We’re carrying you all the way to the “Edge of Never” today, and you have The Rift to blame (or thank?) for the voyage. The Los Angeles trio has reemerged with a brand new song, their first to drop in over a year. Reminiscent of many of the bands they admire, namely Black Sabbath, Highly Suspect, Rival Sons, and Rush, “Edge of Never” is a straight-ahead festival of grooves with some down and dirty riffs. Lyrically, the song delves into the nature of dealing with loss and turbulence in one’s life which mimics its musical structure. One listen and you’ll discover why The Rift was asked to be a part of the 2018 edition of the Vans Warped Tour, for which they received many compliments and accolades.
Commenting on the new single and their intentions for it, the band stated, “Gritty, pure, unfiltered, in your face rock are all what I think when listening to ‘Edge of Never.’ This song wasn’t meant to be radio format, we wanted it to take on a life of its own and I think we let it do just that. Do what comes naturally is a motto we strive to go by.”
Doing what comes naturally seems to be a motto to live by for The Rift. With a history that extends back over a decade now, the trio is a well-oiled machine firmly confident in their sound and collective abilities. Singer and guitarist Aris Anagnos and drummer Ovais Malik had already been friends for years before The Rift even formed, a time in which they used to their advantage, playing in bands and studying music. Anagnos is a classically trained guitarist who studied at the Guitar Academy at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, while Malik has been perfecting his drum technique for 20 years. Bassist Johnny Evil is a former member of Chaotica, a band with releases on Marilyn Manson’s Posthuman Records and Trent Reznor’s Nothing Records. Collectively, they form a formidable three-piece with two more singles due this year, along with a West Coast tour to come in the summer.
Your new song “Edge of Never” is defined by that groove-heavy guitar riff that you came up with for the song. Did the riff serve as the first part or component of the song?
Ovais Malik: “Yes, when writing the song, the intro riff was one of the earliest pieces of the puzzle but the verse was modified quite a bit to give it that punchy, driving sound that you know and love from The Rift.”
How was this song written and recorded? Did each member write their own parts or was the song more the efforts of one band member?
Malik: “Typically the songs have been written by myself and Aris. I actually helped write several of the riffs you hear in the song, including the break down syncopated/odd time section near the middle of the song. It was pretty cool to have the opportunity to give my progressive roots a little love. I also typically take riffs that Aris writes and we’ll work on them together and then eventually after arranging parts, we Frankenstein parts together to bring the song alive. In some of our newer singles, Johnny has written his bass lines as well so it’s nice to have all three of our brains in the project as we have different backgrounds.”
“Edge of Never” reminds me a lot of a song written in the style of modern hard rock bands such as Shinedown. Are they a band you try to model yourself after? What about perhaps some other groups/artists?
Aris Anagnos: “Shinedown is a big influence of ours for sure! I would say that there are certain bands like that, that we are heavily influenced and inspired by. Of course, we try to throw in our own voice to the mix as well. I think the diversity in our influences has led to our song catalog being diverse as well. We have these hard-hitting rock songs like ‘Edge of Never’ or ‘White Lies,’ clearly influenced by bands like Shinedown or Metallica, and then we have songs like ‘Rock Narcotic’ that are reminiscent of 311 or Muse. We try to just create what comes naturally to us.”
“Edge of Never” is your first new song in over a year. What made you decide to reel things in for an entire year? How much were you on the road during this time?
Anagnos: “To be honest we had some very hard times over the last year to year and a half. It was really just out of necessity that things from the band be put on hold until recently. We only played out a couple of times since doing Warped Your in 2018 and the Next 2 Rock contest. We never quit though, and always met up to write and jam on new material. I can’t tell you how excited we are to start sharing all of this stuff. I feel like we’ve really found our groove with writing and we’re onto something special. We have boatloads of unreleased material at this point.”
Now I understand that you have a couple of more singles planned for this year. What about an album or EP? Are you aiming to release one anytime soon?
Malik: “Yes we will be having at least two more singles released this year with the possibility of an EP as well. The next single will debut in mid to late June! We decided to release our music as singles so people can truly immerse themselves in the songs. Of course, nothing’s ever off the table but that’s our train of thought at the moment. We’re considering all things, including an EP but we don’t have any immediate plans for releasing something like that. We have enough material to write an album, (or two) but that requires a ton of time and resources as well. We’re so excited to share our new music with the ‘Rifters’ and feel that they’ll really dig the direction we’re going in.”