Riding the Rails with Riot Ten
Riding the Rails with Riot Ten

The hype has been building on this one for a minute as each and every teaser from Riot Ten’s The Dead EP on Dim Mak Records has been nothing short of jaw-dropping. From the chest-thumping “Pit Boss,” featuring Sullivan King and Three 6 Mafia’s DJ Paul, to the straight filth Badklaat is kicking on his remix of the same, this seven-track EP is some of the best work that has escaped from the underground cave Riot Ten is no doubt cooking these heaters up in.

With contributors like MC Rico Act, Badfella, and ARIUS joining in on the action, Riot Ten smashes his way through each cut with a level of precision and straight dancefloor mayhem that we can’t wait to experience in the pit when he rolls through with Datsik as part of the Ninja Nation tour in a few weeks. As if that wasn’t enough, the EP also features a neck-snapping Sullivan King remix of Riot Ten’s classic “Rail Breaker” that already has us rattling our cages begging to be let loose.

The full EP drops today so be sure to lock yours in here and stick around for an in-depth Q&A with the pit boss himself before he dumps a 15-track ‘Headbangers and Anthem’ playlist on us that’s sure to put some hair on your chest.

Take us back to when you were growing up. What kind of music do you remember hearing around the house? Did you formally take classes or play in the school band or anything?
My dad was into bands like Fleetwood Mac and Deep Purple, so I remember hearing stuff like that around the house a lot as a kid. Nobody else in my family is a musician. I have a couple of family members who dabble with singing and playing the guitar, but they don’t take it seriously. I’m almost 100% self-taught to this day. I’ve never taken a lesson and I never played in bands as a kid.

We know you got hooked on metal and hip-hop early on; who were some of those early artists that got you hyped?
I’m into all types of different music, but I’ve always been heavily into hip-hop. Growing up I listened to Dr. Dre, Lil Wayne, Master P, Young Jeezy, Big Tymers, Z-Ro, Slim Thug, and of course Lil Jon. My uncle got me into metal while I was in middle school. There is so much raw talent in that genre. Bands like Opeth, Deicide, Dark Tranquility, Cannibal Corpse, and others had me hooked as a kid. I still love those bands today.

In our imagination, the El Paso leap from metal and hip-hop to dubstep and trap is a big one. When did electronic music enter your world and how did you bridge the two worlds? Did you have to explain to your metal and hip-hop homies that you were peacing out to be a raver?
Electronic music came into my life in high school when I started partying. We would play house music at our parties and the interest in the genre grew organically from there. The raw introduction to the sound in that environment really drew me to it. Luckily for me, all my homies were into the same stuff musically. My group of friends was really open-minded with their musical taste. I didn’t start bridging the gap between the genres until later in my career.

From there your story is well known. Once you caught the production bug it was all the way from El Paso to the big leagues! What’s the best advice you remember receiving along the way?
I’d say the best advice I’ve gotten is to keep working hard and to be myself. I don’t try to be something I’m not. I’ve always stayed true to myself while growing as an artist and remaining relevant. This is a fast paced industry, so if you can’t adapt on the fly while staying true to yourself, you’ll be forgotten.

Over the years you’ve built up a massive following and the Hype or Die movement is a beast. For those who don’t know, what’s Hype or Die all about and what should unsuspecting concertgoers expect when they enter the arena with you and your crew?
Hype or Die basically means go hard or go home. It’s all about having a good time and bringing out that inner beast in all of us. Whether you’re raging at home or in the crowd at my show I want you to be making the most of it. At my shows, you can expect me to be dropping wild music, and going as hard as I can the entire time.

All right, summertime festival season is almost upon us so let’s jump into this list of headbangers you’ve hand-selected for us to jam out to. Before we go fill us in on this EP you’re dropping and what we should be looking it for from you in the coming year on the project tip!
Hype Or Die: The Dead showcases a little bit from each of the different styles of music I’m currently working on. The EP is a collection of songs that the fans have been waiting for me to release for a long time now, so I’m excited to be getting this project out for them. I’m already working on a bunch of new music for 2018. I have some big collaborations on the way, and I have some big touring and festival announcements coming shortly. Stay tuned!