this edition of Melody Makers we are going to take a look at River City
High. These Richmond Virginia rockers are already making a name for themselves
with their melodic mix of their classic rock influences and today’s pop-punk
scene. They deliver high-energy shows everywhere they go (which is pretty
much all over North America at the moment!). Their full-length debut “River
City High Won’t Turn Down” hit stores in September and is already introducing
fans from across North America to the band’s addictive sound. We
recently caught up with the band when they played Chain Reaction in Anaheim,
Ca. I had a chance to talk with frontman James about the band and the new
album, so read on to learn more about the band and then use the links to
check out more on the band and the new CD!
RNW: How did River City High Come together?
James: Me and Mark played in come Richmond [Virginia]
bands. We were fans of each others bands and basically once those bands
kind of died out we knew that we needed to be together and play rock and
just attack it full on and that’s what happened. We are destined to take
over the world together I guess.
RNW: Where did the name come from?
James: River City is basically Richmond,
it’s on the James river and were to trying to think of what we could do
with it. Like River City what? We thought that River City High would be
a pretty cool name. We are basically paying homage to Richmond.
RNW: What’s the Richmond music scene like?
James: It’s awesome man, there an abnormally
large amount of talented people and Richmond’s such a small town that it’s
really strange how it works out, there is like a lot of bands that start
there, so many influential bands, more bands that actually get big. There
are more bands that people pay homage to that are like from Richmond. There
were all kind of bands that died in the 90’s that people use as a reference
RNW: Possibly the next Seattle?
James: (laughs) We always thought that
it would be. In the mid 90’s it was like the cool scene, we thought it
was like for sure at least the next Berkley. It just kind of died out but
now there are about five or six real strong bands that tour a lot out of
Richmond but it’s not as strong as it was in the 90’s.
RNW: Who are your main influences? Besides
James: Zeppelin would be a huge influence,
Bob Segar, Tom Petty. We like a lot of rock, like American Rock n Roll,
you know. We also listen to a lot of punk rock and we make sure we listen
to a lot of Rock n Roll because that’s what we love. The Beach Boys, Beatles
RNW: What about the punk-pop scene, like
James: Yeah you know what as a band we
got the new
Blink-182 and the new FenixTX at the same time this
summer and we were f***in blown away by
both of those albums man. They are so good. The FenixTX album is f***in
RNW: Yeah, I saw them a few months back.
Actually it was right here. (Chain Reaction in Anaheim, Ca)
James: Did you see them? How was it?
RNW: It was awesome.
James: I saw them on the Warped tour, I
was so stoked man! That album is f***ing awesome! The Blink album is great,
so much better than there other albums. They are at their peek at everything
RNW: I heard a rumor you might be playing
some shows with them [Blink-182]
James: We’re doing some support slots,
we’re really excited about it.
RNW: How would you describe your music
to someone who has never heard it?
James: Umm, just poppy rock n roll.
RNW: Like Power-pop?
James: Yeah power-pop. It’s hard to see
out of the box you’re way too subjective.
RNW: So you guys weren’t aiming for a certain
genre to fit into?
James: No it just kind of like happened.
I just say it was good if anybody asked! (laughs)
RNW: You guys have been on tour nonstop
for the past year or so.
James: Yeah we’re been on tour like crazy.
RNW: You played with Juliana Theory, New
Found Glory and the Warped Tour. What was the most memorable tour?
James: Juliana Theory is f***ing
awesome. Those guys are like our best friends. They’re blowing up right
now. It’s perfect for them, right now, this is their time.
were like so happy to be along for the ride. It was such a cool tour, those
guys are amazing musicians their awesome. The New Found Glory tour, that
was awesome, incredible, that was right when they were breaking big. There
was like over a thousand people every night, we were just as blown away
as anyone else was with how many people were there. It was really cool
watching them like come of age, like watching them realize all the work
that they have done come together at one time. That was exciting as hell,
RNW: Any shows stick out in your mind?
Any one show?
James: We did our first headlining show
in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago and over 300 kids came and that for us was
like really really exciting, it was really cool. Also the last day on the
Warped tour we got to play the main stage. That was insane dude! 15 thousand
people, you know you can’t f*** with that! It was so huge!
RNW: That was the biggest show you’ve done
James: That’s the biggest by far.
RNW: We almost had someone covering that
Pittsburgh show but she had to cancel out at the last minute.
James: Which one, the one that we played?
James: Oh that show was awesome dude, that
show was great!
RNW: Ok, did the constant touring
help you guys out when it came time to record the new album?
James: Oh God yeah. We went from being
like a kind
like disjointed songwriting kind of thing to like a tight four piece rock
n roll band. We know each other so well that it comes through in the songs
and everything the band does. Like being together, being in each other’s
heads all the time helped out in the studio, made everything go smoother.
The songs came in different ways then we ever thought possible because
we knew each other a lot better.
RNW: What is your song writing process
James: It changes all the time. Sometimes
we jam a song out at practice. Sometime me and Mark, me and Mark wrote
half the album out by ourselves. We have a bunch of different methods and
they all work equally as well.
antiGUY is the editor
in doubt for antiMUSIC.com
Live Photos by Phil Dis Copyright
2001 Iconoclast Entertainment Group. All Rights Reserved.