CODE RED RIOT originated as a cathartic musical outlet for Corky Gainsford, formerly of the band OTHERWISE (Century Media Records).
“I needed a way to release all the frustrations that had built up after 4 years of touring with a band that didn’t feel like it would ever reach its full potential,” says Corky. “After 2 full-length albums, an acoustic EP, 5 Top 20 singles, hundreds of shows, and rocking every major festival in the United States… it felt like the group had lost the cohesive vision, goals, and personalities required to make it all work, and I knew it was time for me to move on.”
Leaving that band was heartbreaking, but there was also an inherent excitement in starting something new. That symbiotic relationship of the struggle between grief and optimism was the creative spark that ignited Code Red Riot, a name that served as a metaphor for the turbulence and commotion that helped fuel the music, combined with the urgency Corky felt to get it to the masses.
Although he was known in the music industry primarily as a drummer, Corky had also worked behind-the-scenes as a producer, songwriter, and recording engineer for over a decade. After sifting through dozens of riffs and melodies he’d written over the years, he decided to focus on crafting a group of hard rock songs that featured anthemic choruses, melodic riffs, and soul-searching lyrics balanced on top of a hard-hitting rhythmic groove. “I play guitar like a drummer, and I drum like I singer,” Corky explains. “When I start writing one element of a song, I always think about how the other instruments will complement each other, and how the song’s unwritten puzzle will eventually fit together before the final product manifests itself.”
Following in the footsteps of Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), Sully Erna (Godsmack) and Blake Allison (Devour The Day), Corky knew it was time to make the necessary transition from drummer to frontman. “As the songs took shape, it was clear that I needed to be the individual singing these songs,” Corky clarifies. “The lyrics, specifically, were intimately personal to my own experience, and asking anyone else to front this band would have felt disingenuous and fake.”
In 2017, after posting the band’s early demo of “Living Low” on Facebook, the song was quickly picked up by Sirius/XM Octane and several terrestrial radio stations across the USA, without any record label, promo team, or industry machine pushing the product. The music was unique, and people were responding. “It went over like gangbusters,” proclaimed Frank Pain, Program Director for KEYJ Rock 108. “One listener said, ‘This is the next generation of rock’.”
This response was quickly noticed by Sony RED Music, who signed the band shortly afterwards.
On CODE RED RIOT’s debut album, Corky played almost all the instruments himself (vocals, drums, bass and guitar), and recruited a fantastic unknown guitar slinger, named Tyler “Taz” Azure, to round out the album’s lead guitar work. “The songs were fantastic,” Taz explains. “So, I took a chance and moved from Minnesota to Las Vegas to be a part of this band. Great people and great music – you don’t pass up an opportunity like that.”
Unconcerned with the latest media-defined trends and fashions, their music is full of honest and earnest material, filled with heart, soul, blood, guts, angst and relentless passion. Look for CODE RED RIOT’s debut album, “Mask,” to be released by Sony RED Music in the summer of 2018!