Night Riots

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Night Riots
Night Riots - Vans Warped Tour 2014.jpg
Night Riots during Warped Tour 2015. Clockwise from top: Travis Hawley, Nick Fotinakes, Matt DePauw, Mikel van Kranenburg, Rico Rodriguez.
Background information
Also known asPK
OriginSan Luis Obispo, California, United States
GenresAlternative rock, pop rock, power pop
Years active2010 (2010)–present
  • Travis Hawley
  • Nick Fotinakes
  • Matt DePauw
  • Mikel van Kranenburg
  • Rico Rodriguez

Night Riots (sometimes stylized as NIGHT RIOTS or || NIGHT RIOTS ||[1]) is an American alternative rock band from San Luis Obispo, California. Formed in 2010, the band consists of Travis Hawley (lead vocals), Nick Fotinakes (guitar), Matt DePauw (guitar), Mikel van Kranenburg (bass), and Rico Rodriguez (drums).


Travis Hawley, Nick Fotinakes, Matt DePauw, Kevin Menesez and Mikel van Kranenburg were raised in Templeton, California,[2][3] and they all met in middle school.[4] They learned how to play instruments together in high school and decided to form a band.[2][5] After graduating from high school, the band split for a brief period.[2] Rico Rodriguez replaced Kevin Menesez as the drummer in 2010. The name was inspired by the character PeeKay in Australian author Bryce Courtenay's novel The Power of One. Able to relate to his "[rise] from the bottom to overcome adversity", the band agreed that he was a "pretty awesome character" and were able to take away from him that they "could indeed take over the world if we just work hard and don't let anything get in our way!"[5] They self-released their debut studio album Into the Roaring in 2010. The band traveled and performed at high schools and college campuses on weekdays, and music venues on weekends within the same city.[2] MTV Buzzworthy included PK on its "The Most Criminally Overlooked Artists of 2012" list.[6]

In order to eliminate any trademark concerns with PK in the future, the band decided to change its name.[7] The band decided on Night Riots in order to better encapsulate their sound; yearning for a "latchkey feel", they cited the energy of shows that take place at night as determining their new name.[3] They also explained that, while PK was a "great name", its meaning was difficult to interpret and failed to project any imagery.[7] Night Riots sought to raise money through crowd funding website Indiegogo to release their upcoming extended play (EP), where they accumulated $12,000.[8] The money was used to independently release Young Lore on July 30, 2013.[9]

In 2014, Night Riots debuted their single "Contagious" on radio station KROQ and supported musician K.Flay on a US tour.[10] On October 23, 2014 they premiered their music video for Contagious through MTV and announced their signing to Sumerian Records.[11] On January 20, 2015 their EP Howl was released and the band was spotlit by Live 105 in San Francisco as one of "Aaron Axelsen’s Top 16 New Acts To Watch In 2015".[12] In February 2015, Night Riots embarked on their first full US headlining tour.[13] In March and April 2015, Night Riots were main support on The Mowgli's US and Canada tour.[14] In May 2015, Night Riots performed for the Vans Warped Tour 2015.[15] On September 16, 2015, Night Riots performed at the debut of the new, tenth-generation Honda Civic Sedan.[citation needed]

In the fall of 2015 following the Vans Warped Tour, Night Riots also went to the Let The Kids Riot tour as main support to Young Rising Sons, ending the tour and gaining vast new audiences.

In the Spring of 2016, Night Riots went on tour with Blaqk Audio, opening for The Material Tour, and revisited some of the same venues in the Midwest and East Coast from the LTKR tour. For the 2016 festival season Night Riots will attend BFD, Firefly Music Festival, Osheaga Festival, and Riot Fest in both Colorado and Chicago. In October 2016, Night Riots released their new album, Love Gloom, their first full-length album under a new label.[16] Night Riots was featured on Alt Nation's 2016 Advanced Placement Tour with The Hunna and The Shelters, running November through December.[17]

In the spring of 2017, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness toured the U.S. featuring Night Riots and Atlas Genius. In Summer 2017, Night Riots played two dates on All Time Low's Young Renegade Tour, in replacement of SWMRS.[18] Night Riots opened for The Maine on The Lovely Little Lonely Tour and The Modern Nostalgia tour, which ran until November 2017.[19] The Lovely Little Lonely tour marked the band's first European tour. Also in November 2017, Night Riots played the first night of Chicago radio station 101 WKQX's The Nights We Stole Christmas Music Festival, playing before Papa Roach and Rise Against.[20]

Night Riots opened for The Hunna in early January 2018 on their U.K tour.[21][22] Shortly after returning from that tour, Night Riots announced their first ever international headliner tour and their third venture across the atlantic.[23] It was later announced that they would be supported by Silent Rival.[24] On February 20, Night Riots released a new single, "Colour Morning."[25] Another single, “On the Line” was released May 24, days before they embarked on their month-long “Dark Violet” tour.[26] The June 2018 tour was their first cross-country headlining tour and featured the support of Silent Rival and Courtship.[27]

After the "Dark Violet" tour, the band stayed out of the public eye for nearly a year before releasing three new singles leading up to the release of their second full-length studio album, "New State of Mind" on July 26, 2019. Night Riots embarked on a US tour of the same name to promote the album.[28]

Musical style and influences[edit]

Night Riots' foundations lie within punk rock; they cite bands AFI and Thursday as their biggest influences.[2] They also draw influence from Billy Idol, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Arctic Monkeys, Atmosphere, The Cure, U2, The Killers, Vampire Weekend, The Strokes, Bruce Springsteen, INXS and Dave Gahan.[3][7][29][30][31] PK integrated pop rock and power pop into their sound, accompanied with "introspective and emotional" lyrics with music that "is always lively and upbeat".[2][5] The band changed its name to Night Riots in order to represent "its darker side as it explores the deeper aspects of music with varying tempos and somber, haunting melodies juxtaposed against uplifting choruses."[3] An alternative rock band,[29] they incorporate new wave music, as well as a 1980s Gothic pop feel into their current sound.[4] Hawley distinguished Night Riots' music from PK by describing it as indie pop rock with a "dark undertone", comparing the sound to U2, The Strokes, and The Killers.[3] He also describes the band's sound as "gloom pop" because of the vein of darkness that runs throughout the alternative/pop sounding music.[32] Guitarist Matt DePauw described the band's sound as "catchy rock 'n' roll with a bit of pop and a bit of darkness".[5]

Night Riots' music has been compared to The Cure and The Killers;[3][5] with Hawley's "emotive vocal style" compared to that of Robert Smith.[33][34] His stage presence has also been compared to Davey Havok and Brandon Flowers.[29]


  • Travis Hawley – lead vocals
  • Nick Fotinakes – guitar
  • Matt DePauw – guitar
  • Mikel van Kranenburg – bass
  • Rico Rodriguez – drums
  • Kevin Menesez - drums through 2010 (Into the Roaring)


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales Certifications
Billboard Heatseekers Albums
Into the Roaring
Love Gloom 15
New State of Mind

Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales Certifications
Billboard Heatseekers Albums
Archives and Rarities
  • Released: December 4, 2012
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: CD, digital download
Young Lore
  • Released: July 29, 2013
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: CD, digital download, vinyl
Hallowed Ground
  • Released: 2013
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: CD, digital download
  • Released: January 19, 2015
  • Label: Sumerian Records
  • Format: CD, digital download, vinyl


Title Year Peak chart positions Sales Certifications Album
Alternative Songs
"Berelain" 2011 Non-album single
"Chase the Sky" 2012
"Spiders" 2013 Young Lore
"Contagious" 2014 24 Howl
"Oh My Heart" 2015 50
"Colour Morning" 2018 "New State of Mind"
“On the Line” 2018
"Tokyo Diamond Eyes" 2019
"Leave Us Alone 2019
"Loyal to the Game" 2019


  1. ^ "The Hunna, NIGHT RIOTS, The Shelters - Tickets - ONCE Ballroom - Somerville, MA, November 13, 2016 | Ticketfly". Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Sharp, Elliott (May 9, 2012). "Interview With California Pop-Rock Band PK". Red Bull. Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Mulchin, Chad Zachary (June 6, 2013). "Straight Outta SLO: Night Riots Comes to Troubadour Sporting New Name, EP". WeHo Ville. WHMC. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Johnson, Chandra (April 28, 2015). "Interview: Night Riots". Secret Sound Shop. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e Bryan, Kathrine (January 4, 2013). "PK". Glide. Glide Publishing. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  6. ^ "The Most Criminally Overlooked Artists of 2012". MTV Buzzworthy. MTV. December 7, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Green, Trina N. (July 10, 2013). "Night Riots". High Voltage. High Voltage. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  8. ^ Eakin, Marah (July 29, 2013). "Listen to a new track from California band Night Riots". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  9. ^ Pannacione, Maggie (July 29, 2013). "Exclusive Full Album Stream: Night Riots, 'Young Lore'". Artistdirect. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  10. ^ "Night Riots". Kings of A&R. October 9, 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  11. ^ Sharp, Tyler (October 23, 2014). "Night Riots ink deal with Sumerian Records". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  12. ^ Axelsen, Aaron (January 15, 2015). "Aaron Axelsen's Top 16 New Acts to Watch In 2015". Live 105. CBS Radio. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  13. ^ "Music | An Evening with Night Riots | Interview & Review". Ultra5280. March 10, 2015. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  14. ^ Hoyle, Hayley (March 25, 2015). "Night Riots Added to The Mowgli's "Kids In Love Tour"". Digital Bus Tour. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  15. ^ "Night Riots | Vans Warped Tour". Warped Tour. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  16. ^ "The Roaring Sound of Californian Alt-Rockers Night Riots". Provenance Magazine. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
  17. ^ "Alt Nation presents the Advanced Placement Tour with The Shelters, Night Riots + The Hunna". September 15, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  18. ^ "All Time Low announce headlining tour". February 24, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  19. ^ "TOUR". -- NIGHT RIOTS --. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  20. ^ "Night Riots – #TNWSC 2017". 101WKQX - WKQX-FM. December 2, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Night Riots on Instagram: "🇬🇧UK 2018🇬🇧 shows with the FABULOUS @thehunnaband & @coastsband ! Tickets are moving fast- get them now @"". Instagram. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  23. ^ "Night Riots on Instagram: "-- 🇬🇧 UK 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 -- As promised, we're coming back in April for a handful of headlining shows! Tickets go on sale this Friday at 9AM GMT.…"". Instagram. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Night Riots on Instagram: "-- COLOUR MORNING -- We're excited to bring you the world premiere of our new song, available everywhere now! Link in bio 🌓🌑🌗"". Instagram. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  26. ^ "Night Riots". Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  27. ^ Hollingsworth, Ashley Perez (February 26, 2018). "Night Riots Announce Dark Violet 2018 Tour". GENRE IS DEAD!. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  28. ^
  29. ^ a b c McGrath, Ryan (March 4, 2015). "Interview with Night Riots: Howl at the Moon". The Aquarian Weekly. Arts Weekly. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  30. ^ Magalis, Brooke (June 3, 2015). "Interview with Night Riots". Black on the Canvas. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
  31. ^ Lisker, Marlee (August 25, 2013). "Night Riots talks new EP, musical influences". The Miami Hurricane. University of Miami. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  32. ^ An Exclusive Interview with Night Riots || Baeble Music, retrieved January 6, 2016
  33. ^ "Night Riots". Los Angeles, California: Audiotree. March 5, 2015. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  34. ^ Greenwald, David (July 9, 2012). "The Buzz On: PK". MTV. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  35. ^ a b "Night Riots - Chart history". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  36. ^ "Alternative Songs: Top Alternative Songs Chart | Billboard: Jun 20, 2015". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 16, 2015.

External links[edit]