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In Words: Riotgod

- Bob Pantella - Jan. 2012 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

© Riotgod

Bob Pantella - January 11th 2012 (by email)

Riotgod is a project of two Monster Magnet members they started to kill time when Monster Magnet isn't active. Invisible Empire is their current album, let's see what drummer Bob Pantella has to tell about Riotgod's past, present and future!

The idea to start what became Riotgod you had on tour, how long did it take to bring it to life? To complete the line-up?

Well, the idea behind starting Riotgod really started back in 2005- 2006 while Monster Magnet was on tour. Jim Baglino (bassist for MM) and I really just wanted to do other things musically while MM had downtime. So when we were home we worked on some ideas in my studio without a singer or guitarist in mind yet....then a few months later I had contacted Mark Sunshine (an old friend of mine) and Garrett Sweeny another old friend of mine, and they put their 2 cents in to the couple of songs Jim and I had recorded and it sounded amazing. We knew then and there that we had something special.

Enlighten us why you named the band Riotgod!

The name Riotgod came from Sunshine who is also an artist and it is what he called one of his characters on a website he developed back in the 90s. When we were searching for a name that was the first thing I thought of because it just sounded cool as hell......

You did your debut on your own, kind of testing the waters before shopping for a deal? Or didn't got a good offer?

Well, we weren't looking for a deal in the beginning. We were just trying to see what kind of sound we would have first. That was really the priority. We released the first album on our own, then re-released it on Metalville records plus a few bonus tracks and new artwork about 6 months later.

Now you are signed to Metalville and your debut was kinda re-released as Invisible Empire... Why this title? And did you change anything compared to Riotgod?

Invisible Empire is really our second release on Metalville records.... Riotgod was our first release or a re-release if you like...
The difference between the first album and Invisible Empire is the fact that we had more focus. We kinda knew how we wanted the record to sound. Also time touring and recording together in the past made things a lot easier. We knew what to expect from each other. Plus the fact that I have a new recording studio doesn't hurt either......

Please tell us something about the video shoot for Light Of The Sun! Why this track in a kinda psychedelic look?

The video we did ourselves.... the blue screen was a tarp from Home Depot and we used a cheap video camera....The reason for the psychedelic look was because that's the only way the vid wouldn't look like total shit..... By the way it cost us 0 dollars.... It's really as simple as that. There is a new video in the works at the moment, but this time we will actually spend a few bucks and make it look good.... at least better than Light Of The Sun and 9th Life did.... haha!!!

And what's the story of 9th Life - and the visualization?

Just experimenting with video and purely having fun with it......

At your YouTube channel you also have some live stuff linked...

Yeah, we pretty much put everything and anything up there... I think there is a video of Mark tying his shoes on there somewhere... LOL!!!

How important is social networking for you? More pleasure or pain?

I gotta say I don't mind it at all. Its really great for promoting yourself, that's for sure. I remember the days of hanging up flyers on telephone poles and on cars in parking lots.... Now I don't have to get outta bed.... That is a pleasure!!!!

An European tour was scheduled for 2011, but it didn't happen... What went wrong?

Well, the tour is happening in February 2012 instead.... I think moving it to this time was a better idea. The tour in 2011 was a little pre-mature and we really needed more time to plan things. Everything happens for a reason.

Looks like in February 2012 you will hit the road in Europe with Astral Doors...What can fans expect from Riotgod live? Will you also present something new?

Well, we will be doing a lot of material from the new record. Lots of energy and some new visuals as well. I'm really looking forward to touring with Astral Doors! It's gonna be of fun for the fans as well I think!!!

Will you do a vlog on tour?

I think Mark is gonna take care of that, my guess is yes with a little editing I hope... ;)

Have you already gathered some new songs? Any idea when you'll start recording?

We already started recording some new stuff. We are gonna have some vinyl for the tour in February.... Probably a 10 inch with a few songs only being released on vinyl.... No digital at all. I love doing one off short run releases like that. This way we'll always have something new in the works besides a proper record release every year or so.... It keeps the creative juices flowing.

Beside touring, what are your plans for 2012?

Well, more recording more touring more more more more!!!!! After the Riotgod tour, I'm going on tour with The Atomic Bitchwax in Europe for 3 weeks then record a new record with Monster Magnet. After that come back to Europe with Riotgod and play the Wacken festival and some others as well in August. Then back into the studio with Riotgod for a third record..... After that who knows...... Keep on keeping on!!!!!

Check their website to find out, if they play your area! Vinyl lovers should keep an eye on Riotgod, too.

Claudia Ehrhardt


           ©2008-2014 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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