Rival Schools (band)

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Rival Schools
Rival Schools in concert in 2009
Rival Schools in concert in 2009
Background information
OriginNew York City, U.S.
GenresPost-hardcore, alternative rock, punk rock, indie rock, emo
Years active1999–2003, 2008–2013, 2022-present
LabelsPhoto Finish, Some Records, Island, Run for Cover
Past membersWalter Schreifels
Cache Tolman
Sam Siegler
Ian Love

Rival Schools is an American post-hardcore band from New York City. For most of their tenure, the band featured Walter Schreifels on vocals and guitar, Ian Love on guitar, Cache Tolman on bass guitar, and Sam Siegler on drums.

Formed by Schreifels, frontman of the influential group Quicksand, Rival Schools is a hardcore supergroup; its members were alumni of '80s and '90s hardcore bands including Gorilla Biscuits (Schreifels), CIV (Siegler), Youth of Today (Schreifels and Siegler) and Iceburn (Tolman).

The band's name (and that of their first LP) comes from the Capcom fighting game Rival Schools: United By Fate.[1] In their short history, the band toured both the United Kingdom[2] (in support of A) and the United States.

In 2008, the band reformed to play some live shows, including Soundwave in Australia, Rock Am Ring in Germany, Hove Festival in Norway, a headline tour and Download Festival in the United Kingdom.

On November 16, 2010, the band released the deluxe single for "Shot After Shot" on iTunes from the forthcoming record Pedals, which was released March 8, 2011.[3] Rival Schools released their third album, Found, on April 9, 2013.[4] Following a tour in support of the album, the band became inactive once again, before reuniting in 2022 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of United By Fate.


Formation and United by Fate (1999–2002)[edit]

Rival Schools' first release was based around the concept of a series of EPs where multiple groups would come together to form a single band. For this, they teamed up with former Far leadman, Jonah Matranga. The lone result of this experiment was titled Rival Schools United by Onelinedrawing, released on 24 July 2001 by Schreifels' Some Records.

Their full-length album, United by Fate, was produced by the Grammy-nominated Luke Ebbin[5] and released on 28 August 2001. Due to obligations from Schreifels' time with Quicksand, the album was released by Island Records. Two songs from the album saw release as singles: "Used for Glue" closely followed the album's release, with "Good Things" coming later. Both songs enjoyed heavy rotation on MTV in the US and UK.

Rumored second album and dissolution (2003–2007)[edit]

In between touring with the band, Ian Love formed Cardia and eventually left in 2002 to better focus on them. Regardless, a second album was expected for Spring/Summer 2003,[6] but never surfaced commercially (the master tapes, comprising 11 songs, were later leaked onto the Internet).[7] In June, the band played a few US shows with Thursday.[8] The rest of the band parted ways in September 2003: Schreifels went on to form Walking Concert; Love recorded a self-titled solo album in 2006, released on Limekiln Records; Tolman went on play with Institute; and Siegler joined Nightmare of You and briefly provided percussion for Limp Bizkit.

Despite the band's dissolution, rumours persisted that a new Rival Schools album would be released. This album would presumably be the never-released second LP, however other suggestions have been of an album of B-sides and unreleased songs or of an album of new material, performed by a reformed Rival Schools. Schreifels himself mentioned the likelihood of a new album, with it being mooted for late 2006.[9] The album was mastered in 2012 and eventually released, titled Found, on April 9, 2013,[4] having been unofficially available in mp3 demo form.

Reunion (2008–2013)[edit]

On April 9, 2008 the German Rock am Ring & Rock im Park rock music festivals announced that Rival Schools would perform at the festival on June 8, 2008.[10] The band also played the second stage of the Download Festival in Donington Park, UK on the same day Kiss headlined.[11] The band advertised a 5 date UK tour in Kerrang! Magazine (7 May 2008), and set up an official Myspace page, on which Schreifels revealed the band were writing new material. New songs aired at the UK dates have included 'Big Waves', 'Paranoid Detective', 'On the Frey' and 'Sophia Lauren'. Rival Schools is played a small number of east coast US shows in November,[12] prior to appearing at Fun Fun Fun Festival in Austin, TX in November, and then at the Soundwave festival in February 2009. On January 24, 2009 the band announced on their MySpace that they were entering the studio to start recording their as yet untitled new album.[13] In August 2009, they played the UK Reading & Leeds festivals on the 'Lock Up' stage alongside Mad Caddies, The Bronx and Rise Against. Rival Schools also supported The Offspring at their UK shows.

On November 16, 2010 the band released the deluxe single for "Shot After Shot" on iTunes from the then forthcoming record Pedals

On March 8, 2011 Pedals was released on Photo Finish Records.[14] Ian Love left the band for a second time in September 2011, with the band continuing as a three piece.

In 2013, the band released their third studio album, Found. The album was initially written and recorded as the intended follow-up to United by Fate, but the band split up before completing the release and it was ultimately shelved.[15] Rival Schools played their final show to date on November 19, 2013 at the O2 Academy Brixton in London, England.[16]

United By Fate Anniversary Reunion (2022)[edit]

In August 2022, an official Rival Schools Instagram page was launched, teasing an upcoming announcement and linking to a new merch store. Shortly after, an official announcement was made that United By Fate would be getting a 20th anniversary re-release through Run for Cover Records, with a short 2023 tour also announced. An acoustic version of "Holding Sand" was also released to streaming sites on August 8.




Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications



United by Fate 175 18
Pedals 9 16
  • Released: April 9, 2013
  • Label: United By Fate
  • Formats: CD, DL


  • Rival Schools United by Onelinedrawing (6-track EP) (2001), Some Records


Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Used for Glue" 2002 42 51 United by Fate
"Good Things" 74 81
"Shot After Shot" 2010 Pedals
"Wring it Out" 2011
"Eyes Wide Open"
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^ "Ian Love: Fate and good fortune with Rival Schools". Gibson.com.
  2. ^ ""A" do all sorts of things. Official". DrownedInSound.com. Archived from the original on 2021-01-18. Retrieved 2020-04-18.
  3. ^ "Rival Schools (Rival Schools) op Myspace". Myspace.com. 2010-04-20. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
  4. ^ a b "Rival Schools To Release New Album in April". Absolutepunk.net. 2013-02-12. Retrieved 2013-02-12.
  5. ^ allmusic ((( Luke Ebbin > Credits )))
  6. ^ "Walter Schreifels Interview: Walking Concert 10_06_04". Unitedbywalter.com.
  7. ^ "Untitled". Unitedbywalter.com.
  8. ^ Heisel, Scott (June 2, 2003). "Thursday back out on the road with Rival Schools, more". Punknews.org. Aubin Paul. Archived from the original on February 17, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  9. ^ "ubw chat with Walter Schreifels". Unitedbywalter.com.
  10. ^ "Rock am Ring 2020". Rock-am-ring.com.
  11. ^ "Download Festival 2008 :: Line Up". Downloadfestival.co.uk.
  12. ^ "Rival Schools announce east coast dates". Altpress.com. August 24, 2008. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  13. ^ "Featured Content on Myspace". Myspac.come.
  14. ^ "Rival Schools Official Website: "Eyes wide open", Music, Videos, Photos, Lyrics, Tour Dates, Forums". Rivalschools.net. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
  15. ^ Bray, Ryan. "Rival Schools: Found". The AV Club. G/O Media. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  16. ^ "Rival Schools at O2 Academy Brixton, London, England". Setlist.FM. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  17. ^ "US Heatseakers albums chart positionsBillboard retrieved 30 November 2018
  18. ^ "US Hard Rock albums chart positionsBillboard retrieved 30 November 2018
  19. ^ "UK albums chart positions" - Search "Chart Log" Rival SchoolsZobbel retrieved 30 November 2018}}
  20. ^ "Rival Schools Rock Album Chart History". Official Charts. 24 November 2001. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  21. ^ "Official UK Singles Chart Archive". Official Charts Company. 3 December 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  22. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. 30 March 2002. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  23. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. 20 July 2002. Retrieved 3 December 2018.

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