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Artist Spotlight - RIVER

(Photo Credit - Florian Bison)

We've got an interview with California-bred indie rock group RIVER! Check out what they had to say in this feature!

1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?

Aljoscha: "There was always music in my home. The piano in my mom's room was like some magic machine and I started improvising on it quite early. I wasn’t a fan of music theory though and didn’t wanna be taught how music was “working”. I was very protective with my own way of approaching it and it took time until I really dove into it. When I started playing the guitar in my early teens, the fascination really took off. I played in bands, learned how to record and produce music and to write for an orchestra. When I moved to LA, to write music for film, I met Chris, who had a similar understanding of music."

2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?

"Usually we start sketching out ideas on our own. Sometimes it’s easier to let a thought grow before you present it to one another. The interesting part is, when the other one takes over. The perspective changes, the song gets chopped up, instruments replaced and a ballad turns into a dance track. That’s the beautiful thing about a collaboration."

3. What artists have inspired you in your career?

Aljoscha: "There are so many. If I had to pick one it would be Radiohead. This is such a great example of a band, that is constantly evolving without losing it's own voice. Ok Computer, Kid A, In Rainbows, these albums have colored my youth. They were soundtrack of my relationships, my first steps with sex and drugs, loneliness and adventure. And as I'm getting older and Radiohead as well, they don't fail to surprise me. Their latest album A Moon Shaped Pool still sounds fresh and new and accompanied me in my late 20s.

Chris: "My inspiration came from many completely different artists: The Red Chilli Peppers, Tracy Chapman, Nas, The Police, Daft Punk, The Fugees, they all had something unique that triggered me. In my teenage hay days as a paperboy I used to excessively listen to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Something about her whole being really got me. Maybe the combination of soul, pain and swag in her voice..

4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?

"We really connect to instruments or gear, if they have a story. We used an old pipe organ from Chris’ grandma for our song Brother. For Someday we used a guitar made from an old oil can, Aljoscha bought in South Africa. A Fender Strat and a MakeNoise modular synth that our mentor in LA gave to us as a farewell present are also used on the album."

5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?

"We´re really excited to get on stage and play live shows next year. So far we had to dance alone to our music in our studio. Perfect setting would be sundown at a festival, flowing with a sweaty happy crowd."

6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?

"That it’s honest and that it can lift you up when you’re having a hard time."

7. What’s next for you?

We’re going to South America at the beginning of next year. Columbia, Mexico and then back to LA where it all started. Traveling is a great source of inspiration for us to write new music. So if you notice some Cabasas and Maracas in our upcoming songs, that’s why. We also might shoot some footage for our last single Someday over there and can’t wait to share our album with you in February.

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