Back to Music

The Fame Riot

Armed with guitar and synth licks over bubbly pop beats and falsetto vocals, the Tacoma duo is turning heads

THE FAME RIOT: Tacoma's glam duo took third at this year's Experience Music Project's Sound Off! battle of the bands. Photo courtesy of Facebook

Recommend Article
Total Recommendations (0)
Clip Article Email Article Print Article Share Article

Less than one year ago, I met Shazam "Tea Time" Watkins and Liz Scarlett, the faces of Tacoma electro-pop band THE FAME RIOT. When I first encountered the glamorous duo, it was coincidentally right before the release of their first single, "Heart Stray." Watkins told me about the track, and of his aspirations for its success.

Last July, THE FAME RIOT played at annual music festival Launch Sacramento, sharing the stage with Grouplove, Chromeo, Joy Formidable and DJ Shadow. In mid-February, they gave a four-song performance and interview on Seattle radio station KEXP. Then, Feb. 28, listeners of Los Angeles DJ Rodney Bingenheimer - the first DJ to play The Strokes, Coldplay, Nirvana, and Sonic Youth - heard tracks from THE FAME RIOT. The duo's song "Shelah" currently sits at the number two slot on a Japan radio station. And March 2, THE FAME RIOT competed in the final round of The Experience Music Project's Sound Off! battle of the bands, taking third.

You get the point - though no matter how impressive the band's resume is, all these merits pale in comparison to seeing THE FAME RIOT perform firsthand. Scarlett and Watkins bring an intoxicating stage presence to their music, and carry with them the innate ability to excite even the toughest of audiences.

Watkins emphasizes the importance of performance. "It needs a level of experience that nothing else has. We get to release the feelings and energy we put into the music from the stage. It's genuine, free, inclusive and fun."

What is allowing THE FAME RIOT's music to gain momentum is its sparkling all-inclusiveness. Teenagers and adults alike enjoy and appreciate the songs. It is also imperative I mention how important song quality is to THE FAME RIOT. At the end of the day, regardless of how astonishing a performance is, if the songs aren't there neither is any future in music. But THE FAME RIOT's songs can stand alone as brilliantly written and recorded pieces of music. Radio-ready and album-worthy.

"Songs are the key to success ... strip our glitter, fur, scarves, sequins, jeans, shoes, glasses, facepaint, and we will still have good songs. As long as you get excited when you hear something," continues Watkins.

Drawing from an array of influences ranging from David Bowie to Hot Chip, THE FAME RIOT has seamlessly blended instruments, synth and electric guitar solos into its own brand of music. Scarlett most eloquently and accurately explains the band's music when he says, "Our music is like a soup that never stops cooking, but you can always try it anytime you like."

THE FAME RIOT will be playing at Seattle's Chop Suey along with fellow Tacoma band Shogun Barbie March 7. The duo will also headline another Seattle venue, Barboza, April 18.  You can find them on Facebook and Twitter for a complete listing of scheduled shows. So far all the band's music has been released in the form of singles, but THE FAME RIOT has plans for a full-length album once producer Rob Daiker finishes touring Prague.  

comments powered by Disqus

Site Search