Interview – Rival Boys

By: Amanda Hather

Rival Boys is a rock trio from Toronto that includes Graeme Rose (guitar, vocals), Lee Rose (bass, vocals), and Sam Sholdice (drums). Their latest album, ‘Animal Instincts’, was released on June 30th, 2014. To find out more about the trio, check them out on social media as well as keep reading this interview.

Animal Instincts:

Canadian Beats review of Animal Instincts:

First of all, how did you come up with the name Rival Boys?

People always ask that, because we’re (obviously) fronted by a girl! Honestly, it was so long ago, we can’t even remember. Coming up with a band name is the worst. Before we were called Rival Boys we played one show where we called ourselves “Radar Patrol vs. Spy King.” That was too long and stupid, so we came up with something shorter

When did you decide that you wanted to become a band?

All three of us played music of one kind or another since we were little. I think the urge to start a band came on when I started writing songs in my mid-teens.

What’s your favourite song on ‘Animal Instincts’ to play live?

Lives of Plants and Animals

Which song was the hardest to write? The easiest?

The easiest song on the record to write was probably Construction Work. That song is really old, from another part of my life. The hardest song was definitely Young and Old – it took a very long time for that song to shape up into what it is now.

When you’re writing songs, what comes first? (E.g. lyrics, melody, etc.)

Usually, some sort of musical chord structure or riff will come first. That inspires a melody, which might change the chord structure. Lyrics come last.

If someone hadn’t heard your music before, how would you describe it to them?

I would say that it’s a blend of power-pop and Indie rock, played earnestly. I might also say that we have a sound that feels like an extrapolation of a kind of singer-songwriter style, only louder and fiercer.

Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

Nirvana, Hot Snakes, Sleater-Kinney, Vic Chesnutt, PJ Harvey, The Monks, The Undertones, Fiona Apple, Bill Callahan

Is it hard being in a band with your sibling?

Not at all! Lee and I get along great – we have such a long history playing together, and we have similar tastes.

What’s coming up next for you?

We have a few shows booked through the summer/fall, and hopefully touring, and a new record next year!

At Canadian Beats we like to ask a few fun questions to help people get to know you better:

What was the first CD that you bought?

We grew up in a house with a huge record collection, but probably the first CD I bought with my own money was Big Shiny Tunes 2.

Any guilty pleasures?

Ummm… Big Shiny Tunes 2?
song – Pony by Ginuwine (not so guilty)
food – California Sandwiches’ eggplant sandwich (also not so guilty)

Go to karaoke song?

Fantasy – Mariah Carey

You’re stranded on a desert island, name three things you would want to have with you.

A guitar and amp, a library, and the internet.

Any Canadian band/artist you would recommend to your fans?

Currently active – Mac Demarco, Calvin Love, Sean Nicholas Savage, Jay Sad, DURAN, Planet Creature, The Almighty Rhombus, BEAMS, Terror Lake, Mule Skinner, White Lung, PKEW! PKEW! PKEW!, Greys, HSY, Electric Youth, Absolutely Free, Soupcans, Odonis Odonis, Weaves, METZ

Currently inactive – The Guest Bedroom, Lunchmeat, Anagram, Hot Monogamy, The Nordiques, Constantines (oh – wait… Cons are playing again…)

If you could see any band or artist in concert, who would it be?

Vic Chesnutt, one last time. Although close second choices would be Nirvana or Nina Simone.

Top three places you’d like to travel?

Europe (all), South America (all), Asia (all)

What is something your fans may not know about you?

We love cats?

If you were ever in charge of putting together a festival, who would you have playing at it?

Any of the bands previously mentioned!

What do you think your most played song on your iPod is?

Retrofit – Hot Snakes

And finally, is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?

I guess, just a big thank you to everyone who’s continued to come to shows and buy our records over the years! Y’all are the best!

Rival Boys on social media:

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