“Being ridiculous, that’s our main thing”: Introducing Melbourne hard rockers Riot After Midnight

“Being ridiculous, that’s our main thing”: Introducing Melbourne hard rockers Riot After Midnight

Words By Marnie Vinall

We chat to Riot After Midnight frontman Fouldsy and lead guitarist Johnny Pav and about their latest album and the band’s fun-loving nature.

Riot After Midnight frontman Fouldsy and lead guitarist Johnny Pav have been playing and creating music together since 2016.

“We’re just a bunch of mates that got together to just start something as a hobby, and then all of a sudden, you know, there was a bit of traction,” says Pav.

Since the early days, the pair have played with a range of people who’ve come and gone from the band – some leaving to have kids, others pursuing solo endeavours or projects – yet Pav and Fouldsy have “stuck to it” and now have an album and a YouTube channel that’s gathering a steady following.

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This has a lot to do with COVID and the great Melbourne lockdown of 2020, which saw Pav and Fouldsy knuckle down with their music, writing Riot After Midnight in the process.

“We said, ‘Let’s get this thing rolling and get the wheels in motion’,” says Pav. “So, we finished the album together.”

“The record is pretty much just all the songs we [the band] wrote in about five years together,” says Fouldsy. “And then obviously me and Johnny finished it off.”

The latest release from the band is ‘Breakdown’, a single lifted from the self-titled debut which the pair say was one of the first songs they wrote back in 2016.

“When we did that, that was like, a bit more of a poppy commercial type of song,” claims Pav. “So, it’s something that you could put on every radio station and everyone would be able to hear it.

“So, it’s sort of like an ABBA song, you know, in a rock sort of way,” says Pav, proclaiming the song has “a bit of oomph to it” and is a good one for crowds to sing along too.

To coincide with the release of the single, the band also released a music video for ‘Breakdown’, which is bright and full of geometric patterns and colours.

“We’ve done videos in the past where it’s a lot of just, you know, your normal rock stuff, metal stuff, but we thought for this one, throw as many colours as possible and just make it trippy and out of control,” says Fouldsy. “Something that everyone can watch and have a bit of fun with rather than a few metal dudes just playing in a garage or something”.

The album as a whole, after five years in the making and taking into consideration four band members’ different tastes, includes a range of diverse influences spanning thrashy heavy metal to punk and other genres.

“We don’t know what to pigeonhole ourselves into,” admits Pav. With Fouldsy adding, “We do wear some ridiculous stuff when we play on stage and stuff, so some people have called us fashion metal”.

This includes jumpsuits, a lot of leopard print and some branded bucket hats, which Pav says “people are loving”.

“We don’t want to look like we’re so focused playing the music live that we can’t interact with the crowd,” says Pav.

“We’ve always wanted to do a band more like that, where it’s like, we don’t want to just get up there with the t-shirt and jeans and stuff like that, we want to be wearing the kits and, you know, get all your mates together there, crowd surfing and singing along,” Fouldsy adds.

“Being ridiculous, that’s our main thing,” Pav continues.

This ludicrous-like quality can be seen in a range of behind the scenes videos the band post to their YouTube page.

“If you watch those, you will lose your marbles,” says Pav. “If anything, we love to promote our behind the scenes more than the film clips themselves.”

If you’re curious, the videos include a lot of stubbies, some nightclub dancing, the band getting out of a muscle car, doing weights in the backyard and the band members generally just having a bit of a riot.

‘Breakdown’ is out now. For more on Riot After Midnight, head to their Facebook and Instagram.