Upon its initial release in their homeland last year, the praise for City Riots Sea Of Bright Lights was almost unanimous amongst media. This includes snagging the title of “Best Local Release of 2012” by Radio Adelaide and world-focused media such as Sputnik Music proclaiming that the music possesses “choruses that sneak their way into your subconscious until you’re humming them along involuntarily.” With a vibrant live show and sunshine inflected sound, the band has been able to hold their own while touring. Some tour-mates on these jaunts include the legendary Smashing Pumpkins, indie rock notables Atlas Genius to even psychobilly punkers The Living End. It has seen them branch out to the U.S. for appearances at recent editions of SXSW, CMJ, and Filter’s Culture Collide Festival.
As City Riots prepared to make its return to North America for a handful of shows in New York, Ghettoblaster caught up with Ricky Kradolfer to discuss what he’ll miss most about his hometown, Adelaide, Australia during the trek. This is what he told us about Radadelaide.
What’s your town’s nickname?
Radadelaide (because it Adelaide and it’s Rad)!
What’s your nickname for your town?
Home sweet home.
Why do you live there?
I lived here all my life. I’ve recently been spending more time in Sydney, but I still call Adelaide home. Adelaide is a capital city but without the traffic. It also has very affordable rent (compared to Sydney), great theatre and festivals and the weather is awesome (ie. It doesn’t get too humid in summer, so your hair will never go frizzy!)
Did you grow up there? If not, what brought you there?
Yep, born and raised!
What’s the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you there?
I was kicked out of a pub for wearing cowboy boots.
What is your favorite local attraction (monument, park, etc)?
Not so much an attraction, but more of a favorite place to visit. It’s our family’s shack on the River Murray. It’s the place where we spend most of our summers (and where we actually wrote a lot of the album). It’s about a 1hr 30min drive from Adelaide. It’s also where we shot our video for ‘Matchsticks’. Check out the video here… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-TlGkoOIC8
What is your favorite local event or festival?
Fringe Festival. It’s an open access arts festival that runs for four weeks in March every year, featuring 900 events across the city and attracts performers from all around the world.
What is the best time of year to be there?
During The Fringe, and anytime during the Summer! The beaches are only 20 minutes from the city. It dry heat, so no crazy hair frizz, and the summer warmth lasts a solid four months.
Who is your favorite local celebrity?
Sia or (Ben Folds has a house here… does that count?)
Where is the best place to drink and what’s their specialty or happy hour?
The Exeter on Rundle Street. It’s an Adelaide establishment. They offer local beers by the jug.
Who has the best jukebox (and what’s in it)?
I don’t think there is actually a club that has a jukebox in Adelaide. Which has made me realize… If we opened a live music venue with a jukebox, that would be the talk of the town! If I had one, I would have on it… Michael Jackson, Righteous Brothers (so we can do a sing along to ‘You’ve lost that loving feeling’ like they do in ‘Top Gun’), Def Leppard, because you can’t have a jukebox without any ‘80s hair metal. I would also have some Interpol, Prince, Fleetwood Mac, Phil Collins, Jeremy Jordan (yeah I went there), and Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.
Do you play music there? If so, where is your favorite place to play?
Jive Bar on Hindley is the perfect 300 capacity room. It has a killer sound system. Every touring act passes through there. Tam who books it actually booked one of our very first gigs. The Grace Emily is also a really cool venue. More about that one in just a bit.
Does where you live influence your music?
I think Australian bands always have a particular sound about them. Adelaide in particular has a big punk and hardcore underground following that stems from being out of the mainstream culture of the bigger cities like Sydney and Melbourne. For me, the drive to do something special enough to connect with people of the other side of the world comes out of being from a small town like Adelaide.
What is your favorite place to see live music and what was your favorite show there?
The Grace Emily on Waymouth St in the City. It’s a small little venue. Holds probably 150 people tops and looks like someone’s living room, with warm open fire in winter and live music seven nights a week. (Monday night is a BBQ jam night!). It’s also featured lots of random, collectable paraphernalia behind the bar. The Governor Hindmarsh is also a great room. Much bigger, it’s an 800 cap room, sounds great and allows everyone to get up and close with the bands.
My most favorite show I had ever seen was Magnet at the Grace Emily. He’s a Norwegian electro/singer/songwriter. He created all his beats live and has the most amazing voice. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQ0LwqyN7hI) I was there with about 50 other people. It single handedly changed my life and is still the best show I have ever seen to this day.
What is your favorite local band?
We’ve got a few… Ride Into The Sun, Tracer, Southie, Wolf and Cub, Collarbones, and Jesse Davidson.
What is your favorite diner or restaurant and what is their best dish?
Ha ha, I wish we had a diner in Adelaide. We do though have lots of great restaurants. East Taste on Gouger Street. It’s Thai food that’s cheap, but delicious, and open till 3am on weekends.
What is your favorite record store and what was your best find there?
There is an old vinyl record store down in Pt Adelaide. It’s called Port Hole records. Check out the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZJqD0nFPNc
A friend took me there a few years back. I managed to find all of Tom Petty’s and The Smiths back catalogue.
What is your favorite local publication (alternative weekly, zine, website or blog)?
Rip It Up.
What is your favorite local shop?
Taylor Blend. It’s our local coffee shop, and they never disappoint.
If you could live anywhere else, where would that be?
New York City. Every time I visit NYC, I never want to leave. There are so many great venues and there’s always a band playing any night of the week. There’s so much happening all the time, it’s so easy to be inspired in NYC.
(Visit City Riots here: http://www.cityriots.com/
Catch City Riots at one of these shows:
10/14 – The Rock Shop – Brooklyn, NY
10/15 – Cake Shop (daytime show) – New York, NY
10/15 – Lit Lounge (Official CMJ showcase) – New York, NY
10/19 – The Delancey (Aussie BBQ) – New York, NY
10/21 – Rockwood Music Hall – New York, NY
10/22 – Pianos – New York, NY
10/23 – Bowery Electric – New York, NY)