As A Rival
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As A Rival

 

Pete Cerni has a lot to be excited about. The recent release of By Design, the new album from his Melbourne punk rock outfit As A Rival, has already seen them making waves on a national scale. After a long time in the making, it’s no surprise he’s pumped to showcase the new material on an upcoming tour.

“It took about two years,” says Cerni, the band’s vocalist and guitarist, of the album recording process. “Initially we were just going to do an EP. Then we were looking at different people to mix it and be a part of it. We happened to email Adam Kasper and he was really keen.”

Kasper, a Seattle-based producer and engineer, has previously produced records for industry giants such as Pearl Jam, Queens of the Stone Age and Soundgarden.

“After that we thought, ‘Well, we can’t just do an EP!’” Cerni says. “The first year was writing and making sure we had good strong songs. Then last year was recording and getting other people involved. It was a long run, but it was worth it.”

Kasper wasn’t the only big name associated with transforming By Design from a pipe dream into reality. The album was recorded with the help of Bodyjar’s Tom Read, whose bandmates Shane Wakke and Grant Relf laid down the drums and bass respectively. This wasn’t actually the first time Cerni had worked with the boys.

“We have a side project called Burn The City. That’s a story in itself. I got fired from my job and I knew this guy who did design stuff. So I texted him and he said to give this other guy a call, he’ll sort you out. So I called this number, thinking it was an interview for a job, and it turned out it was Tom from Bodyjar, replacing someone in the band. So that’s how it started,” he says.

“When the demos for the album were all done, I sent them to Tom for some feedback and he was immediately like, ‘I wanna do it. I wanna record it.’ So that was awesome. He’s my mate, but he doesn’t understand I grew up listening to Bodyjar, so it was cool. It meant a lot that they got involved. Tom was really good to work with, it was really fun. And Wakke’s a top bloke and really professional.”

 

For As A Rival’s live shows, Cerni is joined by bassist Kylie Groth and drummer Nathan Wheatley. “We started recording but I knew I was going to need a live lineup. I knew Kylie from some other bands and her old project fell through, so she put her hand up straight away. And then she knew Nathan. The lineup as it is has been around since June 2015, but you wouldn’t even know. They’ve come on board and smashed it. We’ve actually got a new guitarist for the tour too. It’s early days but he’s been a part of it for three weeks now. He’s a bit younger and really fresh and keen,” Cerni says.

 

“It’s the first tour for us together with the new lineup … I’m excited to play other places. After this tour wraps up we’d love to tour again and maybe bring out something on vinyl. I’d love to play overseas – Japan would be awesome. That’s a bucket list thing. I don’t even care if I play to no-one.”

 

When & Where: Barwon Club Hotel, Geelong – March 12, The Eastern, Ballarat – March 19 & Cherry Bar, Melbourne – April 2

 

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