Logo on album "Through The Storm".
Logo on album "Inishmore".
Logo on album "The Brethren Of The Long House".
Logo on album "ThunderSteel" and "Immortal Soul".
Logo on album "Born In America".
Logo on album "Rock City", "Narita", "Fire Down Under", "Restless Breed", "The Privilege Of Power", "Nightbreaker" and "Army Of One".
|For original member and founder Mark Reale, keeping Riot together has always been his main focus and continuing to bring music to thousands upon thousand of extremely loyal fans world wide. Riot originated in the basement of Mark Reale's home in Brooklyn, New York in the summer of 1976 and by 1977 Mark Reale, Guy Speranza, LA Kouvaris, Jimmy Iommi and Peter Bitelli had recorded their first album Rock City for a small independent label Fire Sign Records who managed to obtain various licensing deals throughout the world, Riot played all over the East cost heavily and was starting to be notice by bigger labels and was making a buzz on the radio throughout the US.
Capitol Records quickly signed Riot, who soon entered the studio to record their second album Narita after Rick Ventura joined the band replacing LA Kouvaris which would be released in 1979, Riot toured all over the US and was really picking up steam and was offered a tour on the first Monsters Of Rock in Great Britain. But before they went over to perform, they replaced Jimmy Iommi and Peter Bitelli with Kip Leming and Sandy Slavin and Riot was off, they performed each show perfectly and recorded them which was later released on Metal Blade, there is even a Monsters Of Rock album with a feature single of a live version of "Road Racing" on it.
After the band returned to the states, Riot was now opening up for bands like Sammy Hagar, AC/DC, Kiss, Molly Hatchet just to name a few and the buzz was big, but Capitol was now wanting the band to go more commercial to market them in the states but the band liked what was happening over in Europe, a more heaver and faster type of sound was making them a big thing over sea's and did not want to change it. In fact they where writing songs for the next album that Capitol did not like and was not going to release it, with so many problems and over a year delay, Riot got a new record deal with Elektra Records and went right into the studios to record their third album Fire Down Under in 1981 which is now considered by most fans of that time to be the band's most definitive album, to bad for Capitol Records as that album sold very well all over the world, Riot was now a house hold name.
Riot returned to Great Britain and performed a few shows and was now offered a tour with Saxon and Ozzy Osbourne but the Elektra Records had gotten the band an opening slot on the Rush Moving Picture Tour and really wanted the band to take it. Elektra was really trying to push the band in the states, so they had to inform Europe that they where not going to be able to make the bill with Saxon and Ozzy Osbourne that was slated for Germany.
When Riot was in the states opening up for Rush Moving Picture Tour, Guy Speranza told the band the he had decided to leave and was settling down with his wife to start a family, the band was blown away at the news but respected him. Then in 1982, Rhett Forrester joined the band and recorded there four album Restless Breed this album was a different sound from Riot not like Fire Down Under because Rhett's voice was more blues influenced and Reale liked it some what, the band got a opening slot on the Scorpions and Whitesnake tour and a 6 track live EP followed later in 1982. It was 1984 and Riot released there 5th album Born In America with the more classic metal sound from the past and was some what successful, they got an opening slot with Kiss and Vandenberg later that year, how ever plagued with major managerial problems and record company woes, Riot eventually broke up.
Mark need some time to think about what Riot was going to do next, so he move down to Texas and there he meet Don Van Stavern and Dave McClain and started to write some great turns but needed a singer to fit that line up, Steve Cooper had joined the project and was now performing as Narita in Texas and the West Cost but the labels where not happy with the sound. Don told Mark about this young kid on drums, Bobby Jarzombek, that was like a machine from hell, and was looking to join the band, so Mark decided to take them up to New York to record some new tunes and reform Riot, but they still need a singer as Cooper left after the end of the project in Texas in 1986, Riot's producer had found this young man, Tony Moore, that had a voice like Rob Harford but with a bit of blues to it as well, so the boys began to write even more songs and before long they had enough to make a new album.
After four years off it was 1988, Riot returned with a new line up featuring Mark Reale, Tony Moore, Don Van Stavern and Bobby Jarzombek and with the new album ThunderSteel, Riot got a deal with CBS Records and was also now on Sony in Japan, Riot had never been to the land of the rising sun but was very well know. Riot got a three month tour and now needed a second guitar player to complete the line up, Mike Flyntz was the link they needed, now the band was performing live again in the States after some time off, it felt good, the tour was good for the fans and the band but the music seen was starting to change, so they went right back into the studio and started work on the next album.
Then in December of 1989 Riot got the call to tour five city's in Japan, that brought Riot to new heights in that market and with the album Privilege Of Power released just seven months later in 1990, Riot was gearing up for a second Japan tour when Don Van Stavern had to leave the band for personnel reason. Bobby had played with bassist Pete Perez in San Antonio, Texas and told Mark that he would be great for the band. Pete got the biggest gig of his life, if he only knew that there were only about 10,000 fans in Japan waiting for Riot's return in June for a ten city tour.
Riot toured some in the US after they returned from Japan but the trend was changing fast, they released Live In Japan in 1992, Riot looked to Europe an old market that had not been really explored in some time, sense 1981 on the first Monsters Of Rock Tour in London and the few shows after but knew that they had a large fan base in the part of the world and needed to get back into that area. Some promoters in Germany was advertising that Riot would be on some kind of tour with Titan Force but this was not true as Riot had not contacted anyone in Europe yet but some fans where upset, it was just a misunderstanding on be half of the promoter and not the band.
Then it happened again some promoter thought it would be funny and add Riot to a bill with Metal Church with out contacting the band first, this made it look like Riot was canceling all the time but was just not true. Then some changes for Riot in late 1993 first meant the introduction of of Riot's new vocalist Mike Dimeo who then entered the studios to record Nightbreaker in 1994, but this time after recording Riot's 8th album Nightbreaker, Bobby Jarzombek decided that he had enough and was moving on, after the release of Nightbreaker Riot was offered a Japan tour and was now looking for a new drummer. John Macaluso quickly got the job and Riot was off to Japan and where looking forward to playing live again after a few years off, but the trend in the US had changed so much that it was getting very hard to book any shows in the US. The radio stations where not playing classic rock any more, grunge was king now, bands like Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and many more where now the thing to play on the radio.
That did not change Riot's attitude as they knew that had so many fans that sill loved that kind of music even if they where not the trend, Riot got a deal in the states with an independent label, Metal Blade Records and moved from Sony in Japan to EMI, they recorded there 9th album The Brethren Of The Long House in 1996 and toured Japan once again, but with no luck in the states as now grunge was dead and alternative was now the thing, it was imposable to get any kind of US dates. Riot was finally contacted by a promoter in Germany and asked if Riot would like to be on the bill with Whiplash and Skyclad, the band knew that because of bad publicity from the past few years from promoters falsely advertising Riot on there bills had to do this tour no matter even if they where only making $20.00 per day.
Jarzombek returned on drums in 1997 and recorded Riot's 10th album Inishmore that was released the next year in 1998, Riot toured a ten city Japan tour just a few months later, the label wanted Riot to record a live album when they toured and so there was a 24 channel A-dat at every show. After Riot returned to the States, Mark went right into the studio to remix the live stuff and released Shine On that same year which was a live version of Inishmore, with all the other great hits Riot has written over the years. Now Riot set there sites on Europe and was offered a seven week tour with Virgin Steel later in the year, the band kick some ass and had performed to a lot of long time fans. After the tour in Europe Metal Blade offered Riot a spot on the Wacken festival in Germany, it was one of Riot's high points that year, as thousands of old and new fans saw Riot perform a stunning show that night.
Riot returned to the states and started work on the next album, It was now 1999 twenty one years later and Riot was still around and making there 11th album even if the music seen was totally different now rap and rock was together and was the thing to play. The dark death metal seen was taking over in Europe and it was some what harder to get a few shows but with the release of Sons Of Society in 1999 the band performed a few shows both in New Jersey and in Texas later in the year, then Riot got a small tour in 2000, but Bobby had left again, he got the word that Rob Halford needed a drummer so Bobby left the band for good this time to pursue his career in drumming.
Now the band felt like it was repeating it's self as they had been down this road once before and now need a drummer for a second time as Riot was gearing up for the 2000 tour in Europe, Pat McGrath was hired for the tour to play drums and Riot was off to Europe. When Riot returned from Europe they got word that Dio was looking for an opening band and they might be right for the tour, but just three days out from the start of the tour, the booking agent for Dio had not sent any deposits from the shows and had not sent any kind of contracts to the band for them to sign, so with no deposits and no contract Riot had to cancel that tour with Dio, the band even though spilt on how the tour was going to pay for its self, where going to do it but the start up money to get going was not there and at the last moment Dio's booking agent was offering a much lower amount then what had been agreed upon just weeks before, this made it imposable for Riot to tour with Dio.
It was 2001, time for Riot to find a rock solid drummer to record there 12th album Through The Storm that was released in 2002, Mark had gotten word that Bobby Rondinelli from Blue Öyster Cult was interested in recording the new album, Mark was very happy and asked Bobby to help with the drum parts. Riot also serves up a stunning version of UFO's "Only You Can Rock Me" and an instrumental version of The Beatles' "Here Comes The Sun". The album got great reviews but with the trend totally different now, it was imposable to book any shows and so the band started work on there 13th album Army Of One in 2003.
Down in Texas they where having a big festival and Riot got asked to perform a headlining show, after announcing the show would be taking place, fans came from all over the world to see the band play live once again, it was amazing to see the band perform live again, the fans got one hell of a show that night and sparked a new form of high, one that the band had not felt in sometime, with the release of the there 13th album due out in 2006 and plain to book more shows world wide, one thing is for sure, Riot has survived all these years through member and label changes without changing there stile of music and continues to leave their many loyal fans world wide waiting with anticipation for the next album and any live performances, it seems that Riot is here to stay even if there music is not the trend.
(Source: Official website, 11.9.2013)