Diamond Street Studios producer, guitar player, and singer Matt Greenia has a new project in the works called Rishathra, which is breathing new life into a batch of older songs that date all the way back to his high school years spent in Northern Michigan. “I wrote too many songs in 1995,” Greenia says. “They lived on alarm-clock cassette tapes until last year, when I found them and hired some musicians to finish them.”
With a new lineup in place that finds Greenia performing alongside drummer Jake Cook, bass player Aidan Burns, guitarist Alex Teich, and vocalist Nick Nickerson, Rishathra puts a modern spin on what Greenia calls “northern Michigan goth grunge from ’95,” which is finally seeing the light of day on a brand-new 10-song LP, titled Sex with Aliens. The band’s name is a term created by sci-fi author Larry Niven that describes exactly what the album’s title is all about.
“Last year, we recorded a legendary amount of music,” Greenia says. “This is the first album we’re releasing. These players showed up the most persistently, and that’s how Rishathra became a priority. They basically won my reality TV show!”
This debut offering bears the mark of Dude Hugs, a musical collective and talent house that Greenia created to act as a label and publisher for the artists with whom he’s working.
Dude Hugs’ current roster of artists includes The Strange Truth of It All, Seal Pup, Rishathra, Cat Autopsy Expo, The Falcon Lords, Little Miss Cupcake, and Greenia’s solo material.
“For Sex with Aliens, Dude Hugs helped me pay day rates to the musicians,” Greenia says. “In exchange I traded tracking, mixing, and mastering. Nick got me to do Strange Truth, Jake got me to master I Bleed Pop by Seal Pup, and Alex got my help recording and co-mixing the as-yet untitled and unreleased Post Hunk record. … Everyone gets their projects done with lower budgets and less cash exchange by adapting to an egalitarian, neo artistic barter system instead of old-guard gatekeeping,” he adds. “Collective bargaining. Literally.”
Rishathra’s live debut and Sex with Aliens LP release party takes place at the Drunken Unicorn on Saturday, February 15. Satisfiers of Alpha Blue and In Sonitus Lux also perform.