Kurt Riley Talks of Music, Old, New, and the Plans Ahead!

Rock n roll act KURT RILEY had said "When I was a teenager, rock and roll saved my life. Ever since, I have felt that it is my responsibility to return the favor." Thus with that, he has spent time creating music over the years, leading to his newest and latest project being this band KURT RILEY. A handful of releases, albums along with singles have followed with even newer music in the works, with much more to come as well. Find out what else was talked about besides music.

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

I was birthed out of a stew of DC Comics, T.Rex, Star Trek, and The Rolling Stones. My first record was engineered by Beyoncé producer BOOTS; my sophomore effort was a sci-fi concept album about a doomed alien king who comes to Earth in search of his missing queen.

For fifteen years, I performed with a litany of brilliant musicians across several states and cities, in one band after another. However, it is only within the past two years that I’ve found the band I was looking for the entire time – and I now consider myself the luckiest man in the world. Ironically, I got back into music after leaving it for a little while, as success had been elusive. It was while I was in college that things began to go gangbusters with my artistic side – crazy world, innit?

Mr. Rick Kline, our bassist, is an incredibly versatile player; he can do everything from doomy synth-bass to effortlessly fluid jazz lines on a fretless unit. He’s also an amazing human being – magnanimous, hilarious, and endlessly kind. Without Rick, I would have quit long ago.

Mr. Charlie Jones, our synthesizer and keyboard player, is a brilliant musician; he is capable of everything from vast sonic soundscapes to rollicking blues piano. Additionally, Charlie shares my deep love for retro console gaming, the works of David Cronenberg, and science fiction.

Mr. Sesu Coleman, our newest member, is a stellar drummer with a meter like a rock. A legend from the NYC music scene, he formed The Magic Tramps, who opened CBGBs and Max’s Kansas City in the early 1970s. He’s shared stages with The New York Dolls, Alan Vega, and Billy Idol, and he is the drummer I’ve been waiting for since I was 14 – Sesu loves Bo Diddley and The Rolling Stones just as much as I do.

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

Kurt Riley is not my given name, but I took it on at the age of 14 as a nom de plume. Since I was a boy, I’ve adored the power of alternate identities – how they can permit a person to invoke a different spirit, and become another being entirely. (Blame Batman for that obsession. Ha ha.)

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Currently, we reside in Central New York. The winters are gorgeous and chilly; the wine is sweet, and the people are idiosyncratic. A lovely little place to watch the leaves change and relax when one comes home from the craziness of a concert.

Teencat is my favorite local band. They’re a hilarious, tight punk-pop outfit, whose songs are almost totally written about cats. Hell of a good time in concert, too.

4. How would you describe your style?


5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

Three albums: Brighthead (2010), Kismet (2016), and Tabula Rasa (2017)
Two singles: Love Is In My Heart (Feb. 2018) and Failure of Imagination (Sept. 2018)
Listeners can expect immaculately crafted pop music for the 21st Century mind. Lovingly textured instruments, baroque piano lines, punchy glam rock guitars, and lyrics which address everything from Elon Musk to love in the age of Tinder.

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

Absolutely! The fellas and I are releasing a single in December 2018 called Be Cool (appropriate for winter, no?) which will be the final entry in the initial pop phase of my career. With that song, I’ll finish the first panel in the triptych.

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

The band and I performed sixty times in 2018, and I seek to double that in the new year. It’s been an absolute ball; playing live is such a joy. We wish to expand outside of our comfort zone and perform in new cities & states – and countries.

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

In January 2019, we’re completely remaking and remodeling our sound. It will be the beginning of a brand new sonic and conceptual phase, called Chrome Empire. Imagine what The Rolling Stones would have sounded like if they formed as a bar band in the world of Blade Runner – rock and roll for the future.

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?


10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

That the age of musical heroes is not over yet. The underdog is coming.

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