Rivers Monroe was started in 2008 by keyboardist and singer Mat Rivers, along with singer Mike Monroe. The five-piece band recently released their second album “Smart Girls” on July 1st, and have been featured on NBC Sports Network, NASCAR and FOX Sports. Make sure to check out their latest single “Satellite” available on iTunes.
— — —
Mike O’Keefe: Coming from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a city filled with history, what would you suggest a first-time visitor to see?
Mike Monroe: You’ve got to hit Pat’s [King of Steaks] and Gino’s [Steaks] for sure. Definitely have to see The Franklin Institute [Science] Museum — the Liberty Bell too man. There’s a lot to do in downtown Philly. Like you said, there’s a lot of history, so you have to check it out. For entertainment you’ve got South Street. There’s a lot of cool bars and live music, stuff like that.
Photo courtesy | Rob Shenk
MO: I was able to get out to Philly once, but unfortunately it was before I was 21. I would love to take a trip now that I’m of age.
MM: There’s definitely a lot of cool stuff to do. It’s a big city. We’ve traveled to certain cities where everything’s in one area, everything’s in walking distance. In Philly, it takes like an hour to get from one side of the city to the other.
MO: Describe the excitement of Vans Warped Tour. Is traveling something you’ve enjoy most?
MM: We were super excited we found out we were going on Warped Tour. We prepared our set for like two or three months, making sure we had everything down. We wanted to make sure we impressed everybody that was there. This was a big opportunity — a big shot for us. As far as traveling, it’s cool man. It’s definitely something I love to do. Eventually it does catch up with you a little bit, but we all love being out on the road. We plan on doing more touring through the end of the year. If you’re going to be a musician you have to enjoy life on the road.
Photo courtesy | Savrae
MO: Out of all the cities on tour, were there any that stood out in terms of crowd atmosphere?
MM: I can definitely say that one of our best shows was Cincinnati, Ohio. You know we were in Miami, Orlando and other cities, but I was not expecting that in Cincinnati. The crowd was freaking awesome! I have to get back out there and play again. Philadelphia was great too — our home turf.
MO: We were at the Holmdel, New Jersey stop. It was cool to see the bands and crowd bounce energy off each other — a great atmosphere.
MM: For sure man. You have to feed off the audience. You’re supposed to always play the same show, but when there’s a good crowd there it’s 10-times easier.
MO: When on the road, what do you like to do on your downtime when you have it?
MM: On our downtime, usually laundry and sleep — stuff you kind of take for granted when you’re not on the road. I just like the relax and warped is everyday. We’re out there hustling up at 6-6:30 in the morning. We’re there all day, leave at night and get like two hours of sleep.
MO: What are some countries you’d like to travel to?
MM: That’s a good question. I would love to get over to Europe and tour a bunch of different places. I think Australia would probably be a really cool place to go through — New Zealand too; I think it would be a blast. I would like to get over there and do some sightseeing.
Photo courtesy | Tom Hall
MO: Definitely. When visiting a new location, what’s the first thing you try to do?
MM: Scout it out and see what’s going on. With Warped Tour we try to promote the show and ourselves. At smaller shows it’s tough to hit those [amounts] of people. Definitely promoting before the show on the way there. It’s all about getting your music out there.
MO: I’d have to agree with that. You mentioned Australia, what would be two more destinations on your list?
MM: It’s in our country, but I would love to get out to California and play the West Coast. We’ve never been out to the West Coast — that’s a big one. I would also have to say the [United Kingdom]. Any country in Europe would be cool, but definitely the UK. Amsterdam would be a lot of fun. Maybe I’d put that at the top of my European cities.
Photo courtesy | Faungg
MO: It’s great how everything’s so close once you’re over there. At the end of the day, if you could take all family and friends to a destination to live, where would it be?
MM: Disney World. Well shack up in that big castle. That will be it, permanently.
MO: Sounds magical! If you could perform and record anywhere in the world where would you go?
MM: That’s a good question. A big place we’ve already played is the Susquehanna Bank Center. When I was younger that’s the first place I went to see a concert. I always wanted to play there even though it’s not a super, well-known venue. To record, Hawaii would be cool. Or should I just default to Disney World?
Photo courtesy | Atiq Nazri
MO: That’s great! Do you have any upcoming trips or tours? What are they for?
MM: We actually have a couple NASCAR gigs coming up. We’re playing some of the big races. We’re supposed to be doing one down in Bristol, Tennessee in a couple weeks. Not sure if that’s definitely happening, stuff may have to get moved around, but the week after that we are playing the University of Missouri. We’re trying to plan something that’s almost the same route as Warped Tour — trying to play those cities again.
— — —
For more on Rivers Monroe visit their website:
Additional thanks to Warped Tour: