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Steve and Jon from new Doom band The River...

1. Give us a short bio of the band

STEVE: Chris Leitch, Daniel Tibbs and myself formed The River in early 1999. Fiezal then joined on second guitar and we went on to record two demos. Unfortunately, Dan and Fiezal had to leave due to other commitments, so that just left Chris and myself. In 2003 we went on to record the third demo (Oneiric Dirges in Mono - Chris played drums and guitar, I played bass), but we needed to find a singer and a drummer. Fortunately we found Vicky, whose voice fitted perfectly, and then Jon, who was drumming for Unsilence before he moved down south. The band plays bottom heavy Doom Metal, with an emphasis on song writing and melody amidst the layers of dirge.

2. Name some of the bands that influenced your style as a band

Jon: Candlemass, Trouble, Solstice.

Steve: Black Sabbath.

3. What are your plans for the near future?

Steve: We are gigging in London and the U.K. and we hope to be playing Europe next year. We will shortly be recording a track for a split 7" with Cambian Dawn, and then we'll be back in the studio to record a fourth demo.

4. Do you believe that the radio is the best way for a new band to present their music to a bigger audience?

Jon: Traditional radio is atrocious. However with the advent of Internet radio and mp3 it is now easy for anyone to get access to any band. This is, of course, a good thing but does mean that it is harder for a band to stand out. I still believe that the best way for a band to truly make it's mark is with a cracking live show.

The live scene is extremely variable in quality. There is always a core of die-hards who attend every gig but aside from these few, audiences are fickle and support varies greatly with time and geography.

5. Which would you consider to be the high and low points of your career so far?

Steve: The high point of the band has been the last five months. 'Oneiric Dirges...' has had a lot of positive reviews from all over Europe (Miskatonic Foundation, Doom, Zeitgeist, Monolith etc), and it's great to get some recognition for all the hard work over the past five years.

Low points would be all the missed opportunities The River has had. No disrespect to past members, but we could have got a lot further if we could have played certain gigs a couple of years ago.

Jon: I've not really been in the band long enough to have a low point. Rehearsing with a hangover (this is a rare occurrence that only happens every week) is pretty bad though!

6. Which artists, in your oppinion, would consist the ultimate metal band and why?

Jon: John Perez (Solitude Aeturnus) - Vocals. I think he is one of the best singers ever.

Leif Edling (Candlemass) - Bass. Hopefully he might write some classic songs.

Rick Miah (ex- My Dying Bride) - Drums. He was a great drummer.

Lars Johansson (Candlemass) - Guitars. Because he wrote excellent leads.

John Perez (Solitude Aeternus) - Guitars. Because Solitude Aeturnus have excellent guitars!

7. Name some of your favourite bands

Steve: Solstice, Warning, Cambian Dawn, Sunn O))), Jack Frost, Unsilence, Moss. To name but a few!

Jon: Tefra, Mirror of Deception, Revelation, Reverend Bizarre, and Orodruin.

8. Is your demo available for the fans of doom metal music?

Steve: 'Oneiric Dirges in Mono' is being distributed by Blacktears (UK), Slomo Music (UK), PsycheDOOMelic Records (Eur), Foreshadow Productions (Eur), and of course by our good selves via

9. A message to your fans

Doom on!

Interview © 2004 John Stefanis
Format and edit: The Music Index.

All rights reserved.

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