An Interview with Georg Dolivo of Rhino Bucket

By Andrew Daly
andrew@vinylwriter.com

All images courtesy of Rhino Bucket Facebook (official)

Recently, I dug in for a quick chat with veteran rocker, Georg Dolivo, the proverbial founder, and leader of Rhino Bucket. Among other things, we touch on Georg’s origins, the formation of Rhino Bucket, the band’s trials and tribulations, and what’s on tap moving forward.

If you would like to learn more about Rhino Bucket, the link to the band’s webpage is here. Once you’ve checked that out, dig into this interview with Georg. Cheers.

Andrew:
Georg, thanks for taking the time. Let’s dig in. What first kindled your interest in rock music?

Georg:
I was born in Helsinki, Finland and my uncle had a TV variety show with three other guys that was the top-rated show for twenty years. Given that I grew up around him, there were always musical instruments laying about and an incredible music collection that was open for me to explore. My uncle was a “do it yourself” kind of guy, so when I approached him about doing music, he simply handed me a second-hand acoustic guitar and a The Beatles songbook and said, “Have at it.” From there, I learned to love The Beatles, and through the songbook, I learned how to structure a song. At that point, the floodgates had opened, and I was fully committed to playing music as my life choice.

Andrew:
What was the early scene to which you were exposed, and how did that shape you going forward?

Georg:
My Mom moved us to Los Angeles when I was young, and coming from Helsinki, it was quite a culture shock. But the music rocked and the radio stations were legendary. KMET and KLOS were playing in our house 24/7. Well, at least in my room. [Laughs]. Having the exposure to all that great music just made me want to be a part of it even more.

Andrew:
How did you first meet Reeve Downes? Was the musical kinship readily apparent?

Georg:
Greg Fidelman, also known as Greg Fields, and I had already formed the band and had gone through a couple of bass players when we put in another ad in the local magazine. We were looking for that perfect fit, and none of the previous players fit the bill. Reeve answered our ad where we asked, “Can you play bass, and can you spell bass?” He obviously had the same sense of humor that we had. He was a great bass player and still is. We all had to grow and get to know each other, but it did feel right from the get-go.

All images courtesy of Rhino Bucket Facebook (official)

Andrew:
Walk me through the initial formation of Rhino Bucket leading up to the band’s first gig.

Georg:
Greg and I started the band, Reeve joined, and we had a drummer named Rick Kubach, who was a great guy. We rehearsed a lot, like a very great amount. [Laugh]. Wrote a good amount of original songs, and then just started to beg for gigs, and it went from there. I can’t recall the first gig, but it was probably in front of only a few people. [Laughs].

Andrew:
Rhino Bucket signed with Warner Brothers Records early on. What did their courtship look like?

Georg:
We had the best lawyer in town, Jeffrey Light. With his guidance, we ended up getting demo offers from all of the major labels in Los Angeles. By this time, our drummer was Jackie Enx also known as Liam Jason. With Jackie’s input, we just said, “We don’t want to demo, we want to make an album.” So, with that in mind, Warner Brothers and Geffen were the only two that stepped up and we chose Warner Brothers.

Andrew:
What do you recall regarding the sessions for the band’s debut? What moments stick out most?

Georg:
It was an exciting time but, honestly, what sticks out the most is that I don’t play guitar – except for the breakdown in “Shot Down” – on the album. The producer, Daniel Ray, and the engineer, Brendan O’Brien, took a shortcut and had Greg play everything. It was an added burden on Greg, and it didn’t make sense as when I did play on the second album, the groove was much better. They were just being lazy. One guitarist, one set-up.

All images courtesy of Rhino Bucket Facebook (official)

Andrew:
Get Used To It, and Pain were stout follow-up records, but Rhino Bucket struggled amidst a turbulent hard rock scene. How big of an effect did the alternative movement of the 90s have on the band’s fortunes leading up to its demise?

Georg:
It didn’t. We all controlled our own destinies. There were grunge bands that I thought were quite good but, as with hair bands, there were a lot of sub-par bands. As for the break-up, by 1996, we just grew tired of each other. That is the most honest answer I could give.

Andrew:
The 90s proved to be a proverbial roller coaster for rockers. How did you ride things out until the reformation of Rhino Bucket? What led to the sparks igniting once again?

Georg:
Well, I was fine. I did what anyone would or should have done – I got a job. Not a single member of Rhino Bucket ever stopped playing music, it just wasn’t Rhino Bucket. At some point, we just all contacted each other and asked, “Why Not?”

Andrew:
How did Brian “Damage” Forsythe come into the fold during Rhino Bucket’s rebirth? How important was he to the band’s creative process moving forward? How would you compare Brian to Greg Fields?

Georg:
Brain and Reeve had been playing in a band in Los Angeles called the Snake Handlers, so it was a natural fit. Brian is a great guitarist as was Greg Fidelman. They both brought an individual set of skills to the band when they were here. I love and respect them both.

Image credit: Linda Wake-Garza

Andrew:
And Then It Got Ugly was a wonderful return to form. Take me through the sessions.

George:
That was a long time ago. It’s hard to remember. [Laughs]. I remember that I totaled a car during the sessions. We did the whole thing in this tower across the street from Pink’s Hot Dogs in Hollywood. That’s about it. It’s a good record, and I am still proud of it.

Andrew:
The band released The Last Real Rock ‘N’ Roll in 2017, and you left Rhino Bucket in 2018, effectively halting the group. Walk me through that sequence of events leading up to the second fracture.

Georg:
I just didn’t see a happy ending. The income streams were changing and thanks to this evil man who started to re-title everything for song placement, the amount of income was not enough to sustain the band.

Andrew:
In 2021 were heard rumors that Rhino Bucket may not be over after all. What does the future hold for Rhino Bucket?

Georg:
Ahhh. Well, I can tell you that the rumors are in fact true, and Rhino Bucket does in fact have a future. There will be a new album, a new European tour in 2023, and a new future ahead.

All images courtesy of Rhino Bucket Facebook (official)

Interested in learning more about Rhino Bucket? Hit the link below:

Be sure to check out the full catalog of VWMusic Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interviews

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

With an immense passion for music, a disposition for writing, and an eagerness to teach and share both, Andrew decided to found VWMusic in 2019 as a freelance column under the column Idle Chatter. Over time, the column grew into a website that now features contributors who further the cause of sharing both a love of music and the art of journalism with the world through articles and interviews. While Andrew enjoys running the website, his real passion lies in teaching and facilitating others to do what they do best, and giving them the opportunity to explore their passions in the process. Some of Andrew’s favorite artists include KISS, Oasis, ACϟDC, Elvis Presley, Ace Frehley, The Rolling Stones, Rush, The Pretenders, Led Zeppelin, The Gaslight Anthem, Iron Maiden, John Lennon, The Melvins, Noel Gallagher, Regina Spektor, Rory Gallagher, The Stone Roses, The Strokes, Thin Lizzy, Elvis Costello, Van Halen, Neil Young, Blur, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and many more.
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