Photo Credit: Gordy De St. Jeor
So excited to be chatting with you. What led you guys to forming “Riker & The Beachcombers”?
Thanks for having me! When we decided to put R5 on hold and the boys (Ross and Rocky) started The Driver Era, I realized I had this tropical, beach-y, summer vibe that I hadn’t really fully explored yet. The closest we got to that with R5 was maybe Cali Girls and IF. It also became clear that this beach-y, tropical spirit was very much part of my soul and the whole idea of having a music project that fit in that lane, felt very natural to me.
That’s so awesome! Everyone needs some good summer vibes in their life especially now. Your guys’ new single “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” actually came out today!! How excited were you guys to get this song out into the world?
Very excited! This was one of the first songs we ever played in rehearsal to see if this whole concept was going to work. It’s one of my all time favorite songs and fits in the project perfectly.
What led you guys to covering this song?
I have played it at every Beachcombers show so far, and it just felt like a great idea. I think pretty much everyone knows this song and it immediately brings such a good vibe right when the beat kicks in. Even on tour people would start grooving right when it starts.
Do you guys have any other projects in the works you could tell us about?
I got lots! (laughs) More music coming from Riker and The Beachcombers for sure.
My films, “Colossal Youth” and “Turnover”, are available to stream on Amazon Prime.
Right before the stay at home order started I finished shooting a film called Linked.
As soon as quarantine is over I’ll be directing my second short film, very excited about that. You can see my first short film, Lyft Me Up, on Youtube.
I’d also like to keep making music videos for Riker and The Beachcombers. I’d love to have a video for every song on the album. I’ve directed the three videos that are out and I have a really great crew I work with on all my video production so more music videos for sure.
Is there anyone you are dying to collaborate with in the music industry?
This past year I got to go on tour with O.A.R. who are one of my favorite bands of all time so that pretty much hit the top in my book. I even got to sing their song “Just Like Paradise” with them on stage each night. I get giddy just thinking about it! (laughs) But I think with the style of my music and the vibes it brings, I think a fun country artist would be an awesome collab. Maybe Sam Hunt or Russel Dickerson. Jimmy Buffett would be a dream for sure! Parts of my song “My Girl Rita” are inspired by Jimmy.
What is one artist or band that has greatly influenced your life?
If I have to pick one I’d probably have to say Bruce Springsteen. He was one of the first artists that I really listened to a lot with my dad when I was little. My dad would play the Human Touch record and we would jam out and he’d throw me up in the air. It’s my earliest memory.
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)
I would have it say “YOU GET WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT.” It’s something my parents ingrained in my brain at a very early age. This concept is in a lot of self help books but that’s probably the easiest way to say it. Your thoughts create your reality.
What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
I absolutely love Bulletproof Coffee. It’s where you blend grass fed butter and C8 MCT oil in your coffee and it basically creates a super creamy latte. I talk about it a lot and people think it’s weird until they try it and realize how much energy it gives you. I won’t get into the science but it works crazy good, trust me.
What is your guys’ current go-to song?
Right now it’s “California” by O.A.R.
What do you guys like to do during your free time?
I’m a major sports fan so I mainly watch hockey. I love playing hockey too. Hockey and baseball are my top 2 and just last year I got into skydiving which is so crazy but it’s amazing! Aside from that, a nice beach day with some surfing and volleyball. It’s kind of funny because of Covid-19 I haven’t been able to do any of that so I’ve been writing a lot. Songs and movie scripts.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in music? What advice should they ignore?
I would say write and write and write. It takes a long time to become a good writer so you have to put the time in. And I would say remember this industry is entirely subjective. Everyone has an opinion and don’t let opinions discourage or bring down your creativity.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?
Meditate. I used to think meditation wouldn’t be beneficial to me because I have a pretty good inner voice of self talk but I’ve started meditating regularly for about six months now and I’m a big fan. There are a bunch of apps to try out if you haven’t meditated before.
What social media platform do you use most to stay connected to your fans?
I probably interact more with people on Twitter but I post more on Instagram.
Why do you think social media is so important for artists like yourselves?
It’s important because you can reach people all over the world. It’s quite fascinating. I’m very fortunate to have played concerts in 5 different continents and a large part of that is probably because of social media.
How do you want your relationship to be with your fans?
I’m pretty open with them and I like to be the one they can ask questions to about tour dates and what not. I try to give as much info to them as possible. Unless I’m teasing a new release of course.
What was the craziest fan encounter you guys have had?
Maybe not the craziest but my favorite for sure, I was cast in this short film, Don’t Write Me Off, because the director was a big R5 fan. They flew me out in New York and we shot for about 10 days. It was an awesome experience and I feel so grateful to have been part of it.
Have you guys ever been starstruck by another artist?
Not by another artist but maybe a little meeting professional athletes. I’m from Colorado and Von Miller, who plays for the Denver Broncos was on Dancing With The Stars the year after I was. My brothers and I went to a live taping and a bunch of the team were there supporting Von and we got to meet all of them and hang out after. It was so cool!
If your lives were a movie, what would be the title?
Paradise with Riker and The Beachcombers (laughs) sounds like a spinoff of Bachelor in Paradise (more laughs)
Who would you want to play each of you?
Well I’m an actor too so I guess I could play myself. And the rest of the band members are different all the time except for my brother-in-law, Chase Meyer. He plays drums. He looks a bit like Chris Pine so we’ll say Chris Pine would play him. And we’ll say Tom Cruise will play somebody too since he’s probably my favorite actor.
What impact do you want to leave on the music world?
I want people to listen to my music and feel better than they were before. Maybe they’re having a rough day and they can put on one of my songs and just feel better about everything. Good vibes all the time!
What goals have you guys set out for the group?
I have a few… Play shows on a cruise ship. I heard Train does a cruise, that could be a good fit. Or Kid Rock maybe.
A headlining tour where I can bring all my musician friends on the road with me. Like a mini festival.
And play Red Rocks in Colorado. Whether it be opening for someone or headlining, that will be absolutely amazing.
Any last things you’d like to tell your supporters?
THANK YOU! Thank you for all the love and continued support. I’m having a blast with this island party that is Riker and The Beachcombers and I appreciate you coming on the journey with me.