This Sunday, Sunshine Riot, an up-and-coming indie band that boasts “honest, American music,” will be playing a free show at the All-American “American Field” Pop-Up Market. Come to downtown Boston to support manufacturers made in this country and to see a band known for it’s wild, energetic, live shows. The four funny, energetic guys from Sunshine Riot plan to release their next record, preemptively named, “Black Coffee Sigh,” in the late winter or early spring after a few months of balancing recording, touring, and day-time jobs.  Their latest record, “A Fresh Bottle & A Brand New Day” is streaming on their website.


I had the chance to chat with the band about their sound, and what they love about Boston.

Nitesh: I notice you don’t use much of the technology many bands use today. No samples, no fancy synthesizers, no collection of pedals for the vocalist.

Jeff: We don’t play MP3’s, 808’s, triggers or samples because we’re not really into the whole dance rock thing. If you wanna make a dance record, that’s great. But don’t loop 12 synth drum tracks and tell me it’s a rock and roll record. No fucking way.

Johnny: We’re not trying to be MGMT, who I actually really like. We’re not trying to play samples, we’re not trying to use triggers in the studio or anything like that, we’re just trying to write good songs. That’s fucking hard enough, man.

Nitesh: On your website, you say you write “honest, American music.”  How do you think being from Boston fits in the picture?

Jeff: Well, we fucking created the revolution, man.

[laughter]

Brian: Boston’s a very weird market to tap into. We’re accepted, but it’s difficult to get recognition with the whole hipster kind of vibe. But we find that everywhere we go on tour, everybody just soaks up and absolutely loves are music. And that’s what gives us hope. We’re not bad at what we do. And that gives us a happy response.

[laughter]

Nitesh: So you recently just played a show in New York.

Jeff: Yeah we played Desmond’s. That was actually an amazing show. We went down there. We had the hotel room and it was soaking and moldy and horrible and then we, it was just a horrible situation to be in and we were like, this is going to be a crappy night. And we get there, it’s raining, and all the settings are in there for just playing to a bartender and it just exploded. It was a tiny little place and there were tons of people and it was just freakin’ awesome.

Nitesh: How did it feel compared to the crowds you typically get in Boston?

Johnny: It’s hit or miss. I think on the road, we’ve played an awful lot of different places in the past few years. We love Boston. I don’t think Sunshine Riot gets a lot of attention in Boston, at least by the press, but the crowds in Boston have always been great and some of our favorite people and fans are there and I live there so I certainly like it.

Jeff: I just want to make one last point on this. I just want to say, we’ve played with a bunch of big-named people. We’ve played with Everlast, we’ve played with Deer Tick, and I’m friends with the drummer from Deer Tick and I was talking to his mom, like I hadn’t seen her in years, and she was just like, so like Dennis, before he got into Deer Tick, do you guys still play for bartenders and bouncers? And I was like, that’s the exact term I use sometimes. And it was just so funny, you know my buddy, I see him on freakin’ Letterman and Conan and all these places all over the place, and yet that’s still a factor, even at that level. You can have a good night and you can have a bad night, regardless of if the press is there.

Johnny: That was some outstanding name-dropping Jeffrey.

[laughter]

Nitesh: So, what are some of your favorite venues to play at Boston?

Brian: Church is one of my favorites.

Johnny: Yeah Church is pretty awesome. Middle East is also pretty great.

Brian: Middle East Downstairs was definitely one of the best venues we’ve played.

Nitesh: What made it so good?

Johnny: Sometimes it’s the sound guy. We played at the Middle East Downstairs quite a bit, which ended up being a pretty big room, and we played there probably four or more Boston dates in succession. And it’s a beautiful room, but I think a band does itself a favor by working in some smaller rooms. And I think that’s part of why Church is so awesome. We also played at Paradise back in 2009, and we were really shitty back then, that was before our lead guitarist Mark joined the band. But Paradise is obviously a great venue.

Nitesh: What else makes Church, the Middle East Downstairs, and Paradise so good?

Johnny: We definitely dig the sound and management. But it’s the folks who come see us that make any room special. And in those rooms, I think people have always felt as free and uninhibited as we do. I believe strongly that rock/roll shows should be primal, carnal events. That doesn’t mean everyone has to go fucking ballistic for it to be legitimate, but I do think everyone should feel wild and free, in whatever form or fashion that means for them. That’s what our live show is all about. Really, that is what Sunshine Riot is all about.

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