Sunday, March 29, 2020
GIK Acoustics - Europe
GIK Acoustics - Europe
The Moshville Times

Band of the Day: Rival Karma

An international 2-piece for you to mark the fake beginning to the week. Allow Rival Karma to rock your bank holiday Monday…

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

We’re North London Based, but from The World!

Martin is French/American, and PJ is Italian – if national borders are what you are referring to.

How did you meet?

We met through the first 4-piece iteration of the band. Our old guitarist Knew PJ, so he was called on for drums from the get go !

How long have you been playing as a band?

As the two piece we’re just about to hit the 2 year mark.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

We used to be called Emotional Rescue – don’t ask haha – and had to change names.

The band at the time was having a streak of shit luck, and to top it off, Martin had a boat accident and broke his spine. So Karma felt like a natural element of our name, we struggled to agree upon the second part of our name, but it naturally came about after the accident !

What are your influences?

Queens of the Stone Age, Black Keys, Dave Matthews Band, Led Zeppelin to name a few, the list goes on. We are avid listeners of all kinds of music, and take inspiration in the most unexpected places.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

It’s very difficult to describe your own music, so here’s our two favourite recent quotes of people who have heard us or seen us play:

“A genre invented by the band, ninja rock comes across as a blend of blues- infused stoner rock and southern rock. Rival Karma’s set was crammed with killer riffs, wildly dynamic drumming and vocals combining just the right amount of grit and smoothness” – Emily Engleheart (Tap the Feed)

“Beautiful robotty bluesy stoner rock” – Elise Cobain (Amazing Radio)

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

This EP was a journey for us – we wrote a song about a heist (“Go!”), about the end of the world (“Apocalypse Boogie”), about getting stoned (“Chemical Courage”) and about the uselessness of indecisiveness in love (“Wasting Time”). We wanted to write a cinematic EP, that would get you up on your feet !

What’s your live show like?

It’s like a warm summer’s day that explodes into a storm.

How many shows have you played ?

Quite a few, our first ever plugged gig as the duo was a European Tour, we then took a break from touring to polish our set, and write new material, and get the project up and running. We just got back from the West Coast of the US where we toured for a month. We’ve gone to Truro, Bristol, Manchester, Frome, to name a few, and are planned to tour heavily this summer and fall season too!

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

Seen :

Saw Josh Homme tell a security guard to stop shining his light on people who were on their buddies’ shoulders he said : “stop shining the fucking light, it’s disrupting the show, you work for me tonight, and I say they do whatever the fuck they want”. That was on the cocky side of things, but pretty crazy.

Done :

We invited a whole room of peeps to come up on stage with us and jammed for a solid 15 minutes – that was hella fun!

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

Martin: I play a Fender Cabronita, through a two amp rig (Fender and Orange), with a bunch of pedals! And I have a guitar pick, and a microphone to sing too!

PJ: I play Drums, and SPDSX, some keyboardy elements sometimes, cowbell, and melodica (my personal fav).

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

Well, on July 19th, our debut EP is coming out. It’s called A.Y.N. (short for Are You Ninja) – which is our style of music “Ninja Rock”. We’ve just released our lead single from the EP. It’s called “Go!” – that’s the song about a heist!

And on the 21st the EP will be officially out in the world – grab yourselves a copy in all the good record stores.

What are your plans for 2019?

Our Plans for 2019 are to tour the world with this new EP, write a new EP, and maybe polish up our first LP, and tour more and more – we want the world to discover our music, and our show, and are looking forward to being on the road most of the year !

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

  • Queens Of the Stone Age
  • Rival Karma
  • Swedish Death Candy (they’re much bigger than us, but we love ‘em and they’d deffo fit here!)

Rival Karma: facebook | twitter | instagram

About The Author


Described as a gig junkie, can be seen at anything from the Quireboys to Black Label Society and everything in between.

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