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Ascending to Something 

Members of Riot on a Sunday connected via email to form the latest iteration of their musical careersBy Anne Pick Bring Your Dancin' BootsBend's Dry Canyon Stampede fills the void where a country western dance band had been missing

Riot on a Sunday began in a way reminiscent of The Postal Service, but sending songs via email rather than the U.S. Mail. Brandon Prinzing and Adam Buchanan played together in a band called A Love Like Winter nearly 10 years ago in Bend. Buchanan moved to California for work several years ago, but he and Prinzing remained close friends. Last year, Buchanan, still in California, reached out to Prinzing, asking if he wanted to play some music. Prinzing sent him a song he believed no one would ever hear.

"I started getting a song a month from Brandon," Buchanan says. "After hearing the first song, I started putting drums to it. The second I heard it, my kids were humming along."

Upon Buchanan's return to Central Oregon, he and Prinzing started playing together acoustically. Buchanan had transitioned to the bass until Prinzing reached out to another former band mate, Jesse Martinez. As I sat with all three men at Crow's Feet Commons, they all agreed the connection was instant when Martinez joined the band.

"It's good to have friends that are still in it," Martinez says of rejoining the Bend music scene. Previously, Martinez and Prinzing played in a country band together. Martinez also spent time playing in a band with Ian Cook from Larry and His Flask and local cello-whiz Billy Mickelson. "Going back in you don't feel like an absolutely old man because your friends are still doing it, too."

When it comes to the words, Prinzing does all of the band's songwriting. The band collaborates on the overall sound of the music, which blends rock and roll with punk and folk to create a rad sound.

"I love writing for a rock band, trying to craft this big musical thing," Prinzing says. "What I reconnected with was there was something really raw about three chords and writing about something you believe in or that you're passionate about. The way you make it good is writing with passion. Some people write the best songs in the world with three chords."

Riot on a Sunday released its debut self-titled eight-song EP back in July as a two-piece. The addition of Martinez has given the band new dimension and they're excited to get in the studio this winter and record together.

"The EP was all acoustic," Prinzing says. "Jesse joined and we started playing shows as a full band, giving it a new shape. It's still the same band, but Jesse brings a different aspect to it. We have new material and we're going to get in the studio in the next month or two."

After Larry and His Flask finishes recording their next album, Riot on a Sunday heads into the studio with Dayne Wood at The Firing Room recording studio.

"My goal has never been to be a big famous rock star; obviously, I wouldn't hate the band being huge, but If I can play the songs I put myself into, that's what I want," Prinzing says. "I want people to come out and hear our music at our show, that's the dream. Being able to do this as a job. How I connect with what it makes me feel, other people are connecting too, it ascends to something better."

"The goal is to get as many people as possible to like it," Buchanan adds. "Making people feel less alone. That's what I love about Brandon's writing."

About The Author

Anne Pick

Music Writer | The Source Weekly
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