Coming off several new singles going into 2021, the four-piece German band Rikas is showing a funkier side to their sound.
“We do happy music, but we like to put our feelings into it,” guitarist/vocalist Sascha Scherer tells BTRtoday. “[And] I think that’s pretty fun to watch—I like our live show because it’s very positive. It’s just fun!”
Rikas doesn’t do your typical set-up with a frontman front and center, drummer pushed to the back, and everyone else to the side. These rockers are all about performance equality and place everyone upfront in a line—including the drums. Their music is upbeat on the same level as any whimsical pop song. But they keep things edgy with introspective lyrics that even get poetic at times, plus garage rock breaks that give its “happy music” vibe an edge and a little funk.Rikas ”I Always Think of You (When I Listen to This Song)”
“I always liked the term ‘happy music’ or ‘sunshine pop,’” bassist/vocalist Samuel Baisch adds. “[It’s] always a good feeling if you have a song written in half an hour—at least the lyrics, it feels the best when you sing those songs, it always stays as a good memory.”
The four musicians met in high school as teenagers in the early 2000s and, of course, started with a more pop-punk sound. Scherer recalls seeing Rikas before he was officially in the band himself and said he just “fell in love.”
“They were so cool, they were like 13 but singing about getting old and growing your hair out and stuff like that,” he says. “They seemed so much older than me at that time, so that was funny.”
It’s been many years since Rikas shed their pop-punk foundation, but they never lost their expertise in catchy pop-punk hooks. Their latest singles “I Always Think of You (When I Listen to This Song)” and “Stereo” lay down shimmering instrumentation and emotional vocals all wrapped up around melodic breakdowns and build-ups that are bound to get stuck in your head.Rikas “Stereo”
The four-piece says they had lots of extra downtime during 2020 to record and play around with their sound since they had to cancel touring and go into lockdown. The extra effort really shows in their new singles, which give Rikas a dancier and funkier vibe with professional-sounding production.
“We’re not the kind of band who gets super creative while on tour, so we were happy we had the time to experiment with new songs and sounds,” Scherer says. “We had so much time to put all of our energy into it and that was great.”
“We have a lot of music ready [too],” Baisch adds. “I think we’re ready to splash a lot of new songs.”
Listen to the entire interview with Rikas and select new and old tracks on this week’s episode of The Music Meetup.