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Riotgod: 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.

This name was dreamt up for a music project by vocalist sun•shine.

One cassette tape was produced and remains in existence -- limited quantities available.

Music was created, lyrics written and sung by sun•shine.

CJ Scioscia ( of Bloodfeast ) would engineer -- play 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, eventually agreeing to become a working band.

sun•shine had in the past worked with Pantella -- recording 1 CD --also joined both Pantella and Baglino for one night at NYC's Don Hill's in 2003.

Pantella requested using the name Riotgod after indecision became a problem.

sun•shine agreed.

In 2007 the new group became Riotgod.

Bob Pantella wrote most of the initial music -- the lyrics and melody were left to sun•shine.

Riotgod released a self-titled CD in 2009.

* heavy association w/ Monster Magnet, owing to the press -- Riotgod -- containing at that time two members of MnstrMagnet

Riotgod 2010 signed with Metalville Records* ( Germany )

* - solely through Pantella.

This line-up -- 2 CDs -- limited micro-tours of North America and Europe -- highlight -- festival appearance at Baroeg Open Air.

During this time period:

Garrett Sweeny joins Monster Magnet after Ed Mundell departed. Pantella also joined the Atomic Bitchwax, decreasing Riotgods availability to schedule shows and tours.


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 Riotgod 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. #deadbandwalking

Ironically Riotgod was brought into the Touchtunes music service. And the Internet is forever....

Riotgod was approached with a deal by Earache Records, Pantella refused to even schedule a meeting.

In late 2013, everything ground to a sad halt, culminating with one last gig on Halloween at the Stone Pony. The inertia of 2012, totally dissipated.

Riotgod, RGV3, ended in 2014 = Bob Pantella left Riotgod, followed by Garrett Sweeny. Each are still in Monster Magnet.

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, 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 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 to former Riotgod members led to a very anti-climactic deflation.

Other late period attempts and low level effortsto generate new Riotgod music require no mention.

Thank you for having interest in Riotgod.

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


  • An offering will be made to the forever of the internet to seal this experience like the tomb of a pharoah.
  • SUN 2017

"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)