Interview with Bryan W. Fleming Vocalist/Drummer of RIG TIME! And Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (https://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
Bryan: As a band, RIG TIME! has always described ourselves as simply “heavy”. We do blur the lines of hardcore and metal while reaching out into other subgenres and drawing inspiration from Nu Metal, Doom, Sludge, Powerviolence, Harsh Noise and more. We like to ride the line to hopefully make it difficult to pinpoint what genre we are exactly and we hope it keeps us sounding interesting while challenging us in our writing to discover inventive innovations to blend different sounds together.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
Bryan: We’re both born and raised in Wisconsin. I was playing around in various bands for a few years when Rebecca and I met at a show with one of those bands. After that band dissolved, Rebecca and I decided to try an improv jam one day and something just clicked. We didn’t know at the time that we’d still be doing this or especially playing all over the country on a regular basis. It all just happened by chance, but we are glad it did.
PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?
Bryan: Music is absolutely an obsession for me, personally. I can’t imagine a day without dissecting a song, writing or just listening to hours of songs. It has been the thing I have cared about most since my earliest memories and what I always attached myself to. I think we draw most inspiration from the feeling that other great music gives us. We never aim to write a song that sounds like a specific band or composition, but rather based on how a song makes us feel. We want to capture that vibe and make something that gives us a strong connection or reaction to sounds we are making. In RIG TIME!, my lyrics are often very focused on things that bother me or personal turmoil that I need to vent. There is definitely some positive content, but I do use it as an outlet to release frustrations or vulnerability so I don’t keep anything built up inside. I am a pretty friendly and approachable person, despite my lyrics seeming angry and pessimistic. Those songs in that nature are my way to purge out the negative thoughts we all have in life, and let me go on with my day feeling more confident and optimistic.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
Bryan: Since RIG TIME! began, we are very grateful to have crossed a lot of goals off our list that we wanted to achieve. We keep adding more every time we reach a checkpoint of personal goals. I think out ultimate aspiration is to simply see how far we can take this while sticking to our beliefs and standing with our morals. We want to push the importance of how important having all ages shows available in every town is to keep scenes cycling and growing. Without having shows available to me when I was younger, I wouldn’t have found the life I love now that I am older. It is also important for new bands to learn from older bands, and vice versa. All ages shows are important for working together as a whole with a segregated line based on governmental venue restrictions or putting live music on the back burner for sake of drink sales. There are an endless amount of factors, but we strive to keep the idea planted in the minds of others that it is vital to everyone to have music available for an entire community. Other aspirations on a more personal level, we definitely want to earn some new tour opportunities. We’re completely ready to hit the road 365 days a year, no joke. We wouldn’t even take a day off on a leap year! We love touring, seeing bands, performing and all that comes with it.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
Bryan: I think every time we cross off one of those goals we feel proud that came from hard work and honesty. We want to be good people and promote that being a good person is important. When we receive compliments on our live show or anything we write, that makes us feel very grateful. We have had a few opportunities to perform with some of our favorite bands, and getting to play alongside those bands and chat with them has been a great experience.
PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
Bryan: It can be a royal pain. There is so much noise going on across social media that I think it is overwhelming for everyone, and myself included. It’s even a gamble with paid ads because if you make one misstep or don’t pay enough, the reach is awful as well. I think our best promotional choice we have ever done is just staying on tour as often as possible. We can put out ads and flyers all day long, but at the end of the day, when we can blast ears with our live set in a new town every night, that is the best way we can reach people and show who we are. It is very common to be told “I have heard of you but never listened” and I think that is a great compliment still because it shows we have done something that allowed our name to still get out there. Knowing our name is the seed being planted, and hoping that when people see that name on a flyer it makes them want to swing out to a show is watching that seed grow.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
Bryan: I do all of our booking myself, currently. We are open to working with a booking agent if they are ready for a band that wants to tour all year long. We are about to play state number 43 in our tour history, so we have been hitting as hard as we can on our own. We have some sort of tour every month from June to November this year. I am doing this interview from some random auto shop in Indiana right now and then we head to Pennsylvania tonight. It’s easy to find where we will be on tour from our website and social media pages. As I mentioned, online promo can be difficult so we try to stay as active as we can be with touring.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
Bryan: I think any access to music is an important tool. There are pros and cons, of course, but money is also not the most important thing in life to me. If there is a roadblock in my way, I always try to find a way around. If streaming sites that pay 0.0001 cents a stream is the roadblock, then making sure we have the coolest vinyl LP we can have is the detour. I use Spotify personally, and it’s been great for me finding, discovering and listening to nearly anything I want to hear. I still love CD’s, tapes and vinyl but I like having music available at all times in any situation.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Bryan: There is no single song I wish I had written, but I know I aim to write songs that raise eyebrows and breathe some life into music. I would love to hear someone say “I don’t know how to describe this” because that means we’re on the path to carving our own specific contribution to the world of music.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
Bryan: It’s not a secret, but the culture of “…it’s who you know” gets old very often. I know a lot of artists whose hard work gets overlooked. I would rather see an artist get an opportunity because they worked hard for it, rather than having a buddy who picked them first because they are buddies. It’s absolutely wonderful to help friends, but I still believe to give credit where credit is due. I want to see my friends succeed, particularly the ones who really sacrifice and dedicate themselves to their music. A band that has put in the time and honest work for years should get more opportunities before a band opening a big tour when they have only played one show but they know the singer of the headlining band.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
Bryan: Our new record “Reborn” comes out July 29, 2022 on State Of Mind Recordings. We’re currently on our release tour for that with many more tours to come. We will push that hard and have a follow up record planned sooner than later.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
Bryan: You can find everything RIG TIME! all at our website: www.rigtimeband.com