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For Carson City sextet We Predict a Riot, being metalcore is simultaneously their biggest catalyst and their biggest obstacle. Defined as a combination of thrashing metal and hardcore punk, the band sees its genre as one of the fastest growing trends in music today—enjoying the company of popular national acts such as As I Lay Dying, Underoath, and Bullet for My Valentine.
The band’s members, Ray Ramirez on guitar, Eric Albright on drums, CJ Klein and Richard Romero on vocals, Danny Harrington on guitar and “Loaf,” aka Steven Landeros, on bass, continue to see a rising interest among fans, who primarily include high school age teens. But they are also constantly having to engage in the battle many bands before them in the hardcore scene have fought: Just because they scream and play loud music, they’re not talking in tongues and biting off bat heads.
“We wrote a song about that—it’s called ’Beauty and the Beast,’” Harrington said of the constant misconception. “A lot of people look at us as a metal band and assume we’re Satan worshippers because we’re metal, but if you look deeper into it and read some of our lyrics and actually look at us as individuals it’s not like that at all. We have a voice and we’re trying to use that in a positive way. We’re family guys—we’re not Satan worshippers.”
True to its word, the band does make a point to bring an activist influence to its community. Every October since its formation in 2012, We Predict a Riot has participated in National Breast Cancer Awareness month. The cause is important to the band, whose members have had family members affected by varying forms of cancer. It has participated through changing its social media pages to pink and helping to spread an informed awareness of the disease to its fans. It also makes a point to be involved in charitable fundraisers specific to its community.
“We’re more than willing to help out,” Harrington says. “There’s a girl in Carson [City] that got in a quad accident, so we raffled off a bunch of our stuff to help out [with medical bills], like merch and our new EP.”
It’s not just about convincing people the band does have a heart (that’s not cold and black). We Predict a Riot recognizes that having a microphone and a stage to stand on gives the members not only an opportunity to display their talents, but it also comes with a certain responsibility.
“As a band, we have a voice that a lot of people don’t have, we can actually put stuff into our music and say, ’Hey, check this out. This is how we feel about it,’” Harrington said.
Despite its social responsibilities, the band knows that at the end of the day, fans just want to hear something they can relate to. We Predict a Riot answers by bringing its mix of screaming hardcore vocals from Romero, melded with Klein’s more melodic verses, to fans that can appreciate both sides of the spectrum.
“A lot of people can relate to our songs and we have a lot of crowd involvement,” Harrington said.
“[The song] ’Item 9’ is about coming out of addiction,” Klein said. “It’s not necessarily just drugs or alcohol. It can be about anything. Everyone has different thoughts on that song.”