Hey Adam.How are you nowadays?How is life going on for Rivers of Nihil?
Adam Briggs: I’m doing just fine. Been home a lot recently as we await the
release of the new record and get set to hit the road again.
You as a band broke some generic metal rules with new elements and different
songwriting in your first album.How do you define your style?Is it death metal ,progressive
or something else for you?
I guess I would call it progressive death metal if I had to choose. That genre
title has a lot of baggage nowadays though, like most of them do. I try to avoid
classification when I can, but it seems to follow you around no matter what you
do. But to sum it up, our tastes as a group are very broad, so a lot of that
seeps into what we do, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We try not to
limit ourselves by putting a cap on the kind of band we are.
How do you feel about your new full lenght ‘Where Owls Know My Name’ that you
have just released?How are the reactions from the fans and press?
It was a challenge to make for sure, but I think it was for the best that it
was that way. We didn’t want to repeat anything we had done before. That put us
in some uncomfortable creative places. So far the reactions have been
overwhelmingly positive, but honestly I don’t really care if everyone in the
world hated it, I know it’s something we all put our full creative minds to, and
that it allowed us to explore our potential.
How did you start the band?Can you tell us the first EP days when you started
to be known around?What were your main reasons to start RON?
Initially the band was formed by our original rhythm guitarist, drummer, and
our vocalist, Jake. They played maybe one or two shows as a three piece. Brody
and I were in another band at the time that was sort of starting to run it’s
course. I played bass on the original Rivers of Nihil demo as a favor to the
guys and was sort of contemplating making the move over. A little while later,
Brody and I talked about it and we just sort of made it happen. Everyone in the
band then was super talented and really focused on making something special.
Brody and I brought a lot of motivation to the band I think. We cared about
things like touring and putting out quality sounding music and having merch,
things of that sort. Overall I guess the original reason for doing this band was
to show everyone in our immediate scene what we were capable of and seeing how
far we could take it. Nothing too unusual about that I suppose.
What do you think nowadays USA’s metal scene?Is it competetive for you? What
about the metal scene of Pennsylvania ?
It’s competitive for everyone. We have a lot of amazing friends in super
awesome bands that do big tours and really push their work, and I’m always very
proud and supportive of the other bands in our scene but at the same time we
really are competing for the attention of an audience with a limited attention
span when it comes to new music. As far as the PA scene is concerned, there are
a number of standout bands that are really making waves. Bands like August Burns
Red and Code Orange are getting Grammy Nominations for fucks sake. Not to
mention bands like Full of Hell, Alustrium and Black Crown Initiate doing major
things and putting out fantastic records. Really very proud of our state when it
comes to heavy music.
How did you start to work with Metal Blade?
It’s funny, our initial contact with MB feels like kind of a blur. We were
unsigned for a good long while before any label would even think about touching
us. Thankfully, Erik Rutan of Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal, and Mana Studios fame
just so happened to come across us on MySpace way back in 2010. He was super
supportive and really stuck his neck out to show us to labels he thought would
fit well. It took some time but eventually Metal Blade was the one who saw our
potential I guess. We have a great relationship with the label and consider them
friends, you’ll definitely be seeing Rivers releases through MB for the
RON hit the road with Cryptopsy under the name of Devastation On Nation Tour 9
months ago.How was it for you?Do you have any tour or gigs ahead? We had a great time on that tour, got to play with some of our favorite bands
every night like Cryptopsy and Decrepit Birth, and hang with our friends in The
Zenith Passage, The Kennedy Veil and all the other people on the tour. We have a
full US tour coming up next month with Dying Fetus, Thy Art is Murder,
Enterprise Earth and Sanction. Should be a hell of a time.
Have you ever toured in Europe?What do you think about European metal scene? Yeah we did a sweet little run last year with Obscura, Revocation, and Beyond
Creation which was amazing. The metal scene in Europe is fantastic, you can tell
the fans there really have a lot of respect for the bands. We were the first
band of four on that tour and we played to full rooms almost every night,
something which is pretty rare in the US.
What are your fave metal bands which made you play extreme metal music from
very begining to present? I first became interested in heavy music when I was in junior high or so. Bands
like Korn, System of a Down, Slipknot, and Marilyn Manson were still very
popular for the genre so I gravitated heavily toward that scene for a while.
Later, a friend turned me on to some Cannibal Corpse and some Morbid Angel
records. There was also a period of time where I was really into hardcore. So
it’s all mixed around in my brain somewhere. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly if
there’s one band or even several that really pushed me to want to play this kind
of music.As a band you have a unique concept of sound.What things do you focus on
songwriting while you write your songs? Our first priority is to make sure the song we’re writing is actually a SONG,
and not just a collection of riffs smashed together. A lot of bands in this
genre tend to focus on complexity in just about everything they do. Whether it’s
complex riffs, timings or song structures. I tend to enjoy a more simplistic
approach. Taking elements of things that we like about extreme metal and putting
them into a somewhat more listener friendly context. I think the goal for us is
often to write songs that people will want to listen to more than once.
Everything else is sort of secondary.
What are your lyrical concepts for RON?By the way,do you have any links between
lyrics and artworks?Can you give some information your artworks? Our full length records are based on a seasonal concept, each record is it’s
own season, and it’s own narrative. But there are connections between records,
some characters pop back up, some themes are revisited.
As far as artwork goes, we’ve been lucky enough to have the legendary Dan
Seagrave put his brush to work for us. I don’t like to direct him TOO throughly
when we’re talking about art, he’s a real pro, he knows what looks good. I give
him a general idea what the record is about and what themes we’re dealing with
and then I sort of let him vibe with the song titles and the lyrics as he sees
Well,this is my last question.What are your plans for future?Tell us the last
words to our readers. The plan is to put out this record and tour like hell anywhere we can to bring
to the fans in a live setting. So we’ll see you soon!