Editor’s Note: Recently, Canadian indie-pop artist Riotron conversed with Madness To Creation on his single “There For You” along with the importance of mental health awareness. Riotron would describe his influences as a mix of the sci-fi film “Tron” along with the 80’s musings of Duran Duran, while also drawing influences from Madonna and Phil Collins. Fans can find Riotron at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Describe Riotron using a movie title.
Riotron: Well the easy answer here would be ‘Tron’ since the original film partly inspired the name ‘Riotron’ (the first part is from the Duran Duran song ‘Rio’) but I’m going to go with ‘The Last Starfighter’. It’s classic sci-fi with big concepts and lots of heart.
Madness To Creation: What are the three biggest reasons why you got into music?
Riotron: Well number one I’d say, my family. I come from one of those where everyone are musicians of some kind. Every uncle, aunt and cousin can play an instrument or sing or do something so it just feels really natural to me. My Mom used to sit at the piano with me and teach me how to play my favorite songs. My sister was a big influence on my taste. When I was really young we would cruise around town blasting Blondie and I just thought that was the coolest.
Number two, my shyness. I’m a naturally introverted person and performing was the first thing to really help get me out of my shell. When I was in college I barely ever left my dorm room and I was lucky enough to have a friend who dragged me out to auditions and encouraged me to share my music. It really helped my confidence. Songwriting is a way for me to communicate ideas I’m shy to talk about.
Number three, is focus. I have a big imagination that is ‘on’ all the time. It can be very distracting and having something like music helps to keep my imagination focused on something productive.
Madness To Creation: Take us into the Canadian music scene, especially where you’re from.
Riotron: Currently I’m a big fan of The Weeknd who’s Canadian and he’s been a big influence on pop music all across the country. Locally in Winnipeg where I’m from, there’s a really fresh scene that’s starting to bubble up. There’s a cool group called ‘Life of Kai’ and I love their sound. Another group called ‘Vikings’ is probably the most creative in the electronic music scene. There’s also new rap artist in Winnipeg who goes by ‘Flamenco Sketch’ and his lyrics are soulful and real.
In general, Winnipeg has a lot of roots in folk and rock. We’re home to bands like The Guess Who and songwriters like Neil Young. So even artists creating in different genres feel the weight of that kind of musical legacy. What you get is music from all genres that has a lot of folky overtones in the lyrics and melodies.
Madness To Creation: You released the single “There For You”, what are some memories that stand out creating that song?
Riotron: Honestly, I wanted to write a song to make myself feel better about saying goodbye. I realized that when I really know someone, I can imagine what they would say to me even if they’re not there. When I see something they’d love, I feel like I can almost hear their comments. If I’m doing something stupid, I can hear their advice. We never really say goodbye because the people we love imprint on us and we on them. It’s simple but comforting.
Madness To Creation: You’re releasing “Dark Highway” EP later on this year, what can fans expect from it?
Riotron: The Dark Highway EP is my nod to those awesome eighties movie soundtracks like ‘Top Gun’ and ‘Footloose’. I wanted to write songs that were very diverse but still came together to tell a story. Sonically, I’m trying to explore more of a dance-rock sound. I feel like everyone who says “eighties” right now goes right to lush synths so I’m going to explore stuff with more guitar and more horns.
Madness To Creation: Madness To Creation covers mental health awareness, take us into the importance of taking care of your mental health and some things you do to help.
Riotron: Well first of all, can I say how cool the name “Madness to Creation” is? Anyone who is an artist gets it immediately. It’s essentially what we all do right? Trying to turn our pain into something beautiful.
Songwriting has been great therapy for me because the creative process is like mental archaeology. Sometimes I start writing words and I have no idea where I’m going and then I later look objectively at what I wrote and find it reveals some deep feelings or thoughts I may have had that I wasn’t consciously aware of.
In terms of personal mental health, I feel It’s very important to always have a level of self-awareness. I always try to take time to reflect on what motivates me and if it’s coming from a healthy, positive place. I find a good exercise is to give yourself advice as though you were a friend. Sometimes, it’s easier to see when friends might be struggling with something.
Madness To Creation: What are some goals for Riotron this year?
Riotron: My main goal for Riotron 2020 is to be creative, constructive and connect with people – to really get out there. When I started putting out music, I thought my friends and family would listen to it and that would be the end of it. All of a sudden, I was getting messages from people all over the place who wanted to share their perspectives and opinions on the topics I was singing about. I’m looking forward to more learning, more music, more dialogue…and videos! I have a few of those coming soon.
Madness To Creation: What else would you like to add about Riotron?
Riotron: I want to say thanks to everyone who has been streaming the music and sharing it, and thanks to everyone who has written or connected with me.
Madness To Creation: Thank you for your time you’ve given me for Madness To Creation
Riotron: Thank you for the invite and for all the great work you do.
And there you have it! Go follow Riotron on his social media page to stay up to date on the latest news and happenings involving Riotron!