James Charlton & the Charlton family
James “Jimmy Jam” Charlton credited with discovering Steve Fontaine in a smoke-filled backwoods bar in Easley, SC. Serendipity would strike the night Jimmy and his wife Pat decided to head out to a local hole in the wall to witness one of the greatest cover bands in the region. Unfortunately that evening upon arrival it was clear that the lead singer of said popular band had clearly been unable to proceed with the show due to a severe and obvious case of laryngitis. As what went on to be a fun filled karaoke style jam session would soon lead to what Is still described as a vague memory of a curly headed kid who Jimmy had previously only known to be the cook at this local wing bar (Buffalo Joe’s) grabbing the mic, taking the stage and then jumping off tables screaming “f#%k you I won’t do what you tell me”!!! Later that evening as the bar was closing down, Jimmy would hand SF the business card that would inevitably change his life! The rest would soon be history! Jimmy and the Charlton family played a pivotal role in the musical foundation that was instilled in SF from the inception of his musical career! Steve Fontaine has often said no single person non-relative has had a bigger impact on his life then James “Jimmy Jam” Charlton. Thanks Jimmy and Charlton family!
Robert “Bobby” Terhart is the elder brother to Steve Fontaine and along with his wife Aimee, coincidentally was the owner of that local wing joint (Buffalo Joe’s) where ironically Jimmy Jam was able to discover SF. It was there where after Jimmy and Steve would meet that they would soon test their product on the patrons of Bobby’s local watering hole! After countless nights of noise and nonsense, somehow in the midst of all the chaos an artist’s career had been created! Without the support and positive reinforcement that Steve Fontaine and Jimmy Jam received from Bobby Terhart, one could sincerely argue this dream may have never come true! Thanks Bobby and Aimee!
Brent “Wooganotti” Wohlgenannt and Steve Fontaine, once competitive aspiring musicians from separate projects in the local battle of the bands would soon join forces to create what till this day is argued to be the true birth of what is now known as the “Evanescence” sound. In a project only known as Solar System Planet Terrorist. created by Brent Wohlgenannt, Steve Fontaine, Jimmy Charlton Jr, Willlean Coggins and Logan Depth Charge. A unique sound with a unique double front man/front woman show would soon shatter the boundaries of musical acceptance in the local music scene. In the unfortunate demise of the SSPT project rose a musical bond that would live on for years to come. Brent is credited with branding Steve with the name that he would soon be synonymous with for the rest of his life.. “The Subliminal Riot Starter”… later shortened to just simply, The Riot Starter. Thanks Brent!
Billy “Billz” “Billium” Fecht, The best friend and right hand man to Mr. Brent Wooganotti. Brent and Billy had a long established well respected working relationship in the community and upon introduction, Billy and Steve Fontaine hit it right off! Billy played a pivotal role in the cultivation and development of The Riot Starter project. Including producing, engineering and mixing some of SF’s earliest material. Billy is a multifaceted contributor to RSR and has been a supporter of the TRS movement since its inception! Thanks Billy!
Russell Rockwell is a long time successful well-known producer from Greenville Sc. Russell had an established reputation for producing some of the southeast’s most popular Hip-Hop artists during the late 90s and 2000s. On a whim of a conversation from a guy who knew a guy who knew Brent Wooganotti, an invitation was offered to attend a studio session at the recording studio where Russell had currently been recording some of the regions most popular artists! After many relentless nights of Steve Fontaine and Brent’s persistence in waiting for their opportunity to maybe get in the booth, Russell finally gave them their chance. On a late night smoke filled recording session after all the other artists had tracked their songs and left for the evening, a “Wooganati” guitar lick led to a “Russell Rockwell” drumbeat which spontaneously caused “Fontaine” to create the hook that would forever change their lives! On this night the infamous southeastern anthem “Battle Cry” was born. As battle Cry slowly started to secrete its way out of the studio and into the street, Russell had undoubtedly aided in the facilitation of Steve Fontaine’s soon to be notorious reputation for some of the most unique hooks in the industry today! Thanks Russ!
Frank Keene Is a entrepreneur, philanthropist, A&R representative and current music manager/developer, entertainment director and talent scout for RSR. Steve Fontaine has often referred to Frank Keene as the second most important, non-relative who has had the biggest impact on his career. Though Jimmy Jam has always been known to be the first to discover SF, it was Frank who made “Fontaine” a regional household name. Frank and his partner Philip Duckett shared the studio with Russell Rockwell and their company Digital Soul Productions. On the way to the water fountain on one random afternoon while Russell was playing some of his latest artists’ recordings, Frank overheard one of the most unique vocal tones and delivery that he had ever heard in the studio to that date. This catchy hook and beat was pulsating through the studio with a heavy guitar, an undeniably gravitating force that Frank had to find out who the hell this was. As Frank approached Russell and asked “man who’s track is that”? Russell responded “that kid Fontaine and his boy Brent on the guitar”. Frank is responsible for recognizing that the song “Battle Cry” was something he knew the world would need to hear. Frank would later be responsible for placing “Fontaine’s” song ”Battle Cry” on what till this day is argued to be the SC’s most popular musical compilation of all time… Killiville volume 2. Frank is responsible for putting SF on the stage with some of the biggest names in the industry including Bone Thugs-N-Harmony‘s first and only appearance in upstate SC. Frank’s reputation for managing, developing and discovering some of the southeast’s most prominent artists had just solidified Steve Fontaine’s reputation as an artist that should NOT be taken lightly. Thanks Frank!
Philip ”Dr. Phil” Duckett is one of SC’s most accomplished producers, musical engineers and current owner of Philgood Productions. Phil has produced recorded and mixed music for some of the biggest names in the music industry like Nelly, Wu-Tang Clan and many more. As one the partners and co-founders of the media conglomerate Digital Soul Productions, Phil played a pivotal role in the development of Steve Fontaine and the artist that he has become today. Phil is responsible for many of the mixes and master recordings of SF’s early work, including the two minute self entitled “The Riot Starter” video on YouTube and the viral underground mixtape hit “GOFO2ONEM”. Phil has been a long time supporter of the TRS movement and we hope to continue to work with him for a long time! Thanks Phil!
Shane Ninan is a promoter, marketeer, former music manager for Digital Soul Productions and current Carolina real estate Mogul. Shane was one of the many responsible for the promotion and marketing of the double album Killiville volume 2 compilation which featured 2 of Steve Fontaine’s singles. Shane was a friend and mentor that tremendously helped SF navigate his way through the music industry with his knowledge, experience and connections that ultimately aided in the success that would later become RSR! Thanks Shane!
Shazu Mathur is co-founder of Digital Soul Productions. Shazu played a vital role in the organization and orchestration of launching the Killiville volume 2 compilation. Shazu was also a friend and mentor to the young Steve Fontaine. Though the time In which Shazu was involved in Steve’s early career was short, his impact has long carried on till this day! Thanks Shazu!
Nathaniel Nathan “PROcrastinate aka The PROcrastinator” Jenkins is a master sound technician, speaker designer, musician, accredited songwriter and producer from Winter Park, FL. It was there where in a short lapse of music in Steve’s career where he would meet the man that would soon be the inspiration behind the smash 2021 Summer hit “Drugs all Day”. After being dropped from multiple management companies and feeling as though his opportunity to change the world with his music was slowly starting to slip away, SF headed back home to be with his family who he had not spent much time with since the start of his musical journey. While visiting a friend and fellow coworker in an apartment building in Casselberry, FL. SF met Nathan. Somehow the conversation in the room led to music and recording and SF immediately rushed down to his car where he retrieved his only copy of the Killiville volume 2 compilation that had years ago been so popular in the southeast. After listening to the 2 songs, Nathan did not seem to appear to believe that the person in front of him was capable of creating the tracks that had just been displayed for his ears. In a playful challenge, Nate stated his friend had a studio and the two of them could go there right now and record! Moments later Steve and Nate became inseparable for what soon turned in to be a summer like no other! Little did anyone know that this musical bond would later lead to the creation of such hits as “Drugs all Day”… “I Know”… and many more! Thanks Nate!
Bryan “Brother Bryan” Diehl is said to be the first Modern Day Slave fan. As the man who drove Steve Fontaine to the first audition for the MDS band, Bryan said leaving the rehearsal “yesterday Metallica was my favorite band, today you guys are my favorite band!” Being that Bryan was the first and only non-band member in the room that evening we have declared him the first true MDS fan! Bryan played a pivotal role in the development and success of the MDS project. Bryan’s passion, support and true love for the MDS movement created an infectious positive atmosphere that undeniably helped to leap the creativity to its peak potential. Bryan Diehl was more than just a fan of MDS he was a part of the family! R.I.P Brother Bryan!
Vivianna Pollo Gossett
Viviana Gossett is a professional hairstylist/makeup artist, wife and mother in upstate Sc. While attending a local Sc. cosmetology school, Viviana crossed paths with Steve Fontaine. Viviana‘s unique style and obvious love and support for the local music scene made it very easy for them to become friends. After getting to know each other better, Viviana revealed that her boyfriend was in an organized music project that was struggling to find a replacement for their singer, who unfortunately had to leave the band unexpectedly. Days later SF showed up to the hair school with a CD of some songs that he had recorded in the past. Viviana then took that CD to her boyfriend Dustin Hagins and said ”this guy in my hair school said he raps and screams if y’all are still looking for a singer”. Viviana‘s willingness to participate in the process of helping her boyfriend at the time to pursue his dream, ultimately changed those peoples lives forever! Thanks Vivianna!
Modern Day Slave
MDS was formed in Upstate, SC. by longtime friends and fellow musicians Dustin Hagins, Nick Young, Niles Mcall, T.J. Willoughby and Spencer Williams. Due to unfortunate circumstances beyond Spencer’s control, he unfortunately had to place his focus on other points of his life and depart from the band. Though the band was in obvious support of Spencer‘s decision they knew it would not be easy to replace the only person they had yet to hear grace their tones. After what seemed to be an eternity to the band and yet still with no luck one random day Dustin Hagins current girlfriend Viviana came home from her cosmetology school with a CD entitled “pimp metal”. Though admittedly skeptical of Viviana‘s description of said friend from school, Dustin Hagins and Niles Mcall would later sit down and listen to the CD that would forever change their lives! MDS without a doubt took a tremendous risk by offering the most coveted spot on their stage to SF when during the time Hip-Hop and Heavy Metal together were arguably at its least popular. MDS became the vessel for what is now The Riot Starter movement! Thanks MDS!
Pat “Scarecrow” Downey is a master engineer, musician, performer and producer from upstate, SC. As an acquaintance of Dustin Hagins, Pat quickly became a supporter and contributor to the creation of the MDS sound as well as the cultivation of some of the earliest material from Steve Fontaine’s alter ego “The Riot Starter”. Pat put in unpaid countless hours, sleepless nights and restless days on both the grill and the mixing board to help MDS achieve their biggest dream! Some of the newest material set to be recorded is still being sampled from some of Pat’s earliest mixes of MDS pre-production sessions till this day! Thanks Pat!
Alexa’s Ammon is a philanthropist, entrepreneur, financier, executive, and creative director from L.A., CA. On a random Thanksgiving day weekend in a small town in Alabama. TJ Willoughby crossed paths with Alexa Ammon at a local friend and family gathering. Their love and passion for music was clearly a common interest as Alexa had conveyed her inspiration to enter the music market on a professional level. This turned out to be the BIG BREAK that MDS would need to take their project to the next level! History has said that Alexa arrived on a private plane to the smallest local airport where she attended an MDS concert which clearly everyone had NOT received an invitation for. The story is that Alexa sat in the back of the room and watched MDS perform to a crowd of only 5 or 6 people which included the bartender and his girlfriend which mostly made out the whole show. Even with the clear lack of crowd participation Alexa was able to see the bands potential that had been placed before her. Against almost everyone’s advice that was closest in her life.. Alexa signed MDS to their first professional management and recording contract! Alexa would soon move to SC where she applied a personal hands-on approach to help procreate what has now become known as the MDS movement. Thanks Alexa!
Greg Ammon is a philanthropist, entrepreneur, executive, financier, movie producer/director and twin brother to sister Alexa. Greg’s support of his sister’s passion project played a pivotal role in the success of both MDS and TRS projects. Though undoubtedly skeptical of the potential for success in an already oversaturated, under-appreciated independent music market, Greg made it clear he was behind his sister 100%. Greg’s financial contributions along with his sincere and professional constructive criticism helped MDS and TRS projects to evolve into what is now described as a well oiled machine! Thanks Greg!
Joey “Clawz” Holtzclaw is an accredited professional drummer, musical technician and fellow musician from Greenville, SC. During the recording process of the MDS album “Justify Your Existence” Joey played a critical role in the preservation of the potential to record the album in the allotted time available. Due to schedule restraints and creative differences the possibility of not meeting the recording deadline was apparent. Joey is said to have learned and recorded the drum parts for the entire “JYE” album in just 72 hours! Though MDS was thankful that fortunately they were able to track Nick Young‘s drums in a timely manner, they will always remember that Joey stepped up and made a tremendous sacrifice in the best interest of the local music scene! Thanks Joey!
Josh Cato is a successful real estate mogul by day and an established accomplished musician/bass player by night. As many no, many bands often struggle with the complexity of maintaining a positive creative workflow and at times the short stints of frustration can lead to complete termination of a musical project. Josh, who was at the time working on a side project with Niles Mcall, stepped up to the challenge when MDS decided to make the decision to enhance their sound and show. With MDS knowing that their current bass player Dustin Hagins also possessed tangible abilities to control digital samples, keyboards and more, Josh was offered the opportunity to fill the shoes of the first man to deliver the low end to the MDS sound. Without hesitation Josh rose to the occasion and quickly cemented his place in the path that would eventually pave the way for MDS & TRS movement. Thanks Josh!
Andrew “Andy” White is a world renown radio personality talk show host, music industry manager, A&R and talent scout who is responsible for the success of many professional musicians and artists in the southeastern region. Andy is said to have made the phone call that made The Riot Starter a national name. The story says, on a rainy night, in the newly built recording studio at the MDS compound. Andy decided to swing by unexpectedly to check out the new studio and celebrate the success of the recently released MDS album, which Andy had tremendously helped to facilitate. It was there and then that what appeared to be a highly intoxicated SF began to freestyle rhyme to the random music that played in the background throughout the evening’s conversation. Andy was so impressed with SF’s unique ability to mix a metal style vocal and scream with a hip-hop style rhyme scheme, that he felt compelled to make a phone call to his longtime friend and personal sound engineer/producer to SNOOP DOGG, Dave Aron. Dave was so impressed with Andy’s excitement of an artist he felt he needed to work with that shortly after, Dave Aron invited SF to L.A. to record an album! Though unfortunately this meeting would never take place due to unfortunate events which included but not limited to the unexpected and untimely death of Dave Aron. But undoubtedly, Andy White had now placed Steve Fontaine‘s name in the hat of up and comers to watch! Thanks Andy!
Russell Beer is a philanthropist, corporate executive, financier, ceo and longtime friend to the ammon family. Russell and Steve Fontaine met while Alexa Ammon was currently managing MDS and SF’s solo project The Riot Starter. In what was a fun filled day of a jam packed ride in a Red Geo Metro around the back streets of downtown Atlanta. Russell listened to the MDS album and took a particular liking to one track which displayed SF’s unique ability to spit rapid fire lyrics over heavy guitars which reminded Russ of a particular popular artist that he himself happened to be personal friends with. Coincidentally at the time Russell was working with that same pioneer in what was a steadily escalating independent music movement. It was Russell Beer’s current understanding of the global music market and personal close relationship with the world renowned Tech N9ne which ultimately guided SF to the opportunity to mentor under one of most accomplished musicians in the game till this day, KRIZZ KALIKO!!! This led to what is now the 2021 song of the summer “Crazy Life” featuring KRIZZ KALIKO, produced by Michael “SEVEN” Summers.Thanks Russ!
Dustin Hagins & the Hagins Family
Dustin Hagins is a founding member of the band Modern Day Slave, fellow musician, videographer, sound technician and longtime moral supporter of THE RIOT STARTER movement. Dustin and the Hagins family role in both MDS and TRS projects was essential to the success that is seen today. Dustin and the Hagins family are responsible for undeniably the most important contributions friends and family could offer to those who seek the encouragement and motivation to follow their dreams! In fact it is widely known that the MDS & TRS sound was cultivated and cured in the long time family floral shop located only 15 feet away from the front door of the Hagins family matriarch Hilda “Grandma” Hagins! With their countless financial contributions, selfless compassionate understanding and well known civic standing in the community, the Hagins family has had an ever lasting impact on the upstate Sc. music scene for eternity! Thanks Dustin & Hagins family!