Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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Sound Circuit

This is rockabilly


Rumble Seat Riot plays Gas Lamp on Friday, Sept 12.

Rumble Seat Riot plays Gas Lamp on Friday, Sept 12.

“It’s good to meet people for the first time who don’t know anything about (our sound),” said Rumble Seat Riot upright bassist Larry Kaster. “They hear us play and are like, ‘Wow, what is this?’ This is Rockabilly.”

Rumble Seat Riot is an act that seems to have better luck building a fan base away from its own backyards. As the only bonafide rockabilly act in the area, Rumble Seat Riot doesn’t always have an easy time finding other local acts to pair with, and by being a musical anomaly in a town with healthy metal, blues and indie scenes, they find that it can sometimes be hard to get folks in the capital city to take a chance on a different sound.

However, the upside to being a unique sound in the city’s landscape is that when touring acts are looking for something a little different, only Rumble Seat Riot will do. That’s how the act wound up opening for The Reverend Horton Heat at People’s a couple years back and, more recently, they were hand-picked to be one of the opening acts for Rob Zombie.

It’s a good fit musically, pairing Zombie’s alt-metal grimacing with Rumble Seat Riot’s psychobilly-tinged sound, and the result was a resounding success.


“The fans really seem to dig it,” front man Gene Senn said. “Getting to open for (Zombie) really introduced us to a new crowd of people, and everyone seemed to be into it.”

Still, much of the band’s time is spent on the road, where they have developed followings in the surrounding states and points east. But for the meantime, the boys are back in Des Moines, working on a new EP that they hope to be able to release this winter. It’ll be the first music they’ve released with their newest member, guitarist Matthew James, who is ready to hit the ground running.

“It’s great, because we can just get in there and tear it up,” James said, speaking about jumping into the middle of an already cohesive act. “We can just focus on the music. Write new stuff, work on the old stuff.”

And hope to build some local momentum off the new fans they made at the Zombie show.

“People love (our sound), once they hear it.” Kaster said. “Even if people might not totally immerse themselves in (the rockabilly scene), they like it.” CV

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