Wonders are still happening…. after releasing
the Elvenking-Interview and stating that we would have liked to do one with
Rival as well if they would have replied to our questions, we received a mail
by guitarist Neven who said he´d heard about our complaint and was
sure to have answered but after checking his mails found out that this wasn´t
the case. So here it is at last and we would like to thank the anonymous
reader who told the Rival-guys about our disappointment :-)
First, could you give us an introduction on
Rival (when founded, members etc.) and tell us if you did already receive
any reactions regarding Death Stalker and your CD from record-labels? I think
coverage as in HOW should help or is the roll of magazines generally overrated?
We have gotten very positive reaction from
the metal listening audience because of HOW. Any magazine coverage you can
get is always good. A few labels have contacted us since then, but no deals
have yet been made.
There are several years between the EP and
the Modern World-CD and you are still playing with the same Line-up: Why
did it take so long to record another CD? One could assume that you waited
until the time for old-school heavy metal is better than it was beginning
of the 90´s?!
Well, there were a few reasons why it took
so long. Some of the material was writtten just after the EP was recorded.
We tried a studio out and had basic tracks done, only to find that we weren't
very happy with the way
things were going. So we went to a better (and
more expensive) studio under the advice of an entertainment attorney. It was
a suggestion that we do everything over instead of trying to save what we
currently had, so we
started over. While all this was going on,
our studio engineer got fired over an arguement with Al Jorgensen from Ministry.
I believe Al was part owner and was working in the next room. So, we got another
guy and had to
pick up from where we were. Then later we got
locked out of the studio because major label artists like Ministry, Smashing
Pumkins, and R-Kelly occupied all the rooms that were there. They took a very
long time. We couldn't get
in until they were done with their projects. It really sucked. It's not their
fault, they had the big dollars and could do that sort of thing. We were
just four long haired metal dudes paying for this shit
ourselves as we went along. I guess it was better that we waited because at
that time, our type of metal wasn't as popular anymore and the dark cloud
of "Alternative Music" was upon us all.
How important is it to play with a constant
line-up? I think the most important and successful bands in history kept the
same line-up (Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Queen), is this a way to reach your
Not really, we've been friends for a long time
befor Rival even started. There were other bands in the past that some of
us had been in together. It's a twisted story actually, somewhat confusing
too. I'll tell you another time if that's o.k. We're friends, and a band.
That helps a lot. You get to know how each person plays and creates. It's
a real tough decision to replace a band member and deal with a completely
new personality. Luckily we haven't done that. Although, sometimes musically
it can be for the better. Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio was amazing and Megadeth
with Marty Friedman was too.
What keeps a band together that plays a style
that isn´t trendy and doesn´t seem to be of any interest in your
native country, where do you get the strength to spend your money to produce
a CD that seems so out of style? I think you all have jobs besides the music,
can you tell us what the band-members do if not playing with Rival?
That is hard to do. We play what we like, if
others like it too, then all the better. Just because our style isn't on the
radio here in the states, doesn't mean that it's that way everywhere. The
music we like won't be heard on major radio stations anyway. I currently work
at O'Hare airport, Chuck does Heating and Air Conditioning, John's in the
Hardware business, Gary has his own business.
The Lyrics seem to play an important role within
your music, they are far away from the dragons and fantasy-world of most of
the other metal-bands. How important is it for you to express things like
loneliness of people,
The lyrics are very important. It's just our
personal view on a subject. John and I try to write about things that can
happen in everyday life to all of us. Sometimes we write about a fictional
story or character too, but
mostly we try to keep it realistic.
Your music is compared to the old Omen due
to the vocals and I, too, did so when hearing Death Stalker. After listenig
to all of the songs on the album I can only ask if you know a band called
Attika? They were from the US, too, and released an album called When heroes
fall in Europe through Massacre Records beginning of the 90´s which
was fantastic but failed to make any impression due to being released in a
time when literally noone would listen to metal at all. I think the singing
of Rival comes much more after Attika than after Omen and is much more melodic.
Would you agree?
I'm sorry but I haven't heard of them. But
now I have a new cd that I should look for!! John's vocal style to me is
unique and powerful. He sings his way, if it can compare to someone else,
that's cool too, but it was not intended to copy Omen.
You are dedicating your CD to several people
that have died. One can get the impression that fate wasn´t friendly
No, it was not. Since it took so long to actually
finish the cd, several very dear and special people to us have passed and
never got to hear the finished product. It was the best thing we could do
for all of them.
Do you often play gigs? How is the situation
in the US regarding metal in general? Does anybody in the US takes notice
of bands that get support in Europe through mags and labels?
We play out now and then when we get the itch.
The metal scene is getting better slowly. Magazines and labels I can't really
say. I haven't seen or heard much from them supporting a band that does well
Isn´t it a shame that all the major-mags
did ban heavy metal in favour of Grunge and Death Metal 10 years ago and turned
completely during the last years, not getting tired of declaring We´ve
always been into metal;. To us this sounds so ridiculous, as the majority
of kids reading this mags are new and don´t have the chance to proof
I agree. They seem to just ride the wave of
popularity, and go with the trend. They're just trying to make money, I understand
that. They can make you a star or a loser real quick.
How are your plans for the near future?
Lately we have been doing some home studio
recording, preparing and practicing for the next release when we get around
to it. Most likely have it available for downloading on our website only.
We plan to go to Germany
and do some of the metal festivals there in
the summer. We would like to do a "Modern World Tour."
Anything you want to say to our readers?
Yes. It is you the reader that we want to thank
for keeping metal alive and for giving us the chance and time to check out
our own music. For further information on Rival go to:
So far Neven from Rival. Check out the guys´
website and don´t miss the “Modern World”-CD, it brings you fantastic
US-Metal, much better than hyped groups like Iced Earth or Savatage are able