Interview | Rival Sons – Track by Track

New album `Darkfighter’

Two times Grammy nominated band Rival Sons will release its’ anxiously awaited new full-length album `Darkfighter’ on June 2, 2023. The album is available for pre-order and pre-sale. Additionally, Rival Sons have unlocked the pre-order for the limited-edition vinyl of `Darkfighter’also arriving worldwide on June 2nd. The album will later this year be followed by another full length titled `Lightbringer’, which contains songs of the same recording sessions. So, double the fun this year for fans of Rival Sons!

HeadBangers LifeStyle’s Stan Novak recently spoke to singer Jay Buchanan who was more than willing to give a personal comment to the eight songs that feature on `Darkfighter’. In a back-and-forth game they share their thoughts.  


A ceremonial intro followed by a vintage Rival Sons groove, a beautiful acoustic breakdown and intense, heartfelt vocal lines. This song has it all.
,,Well, I don’t have much to add to that. The song is about re-surfacing after having lost your identity. It is a very introspective piece. You look in the mirror, but what do you actually see?”


A highly energetic garage rocker with a monster chorus that should do very well live. A real barn burner of a song.
,,That one has proven to be a real live song. It absolutely goes down like cake. The video we shot for it was a lot of fun to do. Scott and I wrote the storyline and created the storyboards ourselves. Of course, we are not actors but we made the best of it. It’s a bit over the top but it all looks very cool.”


This song takes me back to the times of the innocent sixties swing of pioneers like The Beatles and The Kinks.
,,I can absolutely agree on that so no argue from my end. Who doesn’t like those bands? The groove is based on a regular blues stomp, similar to that one in Albert King’s ,,The Hunter’’. Lyrically, however, it is completely stand-alone from the blues spectrum. We also shot a video of this one, which again brought us a lot of pleasure.”


A melancholic piece with a beautiful arrangement. I’m a big fan of the alt country by of The Jayhawks and I think they could do magic with that catchy chorus and turn it into something very harmonious.
,,I think that’s an interesting observation. It is indeed a chorus that invites you to sing along. But more than anything it is a song of hope; you see redemption coming your way but it is not there yet. There’s something beautiful is on the horizon though. That kind of thought”


With its enchanting melodies and sublime vocals this is one of my personal highlights of the album.
,,Definitely one of my favorite songs also. This one is also very personal. It’s about reinventing yourself; leave your old self behind and becoming a new person. I see myself as a snake that sheds its’ skin every once and a while. I have been through a lot personally and emotionally. My life is an emotional rollercoaster where I have had to deal with numbers of things. All these experiences kinda transformed me into this new person.”


A heavy and groovy blues piece, brings across vibes of good versus the evil. It could lead to some interesting jams live.
,,Definitely a heavy song. ,,Guillotine” is a heavy, heavy song. We are already looking forward to playing it live soon.”


Due to its cinematic nature and spiritual vibes it kinda remind me of the soundtrack of a spaghetti western. It also has a certain desert rock feel.
,,I recognize the sentiment you mention. I wrote that song after having moved my family from the west coast to Tennessee. We had a new baby in our midst which made it a long, hard journey. I was tired, exhausted, and searching but had no place to retreat. There was no time to look back however, the only thing to do was persist. Don’t whine Jay; you have to move forward. When I heard rain tapping on the roof of our new home it all came to me. I secluded myself in the bathroom and wrote the lyrics and the chorus. I sang it very softly so that I could still hear the rain.”


A pitch-black and heavy fuzzed blues lullaby.
,,I lost my best childhood friend. His name was Ryan and he was always very reliable and kind hearted. We raised our families together. Four years ago, he called me completely out of the blue to inform me that he had become addicted to painkillers during recovering of an accident. In order to continue functioning and support his family, he kept taking them until he became distraught. We then put him in rehab but it didn’t help him. He just couldn’t resist the temptation and things went from bad to worse. He became heavily addicted to various drugs and ultimately lost his family and wife. I lost him too. He deceased. That’s what ,,Darkside’’ is about. Once an addict chooses the dark side, there is very little you can do. Unfortunately, it is a very common thing in America.”

All photos by Pamela Littky



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