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THE METAL OBSERVER - Interview - RIVAL - Online Aug. 2004

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Rival - No fillers - Online Aug. 2004

After US Metallers RIVAL had released an EP and a complete album on their own, they finally could sign a deal. No less than Metal Blade records published the new album “State Of Mind”, so the spirits are high in the RIVAL camp…


What’s up guys? Anything new bout RIVAL?


Well, the new CD is out. And we are preparing to tour.


Your new album “State Of Mind” is out now – are you satisfied with it? What do you expect?


Yes we’re satisfied. Things turned out well. We tried a few new approaches with this release, and think it came out good. There’s always something you’d like to change later on, but by then it’s too late so you live with it.


Some people might say it’s a bit too short? I think there are no fillers…


We put together the songs we liked and wanted on the new disk and it came to that length of time. There’s actually a segment of another song in the beginning of “Reach” that is in the background before the song starts that we felt would be better on the next release. To answer the second the question, we don’t want to write “filler” songs.


It took a long time between “Modern World” and the new one. What did you do in the meantime? You signed a deal with Metal Blade…


We put out “Modern” and tried to see what that could do for us. We didn’t know about our future. Because of that, we took a break. We didn’t have the financial backing to do another full length disk, so “Modern” was a make or break situation for us.


I like the cover artwork although it’s not that typical Metal cover – what’s the message behind it?


The cover shows a person holding his head in the palms of his hand as if he were saying to himself “Oh my god, what have I done?” which in a lot of ways reflects on the title of the CD. A type of internal turmoil so to speak.


What can you tell me about the songwriting process – I think you had more than 9 new songs to choose…Are the songs all new ones?


Some are and some aren’t. We wrote some shortly after the recording of “Modern” and a few others right up until the time we went in to record “State.”


Where did you record?


In our hometown of Chicago. The best place in town was Chicago Recording Company. It was pricey but ideal for what we needed.


My faves are “Lord Of The Knights” and especially “Hell Train” which is the fastest RIVAL-track ever – reminds me a bit on AGENT STEEL…


Thanks. We’re glad you think so.


Do you hate the comparison with OMEN in nearly every review in Germany…? Apropos did you hear their last release…


We haven’t heard the latest OMEN. The comparisons don’t bother us. Do you think we still sound like them now?


What do you think when you look back to the BANG YOUR HEAD gig two years ago…Aren’t you still burning to play again in Europe? We are hungry for RIVAL as well here….


Yes, we’d love to play there again. It was definitely a high point in our career.


What would be your wish to tour with?


We’d like to play with METALLICA, PRIEST, MAIDEN, SLAYER, SCORPIONS, GODSMACK just to name a few.


What would you like to be asked?


Did you know that you won the lottery?


Did we forget anything?


Thanks to you and all your readers for your interests. We‘ll see you soon…be ready. Check us on the web


Best wishes – Ralf


Cheers!! - Neven, Chuck, John, Gary


2001: Modern World (CD, Self-production)
2004: State Of Mind (CD, Metal Blade)

Ralf Henn

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