Raised in Northern Virginia only minutes from Washington DC by his American father, a career military man and his German mother, Rob Rider as a young boy was captivated by all types of music. Rob's father passed down his love for music, sharing collections of country and rock on both 8 tracks and records. Introduced by Rob's mother were songs of native Germany along with an extensive list of love songs from the 70's. Having an older sister to tag along with helped expand his musical interest even more…There was always music in the home, memories tied to songs for what Rob calls the soundtrack of life.
Throughout grade school to feed his immense love for music, Rob was encouraged by his family to sing in chorus. Consisting mostly of childhood songs, he would practice and sing in school concerts throughout his adolescence. Only a stepping stone, this gave Rob the confidence in his voice as well as helped in taking notice of his talent.
It was during the long summer breaks his musical interests would peak. The sharing of music of all genres and sounds with friends would expand his musical tastes and teach him to keep an open mind. It is in these days Rob began diving deeper and deeper into music and dreamt of performing as most children do.
All musical influences and exposure through the years turned into a musical education that would become very useful when in 1989 Rob met a group of young men that had formed a band which came to be Ground Zero, the group's members were: Matt Coughenour, Rhythm Guitar, Chris Lafreineire, Lead Guitar, Marc Jenner, Drums, Dave Anderson(Domingas), Bass Guitar and Rob Rider, Lead Vocals. With a combination of talent, practice and dedication the group started gaining recognition in the Woodbridge area through playing local high school parties, performing material from Metallica to Kiss, and Pantera to Rick James. Collaboration started with writing original melodies paralleling the popular hard rock sound of the era, when it came time to add lyrics they turned to Rob. Thus, Ground Zero starting introducing into their sets originals adding yet another element that validated this talented group even more. Building a fan base, with not only heavy metal cover songs, but original tunes that were memorable to their fans, their reputation lead them to venues such as - Jaxx (ZAXX), Stingray's, Where the Buffalo Roam and Tiki Falla. Opening for such acts as Skeleton, Val Hala, Sinister Grin and Calibra. The bands success lasted two years, when in 1991 they disbanded. This experience was the catalyst to where Rob Rider's musical journey has led him today.
After the Ground Zero era ended Rob found himself auditioning for other bands, looking for that comfortable place as a lead vocalist, realizing that the special bond and sense of home, that he experienced with Ground Zero, was far and few between, he found himself giving his guitar more attention, learning various chords and more about playing, and doing so spent approximately 2 years writing material.
In the summer of 1993 Rob teamed up with friend and cohort Greg Turley. Rob was impressed how Greg wrote his original music and produced songs with an in house four track recorder. Rob was captivated not only by the recording process and how Greg made that seem so easy with hardly any equipment, but also by the quality of the sound. It was months later when Greg recorded Rob's songs and ideas. It is within these recordings which gave Rob the blueprint and captured ideas that eventually evolved into... An Ounce of Dreams and Guitar Strings.
In the spring of 1994, Rob was introduced to a group of musicians that soon would begin to jam together on a regular basis; it was at this time he met Corey Newsom, Snooky, and Wolf. Corey became regarded as a talent in Rob's eyes. As days went by Rob found that songwriting collaboration came naturally with Corey. Songwriting never came easier. They managed to write approximately 5 songs before they disbanded. To date, Corey and Rob work together, creating songs that carry a definitive stamp of their own. Rob attributes a lot of his further and continuing growth in his musical journey to Corey. For it is within this friendship and musical partnership that he once again found a bond, reminiscent of that in the Ground Zero years.
From 1996 to early 2005 Rob's primary focus became more about his career and music as a hobby. He still would find time to fine tune his originals, create new songs and delve into his guitar work. Rob recorded two songs with producer/musician Bill Appleberry. These songs left him with a smile on his face and the confidence he needed to continue with his music.
In early 2005, Rob met Ann Blair, a singer/songwriter, sharing the same interests in music and appreciation for music and lyrics, their musical romance led to a personal one as well. Ann, recognizing Rob's talent not only as a vocalist but as a songwriter. Passionate about Rob's songs and ability, she encouraged him to take the next step, to the recording studio. Ann being in the final stages of her all original CD, “Wanted You To Know” introduced Rob to Marco Delmar of Recording Arts. What Rob set out to be a trial with the goal of recording only one song to see what the experience was like, bloomed into the recording of an all original CD entitled, An Ounce of Dreams & Guitar Strings. A sound blended from all his influences and life experiences, melding various genres of rock resulting in heartbreaking ballads, and driven riffs that lift you, along with a voice that emotes within each song.
Rob dedicates this album to the memory of his father, Ray Rider. Rob started this project while his father was nearing the end of a long battle with emphysema which took his life in November of 2006. The love for his father is outwardly expressed in Breathe, Fall on Me, and Satellite; however the majority of the songs have his father's memory woven throughout. All Rob's experiences in life and music have given him the understanding of things that count in life; the love of family, friends that believe in you and all it takes sometimes, is an ounce of dreams.