INTERVIEW: Riot Course on their debut EP, Maybe I'll See You Next Year
Alt-rock trio Riot Course have released their debut EP and holy fuck, these songs are MASSIVE! If you read our review of their debut single Insecure last month, you know we've been impatiently waiting for more music from this band. Now it's finally here. Maybe I'll See You Next Year is five tracks of hard and heavy alt-rock that has it all - powerful vocals, gritty riffs, and headbanging choruses. "Banger after banger" gets thrown around a lot, but it's the most accurate way to describe this EP.
The Michigan three-piece consists of Kate Emrich (vocals/guitar), Spencer Haithcock (bass), and Sawyer Dupree (drums).
The EP opens with Insecure and its sexy-meets-creepy guitar riff that hooks you in right from the start. The chorus is a loud cacophony of fervent vocals, hefty shredding, and brutal drums. But you already know that we love this track.
Title-track Maybe I'll See You Next Year is more of a slow-burn that simmers into fiery chorus where the instruments and Kate's voice meld into a perfect heavy rock concoction. Lyrically, as with the whole EP, it tackles dark themes of toxic relationships and the strength in removing yourself from them. Pearls sees Riot Course shine with a fast and fierce punk-rock track. The bridge was made for those intimate live shows in tiny, steamy venues where you clap along to the beat of the drums before the room erupts into a sea of crashing bodies as the final chorus goes off.
Brandishing her emotional hurt and song-writing talents, singer Kate presents a vulnerable collection of songs that weaponizes her personal experiences into sharp alt-rock bangers. Misfire has a sleek guitar riff and steady drums in the verses - but this song is all about the chorus, where everything explodes and Kate's vocals are fucking everything. Her voice commands your attention as you can feel her anger through the intensity of the track.
Lastly, final track Vacancy starts with twinkling guitar and confidently demonstrates Riot Course's musical capabilities as the gritty riffs, hard drums, and powerful vocals merge into a deliciously dark and heavy rock track. It's a real testament to the immense talent of Riot Course as it finalises a solid, impressive debut EP. Luckily, we had the opportunity to chat to Kate from Riot Course about the new EP! Check out the interview below:
Hi Kate! Congrats on the EP release, it's amazing! How does it feel to have these songs out there for everyone to hear now?
Thank you! It feels fantastic. When you sit on something for so long it feels pretty surreal to see it distributed. So far the response has been overwhelmingly positive, which is a great feeling.
You've been in other bands before - how is Riot Course different for you?
Riot Course is different because it feels like a piece of me. The other bands I was in didn't represent me as an artist, it more-so represented me as a musician, if that makes any sense.
We were OBSESSED with Insecure when you released it! Why did you pick that track as your debut single?
I picked Insecure because I felt as if the hook in it would resonate with the most people across the board. I thought it had the potential to catch the ear of listeners of several different genres, whereas other tracks on the EP may have a more niche audience for each song.
My favourite track on the EP has to be Misfire - your vocals are incredible! What's the story behind that track, lyrically?
That's my favorite too! That song was written as I was coming to terms with a major loss of love in my life, and writing about the feelings that came with it, specifically the feelings surrounding my own shortcomings in relationships. I feel as if I have the tendency to sabotage things sometimes by holding on too tightly. The intensity of the vocals in that track really came from that hurt. I even remember going into the studio extremely hurt, and out came all of the anger as I was in the booth that day. It was cathartic. I'm glad it was able to be captured.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences? Are there are particular bands or albums that inspired you while making the EP?
Personally, my influences stretch so far across the board genre-wise that this is always an incredibly tough question to answer. Some noteworthy ones though are artists that I was brought up on, such as Dio, Paramore, Fleetwood Mac, and more recent influences such as Nothing But Thieves and Cleopatrick.
Live shows are a bit difficult at the moment, unfortunately. Imagine it's a year from now - tell us what your hopes for the band are and where you want Riot Course to be.
All of us want to play live shows more than anything. The feeling of community that comes with performing live and meeting the people that listen to your music and are passionate about the same things - there's nothing like it. The hope is that a year from now this will be a reality once more.
Thanks so much for speaking to us!
Stream Maybe I'll See You Next Year on Spotify and Apple Music
Interview by Chloe Robbins
Photography by Cheyenne Thomas