The Riverboat Gamblers

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Riverboat Gamblers
Background information
Origin Denton, Texas, USA
Genres Punk rock, garage rock, alternative rock
Years active 1997 (1997)–present
Labels Beatville, Gearhead, Volcom Entertainment, End Sounds
Associated acts Slowride, Chop-Sakis, High Tension Wires, Broken Gold, Ghostknife
  • Fadi El-Assad
  • Mike Wiebe
  • Ian MacDougall
  • Rob Marchant
  • Ian Walling
Past members
  • Patrick Lillard
  • Jeremy Diaz
  • Clayton Mills
  • Chris Adams
  • Colin Jones
  • Francisco Job
  • Jesse Hamilton
  • Mark Baker
  • Luke Abbey
  • Mark Ryan
  • Shawn Prunty
  • Eric Green
  • Sam Keir

Riverboat Gamblers is an American punk rock band originally from Denton, Texas, formed in 1997, now residing in Austin, Texas. The band's current line-up comprises vocalist Mike Wiebe, guitarist Fadi El-Assad, guitarist Ian MacDougall, bassist Ron Marchant and drummer Ian Walling.


Formation and early years (1997-2000)[edit]

In 1997, Patrick Lillard ("Spider Stewart") (Bass) and Fadi El-Assad ("Freddy Castro") (Lead Guitar), formed The Riverboat Gamblers with Mike Wiebe ("Rookie Sensation") (vocals). Lillard's original intention was to emulate Virginia rockers The Candy Snatchers in direct contrast to the popular emo music at the time. Riverboat Gamblers got their start playing house shows throughout Denton and the Dallas/Fort Worth area.[1]

Breakthrough and first releases (2001-2004)[edit]

They released their debut self-titled album in September 2001 on Vile Beat Records with it being produced by Texas punk rocker Tim Kerr (Big Boys, Lord High Fixers). They burst out of the Denton college scene at the same time on the back of their self-released 7" single "Jenna (Is A No Show)." The band first received attention from major record labels after their energetic and rowdy showcase at the 2003 South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in Austin, Texas, but the band ultimately signed with indie label Gearhead Records.[2] Through this label, Riverboat Gamblers released 2003's Something to Crow About in June, which was also produced by Tim Kerr. A music video for the track "What's What" was made from the album.[3] After the warm reception of their sophomore record and a well received European tour, they relocated from Denton, Texas to Austin, Texas.

Their third album Backsides was released in September 2004 through Beatville and Vile Beat Records. The reason for their departure from Gearhead Records was due to wanting to tour more often.[4]

Label change and success (2005-2008)[edit]

The Riverboat Gamblers toured with Flogging Molly in early 2005.[5] In April 2005, the band were signed to Volcom Entertainment and performed on Warped Tour 2005.[6] The band then went on tour with Rollins Band and X in the summer of 2006.[7] They also toured with Dead To Me and Joan Jett in the fall of the same year.[8]

The band's fourth and most successful album, To the Confusion of Our Enemies, was released in April 2006 on Volcom Entertainment.[9]

Underneath the Owl and MacDougall's bike accident (2009-2010)[edit]

Underneath the Owl, the Riverboat Gamblers' fifth studio album, was released on March 10, 2009. The band supported Rise Against alongside Rancid on the Appeal To Reason Tour in the following summer.[10]

On the night of October 17, 2009, MacDougall was hit by a car while biking home.[11] He sustained several injuries but recovered in time for the band to make an appearance on the Warped Tour 2010.[12]

In March 2010, the music video for the single "Robots May Break Your Heart" was released.[13] In June, the band hosted a remix contest for the former single, recorded four tracks for a Daytrotter session available as a free download, and released their own iPhone app.[14]

Just before fall, the band supported Pennywise on their Canadian tour throughout September.[15] Later that year, they covered Bad Religion's "Heaven Is Falling" for the album "Germs of Perfection: A Tribute to Bad Religion."[16] The "free mixtape" was released on October 19, 2010 through SPIN's website.[17]

Second label and The Wolf You Feed (2011-2013)[edit]

The Riverboat Gamblers were featured on MacDougall and Lillard's side-project Broken Gold's track "Ambulance Faces" in March 2011.[18]

The band co-headlined a nationwide U.S. tour with Dead To Me and Off With Their Heads the summer of 2011[19] and released a three way split that was only available to those attending.[20] In July, it was announced that the band signed to Paper + Plastick Records and would release their EP "Smash/Grab" along with the free song "The Ol' Smash and Grab."[21] After the tour, they returned to the studio to finish their sixth studio album.[22] In November 2011, "The Ol' Smash and Grab" music video was released.[23]

The band supported Social Distortion on select dates in early May 2012.[24] The Wolf You Feed, their latest studio album, was released on May 22, 2012.[25] To support the album, the Riverboat Gamblers and Cobra Skulls went on the "Wolf & Snakes Tour" through the whole of October 2012.[26] In the same month, they released the music video for their song "Eviction Notice" from the album.[27]

Music videos for the singles "Good Veins," "Comedians" and "Blue Ghosts" were released in April and June 2013.[28][29] The Riverboat Gamblers announced a summer tour with Blacklist Royals for the summer of 2013.[30] In August 2013, the single "Heart Conditions" had a music video released that served as a continuation to "Blue Ghosts."[31]

Wiebe's injury and Massive Fraud (2014-present)[edit]

The last single from "The Wolf You Feed" was "Gallows Bird" and its music video was released in June 2014.[32] In October of 2014, the Riverboat Gamblers announced their single "Dead Roach" which was released alongside their B-side cover of "Sound On Sound" by The Big Boys.[33] This was recorded with Stuart Sikes at Big Orange in Texas and was the first of what would be three single releases through End Sounds.[34] "Sound on Sound" originally appeared on a twenty band compilation album entitled "Influence: A Tribute to Big Boys" released by Canadian label Stiff Hombre Records in June 2014.[35]

The band opened for Rocket From The Crypt in November 2014[36] and Bad Religion in April 2015.[37]

Their cover of The Soft Boys' "I Wanna Destroy You" premiered on November 16, 2015. It was released as a B-side to their single "Time To Let Her Go."[38]

On March 18, 2016 during their performance at SXSW, Wiebe suffered a collapsed lung and broken ribs after a failed "trust fall." The band continued the show and cancelled further performances until Wiebe recovered in the hospital.[39] A friend of the band, Damon O'Manic, set up a GoFundMe to cover Wiebe's medical bills, and fans who contributed ended up raising over $14,000 in two days.[40]

In the following April, the band announced that their latest single "Massive Fraud" would be released on June 24, 2016 as the last part of their single series on End Sounds along with a B-side cover of The Dicks' "Hate the Police."[41]

The announcement of Warped Tour 2017 included the Riverboat Gamblers to appear on two dates in July 2017 on the Skullcandy Stage.[42]

Other appearances[edit]

The band was featured as a band at a punk show in the 2016 Richard Linklater film Everybody Wants Some!!.[43]

They have also appeared on the soundtracks to the videogames Tony Hawk's American Wasteland ("Hey! Hey! Hey!"), Madden NFL 07 ("On Again Off Again"), Skate 2 ("Uh Oh!"), Rock Band 3 ("Don't Bury Me... I'm Still Not Dead"), FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage, ATV Offroad Fury 4 ("True Crime") and Need for Speed: Most Wanted ("Blue Ghosts").

Band members[edit]

The Fart Gobbler (Satan's Potato)- Fart Trumpet

  • Fadi El-Assad ("Freddy Castro") - Lead Guitar
  • Mike Wiebe ("Teko Buller" or "Rookie Sensation") - vocals
  • Ian MacDougall - Guitar
  • Rob Marchant - Bass
  • Ian Walling - Drums


Studio Albums

  • The Riverboat Gamblers (Beatville/Vilebeat Records) (2001)
  • Something to Crow About (Gearhead Records) (2003)
  • Backsides (Beatville/Vilebeat Records) (2004)
  • To the Confusion of Our Enemies (Volcom Entertainment/No Idea) (2006)
  • Underneath the Owl (Volcom Entertainment) (2009)
  • The Wolf You Feed (Volcom Entertainment) (2012)


  • Purplish Rain SPIN RECORDS PRESENTS Compilation "Lets Go Crazy" (2009)
  • Chemical X DVD Music Video Compilation (Geykido Comet Records)
  • Influence: A Tribute to Big Boys (Stiff Hombre Records) "Sound on Sound" (2014)

EPs, Splits, and Singles

  • Mean Motormachine/Jenna (Is a No Show) 7" (self-released) (2001)
  • That's Entertainment! Split 7" w/ Electric Eel Shock (Gearhead Records) (2004)
  • A Tribute To The Big Boys Split 7" w/Throw Rag (Date Shake Records)
  • Riverboat Gamblers/Generators 7" (Pirates Press)
  • Keep Me From Drinking/No Fair' B-sides 7" (Volcom Entertainment)
  • "Knowledge" an Operation Ivy song covered with Radio Havanna,Jim Lindberg(ex-pennywise) & The Black Pacific on iTunes. 100% of the proceeds from the song are going to Skate-aid, which uses the sport to help kids in high conflict areas. (2011)
  • The Ol' Smash and Grab - EP (one sided 12" picture disc) (2011)
  • Smash/Grab EP (Paper + Plastic) (2011)
  • "Dead Roach"/"Sound on Sound" Single (End Sounds) (2014)
  • "Time to Let Her Go"/"I Wanna Destroy You" Single (End Sounds) (2015)
  • "Massive Fraud"/"Hate the Police" Single (End Sounds) (2016)


  1. ^ Christopher Gray (21 April 2006). "SXSW: Let It Bleed: The Riverboat Gamblers take aim at their enemies - Music - The Austin Chronicle". Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "Riverboat Gamblers". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  3. ^ Bruno Rossia. "The Riverboat Gamblers English Interview". Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  4. ^ Kira Wisniewski (14 January 2013). "Interviews: Mike Wiebe (Riverboat Gamblers)". Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  5. ^ Adam White (5 June 2005). "Tours: Flogging Molly / Hot Water Music / The Riverboat Gamblers touring". Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  6. ^ "Riverboat Gamblers". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  7. ^ "Rollings Band, X, Riverboat Gamblers, the Bronx, Priestess & Lifetime". Brooklyn Vegan. 3 June 2006. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  8. ^ Chip Adam (22 September 2006). "The Riverboat Gamblers Head Out With Joan Jett". The Fader. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  9. ^ "Riverboat Gamblers". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  10. ^ "Riverboat Gamblers: Album/Tour". 2 March 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  11. ^ Aubin Payl (23 October 2009). "Ian Mcdougall of Riverboat Gamblers injured in bike accident". Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  12. ^ Barbara Pavone (4 August 2010). "Van's Warped Tour's two best-kept secrets: After Midnight Project and Riverboat Gamblers - The Rock And Roll Report". Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  13. ^ Cole Faulkner (4 March 2010). "Videos: The Riverboat Gamblers - Robots May Break Your Heat". Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  14. ^ Pete Freedman (30 June 2010). "Riverboat Gamblers To Play Double Wide's Warped Tour After-Party on Saturday. Also: They're Running a Remix Contest. And They Played Daytrotter. And They Have An App.". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  15. ^ Ashley N. Milholland (24 July 2010). "Tours: Pennywise / Riverboat Gamblers (Canada)". Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  16. ^ Aubin Paul (4 October 2010). "Riverboat Gamblers: "Heaven Is Falling (Bad Religion)"". Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  17. ^ "FREE MIXTAPE: Top Acts Cover Bad Religion". SPIN. 19 October 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  18. ^ T. J. Hoogsteen (30 March 2011). "Broken Gold (Ft. Riverboat Gamblers) -"Ambulance Faces"". Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  19. ^ Scott Heisel (13 April 2011). "Dead To Me/Off With Their Heads/Riverboat Gamblers summer tour confirmed". Alternative Press. Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  20. ^ Cole Faulkner (16 June 2011). "New Three Way Split From Dead To Me, Off With Their Heads, Riverboat Gamblers". Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  21. ^ T. J. Hoogsteen (8 July 2011). "Riverboat Gamblers sign to Paper + Plastick, Announce EP, Give Away First Song". Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  22. ^ Bobby Gorman (3 October 2011). "Riverboat Gamblers Working On New Album". Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  23. ^ Cole Faulkner (23 November 2011). "Video: Riverboat Gamblers - The Ol' Smash and Grab". Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  24. ^ Cole Faulkner (17 January 2012). "Tours: Social Distortion / Toadies / Riverboat Gamblers". Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  25. ^ "New Album 'The Wolf You Feed' Out Now in U.S.". The Riverboat Gamblers. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  26. ^ Bobby Gorman (14 August 2012). "Tours: Riverboat Gamblers / Cobra Skulls". Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  27. ^ Bobby Gorman (4 October 2012). "Video: Riverboat Gamblers - Eviction Notice". Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  28. ^ Cole Faulkner (15 April 2013). "Video:The Riverboat Gamblers - Good Veins". Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  29. ^ Cole Faulkner (25 June 2013). "Video: The Riverboat Gamblers - Blue Ghosts". Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  30. ^ Steven Farkas (25 July 2013). "Tour: Riverboat Gamblers". Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  31. ^ Cole Faulkner (7 August 2013). "Video: Riverboat Gamblers - Heart Conditions". Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  32. ^ Cole Faulkner (10 June 2014). "Video: The Riverboat Gamblers - Gallows Bird". Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  33. ^ "This the first of a three 7″ series with End Sounds. This release features a new original called "Dead Roach" and a cover of "Sound On Sound" by The Big Boys. Limited edition of 500. 400 on red vinyl and 100 on Bitcoin Blue. Bitcoin blue can only be purchased with Bitcoin. Artwork done by Tim Kerr. For more info on Bitcoin visit #riverboatgamblers #endsounds #bigboys #bitcoin #cryptocurrency #gffg". Riverboat Gamblers. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2017. 
  34. ^ Chris M. Junior (21 November 2014). "Medleyville: STAND-ALONE SOUNDS". Retrieved 20 April 2017. 
  35. ^ "This was a 20 band tribute to The Big Boys featuring bands from all over North America. The record featured cover art by Tim Kerr and an introduction by Gary Floyd of The Dicks.". 
  36. ^ "Noisey Presents: Fun Fun Fun Nites Show Featuring Rocket From The Crypt, Riverboat Gamblers, and More - Noisey". Noisey. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  37. ^ Peter Blackstock (4 April 2015). "Sunday music picks: Bad Religion, Riverboat Gamblers". Austin Music Source. Retrieved 2 April 2017. 
  38. ^ Cole Faulkner (16 November 2015). "Riverboat Gamblers - I Wanna Destroy You". Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  39. ^ John Gentile (25 March 2016). "Riverboat Gamblers Singer Collapses Lung and Breaks Ribs During Trust Fall". Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  40. ^ Jeff Gage (28 March 2016). "Riverboat Gamblers Fan Raise $14,000 in Two Days for Injured Singer Mike Wiebe". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  41. ^ "Riverboat Gamblers Announce New Release "Massive Fraud" and Appear In Richard Linklater's Everybody Wants Some - End Sounds". End Sounds. 15 April 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  42. ^ Andrew Sacher (23 March 2017). "GWAR, Sick Of It All, Dickies, Municipal Waste, War On Women & more playing Warped Tour 2017". Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  43. ^ "'Everybody Wants Some!! Cast List". IMDB. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 

External links[edit]

Professional reviews[edit]