Rival Sons 19 March 2012
The Metal Gods caught up with Rival Sons on their recent UK tour with Black Stone Cherry at the 02 Academy Newcastle to find out how things have been going so far on the tour.
MG: Hi, it’s an absolute pleasure to meet you guys.
Band: Great to meet you too and it’s a pleasure to be back here in Newcastle.
MG: The band have been quoted as saying that you couldn’t wait to play the UK again as it's where many of the bands influences lay. Could you expand on that?
Robin: Yeah I love many English bands, for example Cream, The Who, The Doors, and the Stones.
Jay: There are so many bands we love from over here!!!
MG: Okay your earlier musical influences are many and varied, such as Muddy Waters, The Who, Howling Wolf, Led Zeppelin, The Small Faces to name but a few. Who influences you now though, anyone /bands that you rate highly in the current music scene?
Jay: It’s the same, the same people as far as I am concerned my book has already been writ and I am going to draw the inspiration from the same set of people/bands.
Robin: Somewhat the same, but I am always searching. I have just gotten a Miles Davis bootleg from the '67 live in Europe tour which I am right into at the moment. So I still check out things but I have kind of figured out who I like by now.
MG: So how has the current tour been going so far?
Jay: It’s actually gone really well, when we teamed up with Black Stone Cherry and our booking agents put us together on this tour, we had never played with them before and we were not familiar with them at all. So we figured it would be a good idea to put our fan base with their fan base. It’s been a great tour, their audience have been very receptive to us.
MG: The band has achieved a high level of success in a very short time, why do you think this is and what do you think you have going for you that stands out from the rest of the bands out there?
Jay: There are so many bad rock bands out there, it’s hard to know where to begin! We really don’t want to be one of those. We want to be a good one!
MG: How do you maintain your focus?
Jay: Maintaining focus, things like we travel with the juicer, try to stay mentally active while we are on the road, getting along trying to understand and listen to each other. But I think playing a good show is a big one for keeping your sanity, you know if you play a bad show or whatever it can put you in the doldrums and that can stretch out.
MG: Classic Rock magazine and the Guardian newspaper reported that you were the band to watch in 2011. Rival Sons were causing massive stir in Classic Rock circles, that must be an awesome feeling.
Jay: Yeah it does, we try not to pay too much attention to what the press are saying, but when you know the press are writing about you en masse, it's validated to get a little pat on the back and you know that people are going to read that and hopefully it will help our fan base continue to grow.
MG: Rivals Sons has definitely impacted on the Rock music scene, sharing the stage with some class acts, who and what would you say has been a major highlight so far?
Jay: I think AC/DC was a really big deal, playing with them was a huge honour, when comes to straight up rock and roll it's AC/DC. It’s like where are you going to go from there? ... maybe the Stones. But that’s top of the pyramid for me.
MG: You did both High Voltage and Sonisphere last year, how did they go?
Jay: Yeah we really enjoyed them, the crowd was amazing at both the shows. Sonisphere was fantastic. High Voltage ended up being an amazing show because we got to play two sets. Our day time set went really well and then there was a cancellation on one of the other stages, the Metal Hammer stage and they asked us to headline as the other band couldn’t come over, because of the shootings in Norway, so we were asked to step in. What was really cool was the fact that we were able to play a longer headline show and when we hit the stage it was the same time as the headliner of the main stage Judas Priest and everyone was really excited about seeing Judas Priest.
So when we first got started we thought okay fine, let’s just have a fun time in any case. So when we kicked into the first song there was maybe eighty people in our entire audience, as everyone was over watching Priest, then within two songs we had a couple hundred people watching us. By the time we were on to our fourth song we were close to a thousand people and by the end of the set we had three or four thousand people! What’s validating is it wasn’t just a captive audience they came specifically to watch us play.
MG: That’s Amazing!
MG: Does everyone contribute to the song writing process?
Jay: Yeah with song writing and arranging everyone contributes to the finished product.
MG: How do you like to unwind after the shows?
Robin: After the show we like to come back to the dressing room, discuss the show, “why did you do that ... and because you are in the wrong”! Ha... No really, we just kick back have a cocktail and just cool down. Watch the Mighty Boosh !!
MG: Oh I love The Mighty Boosh !!
BAND: YEAH it’s awesome…
MG: What was the thinking of re-releasing “The Pressure and Time “album a year after it was originally released on the same label?
Jay: Erm yeah it hasn’t even been a year yet. Yes, it was really surprising when the label came to us with this idea. I was thinking why would we do that, it has not even been a year since it was originally released. But we had got such a great response in different territories and this little label that hates spending money on anything are like ... “You guys are hitting it so hard, let's repackage the album throw on the B-sides" ..., because the B-sides were only made available in certain territories, so it was like ... "let’s do these B-sides and we know you have excellent footage from your shows so let’s go for it, repackage it and get it out there”!. At first I wasn’t really sure about it, but you know who doesn’t want to buy don’t buy it but if you want the B-sides and show footage go get it, and you know Earache have been really, really good about always finding some way to put us in the press, you know just to keep us in the limelight.
Robin: Also I think it gives the diehard Rival Son fans something else to collect you know. It's good to have these videos and the B-Sides.
MG: I don’t know but I'm sure this has been said to you before Jay , but there's a couple of songs on 'Pressure and Time' where you really really do sound like Jim Morrison.
Jay: I don’t know what that would be! I do get that sometimes and I really don’t get it you know. Jim Morrison was amazing, could you mean “Young Love”?
MG: Yes that’s one of the songs.
Jay: Well to be honest I was paying homage to Eric Burdon as I really like that sound.
Robin: But he does look so much more like Jim Morrison!
MG: Yeah that’s possibly what it is as well. Jay has just got such damn good looks!
Robin: Yeah he’s the lizard king! Ha ha
Jay: Ha ha I don’t know what to make of that, and I am often told that! Personally I think Jim Morrison is/was great and it is a mega compliment.
MG: Okay thanks for your time and have you got any final words for your fans?
Band: Yeah Thank you!
Interview by: Seb Di Gatto