I cannot say enough good things about Nathan. Not only is he a stand-up guy, but he’s an excellent publicist. In 2015, we worked on two somewhat untraditional releases. One was an EP, and one was a record that had been self-released nearly two years earlier. I knew Nathan was a great publicist, and the music was amazing, but I also knew getting good editorial coverage on these records would be difficult. I can honestly say that Nathan completely crushed both releases. Not only did he exceed my high, but realistic expectations, he completely blew past them. I cannot say enough good things about the work Nathan does. He is certainly on my very short list of publicists I call first.
— Grant McCallum, Barsuk Records
Balmorhea has worked with Alyssa DeHayes since 2008, and each release and tour seems to only be upped by the next. The only thing rivaling her passionate and professional pursuit of the best and highest for her work is her sweet and personal disposition. It’s a rare thing in this age for someone to fully possess even one of these traits, let alone two. She is someone that bridges the gap between client and friend; one who sends you care packages on tour and is wholly earnest about her pursuit of your musical and personal well-being. The music world (and the world in general) needs more like Alyssa.
–Michael Muller, Balmorhea
The press campaign for our record was already in progress when Nathan Walker took over. The previous firm goofed up pretty bad, leaving Nathan with an even more difficult job than usual in soliciting press. Despite the uphill battle, Nathan did a terrific job and surpassed our expectations. Riot Act may be a small company, but I found them fiercely loyal, very attentive, and super devoted; a beacon of Real in a biz increasingly fulla fakes and incompetents.
—James Jackson Toth, Wooden Wand
We’ve worked with numerous publicists over the years, but Riot Act Media has been one of the most efficient companies we’ve been lucky to work with.They’re real fans of music, and it shows. We’re still amazed by Nathan’s talents, and by all the coverage he got us for our Beachwood Sparks release.
Patrick Boissel, BOMP! / Alive Naturalsound Records
Riot Act Media has restored my faith in the idea of thoughtful targeted publicity. Having worked with both Joan and Nathan on several projects I find their attention to detail, positive attitudes and follow through to be a refreshing change to the usual dark science surrounding the world of publicity. The results may vary (funnily enough so do the records they are working), but the effort they put in stays constant regardless and the suggestions they make have always left me feeling good about the money I’ve spent, and brought me back to their doorstep the next time a release date rolls around.
—Rob Jones, Jealous Butcher Records
Joan and co. at Riot Act are a team like none other. Beyond their attentiveness to clients, thoughtful campaigns, and overall success as publicists, they are genuine, honest, and passionate music fans. It’s this boiling passion for music and what they do at Riot Act that truly bodes well for the artists I work with and myself on a day-to-day basis. Their enthusiasm and fervor shine through on all fronts and seemingly has helped to close the ever pervasive gap between editors, bloggers, tastemakers, etc. and the artists they work with. I do and will continue to recommend Riot Act Media to anyone I cross looking for help on the publicity front.
—Bobby Herb, Flip Artist Management (TORRES)
Nathan and the crew at Riot Act are one of the hardest working press teams in the game. From day one of hiring them to work with our Artists, they’ve been on our side and worked doggedly to get amazing coverage for them. I’d highly suggest them to anyone else looking to make an impact with a record. They’re honest, and awesome.
—Jeremy Peters, Quite Scientific Records
I actually read Riot Act’s emails. Other PR companies… not so much. You can put that on your Testimonials page.
—Maria T. Sciarrino
Annie at Riot Act did an amazing job promoting my band Pony Time’s last record and completely surpassed any expectations I had for a PR company. She was completely professional, but also a real nice gal to talk to and meet in person. I felt like she actually really cared about what happened with us and it was very refreshing. I would absolutely work with her again and would recommend her and this company to any band and actually have!
—Stacy Peck, Pony Time
As a workaholic, I find kinship with my brethren at Riot Act. Nathan and Joan shone like beacons in the night, helping me achieve my goals with Visqueen’s Message to Garcia release and heavy tour press. As a label owner, songwriter, and bandmate, I consider them a fabulous and essential part of my business.
—Rachel Flotard, Owner of Local 638 Records – Musician in Visqueen and Cobirds Unite
As a newborn music festival, in a city of many music festivals, Portland Folk Festival had a tough challenge of standing out its first year. Thanks to the hard work and efforts of Riot Act, Portland Folk Festival received great press and was well attended and supported by the community.
—Amanda Stark, Portland Folk Festival
When I finished my record, I was content with the idea that it would sit buried for eternity, streaming anonymously to no one in some forgotten corner of the internet. It was a good record, maybe even the best one I’d ever worked on, but I’d been around the track enough times to know that “good” and “paid attention to” are hardly mutually exclusive. Nathan was beyond excited about my sounds and energetic to the point of converting people to my weird little record. More new listeners discovered my music in the last year than makes any natural sense, and it’s due in large part to the enthusiasm and palpable sense of belief put forth by Nathan and his cohort at Riot Act.
– Fred Thomas
There are no music lovers I know who are as hard-working and passionate as Jessi Frick and the fine folks Riot Act. They take on projects that are close to their hearts, and they are diligent, personable, and thoughtful in everything they do. They prove that PR is not about plugging and chugging emails, not about forum pitches, its about connecting people with music that moves them. I am very proud to have the opportunity to work on records with them, and look forward to the big things the company has coming up in the new year! – Jeanette Wall, Miscreant Records/ATO Records
We love working with Riot Act Media, and over the past year, Alyssa has played crucial role in helping launch the career of Natalie Prass. We started working with Alyssa directly at a small DIY level to bring the Natalie project in to the light and have stuck with her right through to Natalie signing with Star Time/Columbia, where Riot Act Media continue to deliver the goods.
—Ben Baldwin, Dreamboat Management
I never delete your emails and you can quote me on that.
—Bruce Warren, WXPN / World Cafe Live
Nathan Walker and Riot Act are a PR firm that understands all the tricky facets of representing bands and fulfilling their publicity needs. One has to be a skilled diplomat to be a good publicist and Nathan certainly has that quality. He deals with the wishy-washy people on either side of him (bands, journalists,editors,etc) in a way that puts everyone at ease and gets the job done and leaves all involved with positive vibes about this funny game of publicity in the music business. Some music biz services can’t be quantified and fall under the category of “this is something we need to do, but i don’t know why” but using Riot Act and Nathan IS quantifiable-you will see results AND you’ll want to hire him again and again….so just do it, you’ll be glad you did.
Nathan Walker and Riot Act have consistently been the best value and ROI in a PR partner that Antenna Farm has worked with in 10 years of releasing records. Hiring the right PR agency is one of the most important choices you can make in releasing a record, and it is typically the one of the most expensive line-items in any release budget. Ironically, the results from this expenditure are the least predictable, and unlike you, the agency gets paid regardless of whether the album sells 10 copies or 10,000. I have worked with Nathan on releases for Agent Ribbons, The Blank Tapes, Social Studies and Dana Falconberry, and been happy with the results of every project.
Part of the ulcer-inducing uncertainty in working with PR people is that they are paid to hype shit. For someone who’s job it is to blow smoke about how amazing a record and artist are to jaded writers and gatekeepers, it is a really easy line to cross to extend that hype to their clients. It is critical that the PR agent you hire remain accessible, energetic, and most importantly, honest at all times regarding the progress of a campaign. Nathan Walker exemplifies this, and has been the hardest-working and most straight shooting agent we have ever worked with. He will not work with a record that he is not excited about, and at the same time, if an angle is not working or a publication not feeling it, he will be upfront about trying other approaches.
Anyone running a small label knows that the work is typically endless. Long hours are the norm, and nothing is more demoralizing than the feeling that your partners are not working as hard on it as you are. I have never once questioned Nathan and Riot Act’s commitment to any of the projects I hired him for; in fact, the amount of substantive late night and early morning back-and-forth emailing I have done with him has made me question the amount of time I was sinking into my label!
I would whole-heartedly recommend Nathan Walker and Riot Act to anyone looking for strong, honest, affordable and above all, extremely hard working PR representation.
—Paul Koehler, Antenna Farm Records
We have worked with Alyssa on two or three releases. We have found her to be knowledgeable, courteous and professional. As an independent label, we often need the advice and added value Alyssa brings to the table. She has always been gracious and helpful in our interactions. We are happy and proud to be working with Alyssa and Riot Act Media. — Ronny Russell, Madjack Records
After we finished our album, we were worried that it would just vanish into the void because we were a band that nobody had ever heard of. Annie sorted us out. Almost immediately we got some great press for our release which has helped us immeasurably and given us some much needed momentum. She’s a wizard of the music media and also happens to be a pleasure to work with. Thanks Annie and Riot Act Media!
—Pascal Garneau, The Visibles
Riot Act has a unique grip on what a band needs and how to get shit done. We’ve worked with many PR companies over the years in this band and many others and none have the genuine enthusiasm that Riot Act and Joan have for their clients. Its scary to throw a bunch of money at something with no guarantees, but Riot Act has 100% delivered above what we ever expected (and above what anyone else has done) and for way less than anyone else. They’re the best!
—Adam Sankowski, Horsehands
“The Riot Act team of publicists are more than just good at their jobs–they’re people who invest in their artists. Joan believed in my music before I even really believed in my music. She and the staff have had my back since the day we began working together, encouraging me and looking out for my best interests along the way. With Riot Act I’ve experienced nothing but positivity, efficient communication, and enthusiasm, and I’m so grateful to be a client. I love you guys.”
—Mackenzie Scott, aka TORRES
For a teeny-tiny band of nobodies from the bankrupt and crumbling former-metropolis of Detroit, MI, we never expected that anybody existed who wanted to take on a group of 30-something dads that still wanted to make a racket with their rock and roll band. But Joan and everybody else at Riot Act took a chance on us, because they loved the music. Their willingness to work with us wasn’t based on how cute we were, what designer jeans we had on, or even how we spent our former lives in bands that could tour and eat Taco Bell on a day-to-day basis. They loved our music, saw potential in it, and said, ‘Yes, we want to promote your band.’ Not only was it a confidence boost, but it legitimized what we spent our time doing in the basement every Tuesday night for 2 years. They loved our music and wanted to tell other people about it. And that they did. They were able to get folks to pay attention to us that would never have done so had we tried on our own. Plus, they are the sweetest, most accessible, and savvy peeps we’ve have ever had the fortune to work with. They gave our little record a life, and we are forever grateful. Power to the people, and power to Riot Act Media.
—Ryan Allen, Destroy This Place
People like you enrich our cause to provide exposure for the artists that need to be seen and not lost amid the smoke, mirrors and indifference from the outlets that are supposed to have the artists and fans best interests in mind but go for the easiest common denominator because it’ll get whoever mad clicks and traffic and stuff.
—Sjimon Gompers, IMPOSE Magazine
I love Riot Act Media. Nathan and Joan are smart, honest and true music fans. It’s awesome to have them chatting to folks about a project you love!
—Lisa Moran, Manager of Basia Bulat
The best thing about working with Nathan is that he only chooses projects he’s sincerely excited about. From our first phone call onward, his enthusiasm never waned, and that translated directly to what he was able to do for us on the press side.
— Anthony Ferraro, Astronauts, etc.
Joan LeMay and the Riot Act Media team were a joy to work with. Riot Act’s efforts led to the placement of 33 1/3 books in many national newspapers, magazines and websites and helped us reach a new audience. Joan made features I never though possible happen and I would work with Riot Act again in a heartbeat. Her knowledge of the music press is unparalleled and I was particularly impressed with the individual attention I received as a client.
–Ally-Jane Grossan, 33 1/3 Books
A great experience—We had much more positive press attention than we expected and our interactions with Joan and Riot Act were charming and sunny. A+ nice work!
—Tim Rutili, Califone
Nathan became a key member of the team for our release of Dana Falconberry’s record, going well beyond the call of duty to curate the initial publicity rollout and see it through into a slow-burn that’s bolstered the band’s reputation for months of touring. It’s been almost a year since the release, and the album is still getting national coverage from the likes of NPR and New York Times. This is thanks to Riot Act.
—Jack Tuggle, Artist Manager, Dana Falconberry
Joan (LeMay) worked both my debut and sophomore records and has played a huge role in launching my career as a solo artist. Over the years I’ve heard from multiple writers that they listened to my music expressly because Joan was the one to recommend it. She is highly respected by people in every sphere of the music industry and is not only one of the best publicists out there, but she is an extraordinary human being to-boot. As someone who chooses my team based on their having equal parts smarts AND humanity, I cannot imagine a more perfect collaborator. She is truly is one of a kind. I would, and I do, recommend Joan and Riot Act to anyone and everyone in search of a brilliant/passionate PR partner.
I know on paper, Nathan Walker and I have a “pitch music, consider music, give feedback on music” relationship, but really, I often feel like he’s my personal shopping assistant, helping me choose quality tunes to “try on,” if you will. Sometimes navigating the musical blogosphere’s waters is tough going, sometimes I question what good music sounds like any more. But whenever I receive an email from Nathan and the Riot Act Media team, I know I’m in caring hands—people who care not only about the music they promote, but the people they promote it to. Riot Act Media is my co-pilot.
—Fred Knittel, WXPN Folkadelphia
Happy with how it all turned out. I would recommend Nathan and Riot Act Media. Intuitive and sensitive, they truly helped the music to find outlets that made sense and resonated. Thank you!
—Kyle Field aka Little Wings
I have been so impressed every step of the way on this publicity campaign with Joan. Seriously. I am so very happy with how it all turned out. I really felt that Joan cared about me throughout the entire process, especially in the beginning phases when I was struggling a bit to find my confidence. I love how much love Joan pours into her work, it shows and it makes a difference. Joan made such a positive impact on me personally, and for that I am forever grateful.
Even though I was self-releasing an album, the idea of self-promotion was not my idea of fun at all. I’m so glad I got Joan and Riot Act to handle the job of getting the word out about the release. They have the savvy, and just the right amount of sass to get people to take a listen—and we got some good press and video premieres to happen that I wouldn’t have been able to get without their help, unless I spent a billion agonizing hours trying—maybe. They’ve got the skills.
—Patrick Abernethy, Pancho-san
Nathan, and Riot Act Media, went so far beyond the call of duty promoting my film, MAKE, that it still continues to blow my mind. Although this was their first time out promoting a movie, they brought in press from so many amazing outlets that never would have heard of my small film otherwise; including Paper Magazine, SPIN, The Huffington Post, and the Utne Reader just to name a few. I will definitely be returning to Riot Act Media in the future in order to have them shepherd my new projects out into the world. Honestly, it was an incredible (and extremely productive) experience working with them!
—Scott Ogden, Director of MAKE
I worked with Joan and Nathan on the Sea of Bees Songs for The Ravens release and they were great to work with! They not only did a great job on promoting the record and got us some great press coverage, they even helped us secure a spot on NPR and helped us with a few shows in Portland as well! They went above and beyond the call of duty and I’m getting ready to hire them again for another project.
—John Bacciagalupi, Manager of Sea Of Bees
Nathan and Joan are at the top of our list of favourite people – and favourite publicists! They give our releases that extra little bit of personal attention that keeps us coming back again and again. Riot Act. We love you!
—Shena Yoshida, Mint Records