It’s hard to forget a band name like Rhino Bucket.
It’s also hard to overlook that the Los Angeles-based band survived the late 80s hair metal scene, blew through the grunge movement of the 1990s, and dealt with multiple member changes, all the while continuing to put out solid records.
Rhino Bucket’s latest album, their seventh, ‘The Last Real Rock & Roll,’ is just another testament to their hard-working ethics and commitment to rock & roll.
The original lineup of Rhino Bucket formed in 1987 with Finnish-born American transplant Georg Dolivo (lead vocals, guitar), Reeve Downes (bass, vocals), and Greg Fields (lead guitar, vocals). They signed to Warner Brothers a year later, and in 1990, the band’s self-titled debut was released. It was their 1992 release, ‘Get Used To It,’ which saw the band garner some attention when their song “Ride With Yourself” was featured in the blockbuster film “Wayne’s World.” But it wasn’t enough to keep Rhino Bucket steaming ahead. They took a long break after 1994’s ‘Pain’ release.
“For all intents and purposes, the band broke up,” Rhino Bucket front man Georg Dolivo said. “Greg, the original guitarist, was done and wanted to move on with his life. Good choice actually, he just produced Metallica’s latest album. Haha. In hindsight, I probably should of stood my ground and kept the band going without him, but I was recently married and a new father so I had other things on my mind. It didn’t take long though for me to pick up my guitar and start writing songs again.”
In 2001, Dolivo and Downes brought Rhino Bucket back to life and enlisted former Kix member Brian “Damage” Forsythe on lead guitar with Jackie Enx taking over on drums. Although the Los Angeles scene had changed drastically since their early days, the band quickly found work in films again, contributing songs to such films as “Rolling Kansas” and “The Outdoorsmen – Blood, Sweat & Beers.” The new lineup forged ahead to release the album ‘And Then It Got Ugly’ (2006) and tour with the likes of Kix and the Supersuckers.
“Well, we just had the attitude that we had to start from scratch so the state of the music industry was of no concern. Riki Rachtman asked me one night if Rhino Bucket wanted to play his new version of the Cathouse and I said yes without even having a band,” Dolivo said. “Fortunately, Reeve and Jackie (original members) said yes immediately. The second great stroke of luck was that Brian also said yes and agreed to join the band. After the gig, it was clear to all of us that this was band worth pursuing once again. It was through Brian that we met Rick [Ballard] and Acetate Records. Rick had a clear grip on the music industry and kept us focused on the realities of the day.”
Keeping with the status quo, Rhino Bucket kept releasing records, including a compilation album (‘No Song Left Behind,’ 2007) and a reissue (‘Pain & Suffering,’ 2007), and contributed a new song, “Soundtrack To A War,” to the soundtrack of the sleeper hit movie “The Wrestler.”
“Our songs in movies and things like that, that’s all Rick and Acetate. He is miles above other indie labels in coming up with multiple income streams. Even after all these years, it’s still a thrill to hear your own song on TV or in a movie.”
Getting their music out there any way they can is certainly a bonus for the band, but the bread and butter for Rhino Bucket is hitting the road. After they reunited, they headed overseas for the first time in 15 years and did a 45-date European tour, which had the band playing in 14 countries. Supporting their 2011 release ‘Who’s Got Mine?’ Rhino Bucket extended themselves with a pair European tours, which included 83 shows, then a 51-date North American tour. In 2014, they completed 200 shows in Europe and North America in support of a live album entitled ‘Sunrise on Sunset.’
“We love to play live music still, it’s as simple as that,” Dolivo said of the bands work horse style of touring over the years.
It’s been six years since Rhino Bucket has put out any new material and now they are back with their powerful seventh studio album ‘The Last Real Rock & Roll.’ The album is a blistering collection of classic hard rock and punk gems.
Founding member Dolivo and Downes are still the cornerstone of the band, while Forsythe has made an indelible mark in the band for 19 years, and the latest addition, Dave DuCey on drums, is a consummate performer behind the kit.
For Rhino Bucket version 2017, the band recruited Eddie Spaghetti of the Supersuckers to handle production duties for the 12 ballsy, blue collar rockers. The band sound just as strong on ‘The Last Real Rock & Roll’ as they did when they started nearly 30 years ago. They still have that Bon Scott-era AC/DC sound down and still don’t care what you think about it.
“Eddie and the Supersuckers are also on Acetate and we knew him personally as we did a tour with them back in 2006. Always loved that band. After quite a few starts and stops with other people, Rick suggested Eddie and we jumped at the chance. He was fantastic and brought so much talent and passion into the fold. This was our first time working with him as a producer but hopefully not the last.”
On a personal note, I saw Rhino Bucket in 1990 at a small club in Champaign, IL, called Mabel’s. I had just turned 18 and it was the first “club show” I was legally able to get in to. I’ve been a fan since.
“Haha, that’s great! I seem to remember that the club was somehow upstairs. Hmm, am I right?”
Yes, yes, he is correct. 27 years later and Dolivo remembers Mabel’s. It was up these steep stairs, a real bitch to haul gear up and probably even worse to haul gear down if you had a few too many.
But that is Rhino Bucket in a nut shell. I mean, they started in the 1980s, survived the grunge movement, took some time off, and are still as good as they were all those years ago. How far can Rhino Bucket go or do they take it one album one tour at a time?
“It really just comes down to what I said earlier. We really do love to play music. We’ve never followed trends and always been brutally honest as to who we are musically. We do tend to take it one tour and one album at a time. We been lucky in that we performed in over 20 countries and as long as there is still anyone who wants to hear “The Last Real Rock” Band, we’ll be there.”