After the demise of Quicksand, musician Walter Schreifels joined some of his other hardcore buddies as Rival Schools and released the spectacular and under-appreciated United By Fate, which unfortunately was the band’s last official release. However, after several reunion shows in 2009, rumors persisted that the band plans a summer 2010 release for its follow-up. I recently asked Schreifels about it, and he confirmed that Rival Schools will release a new album this summer. He also plans a May 4th release for his solo album, Open Letter To The Scene.
Houston Calling: Are you looking forward to playing at this year’s SXSW? What’s your favorite thing about playing during SXSW?
Walter Schreifels: I am, It’s a great time to see friends from around the country/world that you wouldn’t see all in one place too often. I also like being in Austin, I have good friends there and I expect that I’ll see some great shows too.
HC: I am sure you get this a lot, but I am curious about the length of time for a follow-up to United By Fate? I know you do some solo gigs in New York quite a bit. Do you have any plans to release a second Rival Schools album?
WS: I can’t say there’s any one reason that we’ve held off on the follow up to United By Fate but there will be a follow up this summer. We’ll be playing new songs in Austin along with the old hits. Also, I have a solo album coming out on May 4 called Open Letter To The Scene, so it will be a busy year for me.
HC: Are there any bands you’re looking forward to seeing at SXSW this year?
WS: I haven’t checked into who’s playing yet outside of the shows we’re playing but I’m sure I’ll make my way into at least a few shows. I’m interested in Andrew WK and Fucked Up.
HC: Will you be performing any new material? Any plan for some Quicksand covers?
WS: We’ll be performing new material but we don’t have any Quicksand covers planned, though I do “Thorn In My Side” and sometimes “Delusional” my solo sets.
HC: In retrospect, how do you view the 90s (music-wise) and your contribution to it?
WS: Like any decade the 90s had its moments and great bands. I’m proud of the records I made in the 90s, I only wish I had made more. I guess that’s what’s good about now, you can make as many records as you like, they’re cheaper to make and easier to distribute.
HC: How has digital technology changed the way you create your music?
WS: The demo process is way easier. The trouble and expense it would take to make a demo back in the day seemed pointless to not just make it a record, now we have GarageBand. On the other side of that digital recording allows you to kind of perfect everything which takes away some of the humanity from the music in my opinion. If you listen to older records, they generally sound more human to me with the little or sometimes big imperfections. Digital downloading is just a shame but I’ve learned to appreciate the good sides of it.
HC: Who is your favorite musician(s) from the 60?/70s?/80s?
WS: 60s – Syd Barrett, 70s – Johnny Ramone, 80s – Morrissey/Ian MacKaye
HC: Any bands you’ve been listening to lately? Anything to recommend?
WS: I’ve been listening to mostly older stuff lately: Soft Boys, The Go-Betweens, on the newer side I like Dan Romano from Attack In Black’s new solo stuff.
Watch Rival Schools’ video for “Used For Glue” here.
Rivals Schools plays its official SXSW showcase on Saturday, 3.20.10, at Red 7 Patio (611 E 7th St.) at 11:15pm.
Visit Rivals Schools on MySpace.