• Hey Joey! First, I salute you for your original metal output guys! Well done! Tell me how you plan to work online and when the idea of forming an online band?

Thank you, As far as working this project as an online thing, it was something born out of my circumstances at the time. Funny thing is we were doing social distance before it was a thing. I and the other guys all have other projects, families, jobs or just responsibilities that were making the traditional way of doing a “band” difficult. I decided to go about it a different way and here we are making it work. This way of making music fit when shutdowns happened and didn’t hold back production.

• It was a tough time to release “Beginnings” during the pandemic, it was a motivational move for you guys, right?

Beginnings was done and planned to release just as the pandemic started and I had already started writing music for the follow-up release beyond the ashes as everything really swelled to crisis levels. The release was defiantly not where it could have been as a result and that motivated me to push harder for “Beyond the Ashes” Once that went into full affect it most defiantly had its influence on my metal state regarding my lyrical direction for the new material. I wrote as an escape through a lot of the ups and downs I was dealing with at the time, both personal and with the band. I used the project as a goal to focus on during the stress of everything else around me.

 

• Is being each one of you in a different country lacking to fasten the process of the band?

I will be the first to admit that us being spread out and working this in a distanced manor has its challenges. That being said I also feel excited that we are doing something different and maybe influential to others who may think they are limited in options for being creative and who they are creative with. I am thankful for the group I am working with and the input each person brings to the table. I would say it’s been a great process and the work flow we have set up makes it move in a stead way.

 

• So the process is that each one records at his own home, but who handles the final mix and mastering retouches for the whole project?

I have a close friend in Danymal Sound who I have known for quite some time and when the project started he was the first to come to mind. Once we have all taken care of our tracking and I have the rough mix, I send everything to him. Mastering was a recommendation by Danymal to use Andy Vandette who has worked with some big name artist and we were very excited to work with. I think based on what we could do without major backing, we achieved a great end result that I am happy with. 

• Oh, god! 5 tracks EP and I love them all, which rarely happens for someone like me! I’m curious, what inspires you guys for early songwriting stages?

Thank you! That means a lot to hear. My writing process typically starts with the music first. I will find a riff I’m feeling and build on it. Throughout that process I am looking for the vibe of the song, what is it saying to me as far as the direction for the lyrics. Each song grabs me differently, emotionally and when I find what that is I run with it lyrically in that direction. My inspiration comes from all over and could be anything from what I may be going through, to a movie or other piece of art that sparked something in me.

 

• Beyond the ashes acclaimed by critics and fans alike. Tell your fans about how Dirk Verbeuren joined the Rival Order forces.

This was truly an honor to work with Dirk, someone of his talent and influence. He defiantly helped elevate these tracks to the next level. Just as we were getting into the production for this EP we lost our drummer Kurt Holtz due to availability issues. I had hit a wall for who would fill the spot and I took a chance and reached out, and to my surprise I got a reply. After some back and forth and checking out what I was doing musically he was on board. I couldn’t have been happier with what he did and having him with us throughout the mixing process to lend his expertise and opinions.

• ‘Another Life’ music video is one of my favorites in 2021. Are you planning to release another one soon?

Yes, most defiantly! For us doing this project the way we are, I believe content is key. We are always looking to do more music videos, play through, live streams, and really engage with the fans. We will have some lyric videos coming soon as well as others.

 

• Since a lot of bands have some fusion in their records these days, still, you prefer to keep it melodic death using old-school and modernizing techniques. Are you against music styles merging?

Defiantly not against it and I love hearing all kinds of creative things people are doing with their music. To me that’s the point of art and music, to be expressive in your own way. My style of writing and the Rival Order sound I guess can’t be helped with what I grew up listing to most and learning to play. I’m very much an old school kind of person but have a love for all types of music. I just write and play what comes to me and follow the direction the song takes me. But I love hearing how other groups write and all the different styles. Variety is the spice of life.

 

• I am wondering, you guys are very creative and original, still, you preferred releasing just an EP instead of a full-length one. Can you please elaborate?

Some of this decision comes down to time and money. Not having major backing and a set budget forces us to make certain decisions. We try to make the best possible choices without sacrificing the quality of what we are doing. We also have found for up and coming artist in today’s streaming world with demand for always the next thing, full length albums for us just doesn’t make sense at this time. More singles or Eps are much more feasible but some day would love to do an elaborate full length album.

 

• Finally, thank you for the chat and tell your fans about your 2021 plans, especially that the live scene isn’t active enough recently.

It’s always a pleasure and to the fans you can always expect that as long as I am able to keep writing I will keep putting out music for Rival Order. Someday I would love for us to make it to the stage but till that day we will keep bringing you more content, and more music. Now that Beyond the Ashes has finally gone live we will begin writing for the next few tracks and plan to keep pushing forward into the New Year.

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Mena Ezzat 

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