Ex-Riot, Riot Act Guitarist Recalls Opening For AC/DC, Rush & Black Sabbath with Dio
Jimmy Kay and Alan Dixon talked to Ex-Riot, Riot Act guitarist Rick Ventura on The Metal Voice on Youtube Live June 13 2020.
Rick Ventura talked about the passing of Lou Kouvaris and the band Riot Act's intentions to move forward. As well he talked about the early Riot days of opening for AC/DC on Highway to Hell Tour, Rush during Moving Pictures and Black Sabbath on the Heaven and Hell tour with Dio.
Riot Act just released an E.P. of rerecording of the bands early material featuring the late Lou Kouvaris
Watch the Interview here
When asked about the Riot Act's future plans after the passing of their guitarist Lou Kouvaris "We are not going to fill Lou's position cause there is no point in filling them.The whole concept of Riot Act was to get Lou and myself together and play the old songs from the first three albums and then write new material because we were both the Riot guitar players from the early days but with the tragic shocking passing of Lou threw us for a loop. A continuing tragedy of Riot members passing it's just hard to fathom. But Riot Act is going to move on, we will forge ahead Lou would have wanted it that way. Don Chaffin (singer) is a pretty competent guitar player and we might have him strap the guitar on for a few key songs that call for that dual guitar, we will see, this is all new. "
When asked about when Riot opened for AC/DC on the Highway to hell tour
"I remember doing laundry with Angus Young's wife. We used to just hang out side stage and watch Angus roll around the stage, they were just a fun band to watch. Bon Scott was one of the greatest rock vocalists he had such swagger. They had reputations especially Bon, we were afraid to hang out with them thinking if we hung out we would turn into him. A lot of the stuff on Bon was exaggerated but Bon Scott was the real deal."
When asked about opening for Rush on the Moving Pictures tour
" I was a Rush fan in the very early days when we first heard we were touring with them we couldn't believe it . What was interesting during our first soundcheck we looked out up front and it was Geddy Lee, he was just standing there, checking us out. We were like freaking out. They were nicest guys, very cool guys. I never hung out with Neil but the memory I have is the time when Rush were doing their soundcheck and Neil Peart was late so they asked our drummer Sandy Slavin to come up and play Limelight during soundcheck. "
When asked about opening for Black Sabbath on the Heaven and hell tour with Ronnie James Dio
"I was a big Rainbow fan and to tour with Dio and the guys in Sabbath that was unbelievable. I remember being at the hotel and the elevator opened and Ronnie was there, he was a sweet human being, so down to earth and great guy. Another time we were at the hotel and the elevator opened up and it was Geezer Butler. and Bill ward in the elevator. Myself and Kip Leming (bassist) we wound up going to Geezer hotel room and Bill Ward was there too. They were such nice guys. tThey talked about all the troubles Sabbath went through in the early days, how management screwed them and we talked about our issues and they were giving us advice. What a cool experience with two legends, who were so down to earth. "
Riot Act's latest video , the re-recording of the classic Riot song 'Overdrive' which was taken off the bands first album Rock City. The song is a tribute to the late Lou Kouvaris who played on the song and the original debut album and suddenly died due to Covid19 on March 28 2020.
Watch overdrive here
Original Riot guitarist Lou A. Kouvaris - who appeared on the first Riot album Rock City (1977) and wrote songs for Narita (1979) - tested positive for Covid19 and passed away due to complications on March 28, 2020 in Long Island New York. He was 66 years old.
Tribute show on Lou Kouvaris April 5 2020
Jimmy Kay and Rick Ventura pay Tribute and respect to Riot / Riot Act's Lou Kouvaris as an artist and a person Also joining in Mike Flyntz (Riot , Riot V) Giles Lavery (Music management), Pat Gesualdo (CEO Metal Hall of Fame), Drummer Claudio Galinski (Riot Act).
Jimmy Kay from Canada The Metal Voice spoke to original Riot Guitarists Lou Kouvaris and Rick Ventura. The two spoke about launching their new band Riot Act at the Metal Hall of Fame 2020 Gala, recording new music, their upcoming shows and the premiering of their new music video of the Classic Riot song Swords and Tequila'
Nov 6 2019
WATCH INTERVIEW HERE
WATCH Riot Act 'Swords & Tequila"
When asked about how they found their singer for Riot Act
"I asked a friend of mine if he knew any singers and he goes you know you could try this guy but he's very busy playing in like three of the four bands and one was a journey tribute band. I said okay so I gave him a call and I told him the situation and he was very receptive. I told them that I was in a band playing with my partner Rick Ventura and we wanted to play the first, second and third Riot Albums, which is Rock City, Narita and Fire Down Under and we have a gigs in Greece. He said he was very interested and I had his ear for about an hour and we got along like two little birds. So then Rick and I went to his studio and we auditioned him and he was blown away by how together Rick and I and the rest of the band were. And we were impressed with him. It's one of those things that just gels instantly and as soon as we started playing he interpreted the song so perfectly and we just had this vibe. It's like the typical story you know you get the right bunch of guys together you hit a chord it's like yeah.... that's it.... We all looked at each other and go wow! " Lou Kouvaris
When asked about the Riot Act live Set list
"It's going to be a songs from the first three records of Riot, a good selection of stuff that some people may not or may have never have heard. Just the fact that Lou and I are playing these classic songs has never been done. I think fans will get a kick out of hearing both of us together, like I said a good selection from first three records of Riot, Rock City, Narita and Fire Down Under, " Rick Ventura
When asked about their first official shows
"We will be officially launching the band on January 15 2020 at the Metal Hall of Fame Gala in California and then there will be a mini tour of Greece, three dates confirmed March 13th in Athens, that'll be at the Up The Hammers Festival next one in Nicosia Cyprus that's gonna be on the I believe the 17th on a Tuesday and then on the 20th Friday of March check our website for more dates. RiotActBand.com. " Lou Kouvaris
When asked about recording new material and the musical direction
"Rick has plenty of ideas and I have plenty of ideas and I think in about one years time we should have an album out, "Lou Kouvaris
You know Riot was high-energy hard rock bordering on metal. The new music is going to sound like an extension or a continuation of what we've always done. " Rick Ventura
When asked how fans will receive another Riot Band
"I think Riot fans will always know Riot as Guy Speranza and Mark Reale as they were an important part of Riot history as they were the writing team of Riot. Lou and I contributed songs to Riot and we were there from the beginning I think fans will appreciate us playing those classic tunes because we were the guys that played on those early records. You're never going to bring back Guy or Mark or Rhett so it's like not really that same band because key members are gone but we were there from the beginning so the spirit of band lives on in us and that's what people pick up on." Rick Ventura
"I think one thing that that will will be evident is the fact that the sound that Rick and I have is basically the true sound of what Riot was back in the day, there's no question. You're gonna hear that in the music video we just did with Swords and Tequila. Riot V are our friends and what they do is fantastic and we support them. I mean they gave us a thumbs up on doing this they had no qualms about what we're doing so I'm pretty happy about that. " Lou Kouvaris
Interview with Riot Act band at the Metal Hall of Fame Jan 28 2020
Late Lou Kouvaris (Left) Guitar L.A co-wrote several of Riot’s anthem style songs on both their debut album “Rock City” and the second album “Narita” which took Japan and Europe by storm. Lou had shared the stage and toured with Journey Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Neil Young Mark Farner Neil Smith & Rick Derringer to name a few.
Rick Ventura Guitar played, recorded and wrote on the Riot albums Narita, Fire Down Under, Restless Breed, and Born in America touring the world with the likes of AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Rush and so on.
Don Chaffin-Vocalist has toured the U.S.A. opening for Godsmack, Foreigner, Disturbed, Alice in Chains, Powerman 5000, Dr. John, Steve Howe of Yes, Robbie Krieger of The Doors , Vanilla Fudge and more. Don is the Lead Vocalist for the new band RED LAMB which features Dan Spitz ( dcpic Anthrax ) and is co-produced by Dave Mustaine (Megadeth) Don is also the Lead Vocalist for Voices of Extreme (formally co-managed by Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden).
Paul Ranieri - Bass He has played and recorded with dozens of artists, recently Mondo Electro, Stratopheerius and Emmy Award winning Electric Violinist Mark Wood and is also a Band leader, Clinician, Teacher and Music Director.
Claudio Galinski - Drums as part of the Argentinian Heavy Metal scene in the 80’s with his Thrash Metal Band ULTRAJE, sharing stages with such bands as Hermetica , Horcas, Lethal and Others.