Night Riots is an American alternative rock band from San Luis Obispo, California. Formed in 2010, the band consists of Travis Hawley (lead vocals), Nick Fotinakes (guitar), Matt DePauw (guitar), Mikel Van Kranenburg (bass), and Rico Rodriguez (drums).
Night Riots’ foundations lie within punk rock; they cite bands AFI and Thursday as their biggest influences. They also draw influence from Billy Idol, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Arctic Monkeys, Atmosphere, The Cure, U2, The Killers, Vampire Weekend, The Strokes, Bruce Springsteen, INXS and Dave Gahan. PK integrated pop rock and power pop into their sound, accompanied with “introspective and emotional” lyrics with music that “is always lively and upbeat.” The band changed its name to Night Riots in order to represent “its darker side as it explores the deeper aspects of music with varying tempos and somber, haunting melodies juxtaposed against uplifting choruses.” An alternative rock band, they incorporate new wave music, as well as a 1980s Gothic pop feel into their current sound. Hawley distinguished Night Riots’ music from PK by describing it as indie pop rock with a “dark undertone”, comparing the sound to U2, The Strokes, and The Killers. He also describes the band’s sound as “gloom pop” because of the vein of darkness that runs throughout the alternative/pop sounding music. Guitarist Matt DePauw described the band’s sound as “catchy rock ‘n’ roll with a bit of pop and a bit of darkness.”