Pint Shot Riot brings Coventry chords to Fight Night Round 4Shawn Drotar

Posted on May 30th, 2009 in Gaming, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, News, Opinion, Music by Shawn Drotar

As the music and gaming worlds collide, the resulting explosion of sight and sound has provided fertile ground for artists big and small to promote their latest single. Electronic Arts took the lead in this field by creating EA Trax, which has since served as a springboard for talented acts to introduce their music to a new and captive audience.

For EA Sports’ highly-anticipated Fight Night Round 4, British band Pint Shot Riot arrives on the scene with its song, “Punches, Kicks, Trenches and Swords,” which illustrates their punk roots, with a little more melodic flow and an playful edge that makes them both catchy and appealing. Already renowned in Coventry, northwest of London, where their nearby live performances have become a drawing card for miles around, Pint Shot Riot is ready to make a splash in the States; not through a standard album release, but with their rollicking anthem that’ll get any gamer ready to step into the virtual ring and throw a few hooks.

Last week, we had the opportunity to discuss the new roundabout way to arriving on the scene with “Baby Dave”, the band’s bassist, and talk about how the gaming and music worlds fit - and sometimes struggle to fit - together.

Shawn Drotar: Pint Shot Riot is just a classic name for a a punk band; after all, that’s often the sequence of events, isn’t it? But your band’s name is as serendipitous as it is clever, isn’t it? According to your website, one of you text messaged a friend, asking if he “fancied a pint”, but the phone’s predictive text gave you three possible words as you typed… by music standards, that’s almost “geek cred”! Despite Pint Shot Riot’s stripped-down musical sound, do any of you consider yourself “techies” as well as musicians?

Baby Dave: Indeed. That is correct, the (band’s) name is derived from predictive text but we thought that the sound of those words together could mean more than that, so we adopted it. In any band, there is always a certain ‘techie’ element, and in ours, I’d say that me and Rob (lead guitarist) are more into that side of things and Rocket (vocals and rhythm guitar) and Mini Rocket (drums and backing vocals) are more into fashion and that sort of thing. It is a nice balance.

SD: One of your songs, “Punches, Kicks, Trenches and Swords,” is featured in the upcoming Fight Night Round 4 boxing simulation. I’ve heard that it may be more than a happy coincidence that your music will be featured in a boxing videogame. What are your thoughts about “the sweet science”?

BD: Well, there is a history in Coventry of boxing gyms and local boxing events, and some of the band have dabbled with it ourselves. I think it is an awesome way of keeping fit and channeling aggression, but as a spectator sport I think boxing is just now starting to take a back seat to UFC (mixed martial arts). At the moment, it’s only slight but more people are noticing that the fights can be more technical and explosive, and you are guaranteed a decent undercard which makes for better pay-per-view. Maybe one day people will be more into MMA gyms in Coventry too.

SD: That has been a challenge for boxing of late; to stay relevant. But in video-game-land, boxing might be getting bigger than ever, so it must be exciting to play some small part in keeping the spirit alive. To that end, are any of you gamers? Do you play when you want to unwind after a long gig or at during the lulls in a road trip?

BD: Like most people, we like to play a little when we get a chance. To unwind, it’s probably NHL or FIFA but if we are together, it’s usually a fighting game. We like Street Fighter 4 a lot, also Mortal Kombat Versus DC universe has it’s moments and you can’t go wrong with Smackdown. It’s fair to say we’re really looking forward to seeing who’s got the skills on Fight Night Round 4 and who’s gonna knock out who!

SD: I always like hearing about a punk band that has that rebellious streak in its blood and likes to throw down a bit. If you guys only played Flower, for instance, I’d be worried. The demo for Fight Night Round 4, which has just been released, features a virtual rematch of the recent Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton bout. Speaking for Hatton’s countrymen, are you looking forward to a chance at a little revenge for his loss?

BD: Oh, for sure, from a national pride perspective, but I think that the Pac-Man is the better fighter and nothing will change that. Ricky Hatton will always be a legend, though.

SD: You’ve referenced The Clash, Oasis and The Kinks as musical influences. Please tell us a little bit more about Pint Shot Riot’s music and what separates you from those bands.

BD: Our music is written to help express how we feel about the people and situations we see around us, and I guess that is something we have in common with those bands. People have to make their own minds up about music as everyone has their own tastes and preferences. We are an honest band with songs that we believe in and we play every note as hard and passionately as we can. Ultimately though, I guess you’ll just have to listen to find out for yourself.

SD: What was the genesis of this arrangement between the band and the game? How and why did you select “Punches, Kicks, Trenches and Swords”?

BD: Well, it’s out of our hands really. EA picks the music that compliments the nature of the game.

SD: I suppose it’s hard to argue with “Punches, Kicks, Trenches and Swords” in a fighting game, though… What do you hope for by having your song in the game? It is more than just exposure to a large audience that might be unfamiliar with your work?

BD: Well, apart from the things you mentioned, we will definitely be taking satisfaction in hearing our own music on an EA Sports game. We all have grown up in an era where every person we know has played an EA title at some point, and to be included in a project like this is awesome.

SD: What’s next (or should I say, on tap?) for Pint Shot Riot? U.S. tour? World domination? Or just more blowing the doors off more downtown halls with your music?

BD: We’re planning our next single release soon, so we’ve been busy getting photos, videos etc. together for that. We have also been mastering and re-mastering our album until we reckon it’s ready for release later this year, and a spot of rehearsal for some upcoming live shows around the U.K.

SD: Thank you for your time, “Baby Dave”. I’m sure gamers will enjoy hearing Pint Shot Riot in the game, whether it’s for the first time or the hundredth. Best of luck - and congratulations!

BD: Thank you very much!

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Please enjoy “Punches, Kicks, Trenches and Swords” below - and be sure to visit Pint Shot Riot’s home page at: http://www.pintshotriot.co.uk, their MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/pintshotriot and download their music at iTunes!


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