Melbourne band As A Rival are heading to Adelaide to celebrate the launch of their debut album By Design.
Playing the Crown and Anchor on Saturday April 16, the trio are treating us to a line up of four bands to mark the occasion.
Pete (vocals/guitar), Kylie (bass/vocals) and Nathan (drums/vocals) make up the hard rock/punk band which has only existed in its current incarnation since last year, despite being around for half a decade.
“The band has been together for five years in some capacity or other. When we were starting to go into the last album, I found myself to be the sole survivor but I still wanted to carry on, so I wrote a bunch of songs,” Pete says.
“Tom Read (Bodyjar), the producer of the album, is a mate of mine and we play in another band on the side, so I senT him some of my stuff just to get some feedback and he said, ‘I want to record this’. So I went in to his little studio and we ended up getting the other guys from Bodyjar to do the drums and bass for me.
“Then I found some new people. I’ve known Kylie, who plays bass, for years and years. She was in other bands we’ve played with so when she found out I needed a bass player she said she’d do it, so that was easy. Then I found Nathan through Kylie. She knew him through other bands. He came in and just smashed it. He learned the whole back catalogue! We’ve been together in this incarnation since June last year.”
Software designer by day and punk rock front man by night, Pete put together the debut album, By Design on his own, which is something he’s very proud of.
“It’s the first time I’ve done a whole album. It was a way different experience to everything I’ve done – in a good way though. It was a challenge, because you can make the same song twelve times, or you can put together an album of songs that complement each other. But I did it. I made an album,” he says.
“When the old members of the band were veering in different directions or coming to the end of their time in a band, I was by myself and wondering if I should keep doing it and the answer was yes. Doing it on your own is awesome, because you get to do whatever you want, but you have to carry everything. I was demo-ing for about a year and then recording on and off for six months. Life got in the way, so it took a while. The recording process was fun though.”
As A Rival, whose name comes from a cheeky throw away line when the original members were conceptualising their intentions for the group, are currently getting enough positive feedback from live shows and By Design to rival the rest on the scene.
“Band names are hard to come up with,” Pete says. “At the time, I felt there wasn’t much rock music, or rock punk around. I wanted to be different, as a rival to everything else.”
“Am I winning? Depends what day it is,” he laughs. “All the feedback is very positive. It’s definitely building. I like to think we’re winning. There’s so much more to go, but we’re definitely heading in the right direction.”
And the direction they’re heading next on their album tour is to Adelaide; namely the Crown and Anchor.
“I’ve been to Adelaide a few times. We played the Cranchor a few years ago and it was bloody awesome. It’s an awesome venue. I’m looking forward to getting back there. We’re playing with some really good local Adelaide bands, too,” Pete says.
“I’ve seen Dead Joe play in Melbourne, so they were the first band we asked; they were keen as. Truthside were down here last weekend and we found them through some other contacts. Gladstone are from Melbourne and they’re some of our mates, and they’ve got a good following. They’re really awesome so I’m really looking forward to it.”
As A Rival are ready to begin a journey they hope is a long and successful one as they share their music with Australia, and hopefully the world.
“After this tour, we’ve got some more shows lined up and then there’s some other exciting stuff coming. We’re going to do a video clip and then do some writing, and maybe record a 7” just to keep the ball rolling. I’d like to do some international stuff too. I’d like to get to Japan,” Pete says.
But before any of that, you can catch them on their album tour at Crown and Anchor on Saturday April 16 with a great line up of local and interstate bands.
By Libby Parker