Rival Tides – Interview

Tuesday 25th August 2015

Answers by drummer, Greg Fulleman:

Formed in 2012, you’re still very much in the early stages of a music career, but I’m sure there’s more of a story to be told. Tell me about where it all began, and how it’s brought you here today.

We’ve been playing music together for a while now, even in projects before becoming Rival Tides. We got to a point where we really felt like we had a unified outlook on music and what we wanted this band to become, so at that point we took on the current band name and started really working to accomplish all the goals we’ve set for ourselves.

How do you work as a band to write and record music? Is there a process you go through, or do you have individual ideas that you pull from.

We tend to change up our approach every time we start writing new music. Sometimes we’ll be in the room together. Other times, Alex will put guitars together first and we’ll build from there. We’ve also had Robyn and Jason bring ideas to the table. I even started a song with just drum ideas and let the others build on to it from there. It keeps things interesting and helps us vary our sound a little bit, since it’s not all coming from one person.

Have you had any airplay or mentions on mainstream radio?

We’ve been fortunate enough to be featured a few times on a radio show called “Out on a Limb,” here in the L.A. area.

You’ve built up a nice fan following; how responsive do you find the crowds when you’re performing?

We’ve been working on expanding the reach of our band quite a bit by playing in new areas. Any time fans make those longer drives just to catch our set, it means so much to us. We’re constantly creating and building relationships with fans, so getting to see familiar faces helps us know we must be doing something right.

Greg, you tweeted that you shot a music video last night, and after watching the video for My Insomnia I’m expecting amazing things. Are you able to shed any light on what you’ve been recording?

We’re working on footage for an upcoming Mission:Control music video. This one will be much more focused on band performance, especially compared to the My Insomnia video. Robyn, our singer, directs our videos (as well as videos for other great bands like New Years Day, Sleepwalker and Symmetry) so I’m always excited to see what he can create for us.

What has been the best experience for you as a band so far, and why?

There’s quite a few. The first two that come to mind are playing Warped Tour earlier this summer. Getting selected by the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands to play a date on a tour I’ve been going to since I was 15 is a dream come true.
The other would be releasing our album on vinyl. I’m a huge record collector and always wanted to have something I created on the format. I decided to fund it myself and made it happen. I love sharing the excitement of collecting vinyl with our fans.

It’s been almost 2 years since you released your EP, and I’m itching to hear more from you. Are there plans for an album release any time soon?

First of all, thank you! We’re realizing that our self-titled EP is still new to a lot of people, but that some of the older fans are totally ready for more. With that in mind, we have a couple things in the works.

What about plans for a tour, or maybe heading over this side of the pond? I think you’d get a good reception here in the UK.

I’m loving music from the UK lately. It seems like more and more great rock bands are taking over, which is wonderful. Bands like Enter Shikari, Mallory Knox and Don Broco are being consistently played on my stereo, and bands like Bring Me the Horizon are really changing the rock scene all over the world.
We would be thrilled to come play in the UK. It could take some time, since we’re fully self-funded, but it’s a big goal of ours… one of the biggest, in fact.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on music streaming. For me, being able to stream your EP has helped in discovering more about you as a band. However, it’s still a sore point in the music industry, mainly with established artists. Do you feel that music streaming is a good or bad tool, and why?

I think I’ve come to terms with it. Streaming is a helpful tool that helps get music out there to more fans. Years ago, how could I tell people to check out my band? Buy our CD? Download it illegally? Hear maybe one or two songs? It’s really a strong sales aide, ultimately. Hopefully fans who like what they hear will buy the record or a t-shirt or come see us play a show.
I have a perfect story to help illustrate this, actually. At Warped Tour, a girl walked by our merch tent near the end of the day and one of our shirt designs caught her eye. She really liked it, but wasn’t able to catch our set, so she had no idea how we sounded. I didn’t blame her for not wanting a shirt from a band she knew nothing about. She came back to our tent about 10 minutes later, with a Bluetooth speaker blaring “My Insomnia” from a Spotify account on her phone! She liked what she heard and bought the shirt. We couldn’t have made that happen without streaming music.

What advice would you give anyone reading this who wants to venture out and start their own band?

Keep an open mind. There are a lot of musicians out there who refuse to listen to new music and new ideas. No one knows everything. The music world is always evolving and growing, so keep an ear to the ground and let the new things influence what you’re doing. It’ll help you grow and provide healthy challenges along the way. Just because you’re in a rock band doesn’t mean that pop music or electronic music is evil. Listen to a variety of things to better understand what works for those acts. You never know how it could help shape your own style.

You can stream Rival Tides EP here: