Tuesday 26th April 2016
James Whitehouse – Guitar and Vocals
Chris Thomason – Drums
I’m interested to hear the story behind how you got together. When did you meet, and what made you decide to start making music together?
I (James) had been in a band for about five years and met Chris when we needed a new drummer. He was in my sister’s class at uni and happened to post on Facebook about any bands looking for a drummer so I gave him a shout, he auditioned and got the job! After a few rehearsals I broke the band up… I wanted to do this new thing and I knew I wanted to do it with Chris so I asked him and he said yes!
Was it always the plan to form a duo, and how are you finding the music making process?
Yes, we went into this knowing it would just be two of us. We’d both been in bands with more people and had both found it frustrating trying to organise simple things like rehearsals. So on a practical level it made sense, but we also just really wanted to try it. Musically it’s very freeing as well. Having the limitation of it just being the two of us means that we have to keep things pretty simple and it’s a fun challenge creatively finding ways to do as much as possible with it.
Who are your inspirations? Do you have someone musically that you look up to, or that you draw your creativity from?
We like all sorts really. Obviously we’ve studied other two-piece bands to see what their thing is and to see what’s out there already. A particular favourite two-piece is Death From Above 1979! Also bands like Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Queens of the Stone Age, etc. We basically bonded over our love of big riffs and just wanted to that.
Tell me about your new single “Robot Girl”. What’s the song about?
“Robot Girl” is about a man who builds himself a woman to love and to love him, but the more he works on her, the more he realises that no matter how much time/effort/love/etc, she’ll never love him back because she can’t. It just seemed like a cool idea to write about!
Who did you work with to record your music video, and what was your reaction when you saw the finished video?
We directed and edited it ourselves. We went into the process with £0.00 so we came up with an idea for the video that we could do for nothing. Our good friend James Newmarch shot it and hooked up some lights and we did it ourselves. Thanks to 81 Renshaw Street for letting us use the back space and to LIPA for lending us the lights! I’d say my reaction to the finished thing (James) was relief. It’s a lot of work making a video… OH, and Proud!
Can we expect an EP or album in the near future?
Yeah! We’re looking at possibly doing an EP in September if people want it. We’ve been sticking to singles up until now because it’s good to give people something new every now and then rather than making them wait ages for all of it at once.
I have to ask about the band name and how you came up with it. Your band logo looks to be antlers of some kind. What’s the connection here?
Well coming up with a band name is always a challenge. We had a few boxes that we needed it to tick on a practical level, stuff like “can we get the .com URL and Facebook.com/rivalbones”. Then we needed something that no other band had so that narrowed it down A LOT! The game became about finding two words that don’t usually go together, but make sense next to each other anyway. So we found “Rival Bones” and it worked! We were very nearly “Ghost of Bear”. The antlers were just something that I (James) thought complimented how we sound on a visual level. We wanted something that represented the “bones” in the name and antlers were a cool play on that.
You’ve been playing live dates in and around the Liverpool area, but what’s the furthest you’ve taken you music so far?
The furthest away we’ve been is Birmingham or Leeds. We’ve probably played outside Liverpool more than in Liverpool itself.
What about airplay, have you been lucky enough to have your music played out on the radio?
Yeah! Our first single “You Know Who You Are” got a spin on the BBC when it came out. That was super exciting!
What’s the ultimate aim for the band, and where do you hope your music will take you?
We just want to reach as many as possible. I think for us at the moment, the goal is to play the big summer festivals like Download and Reading/Leeds. We’re not really interested in getting famous or anything, we’d just like to be known for being good at what we do!