Riot Act Media is a PR firm of “fan-first” publicists with offices in Athens, Portland, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle: Sharing the good shit since 2005.

Nathan Walker, Owner / Publicist (Detroit, MI)

Twitter: @nathanisariot

Raised in the woods of Northern Ontario and Michigan in the late ’70s, early ’80s, the music was always on. When family got together, there’d be whiskey and when there was whiskey, there was, inevitably, a guitar and “Rye Whiskey” performed with such fervor that it made Nick Cave’s version sound like a children’s song. It wasn’t until the arrival of Nirvana— yes, that SNL performance to be exact–that he realized the real power of music’s ability to save your life.

In his 20’s, his love of music led him to try on the various hats of concert photographer, door man, venue bartender, music writer, music editor, and, eventually, publicist. Specifically, he got a gig working with Frank Nieto and Lisa Gottheil at 2:30 Publicity. It was a wonderful introduction to working as a publicist but marriage, a move to the San Juan Islands and an absurd urge to open a cafe / music venue in the country pulled him into another path for a few years. The gravitational pull of the music industry proved to be too strong and, in 2009, he joined Riot Act Media working under the talented wizard known as Joan Hiller (now LeMay!) and became a partner at the company in 2012.

As of December 1st, 2015, Joan left the company to pursue other dreams and handed Nathan the reigns at Riot Act Media. He currently lives in Detroit with his wife Kat, his cat Yoko, and their beautiful daughter! He overuses the word stoked but would, unabashedly, admit that’s he’s stoked on what the future holds.

 

Alyssa DeHayes, Publicist (Athens, GA)

Twitter: @AlyssaDeHayes

Alyssa DeHayes is a national publicist and media relations specialist for record labels, festivals and independent artists at Riot Act. Additionally, she loves demystifying PR and marketing strategies in one-on-one consulting sessions for artists and labels who aren’t quite ready for a full publicity campaign. She spends her lunch hour twice a week teaching music publicity and promotion at The University of Georgia’s Music Business Program, and volunteers for Girls Rock Athens.

After graduating from journalism school at UGA with a public relations emphasis, she made Athens, GA her home base between work trips. Over the years she has collaborated on and lead successful campaigns for artists like Natalie Prass, Elf Power, His Name Is Alive, Olivia Tremor Control, Pill, Tonstartssbandht, and Balmorhea, for labels like Columbia, Mexican Summer, Run For Cover, Numero Group, Western Vinyl, New West, the Elephant-6 affiliated Orange Twin, Easy Sound Recording Co., Spacebomb, and Team Love. She has provided publicity, media relations, and/or on-site social media support for festivals like Hopscotch Music Festival, Governors’ Ball, Shaky Knees Fest, and Wildwood Revival.

Her experience in this field informed a public relations column for the artist resource company Sonicbids. In 2013, she founded Arrowhawk Records (Arbor Labor Union, now on Sub-Pop, Cinemechanica, BAMBARA, Softspot, and more).

Her love of puns spawned websites like the Parks & Rec-inspired Tom Haverfoods or the True Detective-themed Music Industry Rust Cohle, which received kudos from Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, and more.

 

Laurie Kearney, Publicist (Seattle, WA)

Twitter: @lkearneyish

Laurie moved to Seattle in 2005 to pursue a career in the curatorial arts, after spending most of the 90’s in Richmond, VA obtaining a BFA in Museum Studies. She also played bass and hammered dulcimer in a variety of shoegaze/dream pop projects during that time and after moving to Seattle.

In 2006 she founded Ghost Gallery, promoting new & emerging visual artists and designers. She also does a lot of collaborative work, forging new connections between the visual art & music communities. This includes curating the first ever Visual Arts Program for the Capitol Hill Block Party in 2012-13, co-coordinating the Capitol Hill Art Walk each month, and hosting numerous events in the Ghost Gallery space. Laurie loves working with newer and established bands that push into multiple genres, and has a soft spot for projects that are sonically lush, experimental, shoegaze, darkwave, post punk and dream pop.

 

Katy Henriksen, Publicist (Fayetteville, AR)

Twitter: @soundoff_katy

Katy Henriksen’s involvement with music began in utero, when her mother played a senior double bass recital in college while 6 months pregnant with her. Growing up as a violinist, violist and singer, she eventually studied journalism, with an interest in gender and music, and played in a bunch of one-off bands, and in choirs, orchestras and small ensembles. She spent the aughts in Brooklyn, where she wrote for a number of music publications that no longer exist (R.I.P. Venus Zine), as well as The Brooklyn Rail. She eventually made her way back to the Arkansas Ozarks, and her hometown of Fayetteville, where she lives now. In addition to serving as music editor at The Rumpus and filing as a freelancer for places such as Bandcamp DailyThe Creative Independent and Wondering Sound, she spent 8 years as the music director and host/producer for the daily classical music and arts show “Of Note with Katy Henriksen” on KUAF 91.3 FM npr. In 2016 she founded Trillium Salon Series, a nonprofit live music org dedicated to redefining the boundary between audience and performer to invite connection and build community. Her interest in contemporary music that falls between genres led her to a role of directing publicity for the composer-run independent label New Amsterdam Records – where her artists received praise in PitchforkThe New York TimesThe WireThe New Yorker and to launching the podcast Sound Off, on music that challenges the status quo. She once gave a TEDx talk  called “How to feel more human by connecting through music.” Email Katy

 

Talia Miller, Publicist (Highland Lakes, NJ)

Talia is a national publicist at Riot Act and the US Director of Publicity at Rough Trade Records. Prior to that, she was a co-founder of Brixton Agency, a national publicity and management company, and worked at ATO and Run For Cover Records.
She currently lives in a tiny cabin on a lake outside of NYC and these days is very into cooking elaborate pasta dishes, antique stores, and being outside.

Claire Ersan, Bookkeeping (Portland, OR)

Claire has been working with Riot Act Media since 2011. She manages the books and accounting for a number of small businesses. Claire lives in the Portland area with her husband, two daughters and a pet for everyone.

Riot Act’s First Decade:

After graduating from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago with a degree in Film & Video and working with Jessica Hopper and Joan LeMay at Hopper PR in Chicago, David Lewis founded Riot Act Media in 2005, handling PR for a slew of indie artists including Minus the Bear, Maps & Atlases and David Bazan. In 2007, former Hopper PR co-publicist Joan LeMay left her publicist position at the great Sub Pop Records to partner with Lewis at Riot Act. In 2008, Lewis moved into higher education, passing the ownership of Riot Act on to LeMay, who ran and was a publicist at the company until her departure from music publicity in December of 2015. The company, now in its tenth year, is helmed by Nathan Walker, who joined Riot Act in 2009 and later became business partners with LeMay, helping to grow Riot Act tremendously and eventually becoming the owner after her retirement in 2015.

who_nathan

alyssa-circle

IMG_7021 copy
who_claire

who_david who_joan