Always, I avoid personal liking and tend to be neutral as much as possible while reviewing a band. But I won’t deny my personal admiration for Rival Order, which prompted me to interview Joey Rival. Let’s find out what did he say below!
⦁ Congrats guys on such an amazing single. Tell me more about the band formed back in 2019.
The group concept and name were something that came to me when I had seemingly given up on doing anything music-related. I had spent several years doing various projects the traditional way and one of the hardest things is getting the right people together, understanding the vision, and actually show up. So I decided to do things differently and made the group I wanted to achieve the vision. Had a great starting point with my bassist Lou and Kurt on drums, I already knew the voice that I needed for my writing style and to have made that connection with Chris and to hear it truly come to life was such a great feeling. For me the hardest part was nailing down the right lead player, Pat had worked with me for the first EP as I had still been searching for a full-time player. During final tracking with him for this new EP, I had a realization that no one would quite nail these parts the way he does so I asked about being a member, and here we are. Sadly Kurt had to back out during the middle of 2020 but I believe we got the right guy to take his place for this new release.
⦁ I noticed that you all rehearse and record online, was that process even before the COVID situation?
Yes, I started this project as a distanced thing, to begin with, because of the very reason I mentioned before about never finding the right people to work with, and sometimes your local options just aren’t there. It’s rather funny I had been doing it before the shutdowns so that had no effect on my progress. I would someday like to look back as one of the first groups doing things the way I am and not because of the pandemic.
⦁ you mentioned that it’s about “the struggle to be true to yourself and your art in the face of naysayers,” – does this about death metal acts or you discuss the topic in general?
So for me, the lyrics are a mixture of my view on the struggles to keep going as an artist and offering supportive words to anyone trying to achieve a goal in the face of adversity. It’s also a bit of an optimistic shout on my view for Rival Order, saying we are next in line, we’re here, listen! The cool thing about it is it’s also not specific to one topic and a listener can interrupt it in their own way. That’s the thing with music, it all hits us differently and for different reasons.
⦁ So do you think that the image of extreme metal is better than in the previous decades?
Absolutely, music has gone through so many changes over the years and constantly being pushed and pulled in new directions. Nowadays we have all been exposed to some very extreme and out-there styles so I like to think a lot of previous negativity around it has gone. For me that’s what’s so great about metal music as a whole, It has so much to offer artistically.
⦁ Next In Line is from your upcoming EP, does it discuss similar topics?
So the EP is called Beyond The Ashes and the overall thought process for that was written during most of 2020 and the tracks more or less reference a theme of battling personal demons, overcoming adversity, acceptance, and finding that will to keep going. Each song is uniquely its own yet follows this similar concept.
⦁ Although you are keen on the old-school death metal sound, you did impressive songwriting to add the modern metal arrangement. Tell me more about such a skillful songwriting process.
Wow, thank you for that. Oddly enough I never found or considered myself writing under a death metal style or trying to fit any style per say. I play what feels right and build on it as I try to let the song itself guide my decisions. I would have to lend credit for my style is influenced by a wide range of artists as I grew. I started with a cassette tape of Iron Maiden’s killers and years later found myself with my first Children Of Bodom CD. To me it’s all metal and all art, I could spend hours discussing my influence and the fact this music has gotten me through so much. I believe that is the basis of my style and who I am, creating a balance of aggression and melody to work together summing up a lot of who I am.
⦁ Dirk Verbeuren’s drumline took the track to an amazing different level. How did it happen and ask him to join?
In 2020 Kurt Holtz had to back out of the group for personal reasons. This definitely left me in a tough spot trying to figure out how I was going to complete the recording. I decided to start looking around and ended up emailing a few drummers and contacts I had made along the way. One of which was Dirk and I had taken a shot thinking I wouldn’t hear back. To my surprise I did and he liked the tracks. We discussed the project’s direction and what was needed, then before I knew it we were tracking. Working with Dirk on this release was an awesome experience and he is a pleasure to work with and obviously extremely talented. What we accomplished on these tracks definitely took things to the next level.
⦁ I loved Chris Clancy’s melodic singing style with his powerful growls. It seems like you’re not into brutal death vocal style, am I right?
Chris is exactly the voice I wish I had haha, and what I needed to perfectly achieve my vision. Typically my favorite style of growls has been in that brighter range as the majority of my influential years were spent in thrash metal. Don’t get me wrong I have a love for some deep vocals as well but I am more drawn to the brighter tone as well as singers who have that melodic ability.
⦁ Finally, when will you release your EP, and how you gonna promote it especially that the COVID effect still exists?
We planned release date of August 27th Before that in June we will release another single off the EP. Promotion is definitely its own beast and kind of a full-time job. Thankfully though online is where we spend most of our time. The band and its promotions started distanced and have operated as such. We use any of the outlets we can and are very thankful for the people out there that follow and support us.