It isn’t every day that a band from Coventry in the UK has its music featured on some of the biggest videogames in the world.
But that is exactly what Pint Shot Riot has achieved in its short lifespan since being set up 2007. Whilst most bands are fighting in a saturated market, Pink Shot Riot has achieved dreams in just three short years.
Formed on a cold January Day back in 2007, band members, Rocket, Mini Rocket, Baby Dave and Rob had their first rehearsal at a backstreet studio in Coventry. And it was there Pint Shot Riot emerged from what it is today.
But why the unusual names and where did they originate from? Rocket came from a pub infamous with some of Coventry FC’s football hooligan firms called (you guessed it), the Rocket pub. His younger cousin, who wasn’t so famous, was dubbed Mini Rocket.
It was up to the pair to try and find a bassist and so they entered their local music studio where they stumbled upon Dave. Dubbed Baby Dave thanks to his height, the band needed one final piece in the jigsaw, a lead guitarist.
And that was where Rob came in. Looking further afield, the band at that point recalled a ‘top class’ guitarist who had being working at a studio in Birmingham where a few recordings had being made in PSR’s earliest incarnation.
A phone call or two later and Rob was onboard and Pint Shot Riot was complete.
Basing themselves on the eclectic rhythms of classic band The Clash mixed with the working-class attitude of Brit-pop sensation Oasis alongside the melodies of The Kinks, PSR’s music is heavily influenced by ambition. And how appropriate that was with what laid ahead for the band.
“We were extremely happy when Artwerk approached us,” says Baby Dave, bassist for PSR.
“The promise of good exposure on a new medium was what interested us” he adds. For Pint Shot Riot, the initial exposure came from publishing there music on their own record label dubbed ‘Life In The Big City Records’.
Exposure on national radio stations such as Kerrang, xfm and 6Music as well as in Q Magazine helped boost publicity for the young band. Extremely lucky to achieve success in the short period they had formed, it took many years of dedication in particular for Dave as he grew up:
“As long as I remember, I have had musicians in my family. I always knew I would learn to play,” Dave proudly explains.
He adds, “My Dad used to play lots of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and David Bowie. I was lucky therefore to get an insight into music from an early age”.
Whilst most bands will be sending demo tapes out on a daily basis and trying to push exposure, Pint Shot Riot got lucky thanks to some dedication and ambition; just like the lyrics in their songs.
Exposure was what Artwerk would grant Pint Shot Riot and ensure that their music wasn’t just heard in the UK, but around the world.
“We were happy to sign a publishing deal with [Artwerk] and certainly it was an added bonus that we would be part of EA’s games” says Baby Dave.
But this unusual movement into videogames is something that PSR were lucky to experience when EA first approached them to include a track in The Sims 3 back in late 2008.
Since then they have featured in Fight Night Round 4 and the biggest of all, FIFA 10. For them, the ultimate success was featuring in a game they’d played as kids.
But is the traditional format of radio and television now inaccessible for bands such as PSR? “I’d say they were far from being a dead format,” Baby Dave answers.
“At the moment the traditional route is still a young band’s best way of getting ahead, but video games are becoming more and more important as another way of finding exposure,” he adds.
Arguably videogame music is a future for bands, with EA leading the way in showcasing new talent alongside some of the more mainstream regulars, as we’ve found out in a previous article.
With more and more teenagers setting their sights on the dreams of being a rock star or pop star, now is the best time for PSR to be emerging from between all the spotty wannabes who want to be the next Green Day.
Artwerk are therefore very, very important for Pint Shot Riot, especially as they are the latest signing on the label. The importance of success for EA is crucial and they certainly want to pick the cream of the crop to showcase in their latest releases.
“Being part of EA, that feels very specials,” grins Dave. “I’ve always being a gamer to some extent and FIFA is one of my favourite games and has being for years. Finding out we were featuring in [FIFA 10] blew me away and to consider how many people will be playing it all over the world, listening to Pint Shot Riot feels pretty humbling”.
The importance of music in videogames is something we’ve being focussing on and will continue to do so in our music specials, but how important is it for Pint Shot Riot?
The band will feature in upcoming EA games during 2010 but the band has not had confirmation which ones at this stage and Artwerk are remaining tight-lipped.
Of course it’s only in recent years that music has advanced alongside the technology used with graphics to create the games we play today. When Pint Shot Riot were young, games for the Megadrive and Super Nintendo featured basic sound output.
“I remember Road Rash, which was one of my favourites on the Megadrive. I think the series which epitomised music however was Tony Hawk’s and that remains my favourite videogame soundtrack of all time,” says Dave.
What does the future hold for Pint Shot Riot though and where does Dave want the band to be in a year’s time?
“Ideally surrounded by piles of cash, loose women and free EA games,” he laughs. The aspirations for the time being may not seem that high, but for the time being PSR are enjoying the potential that videogame exposure has brought them.
The final message to those interested in making the same grade? “I’d just say make the music you want to make, do it to the best of your abilities and you stand as good a chance as anyone else.” Dave ends.
Pint Shot Riot are living proof that videogames today have heralded a new era for bands trying to break the big time even if they come from a small town in the Midlands.
We’re sure that this is just the beginning.
Thanks to Jenny Jobring for arranging the interview and to Baby Dave from PSR. You can find out more about Artwerk in our previous articles, Part 1 and Part 2. Tell us your views below and look out for more in our special series of music articles in the coming weeks!