I first saw Riverside Odds in March of 2018 opening up for The Split Seconds at little punk venue called Connie’s Ric Rac in Philadelphia and they tore the stage apart with their fast aggressive sound. The self dubbed it “Speed-Punk Rock & Roll”, and they deliver it fast hard and without mercy to their adoring fans.
Below are a few words I was recently able to share with front man R.W.Hellborn.
DS: Your name really is RW Hellborn ?
RW: Well that’s what I’ve been telling people and they seem to be buying it.
DS: Is the bands name Riverside Odds ot The Riverside Odds? I’ve seen it both ways?
RW: We did call ourselves The Riverside Odds once or twice but dropped the “The” cause honestly it just looks better.
DS: And you call your sound Speed-Punk Rock & Roll right?
RW: Damn right we do! I don’t remember when we actually came up with that title, but there was whiskey involved definitely. We’re not really a punk band, but punk fans love us. We’re not really a “rock n roll” band but rock n rollers dig us too. Put us on a bill full of hardcore bands or metal bands and we’ll walk away with new fans that night too, so that title not only speaks to what it is that we do but the fact that we can more than hang with em all.
DS: Cool, tell me a little bit about your band, how you met and your sound.
RW: Timo and I formed the band in January of 2013. He and I were in a band previously which ended around thanksgiving the previous year and he and I wanted to keep things going, so we hooked up with Matty on guitar, and another friend of ours, Tommy on drums. was also in a different band with both of them years earlier. Tommy unfortunately didn’t work out so after auditioning a number of drummers we finally got hooked up with Darren and it just clicked. We played as a 4 piece for about a year and eventually picked up Dan as lead guitarist around spring of 2014.
Coincidentally, Darren and Dan were also in a band together years previous as well, so every member of this band has been in another band with at least one other member. As far as our sound goes, well we just play the way we wanna play… we’re always gonna veer towards the “fast and loud” side of rock-n-roll but we’ll mix it up when it feels right and we’ll let our fans decide how they wanna describe the sound. We’ve had people tell us we remind them of bands like Black Flag, Municipal Waste and Motörhead, and I’m not gonna try and correct them on those compliments.
DS: Tell us a little about being a punk rock & roll band from Philadelphia and about your local scene.
RW: The ‘scene’ is really more of a ‘community’, honestly. It doesn’t matter what genre you’re in here, because when you’re part of this community everyone will help each other out and will supporting each other’s shows and promotions regardless of genres… There’s so many great bands in Philly right now, I could fill a whole other article just listing them out and why they’re awesome… and I have to say we’re lucky to have played with a lot of them and friends with even more.
DS: Tell us a little about your last album “Let The Mayhem Begin”
RW: Well… as the name implies, from the second you hit play, it’s gonna be a wild ride. The songs have a variety of topics, some serious, like “Pissing in the Gene Pool” which is about the insane level of frustration living in a society seemingly so advanced yet still can’t get past the idiocy of racism, sexism and bigotry… but then others are just for fun, like “Camel Clutch” which is (obviously) about the legendary Iron Sheik. It’s definitely an aggressive album to start out with, but we wanted to hit the ground running, firing on all cylinders. Imagine the Kool-Aid man busting through your speakers, except the Kool-Aid man is actually John Rambo and instead of guns blazing he’s chucking Motörhead, Zeke and Dwarves records at your head. Everything for that album was done at Sweet Creek Studios in Ottsville, PA at the beginning of 2015 and we released it later that year during The Liberty Music Fest, which is an annual music festival created by our friends Jim & Vince from DVT, in August of that year.
DS: Tell us about the album you are working on for spring of 2019, is there a title yet? I have been told you will be working with Eddie from The Super Suckers…are there any details you can share?
RW: We had a title we were bouncing around for a while but after a while it just didn’t seem to fit, so we’re going to give it time and finish writing the record first and figure out the name after. When we were writing the songs for the first album, Dan wasn’t in the band yet, so all of those songs were written by Timo and Matty. Dan literally came into the band while we were recording ‘Mayhem’ so we threw him directly to the wolves by making him go right into the studio and write leads for all of them.
After that, Dan started writing stuff for the band immediately so some of the songs, like Dominos, we’ve had since before ‘Mayhem’ was even released. Everyone in the band has had more input into all the songs on this record. There’s songs that Timo wrote, some that Dan wrote, some that Matty wrote and at least one or two that I wrote as well. It’s gonna be great to finally see some of these reach their full potential on the album cause there’s a few we’ve been playing live for 3 years already.
And I’ve been fortunate to have built a good relationship with Eddie and the Supersuckers over the years so we pitched him the idea of producing the record and he was completely down with it. He did warn us that he would be putting us to some hard work, and that the only way this will work is to check all our egos at the door. This record isn’t going to be about us. It’s only about the record.
DS: Thank you so much for sharing RW
RW: No thank you for the interest Kelly