Nonpoint - United States
My name is Robb Rivera and I punish the drums for a South Florida band called Nonpoint. I was born in Manhattan, NY and raised in Puerto Rico and Ohio. I am a self taught drummer, guitarist, bassist, and I dabble a bit on a keyboard from time to time. My love for music began when my neighbor in the small town of Highland Bend, Ohio introduced me to Rush’s All The World’s A Stage. Once I heard the musicianship involved I knew I had come across something special. Soon after that, I went to the kitchen and got all the pots and pans and started banging away. My parents were not too pleased when I dented all of the pots and pans, making them have to purchase new ones. LOL! My parents finally decided to get me a set of drums, so we ordered a cheap one from a Sears catalogue and I started banging away. The first song I learned to play was “I Love Rock And Roll” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. I also got a two string acoustic guitar from a friend, and once I learned the power chord I tried to learn every single song I heard. I listened to Van Halen, Styx, Journey, Cheap Trick, Boston, AC/DC, and many others of that era. Since I couldn’t afford drum lessons, I listened and memorized the sounds of each drum part. That allowed me to hear what each individual drum was doing so I could teach myself.
The first band I saw live was Cardinal Sin at friend’s birthday party. They were a metal band from Puerto Rico. I was amazed to be that close to live music and I wanted to be a part of it. What really closed it out for me was seeing the reaction of the people that were there and everyone singing along. You could say that I was completely sold. During this time there was a metal show on the radio on Monday nights at 10, and on one particular night they played the entire Metallica album Hit The Lights and Exciter's Violence And Force. My love for thrash metal was born, I have never been more impacted by a genre like thrash metal, especially from Bay Area (San Francisco to those who do not know).
Years passed and I was finally playing in my first band called Wring Steel. Instead of playing the drums, though, I was playing guitar. I had always thought I wanted to play guitar and but fate had other plans for me. For some odd reason we never could find a drummer that could play in time or play a original song but they sure could play covers. The other guitarist that was in the band wanted to be the sole guitarist, so I said, “Well, I will play drums.” We all chipped in and bought a cheap kit just so we could jam, and that is my drum career officially started.
machine-shop.jpgI was still living in Puerto Rico and played the local scene there for a while. I joined a Christian thrash band, Sekel, and got myself a Tama kit. We took that island on a ride! We got to be quite a big band, because the island is not that big, so it was easy to establish an amazing following. After Cardinal Sin, who were one of the bigger local bands at that point, moved to the U.S. to try to make a name for themselves, we decided to make that move as well. We all wanted to make music our career. Well, we made the move but it didn’t quite work out the way we thought. We really struggled just to live in the city of Boston. After a few members left, I decided to move back to the island to start fresh because the people who had been involved did not meet my expectations. The day after returning to Puerto Rico I started my vision for Nonpoint and waited until the right people got involved. No one really wanted to reach the goals I wanted to reach, so back to the U.S. I went. I landed in Florida and started looking for people immediately that were hungry and wanted to be in this for the long run.
In 1997 I found the people that would make what Nonpoint is today. After six albums and countless tours, I am still here doing what I love and could not be more thankful for the career I have chosen. Don’t get me wrong, we have been through the ups and downs that most bands go through—four labels, 3 guitarists, 2 bassists, two managers—and we have still managed to overcome every single situation that has been handed to us. My motto has been “Faith Under Adversity.” It’s how I have lived most of my life and I translate that to my career.
As for my influences, the drummers that I have looked up to are Neil Peart, Bill Ward, John Bonham, Phil Rudd, Stewart Copeland, Lars Ulrich, Alex Van Halen, Eric Stevenson, Shannon Larkin and Danny Schuler. I have borrowed something from each of these drummers. I did not go out of my way to imitate these talented men, but little things that they do I incorporated in my style. I can’t be more thankful about having been able to learn drums without any lessons.
I currently play Pearl Drums, Sabian cymbals, Vater sticks, Evans heads, and Remo kick pads.
I now live in the beautiful city of Chicago, IL where I am settled down with a wonderful wife and soon to be born daughter. Since my move here, I have started a one man side project called Deeds Pride which is a mix of hardcore, metal, latin and stoner rock. I have an imprint label, SSFM Records, and I have a consulting company, Standstrong For Music, where I give advice to young bands in making the best financial decisions for their careers.
Well that pretty much sums me up. Thank you for taking time out for reading!
Reference Series: Wine Red (100)
20x18- bass drum
14x11- rack tom
16x16- floor tom
14x6.5- Reference Series snare drum
Nonpoint- Left For You - VideoNonpoint's official video for the hit single, "Left For You"