Tag: Noelle Matonis

How much do streaming services pay bands?

How much do music-streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music actually pay artists?

Spotify doesn't pay artists enough

By Sofija Matonis

With intro by Noelle Matonis

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This time of year, with many people posting and sharing their Spotify Wrapped on social media, (stats of their most streamed artists, songs, etc.), many artists and musicians are spreading the word that Spotify and other music- streaming services do not actually pay them a living wage, especially for smaller bands and artists.


Jawbreaker is among the many bands who are taking a stand against music-streaming services like Spotify when it comes to revenue. They recommend listening on their bandcamp page or purchasing physical copies from music stores or their website. The image is a twist on a promotional tactic Spotify used where users can create a fake festival lineup made up of their favorite artists.

To get the most up-to-date data on this topic, I conducted a survey to see what bands and artists had to say about how streaming services affect their revenue. See the results here.

One of our guest writers, Sofija, did some research as well.


Sofija Matonis, Guest Writer:

According to the New York Times, 83% of recorded music revenue is generated through streaming services, yet, we wonder how much our listens account for in artists’ paychecks. Typically, they accumulate less than a living wage.


Bands and musicians make most of their money at gigs, according to bandtheme.com, but many have suffered income losses due to the pandemic preventing concerts for over a year. With online performances, many musicians did not have ways of marketing their performance for money, and hence, royalties from streaming services persist.


Even immensely popular bands such as U2 and Metallica make most of their earnings from tours, and only a fraction is squeezed from streaming. According to Business Insider, only 4% of U2’s income (the largest grossing musical act in 2017) came from streaming, whereas 52 million dollars were earned through touring. Streaming services are not considerable money earners for  star musicians, and those local bands trying to make their start are not about to experience a financial boom for those twenty listeners on their first single.


Spotify’s terms and conditions state it will not generate any money directly from artists’ music.

Spotify does not claim any ownership rights in the User Content you post to Spotify for Artists,” says the streaming services terms and conditions. There are no fees to post User Content, nor are deals offered based upon the artist. Although it claims monetary gains belong to the rights holders for the music, no mention of payment is anywhere promised in the agreement.


Though hazy in its promises to pay artists for their music, Spotify is the most popular streaming service in the world, with 350 million users, according to CNN. The service amassed more revenue in 2021 than it had in all the combined previous years of its existence, according to Loudersound.com. Spotify’s rate does not pay artists directly, but the music’s rights holders, who themselves distribute the earnings after Spotify takes their own share.


SoundCloud’s streaming agreement is far more clear in its conditions and its promise to artists’ rights.


You receive a pro rata share of 55% of net revenue,” states SoundCloud’s terms of agreement. “You are paid for each calendar month within 45 days of the end of that month, regardless of how much you earn.”


“Your money goes to the exact artists you listen to,” says Soundcloud’s website.


However, to receive “fan-powered royalties,” an artist must subscribe to Next Pro. The only free option on Next Pro limits track uploads to three hours, and the paid subscriptions range from $2.50 to $8 and up. Hypothetically, if an artist had less than three hours uploaded on the free Next Pro service, they could make profit for every listen. However, if they want to upload more music, and they do not receive enough streams to cover the subscription bill, the artist has to pick up the tab.


According to the New York Times, the money machine works like this: all revenue from subscribers or ads is held in one “pot,” regardless of who listened to what and when, and this said “pot” is then divided by total number streams for the entire month. One artist receiving 10% of all streams for one month means 10% earned for that artist. One artist receiving 0.000000000000001% of all listens for that month earns 0.000000000000001% of Spotify’s monthly intake. Hence, many artists feel this machine favors trending or popular artists and leaves niche ones in the dust.


The system has another major flaw. Song length and time listened have no traction here. A 17-minute masterpiece equals a three-minute pop hit under this system. The only thing that counts is listens-to-artist ratio. Hypothetically then, assuming each fan runs through each track on an album the same number of times, album A of 60 one-minute songs can gain more percentage points in Spotify’s “pot” than the five twelve-minute songs on album B. For aspiring artists on Spotify, the hopes of breaking big lie in either achieving massive popularity cranking out songs fans are willing to submit themselves to on repeat, or hoping Spotify attains more subscription funds through price hikes, advertisements, or otherwise. But for those with trust in the dedication of their cult fanbases, there is Tidal.


The lesser known streaming service, Tidal, pays artists directly using funds from subscribers to its “Hi-Fi Plus Tier,” where subscribers’ highest listened artist of the month receives all of your subscription funds, according to Loudersound.com. Tidal provides the number of listens comparative to your most listened artist in case subscribers feel sympathy for other bands. This subscription, however, costs just $2, according to Tidal’s website.


By no means does Tidal’s direct payment provide a salary for musicians based on streaming alone. Assuming a constant number one position on listeners accounts, small-time acts have no hope of subsisting on Tidal for wages.


America’s average rent is $1,326, according to wordpopulationreview.com, while the UK’s London average is $1017.45 in US dollars, according to spareroom.co.uk. Averaging these to $1171.73, Tidal’s monthly $2 contribution won’t mean much split between the average four band members, assuming each lives in a separate apartment, unless you are one of 2,343 or so superfans hoping to help their favorite American or London artist make rent.


Apple music averages their payments to rights holders to one cent per listen. With 468,692 listens, they too can afford the same rent–that is, if the band themselves are the sole rights owners and are not under obligation to pay off major label companies, producers, etcetera.


According to Pitchfork, Last year, the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW) organized protests at Spotify offices around the world. UMAW’s “Justice at Spotify” campaign was launched in reaction to the economic hardship of the pandemic, as Spotify’s company value has tripled, while payouts to artists haven’t changed. Musicians want a penny per stream payout format, but Spotify’s director of economics argued such a model would not provide the company revenue from less-popular artists.


It is no surprise then, that artists typically make most of their earnings from physical copies, merch, or gigs. 



Average Rent by State 2022


Average Rent in London


Bands and Musicians: Making Money from Music in 2022

Coe, Dan


How do musicians make money

Delfino, Devon


Best music streaming services in 2022

Garrett, Ural


Which music streaming service pays artists the most?

May, Steve


Musicians Organize Global Protests at Spotify Offices

Ruiz, Matthew Ismael 


Musicians Say Streaming Doesn’t Pay. Can the Industry Change?

Sisario, Ben


Clarifying the SoundCloud Premier agreement









Spotify for Artists Terms and Conditions



New UK band RiotWeekend release debut EP

New UK Band RiotWeekend release self-titled deput EP

RiotWeekend , a fairly new pop-punk band from Guildford, Surrey in the UK, have released their self-titled debut album today! Recently, they’ve released their first single off the EP, “Never Again”. I’ll be reviewing the EP track-by-track.

  1. Drip Feed

This song starts out with a grungy melancholy 80’s-sounding guitar, then the feedback transitions into ripping guitars reminiscent of The Used and Pencey Prep. Then, unexpectedly, Holly Nunn’s ethereal, mysterious, melodic vocals come in. Her soothing voice contrasts with heavy guitars and drums, yet they compliment each other nicely. If you enjoy grunge, punk, post-hardcore and emo influences, then you will definitely like this song.

2. Fine

This is one of those songs that as soon as it starts, you know it’s going to be a banger. The guitar is energetic and exciting throughout the whole song. The vocals remind me a little of Hayley Williams from Paramore, however, lack some punch in my opinion. This is definitely an angry song, which you can hear in the music and the lyrics, and I just wish the vocals had more of that emotion. The bridge gets heavier, which I Iove. The chorus is anthemic and makes you want to headbang and/or jump around, so I think this would be a great song live. I thought Drip Feed would be my favorite song on the EP, but then I listened to this one and I think I might like it more.

3. Never Again

This song starts out with a definite early 2000’s “Skater boi” by Avril Lavigne vibe. Personally, I feel the bridge and ending is a little meh. It takes me back to bridges that were common in early 2000’s pop-punk. It just kind of gets higher and then ends pretty predictably. If it was intentionally made to have this nostalgic sound, then they got it spot-on. It just wasn’t clear enough to me whether it was intentional or not, so I feel like they could’ve either made it more obvious or taken more risks, rather than just copying the style of this kind of music.

4. Sleep Song

This gives me a bit of a party song vibe. It builds as it begins, and then goes into a catchy chant. Again, I think the vocals are technically great, however, they just lack a certain punch or emotion that the music envokes. However, I think this is a good closing song, because it’s fun and dancy and has closure as it fades at the end.

Overall, I think this is a good first EP, and I especially like the first two songs, “Drip Feed” and “Fine”. They are both punky, energetic, and make me want to move. I think the vocals work the best in the first song, because they act as a good contrast to the heavier guitars and drums. However, in the rest of the songs, I feel like the vocals don’t match the same energy and emotion that the music envokes. It just needs a little more oomph. I think RiotWeekend has a lot of potential, and this was a good first start. I hope to hear more from them as they evolve as a band.

You can listen to the RiotWeekend EP here.

You can find RiotWeekend on:






Noelle Matonis

Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast Host

Instagram: @noelleturtlez16

Twitter: @noellewiththe_e


Palaye Royale Fever Dream Review: You will cry and dance

Palaye Royale Fever Dream album cover

Palaye Royale ‘s new album, Fever Dream, was released today (10/28) on Sumerian Records.

A track-by-track review of Palaye Royale ‘s new album Fever Dream

Palaye Royale released their new album Fever Dream today! I’ve listened to the singles that came out before the album, but today is the first time I’ve listened to the rest of the songs, and I can already say it has my vote for album of the year.  If you like My Chemical Romance and/or the White Stripes, and/or kick-ass music, you will love Palaye Royale. Perhaps their most ambitious album, it has sounds from their first couple albums, Boom Boom Room Side A (2016) and Boom Boom Room Side B (2018), some sounds from their 2020 album, The Bastards, and synergizes it with a whole new sound. It has big concept album vibes, including MCR’s The Black Parade (2006) vibes, that will make you both cry and dance. It is the kind of music that hits you in the soul, takes you for a ride and makes you want to scream, “YESSS!!!”

In this review, I will be going into my first impressions of the newly released songs on the album, as well as  commentary on the already-released songs.


Tracks 1&2: Eternal Life (Intro) & Eternal Life

The intro starts out with a mellow guitar that ellicits a certain feeling to get you into the mood. After the intro, the ripping guitars kick in. The guitars in this song remind me a lot of the guitars on “Sleep” from MCR’s The Black Parade, which Palaye Royale frontman Remington Leith has stated was his favorite MCR album, so it makes sense. This is definitely one of my favorites on the album. The bridge starts out with some wicked guitars, and then changes it’s melody a few times, which was unexpected, and kind of caught me off guard. However, I definitely feel like that part will grow on me the more I listen to it. Plus, songs that are too predictable usually aren’t as good anyway. And if you know me, you probably already guessed that I love the screamed vocals on this song.

Track 3: No Love In LA

This was the first single Palaye Royale released from Fever Dream, back in the summer, and it is still a bop. Plus, now I see how it fits into the album. Because of this single, I thought the album was going to be more pop than their other albums, which it is, but it’s also a mix of that with rock and a big concept-album feel. This song is catchy and ends with an eerie orchestra of violins, which makes it tie in more with the rest of the album. Also, I just realized as I was typing this that the violin outro kind of reminds me of the outro to “Mama” from The Black Parade. There will be more mentions of that album in this review, just sayin.’

Track 4: Punching Bag

“Punching Bag” is another single that was released before the album around the same time as “No Love In LA”. It has eerie and dramatic vibes, and the lyrics have a sarcastic tone to the person who is treating the narrator like a punching bag. I originally liked this one more than No Love In LA, because it’s darker and has more screamed vocals; however now I don’t know because they’re both great.

Track 5: Broken

Not one of my favorites on the album; it’s more pop-sounding and one of the slower tempo songs. However, it’s still good, especially if you prefer those kind of songs. It’s sad as well–actually, pretty much all of the songs on this album are sad in some way.

Track 6: Fever Dream

This was a single released very close to the album’s release. When I first listened to it, I cried a little, not gonna lie. It immediately reminded me of “Welcome To The Black Parade”, because of it’s concept-album sound. That essence is difficult to describe, but what I mean is that it’s big/grandiose/epic. If you just listen to it, you’ll understand. It also reminds me a little of the melody/chorus in “The Only Hope for Me is You” from MCR’s Danger Days (2010).

Track 7: Line It Up

The piano in the beginning is very reminiscent of Michael Andrews and Gary Jules’ cover of “Mad World” originally by Tears For Fears. Interestingly, Palaye Royale has also covered that song. The lyrics of “Line It Up” hit close to home for the band, according to some of their posts on Instagram. They have mentioned that the lyrics talk about the hardships they are going through on the road, being in the band, and in their life right now. This song features vocals from LP, which is an artist I haven’t heard of before, but the addition of their higher-pitched vocals go very well in harmony with Remington’s lower voice.

Track 8: Toxic In You

This song sounds pretty upbeat, despite its lyrics, and I personally think it would be good to listen to while working out. It’s not as memorable as the other songs, and it’s also the shortest one on the album, being 2 mins 20 sec. It’s a solid jam though.

Track 9: Wasted Sorrow

Wasted Sorrow takes me back to their first two albums with The Stooges-like garage-rock sound. It also includes some “Sleep”- sounding guitars in the beginning and chorus. It’s an eerie addition to this otherwise upbeat-sounding song. It’s pretty energetic and it’s one of the best songs on this album in my opinion.

Track 10: Paranoid

This was another single released before the album, and I really do love this one. It’s not my favorite, but it’s catchy and it makes you want to sing along to it. It also has a good build-up to the dramatic bridge, and then calms down again before heading back into the catchy chorus.

Track 11: Oblivion

Grab some tissues for this one, you might need ’em. This is the slowest and most ballad-y song on this album. It’s still good, just not one of my favorites, because I don’t typically like slow songs. But the lyrics are relatable, interesting, and from the heart, as with every song on the album.

Track 12: Lifeless Stars

The ordering of this track after Oblivion works well in my opinion, because this is also a slower song. Although, I like it better. It’s very calming and something about the melody and the drums makes it a little more upbeat. Come to think of it, I don’t believe Oblivion has drums on it.

Track 13: King of the Damned

This one will definitely make you want to dance and jump. Another one of my favorites. Gives me chills. I love it, and I hope they play it live at their future shows; I think it would be great live. It has a good stomping beat and it’s very energetic. Also, good distant screams in the background of the bridge. Definitely an anthem.

Track 14: Off With The Head

This gave me chills all the way through the song. If you thought “King of the Damned” was good, you’ll love this one too, maybe even more. This also has a good stomping beat and a quality that makes you want to shout the lyrics along with it. It also has some great distorted White-Stripes-like guitar. In addition, it totally reminds me so much of “Kiss The Ring” from one of MCR’s Conventional Weapons (2013) EPs. It ends abruptly and then goes into the outro. I really wish there was more to this song because it’s so great, and the outro is basically a completely different song altogether. I feel like it needed more closure.

Track 15: Off With The Head (Outro)

Not entirely sure why this one didn’t just get it’s own title, because as I said, it sounds completely different from the previous song and has a completely different vibe. However, it’s definitely a closing song; it’s slow and fades out at the end, with the lyrics repeating. It lets you chill out after you’ve been dancing like a crazy person to the last two songs. It also reminds me a little of Green Day’s “Jesus of Suburbia”, not because of the melody or the sound of it, but because of the way it transitions from the last song and changes tempo from fast to slow. This was just my first impression, but I kind of hoped it would’ve closed out with a little more “oomph” rather than just fading out. But maybe my opinion will change after more listens.

Palaye Royale Fever Dream In Conclusion

Overall, this album is cohesive and the order of the songs flow as well. The lyrics are also very relatable. It is a different sound from Palaye Royale’s past albums, but definitely still sounds like the band. My favorite album of theirs is still The Bastards (2018), because every single song on that album rips and is a favorite, but I love this one a lot.

You can really tell that Palaye Royale poured their heart and soul into this album, working to make sure it was what they wanted it to be. They really cared about making this the best they could, and it shows. I will definitely continue listening to this amazing album.

I was going to rank the songs, but it was too hard, so I’ll just tell you my favorites: “Eternal Life”, “Off With The Head”, “King of the Damned”, “Wasted Sorrow”, “No Love In LA”, and “Punching Bag”.

Palaye Royale is so underrated and if you haven’t already, listen to me. YOU NEED TO CHECK THEM OUT!!!

Follow them on socials:





One date left on North American tour: Nov 6 in LA


Next up is European & UK Tour

Noelle Matonis

Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast Host

Instagram: @noelleturtlez16

Twitter: @noellewiththe_e

Jacques LaMore steps down from Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast

Noelle Matonis takes over as host and producer


Jacques LaMore

Jacques LaMore, the creator of Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast and Kankakee Podcast, has decided to step down as host and pass the torch to Noelle Matonis, previously an intern at LaMore Media. 

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce I’m stepping down as the host and producer of Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast. I’m not sure at the moment if this will be temporary or permanent. What I do know is that I currently, at this time, do not have the time and energy to give Pop-Punk & Pizza listeners and guests what they truly deserve. The truth is, Kankakee Podcast, the other podcast that I host and produce under LaMore Media L.L.C., has become front and center and demands more of my attention. I did not come to this decision lightly. I’ve spent the past several months thinking about it and the only conclusion I can come up with at this moment is to step aside. I can’t express how hard it is to make this decision,” says Jacques LaMore.

Jacques LaMore

“The good news is that Pop-Punk & Pizza will live on with a new host and producer, Noelle Matonis. When I first met Noelle back in September, I noticed right away just how passionate she was about not only the pop punk scene but the alternative scene as a whole. I could just feel her positivity and excitement when she became our intern. The first assignment for Noelle was helping us cover Riot Fest in Chicago and she did a tremendous job. When I expressed to her that I could no longer carry on being the host of Pop-Punk & Pizza, she quickly spoke up and said, ‘I can host the show for you!’ Noelle is a go-getter and that’s one of her best qualities. I didn’t hesitate with my response to her. I told her yes right away.”

Jacques LaMore

“While I’m sad I won’t be with you while talking with some of the best bands in the world over pizza, I feel comforted to know Pop-Punk & Pizza will be carried on into the next generation with Noelle as its guide. As of now, I will still be around in some fashion. I still own the rights to the podcast. Noelle has just become the new face of it and I’m excited to see what she will do with it.”

“No matter what the future holds, Pop-Punk & Pizza will always be my heart and soul. I’m so grateful for all the opportunities and chances it brought me. I’ve learned so much from hosting and producing this show. Thank you to all the bands, publicists, managers, venues, and most importantly to you, the listeners, for your neverending support. You will forever have a place in my heart. I’m now asking you to support Noelle as she becomes the new face behind Pop-Punk & Pizza. Please, give her a chance, just as you gave me a chance when I started six years ago.”

Jacques LaMore

About Noelle Matonis: Noelle has worked as a DJ and the Assistant Promotions Director at North Central College’s radio station, WONC FM 89.1 in Naperville, as well as created and hosted her own specialty show from the ground up, called Vocal Distortion, on which she played many different heavy genres with screaming vocals, such as heavy metal, screamo, and metalcore, had theme nights, and interviewed bands and artists with a few different co-hosts. She also ran the social media for this specialty show. 

Noelle stated, “I am very excited to be the new host of the Pop Punk & Pizza Podcast, and I’m looking forward to new experiences and connections! I am interested in many other subgenres of rock as well as pop punk, such as alternative, metal, screamo, and more, so I will be incorporating more of that into our content going forward.”

From this moment on, all Pop-Punk & Pizza inquiries can be directed to Noelle Matonis: noelle@lamoremediallc.com

Also feel free to follow her on social media: 

Instagram: @noelleturtlez16

Twitter: @noellewiththe_e


Morning In May talk Dead Set Slander, tour with Makeout, and more

Morning In May


Jake, Andrew, John, and Joe from Morning In May, a pop-punk-fused-with-metalcore band based in Cleveland, Ohio, talked with me about their upcoming tour with Makeout, the story behind the song “Jake From State Farm Ruined My Life”, from their upcoming album Dead Set Slander, and more!

Morning In May started out as a solo project of Jake Bartolic, with the EPs Somewhere In Slumber (2020) and I Still Can’t Even (re-released 2021). The band has been signed to ManicKat Records and Needful Things Records in the past, but for this album, they decided to go independent.

When I asked about the challenges of recording this album, Jake exclaimed with a laugh, “Oh my God, all of them! There’s so many!” He went on to explain the challenges they’d had with one of their previous record labels whom he refused to name. “They don’t [deserve] any notoriety at all.” When I asked if there’s a different label they would like to be signed to in the future or if they’d rather stay independent, Jake told me, “I would probably rather stay independent.”

Joe added, “You have all the tools to be able to do everything a record label can do for you.”

Jake continued, “We can go get credit cards if we want. Thats pretty much all you need, pretty much what a label is now. It’s just, ‘Hey we can rack up this amount of money, and hope for the best, and then whether or not it succeeds, whether or not you guys break up, you still owe us money.’ But we’re more pay-as-you-go kind of people.”

From metalcore influences like Kingdom of Giants and The Amity Affliction to pop punk and The Used to Britney Spears, Dead Set Slander is an album you can headbang to as well as dance to.

“We pretty much wrote pop songs in drop tuning. We were like, what tuning does Slipknot play in? So we dropped it all the way down; [and] we were like, let’s write pop songs.”

On top of that, the song titles are great too. The band told me about the story behind “Jake From State Farm Ruined My Life.” 

“It’s stupid, first off,” Jake laughs, “Andrew and I were at a party in LA, and a lot of really cool people were there, so Ice-T from Body Count, or SVU, whatever you want to watch, New Year’s Day, I think Zakk Wylde was there, all these people were there. So we don’t like being just the people in the ‘crowd’, so Andrew and I were like, ‘Let’s take a picture!’ So our manager was there at the time, with a couple of his clients, and we were kind of all together, so we thought it would be cool to take a picture, but more vertical, so we climbed a watchtower, in the venue, that was like a support beam or whatever–it was easy to climb.”

Andrew added, “It was one of those ‘X’ things…like a truss.”

“A truss!” Jake continued, “So we were each other’s support team…in the air. So we got up there, we took a picture, and Andrew went so high that he wasn’t in the picture exactly, it’s just his shoe. So we got escorted out, I don’t like to say kicked out, cause that makes it sound weird, but we got removed, and we thought it was fun. It was cool! And I wrote it, because that’s the reality of stuff, like everybody thinks they’re cool drinkin’ and partyin’ and stuff, but the reality is, you just look like an idiot, kinda dumb, and you’re probably gonna go to the gas station afterwards and get some food. So I was like, why don’t we write a song that’s about the reality of that?”

Andrew added, “But is it not true that literally as a Jake–Jake from State Farm, that commercial– ruined your life? Like, my mom still says that. She’ll be like Jake? From State Farm?”

“Oh!” he nods, “And I wanted to have a fun little title, so whenever I say, ‘Hi, i’m Jake,’ everybody’s like,” he continues in a mocking voice, “‘From State Farm?’ So I hate that…It’s the worst.”

You can watch the full interview on YouTube or listen on Spotify!

Pre-save Dead Set Slander by Morning In May here!

Catch Morning In May on tour with Makeout here!

Noelle Matonis

Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast Intern

INTERVIEW: Reece Young at Riot Fest 2022

Reece Young performing at Riot Fest

Reece Young at Riot Fest 2022 in Chicago’s Douglass Park. Photo: Jason Pendleton


On Sunday at Riot Fest, I had the pleasure of talking with artist and fellow Twenty One Pilots fan, Reece Young! We talked about his upcoming EPs, collabs, beginnings in hockey, and more!


Noelle Matonis: How was your performance today? How did you feel about it?

Reece Young: It was fun. I’m sweaty still. I haven’t cooled down. 

NM: Yeah, it seems like it’s hotter today than the last two days.

RY: Than the other two days! I was so upset. ‘Cause I’ve been here the other two days, also.

NM: Yeah, me too.

RY: Just as a fan. And then I performed and I was like, “I’m dying.”

NM: So how does Riot Fest feel different than other venues you’ve played in the past?

RY: This is the first major festival I’ve done. So this is a whole lot different. It was really cool; it was like a checklist/bucket list item. 

NM: Yeah definitely! Well that’s awesome! So what first got you into music or playing music? Is it always something that you wanted to do?

RY: No, actually, I thought I was gonna be a hockey player for a very long time.

NM: Oh, really?

RY: I grew up playing hockey, and then it was like my senior year of high school and I was like, I think I wanna do music. And I went to college for it and learned how to write songs and now we’re here.

NM: That’s so cool! Yeah, you don’t always end up doing what you think you’re gonna do, so that’s interesting! So what bands do you like to listen to when you’re on the road touring?

RY: Twenty One Pilots. They’re my favorite band.

NM: I love them! They’re my favorite band. 

RY: Bring Me The Horizon’s also my favorite.

NM: Oh yes!

RY: My two favorites.

NM: Another one of my favorites.

RY: Yeah those are my two favorite bands. 

NM: Yeah. I feel like I can hear their influence in your songs. 

RY: Yeah! Yeah, I try to do a combo.

NM: Yeah. I love that! And I was wondering do you write all the lyrics for your songs or is there anyone else helping you out like band members?

RY: Yep! I write most of it, and then sometimes…I like to collab a lot with other artists.

NM: Yeah, I noticed that. You have a lot of collabs.

RY: Yeah! So that’s the goal–to keep meeting cool people, keep writing cool songs. But yeah I do pretty much write it all. 

NM: That’s awesome! And you mentioned you have a lot of collabs, so I know you collaborated with Jayden Panesso from Sylar, and the Korn drummer, Ray. So how was that? Like how did that come about?

RY: So, I had a mutual friend who knew Jayden, and he just connected us, and I was like I have this song I think you would sound really cool on, and he was like, “Okay!” And I gave him a couple hundred bucks, and I’ll do it for sure. 

NM: Oh wow!

RY: And I was like, sick! 

NM: That’s awesome how that worked out. Are there any particular bands or artists that you would like to collaborate with in the future? 

RY: Bring Me The Horizon…

NM: Oh yeah.

RY: …And then Twenty One Pilots. [both laugh] They’re so cool!

NM: Definitely! That’s what I expected.

RY: Yeah! Those two would be crazy!

NM: Yeah, it would! So a lot of your songs are about dealing with anxiety and mental health issues, so what message do you hope to get across with your songs?

RY: I want people to listen to them and feel like there’s somebody out there that is going through what I’m going through. ‘Cause when I was at that lowest point, I wanted somebody that knew what was going on.

NM: Yeah.

RY: I didn’t have a lot of that–a lot of support at the time–and I put music on once, It was Vessel stuff–and I was like, I understand those lyrics now. And I want people to hear my stuff and be like, that kid gets it. He understands. I want people to be able to feel safe, and like, understand what’s up.

NM: Right. And I think that’s a really good message, and it really can help people out when they know that they’re not alone. 

RY: Yeah. 

NM: Do you plan on releasing a full length album any time soon?

RY: That’s definitely a dream of mine. My EP is out next month, and then another one. 

NM: Oh nice!

RY: So after that, hopefully. 

NM: Yeah. Well I’m excited for those!

RY: Oh thank you! Yeah.

NM: Well this is Riot Fest, and there’s a lot of punk bands and a lot of emo bands here, and I was wondering if you have a favorite punk or emo anthem? Or what’s your favorite punk or emo song or band?

RY: Elevated by State Champs. They’re one of my favorite bands too. 

NM: Awesome!

Mark your calendars for Reece Young’s next single, “Pressure” ft. PALISADES out this Friday Sept. 23! And in the meantime, check out his music on Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, Youtube, and Amazon Music!

You can also follow him on Instagram: @reeceyoungmusic


Noelle Matonis

Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast Intern

INTERVIEW: No Trigger at Riot Fest 2022

No Trigger at Riot Fest 2022 in Chicago’s Douglas Park. Photo by, Rachel Zyzda.


On Saturday at Riot Fest, I got to sit down and talk with Tom Rheault (vocals) and Jon Strader (rhythm guitar) of No Trigger! We talked about the making of Dr. Album, punk anthems, getting to work with Dan from 88 Fingers Louie, and more!


Noelle Matonis: How did you feel about your show today? How was playing at Riot Fest different than venues you’ve played at before?

Tom Rheault: Today’s show…10 out of 10. Easy. One of the best No Trigger shows I can remember because of everything. Sounded awesome, we were funny, I think. [both laugh] And the crowd was insane. 

Jon Strader: We’ve been looking forward to this show for a while now and what a treat.

TR: And it’s different, because it’s not some sweaty, you know, piss-filled fuckin’ small venue. It’s big. It’s like the coolest outdoor fest i’ve ever been to. So that’s neat. 

NM: I’ve heard you guys write your lyrics collaboratively, it’s not just one of you writing the lyrics. And I was wondering what are some of the challenges that come along with that?

TR: Well, it’s actually not that true. We write the songs collaboratively, but the lyrics, I’m kinda the guy. 

JS: We have two songs out there that we recently recorded, one which is on [Dr. Album], one which is on Acid Lord EP, which our guitarist fully wrote top to bottom, which was a world that we just dipped into for this new record.

TR: I don’t know, usually for songs, it’s me. But for a couple of them it’s Mike. It’s weird because I feel like lyrics are a tough thing to collaborate on; music isn’t. Music is phenomenal to collaborate on. But vocals–it’s weird, you know? To me. So I kind of do it all. 

JS: [laughs]

NM: I was watching an interview with [Tom] and you mentioned that the first thing you ever recorded was in 2003 with Dan from 88 Fingers Louie

TR: Oh yeah!

NM: And you’ve also collaborated with Bill Stevenson from Black Flag and Descendents. So how was it working with those guys and how did that sort of come about?

TR: Well, honestly, if you book them and you can afford it, you can do it. But you know, someone like Bill, we were on a label way back when we paid for all of that. But before that, with Dan from 88 Fingers Louie, it was just us driving to Chicago, as like 20 year olds, and we were like, fuck it. I think this guy can do it, and we called him up and he did. He wanted to, so we just did it. And we did it in his mom’s basement. Like, 2003. It was crazy. His mom answered the door. And I was like, “Hey, we’re here to record!” She’s like, (in high pitched voice) “Oh, Danny’s downstairs, hold on!”

JS: [laughs]

TR: It was funny; it was great.

NM: What first got you into music or playing music? Was music always something you wanted to do or growing up, did you have other things in mind that you wanted to do as a career?

TR: I don’t know, music’s such a weird thing, ‘cause A, it’s not our career, not at all. Like there’s not a chance it’s our career, ‘cause we just do it for fun. And it kinda chooses you. Music’s different. We couldn’t escape it. 

JS: Personally, when I was younger, just watching local bands that were kind of coming up and playing like, behind my house, you’d hear the music real loud. You go over there as such a young kid and get mesmerized while listening to what’s happening. And my dad was a musician too. He taught me how to play guitar. 

NM: What bands inspire you?

TR: Inspire at this point? I don’t know man. [laughs] I don’t even know!

JS: There was a long wave of bands that we kind of grew up listening to that’s kinda wild that we’re playing with now. I think heavily influenced–Descendents, No FX, Fat Records, Epitaph, we grew up on that stuff, we used to be doing the Warped Tour scene…

TR: And now, we listen to Grateful Dead. You know what I mean? So I’m over there now–me. I don’t know about [Jon].

NM: So it’s a lot of different influences.

JS: Of course!

TR: So it’s everything. Yeah. As long as it’s…to me, music is…you can tell if it’s pure. You can just tell if someone’s trying too hard, you can tell if it’s not sincere. But when it’s pure and… I don’t know…that’s what I like. Is that shit. So whatever it is, whatever genre it is, you can kinda cut through the bullshit and be like yeah! This is the shit.

NM: Right. And are there any bands that you like to listen to when you’re on the road touring?

JS: It’s always varying, it depends on who’s the DJ.

TR: Literally it depends on who’s got shuffle on Spotify.

JS: I mean, currently, we have a rental van and I won’t let the jazz channel be changed; I think it’s a vibe.[laughs]

NM:[laughs] I wouldn’t expect that.

JS: [laughs] Yeah, see?

NM: And speaking of things you wouldn’t expect, I feel like you guys transitioned from more hardcore to punk and some pop punk in your new record, Dr. Album. Can you talk about how you decided to change your sound a little bit?

JS: Yeah.  It wasn’t really deciding to change our sound, we didn’t really sit down and be like, “We need to write these kinds of songs. What’s beautiful about [Dr. Abum] is that everyone in the band is very like honed in on putting the songs together. And Tom was more or less on a page of creating full songs from start to finish as well. So everyone’s creativity really shined on this record. And what you hear is like what you get; like that was everyone’s input on certain styles and 

TR: Yeah. It was just like some of it’s poppy. And I wrote more like the weird ones. Like on the record, there’s a bunch of ones that are like…

NM: Like the Mountain Song? Was that you?

JS: Oh, the Foggy Mountain song? No, that just kinda developed from us just hanging out during the recording session in a corn field around a campfire. [laughs] and Nick, who produced the record, plays banjo. So that was real fun stuff during the recording.

TR: We’re just like, push the limit. Let’s break down every barrier, and let’s just write however we feel. And some of the songs are like Smashing Pumpkins-sounding. Other ones are like the fastest songs we’ve written. So it’s everything. It really is everything. And I think we somehow pulled it off where it’s cohesive. It’s not like just a jumbled mess. It works. 

Yeah I can definitely hear a bunch of different influences on there, and it does all work together really well I think.

TR: Thank you!

NM: I don’t know if you guys are able to see other bands at Riot fest, like do you ever get some downtime or a chance to see other bands?

TR: Yeah! Yesterday, we saw Sincere Engineer, and Cliffdiver. They were both phenomenal. It was awesome.

JS: Wargasm was a treat too.: We’re the kind of band that kind of takes some time to peep some bands and stuff like that.

TR: Yeah! Who wouldn’t? And today is like the Menzingers and Bad Religion and shit…like get out of here! Of course we’re gonna watch them!

NM: Yeah definitely! I’m excited to see them too! And since Riot Fest as a lot of punk bands and  a lot o emo stuff, I was wondering wha is your favorite punk or emo anthem? 

JS: Broham! [laughs] I think that’s the punkest anthem of anthems. 

TR: What even is a punk anthem? I mean, I’m not a huge My Chemical Romance guy, I used to be a big Blink-182 guy though. Like I really liked them when they came out with Dude Ranch and shit. 

JS: We went a bunch of times…

TR: We went to two Dude Ranch shows with the old drummer too. Not Travis. Like, we’re old. 

JS: I saw Blink-182 with Scott. I have. 

TR: Yeah me too. That’s more of my like emo…like after that, we were like too hardcore to care about like My Chemical Romance or something, but before that, I had a definite phase. I don’t know, that’s a really weird question. I can’t pick a song right now, I can’t think of one.

JS: That’s why I said Broham. Because we played Europe a lot and people like soundcheck with that song and the whole crowd just goes insane.

TR: I think anthemically, like I keep thinking of Bouncing Souls songs, like True Believers, or like Lean on Sheena. These are the songs that are like anthemic, like the ones that pop into my head.

Yeah. And I think anthem is subjective like what whatever gets you pumped

JS: Of course.

NM: What has been your favorite venue to play so far or what is one you’d really like to play in the future? It can be big or small.

TR: I don’t know man.

NM: Do you prefer playing bigger venues?

JS: Yes! I personally prefer playing bigger festivals.

TR: Yes, this is amazing!

JS: I like being outside, I like being able to wear my sunglasses when play.

TR: Yeah! I wore my sunglasses for the first time ever!

JS: Yeah, festival stuff like this is great.

TR: Yeah, if you could just do this everyday, it would be fine, but we can’t. 

JS: Yeah, this is our first time playing Riot Fest and this was the most comfortable I’ve ever been. The whole stage was carpeted, so I’m gonna go with Douglass Park Chicago.

TR: Yeah. It was comfy.

JS: Thank you, Riot Fest.

TR: Yeah, today. That was my favorite venue [laughs]. 


Listen to No Trigger’s Dr. Album out now: https://open.spotify.com/album/0kAFMQR8EUPi1RWxmM8yCs?si=faXW7wcPSuaSl5O7uxD2wA


Noelle Matonis

Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast Intern