Interview with Rob Moshetti and Tim McMurtrie of Full Scale Riot

Full Scale Riot“Curiosity will pique their interest, and then we just gotta do the rest,” vocalist and lead shedder Rob Moschetti says to his rhythm guitarist and founding member of Full Scale Riot, Tim McMurtrie. Tim nonchalantly agrees, “We just gotta kick them in teeth.” Rob has been in bands like M.O.D, Pro-Pain and Mutilation and Tim has played for M.O.D and Rhythm Trip. These veterans display their purely crunching old school hardcore muscle on their demo, Rise, that’s also fueled by moody metallic darkness and dizzying speed.

Completed by bassist Jeff Wood and drummer Rob Youells, who spent some time in Dillinger Escape Plan, Full Scale Riot tells an interesting story. Tim and Rob have known each other for years and yet this is Rob’s maiden voyage behind the mic. Being more known for his bass playing and onstage bombast, the tall, bald and menacing-looking figure delivers like he has been a front man for his entire 20-year-plus career.

Of the five tracks on their self-produced demo born at Tracks East Tim remarks, “I just wanted to expand. That’s what would make me really happy, because at this point, I have done a lot of different styles of music and I wanted something really different.” The lyrics deal with topics likes fraudulent authorities, betrayal and paying your dues in life.

Full Scale Riot’s full-length will be out in September, but in the meantime, they will be playing a WSOU night with Suicide City on April 17 at Dingbatz in Clifton, New Jersey.

Speaking of the live element, Tim reminisced about the loyalty he had experienced in the hardcore scene among fans and bands alike. “Respect your elders. I used to go to hardcore shows to slam. I used to go to everyone’s shows. If I was slamming at the Cro-Mags show, the Cro-Mags used to come to mine. If we were at the AF show, it was the same thing and vise versa.”

Full Scale Riot offers fans of bands like Agnostic Front, Hatebreed and Madball a new tribe to follow.

What was the spark that ignited Full Scale Riot? How did you connect?

Rob Moschetti:We hooked up in 1992. I was in the studio where we recorded this CD, Tracks East. I was there recording for the band I was in, Mutilation. Recording ideas for our second record, but we were really struggling with our label at the time, and our producer Steve Evetts [Every Time I Die, Earth Crisis] saw that we had no budget, no push, no nothing, but he loved the material. He sad, ‘You’re wasting your time with that label.’

Trying to make the best of a bad situation, he mentioned Timmy to me. Timmy was starting a new project, Rhythm Trip. Basically, the three of us that were in Mutilation that were in the studio hooked up with him and we became the original Rhythm Trip. We stripped down some ideas from our material and he had a bunch of material himself, a majority of the Rhythm Trip material was his. We meshed it together with mine to make the first Rhythm Trip in ’92. Then he got pulled back to M.O.D. and I got introduced to M.O.D.

Our paths crossed over the years, he took Rhythm Trip to Europe, and I was in Pro-Pain, we took them with us. We played in Rhythm Trip together, we played in M.O.D together we toured together in different bands, so when I came back to Rockland County [NY], he contacted me and basically introduced all this material that you’re hearing now without vocals and guitar.

Tim McMurtrie: How it all developed that Rob became the singer was that we were in the studio and this guy we had, it was just like a pre-production situation. We started noticing that he just didn’t have the type of voice that was going to suit this project. It just didn’t mesh with what we were doing. Rob goes, ‘Let me give it a go.’ And Rob just blew us away.

RM: On M.O.D, I did a lot of vocals on the record I did, but after Pro-Pain, I was developing my own material where I played every instrument and did the vocals myself. So when I first came back, Timmy knew me as a screamer, but I was letting him know that I had a little more range than you might remember. We didn’t see each other for like 12 years, I basically had to prove myself to him and my solo material definitely helped me with this project, because I applied the old school screaming with the singing without being that emo style that’s out right now. We are a little different than that.

TM: I was trying to find a singer that was going to be able to have melody and have the screaming, because what M.O.D and other groups did was just straightforward screaming. I actually tried with this band for the first time to play more melodic material on the record. Like ‘Holy Soldiers,’ that has more of an acoustic, a clean guitar sound, unlike M.O.D where the first album is total hardcore and then it goes to hardcore thrash, then other albums M.O.D is more metal than thrash.