An interview with Rival Schools from early 2002.
RN: What are you listening to at the moment?
S: I’m listening to the Hives record I’ve just picked up recently. I’m listening to a band called Dry and Heavy, they’re this Japanese dub reggae band. I picked up another reggae CD while I was over here, it’s just loads of DJ stuff. A lot of reggae right now, I guess. The Strokes record, Outkast.
RN: which song do you like playing the most on this album?
S: I like to play The Switch right now. They kinda go in phases for me, Undercovers On is nice, it’s a little more mellow, a nice break from the heavy, heavy, heavy.
RN: Has this record been good to tour with?
S: Definitly, this records been really nice. Actually it came out in America in August so we’ve sorta been on tour since around August.
RN: You toured over here before the record came out didn’t you?
S: Yeah, we put our first show ever on in Manchester, then we came back again almost a year later, right after we had finished recording the record and played a couple of shows with a Hundred Reasons so this is our third time over here.
RN: So do you reckon your European tours gone well?
S: This one’s gone really well, yeah. We opened for A for about two weeks which was really nice and then a Hundred Reasons were supporting us over in Europe, and now we’re doing these headlining shows. It’s fun when you work on something in a recording studio and then you get to go out and meet people and see what they think.
RN: There’s been a lot of press about it over here as well…
S: Yeah, that’s nice too
RN: Someone was trying to sell tickets outside for £100 pounds
S: Jesus…that’s crazy, we’ll be back, don’t waste your money.
RN: So are you going to tour America when you get back at all?
S: We might, a lot of it depends on what the record labels doing but we definitely want to go play out west. We’ve played a lot of places in America on this record already so it’s kinda like how many times can we play some of these places? Y’know with this record already out I feel we have to come up with some new stuff.
RN: It must be strange just having one album…
S: Well, we have a lot of B-sides, we have a song called Sweet which is coming out on a compilation, Bells is coming out on the Used For Glue EP which they’re releasing so there are a lot of B sides floating around.
RN: Are you playing any festivals this summer?
S: Yeah, we’ll be over to play Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds, T in the Park, so basically them all! RN: What’s been your favourite place to play?
S: With Rival Schools my favourite place is probably, wow it’s really hard to say, there’s a lot of good ones. Germany was really fun, Berlin was really nice, Nottingham was really cool, London’s fun, Manchester was fun. I don’t really have a lot of favourites, it’s just different cities. We were just in Paris and Milan which was really nice cos you can just spend the day going around.
RN: You started out in bands really young. Do you feel like you’ve missed out on anything?
S: No, cos when I was young we weren’t touring a lot, we were just touring around our school schedule. Like Christmas break we would go on a two week tour and summer break we’d do a four week tour so I was still at home with my friends, going to school, doing my thing but I was just in a band after school instead of going to football practice and then as I got older the bands got onto a more serious level and so there was much more touring.
RN: Was there any point where you decided you were going to be a musician?
S: I still haven’t decided! I know I want music to be a part of my life but I feel I’m able to do other things as well, and I think you need to have the balance or else music can take you over in a weird way if you make it your be all and end all. But I love it and it’s good to me and I think when something’s good to you in life you have to recognise that.
RN: How would you describe Rival Schools?
S: It’s ultimately a rock band I would think y’know what I mean. The influences are pretty vast, there’s early Police reggae stuff, Led Zeppelin kind of elements, The Smiths and My Bloody Valentine influences, a lot of different stuff. I think if you know the four of us and the different bands we’ve played in, you can put it together. For better or for worse you can’t really say it’s this type of music or it’s that type of music.
RN: What can we expect from Rival Schools in the future?
S: The festivals will be taking up most of our summer, and there’ll be some new songs. Hopefully we’ll release some fun stuff. We put out that split with Jonah from Onelinedrawing. That kind of stuff is really fun for us, maybe we could do something like that. Y’know just keep moving forward.