WE ARE THE RIOT
Journalist: Melaine Schweighardt
Published: December 8, 2014
"We Are The Riot is a Los Angeles based rock band featuring Coal Chamber guitarist Meegs Rascon and drummer Mikal Cox."
- taken from the band's press kit.
Thanks to Andy the Kid for conducting this Interview with us.
AK: I met Meegs one random night in Hollywood. We collaborated together in a band I was playing in out of Orange County. Soon after, Meegs started We Are The Riot with Cheyne and invited me to be a part of it. Jamming with Meegs & Mikey in their first project together since Coal Chamber was too big of an opportunity to pass up. At first it was a side project. In 2012, Coal Chamber rebooted and I started playing with Static-X/Wayne Static. We Are The Riot was there as our escape from our bands – A chance to play balls-out rock; a chance to throw expectation and rules out the window and just kick ass and have fun. When Jimmy joined the band, the sound really started to evolve and mature. We realized quickly that there was something here and we should try and push it forward.
AK: It was absolutely natural. The band is 100% collaborative. No rules, no structure. Someone might bring an idea one week to rehearsal; someone might bring something they tracked at home. We then work on it together to structure it and add everyone’s individual flavor. Purely organic and like no band I have played in before. How it should be. Honest.
Everyone contributes to the music – even Jimmy brought a few guitar ideas to the table. Lyrically we leave it to the expert. Jimmy is a poet and has a talent for writing melody. Occasionally we’ll contribute a few ideas when he gets a little too Irish ;)
AK: Me personally, I have been surrounded by music my whole life. I was given my first guitar when I was 5, however my fingers were too small to form chords, so it got put away. My dad was a pianist, so that was always in the house to play on. Through elementary school/high school, I played classical instruments (clarinet & trumpet). In 8th grade, I went to a battle of the bands which changed my life. I wanted to play bass. End of story. Went home, pulled the two high strings off my acoustic guitar and taught myself bass. Not classically trained, but I have a firm grounding in music theory. I like to think of myself as street wise as opposed to scholarly. I started writing music in the 10th grade in my friends' basement. Some of those songs have been revived by WATR.
AK: Rock & Roll – Hard Rock, whatever spin you want to put on it. It’s no bullshit, hard hitting, melody in your brain rock. Again, it’s honest.
AK: It’s both. We’ve had some Coal Chamber fans enjoy it, but to be honest, the band was never targeting Meegs & Mikey’s fans; If they like it, great, but if not, no big deal. We toured with Wayne Static at the start of the year and went over amazingly. I played in both bands on tour and I can say without a shadow of a doubt, WATR stole the show every night. Young and old, by the end of the set, everyone was off the wall and tearing each other apart, having fun in the pit.
AK: The Wayne Static Wisconsin Death Tour was our first national tour. As I mentioned, it legitimized the band and reinforced how we all felt about We Are The Riot. No one knew us, yet by the end of our sets, everyone wanted too. The fans we made are incredibly loyal. They continue to interact with us and spread the love 6 months later; extremely humbling.
AK: That’s such an opened ended question. I think the answer is anywhere the crowd is willing. It could be a stadium at a festival or the middle of America to 10 people, as long as the crowd is ready to kick ass.
AK: Haha I don’t know if we’ve had any traditional "rock-star" moments. Our best experiences are primarily anti-rock star. They involved driving around this great country in a 15 passenger van, fending for ourselves having random crazy adventures. Whether it is Mikey vs Jimmy in a dance off at the merch table or the adventures that seem to follow the band at post show festivities. I wouldn’t trade any of those ‘bonding’ moments for any rock star story.
AK: Our friends for sure. L.A has such a booming scene that I’d want to team up with our homies like Gemini Syndrome, Butcher Babies and 9 Electric. All those bands came out around the same time as us and have just started shooting to the stars. For nostalgia, I would think WATR would go EXTREMELY well with Dope and Three Days Grace.
AK: I grew up in the late 90’s. So the bands that I listened too were Marilyn Manson, Soundgarden, Rage Against the Machine. In more recent years, I’ve really enjoyed bands like Avenged Sevenfold. I’m inspired by good songs, no matter the genre really. I enjoy listening to Octane on XM because I get to hear a lot of new bands.
AK: Well I have my degree in Occupational Therapy and work at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. I’m extremely passionate about my career and love seeing the kids’ progress as they recover.