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RIVEN BY RAVENS

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW RIVEN BY RAVENS, WHAT HAPPENED?

Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

I’ve always been around music and people that played instruments from a very young age.  But, besides that exposure, I was always a big music listener.  I started consuming large amounts of music at a young age.  I have always really enjoyed everything about bands and music.  The art, the sounds, the unique styles, the thought-provoking ideas.  I’ve always been drawn to the idea that there are generally no rules with creating music.    All of that combined made it an endeavor to be consumed by.

Introduce us to the members of Riven By Ravens and your musical history?

Riven by Ravens is currently just two members.  Brian Havrilla (vocals, guitars) and Paul Wilson (me) (drums and piano).  We started the project with the intent to record a single and it led to a 14 song album.  We wrote, recorded and produced all our music to date.

What was life like for you before music?

Who remembers birth?

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?

Oh boy here come the Tool references.  I have to say, I will never forget the first time I heard Tools song, “pushit,” on the bus ride home in 8th grade.  I had a mixed tape bootleg copy a friend made me with the album on it.  Hearing that song changed everything!  That album changed everything.  I was so moved by that record I feel like my vision changed.  I fell in love with them as a band and what I really felt was inspiration.  

Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?

Back of the bus. 

Whats the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry? 

I’ve never met Rick Reuben but I love his interviews and his books. He had a great quote one time in an interview where he said something about the idea that the audience always comes last and people don’t even know what they like or want.  Meaning, make what you think is good and interesting to you without compromising for any reason and with zero expectations from anyone.  I really like that.  The other thing is persistence.  Just keep going.

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you?

I once lost my right shoe at a Nine Inch Nails concert in a college gym and got it back at the end of the show.  Brian and I have both worked with 3 grammy award winning producers.  I graduated from Julliard.

If you could wish for one thing to aid your career, what would it be?

Just more opportunity.  So few bands are given any REAL opportunity to showcase their band and talent.  Why aren’t local bands opening every music festival?  There are so many rigged battle of the bands, superficial social media contests to boost some corporation or radio stations online views and non-stop pay to play shows.  The harsh reality of this industry is it just isn’t based on talent and hard work.  It can be exhausting and deflating at times.  

Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….

I try not to worry about what I can’t control.

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? If no why not?

Absolutely- I’m almost totally positive Taco Bell designs their beef to give you diarrhea on purpose.  

What was the worst show experience?

I used to be in a band in the San Francisco bay area and we had a album release show planned for months at a big venue in Oakland.  Night of the show the owner decided to double book and have some rave DJ play the main stage and just dump our entire bill into what looked like a broom closet next door.  It was humiliating.  We didn’t even unload the gear, exchanged some words and left.  Luckily, we were able to hop on another venue and play the show still, but that was a brutally painful night for us.

Tell us something about the band that you think people would be surprised about? 

After our second single came out, we were offered a 9-month contract with a Swedish Metal Label.  The recognition was a super powerful moment for the band a special moment for us personally.  Especially so early.  But based on the offer details we politely declined.  Proud to say we are still an independent band for now.  We keep 100 percent of our penny’s on Spotify!

What makes you stand out as a band/artist?

Our plain black T shirts, jeans, and converse.  Nobody does that.

I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.

We have our debut album, “Venerate,” coming out very soon!  We haven’t announced the release date yet but we will soon.  It’s a very emotional and aggressive run of songs. We are very excited to release all these songs into the music streaming abyss.

What was the recording process like?

I personally love recording.  I love the excitement of hours locked in a room playing drums to a click, building a song.  Its very rewarding and full of creative surprises along the way.  We recorded this album over the course of a year or so.  Sometimes you hit walls and finishing songs can be daunting.  That just didn’t really happen with this album.  It felt really smooth most of the way through.  We just had a lot of fun making it.

What was the biggest learning curve with the new tunes?

Writing Piano.  I started playing piano before drums.  I had an amazing piano teacher growing up.  She really inspired me in music.  I played recitals for years then started learning drums.  I have been in bands all my life since then and I never had the courage to write piano parts.  Something changed when we started writing Venerate.  I just began to write a lot of piano and lyrics.  And then I did something I’ve never done, I recorded it.  I found out recently my piano teacher passed away so I’m going to make sure she gets a dedication in the album jacket.  I couldn’t have written this music without her influence.

Would you change anything now that its finished?

I think the hardest part of recording is deciding when something is done.  When a drum fill is right, a mix is good or the structure is good.  It can always be different.  At some point you have to just decide its done and move on.  The album is done and I’m proud of the final product.  I wouldn’t change anything.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

We have 6 singles out on all music platforms available to stream or purchase. I hope people find them and enjoy them as much as we do.  We are going to keep putting music out and keep exploring and evolving with this band as long as we can.  Hopefully some people come with us as we do that.

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