Being the first to reach the 100 bookings on Gigstarter is quite an achievement! The honour goes to The Rivals. A coverband consisting of five young men from Maarssen, who slowly conquer the Netherlands. These lovely lads made some time for us to interview them about this milestone. But who exactly are The Rivals? Read on to find out more about this youthful but powerful group of guys!
Who are The Rivals?
The Rivals is a coverband consisting of five young ambitious guys. We've listed them for you so you'll know exactly who's talking when you read this interview! Be sure to keep reading for the secrets of their success and valuable tips.
Formation of The Rivals
The very beginning: how did the band start?
Kevin: "We started as a school band, we were high school friends. Jeffrey is my brother and we were already making music together, we were at the same school as Robin. Our school had a talent night in which we always participated and from that moment we started making music and performing. Since then it all went a little out of hand."
If you can't beat them, join them: how Robin became a part of the band
Kevin: "So we always performed on that talent night and our setting changed a bit all the time, but we always ended up winning second place. This was because one person always won and that was Robin. Then we asked him to join us, you do want to win if you sign up for contest like that."
Did the band changed again over the years?
Jeff: "A lot changed in the beginning, when we just started as a school band. But we've always had the same basis. The school band started around 2013/2015 and Robin joined pretty quickly. From there it has always stayed super steady. Since the corona crisis we added a fifth member, a keyboard player. Because we had nothing to do anyway we thought: 'lets prepare and expand for when we can play again'. So actually we always have a very steady base and that's also the strength of this group."
Is the band name based on something or does it have a meaning?
"Yes!" shouted the gentlemen all at the same time. Kevin elaborated. After a short introduction, Jeff left the room briefly to pick up a sign that read 'Popstars The Rivals'.
Kevin: "We once played on at Queen's day here in the Netherlands, at our place in a park in Maarssen. Then a man arrived and put that sign up in front of us. It said 'Popstars The Rivals'. We saw it and thought: 'oh The Rivals that's actually a funny name' so we sticked to it and continued as The Rivals."
Is it true that there are some family relationships within the band? How do you deal with this?
Robin about his father, the manager: "In general it goes well. We have made clear agreements in advance about financial matters, peripheral matters and for technique and such. If those boundaries are well defined, then he knows exactly what kind of work space he has. So far, it's going really well. You really need all those people around you in order to make real progress.
Jeff about Kevin: "Of course we have an argument now and then, but we're brothers. We have to carry on as partners, even outside the band. We're not going to get rid of each other for a very long while. In general, it all goes very well. In addition to Robin, I think that the great thing about the band is that nobody is dependent on the band. We do it because we like it and if we didn't like it, we wouldn't do it anymore. That also applies for the team around us. I think that's an important value in this band though."
You are all still quite young and have been involved with music since childhood, how do you see the future for you?
Kevin: "Yes, of course the future is very vague at the moment, but in general we just keep going and we really enjoy doing it. It is much too much fun to stop, but we also want to grow again. We are working hard to take our product, our band, to the next level. Then we keep on hoping that there will be concerts again, because that's what this band is all about. We're not a studio band, we're really a live band."
Life outside The Rivals
Robin: "Basically, we all have something on the side. I don't have anything in music, I'm studying Business Management on the side and I'm in my last year."The Rivals promo 2020
Jeff: "Togehter with Kevin I did a music study and founded my own drum school. I teach full-time during the week.
Kevin: "That's right, I'm studying at the conservatory in Rotterdam now. That means I'm involved with music full-time, but this is the first band where I learned how to make music. It's always kind of a nostalgic feeling for me when I play with this band."
What is your favourite memory together as The Rivals?
Jeff: "For me personally, I think the highlight is the tour we usually do in the summer. Then we hire a big bus for two weeks and travel with the whole team and the band to parties on campsites in Germany, Luxembourg and the Ardennes. That is really an adventure, you meet so many new great people and with the whole team you are so close to each other."
Kevin: "That's what it is exactly if you go on the road with a whole band like that. Often we have a bus, or now that we are with too many we need two cars. That atmosphere is absolutely crazy, for instance when you had a gig somewhere in Germany and afterwards you are in your hotel with everybody sharing this incredible experience. Those are the magic moments for me, this bring you close to each other as a group.
Robin: "Yes, and we also had our own show. It is too good not to mention. Our first own show ever was in February before the corona crisis. We had organised our first own show with about 300 tickets, it was completely sold out a few weeks beforehand. That was also an amazing feeling, and it is something that will always be remembered. Then came Corona..."
Will this band ever release their own songs?
Jeff: "We made 1 or 2 own songs in the past. In the end, I think this "cover world" works best for this band. In the end we decided that we were going to focus purely on the commercial covers in our genre. We want to be able to build a big show with this and expand that. We started off with weddings and we are now going back to that because of the corona crisis. Just before the crisis, we saw in our agenda that the shows were getting bigger and bigger, to tent parties, big barn parties, fairs and that is where we want to go. We hope to work towards that in the future, when it is all possible again. We want to make our product so ready that we can do big shows for thousands of sweaty people in a big tent."
Impression of The Rivals
When did you sign up for Gigstarter and why?
Jeff: "I think we were there really early on, as one of the first. One of our grandfathers had seen an article in the newspaper that you had started this. We reacted to the article at the time and immediately signed up, that's how it started."
De first artist with 100 bookings, how is that possible?
Kevin immediately shouts "That must be celebrated" while they throw their arms in the air.
Jeff: "In the beginning, we drove a lot around the province and beyond. We did this to approach music pubs, together with a tablet, PowerPoint and the question of whether we could come and play at their venue. Then Gigstarter came along and pretty quickly we got requests from Deventer and Den Helder, really from all outskirts of the country. We got to know very nice people and some of them we still see at shows or book us regularly, super funny! I think that through Gigstarter, especially for us as young musicians, a whole new world opened up.
Tips from The Rivals
Robin: "I think content is very important and also the look of your photos. That's something that Jeff always corrects us on, the look of the energy in the photos. We may be a party band, but you have to look carefully at what you want to project. We have had some super cool photos in the past, where you can't really see that there is a party going on, but where we were standing around with a guitar in our hands, looking super cool. We thought it was fun, but will you get bookings because of it? We don't think so. It is much more important that you radiate what your goal is. It is better to have blurry pictures where you see a really big party where the beer flies through the air. People will get the feeling that if they book our band, they will really have a great party. Also contact the booker, especially if they still have a hangover from the day before, and send the review request right away. Because especially with a review request, almost all of them respond to it and that's really important."
Any finals last words?
"Book us!" is what Jeff ends the interview with on behalf of the other guys. We want to thank The Rivals very much for their time and especially for the trust they put in Gigstarter. We are proud to have such a great cover band on our platform and wish the guys of The Rivals all the best in the future, on to the next 100 bookings!
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