Friday, May 6, 2011

Bands in the Neighborhood: Rival Skies

This latest installment of Bands in the Neighborhood is on Rival Skies, an five-member indie/post-rock band with not one but two members in the neighborhood.

Their next show is this Saturday the 7th opening for Les Savy Fav at the Black Cat. Les Savy Fav put on an awesome show, it should be a lot of fun.

I spoke with guitarist Matt Holland, here's what he had to say:

The band is pretty new, correct? Can you tell me about how it formed and who's in it?
The band itself is pretty new with Libby Dorot [vocals, synth], Hays Holladay [bass], Matt Holland [guitar], Alfonso Bravo [baritone guitar] and Sam Raymond [drums]. Sam and I have been playing in bands for a number of years. Our previous band kinda went on a little hiatus and we ended up writing some really great things with Alfonso. Eventually what we were working on became the primary focus for us, so we searched around for additional members. We found Libby through Craigslist and Hays Holladay is a mutual friend that also happens to be a very very average musician.

What are you going for as a band?
I think we’re just trying to write interesting music while helping to cultivate the DC music scene. There’s a definite resurgence in DC music and we're excited to make our own original contribution. It’s going to be a fun summer. Oh, and money, ca$h, hoe$.

What are your band's influences?
We all listen to a wide range of music. But I think the music itself has been influenced mostly by Portishead, Deerhunter, The Knife and the theme to 28 Days Later. My specific style has been heavily influenced by electronic music - Kiln, Boards of Canada - and Steven Drozd from the Flaming Lips.

How many members live in Columbia Heights? Whereabouts?
Two of us live in Columbia Heights…I live at 13th and Irving & Sam lives at 14th and Otis.

Do you practice in Columbia Heights? Play any gigs in the neighborhood?
We started off practicing in Sam’s basement on Spring Road last June. In January we started sharing a space with U.S. Royalty at Gold Leaf Studios in Chinatown - it’s been one of the best things to happen to us. It’s not just a practice space, but rather an amazing melting pot of musicians and artists. There are some really, really exceptional people there. We have played some house shows in the area (like Fort Awesome - which ruled) - but we should probably take advantage of Bloom Bar.

Working on any records?
We have been writing as much as possible, trying to really hone our sound. An album is definitely in the works but these things just take time and patience. Currently, there are two tracks available for free download on

Any crazy or terrible tour stories?
None come to mind with RS. Sam had his drums peed on after a show in Richmond, Virginia, with our previous band. I never told him this, but it was me.

What’s your take on the music scene in Columbia Heights and in DC?
In the past, DC has been an important music town, but that has gone away in recent years. It’s is becoming a lot younger, more "hip", so I think everyone is reaaaally fiending for a scene that’s worthwhile. If local artists can foster a strong community of people who really care about the quality of the music, this city can return to its former prominence.

And if you had to rename your band for something Columbia Heights-related, what would it be?
Distrito and The Federales.

1 comment:

Black Milk said...

This band is amazing live! Sex is the only word for the lead singer, simply sex. Her stage movements and voice. SEX.