Local Hardcore: Riot Stares

Riot Stares S/T EP 
Riot Stares is a hardcore band based out of Charleston, SC. Their lineup includes Brad Marino, Issy Varoumas, Patrick Thomas, Dylan Walker, and Tyler Hall.  The band hit the ground running this year by dropping a self titled EP and landing a spot on the Bitter Melody catalog. Riot Stares recently opened for well-known South Carolina band, Hundredth, and completed an east coast tour stretching from Miami to Philadelphia with Albany, NY band, Throat Culture. To get more information about Riot Stares, I sent some questions to the guitarist, Patrick Thomas:

Where did the idea to start Riot Stares come from?

Issy and I wanted to start a “Helmet band”, so we started jamming occasionally with Tyler and Dylan. We had all played music together before, so it was a pretty natural fit. Then our old band broke up and we wanted to shift more of our focus to Riot Stares. Then we got Brad and finished our record and here we are!

Where does the name come from?

There is a Deadguy song called “Riot Stairs” but we changed the spelling cause we thought it was cooler. 

How was your debut, self titled EP received? 

We were excited and surprised by the amount of support we got. We went into this band having no idea whether people would be into it. It’s not a style many bands are doing right now, which is something that could either work for us or against us. But some people seem to like it, so that’s good enough for me. We really just care about having enough support to keep putting out records and hopefully break even on tours, haha. 

How was the band’s first tour last August with Throat Culture?

We had a great time with them. Their band is awesome and it was a good fit with our style. It felt great to finally play these songs out of town. The best show of the tour was probably Charlotte, NC at the Odd Room. 

I get a Backtrack vibe from this EP.  What other artists go into influencing your writing? 

Hadn’t ever made the Backtrack connection! But I can see where there are some similarities there. We all share a love of bands like Helmet, Orange 9mm, Snapcase, and Refused. That’s what drives most of our influence but we also individually like our own stuff which sinks its way into our sound too, hopefully making things unique. 

Where do you see 2017 taking Riot Stares?

We’re always writing new music, and plan on putting out at least one new release in 2017. Trying to keep playing as many shows as we can and cover the rest of the country. We’ll be doing a lot of grinding next year and I’m excited to keep pushing it. 

Where do you see 2017 taking the Charleston Hardcore/Punk Scene?

Every scene ebbs and flows but Charleston has always had a particularly hard time having bands to play shows and people who stick around. But I’m excited to say that things are definitely at a high point. There are a lot of bands doing it right and shows have been well attended. Attitudes have been good for the most part and that’s what keeps it going. With that being said, I see 2017 being a great year for Charleston hardcore – assuming everyone continues to put in the effort. 

Riot Stares will be playing their next show at Burns Alley on December 21st with Ivadell.

The Riot Stares self titled EP can be found on Spotify and Bandcamp. https://www.facebook.com/riotstares/ https://riotstares.bandcamp.com/

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