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ROOTS MANOEUVRES

For the past decade, Rival Sons have been keeping the classic-rock lame burning with riffs, hooks and killer guitars aplenty. Now attached to a major label and with horizons broadened accordingly, guitarist Scott Holiday and frontman Jay Buchanan sat down with us to talk remote cabins, legendary recording studios, and taking a more considered approach on explosive new album, Feral Roots…
Purple reign: vocalist Jay Buchanan and guitarist Scott Holiday kick back following the release of new album, Feral Roots
PORTRAITS ELEANOR JANE

Anyone who tells you that rock is dead clearly hasn’t bumped into Rival Sons recently. Quite aside from the monster riffs and killer hooks the band brings to bear every night on stages across the globe, the mere presence of guitarist Scott Holiday and frontman Jay Buchanan in a room is enough to make you think someone has turned the clock back to a time when rock ‘n’ roll excess was as much about daring threads as wild behaviour.

But as individually tailored as Scott and Jay are for our interview, the pair are here to talk about the business of bringing hard-rocking good times to the masses – and business is good. After four albums on Earache Records, the Long Beach four-piece have become the first rock band to sign to Low Country Sound, the Atlantic-backed imprint of Grammywinning producer Dave Cobb. The first fruits of that relationship can be heard on new long-player, Feral Roots – an LP that feels like a definite step in a new direction from the band’s raw, loose recordings to date.

“I think it offers a couple of things that you’ve never heard from the band before that you probably wanted to hear… I think!” Scott explains of Feral Roots’ sound. “It’s more expansive, but you don’t have to worry about us going to Atlantic and selling our souls and being something crappy. They literally didn’t do anything to bother us while we made it – they let us make the record that we wanted to make, and then they fucking loved it!”

CABIN FEVER

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