers, Night Riots, have announced their upcoming EP to be released via Sumerian Records. The EP, Howl, will be released on January 20th, but will be available for pre-order starting November 17th.

Below you can find the album art and track listing for the EP!

Track listing:
Oh My Heart
2.  Contagious
3.  Holsters 
4.  Break 
5.  Shine
6.  Follow You

Big Picture Media Showcase

When: October 22, 6pm
Where: The Living Room; Brooklyn, NY
Cost: FREE w/CMJ badge, $8 no badge
Additional Info: 21+

50 Acts You Won’t Want To Miss At SXSW (Part 3)


Since none of us here at Lucy Out Loud will be able to attend SXSW this year, we’ve put together a list of 50 acts(in no particular order) we think those of you that are attending shouldn’t miss! 

To check out our third installment (acts 21-30), click “Read More”!

*Note: some acts we’ve included are performing at South By So What?! and not South By South West. However, since the festival takes place during the week of South By Southwest, we’ve decided to still include them in our list!

Part 3 (Acts 21-30). Check out Part 1Part 2

  1. Night Riots
    This band has achieved amazing success over the past four years including being dubbed “one of the top 16 unsigned bands in North America” by Rolling Stone Magazine and “one of the most critically overlooked bands (of 2012)” by MTV Buzzworthy. Their last EP had fans and critics buzzing as the EP displayed a new confidence from the band. We’ve seen Night Riot progress a lot since 2010 and we can only expect even more success this year!
    Where to catch Night Riots: 3.14 – 3:30pm – Big Picture Media Showcase @ Blind Pig Rooftop; 3.15 – 8pm – Official SXSW Showcase @ Buffalo Billiards

  2. Lost in Los Angeles
    This “dream-induced indie pop” band uses their music as a way to explore their dreams and share their stories with their listeners. The LA-based trio are planning on following up their SXSW performances with a new single and a full length album to be released this spring!
    Where to catch Lost in Los Angeles: 3.12 – 3:20pm @ The Shiner Saloon; 3.13 – 10pm – Heart of Texas Rockfest @ Main Outdoor Stage; 3.14 – 12pm – Big Picture Media Showcase – The Blind Pig Rooftop; 3.14 – 10pm @ Blue Moon

  3. We Came As Romans
    While they may be third-billed on their current tour with Asking Alexandria and August Burns Red, that doesn’t mean We Came as Romans don’t know how to take full control over a crowd from onstage. Expect them to treat this set as a headliner. 
    Where to catch We Came As Romans: 3.14 – South By So What?! @ Quiktrip Park

  4. Two Cow Garage
    These Ohio natives released their last album, The Death of the Self Preservation Society, back in September and have been doing nothing but touring ever since! In total, the band has ranked up nearly 100 tour dates in the US and UK, quite impressive for any band to accomplish in six months. With a great raw rock sound, this is a band you seriously don’t want to miss.
    Where to catch Two Cow Garage: 3.12 – 6pm – Midcoast Takeover @ Shangri La; 3.13 – 10pm @ Soho Lounge; 3.14 – 5:45pm – Midcoast Takeover @ Shangri La; 1am @ Headhunters

  5. Mindless Self Indulgence
    It’s tough to tell you what to expect from Mindless Self Indulgence. Because if there’s one safe bet to make, you can be sure that MSI will be unpredictable. But, with this craziness comes unmatchable energy and a performance that is seriously enjoyable.
    Where to catch Mindless Self Indulgence: 3.15 – South By So What?! @ Quiktrip Park

  6. For The Foxes
    From the first time I [Lucy] saw these guys back in 2009, I knew that For The Foxes were one to keep my eye on. After signing to Hopeless Records back in 2011, the band has done nothing but create a giant buzz around them. Their indie-infused, ‘80s influenced sound is one that is truly unique and makes them one of our must see bands at SXSW!
    Where to catch For The Foxes: 3.12 – Between 12pm to 11pm – The FREE All Day Super Awesome Fun Time Party @ The Aquarium; 3.14 – Between 12pm to 6pm – Charlie Says “Fest!” @ 2326 E Cesar Chavez St

  7. Alesana
    There’s been a bit of a gap since the last time we heard from Alesana. And it hasn’t gone unnoticed. Their identifiable dual vocalled sound, backed by cinematic lyrics and harsh instrumentals, translate greatly to their live show. So, we hope that the time they’ve spent away, focusing on writing and recording and such, magnifies this even further.
    Where to catch Alesana: 3.15 – South By So What?! @ Quiktrip Park

    One of the best, most refreshing bands that we’ve been introduced to recently, NGHBRS spent months tucked away in an old mansion to record their debut album. Now, with a stellar sound and a brilliant album in-tow, they’ve returned to society and are making one hell of an impression!
    Where to catch NGHBRS: 3.11 – 5pm – Third String Productions Showcase @ The Aquarium 3.12 – 5pm – Red Gorilla Showcase @ Bourbon Girl; 3.13 – 5:25pm – Set.FM Showcase @ Hyde Park Bar and Grill; 3.14 – 4:40pm – Big Picture Media Showcase @ Blind Pig Rooftop

  9. Bad Veins
    Indie pop duo Bad Veins gained recognition when they won the Target Music Maker Award at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008. Even though their last album was released back in 2012, the band is sure to be one of the buzz bands of this year! 
    Where to catch Bad Veins: 3.12 – 1am – SXSW Official Showcase @ Quantum Lounge; 3.14 – 1:40pm – Flowerbooking Showcase @ Cheer Up Charlies

  10. Ringo Deathstarr
    Ringo Deathstarr has had great success in Japan with their “shoegaze” sound similar to My Blood Valentine. The band will be releasing a limited pressing of their EP (previously only available in Japan) on March 25th. Ringo Deathstarr is spending the next few weeks touring in the US and will be playing three showcases at SXSW – so get your asses to at least one of them!
    Where to catch Ringo Deathstarr: 3.13 – 5:45pm – Gueros Frenchie Smith Records; 3.14 – 4:45pm – Exploding in Sound Party @ Hole in the Wall; 10:15pm @ Swan Dive Patio

Review:: Young Lore | Night Riots


I’m always cautiously optimistic whenever I receive a new album to review. There are so many great bands and sounds that I’ve never had the opportunity to hear, but there is also some really bad stuff out there too. Really bad. I am happy to say that the new Young Lore EP by Night Riots is about as far away from bad as you could possibly get.

I must admit, I’m so much in my own little world that I had never heard of the band under their current name or their former name (PK). I may be late to the party, but they’ve definitely earned a new fan in me. This six song EP has more genuinely amazing songs than most full length albums can manage. More importantly, most of these songs could be a legitimate hit.

Songs like “Back to your Love”, “Remedy”, “Masks”, “Loyal Blood”, and the title track “Young Lore” could easily be added to any radio stations rotation without missing a beat. The amazing thing is that none of them seem formulaic or even sound that similar to the others. These songs have a great combination of strong lyrics, fun music, and catchy hooks, while still being certifiably rock and roll.

That’s not to take away from “Spiders” as it is an impressive song in its own right. It’s not nearly as poppy as the other songs, but it does a superb job of setting a darker tone; one that bleeds over into “Masks” a bit. What “Spiders” lacks in pop, it more than makes up for in pure awesomeness.

The best way I could describe this EP is to say it sounds like a love baby of The Killers and Two Door Cinema Club who grew up listening to The Cure and U2. It is a really great sound and it would definitely surprise me if this EP doesn’t get some serious buzz around it. What’ve I’ve heard from them as PK sounded like Brandon Flowers as part of a Drive-Thru Records band, which is still amazing but it isn’t quite what you’re going to get with Young Lore. While still incredibly catchy at times, this EP comes off as a bit more of a ‘grown up’ sound.

Do yourself a favor and check this album out immediately. I may never forgive myself for taking so long to hear them.

Release Date: July 30th, 2013
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Runtime: ≈22 minutes

Track List:
1. Back to your Love
2. Remedy
3. Spiders
4. Masks
5. Loyal Blood
6. Young Lore

Travis Hawley – Vocals
Nick Fotinakes – Guitar
Mikel Van Kranenburg – Bass
Matt DePauw – Guitar
Rico Rodriguez – Drums

Written By: Mark Northern