Punk may be about rebellion and riots and rage, but there's no rule saying that bandmates can't get along. "The awesome thing about this band," says singer/guitarist Jeffrey Thunders, "is that everybody knows what it means to be in a band. We all want to do this. The line-up has been the same for the whole time since we started." Besides Thunders (who also sings for the Black Noise Scam), the band features Sean Beirne (the former Battlecats drummer, now a guitarist), drummer Noel Thomas and bassist Matt Mullarkey.
The Lost Riots are very much of-the-moment in their urgency and originality but also hearken to the roots of '70s punk. "You can say it's like Dead Boys meet the Heartbreakers if you want, but if you're talking about a Johnny Thunders sound you're really also talking about a Chuck Berry sound." The band keeps cover tunes to a minimum (The Undertones' "Teenage Kicks" is one intriguing exception) and pride themselves on their originality. The Lost Riots — legendary in New Haven for being the last band to play at the last of the Ideat Village music fest in New Haven, while an organizer was actually being arrested for allegedly inciting a riot following noise complaints — has also expanded its turf over the years. "We love New London. We're playing Brooklyn a lot. We did the Mercury Lounge in Manhattan, which is huge for me," Thunders marvels. Still, this is a proud local band, which works their Connecticut city environment into many of their songs. That mood can sometimes be mocking: "I'm gonna stay right here in New England/Because I love clam chowder."
Having put out a slew of EPs on Die Hipster! Records, including the ferocious Downtown EP this past February (featuring the anthem "Save Rock N Roll" and the New Haven-themed "Down in the Elm"), the Lost Riots are already back in the studio with producer Paul Kostabi, promising guest garage-organ licks by John Mordecai. —Christopher Arnott