Riddlin’ Kids supercharge Sunsation 2003 | SummitDaily.com
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Riddlin’ Kids supercharge Sunsation 2003

COPPER MOUNTAIN – The Riddlin’ Kids amp up their big, bad attitude with spiked hair and way too many espressos in their power-fused pop-punk. The Austin-based band has bucked the Texas tide of blues-rock and cowboy boogie for a supercharged underground scene that sports Vans classics rather than cowboy boots and prefers slam-dancing to two-stepping.

Inspired by their own hyped-up stage antics, founding members Clint Baker (vocals and guitar) and Dustin Stroud (vocals and lefty guitar), culled the Riddlin’ Kids’ name from a psychostimulant that, ironically, may have calmed their hyperactive shows – if they took it. They tweaked the spelling to avoid a lawsuit and started exploding onto the stage at every concert.

“We really try to throw a lot of energy and play each show like it’s our last,” Baker said. “We just rock out and try to make the show fun.”



Baker and Stroud formed the group seven years ago after working at the same pizza joint. They added bassist Mark Johnson and drummer Dave Keel two years later, but not many people over the age of 20 took them seriously – until they released their debut album, “Hurry Up and Wait,” on Aware/Columbia Records.

The album bursts with pumped-up tempos, melodic mayhem and the street vitality of classic punk. Most of the lyrics shout out warnings to young, would-be lovers, but the Kids balance the sarcastic odes to dating (in “Here We Go Again” and “I Feel Fine”) with a more mellow view of love (“See the Light” and “Faithful”).



“My mom’s always saying, “Clint, people are going to think you hate girls,'” Baker said. “I tell her, “Well, mom, these songs are about bad girls who give good girls a bad name.’ Some of the songs are from my past experience, but some I’ve seen from other people’s relationships. Other songs are about the pressures of life – being stressed out and not knowing how you’re going to pay rent. We didn’t really get too political because we attract a really young crowd, and we didn’t want our political views to rub off on kids. I’m just some dumb singer. I’d rather some kid go and read and figure out and develop his own views.”

Politics may be off limits, but the Kids have no problem ranting about their relationship woes.

“We just want our music to be something to rely on if they break up with their boyfriend or girlfriend,” he said. “To me, that was what music was about. If I heard my parents arguing, I’d just crank up my stereo.”

“Hurry Up and Wait” also features slower (relatively speaking) pop sounds, balanced by a rocket-fueled take on REM’s “It’s the End of the World (And I Feel Fine)” that even the Kids couldn’t crank up any faster if they tried. For the past two years, the Kids have been touring almost constantly, punching out their over-the-top punk energy at the Gravity Games or on the Warped Tour, and anywhere in between.

“I love touring,” he said. “I have a little pizza with a slice taken out of it on my key chain, and whenever I get tired, I look at it and think, “I could be delivering pizza.'”

Sunsation 2003 schedule:

Today: “Hot Dog” (the movie) 20th anniversary celebration at Endo’s Adrenaline Cafe, 8 p.m. hot dog eating contest, 10 p.m. Sucker performs

“Hot Dog” (the movie) with retro ski gear costume contest, 7 p.m. to midnight at the Indian Motorcycle Cafe

Saturday:

Sucker, 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Village at Copper

Riddlin’ Kids, 3:15-5:45 p.m. Village at Copper

Moe Dixon, 3:30-5 p.m. J.J.’s

MP, 6 p.m. Village at Copper

Three DJs, 7 p.m. to midnight, Indian Motorcycle Cafe

The Solution, featuring DJ dotcom and members of Sucker, 10 p.m. Endo’s Adrenaline Cafe

Sunday:

Toots and the Maytals, noon-1:30 p.m. Village at Copper

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, 2:30-4 p.m. Village at Copper

Moe Dixon, 3:15-5:45 p.m. J.J.’s

Eeenie weenie bikini contest, 4 p.m. Main Vein

Peel the Layers party, 5-7 p.m. Endo’s Adrenaline Cafe


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