For the past five years, Night Riots went from a budding indie band to one of the best bands in the alternative genre. They’ve worked hard at their craft, putting on a hell of a live show and writing some of the most distinct music that we’ve seen in a long time. Night Riots, including the band’s frontman Travis Hawley, have worked tirelessly over the past few years to build something special. They’ve been successful, but It feels like they’re biggest moments are yet to come. Alternative Addiction talked with Night Riots’ Travis Hawley about the band’s latest single, “On the Line”, what they’re working on next, and a look back at just how far they’ve come.
“We’ve been taking a different approach to the songwriting process than we did with the last record,” said Hawley about the current writing mode the band is in. “It’s closer to how we did the previous EP. It’s kind of like stumbling on stuff.”
One of those stumbles led to the band releasing their latest single “On the Line.” The inspiration for the song came when Hawley was at home in California.
“The song is inspired by someone I’m really close to that lives out in the country,” explained Hawley. “We’re from a rural part of California. I went out to a party at this girl’s house. It was an interesting experience because it felt like there was all girls at this party and I was the only guy. It wasn’t over-sexualized, it wasn’t like a weird movie kind of thing. It was real. All these girls are close, and they watch each other’s backs.”
“One moment at this party stuck out to me. They live in these two trailers parked on top of a hill way out in the country. I go into one of the bedrooms and there’s six girls all laying around the bed and they’re all smoking a blunt. The image of that kind of burned into my brain and I couldn’t figure out why. There was almost innocence in it. It felt so natural. Everything now has to be so sensualized for everyone to pay attention to it. This was just real people being themselves, putting it all on the line, and just being okay with who they are.”
Right now, Night Riots is in full writing mode. There’s nothing firm on the schedule, there’s no deadline to meet. It’s all about getting to the band’s creative roots. So, why release a single when a new album or an EP isn’t exactly imminent?
“We had the tour and we hadn’t released anything in a minute, so we thought it was a good idea to just put something out. In the alternative world everyone is so precious about their music and it doesn’t need to be that way. We had a song and we decided to put it out.”
Simple enough. The band’s most recent tour was a success, but the song has been a success too. It’s earned radio play on alternative stations across the country, at Sirius XM radio, and it’s caught some major buzz online too. Talking about the success of the single so far, we asked Hawley if he was surprised to see it do so well to this point:
“I was expecting people to like it, because I think it’s a great song. But what’s been cooler for me and what has been is a surprise is that when we did the tour it was unreal to play because everyone in the room was singing along. The crowd probably knew the words better than I did because we hadn’t performed it live before those shows. So, that was an exciting experience for sure,” add Hawley.
Read Part Two of the Story