The Salt Riot is a passion trio that comes on strong and as big as stadium rock, that is somehow as intimate as a favorite LP from your childhood heroes. Pre-release single “BOOM” has already gotten lots of YouTube love as the band has been playing oodles of shows (including benefits for Bernie Sanders and other righteous causes) in the Emerald City and elsewhere.
The band blend an eclectic mix of creative influences into the engaging, driving alternative rock sound known as The Salt Riot. Their first full length Dead Star was recorded and produced with innovative veteran David Miner at Chartreuse Muffin Studios. (Two songs, “Would You Walk?” and “Giver” were recorded and produced with Jack Machin at Mighty Maverick Studios). They had worked with Miner on an earlier EP, and say that sculpting their first full length there felt like creating “in their second home.”
What is Dead Star about?
“SOOOOO many things,” Julia says. “But most importantly its name derives from perception. A ‘dead star’ is still seen millions of miles away but it is actually gone. It only lives in our perception. I like the duo translation of the fallen rock star, fallen icon, the results of the fallen ego. Once on top of the world, burnt to a crisp.
Complex, dizzying, mesmerizing key song “American Frying Pan has a lot to do with re-naming the melting pot, the frying pan. We are fried, wired — we no longer go through the process of having to melt into one; we are One, only with technology. and it comes with its own new level of danger.”
“Other themes on Dead Star explore religious hypocrisy and ‘selling’ philosophy, even science; and the damage from capitalism. But there are a few songs about love — “Giver” — and loss — “Would You Walk?”
Julia Vidal (vocals, lyrics, guitars, violin, and synths) grew up playing classical violin in Alaska. She grew first loving George Michael, then a steady diet of The Beatles, and later Modest Mouse and Led Zeppelin. Her first violin teacher was a Russian woman who had played at the Bolshoi in Moscow professionally before marrying an Alaskan man and moving. She recalls a strict level of teaching. She played throughout high school and received a music scholarship to the University of Notre Dame before taking off for Seattle to pursue starting a band.
Jack Machin (bass, audio mixing, co-produced The Dead Star) started trombone around the age of 10 and played in jazz band during his formative years. He taught himself how to navigate Pro-Tools by the age of 15 and began recording high school bands in his dads basement. He also played guitar in high school in a band called the Breakers, covered by the Seattle Times. He is a deliciously melodic bass player, perhaps inspired by being a lover of Vivaldi’s music, funk and grunge, and “oh yeah, Herbie Hancock.”
Julia likes to laugh at this quote from high school Jack: “Rock music is really about male testosterone force,” he said — adding that he and his bandmates try to keep that energy in check. (“Oh the irony of being in a female fronted band now.”)
Nick La Pointe (percussion) has been playing drums from a young age and was heavily involved in his schools symphony as percussion growing up. La Pointe is deeply into metal, and his multi-layered drums make The Salt Riots a mesmerizing experience.
More about the band, live shows, and Dead Star can be found here: