Toronto’s Riot Fest & Expo is coming at us fast and furious on September 19 and 20 at Downsview Park. Weezer, The Prodigy, Bleachers, Cancer Bats, Courage My Love, and Ritual join a diverse array of bands previously announced. To top it off, Weezer will play both days of the festival, performing their eponymous debut (known as the Blue Album) one day and Pinkerton on the other. For fans a little tight on budget – Riot Fest brings back its layaway program, with the option to pay ticket costs in several installments during the lead up to the fest.
The Joy Formidable
Childhood friends and then couple Ritzy Bryan and bassist Rhydian Dafydd originally played together as part of Manchester band Tricky Nixon, which later reformed into Sidecar Kisses. After Sidecar Kisses split up in 2007, they regrouped, returning to their Welsh home town of Mold, and formed The Joy Formidable with Justin Stahley on drums. In July 2008, they released their first official single, “Austere”. It was followed by a Christmas single, “My Beerdrunk Soul Is Sadder than a Hundred Dead Christmas Trees”, issued as a 2008 digital download, and the “Cradle” double 7″ in 2009. In January 2009, their self-released debut EP, A Balloon Called Moaning, was issued in the UK.
In 2009, they replaced Stahley with Matthew James Thomas. That April, they teamed with a new label started by Passion Pit’s Ayad Al Adhamy, Black Bell Records, to release A Balloon Called Moaning in the U.S, earning favourable reviews from NME, The Guardian, The Times, Spin and Pitchfork.
In 2010, the band signed to Canvasback Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic, and began work on their debut album ,The Big Roar which was recorded in London. Dafydd said that “(it) covers a lot of emotional range. It’s captured the battle between the eternal optimist and the manic depressive”. The album was produced by The Joy Formidable with help from engineer Neak Menter. The band traveled to Los Angeles to mix it with producer Rich Costey, who had worked with bands such as Mew, Muse, Foo Fighters and Glasvegas.
The Big Roar was released on 24 January 2011 and included early singles “Austere”, “Cradle” and “Whirring” as well as two further singles, “I Don’t Want to See You Like This” and “A Heavy Abacus” (“Whirring” was later sampled by The Lonely Island on “YOLO”). In November 2011, their song “Endtapes” was featured on the The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn film soundtrack.
Most of the writing for Wolf’s Law was done on the road during the 12-month tour in support of their previous record, The Big Roar. Commenting on the writing process for the album, Bryan explained that the songs for the album were approached with vocals and one accompaniment (either guitar or piano) before being built upon, stating, “It’s all about the lyrics, the voice and the melody”. The vocals and guitars were recorded in January 2012 in Maine, while drums and additional orchestral and choir pieces for the record were scored and recorded by the band in February 2012 in London. Mixing duties for the record were handled by Andy Wallace while the records production was completed by the band. The album title referred to Wolff’s law, a scientific theory by Julius Wolff which posits that bones may become stronger in response to stress as a form of adaptation. According to Bryan, this related to one of the major themes of the album, which is “relationships on the mend and feeling reinvigorated”; she continued that the album felt like the band reconnecting with them emotionally and spiritually.
For Record Store Day on 20 April 2013, the Joy Formidable released a limited-edition 12″ single featuring Wolf’s Law outtake “A Minute’s Silence” backed by a live cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Badlands”.
On 16 July 2013, the band released the EP Silent Treatment. The four-song EP included William Orbit’s remix of the title track and the new song “All This Promise.”
FIDLAR is a skate punk/garage punk band from Los Angeles, California. The band is currently signed to Mom + Pop Music in the US, Wichita Recordings in the UK and Dine Alone Records in Canada.
The band’s name is an acronym for ‘Fuck It Dog, Life’s A Risk’, a skate mantra gleaned from singer Zac Carper’s former roommates, or ‘Forget It Dad, Lifes All Right’. Originally, FIDLAR went under the name ‘Fuck The Clock’, as referenced in their song ‘Cheap Beer’. Founding members, Carper and Elvis Kuehn met while working at a recording studio in which Carper was employed as an engineer and Kuehn was an intern. The two started recording songs when the studio was empty and posting the finished products online. Three years after recording their first songs they stepped on stage together with The Black Lips and went on tour with The Hives.
Check out The Joy Formidable and Fidlar at Toronto’s Riot Fest & Expo!
In previous years, Riot Fest and their partners at Union Events have cultivated lineups that have featured reunions and rare appearances—and 2015 is no exception. Bands such as Drive Like Jehu and Thrice will be making reunion appearances at Riot Fest & Expo. Moreover, rare appearances by Alexisonfire, Echo & The Bunnymen and Motörhead give 2015’s edition its unique feel.
Outside of the announced bands, this year’s festival will also include a circus tent featuring the Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue, a miniature golf course, a video arcade hall, and a wide array of food and drink options.
Link to purchase Riot Fest & Expo Toronto tickets: