RIVALS Interview

Wild Things

RIVALS are a sublime female fronted, dark pop-rock, quartet who are based out of Los Angeles, California. They recently released their debut album Damned Soul on 2nd February 2018.

RIVALS are fuelled by powerful and energetic song writing and their debut album Damned Soul is an outstanding debut effort. Combine that with a great live performance and you have a great band that simply cannot be missed.

I recently caught up with their resident powerhouse vocalist Kalie Wolfe to talk about their music, their musical influences and the cutest dogs around...

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1) This interview is taking place a couple of months since the release of your debut album “Damned Soul”. How has the last couple of months been for you all? Is it a good feeling to finally get your music out to the fans?

It’s weird, we’ve accomplished so much so quickly and it’s crazy to us. We’re so thankful for every single opportunity that’s been handed to us. From radio play, to magazine coverage to tours to just our other friends in bands posting about us and even the fans! Everything is just a push forward and we cannot thank everyone enough for supporting us and Damned Soul

2) What are some of the greatest lessons that you have learned throughout the recording process that you will take into your future experiences compared to your debut EP “Haunted/Hunted”?

Write tons of songs, write more songs then you ever think you’ll need. Then when your mind is exploding from writing, choose the best ones. That’s what we did for Damned Soul and honestly it was the best choice we’ve made. We didn’t do that for H/H, we just wrote 6 songs and called it a day. 

I’d say another lesson we learned was content, stack tons of content, photos, videos, graphics, etc make sure you have enough to post for a few months after because more content will pop up as you go. Tons of stacked content is ♥️

We said the same thing we say now. “Madison square garden, 3 nights in a row sold out” we’ve always been the type of people who reach for the highest point we can. Go big.

3) “Over It” shows massive ambition for a band so early in your career. The song has a massive anthem feel and sounds as if it could easily inspire stadium singalongs. Ambition emanates from the band and is clear to see on all of “Damned Soul”, but what is the scale of ambition for the band? Are you genuinely going to take over the world?

When Micket and I started the band, well technically Micket was the starter haha but when we started this crazy adventure, we said the same thing we say now. “Madison square garden, 3 nights in a row sold out” we’ve always been the type of people who reach for the highest point we can. Go big. 

4) Quite a simple question next, how did you guys all meet and what made you want to start up a band?

Micket and I met back when I was really young, like 14ish, and when I was 17 I went on tour with his old band The Collected as a photographer / videographer back when I used to do that! And we met Seb from local shows a few years back now :) 

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Don’t let them tell you that you can’t do it. Don’t let them tear you down and don’t let anyone change you. Be yourself, be strong and show everyone what you’re made of. It’s a crazy world but it’s getting better! There are tons of woman in music and it keeps growing!

 5) If people have never heard of RIVALS before, how would you describe yourselves to them to hook new listeners in? Is there a specific track which you feel best shows what the band are?

We’re a dark pop rock band and honestly that’s hard. I’d hand them three since in my opinion the CD has so many different vibes

  1. Moonlit because it’s dark and emotional
  2. Over It because it’s poppy jumpy and really fun
  3. Wild things because it makes you wanna accomplish the world! 

 6) There is much noise made in the music industry about the difficulties of being a female-fronted rock band in a male dominated industry. Is this something that you have encountered yourselves? If so do you have any words of advice for young female singers who are looking to start a rock band?

I’m constantly looked at differently and everyone always automatically assumes I’m not very nice when tbh, I’m super nice lol. 

I also wish everyone would stop comparing every band to Paramore. “They’re like a heavier but more butt rock with a mix of jazz version of paramore” like what haha, just let them sit in their own genre or maybe expand your horizon of female bands haha. 

Don’t let them tell you that you can’t do it. Don’t let them tear you down and don’t let anyone change you. Be yourself, be strong and show everyone what you’re made of. It’s a crazy world but it’s getting better! There are tons of woman in music and it keeps growing! 

 7) Let’s be honest, it’s only a matter of time until you hit the major major big time. However, if you had the choice now to headline any festival which would it be and why? Also what would RIVALS band rider consist of? 

 Not so much a festival but me personally, I’d say the teen choice awards would be TIGHT to preform at. I just wanna get slimed haha it's a dream of mine since I was a kid. 

I’d want chicken pho and Reeces. Probably could survive on that for a couple months haha maybe Taco Bell since we all love Taco Bell. Maybe a dog so we can all play with the cootieeeeepooooperrrr before we go on. 

Damned Soul took a lot of time. Emotionally and physically it might’ve been the hardest thing we’ve ever done but it’s been so worth every second. From member changes, to having it mixed across the country, to shopping for labels. Start to finish it was the best most crazy adventure we’ve ever had in our lives and I’d never change that experience for anything on earth.

 8) Who were some of your musical influences growing up? Has making the style of music you create changed your musical tastes?

I grew up on pop and tbh I still mainly listen to pop. I had my emo/scene phase. Memphis May Fire, sleeping with sirens, panic at the disco, fall out boy etc. but mainly Billie eilish, Jessie j, bazzi, two feet. That kinda stuff :) 

 9) How did you find the journey of writing and recording your debut album “Damned Soul”? From beginning to end how did you find the process?

Damned Soul took a lot of time. Emotionally and physically it might’ve been the hardest thing we’ve ever done but it’s been so worth every second. From member changes, to having it mixed across the country, to shopping for labels. Start to finish it was the best most crazy adventure we’ve ever had in our lives and I’d never change that experience for anything on earth. 

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10) You are currently touring the US on The Awakening Tour with The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus how are you finding this tour? Where has been your favourite place to play so far in the tour?

 We are so excited to play the house of blues at our home town in LA/OC. But to be honest one of my favorite venues is The Black Sheep and I’m really excited to go back!! 

11) Finally, as Echion is UK website, do you have any future plans on a worldwide tour so we can get some of the RIVALS action over here in the UK?

We hope soon!!! We all wanna hit Europe so bad it’s insane! Fingers crossed end of 2018 early 2019!