Bloodline Riot is keeping the phrase “Detroit Rock City” Alive.
If you look around pretty much any city with a thriving music scene, you’ll find that band that is made up of a collection of musicians who have paid their dues for years in various bands who finally find each other and the right combination for a great album or more. In Detroit, MI, we have found another example of such a band in Bloodline Riot. The collection of veteran Detroit rockers came together and released their first single as Bloodline Riot entitled “Burn” in May, 2011.
This release was no garage band release. It was produced by Andy Patten (Sponge, Taproot) and mixed and mastered by Chuck Alkazian (Pop Evil, Trust Company). A quick listen to “Burn” will have you eager to hear the rest of the band’s EP “Keys and Clockwork”. Each song on the 4 song EP is a strong effort worthy of some significant radio play. In fact the band started to catch some of that coveted air time with “Burn” in their hometown, as well as stations in Las Vegas, Texas and beyond.
Bloodline Riot’s music has a great combination of melodic verses, meshed with a pounding backbeat that keeps you energized throughout all of the tunes. There is a certain versatility to their sound that has a bit of something for the metal fan, while at the same time finding some pleasing choruses for the fan of more progressive sounding rock. Perhaps the best example of this style is also perhaps the strongest tune on the CD: “Element”. The blending of sounds in Bloodline Riot’s style seems to have been recognized by the live music world as well, as they have shared the stage with a diverse collection of acts such as Drowning Pool, Fuel, Taproot, Soil, Nonpoint, Powerman 5000, Dope, 12 Stones, The Dreaming and many others.
Bloodline Riot’s EP “Keys and Clockwork” features some nice work from guitarist Jason Caine. I had the chance to catch up with Jason and ask him about Bloodline Riot’s music and the music scene in Detroit.
K-rock You guys hail from Detroit which has had its challenges in the recent economic times. What is the Rock and Roll Scene like there now?
Jason: The Rock scene in Detroit is interesting. There is an amazing amount of raw musical talent in Detroit. I’m proud and honored to say that I know a lot of amazing bands and musicians who easily hold up to what’s being played out there on mainstream radio. That said, the Detroit music scene has had it’s share of challenges due to the economy as well as smoking being banned in clubs/bars. The thing about the people of Detroit is this however: the people of Detroit are not only some of the hardest working people you’ll meet, but they’re survivors. I’m happy to say that despite the challenges to the scene, I know bands that are thriving and adapting to the changing environment. I think to be a musician/band with any sort of longevity, you have to be adaptable, strategic as well as talented and versatile. I know several bands that have been signed to label deals within this past year or so & have been touring with some of the biggest Rock acts out there. Ghosts of August, Battlecross, & We Came as Romans, for example, are all Detroit-based acts that have been doing amazing things and a great example of what I’m talking about. Also, we’re fortunate that Detroit is considered a main touring hub for national acts as well, so that definitely helps local artists gain exposure to the mainstream audience through opening slots. Detroit is alive and well as far as our music scene and gaining momentum every day.
K-rock: Tell me about the video for “Element”. Where as it shot? Anything special about it?
Jason: The video for “Element” is a live performance video that was shot by our good friends Nick Barry & Terrance Centofanti at Visual Zen studios. It’s kind of funny because the video was taken during a live performance we played at the Detroit Pub in Clinton Township, MI. It was all just one video take, since we were playing a show, without any staging or real plan other than us playing our show. I was unfamiliar with their work at the time, but once I saw the final product I was really impressed. Especially since we weren’t playing to a click or the recording of the song itself, yet they managed to sync everything perfectly, grabbed some amazing footage and made us look great!
K-rock: You guys (and gal) come from different bands. Did you know each other well before forming this band or was it an audition type of thing?
Jason: Amber (bassist of Bloodline Riot) and I have been in bands together now for roughly 5-6 years. Our former band was a completely different kind of band. It was more of a Pop Punk type of thing where I sang and played guitar with much more of an emphasis on songwriting. However, I’ve always considered myself more of a guitarist than a singer and studied guitar in college, so to shake things up, I’d throw in a crazy shred guitar solo in the middle of our set that led into one of our fastest songs. People really seemed responsive to that part of the show. We toured, won a contest and opened for KISS, were nominated for Detroit Music Awards and had a great run, but in my heart I always wanted to focus on songwriting with more guitar involvement with a singer that could focus solely on vocals so I could really focus on playing guitar. Amber and I decided it was time to follow up on that and write heavier material. We wanted to do our best to find musicians that were the best at their instrument in their bands that had the same drive, positivity and goals that we did. It was also very important to us that it felt like more than a work environment. We wanted a band that felt like family. We had a very strong idea of what we wanted to do and had a strong plan of action. Matt Marriott (original drummer) was someone we’d met through the music scene and had known for a while. Seeing him play in his band, not only was he a great drummer, but his showmanship on the drums was something to behold. He is one of the most entertaining drummers I’ve had the honor of playing with. When we were ready, I called him up and we had a three hour phone discussion about the entire idea, and he was in. After we had the core group, we put out the call for vocalists anywhere and everywhere. It was actually very difficult for us because not one bad singer came in to audition. Some had some amazing background and experience and others were total diamonds in the rough that were awesome. Mike Hughes was recommended to us through a mutual friend. I was familiar with all of his previous bands, and had probably been in the same room with him a dozen times at shows and clubs, had a ton of the same friends, but for some reason had never met him in person. He came out to talk about things to make sure we were all on the same page then came out to sing with the band. Although every singer that came out was great, Mike had the right chemistry with the band, experience in the industry and a unique vocal quality that we wanted to explore. It was tough. Every singer that came out could be or have been in successful bands. After the band was finalized, we recorded our first single, “Burn” at the Loft with Sponge guitarist Andy Patalan, which won us a spot on Rockstar Uproar 2011. From there, we went to Pearl Sound Studios in Canton, MI with producer Chuck Alkazian (Pop Evil, Trust Company) and recorded our CD “Keys and Clockwork” which was just released this Fall.
K-rock: Are there any big tours/shows/plans coming up in January?
Jason: Our immediate future plans include recording our new single, writing for the next album, a full production video and regional touring. We also plan on some promotional photo shoots and videos for our endorsement companies, Krank Amps and Unlocal Clothing as well as shots including gear we love and use such as Schecter Guitars, Coffin Case, etc. We have a great show at the Token Lounge in Westland, MI for the RawRadioX Launch party on Feb. 23 for those in the area. To stay on top of our schedule, visit our website at www.bloodlineriot.com or our Facebook at www.facebook.com/bloodlineriot under the band profile tab.
K-rock: Since I’ve never had the pleasure…What can folks expect to see at a live Bloodline Riot show?
Jason: A Bloodline Riot show has everything you’d want from a live show. It is a high-energy event filled with theatrics, lights, lasers, fun & tons of great crowd interaction. Everything we do, we do for our friends and fans. They’re the reason we do what we do, and we do our best to give them the best show we can every single time. You have to see it to get the full picture. We promise a great time for everyone.
Keys and Clockwork is a very good release and a strong album that should support Bloodline Riot well as they perform live and produce new music in 2013. It seems likely that as Bloodline Riot continues to share the stage with a diverse group of national acts that the band will continue to amass fans. We look forward to seeing what the band does with their momentum in 2013.