Artist Spotlights

Five Questions with Ra Ra Riot


Mathieu Santos is the bassist in Ra Ra Riot, an orchestral pop sextet based in Syracuse, New York. He plays a subtle role in the group but after contributing “Massachusetts” to The Orchard, the band’s sophomore album, he stepped into the spotlight with his own solo debut, also called Massachusetts 2010.

It's been a while since they released new music, but Ra Ra Riot are anything but dormant on Rdio. Follow the band to see what kind of music they’re into lately (hint: Danger Mouse, New Order, and elbow are favorites), and read our interview with Santos.

Five Questions with Ra Ra Riot

  1. Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
    Mathieu Santos: Delicate Steve! I've been a huge fan from the moment Milo (Bonacci, guitarist) first introduced me to his album. He's a pretty electrifying guitarist — very fun and idiosyncratic. Right now, we're actually on tour with him, and he and his band are quite a juggernaut live! They put on amazing performances every night, and it's a joy to be able to watch them. I'd also mention Sam Buck Rosen — we played a couple of shows with him a few years ago, and his drummer, Gabe, would eventually join our band. They recorded a great session for, you can download it there for free!
  2. If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
    MS: Well, at this very moment I'd have to say either Miles Davis's Kind of Blue or Weather Report's Heavy Weather.
  3. Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
    MS: I don't know if there's one in particular — it's more of a mash-up of my parents' cassette collection, which for years was essentially me and my sister's sole source of music. I mostly remember a mix of The Beatles, The Romantics, The Dave Clark Five, Luther Vandross, Robert Palmer, The Power Station, Gary Morris, and The Manhattan Transfer! There were probably a few others, but that's basically the playlist of my childhood.
  4. We hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
    MS: Really pumped.
  5. We were thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
    MS: Peaches.