The Neighbourhood Announces Riff Raff as Official Band Member

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(Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CBS Radio)

(Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CBS Radio)

By Scott T. Sterling

The Neighbourhood is among the most intriguing rock music stories of the year, with frontman Jesse Rutherford’s coolly modern approach quickly coming to define the profile of what a rock star looks like in 2013.

Riff Raff is the self-made rap star signed to Diplo’s Mad Decent label and still embroiled in very real beef with actor James Franco and his role of “Alien” in the movie Spring Breakers, which Riff Raff says is a direct rip-off of his persona.

These unlikely allies have come together with Riff Raff joining the Neighbourhood as a new band member. The union was made official onstage during the 24th Annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas show at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles last night (Dec. 8).

(Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CBS Radio)

(Riff Raff (L) performing with the Neighbourhood – Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CBS Radio)

“It’s kind of the evolution,” Rutherford said during an interview with KROQ (a station) after the show. “[Riff Raff] gives some contrast to the Neighbourhood.”

The new union was announced while the Neighbourhood was performing the single “Sweater Weather,” which has dominated the airwaves and playlists since its release in earlier this year. Riff Raff appeared onstage and added vocals to an extended version of the song.

“We didn’t even meet on a music tip,” Riff Raff said of joining his relationship with Rutherford and becoming a member of the group. “We just kinda vibed out, kickin’ it. And then we were friends. And the next thing you know, I’m doing music, he’s doing music. Then he had that ‘Sweater Weather’ thing and they blew up. And I’m still doing music, we still kick it so why not do songs together?”

While there’s still no indication if this announcement means that Riff Raff will be appearing with the Neighbourhood at upcoming shows or on future recordings, they both say it’s a very serious and real alliance.

“We’re just trying something,” Rutherford said. “We’ll see what happens…it’s for strip clubs in space.”

“We want to make a whole new genre of music called ‘neon rock,’” Riff Raff added. “He’s an 80’s rock star and I’ve been an 80’s rock star. So it’s like we’re bringing that rock star lifestyle back.”

Riff Raff’s second studio album, Neon Icon, is scheduled for release on Jan. 28th. The Neighbourhood’s debut full-length, I Love You, was released in April of 2013.

–Additional reporting by Nadia Noir, KROQ Los Angeles and Jay Tilles,

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