“Weʼre getttinʼ the band back together” – was that Jake to Elwood or Elwood to Jake? Reunited by fate or always united? They are back, hit the sack, Rival Schools, eight years later, with the follow up to the 2001 Island/Def Jam release United By Fate. This new release, entitled Pedals, is the band’s long awaited sophomore jammy. What were they doing all this time you ask? Practicing!!!! Nay nay nay… Truth be told, there was music played, a little together, mostly with others, there were marriages and spawn, international living situations, crops harvested, things whittled and all that jargon. The “hiatus” was important, like any good breather though, “the time has come”, like that midnight oil tune. Pedals is a potpourri of slaying rockers and feel good jams. Songs like “69 Guns,” “Eyes Wide Open” and “Choose Your Adventure” quickly remind you that these gents can still bring it. Like any good Choose Your Own Adventure book from yesteryear, proceed to paragraph seven if you are completely familiar with who these gents are.
Ian Love – Maniacal guitar wizard, nicknamed in his youth “the prod”, as in prodigy (not the “Fire Starter” but a dude), he was in the famed hardcore band Burn, as well. Mr. Love is the engineer studio key holder to where Pedals was mostly recorded. Ian is both a producer and dog lover, who has released solo records and solo projects, leaving him known sometimes as a soloist… Like Elvis but different.
Walter Schreifels – Creator, brain, landlord of such influential groups as Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand, and CIV. He sat in with many of NYʼs famed hardcore bands of the mid/late 80ʼs, Youth of Today, Warzone, Supertouch, Project X, etc. Schreifels recently released a long awaited solo record, and has been living between Berlin and NYC. Originally hailing from Queens NY, Walter has tried alligator meat, and fancyʼs iced coffee.
Cache Tolman – AKA “Utah Slim”, he is a farmer, pumpkins being the most recent harvest of choice. He was the first father of the four, that is correct, they are all Dads of young ladies. Tolman who currently resides in Salt Lake City, was the bassist in Iceburn. In the early 90ʼs, they were the Mahavishnu Orchestra of the Revelation Records hardcore scene. During the Rival Schools hiatus, Cache was playing with Gavin Rosdale and released an album under the name Institute. He plays a Dan Armstrong clear bass, and is a Leo. Like his fellow band mates, he is a fan of the late 70ʼs classic Time Passages by Al Stewart.
Sam Siegler – A third generation drummer, he came up with Schreifels in the mid 80ʼs NY hardcore scene. From Biscuit to Bizkit, he played in Gorilla Biscuits in 85ʼ but more recently with Limp Bizkit on their release “The Unquestionable Truth Part 1”. Siegler has released records and toured with many bands, Glassjaw, CIV, Nightmare of You, Youth Of Today and Head Automatica to name a few. He filled in one night only with Patti Smith and got to play Madison Square Garden opening for KISS with the group CIV. He and Schreifels were partners in the independent record label Some Records, and down the road he hopes to open a Led Zeppelin themed restaurant called “You Cooked Me”.
Other factoids for the friendly new comer – Please know that the name Rival Schools came from the video game Rival Schools United by Fate. On their first go around they performed with The Breeders, Beastie Boys, Trail of Dead, Black Rebel, and many others as they toured the world and lived the vida loca. On their first “weʼre back” tour in 08′ they came out to the classic tune Baker St. (1977), it got them “pumped”. So thatʼs who they be… onto Pedals and the present.
This record was mainly recorded at guitarist Ian Loves’ studio in Brooklyn, with some additional tracking by Joel Hamilton at studio G. The two of them mixed the record along with Chris Sheldon from the United Kingdom. The band delved into some new territory experimenting with some remixes. Blockhead who works a lot with Aesop Rock, Daryl Palumbo from Head Automatica, Glassjaw, and Ad Rock from the Beasties all contributed remixes which will find there way to listeners in some appropriate manner. There was a sneaker made, thatʼs right Rival Schools kicks, they exist, keep a look out for those.
Do these jerks ever tour you ask???!!! When they reformed in 2008, it was straight to Europe, all self funded and D to the I Y, they did almost a month of festivals and packed headlining shows. Then Australia for Soundwaves, some US dates which included the Fun Fun Fun festival, some CMJ shows, and a lovely evening supporting the Bad Brains in NYC. It was back to Europe in the summer of 2009 where they supported The Deftones and Rise Against, then to Japan. Rival Schools signed with Photo Finish/Atlantic records early in 2010, Pedals is due out March 8th, and the band plans to support it, then break up for eight years again, (thatʼs a joke).
“This record was put together with a greater sense of purpose and band identity,” explained Rival Schoolsʼ singer and guitarist, Walter Schreifels. “Iʼm happy that weʼve been able to come back to it with so much positive energy, with the challenge of making a new record and plotting a new creative course.”