In the competitive world of music, it’s important to stand out from the crowd if you want to succeed. Couturing Sub-Editor Lena Tuck caught up with Melbourne based band, Riki and the Rants who have no problems standing out, and find out about their success, inspirations and plans for the future.
LENA: When did you first become Riki and the Rants?
RIKI: We formed two and a half, maybe three years ago, we’ve changed guitarists since, but the people we’ve got now have been together for about five months and this line up is definitely our strongest, we all connect really well.
LENA: How did you all meet?
RIKI: I met the band members through different jobs I’ve had. One day, I was on Facebook and asked Sam if he played bass and whether he wanted to be in a band; it went from there! I had various jobs working in fashion (and a call centre) and basically just met people through that. I met Tim (drummer) through a mutual friend at a farewell party, I asked someone if they knew of any drummers and they said that Tim was the man for the job.
SAM: We’re all from different backgrounds and different places and that’s what makes the band special.
LENA: What made you want to do music professionally?
RIKI: One of the biggest quotes we live by is “thoughts become things”. I mean, you can do anything, there’s nothing stopping you, no boundaries, just pick yourself up and do it and we all live by that.
TIM: We’ve all done music our whole lives but never professionally, and it’s something we all love and want to do professionally, it’s a big dream, being able to live off what you love doing.
LENA: What are your inspirations, any artists that inspire you?
RIKI: I’d say Queen, Radiohead and Florence and the Machine. We have a lot of different influences; different musicians and artists.
LENA: How would you describe your style to someone who hadn’t heard it?
RIKI: We describe it to people as energetic pop rock, we’re all about self liberation, positive messages, and we want to be the band that tells you that you can get through anything and to do what you love.
TIM: We like to say we’re a ‘good feeling’ band, one that creates an experience and that has a message.
LENA: Favourite musicians at the moment?
RIKI: Radiohead, Florence, Paul Dempsey, Something for Kate and Patrick Wolf.
SAM: We try to listen to music that will inspire our song writing.
LENA: What are your plans for the future, near or distant?
RIKI: We’re recording in October, hopefully launching our songs on the radio and playing as many gigs as possible.
LENA: I saw you did a Bourke Street Mall pop up gig, how was that experience?
TIM: I was way out of my comfort zone but it was so much fun, we just grabbed our instruments and literally just got into a maxi taxi, took our equipment down there and said we’ll just go and do it, we set everything up with a generator it took about 10 minutes and we just got straight into it, we pulled such a huge crowd, hundreds of people!
RIKI: It was so liberating, having all these people enjoy your music, the cops drove past and gave us a wave, which was interesting because we weren’t quite sure of the legality, it was great.
LENA: What is the ultimate career goal for Riki and the Rants?
RIKI: Definitely touring America, being able to travel and just play music full time.
TIM: Not having to worry about keeping our day jobs, spreading our vision and message.
LENA: Riki, where do you get your fantastic jumpsuits and what inspires them?
RIKI: I’ve worn jumpsuits for as long as I can remember, I remember when I was younger, I picked up a David Bowie book and I was just obsessed. Then it transcended into Queen and Mick Jagger. Now I’m collaborating with an amazing designer, Sophie Jacobs. I basically just draw what I want and she creates it, it’s amazing.
LENA: What are the best and worst things about being musicians?
RIKI: Well we have this amazing space upstairs here at the Metropolitan Hotel, where we can rehearse for free. The downside is we have to help out with setting up tables etc. (the less glamorous side). The benefits, by far, out way the negatives though.
SAM: We’ve found a concrete group of friends to share this incredible message: that you can get through anything. So, really, there are no negatives.
IAN: It’s great, when we’re writing a song, I’ll write bits, we all contribute and play it together. It’s this tremendous collaboration and connection we all have, that’s probably the best thing.
SAM: There are a lot of bands out there that just have one person who writes the songs. It’s a level playing field with us; everyone contributes.
LENA: What’s it like attending one of your gigs?
RIKI: Our shows are an experience, like a force. We’ve worked so hard, it makes you feel something and people see that positive energy. We want that connection with the audience.
SAM: We really feel that being good live is the most important aspect. I’ve seen live bands whose studio recordings I’ve loved, but then seeing them live is such a letdown and it can change your opinion of them.
TIM: … But if they’re actually good it just makes you love them even more.
LENA: Lastly, being a Melbourne based band, what’s your favourite thing about Melbourne?
SAM: I think Melbourne is great for festivals, music, film, and comedy; it’s a very cultured city.
RIKI: It’s a city full of opportunity; you can be anyone in Melbourne.
IAN: Great restaurants.
TIM: Melbourne caters for any kind of profession.
Thanks to Riki and the Rants for having us interview them (and giving me a little acoustic set). They’ve undeniably got something special! So keep your eye out for these guys and when you hear the words ‘next big thing’, think Riki and the Rants. Thanks guys!
For more Riki and the Rants:
Photographer: Jessie O
Makep Artist: Alana Holmes