Travis Hawley, Nick Fotinakes, Matt DePauw, Kevin Menesez and Mikel van Kranenburg were raised in Templeton, California, and they all met in middle school.They learned how to play instruments together in high school and decided to form a band. After graduating from high school, the band split for a brief period. Rico Rodriguez replaced Kevin Menesez as the drummer in 2010. The name was inspired by the character PeeKay in Australian author Bryce Courtenay’s novel The Power of One. Able to relate to his “[rise] from the bottom to overcome adversity”, the band agreed that he was a “pretty awesome character” and were able to take away from him that they “could indeed take over the world if we just work hard and don’t let anything get in our way!” They self-released their debut studio album Into the Roaring in 2010. The band traveled and performed at high schools and college campuses on weekdays, and music venues on weekends within the same city. MTV Buzzworthy included PK on its “The Most Criminally Overlooked Artists of 2012″ list.
In order to eliminate any trademark concerns with PK in the future, the band decided to change its name. The band decided on Night Riots in order to better encapsulate their sound; yearning for a “latchkey feel”, they cited the energy of shows that take place at night as determining their new name. They also explained that, while PK was a “great name”, its meaning was difficult to interpret and failed to project any imagery. Night Riots sought to raise money through crowd funding website Indiegogo to release their upcoming extended play (EP), where they accumulated $12,000. The money was used to independently release Young Lore on July 30, 2013.
In 2014, Night Riots debuted their single “Contagious” on radio station KROQ and supported musician K.Flay on a US tour. On October 23, 2014 they premiered their music video for Contagious through MTV and announced their signing to Sumerian Records. On January 20, 2015 their EP Howl was released and the band was spotlit by Live 105 in San Francisco as one of “Aaron Axelsen’s Top 16 New Acts To Watch In 2015″. In February 2015, Night Riots embarked on their first full US headlining tour. In March and April 2015, Night Riots were main support on The Mowgli’s US and Canada tour. In May 2015, Night Riots performed for the Vans Warped Tour 2015. On September 16, 2015, Night Riots performed at the debut of the new, tenth-generation Honda Civic Sedan.
In the fall of 2015 following the Vans Warped Tour, Night Riots also went to the Let The Kids Riot tour as main support to Young Rising Sons. After ending the tour and gaining a vast amount of audience, Night Riots went straight to the studio to write and record what will be their First Full length album under a label. The album will be release Fall 2016.
In the Spring of 2016, Night Riots went on tour with Blaqk Audio, opening for The Material Tour, and revisited some of the same venues in the Midwest and East Coast from the LTKR tour. For the 2016 festival season Night Riots will attend BFD, Firefly Music Festival, Osheaga Festival, and Riot Fest in both Colorado and Chicago.