Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Rikers

Once I listened to Rikers‘ track I’m On the Radio, it drew me in. Between the catchy song and uniquely intriguing video which accompanies it, what’s not to love? Typically, I don’t really enjoy a ton of music on the radio, but if I heard Rikers’ I’m on the Radio, there’s no way I’d change the channel. Rikers’ vocalist Ryan Kennedy took the time to speak to us about their debut album Islands, playing the 100th Grey Cup Celebration TONIGHT, and bands they love!

AMBY: For those who haven’t had the opportunity of hearing you, how would you describe your music?

RK: I hate trying to verbally describe music, it usually just ends in cliches or comparisons to other artists. I would encourage someone who’s never heard us to check out our music for free online and make their own conclusion.

AMBY: Your debut album Islands has some really neat tracks on it! Which three would you say are quintessential to hear?

RK: That’s tough since all the songs are close to us. As a first introduction I’d probably say Indigo, Anywhere Else and I’m On The Radio.

AMBY: I’m On The Radio has a rad music video, what’s the story behind the song and the video idea?

RK: Thanks, glad you liked it. The video was a collaborative idea between the director and the band. We put our trust in his hands to make the visuals work. The song is a sort of tongue in cheek take on ego and celebrity. It sounds like a bunch of bragging on first listen but it’s really the opposite. A little self deprecation is key.

AMBY: You’re about to play the Telus Grey Cup Street Festival, how pumped are you for that?! And which team do you think will take it home?

RK: We’re looking forward to it. I think we’d lose some friends in town if I didn’t say Toronto was gonna take it but you just never know in the CFL. The last 2 minutes of a football game is intense. A couple of guys in the band are actually from Hamilton so seeing the Argos in the finals is a bitter pill.

AMBY: What can people expect at your live shows?

RK: A charm offensive.

AMBY: If you could attend the ultimate concert with five bands in the line-up, which five bands would you choose?

RK: Interesting question. Can we raise the dead? There are 5 guys in Rikers and we rarely agree on anything so I’m gonna do my best to represent everybody’s tastes. The Smiths, The Roots, Led Zeppelin, Handsome Furs, The Cure.

AMBY: What song could you live without ever hearing again?

RK: How long do you have? Almost every time I turn on the radio I wanna turn it off. I hate picking on certain artists because there is a level of respect for anybody that is out there working as a musician. It’s always easier to pick on old, rich musicians that have long given up the struggle so I’ll go with anything by Kiss. Just brutal.

AMBY: What is the best song of 2012 so far?

RK: Shit, I don’t keep up with too much new music. I’m not even sure what’s come out in 2012? We listen to so much old stuff in the van. I’m gonna have to go with Let’s Fall In Love by Mother Mother. We’ve played with those guys a few times and that song is awesome.

AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Rikers that nobody knows yet?

RK: We’re always one fight away from breaking up.


Listen up Toronto! Rikers are to play the TELUS Street Festival tonight to celebrate the 100th Grey Cup! They will be on at 6:45PM on the Telus Stage followed by Platinum Blonde and Classified! So get down there if you can, and be sure to check out their video for I’m on the Radio below! Lastly, thanks so much Ryan, for giving me your answers!


Alicia Atout

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