Rival Schools Talks "Pedals" and "Winnie the Pooh"
Fri, 05 Aug 2011 14:51:34
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Rival Schools never stopped pushing the envelope. Ever since they first began recording, the venerable post hardcore outfit wrapped raw emotion inside of elegantly heavy riffs. They continue that tradition on their most recent album Pedals, and they'll bring it to life this weekend at Lollapalooza in Chicago. Young heavy bands can learn a thing or too from Rival Schools…scratch that, most of them already have…
Just before Lollapalooza, guitarist Ian Love spoke to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino about Pedals, chemistry never leaving, and why Winnie the Pooh was one of the last movies he saw…
Did you have one vision for Pedals from start to finish, or did it come together song by song in the studio?
I guess it was track by track. We got back together and had a bunch of shows we were doing. To do these shows, we were just getting back to the swing of playing together and relearning the old songs a bit. We were trying to muster up a few new songs. There were a few songs left from seven or eight years ago when we stopped playing. We started with those and in a year or so started writing some new stuff. We didn't have a label, but I have a studio where I record bands and produce records. When it came time to make an album, we got as many songs as we could. I came in with a few songs. Walter came in with some songs. We wrote a few songs together. We had some old songs. I don't know if there was a vision other than trying to pick up where the last one left off but hopefully better.
Is the chemistry between you always there? Does it continually snap back in?
It does. For us, it did. Walter and Sam have been playing off and on together for about 20 years. I've been playing with Sam for 16 or 17 years and we've played with Cache for ten years We have this natural connection that stays. Even though we stopped playing seven or eight years ago, I kept doing music with Sam and I recorded Walter's solo record. In between everything, that plays some part in it.
What's the story behind "The Ghost Is Out There?" Did you always know that would close out the album?
We didn't think about the sequence too much until it was time to master the record. I brought in the music, and Walter liked it. It was already arranged and done. It has that climactic ending. It feels like a closing track.
Musically, we were trying to create something a step farther from United By Faith. We wanted to expand musically. We needed to make a record that still excited our old fans and expanded and could take us to a new place as well. Music has changed a lot in the past seven or eight years. We had the opportunity to be more experimental with it. We made the record on our time so we could spend as much time on it as we wanted. We made the record we wanted to make, so that was a good feeling.
Is there anything you had a chance to try this time that you haven't done previously?
My role is pretty big in it because I recorded the whole thing. I mixed a few of the songs. I had my hands full as well playing a lot of it. "Choose Your Adventure" is more of a dance-y thing, and it has some programmed elements. "69 Guns" is more poppy, which is cool. I feel like we've all grown over the last couple years which shows on the playing the record. If you're a music head, you'll hear these little things going on. They're very subtle, but they're there in an interesting way.
What are you influenced by outside of music?
I know Walter reads a lot. We all have kids so we're busy a lot. I love to hear whatever new music is going on. That's always inspiring. The last movie I saw was Harry Potter with my daughter. I don't know if I can get super-inspired by that. The one before that was Winnie the Pooh.
Will you be seeing Rival Schools at Lollapalooza? Have you heard Pedals?