Riviera Talks About Their Music, Their Plans, and What Sets Them Apart
Morgantown band Riviera just released an EP in January, added a new band member, and are already working on their first full length album. To say they've hit the ground running this year would be an understatement.
Michelle had a chance to sit down with the fellas of Rivier, after their CD Release Party/Show, and talked with them about their music, plans and the cool things they'll be incorporating into their performances, this year...
Michelle: So the album’s out now. It’s an EP.
Riviera: (Mike) Yeah, it’s 6 songs.
R: (Sam) Yeah, We’ve actually almost completely finished our full length album. And in February we’re going to begin recording it (in Providence, RI).
(Mike) On Spring Break, we’ll go on tour, promoting it, and then come back (to school), get through finals week. And then once summer comes, hit the road again.
(Nathan) We’re trying to tour as much as we can, this summer. Mostly for Spring Break, we’ll hit the East Coast, and then in the summer we’ll go more Westward.
(When I asked about what they were most excited to talk about):
(Mike) At the end of the day, it all comes down to the music on our records. That’s why we do what we do. That’s what we do. We’re not great at talking.
M: You guys are great at talking. You kept saying that during the show, and I was like “stop, you’re very engaging”.
R: (Nathan) But if we didn’t keep saying that, we’d have nothing to say.
M: Fair enough…but also, not true (it's really just not true).
What else is Riviera excited about?
R: (Sam) I think one thing that people don’t understand is that we may write 16 songs, and you’re hearing 6 of them.
(Mike) So right now we have 7 songs (new), 1 demo, and maybe 3 songs with Chris (their producer). Chris brings a riff, we bring a riff. We’re excited to see what we come up with.
And especially now with him (Tony) bringing that electronic element (this was Tony's first show)
M: So have you played a full show, yet?
R: (Tony) No, this was my first show.
-(Mike) We tend to let people join our band that have had absolutely no background in playing shows.
(Nathan) Like, my first show was here. My second show was at Warped Tour.
M: So who’s the jazz person (there are two)?
R: (Sam) We (Sam and Nathan) both played jazz in high school and middle school. Our jazz band was rated the best in the state of WV. Because of that background, it influences our rhythm, our beat patterns, and we’ve played together for so long, it’s allowed us to get really tight.
(Nathan): I don’t have to think about what he’s going to play. I just know.
(Tony) By having the jazz influence, it’s made me a better guitar player. It’s allowed me to play chords in specific patterns (that I’d not done, before).
M: I heard you (Riviera) were doing some kind of DJing…
R: (Mike) Yeah, it’s moreso like he’s (Tony) doing a lot of auxiliary instrument. He’ll be playing a keyboard, there’s a DJ part, or parts where he’ll be doing a bass drop, or a sax.
(Nathan) Basically, all that extra stuff past the (basic) instruments, he’s gonna do that.
(Tony) You know EDM? I’m incorporating some of that into the music.
M: Will any of that (EDM) be on the full length?
R (Mike): Not only that, but when we go into the studio, the songs have all these intricate swooshes and swelling, and it’s a part of the song when we record it. So when we play it live, we want it to be there. For Tony to be able to do all that stuff, and play the piano and the guitar?
R: (Zac) And all the music on the full length album is extremely different from the EP.
(Mike) Yeah, we think the EP is awesome. But we think the full length is even awesome-r.
M: So will any of the music from the EP be on the full length?
R: (Mike) No, even though we can look back and think “We could have done this part differently in this song (from the previous recording/EP), but we’re ultimately happy with how it turned out. So we don’t have any interest in the songs being on this album, too. We do have a few songs from our demo that might make it on the full length.
The main takeaway? When all is said and done, Riviera unanimously agrees: "Everything’s about fun. If it’s not fun, it doesn’t happen."
Lead and Guitar: Mike Higinbotham
Voice and Bass: Nathan Pipes
Drums: Sam Hartiens
Guitar: Zac Anderson
Voice and Keys/EDM: Tony Goffoli