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Night Riots at Reading Festival 2019
Night Riots at Reading Festival 2019. Image credit: Taz Usher

Reading Festival interviews: Night Riots

“This feels like a dream for us.” 

 Night Riots are a Californian-based alternative rock bandfull of energy and full of pep. 

Prior to their set, we got the chance to sit down with the band’s vocalist Travis Hawley and their guitarist Nick Fotinakes to discuss their experience here at Reading so far. 

“This feels like a dream for us,” Travis began, as Nick added that it was their first time playing at a UK festival. With Reading Festival dating back to the 60s, its legacy has undeniably impacted the band.  

They are renowned for their energetic sound and upbeat sets, we asked them what fans here at Reading could expect from their performance at the Festival Republic Stage.  

It’s only a short thirty minute set,” Nick said, “but you can expect lots of fun, lots of energy, and all of our hits.”  

With such an extensive and varied line-up this year, we wondered whether there were any particular acts they admired. 

“The people we look up to are a lot of our friends,” he began, “we love The Hunna and Dreamers.”  

“We really like The Maine also,” Travis added. Both acknowledged Post Malone’s growing success over the past few years. “We may even get matching face tattoos,” Travis joked.   

He then went on to describe how the band’s sound had developed over the course of their career, especially given the release of their latest album, New State of Mind. 

“It’s very modern, we wanted to diverge from what people expected of us,” Travis said. “Our older stuff used to be more moody and gloomy, so we’re expanding our sound.”  

With such an amalgamation of styles and tastes, with clear 80s alternative and 00s indie rock influences, we were keen to find out how the band would depict their inspirations.  

I’d say our influences are quite vast,” Nick said, “we used to listen to a lot of early Green Day.” 

Travis also commented that he’d been listening to a lot of Polo & Pan, an electro-pop duo from France. “We also listened to a lot of pop punk growing up in California.” 

California is home to some of the most prestigious bands in early surf and psychedelic rock such as The Beach Boys and The Byrds. Evidently, we were interested to find out whether their Californian background had influenced their music and creative process.  

We actually have many early British influences, Travis has been compared to singers from U2 and The Killers,” Nick said, “but in terms of our creative process our influences have changed over time.” 

“We started off with punk and then looked to the 80s for a lot of inspiration.”  

In several reviews, Travis has been compared to the vocalist of The Cure, Robert SmithWe were intrigued to find out whether they were planning on covering their songs in future shows.  

“We’ve actually covered one of Robert Smith’s covers,” Travis said, referring to Crystal Castles’ version of Not in Love. “Some of our favourite songs to play live are covers.” 

Among those mentioned were Tears for Fears and Bob Marley, even live renditions of Drake.  

“My favourite song of ours to play live is probably All for You.” Travis said. By contrast, Nick said his preferred song was On the Line.  

Night Riots are set to perform tomorrow at Leeds Festival to round off one of the biggest summer weekends in music. 

Editor Taz and Print Entertainment Editor Lois with members of Night Riots

Editor Taz and Print Entertainment Editor Lois with members of Night Riots. Image credit: Taz Usher


About Taz Usher

Print Editor of The Spark Newspaper.

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