Riviera Talks About Their Music, Their Plans, and What Sets Them Apart

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... 

  Riviera  officially released their EP, A New Place Like Home, at  123 Pleasant Street  in Morgantown. They also introduced their newest member, Tony Goffoli at the show. Photo by  Michelle Waters.

Riviera officially released their EP, A New Place Like Home, at 123 Pleasant Street in Morgantown. They also introduced their newest member, Tony Goffoli at the show. Photo by Michelle Waters.

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). 

 Riviera: "Everything’s about fun. If it’s not fun, it doesn’t happen." Photos by  Michelle Waters .

Riviera: "Everything’s about fun. If it’s not fun, it doesn’t happen." Photos by Michelle Waters.

 

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)

 

 Riviera officially welcomed Tony Goffoli (Left) to their band. Photo by  Michelle Waters . 

Riviera officially welcomed Tony Goffoli (Left) to their band. Photo by Michelle Waters

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.

 

 Nathan Pipes (Left), one of the original members of the band, is a born entertainer. Photo by  Michelle Waters . 

Nathan Pipes (Left), one of the original members of the band, is a born entertainer. Photo by Michelle Waters

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).

 

 Nathan and Sam (Far Left and Far Right), who were in their school jazz band together before helping to form Riviera, use their jazz influences to create unique beats for their band, now. Photo by  Michelle Waters.

Nathan and Sam (Far Left and Far Right), who were in their school jazz band together before helping to form Riviera, use their jazz influences to create unique beats for their band, now. Photo by Michelle Waters.

 Sam Hartiens keeps the beat going as drummer for Riviera. Photo by  Michelle Waters . 

Sam Hartiens keeps the beat going as drummer for Riviera. Photo by Michelle Waters

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. 

 Mike Higinbotham, lead singer of Riviera, by  Michelle Waters . 

Mike Higinbotham, lead singer of Riviera, by Michelle Waters

 Zac Anderson and Mike Higinbotham of Riviera, by  Michelle Waters.  

Zac Anderson and Mike Higinbotham of Riviera, by Michelle Waters. 

 Zac Anderson and Sam Hartiens of Rivera, by  Michelle Waters .

Zac Anderson and Sam Hartiens of Rivera, by Michelle Waters.

 Nathan Pipes by  Michelle Waters .

Nathan Pipes by Michelle Waters.

 

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."

Check out the fun that is Riviera at the Goal Rush in Fairmont (WV) area, on Saturday, February 11th, before they head North to begin recording their new album. 

Play Rivera's EP, "New Place Like Home", on Spotify.

Buy "New Place Like Home" on Bandcamp.

Find Riviera on Facebook.

 

Riviera is:

Lead and Guitar: Mike Higinbotham

Voice and Bass: Nathan Pipes

Drums: Sam Hartiens

Guitar: Zac Anderson

Voice and Keys/EDM: Tony Goffoli

 

 

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