Rival: We are Rival; a four piece metal band from Tampa, Florida
Matt Desmond (Vocals), Kyle Gray (Guitar), Brandon Klase (Bass), and Ian Gray (Drums)
How and when did you guys become a band?
Rival: Kyle, Brandon, and Ian had already been jamming with each other for quite some time under various band names. It wasn’t until I (Matt) joined in that we all collectively conceived the idea of “Rival” in late 2014.
The self-titled EP is amazing, it has so much emotion. What was the writing process like?
Matt: Musically, the writing process was very natural. All the songs for the EP were written and structured in full band jam sessions and perfected in the studio. Lyrically, I chose to write about some very personal subjects that I just felt needed to be extracted from my head and turned into some type of art. I dug into some deep places in my past for these lyrics. It’s just things I had never really talked about or turned into something useful. I wanted the EP to have that kind of deep, dark feel to it where you could just feel the pain and emotion cutting like a knife. That and I didn’t want it to go to waste, so I turned it into art.
When can we expect new music from you guys?
Rival: We have been relentlessly writing new music. Although currently unannounced, plans for a new record have been set and dated. So I guess if you’re reading this interview you heard it here first. Besides that all I can say at the moment is that you will be seeing something cool from us even before then.
Back in March you suffered a non music related injury to your throat, can we have a progress report on your vocal chords. Are they 100%?
Matt: I won’t go into too much detail about this but I will say that I have healed a tremendous amount and am ready to start performing again. Although I have been implementing extra precautions and wouldn’t quite use the term “100” I am very near the closing on the road to my recovery.
What bands growing up gave you inspiration to write music?
Matt: I would say the four bands that personally got me into writing music were Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Korn, and Slipknot.
Kyle: Lamb of God, All That Remains, Three Days Grace.
Brandon: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Korn, Rage Against the Machine.
Ian: Metallica, Linkin Park, We Came as Romans.
What advice can you give new bands wanting to play shows?
Rival: Try not play the same city or venue more than once a month, and promote the fuck out of your shows to create better opportunity and reputation with promoters, and lastly never complain about being an opening band, be humble, work your way up, and just have fun with it!
When can we expect you guys to hit the road?
Rival: The road has eluded us so far. We have hinted before about touring, but things fell through because of timing and resources. One thing I can promise is that we will be touring in 2016. Could be earlier in the year, could be spring, or summer. That remains to be unannounced for the moment.
What is your dream tour with you guys on the bill?
Rival: I think any of aforementioned bands we mentioned as our influences would be a dream tour for us, haha. But if we’re being realistic I think it would be cool to tour with any of our friends in Traitors, Bodysnatcher, or Animal. Yüth Forever would be cool too.
Crash Bandicoot or Spyro?
Matt: I loved both games growing up but I’d definitely have to say that Spyro is more nostalgic for me.
Kyle: Crash Bandicoot
Brandon: Gex the Gecko
Anything else you would like to tell the readers before we go?