NORTH SALEM, N.Y. — The Pleasantville Music Festival will be RIIZA’s time to shine.
The band, made up of four teenagers from North Salem, is one of the performers at the Pleasantville Music Festival, being held this Saturday at July 8. The festival is headlined by Blues Traveler, Suzanne Vega, and Living Color.
The band features Justin Giacchetto on guitar, Ari Perakis on vocals, Wilson Yarnall on bass and Sean Leveille on drums. Giacchetto, Perakis and Yarnall met at the School of Rock in Bedford, while they met Leveille through mutual friends.
Perakis, who sings vocals, said the band is about exploring the roots of rock music. Riiza means roots in Greek.
“We are inspired by 90s rock music,” Perakis said. “It’s a harder kind of rock.”
The Pleasantville Music Festival will be RIIZA’s second gig after they won a battle of the bands competition.
“It’s amazing,” Perakis said. “It’s going to be absolutely incredible.”
Just performing at the battle of the bands was its own adventure. Leveille was out in California and didn’t arrive home until the morning of the performance. He slept for an hour and then went to rehearse and perform. The band wrote two songs the day before the contest.
“Sean was a real trooper,” Perakis said. “He was very professional considering his state of mind. He was very exhausted.”
The band tries to meet once a week to practice, jam and come up with new material. Leveille said they are hoping people in the audience take notice of them and it leads to future gigs.
“We’re excited to be playing,” Leveille said. “There’s always a sort of overall nervousness and you get some goosebumps, but once you get up there, you just start playing.”
Yarnall said he loves to listen to all types of music, but loves bands like Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Soundgarden and Led Zeppelin. Perakis said he is influenced by music of the 1970s like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.
“That’s what my mom would be playing around the house,” Perakis said.
Attendees can expect to hear songs like “Roots” which how society loves to build people up as celebrities and then try to bring them down to make them feel better and “Accolades,” which is about how people don’t always do what’s right and instead listen to the loudest voice.
“We’re just a bunch of kids playing music,” Perakis said. “We’ve been given a big opportunity and we’re looking forward to it.”