Dead Rider Mini Interview (playing Shellac's ATP this December)

Friday 28th September, 2012

Name Of Band: Dead Rider

Hometown: Chicago il, USA

Year Formed: 2009


For the past year and a half, the band formerly known as D. Rider has been busy recording, playing shows… and adding to their lineup.  In 2009 they released their critically acclaimed debut album, Mother Of Curses, while playing shows across the country. The original lineup of Todd Rittmann (vocals, guitar, harmonica, drums), Andrea Faught (synth, vocals, horns), and Noah Tabakin (saxophone, vocals, synth) saw the addition of Theo Katsaounis on drums to complete a live act that would tour the country and gain a reputation as a challenging and entertaining powerhouse.

In early 2010, the band continued to play live, and between tours, headed into their studio to start recording tracks for their next effort: The Raw Dents.  A scheduling conflict with Katsaounis prompted the band to search for a substitute to play some live dates, and asked fellow Chicagoan Matt Espy if he would bridge the gap.  He agreed, and more than rose to the challenge, playing several shows with the band.  The immediate chemistry between Espy and the band was too potent to ignore though, and the idea of a substitute quickly evolved into adding Espy to the recordings, and to the official lineup of the group.

The result is The Raw Dents, and the lineup isn’t the only thing that transformed. This record continues the band’s trajectory of balancing fresh syncopated rhythmic ideas with bold, and sometimes abrasive sonic textures, but the sound has evolved into a total juxtapositions between harmony and noise, chaos and groove, bombast and space, beauty and disaster.  Though the emphasis is on songwriting here, the players are free to subvert.  The hooks are designed more like events than simple repeating motifs, harmony and dissonance are embraced with equal measure.

And one more thing has expanded. In honor of the new additions to the band, the band has de-truncated their name.  They are now known as: DEAD RIDER.

Do your best to describe the sound of your band in one sentence:

"Darkly syncopated" is probably not a sentence.

What are the most recent activities of your band?

Writing and recording a new LP.

How excited are you to play this event?

We await ATP with maximum excitement!

Do you have a connection with Shellac / an idea why you were chosen to play?

Bob Weston mastered our first lp "Mother of Curses" and we all know them from recording/music scene in Chicago. I'm sure they asked us to play because they have excellent taste in music.

Which of your releases do you feel ATP attendees should check out first?

Our last LP "The Raw Dents" is the best place to start.

Is there one of your tracks you think specifically represents you best?

The opening track "Mother Meat" is as good a representation as any.

Are there any other currently confirmed bands you're excited about seeing?

I haven't seen Wire since the late 80's. They kicked ass. There are quite a few names here I don't recognize, I'll try to see all of them.

If you were curating, name three bands you'd want to play your event...

Cody Chestnutt
Van Hunt

If you could pick one record release in the last year which would you recommend?

Racebannon "Sick Six Sisters"


Dead Rider play ATP's Nightmare Before Christmas festival curated by Shellac this November 30th-December 2nd. The event is sold out but interested parties can sign up to a waiting list in case of future ticket releases here.

Read some previous mini interviews with bands playing this event:

Three Second Kiss
Bear Claw
Mission Of Burma
Red Fang