Thrash Hits

January 31st, 2011

Interview: Rival Schools drummer, Sammy Siegler talks about Pedals in 2011 (but also United By Fate)

With New York post-hardcore legends Rival Schools‘ long-awaited second album, Pedals, due for release in March, we thought we’d ask drummer Sammy Siegler about the decade between this album and United By Fate.

Rival Schools band photo walter schreifels 2010 thrash hits

There are a lot of people who see United By Fate as one of the seminal albums of the last decade. How do you feel about the album in 2011?
It’s nice to see that United By Fate had such a positive effect on people. I feel like people want to rock more these days so it doesn’t feel very dated to me. Perhaps if it was the height of the Rapture dance craze it would feel different. But I love that record – it has all the elements. I think it’s a real complete album – a good time from start to finish.

What happened with that unreleased second album?
Those were really demos that leaked, Ian had left the band to pursue other things, we started playing with Chris Traynor and we wrote these songs in hopes of putting out a new record. Walter wanted to pursue a solo album, as well our label was making some changes and we were getting a little fried, so we went on this hiatus and those demos found the world wide web.

Why have you reformed?
I think we all felt that we had a good record in us, we started with a three week tour, had a lot of fun, and just started writing and recording, we recorded the entire album ourselves.

In terms of the band, what is better or worse now than it was the first time round?
We don’t have as much disposable time as we have kids and life has gotten a little more complex, but that is also a positive because it has forced us to really maximize our time together, when we rehearse we don’t fuck around and everyone is on time… That was never the case back then.

Do you think the world will be or have you found the world has been as receptive to RS as they were back in 2001?
So far so good, there was a lot of hype back then, Rolling Stone said we were the next Nirvana, not sure we’ll get that again, but that might not be the worst thing.

You returned to the UK, post-reformation back in 2008 for a few shows, how come it’s taken so long to make a new album?
Honestly it was more about sorting out a label, and figuring out the best way to release it. The album was done about a year after we started playing again, some legal jargon delayed it, as well the release date got pushed back, we switched management, red tape was flowing, but we are here.

Shot After Shot sounds exactly how I expected Rival Schools to sound in 2010 so that was a very pleasant start. How indicative is this of the album though?
I really think, like United By Fate, Pedals is diverse, there are some rockers, some ballads, some more groovy tracks, some mind benders, we were brought up on albums, so that’s what we go for.

What is the general theme of Pedals?
Hmmm, the theme is minty green… Not really sure, I think it’s a good time, you will be stoked, weather you’re smashing mail boxes on a Saturday night or ice skating, this could be your soundtrack.

Obviously, you’ve all had success and have left musical legacies with bands other than RS but after the success of UBF, do you ever worry that it’s a lot to live up to?
Not really, on to the next, we love the projects we’ve been involved in and are thankful, but when we approach anything new, we just go for it. Especially with this record, we had been gone for so long, we didn’t really know what anyone would expect so we just got into it.

Pedals are found on bikes, cars, pianos and pedalos. Which one of those is your favourite?
The rusty BMX pedal, that when you really go for it, falls off and you stack it? Pedals to the metalz!

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Pedals will be released on 07 March 2011 and will backed up a matter of weeks later with a short UK tour which Rival Schools will co-headline with …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. Here’s your info:

Rival Schools April 2011 tourdates:
15 London Electric Ballroom
16 Manchester Academy 2
17 Glasgow Garage
18 Birmingham O2 Academy 2

Rival Schools – Pedals tracklisting
Wring It Out
69 Guns
Eyes Wide Open
Choose Your Adventure
Racing To Red Lights
Shot After Shot
A Parts For B Actors
Big Waves
Small Doses
The Ghost Is Out There


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