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The story of how Riotmaker came to be is almost as extraordinary as the music itself. Through a series of coincidental meetings and run-ins over the course of almost two decades, fate it seems has taken these four exceptional musicians and brought them together to form one of Sacramento's most promising up-and-coming bands. So it goes, here it goes, the story goes...
From 1997-2005, Jeffry Valerio was the lead singer and songwriter for Reggae/Rock powerhouse, Shakedown. Over the years, Shakedown shared the stage and toured with many amazing, noteworthy artists such as Papa Roach, UB40, Pepper, Slightly Stoopid, Long Beach Dub All-Stars, Fishbone, Bargain Music, Voodoo Glow Skulls, G Love, Markey Ramone, Kottonmouth Kingz, Radioactive (Michael Franti & Spearhead), The Expendables, and The Ziggens among many other outstanding acts. Jeffry departed from Shakedown in 2005, taking a break from the music scene to raise his daughter, until 2009, when he began work on a new solo project he called Riotmaker. After years without so much as writing a song or picking up a guitar, Jeffry was inspired to start writing and recording music again by his then roommate, Riotmaker lead guitarist Mat Venable. Mat has been playing guitar since he was a child, and is an avid home recording artist. His musical endeavors caught Jeffry's attention, and together they wrote and developed the beginnings of Riotmaker's debut album, The Sun Has Set on California.
Over 15 years earlier though, as children, Mat met Riotmaker bassist Scott Kennedy at a birthday party, and the two have been close friends and musical collaborators ever since. When the Riotmaker project started to really take off in 2012, Jeffry and Mat reached out to Scott, who signed on as the band's bassist. And sticking with the theme of cosmic coincidence, just when Jeffry needed to recruit a drummer for the project, he ran into an old friend, Riotmaker drummer Cristos Giotes. An accomplished drummer playing for over 15 years in Sacramento bands such as Amphora, Mindphyx, Ardra, Breaking Glass, Los Gios, Be Brave Bold Robot, Cristos and Jeffry had played together in the band 3 in a Hand back in 1997. Over a decade went by, but somehow the conditions were just right, leading to a casual run-in between old band-mates, which led to the ultimate completion of the Riotmaker lineup.
Riotmaker's debut album The Sun Has Set on California, originally a solo project, offers everything from chill reggae, to a heavy rock vibe, creating a sound that is unique and appealing to fans of any genre. With production by Jeffry, Mat, and former Shakedown guitarist Aaron Alzamora, the album is a somewhat relaxed, ambient take on the Riotmaker project. When performed live though, the group's talented lineup gives more of an edge and emotional energy to the songs, and truly takes the music to another level. Riotmaker is a standout collection of musicians, songs, thoughts, emotions, and moments in time, all coming together to create one of Sacramento's best new bands.