Artist Spotlight: Silent Rival
"Die a Little" by Indie band Silent Rival is an infectious track that's very likely providing shoppers across the country with a driving and energizing soundtrack. The Los Angeles-based band is made up of vocalist Sara Coda, guitarist Joz Ramirez, bass player Yutaka Sao, and drummer Brock Bowers; a group of solid musicians with grounded perspectives on life.
Your album, “The Kindness of Strangers” and the song, “Take it From Me” has an interesting back-story. Explain what happened and how this incident changed your perspective on life.
A friend took me to a Nico Vega show and we were back stage and Aja complimented me on my coat. And I was maybe under the influence or I had zoned out and I just took it off and gave it to her. It was weird. She was just complimenting me on the aesthetics of it but I had had it so long that I didn’t even see it clearly anymore. The coat held all these grotesque memories of past trauma and I just wanted to be rid of it. The song is about this actual coat, actually giving it to Aja, and reflecting on that and interpreting it as a symbolic gesture that I was done with my past and ready to look toward the future. That night I ran home in the rain wearing just a t-shirt and jeans.
Your current single “Die a Little” is getting in-store play across the country. What’s the message you’d like listeners to take away from this track?
Well, I used to be a very fearful person who lived a very small life, and I thought that living a small life would mean small problems, but that wasn’t true for me. Problems are going to be problems. The end. There’s no way around it. You can’t defy physics like that. So I ended up trading those problems in for problems that were worth my anxiety. I hope people hear the song and are inspired to live a big bold life, whatever that means to them, and I hope they gratefully accept all the responsibility that comes with that. It’s a badge of honor.
What was it like working with producer Matt Wallace (Maroon 5, Sugarcult, Andy Grammer & Faith No More)?
We get asked this question a lot and it is getting harder to find new ways to say, “It was magical.” But I really don’t know how else to describe it. He rode in on a unicorn and sprinkled glitter and confetti and I woke up from a daze and there was an album. I remember having fun, I remember it was trying and very challenging and we had to step it up as human beings, but the end result was so much more special than all of that. He’s incredible.
Your band mates’ musical styles differ, yet you have a strong cohesiveness. What brings you together?
I like this question! For one thing, whatever our musical tastes, we all really like and gravitate toward traditional old-school pop//blues/rock song-writing structure. Within that structure we play around, with melodies, performance, production, or lyrics, but we don’t often play around with the structure itself. On a less technical level, we’re all very passionate and we have a lot of belief in each others’ internal compass. So when we’re discussing a song that we’re working on, usually whoever has the most conviction on a solution or a direction, that person leads. For example, Joz and I don’t see eye to eye when it comes to octaves. I think they dilute the lead melody, but he really likes them because of his T. Rex influence. It’s funny. There’s a really obvious octave in the bridge of “I Quit the War.” The song is about surrendering in a conflict for the greater good, and I literally surrendered on the issue of octaves in the song thats about surrendering. That octave is a special one though.
If money were no object, what act of kindness would you perform and to whom?
We’d really like to see music education be available to all children. And for children who are really serious or passionate about music to have great mentors. In our opinion, while not as necessary as food and water, it nourishes lives on a very similar level.
Finally, a shameless plug. What would you like our readers to know about you?
That we love being fortunate enough to share our music with anyone that will listen. Music has changed our lives, and just maybe we have changed yours. That's a fun thought.