CANDY RIOT NEW ALBUM RELEASE : ‘MOONSTAR’ - Interview
Released August 31st 2022, the synth dream that is ‘MOONSTAR’ hit streaming platforms to a much welcomed reception.
"Prosper Park is a song that, like the lyrics, pulls us into a dream” Pop Fad Blog
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Candy Riot are a synth-rock experience formed in Austin, Texas 2020. Band members Bobby Cheatham, Liz Feezor, Ricky Rodriguez, and Erica Porter blend dueling synths, dreamy guitar riffs, driving dance beats, and soaring vocal harmonies. Creating a distinct groove, the four piece sound has been likened to synth pop legends - somewhere between The Eurhythmics and Depeche Mode. Debuting ‘MOONSTAR’ August 2022, this full-length LP ignites a fun synth sound. Pairing significant lived experiences with a dance twist, the tracks take the audience on an upbeat glimpse into the anecdotes of Candy Riot. Reminiscing a range of nostalgia - death and divorce to marriage and parenting - it’s clear each member has their own individuality, bringing a unionized and polished sound to their debut.
“Serious 80s vibes & vocal harmonies” The Other Side Reviews
With an emotive creative process, each track captures feeling and a personal standpoint around cultural rhetoric; but in a fun and vulnerable fashion. Inspired by a love of '80s music and the progress of audio technology, an experimental approach has been adopted to create the album - influenced by more freedom with at-home music production.
The accessibility of fun for all is imperative to the Candy Riot rock/pop sound; catching the attention of MangoWave, The Other Side Reviews, We Are YMX & Pop Fad Blog. The band values the ability to laugh at oneself whilst curating a soundtrack to raw emotions. The full-length LP centers around the notion that music has a transformative ability to encourage vulnerability and keep each other open-hearted. FLEX had the opportunity to interview the four piece following the release of their latest album, 'MOONSTAR' :
Love the album! What’s your favorite track on there? Why?
Prosper Park, because of two things: trailer park sex and sweet Mandy Brown.
A close second is Vincent Dylan, which started with an image of hardwood floors, an empty room in an empty house, an envelope in the middle of the floor. We created a character named Vincent Dylan because he sounded like someone who would steal a wife. St. Vincent and Dylan Thomas influenced us so we borrowed parts of their names for the antagonist.
How do you hope to resonate with audiences on an emotional level? What topics do you cover in MOONSTAR that might echo another’s lived experience?
On our debut album, we share about catching feelings, considering monogamy, hot sex in a trailer park, getting fucked over, losing a loved one, resisting society’s expectations of what one is “supposed” to do with their life, getting fucked over (again), not fitting in, losing friends to conspiracies and cults, and a near-death experience. So, you know, universal themes that hit on the emotional Richter scale.
In your press kit, you place emphasis on at home production; Would you argue that lockdown shaped the album to evolve the way it has?
Yeah, the lockdown caused us to write the lyrics first then build the music around the words, versus the other way around. We started doing video calls to shape the story - so the pandemic improved our lyric writing and forced us to find a way to connect in the distance.
Cover art is so important when encapsulating the overall vibe of the music (love the color scheme for MOONSTAR by the way… that pink is unreal). How did you find your album’s artist, Rick Gonzalez - what aspect of his art drew him to you as the right curator for this project? How does the final piece capture the mood of the synth fever dream?
Bobby played in a synth band with Rick previously and loves his sense of design. Rick created all of Candy Riot’s cover art (and at least half the pieces for AI, the band’s previous name).
The theme of Moonstar is looking forward to the future after surviving past trauma. Our target artwork was a bright color scheme indicating optimism, and imagery of forward movement to signify one can move on from the past.
Where do you see Candy Riot heading over the next few months? What are your aspirations for your album and performing it to your audiences?
We will chase new experiences that connect with people and find the best balance of live shows & online presence. Last weekend our album release show in Austin was a smash, and in October we shoot our first music video for our single ‘Black Tie’.
We’ve also sketched our second album that stars a fictional character with a rad name. Moonstar was entirely autobiographical but we want to feel the freedom of writing from someone else’s point of view.
CANDY RIOT by Jessica Arroyo Photography