Riotgod Logo

Riotgod is a American hard rock band that existed with various line-ups from 2007 to 2015. For photos and other media, please visit the Facebook page.

Compiled RG History: V1-V4

RGV1: 1998-2001
Creation of and first use of the name Riotgod.

It was dreamt up for a music project by vocalist Sunshine.

One cassette tape remains in existence.

The music was written and sung by sun•shine along with CJ Scioscia ( of Bloodfeast and other bands) as engineer as well as on guitars. Produced his studio, Le Chateau Bow Wow in NJ.

RGV2: 2007-2011

Bob Pantella - drums
Jim Baglino - bass
Garrett Sweeny - guitar
sun•shine - vocals

2007: Bob Pantella and Jim Baglino of Monster Magnet got together with Garrett Sweeny and invited vocalist Sunshine, forming a group.

sun•shine had worked with Pantella and Baglino for limited gigs in the past.

Pantella requested using the name Riotgod. sun•shine agreed and it was applied to the nameless new group.

The lions-share of the instrumentals would come from Pantella, coupled with the lyrics and melody of Sunshine.

Riotgod released a self-titled CD in 2010.

The band would have a heavy association to Monster Magnet, owing to the press and for containing at that time two members of the iconic band.

Riotgod began an association, contractually, with Metalville Records ( Germany ) solely through Pantella.

RGV2: this line-up would release 2 CDs and experience limited micro-tours of North America and Europe, the highlight a festival appearance at Baroeg Open Air.

During this time period Garrett Sweeny would join Monster Magnet after Ed Mundell departed. Pantella had also joined the Atomic Bitchwax earlier.

RGV3: 2011-2014

Bob Pantella - drums
Erik Boe - bass
Garrett Sweeny - guitar
sun•shine - vocals

Jim Baglino left Riotgod for personal reasons.

Erik Boe would take over on bass for Riotgod and the band would again have engagements in the US and Europe, most notably playing Wacken Open Air in 2012.

This line-up, RGV3, would produce one CD, Driven•Rise and a corresponding video. The CD received some press but no tour support at all.

Ironically Riotgod was brought into the Touchtunes music service, enabling their music to be accessed IRL, publically at bars and wherever a Touchtunes machine might be located.

In late 2013, after a year of little activity, culminating with one last gig on Halloween 2013, at the Stone Pony, the inertia that seemed ever incresing in 2012, dissipated.

Riotgod, RGV3, would dissolve in 2014 when Bob Pantella first left Riotgod, followed by Garrett Sweeny.

RGV: 2014 - 2017

sun•shine - vocals
* Various musicians

Riotgod's last original member, sun•shine along with bassist Erik Boe would coordinate to reorganize and continue the Riotgod experience.

Labeled by sun•shine as Q22 at first the band was anticipated to become what might be called RGV4, the line-up was:

Scott Smith - drums
Dave Bizzigotti- bass
Erik Boe- guitar
sun•shine - vocals

After rehearsals which saw the new line-up getting tighter, the band would play one gig in Atlantic City.

Ultimately, substance abuse, scheduling conflicts, an inability for certain players to commit to the possibility of future touring, plus distracting, personal allegiances harbored within this line-up --to past members of sun•shine , led to a very anti-climactic folding.

Thank you for having interest in Riotgod.

To read an somewhat abridged, but honest account by sun•shine, relating to the Riotgod Experience, go to his personal site. Link coming.

Below is some press the V2-V3 garnered over time.


"Riotgod occupy a sonic space somewhere between Torche, Soundgarden and... their secret weapon is fabulously named frontman Mark Sunshine, a vocalist of rare ability, versatility and power."

- Paul Brannigan, Metal Hammer (Mar 03, 2014)

"(Driven•Rise) "A good and solid album with an extraordinary singer."

- Markus Wiedenmann, Markus' Heavy Music Blog (Mar 02, 2014)

"Riotgod continue to be the stoner version of Queen in many respects.."

- Andy Lye, (Jan 12, 2012)

"(Driven•Rise) "A huge step forward from these Rock giants. And Mark Sunshine is one of the best singer in that scene!"

- Jochen, Daredevil Records (Feb 28, 2014)

"Even if you're not a huge fan of hard rock or metal; I do feel that there's a broad audience for this band as it's edgy enough for the rock enthusiasts, hard driving enough for the rivet heads and melodic enough for contemporary rock radio."

- Ruben Mosqueda, Oregon Music News (Feb 27, 2014)

"These guys are absolutely awesome! I love the sludgy guitar riffs of guitarist Garrett Sweeny and the vocal stylings of Mark Sunshine are so addictive."

- Tim Louie, Aquarian (Oct 30, 2013)

"Overall, Riotgod is worth a listen just for being unconventional. They have tapped into something quite good, and very creative. It's good old fashioned roots-laden heavy melodic rock. If they stay on track, they have the talent to challenge some of the current dull mainstream rock that is out today."

- Marcus Sutherland, (Jan 18, 2012)

"It's easy to see why this bunch were signed and why they went down so well on the touring circuit. "

- Marty Dodge, (Jan 02, 2012)

"This is an extremely good album -- vocals, song crafting, and production. These three things could not be any better."

- Jeff Barnes, (Nov 26, 2011)

"a distinct brand of slower stoner rock/metal with Mark's aggressive and impressive range giving them their own flavor."

- Matt Coe, (Dec 27, 2011)

"RIOTGOD is how heavy rock is suppose to sound . They are made for the arena's and a wall of amps all to 11....."

- Absolute Zero Media

"Toss in a heap of Zeppelin's heaviest and Sabbath's bluesiest, and you have got an idea of where this Jersey quartet is coming from. Vocalist Sunshine wails like he was cut from a cloth sewn by the late, great Ronnie James Dio, Robert Plant and Chris Cornell...

- Ryan Ogle, Outburn (Nov 01, 2010)