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Rival Sons is an American rock band from Long Beach, California. Formed in 2009, they have released six albums and one EP. They originate from the remnants of a previous band of guitarist Scott Holiday.[1] The band is known for extensive touring and their notable album release Pressure & Time. They are signed to Low Country Sound, an imprint of Elektra run by Dave Cobb.[2][3]

Rival Sons
Rival Sons Vienna.jpg
Background information
OriginLong Beach, California
United States
Years active2009 (2009)–present
Associated actsDave Cobb
Vance Powell
Veruca Salt
Past membersRobin Everhart


Early historyEdit

Rival Sons formed in Long Beach where Jay Buchanan and Michael Miley lived. Prior to the formation of Rival Sons, Jay Buchanan recorded as a solo artist and with his Buchanan band. He independently released All Understood in 2004 and True Love EP in 2006. Scott Holiday had been active in many bands including Human Lab who were signed to Atlantic Records which he then subsequently left and formed a band called Black Summer Crush.

In 2006 Holiday came across Buchanan while searching on MySpace for a singer. Drummer Michael Miley had previously worked with Jay (as well as having been in Veruca Salt and the Carson Daly TV show band) and he had met bassist Robin Everhart playing at a benefit concert at Isaac Hayes house for Hurricane Katrina in Long Beach. The union of these four, Holiday, Buchanan, Everhart and Miley led to the formation of Rival Sons.

Rival Sons was the first rock band Jay had performed with so he initially was skeptical and made it a side project.[citation needed] Yet Jay was impressed by the reaction and success[citation needed] the new band received with their debut album Before the Fire (2009) and committed full-time. Jack Rivera of the Huffington Post declared them “A rock band to watch.” in November, 2009.[4] The band, following up with this new found acclaim, then was invited to perform as a supporting act for AC/DC, Alice Cooper and Kid Rock shows.[5] During this time, Rival Sons also performed on the race track during a televised show of The Indianapolis 500.[6]


2009–2012: Pressure & TimeEdit

After the successful release of Before the Fire, the band recorded a self-titled EP (independently released) in 2010, which caught the attention of Earache Records founder Digby Pearson and the band was subsequently offered a record deal in November, 2010. This signing immediately led to the band recording their notable album Pressure & Time on the Earache label in early 2011.

Their self-titled EP was re-released digitally by Earache Records in February, 2011, from which their debut European single, “Torture” was taken.[7]

In March, 2011 a string of shows at Canadian Music Week, SXSW and the House of Blues were announced.[8]

Rival Sons played at the Gene Simmons' “Aces & Angels” Super Bowl party February 2, 2011[9] before making their European debut appearance at Camden Barfly on February 12, 2011 for the HMV Next Big Thing. The band Vintage Trouble supported their act and the show sold out in advance,[10] which started a nearly unbroken string of European sell-out shows.[11]

Rival Sons released their second LP album in June 2011 called Pressure & Time, which reached number one on Amazon's Hard Rock best sellers and nineteen on the Billboard Hot 100.[12][13]

Storm Thorgerson who had worked with bands such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Genesis, created the cover art for the album voluntarily.[14][15] Storm liked Rival Sons, saying about the cover art;

"I don't think you can be certain what's going on here. To me it's a picture about fear or concern. Here's someone about to descend and doesn't know what they'll face, or where this might lead. So, in his mind he's imagining the action. That's what you see, into his mind, as he focuses on what's about to happen.

When he gets to the bottom of the stairs, where does he go? Turn left, right or straight ahead, anything's possible. And I hope this cover will have fans of the band intrigued for a long while. To me, the cover should be part of the album, and not just packaging.”

- Storm Thorgerson (2011)

Rival Sons played a string of Canadian dates in May 2011, as well as SXSW, Hangout festival and The Viper Room, before returning to Europe to play a series of European festivals such as Azkena, Sonisphere, Rock Werchter, Main Square, Putte Parken, and Bospop in July 2011. Then the band joined Judas Priest, Queensrÿche and Lady Starlight on tour in the UK.[16]

Rival Sons' track "Torture" was featured in the film Real Steel in October 2011[17] and the band supported Evanescence by personal request of Amy Lee in the USA in October, 2011, who they would play with again in January, 2012.[18] While Rival Sons continued to extensively tour, in 2012 they were featured on the Harald Schmidt Show as well as playing an acoustic set at the annual Classic Rock awards located at the Roundhouse in London. They were also voted ‘Best New Band’ by listeners of Planet Rock Radio. In mid 2012, Pressure & Time was voted number two album of the year and the band named “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” by Classic Rock Magazine.[19]


In February 2012 the band went into Honey Pye studios in Nashville, Tennessee for twenty days to record their third full-length LP album Head Down with Dave Cobb and this time award-winning engineer Vance Powell (Jack White, The Raconteurs).[20]

During this time, the album Pressure & Time was reissued as a deluxe edition from which the last single “Face of Light” was taken. A video for the single was filmed in the UK’s peak district.[21] The band then embarked on US and Canadian shows including Rock on the Range and Big Music Fest before a string of European summer festivals including Rock Am Ring, Sweden Rock, Ruisrock, Bukta, Graspop and Download. The band again also played European shows with Evanescence and Eagles of Death Metal as well as Black Stone Cherry.[22]

Rival Sons third LP album Head Down was released in September, 2012 to critical acclaim.[23][24] The album charted at number 31 in the UK album chart, number 5 in the UK indie chart, number 6 in Sweden, number 13 in Finland, number 14 in Norway, number 30 in Switzerland and number 38 in Germany. The debut single “Keep On Swinging” started a trend on Twitter, and the video was filmed in a church with snakes. The band then went on to complete another sold out European tour and were featured on the cover of Classic Rock Magazine. They also the ‘Breakthrough artist’ award presented by Vic Reeves.[25]

In January, 2013 the band released a second single from Head Down with a video for Until The Sun Comes directed by Simon Gesrel, known for his stop-motion work and his work with Michel Gondry (The White Stripes, Björk).[26]

In March, 2013 the band recorded for Billboard The Beat and appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live. On March 7, 2013 Rival Sons left on a tour of Europe supported by The Balconies. In April they toured the UK supported by The Graveltones and Ulysses culminating in a sold out show at Shepherds Bush Empire. Rival Sons also played a station session in St. Pancras, London for the second time to raise money for NSPCC.

Rival Sons did a small mid-west USA tour in May before returning to Europe in June to play more summer festivals including Download, Kivenlahti Rock, Bergenfest, Bravalla, Main Square and Open Air St. Gallen. The band also supported Kiss in Italy and Switzerland.

In September 2013 Rival Sons supported Sammy Hagar across the US then played Hard Rock Vegas in December and started the New Year by headlining a street party in their hometown of Long Beach.

In January, 2014 Rival Sons returned to the studio in Nashville with Dave Cobb to produce their fourth full-length LP album. Amidst great anticipation of their fan base, the critically acclaimed Great Western Valkyrie was released in June, 2014. Even before the new album’s release Rival Sons began their 2014 European Tour opening for Aerosmith in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden. The summer tour continued through Europe with club and festival dates in Germany at Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park, then onto four sold out shows in the United Kingdom and the legendary Isle of Wight Festival.

They traveled back across the Atlantic to begin the USA 2014 summer tour with a sold out show at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville, TN. The US tour included several festivals and two sold out back to back dates in New York City. Rival Sons travelled back and forth between US and Canadian dates mid summer, before heading back to Northern Europe for four large festivals, ending the summer with a trip to South Africa to play the Oppikopi Festival.

After a rest Rival Sons began the second leg of the US tour playing dates in California including The Fillmore in San Francisco and a sold out show at the legendary The Troubadour. More Fall 2014 US Tour dates included shows in Arizona, Nebraska, Nevada, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland & New Jersey.

Rival Sons has had several live television performances in 2014, the first on Le Grand Journal (Canal+) then in October Late Night with David Letterman and Later… with Jools Holland. They performed live at the 2014 Classic Rock Magazine Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards. In late 2014 Rival Sons fourth LP album Great Western Valkyrie was released. It was nominated for “Album of the Year” in 2014 by Classic Rock Magazine.

In October 2015 they recorded their fifth LP album Hollow Bones, again with music producer Dave Cobb, in just three weeks. Rival Sons toured the United Kingdom from March to April, 2015 as well as played the main stage at Download Festival in 2016. Their LP album Hollow Bones was officially released July 2016.

After the recording they toured with Deep Purple in their 2016 European tour. Throughout 2016 and into early 2017 they toured as main supporting act on the entirety of Black Sabbath’s notable The End Tour.[27]

On February 27, 2018 it was officially announced that Rival Sons had signed on with Low Country Sound an imprint of Elektra run by Dave Cobb.[28]

Creative processEdit

"No one tells us how long to go into the studio for or how many songs to record, everybody understands how we do business.

It's a blessing that we can get in and get out of there. It plagues a project if you spend too long in the studio. Idle hands are the devil's workshop." - Scott Holiday

Rival Sons try to record and release an album per year and believe writing and recording all material together in a studio within a month leads to a more fruitful creation. The live recording process they use is considered a key to their specific sound. guitarist Scott Holiday referred to it as bringing the "danger" back to rock and roll.[29]

The band has a long, friendly and professional relationship with acclaimed music producer Dave Cobb. Cobb has worked on most of the band's album releases.

Band membersEdit




Studio albumsEdit

Year Album details Chart peak


Hard Rock


2009 Before the Fire
  • Released: June 9, 2009
  • Label: self-released
2011 Pressure & Time
  • Released: June 28, 2011
  • Label: Earache
19 89 34 52 33 129
2012 Head Down
  • Released: September 17, 2012
  • Label: Earache
32 68 60 13 107 28 79 14 6 30 31
2014 Great Western Valkyrie
  • Released: June 6, 2014
  • Label: Earache
125 1 38 41 62 3 60 24 55 5 10 12 14
2016 Hollow Bones
  • Release: June 10, 2016
  • Label: Earache
115 1 13 2 24 49 6 54 12 67 6 7 8 13
2019 Feral Roots 139 1 22 6 16 37 43
46 8 79 4 4 7 12


Year Title Details
2010 Rival Sons
  • Released: June 20, 2010
  • Label: Earache


Year Song Chart peak Album





2011 "Soul" Rival Sons
"Pressure and Time" 48 4 Pressure & Time
"All Over the Road"
2012 "Face of Light" 20
"Company Man/Life for This Road"
"Keep On Swinging" 34 1 Head Down
"Until the Sun Comes" 5
2013 "Wild Animal"
"You Want To"
"Manifest Destiny Pt. 1 (Live)" Non-album single
2014 "Electric Man" Great Western Valkyrie
"Open My Eyes" 1
"Good Things"
2015 "Black Coffee" Hollow Bones
2016 "All That I Want"
"Thundering Voices"
"Tied Up"
2018 "Do Your Worst" 15 1 35 1 Feral Roots
2019 "Too Bad" 36 13
"Sugar on the Bone"
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Music videosEdit

Year Song Director Ref.
2010 "Get What's Coming" [52]
2011 "Pressure and Time" Greg Ephraim [53]
"All Over The Road" [54]
2012 "Face of Light" Dan Ruttley [55]
"Keep On Swinging" Greg Ephraim [56]
"Until the Sun Comes" Simon Gesrel [57]
2014 "Open My Eyes" Greg Ephraim [58]
2015 "Electric Man" Markus Rutledge [59]
2018 "Do Your Worst" Andy Garza [60]
2019 "Too Bad" Jordan Bellamy [61]
"Sugar On The Bone" Patrik Skoglöw [62]


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  3. ^ "An Outsider Remakes Nashville's Traditional Sound". Retrieved 2014-05-24.
  4. ^ "Rock Band to Watch: Rival Sons | Jeff Rivera". 2010-03-18. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  5. ^ New Signings
  6. ^ "Rival Sons To Rock Indy 500". Rock Choice. 2010-08-10. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
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  9. ^ "Earache News: Rival Sons To Perform At Super Bowl Week Kick Off Event". 2011-01-31. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
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  16. ^ "Judas Priest / Queensryche / Rival Sons Live | Features | Clash Magazine". 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
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  19. ^ "Rival Sons Interview". Classic Rock Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  20. ^ "Vance Powell, GRAMMY® Winner for Best Engineered Album - Blog - Universal Audio". Retrieved 2016-01-20.
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  62. ^ "Rival Sons - Sugar On The Bone (Official Video)". YouTube. Retrieved 21 June 2019.

External linksEdit