Interview with Georg Dolivo (Lead Vocalist and Guitarist) of Rhinobucket
Date: 27th / 28th June, 2004
(if you love classic AC/DC then you'll love these guys!!)
You were born in Finland, how did you end up living in the USA?
When I was about 5 years old my parents moved from Finland to Los Angeles, California. I was fortunate enough top be able to go back to Finland every summer for about 12 to 14 weeks. This continued until I was 17 and went back to do my mandatory time in the Finnish Army. I had also spent an entire year in Finland when I was 10. Point being that when I was growing up in the Finnish countryside there were only two TV channels and they only came at about 4 PM and went off the air at about 1 AM. So coming from LA and the land of milk and honey as far as TV was concerned and finding myself in this TV-less outback I went out of my mind with boredom.
Luckily, my uncle, who had a variety TV show in Finland for over 20 years, had stacks and stacks of LPs, cassettes, and more importantly instruments just lying about. I was "staging" my own rock shows, complete with cardboard guitars and real drums by the time I was 9. When it came around to 12 years old I had moved up to real guitars and trying my best to multi-track using a series of old tape cassette recorders. Actually, by the time I was 15 I wrote some of the songs that ended up on the first Rhino Bucket CD. Like "Blood on the Cross" and "Shot Down".
Who were your favourite bands, albums, styles of music and for what reasons?
AC-DC up until (and maybe including some of) "For Those About To Rock" was my living definition of what a hard rock band should sound like. Straight ahead, tight, sparse and loud music with clever lyrics that had the tongue firmly placed in cheek.
We have this inside joke with Rhino Bucket that basically goes that there are two types of real AC-DC fans. Those who prefer "Powerage" and those who prefer "Let There Be Rock".
Jackie and Reeve are in the "Powerage" camp while Brian and myself reside in the "Let There Be Rock" camp. Ok, having aid all that, I listen to a mountain of music all day long. In my car I listen to classical, preferably symphonic, to cool the jets on the road rage. (LA traffic sucks) Growing up I listen to every song ever done by the Beatles, (thanks to my Uncles collection) Led Zeppelin, Old Aerosmith, Rolling Stones. A little later I got into the Swans (NYC), The the, Nine Inch Nails, Kate Bush, Sisters of Mercy, etc. My uncle weened me on Miles Davis and Coltrane but in spite of all that when it came to playing music it back three chords and an attitude.
What were you doing prior to the band?
When I came back to LA from the Finnish Army, I formed a band and went to a 2-year college to study guitar. Actually I just wanted to buy some time and live rent free at my Mom's house.
Went back to Finland when I was 21 to gain a little focus, too much partying, and when I came back to LA I formed Rhino Bucket with Greg. I had odd jobs at places such as a book store, a security parts warehouse, auto-body repair shop . . .
How did you all meet up?
Greg and I met at the 2 year college. We found Reeve through a music magazine in LA. I had gone to High School with Jackie's brother and when it came time to find a new drummer she was the one.
Did you all have similar tastes in music - AC/DC etc or did that vibe simply work best for the band?
We all have very different taste in music but, yes, when we get together we are who we have become.
What made you call the band 'Rhino Bucket' ?
Temporary insanity! Our original drummer was from Hawaii and wanted to call the band Rhino Chaser after a surfboard. Our original guitarist wanted to call it Bucket or Lard (don't ask) so I settled the issue by declaring us to be Rhino Bucket. Kill me now!
How were the early gigs and which ones stand out and why?
It seems like a lifetime ago. They were pretty rough compared to how we are now. I remember playing a car show and going into a rant about how people who spend all their money on cars do so because they have small penises. Then Reeve shouts at me from the other side of the stage, "We're at a car show, you asshole."
How long did it take to get signed and was it a good deal when you all eventually put a pen to the contract?
Once Jackie joined the band it was only about 6 months and we got signed to Warner Bros./Reprise Records. And yes, it was a good contract. We had a good lawyer and it helped that Geffen Records were knocking on the door at the same time.
What bands did you support and where ? How was it?
Let's see . . . We opened up for Debbie Harry once. She kicked everyone out of the backstage area, but whatever, probably bitter. We also opened up for the Black Crowes once. They were cool, although Chris went to great lengths trying to explain why he and Brian (Junkyard) didn't get along. Weird! Opened up for KIX a couple of times and went on a mini-tour with Junkyard. In Australia we opened up for the Angels and that rocked! They were the best and treated us great.
Who were the coolest bands you hung and worked with and why?
We always got along with Dangerous Toys, Junkyard and KIX. The Angels were great to us and we became good friends with the Poor (Australian version).
Who were the worst to get along with for whatever reasons with regard to other bands?
I've met so many assholes that if they all had wings I'd be a certified air traffic controller. Whatever, I sure I was asshole at times too.
What are your favourite songs off the 1st 3 albums and why?
It changes from week to week but "She's A Screamer" always rocked for me. As for the others, I like them all except one or two and I'm not telling,
Any good road and groupie stories?
Yes, yes, and yes. But I'm married now (again) and my kids can read so I'll tell you in person over a pint or two when we meet.
I recently watched the Live 1991 bootleg DVD - what are your recollections of that gig? - nice chicks in the audience as well!!
That gig was a promotional show we did for Foundations Forum 1991. Don't remember much other than I met my future first and now ex-wife that night.
What was the venue?
A total-nude bar by the LA Airport.
Were you supporting someone that night - if so, who?
No, just us, a bunch of nude dancers working their trade in the next room and free beer and pizza.
What have been your favourite place to play in and outside America?
I used to love playing the Palace (now the Avalon) in LA. Outside of that, Milwaukee Summerfest was always a blast as was the Marquee in London.
Why did the band split ? was it grunge rearing its ugly head?
No, actually Greg was done. And I kind of let it all go when it became apparent that he was done. Also, Simon was a paid employee and I needed a full band of members who were willing to rough it out. Reeve was willing, as was I, but we were tired and beat up so we took a break.
What have you all been doing in that non-Rhino period?
I can't answer for the other members but I was married and making kids. I was also in band with Harry Cody called Das Cabal and in a band with Reeve called Buzzard Kills Seven. Yes, it's true, I'm a sucker for a band with a bad name.
What made you decide to get the band back together?
The Cathouse club had just re-opened and I was there. Riki came up to me and asked if Rhino Bucket would like to do a show, I said, "Yes, we'd love to." The only problem was that I didn't have a band at the time but it all worked out.
Did it take quite a bit of persuasion or were you all up for it straight away?
Jackie, Reeve and Brain signed up without hesitation, thank God!
Did you ever play the UK and do you have plans to come over supporting any other bands in the future?
We played the Marquee once and we would love to come over there and do more gigs than just one. We did a video in London also. Maybe a solid British band could give us an opening slot?
Who would you want to tour with and why? there's some cracking bands on the Perris records label or on the Artists Worldwide roster that would be perfect!!
We'll tour with anybody as long as they're real people. I've had my fill with egomaniacs and thieves so the next one I meet is going to get one right in the chops! So, clearly, Joe Leste is out. But other than that we're ready!
How is the new album coming on and will it be of a similar style to the 'self titled debut' and 'Get used to it' or have a darker lyrical aspect like 'Pain' did?
We have a video for our new song, "She Rides" on our website. Check it out and you tell me.
When will it be out and are there any ideas yet for the title since you asked fans to come up with a good one?
We're not signed. So, who knows when it will come out. As far as fan input, hell yes, send me your titles. Although I'm leaning towards "Life Sentence" this week.
What songs are ready and what were the influences behind them?
have a full albums worth of songs with titles such as:
As always, my life is a influence and I just write down want pops in. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's stupid, when it's right it's usually both.
Have you been writing songs since the band originally split and storing them up ready for the band?
No, I was writing songs for the band I was in at the time. I just come up with skeletons and then we, as a band, actually write the songs.
What interests do you have outside the band?
My step-father played for the Finnish National Football (soccer) team before he got injured so that's a big thing in my and my sons life. We support Man Utd, by the way. I have MU towels from when I was 7 before the latest decade of glory and I'll support them all the way to my 70s.
And yes, congrats to Arsenal, but watch out, we're coming back! In Finland, HJK is my club but I rarely have a chance to follow any Finnish football here in LA but I do get to see the EPL every Saturday and Sunday on my Cable TV.
Can you see yourselves all going back to the original long hair image like in your heyday?
I like my short hair. I just need more tattoos, or maybe a branding. Just kidding. I pierced my nose 6 years ago and got a tattoo and cut my hair. Must have been a early mid-life crisis or something. If we got a good enough deal where I wouldn't have to work a day job then sure I'll grow my hair, but is it really about the hair?
Are you gonna be taking it week by week or is it Rhino bucket to the end of your time on this earth?
I am, have been, and always will be the lead singer of Rhino Bucket. I tried other stuff and although it was fun and sounded good, this is where I belong. I'll be 70 years old and singing "One Night Stand" for old hags in the mental institution but I'll still be singing and playing Rhino Bucket. Man, does that sound pathetic!
If you were to sign to a record company again, what would you expect or at least desire?
A real recording budget. One cheap Video. And every dime the company has left pumped into marketing. Not too much, if you ask me.
One, Cheers Georg. Special thanks go to Garry Hite (of Semper Fi) for setting