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Interview:
Rival Sons at the Fillmore, 3 Things to Know
 

by Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Rival Sons has started its second decade in strong fashion.



The California-based hard rock quartet put out its first album, "Before the Fire," in 2009. In January the troupe released its sixth studio sets, "Feral Roots," which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and No. 6 on the Hard Rock Albums survey, while "Do Your Worst" was a No. 1 hit at Mainstream Rock radio. Recorded at historic studios in Nashville and Alabama, it finds the group working with regular producer Dave Cobb, though it's its first under a new distribution deal with Atlantic Records.



During its tenure Rival Sons opened for Black Sabbath's The End farewell tour and has also supported the likes of Sammy Hagar and Deep Purple. But the group is set on building its own legend, with a, well, feral attitude that well suits the aggressive attack of its music...



Between Rival Sons albums, frontman Jay Buchanan, who hails from rural southern California, moved his family to a wooded part of Franklin, Tenn., south of Nashville, which he says contributed a great deal to what the "Feral Roots" album became. "Moving out here really informed so much of my writing. I grew up in the woods...and growing up that way really doesn't leave you. You don't get used to the stop lights and you don't get used to the traffic and all the stimuli of the city. That wilderness and that silence is something that you carry with you. So the return to the country and the return to the wilderness was a real cathartic sort of homecoming for me, even though this is the Tennessee woods and I grew up in the southern California woods and mountains."



"Feral Roots" was delayed somewhat by Rival Sons' Black Sabbath tour, which lasted nearly the entirety of 2015. "We had to starve a lot of our audience, but if Black Sabbath knocks on the door and says they want you to be the opening band for their final tour, then yes, of course. That tour really gave us an education and an opportunity, and the return on your investment and seeing what that exposure is going to return to you remains to be seen. I don't think we're really going to see the full effects of that for a couple of years; It'll be a slow drip, but it was a great time and we have no regrets at all."



Buchanan says that Rival Sons combined those lessons with others it's learned during the past 10 years in making "Feral Roots." "Every time you get in there to make a record you're doing a different version of the same thing. With this record we're the same jerks with new works, I guess. We're trying to approach it in a new way and trying to reach out further. With this record we gave ourselves more time to do the writing because typically we just get in there for two weeks or whatever and write on the floor and just bang it out. But this time we gave ourselves more time and more room for introspection. I think that really helped us push the songs further than we have before."



Rival Sons and the Sheepdogs perform Tuesday, April 23, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors at 7 p.m. $38 and $35. 313-961-5441 or thefilllmoredetroit.com.

Web Site: www.thefillmoredetroit.com

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