2016: The Year in Charts

Ra Ra Riot on Alt In Our Stars Podcast: 'Rostam Almost Made Me Shred My Vocal Cords'

Shervin Lainez
The Alt in Our Stars: Ra Ra Riot

Picture this: Your twenties are behind you, you’ve just gotten engaged, and you’ve just made the most satisfying art of your life, thanks in large part to friendships forged in grade school.

Welcome to the life of Ra Ra Riot frontman Wes Miles. The singer-songwriter and his bandmates are set to release Need Your Light, RRR’s fourth long-player, a week from today on Feb. 19. Miles grew up childhood friends in Glen Ridge, N.J. with Ezra Koenig, who introduced him to his Vampire Weekend cohort Rostam Batmanglij during their college years. Fast-forward to today; Rostam’s studio presence pushed Miles’ voice to heights it had never reached before and he’s still a little shaken.

“[I was] almost shredding my vocal cords just to reach these notes. When I got there, that’s what made the connection for us.”

Listen to the entire conversation with host Chris Payne on the Alt In Our Stars podcast:

Ra Ra Riot is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, and Miles took us back to the band’s earliest days, leading kids through floor-shaking house parties while at Syracuse University.

Past Episodes: Baio (Vampire Weekend) | Børns | Panic! at the Disco | HEALTH | Bully | Ashley Monroe | Beach Slang | 2016 Rock/Alt Preview | Downtown Boys

He also explained what it’s like to sing the national anthem at a professional sporting event, something he’s done at the New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium, the New Jersey Devils’ Prudential Center and the Barclays Center before a New York Islanders game. It’s not easy.

To keep up with the podcast (a new episode comes out every Friday) and to stream old episodes, subscribe to The Alt In Our Stars podcast on iTunes. Let us know what you think on Twitter (@cpayneonaplane) and by rating the podcast on iTunes.

Check back next Friday (Feb. 19) for a new episode featuring Chairlift.