Riley Hawk is a pro street skater and son of Tony Hawk, he’s also a prolific songwriter and made massive waves in 2017 with the debut album of his band Petyr. Within a year Petyr released the follow up ‘Smolyk’ and the band quickly gained a reputation as a heavy psych and stoner rock band. At the start of 2019 Riley unveiled his latest project for Riding Easy Records ‘Warish’, I caught up with him at home and asked him about his current projects and musical influences…
Atom Heart Mutha:Hi Riley, Can we talk a little bit about how you started getting in to music – what kind of music were you listening to before you started playing in bands?
RH:Definitely always been a hard rock fan since I first heard that kind of music as a kid in skate videos and shit like that. Obviously there’s the main influences always like Sabbath, Zeppelin stuff like that, but as I really got deeper into the genre and the million sub genres that followed I’d say bands like Earthless & Nirvana had a big role. I loved the style of what Warish sounded like, and kind of a mix of NWOBHM stuff like Witch Finder General, stuff like that.
AHM:Were you influenced musically by the California skater scene, or did you grow up around music at home?
RH:My Dad definitely has always been a pretty big musically knowledgeable guy but he was more into the sort of new wave/punk stuff, Joy Division, New Order, and bands like Janes Addiction. But he actually never played any music instruments so I was kind of on my own there. I just got a guitar and started watching YouTube videos haha !
AHM:There’s definitely a caustic ‘Alt 90s’ feel to what’s going on with the Warish debut which is different tonally to what you do with Petyr, was that a deliberate move?
RH:Yeah definitely, I just wanted a new sound and honestly I wouldn’t say I set out to create it just the songs I had humming in my head naturally veered towards that style so I just followed it and that’s how the sound came about. I’m not just a “heavy psych guy” haha.
AHM:How did you get involved with Riding Easy Records? It’s a great fit, especially with bands on their roster like R.I.P, that have that street metal vibe.
RH:I’ve actually known Daniel for a long time and we met doing some skate stuff that had nothing to do with the label but over time we grew a relationship and that ultimately led to him wanting to have a project that I was doing if one ever came about. And that was Warish. It just made perfect sense and he’s been awesome with getting the name out there and all that back-end stuff.
AHM:You released a single as Samraimi with Nick from Petyr and Richie from Harsh Toke, how did that come about?
RH:Yeah Samraimi is actually a funny story. The band came about because our buddy who plays in this killer band from Australia called Grim Rhythm, he’s a bass player so me him and Jooose (Petyr and Warish drummer) just jammed a little and cranked out two tunes so we decided to record them. He’s actually the person playing on the recordings, the idea was that once he went back home to Australia we could have Richie come in and start playing and write a whole album and play some shows, which would have worked out in theory but Richie quit after one practice and we kinda lost the motivation to keep it going, but maybe one day we will!
AHM:You’re not short of new music right now, what comes next? Do you plan on expanding some of these newer projects?
RH:I’ll definitely be moving forward with Warish and wanting to tour and stuff like that. My problem is I enjoy the recording part and creating music a little more than actually touring and stuff so I need to shift my brain!
AHM:Whats next, have you any plans to tour outside the U.S.?
At the moment no outside of the U.S. shows – but we have a couple of things coming up in the States that should be pretty epic so hoping those all work out!
AHM:Thanks for catching up with me today Riley, I’m really digging what you’re doing at the moment and I’m looking forward to hearing what comes next.
Petyr‘s Self Titled debut and Smolyk are available via Other Battery Records and Warish‘s Self Titled Debut EP is available on Riding Easy Records.
Samraimi is available to stream via Bandcamp.