When it comes to modern bands who are carrying the classic rock torch of the ’60s and ‘70s,Rival Sons from Long Beach, California, are in rarified air.
The quartet of frontman Jay Buchanan, guitarist Scott Holiday, bassist Mike Miley and drummer Dave Beste have garnered acclaim for their emphatic live performances. Their seventh album “Darkfighter”, which is due out June 2 via both Low Country Sound and Atlantic Records, also has a ton of anticipationbehind its release.
May 31 at The Palladium, 261 Main St., folks will be able to get a preview of what to expect from the upcoming full-length when Rival Sons roll on through as part of their tour in support of it. It’s highly recommended to show up right when the doors open at 6 p.m. because The Los Angeles Rockers, The Record Company and Starcrawler will be rounding out the bill and they shouldn’t be missed out on either.As with a lot of records that have come out over the past couple of years, the COVID-19pandemic was a catalyst in the creation of “Darkfighter.” In similar fashion to their previousreleases, both Buchanan and Holiday wanted to go in a different direction while working on thealbum.“It’s really interesting the way everything came about,” Buchanan says about the songwritingand recording process. “When we were forced into lockdown back in March of 2020, nobodyhad any idea what was going to be happening. For us, we were looking at it as we had this tourcoming up, but it was looking like it wasn’t going to happen so we were going to have to cancelit. Then it became that the following tour was going to be canceled too, so we found ourselves ina situation where we were trying to figure out what the hell to do. We then started working onthis record and in terms of a vision, I think that Scott and I, while writing and working remotely,were looking to change course.“We both had an appetite to switch up the way that we were approaching the songwriting andwe tend to do that with each record,” he adds. “Before too long, we realized that we wereactually going to dump out the entire junk drawer and rebuild, just rebuild the way that we werewriting songs. We didn’t set out to make two albums in the way that we have Darkfighter comingup soon followed by Lightbringer in October. It wasn’t our intention to make this a two-albumaffair. It just ended up that way through osmosis.”When it comes to both albums, they both share a connection in terms of storytelling while beingdifferent in how the music is conveyed. They’re both bound to different in effect on whoever islistening to the tracks.“I really see ‘Lightbringer’ as a continuation of the story that we have on ‘Darkfighter,’”Buchanan describes of both albums. “On ‘Darkfighter’, if there is a protagonist there, what youhave is a journey with somebody who is not willing to give up. You have somebody who is,through all of these emotions from song to song, definitely giving a sense of keeping the wolf onthe other side of the door. Making sure that self-preservation is very much intact and not lettingthat darkness in. With ‘Lightbringer’, it’s not that it’s a happy-go-lucky album. It’s still very heavyand it’s very heavy in its subject matter in a similar way that ‘Darkfighter’ is.“It begins in a very, very different way and it also leaves you in a very, very different way,” headds. “It’s almost the antithesis of the way ‘Darkfighter’ leaves you.”Back on April 5, Rival Sons released a music video for the track “Bird In The Hand”, which isthe third in a trilogy following videos for “Rapture” and “Nobody Wants To Die”. The recent onewas shot in black and white with stacks of cash being thrown around, a lot of drinking and atwist at the end with Buchanan driving off dressed as a preacher.“With these videos, this is a medium that we don’t have a ton of experience in,” he mentionsabout music videos. “Scott and I will have these ideas for these videos and we’ll try to puttogether a treatment. In that video, we had the idea of showing the gang and the preacher justcoming back from a heist because during the previous two videos, you see the gang trying toget at the preacher so this video is kind of a prequel to that. We don’t have a lot of experiencewhen it comes to video production and all of that, so this was a very quick education for us.We’re in that fun area where we keep breaking a bunch of rules because we don’t know anybetter, so it’s still very fresh for us as well.“The idea to keep it in black and white came from us wanting that video to have its own spaceapart from the previous two videos,” Buchanan adds. “We just wanted it to have its own vibe.”For the upcoming show, people can expect to hear “Darkfighter” played from start to finish withall the songs in between. The band also plans on playing some of their hits as well, so fans willget the full gamut of their catalog.“What we tend to do when we put out a new record is that we’ll just play the entire thing,”Buchanan says about what Rival Sons have planned. “We’ll play every song and then we’llfollow up with some of our greatest hits, that sort of thing. It’s important to us to play this newalbum because this is our current identity. With ‘Darkfighter’ coming out, this is the only timethat’s appropriate to play all of these songs. It wouldn’t make sense if we tried to do it next year,but this is our new material, this is who we are at this moment so it works best if we justembrace that.”