Thought Riot started in the summer of ’97 with Bryan on bass, Ben drums, and Marc on guitar/ vocals after the break-up of a previous band Piss Off!. Right from the start the two goals of the band were to write the best music possible and be a source of information regarding concerns we observed in the political structure and society around. We primarily played the Merced to Stockton region and recorded things here and there (none of which ever came to see the mixing/mastering process). In the winter of ’97 a line-up change took place. Bryan to moved to lead vocals, Marc returned to just playing guitar, Mike came in to play bass, and Josh became the second guitarist. Now a five-piece, we played a few more shows but by the summer of ’98 Bryan was out. A demo was recorded shortly after – Our Six Best Takes – which was short lived due to Ben’s, and then Josh’s, departure in ’99. This left Marc and Mike, sitting around with hopes of a future time when the band would once again be a band. Things started happening in the spring of 2000. Kelley (guitar) joined the band and soon after Brian (guitar) and Brad (drums), from the Stockton band Stepdown. Marc laid down the guitar and took up the role of lead vocalist, and so it stands. In the summer of ‘00 we completed a 4 song project, our first real demo, at the Art of Ears in Hayward, Ca. It’s titled Bright Dreams for a Dark World and it received great feedback. In the early months of ‘01, we were contacted by the guys in Anti-Flag, who run a label called A-F Records. We started talking and then a few “short” months later we finished talks and signed with them. In October and November of ‘01 we returned to the Art of Ears and recorded Shattered Mirror Syndrome, our debut full-length release. After the A-F Records “Mobilize for Peace” Tour Thought Riot and Brad and Brian Stark parted ways. Adam Parker (Before 20, Sepsis) joined the ranks. Bryan Harrison filled in and played guitar for the A-F Records West Coast “Focus” Tour, before becoming a full time member shortly after that. About the political side of the band; we fashion our songs critiques, meant not in the vein of we are right and you are wrong, but in the spirit of inspiring conversation. If our lyrics and music get people talking about issues and the like, regardless of whether or not they agree or disagree, then we feel like we’ve accomplished something to be proud of. 3 of the 5 members are vegetarian and interested in Animal Rights and environmental issues. For the most part we are a drug-free band; HOWEVER, only 2 members are actually “straight edge” and we are in no way a “straight edge band”. For a better idea of groups, ideas, causes that we relate to please visit the links page and checkout some of the sites there. Not all songs however are strictly on the political side and we have songs about the pains and joys of living a full life. Life is not all politics and rhetoric, and we fully understand this. It’s hard to care about the suffering of a people a whole world away when you’re having relationship problems/work stress/living difficulties/health issues and the list goes on. Most people are not hardcore activists and they don’t want to be. We don’t pretend to be, but all of us can always do little things within the sphere of our world to contribute to the overall good of the whole planet. And sometimes just having the strength and courage to live the way you want to live can be the best thing you can do.
Dave Romano – firstname.lastname@example.org