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Scott Holiday of Rival Sons

Issue #65

Interview: Scott Holiday 

As one of the hottest rock bands to emerge in the last decade, Rival Sons celebrate their tenth anniversary as a recording and touring band with the release of their latest album, 'Feral Roots.' Guitar Interactive Magazine caught up with band's guitarist and co-founder, Scott Holiday during the groups recent U.K. tour in support of the new record.

 

 

Keeping the hard rock flame burning bright is a real challenge in today's music scene; however, for California's own Rival Sons, it never seems to be much of an issue. Formed in 2008, the quartet of Scott Holiday (guitar), Robin Everhart (bass), Mike Miley (drums), and Jay Buchanan (vocals) captures that massively huge, guitar-driven classic rock sound, with rock-solid drumming and a riff-oriented approach to songwriting backing up Buchanan's soaring vocals. Shortly after forming, the band self-released its debut, 'Before the Fire,' in 2009, produced by Dave Cobb. The quartet got some exposure when its song "Tell Me Something" was used in an ad campaign for Indy car racing, and the following year they opened for some high-profile acts, including hard rock legends Alice Cooper and AC/DC. That same year, Rival Sons made the unlikely jump to extreme metal label Earache, who signed the band after coming across their music online.

 

The band continued its ascendance in 2011 thanks to their breakout second album 'Pressure & Time.' Establishing a strong collaborative bond with Nashville producer Dave Cobb, (who has helmed each of their albums) the Long Beach outfit have enjoyed success at home in the U.S. as well as throughout much of Europe, thanks to releases like 2014's 'Great Western Valkyrie' and 2016's 'Hollow Bones,' that showcase the group's classic rock sensibilities but with a modern edge.

 

 

Over the next two years, Rival Sons supported the likes of both Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, with Everhart leaving the band due to the rigours of touring and was replaced by Dave Beste. In 2018, the band announced that they'd signed a deal with Cobb's Elektra imprint, Low Country Sound, which released the single "Do Your Worst" in September of that year. That track, along with the blazing "Back in the Woods" appeared on the group's sixth studio long-player, 'Feral Roots,' which dropped in January 2019.

 

 

Recorded at Nashville's famed RCA Studio A and the equally legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, "Feral Roots" marks Rival Sons' Low Country Sound/Atlantic debut.

 

 

 

On speaking about the new record deal, Holiday commented that it was a huge honour to be signed to the longtime home of such rock legends as Foreigner, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and many more. "It's kind of romantic to be at this big, legendary record label," he said. "And fuck all the rock 'n' roll bands—if you want to get romantic, look at all the soul acts they signed, like Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin. We're talking about the bedrock, soul and blues, some of the most important recordings in the history of the world.

 

"But I'm a pragmatic person," he continued. "There's a lot of work to be done. We've recorded five records, and we've had some success, but hopefully signing to Atlantic, we're going to have a little more."

 

 

Regarding the songwriting process for 'Feral Roots,' Scott said: "We spent more time writing, passing things back and forth. We spent a week in this place called Hohenwald, Tennessee, and we had this little writing cabin. It was really far out, really quiet and beautiful, and we would just wake up and start writing together, then go out into nature, swim in the creek and then meet back up later, make a fire and talk about the things we'd seen that day. It set the tone for what we wanted to do, writing-wise, and gave us the energy. Then we went home and began to work on those songs, passing it around until things were beaten into shape.

 

 

"Once we're all together, something new is going to happen, and that's how we interact both onstage and when we record together," Scott continued. "We challenge each other, we're inspired, and we become improvisational to a degree. So you're still getting something that's to a degree unpolished, and is really in its first living moments."

"Once we're all together, something new is going to happen, and that's how we interact both onstage and when we record together," Scott continued. "We challenge each other, we're inspired, and we become improvisational to a degree. So you're still getting something that's to a degree unpolished, and is really in its first living moments."

 

The primal intensity of 'Feral Roots' reflects a certain unrest at the heart of the album, sparked by singer Jay Buchanan's recent move to Tennessee. "With all the stimuli we're constantly receiving these days, I think a lot of people have a desire to live with more freedom and simplicity," noted Holiday. "There's a longing for your truer nature to prevail, and to reclaim some sort of wildness." But with its nuanced explorations of art, love and truth, 'Feral Roots' ultimately argues for pushing beyond pure survival instincts and striving for something more elevated. An unyielding commitment to creating something that musically stands the tests of time.

 

 

 

 

Rival Sons' 'Feral Roots' is out now, via Low Country Sound/Atlantic Records.

 

The 'Feral Roots' track-listing is as follows:

 

  1. Do Your Worst
  2. Sugar On The Bone
  3. Back In The Woods
  4. Look Away
  5. Feral Roots
  6. Too Bad
  7. Stood By Me
  8. Imperial Joy
  9. All Directions
  10. End Of Forever
  11. Shooting Stars

 

 

Known far and wide as a powerhouse live act, Rival Sons celebrate the release of 'Feral Roots" with a worldwide tour schedule, including a European festival run, a co-headline a North American tour this fall

with Grunge rock mainstays Stone Temple Pilots and a 5-date tour of the U.K. The 12-city U.S. tour will kick off in Baltimore on September 13th, with stops in Philadelphia, New York City, New Orleans and more, before wrapping up in Stone Temple Pilots' hometown of San Diego on October 9th. The U.K. tour begins November 2nd in Liverpool.

 

European Festival Dates"

Jun 29: Madrid Download Festival, Spain

Jul 03: Nimes Arena, France

Jul 05: Belfort Eurockeennes, France

Jul 07: Arras Mainsquare Festival, France

Jul 12: Venice Home Festival, Italy

Jul 13: Aix-nles-ibains Musilac, France

Jul 28: Loather Kendal Calling, UK

Aug 03: Notodden Blues Festival, Norway

 

 

Stone Temple Pilots and Rival Sons 2019 Tour Dates:

Sep 13:  MECU Pavilion, Baltimore, MD

Sep 15:  Stone Pony Summer Stage, Asbury Park, NJ

Sep  19: The Met Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 

Sep  22: Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk, New York, NY

Sep 25:  Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL

Sep  27: Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill,  Detroit, MI (Rival Sons only)

Sep  29: The Fillmore New Orleans, New Orleans, LA

Oct 1:  Revention Music Center, Houston, TX

Oct 3:  The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, Irving, TX

Oct 6:  The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

Oct 8:  Comerica Theatre, Phoenix, AZ

Oct 9:  Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU, San Diego, CA

 

UK Tour Dates:

Nov 2: Liverpool Academy

Nov 3: London Brixton Academy

Nov 5: Nottingham Rock City

Nov 6: Edinburgh Usher Hall

Nov 7: Bristol Academy

 

 

For more info, please visit:

rivalsons.com

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