Introducing Rival Sons: Reinvigorating Rock’n’roll’s roguish charm
Mixing timeless tailoring with a whole lotta hedonism, meet the latest in rock ‘n’ roll’s stylish stage strutters, Rival Sons. Think of the new generation of rock ‘n’ roll’s best dressed; Alex Turner from The Arctic Monkeys (who recently graced the cover of Esquire), the sharp suited Interpol or moddish flair of Miles Kane, deservedly earning their place amongst that sartorial elite are Long Beach California’s Rival Sons.
Fronted by the soulful Jay Buchanan, he said of his style; “I’ve always dressed precariously and androgynously. Since I was a kid…You know the human voice is neither male nor female, it’s melody. And my identity is built around my voice, so for me, when it comes to clothing, I’ve never worried whether it’s a masculine or a feminine thing, because fabric in and of itself has no gender.”
Quoted in The Quietus
As much as Buchanan is pushing the boundaries of trends, taking risks when it comes to his wardrobe and avoiding the pitfalls of the rock star stereotype, he’s also charmingly indifferent about what people think and is unpretentious about his approach to the band’s style;
“They say it’s best to dress for the occasion but on tour my occasions consist of being on the bus in my jams and slippers or right to the stage. On stage I wear fitted jackets most of the time. As jackets go, Ray Brown out of London made me a fine one last year and I literally wore it to its death so now it’s in the vault. My shoes are mostly by Jeffrey West lately. They make a black, three buckle monk strap shoe that has worn in perfectly through nightly abuse onstage.”
(Designer) Lyall Hakaraia has already become a fan of the breakthrough band and said; “The Rival Sons style is epitomised in their music, which taps into the rich folklore of American culture. All the classic references are there and include a new type of tough roughish charm that is wolfish, dapper and elegant. This forceful style is however mediated with thoughtful details gathered on personal journeys. These details make you think about their story, just as the music does.”
Jewellery plays a big part in Rival Sons look, vintage pieces, spiritual symbols, gifts from fans and totems.
Some men are more at ease in a suit than anything remotely casual, we think this might be the case for guitarist Scott Holiday. Matching the slim-fit tailored Swinging ’60s pinstripes of the guitarist with the vintage denim look of drummer Michael Miley, the band present eclectic influences authentically with real character.
(Drummer) Michael Miley; “We’ve never had a stylist, we haven’t got to that point yet. Give me some raw denim, some braces (suspenders), a good old Henley, and some boots, and I’m golden. Oh and find me a good barber who can go ‘High and Tight’, as well.”
(Guitarist) Scott Holiday: “I’ve been having custom suits made by a few folks, my favourite probably being designer Ray Brown. We’ve worked on stuff ranging from ’20s or ’30s-era three-piece suits to mod era stuff, to more modern suits.
“Sunglasses and Mustache wax would be two things I don’t leave for tour without! I’ll have suits made specifically, so I certainly wouldn’t leave home without those either. I’ve got to have at least three or four different pairs of boots too. Our band has a pretty ridiculous shoe arsenal. Since we’re wearing this stuff on stage, things get beat up pretty quick. I have a beautiful pair of Jeffrey West boots awaiting the next tour. In the best humour, I could very well be known as The swaggering pirate from Savile Row.”