REM: How did you get into music?
Rio: I grew up in an acapella church (all sounds made by mouth) and both my parents loved to sing so from a very young age, music was always something that has been a part of my life. I joined my first band when I was 15 and from then on I have consistently either been in bands or performed acoustics.
REM: What is the state of rock music in Australia?
Rio:Difficult question to answer, there’s a lot of high quality talent here in Australia but the support for rock music is rather fragile. We are quite a laid back culture so if something is good we appreciate it and get into it but from a promotion and booming standpoint, rock music is way down the food chain which is why most of Australia’s best rock acts go overseas.
REM: How hard or easy is it to hold a concert in Australia?
Rio:It’s not that difficult really. It all comes down to promotion.
REM: Do people really enjoy rock concerts in Australia?
Rio:I feel like they do, however, rock music is not at the top of the food chain so options for seeing a good rock show in a good venue can be quite limited.
REM: What countries would you like to perform in?
Rio: I’ve been very blessed to perform in 12 different countries. I’m a big fan of seeing new sights and having new experiences so I’m always excited about going somewhere new but Brazil, Mexico, Japan and the Middle East would probably be top of my ‘to play’ list.
REM: Tell us about your new work.
Rio:My new material is much more expansive and in many ways more free. I’m really enjoying the process of creating this new record.
REM: What matters most to you in making your songs?
Rio: Authenticity. I have to feel like I’m being honest and it also has to be something that I feel like I’ll want to play for the rest of my life.
REM: How would you like to end this interview?
Rio:Thank you so much for your time, both to the interview but also to you as a reader. Wherever you may be in the world, I hope to see you at a show soon!
Interviewed by : Sahar Ajdamsani
Edited by: Shereen G.