Getting To Know – The Riot Vans

We all love a trip to Glasgow, especially if there is live music at the end of that journey. However, have you stopped to think how much you spend on Scotrail services each year? The Riot Vans have and they aren’t best pleased about it.

‘Scotrail’s Stealing All My Money’ was released a couple of weeks ago and we wanted to find out more about that and the band.

Hi, The Riot Vans for those who don’t know you yet, tell us about yourselves, and did you get your name from the Arctic Monkeys song?

(Charlie)Where do we start? We are The Riot Vans, a punk group from Perth and Dunfermline but now based in Glasgow. Myself, Aidan, Jack, and Adam have all been at it for years in different bands but it’s about now where we’ve properly come together and became what you see now. We’ve dived into many a genre before but it’s this fast, dance-able punk outfit that’s suited us the best I think, god knows what we’ll do next, but it’s super exciting thinking of what’s to come. But when it comes to the name, I honestly can say it didn’t come from the monkeys track, just an image and a sound that we stumbled upon one day, think it’s quite fitting.

Who are your influences and how would you describe your music?

(Jack) it’s a horrible question because we all eehhh our influences don’t necessarily show on our currently released songs? Maybe our influences won’t be relevant but well give it a go.

(Jack) I’m into a lot of disco, love, love, love, Radiohead. Been listening to a lot of the Beatles solo stuff. Bowie. Tame impala stuff like that, I’m trying to think of which artists have really affected my songwriting eh.

(Aidan) well, I guess you can read into the punk thing mainly from me and Charlie. As younger men, we were mahusivley into the punk scene. We were watching slaves at T in the Park when we were 15. Very good may I add. So yeah punk was huge for me when I was younger so all the music that’s been coming out recently-ish has a whole lot to do with that. I’ll list a few for good measure; Beatles are quality, you know this, the prodigy, Idles and just dancey cool shit of all kinds.

Adam is into Stevie Wonder, Rush, Jacob Collier, Radiohead, and all and a healthy serving of disco and soul. So I suppose its easy to see where our love of punk; that you can have a bit of a boogie too comes from.

You have just released your new single, Scotrails Stealing all my money, tell us about it

(Charlie) ‘Scotrail’s Stealing All My Money’ came from the time when I was commuting to Glasgow every day for college back in 2019. I had this severe anger towards the train service our nation has bestowed upon us. They charged me through the teeth every day, twenty quid there, twenty quid back, and it was to the point where I’d start hiding in the toilets in an act to dodge the vicious ticket man, Abellio, and their hungry pockets. Terrifying scenes when you heard a knock on the toilet doors I must say, but we got this song out of it so there’s one positive!

We imagine you have a raucous live show tell us about the shows and are you looking forward to getting back to it.

(Aidan)no I’m not looking forward the shows. I hate them.

(Jack) I don’t know what to say to that, our live shows are mental no doubt, Charlie and Aidan stage presence is a thing to behold. Every time I get up on stage with them, they still baffle me. So, I guess not only me but everyone has that to look forward to. As for Aidan he seems to be enjoying the covid lifestyle but, yeah we definitely cannot wait to get back on stage and show you what we’ve been working on.

We cant do this without mentioning the ongoing pandemic. How have you been the last year and have you been keeping busy?

(Aidan) Yeah very, me, Jack and Charlie are in a flat together and we’re kinda stuck here. So we’ve had nothing better to do than write some new material, no gigs is very pish, so we will be getting back into the rehearsal studio ASAP. Lots of new material to work on.

Its hard to collaborate with adam our drummer as he lives ages away but hes been chipping away at a couple of his own tunes and if I can say so, 2021 should be a good year for the riot vans.

What was the last gig you were at? 

(Jack) It was the day before national lockdown, it was in Edinburgh, and it was our show of all places. We had some other dates planned up north with some amazing artists, gutted they were cancelled as it was the best one of our shows that I’ve ever been to. 

We met some amazing artists that night, ‘The Ruvellas’, good, good lads. And our new best pal Indoor Foxes, who makes the cutest indie bops (sorry Martha) that you ever heard. 

We are loving the punk scene coming out of Scotland at the moment who are your favourites and who should we be checking out?

(Aidan) Good question, ‘Pizza Crunch’ come to mind, love the name. Never met the boys but their latest single “Coma-inducing Gibberish” is one of my favourite tracks at the moment so no excuses if you don’t have Spotify to check that out. 

Fiendz YT are incredible, if you want nothing more than an angry lad shouting as hard as he can at you, that would be my first port of call.

Walt disco, if you call them punk, not really punk. but their latest EP was awesome. The last track “Heather” is the closest to musical perfection that I’ve heard from Glasgow since Blue Nile. 

Whos your dream support slot and at which venue?

(Charlie) Good question, Talking Heads at the Stop Making Sense shows. Is that allowed? 

What’s the plan for 2021 in an ideal world?

(Jack) Well an ideal world would be no covid now, so I guess It would be straight in the studio to record more stuff and heavy practicing for (fingers crossed) gig season. We have had lots of time to dwell on the preliminary work. Our catalogue of unreleased music is getting quite extensive, this will be rectified as soon as possible.

(Aidan) Well I just bought a new amp, and I’ve not got to play it very loud yet and Charlies got one coming too, we just wanna get back on the road man, I reckon our neighbours have heard our new tunes enough, feel bad for them

(Jack) Don’t mate, there great.

Describe the riot vans with one song (not your own)?

(Charlie)I would go with The Changingman by Paul Weller, I think we’d all choose different songs but this one is most important to me. One thing done and onto the next thing!