When things are burnt to the ground and all you’re left with are ashes, there are two things
you can do: throw in the towel, or pick yourself up again and realize that ashes actually make
for very fertile ground. That’s kind of what happened to RHEA over the past couple of years.
Now they’re back, shaking off the label of a purely power rock band with new music (second
album coming in 2024!), sounding groovier than ever.
You have to be firm on your feet when your band is hailed as the nation’s new hope for good
old, straightforward rock music, which is what happened to RHEA in 2016. They only had one
song, and suddenly had to find their place in the Belgian music scene. And so they did, for
four years on end: writing songs, releasing a bunch of singles, killing it live (supporting Royal
Blood or as head act), and recording and releasing the debut album. But just when RHEA had
settled in, looking forward to the future brimming with exciting projects … covid hit. Literally
a day after the final recording for Lust For Blood Pt.2, Belgium went into lockdown. This was a
major blow for both the band and singer Jorge Van de Sande, who were already going
through a rough patch. Dreams and all sense of direction vanished, leaving only doubts and
But they got back on their feet, and when Rather Be Nothing topped Belgium’s most popular
alternative chart list, it acted as a catalyst, boosted also by their main stage slot at 2022’s
Rock Werchter. It brought the band back together, making plans for new music. Van de Sande
started writing songs again after an unusual one-year hiatus, drawing inspiration from the
difficult time he and the band had gone through, but mainly focusing on the resilience to get
back on your feet. It also inspired the band to explore existential questions, in a very unBelgian ambitious way: don’t think too small, show audacity, stick your neck out. Questioning
higher powers, both political and religious, RHEA are ultimately putting humanity back in the
epicentre of it all.
Musically it’s all very different from what RHEA has ever done, but it all came about
organically, from the very first riff Van de Sande put on paper. Then he started doubting. Will
this work for us? Shouldn’t I just throw it all away? But the more the band dug into the
material, the more they realized this was exactly what they wanted to do, breaking new
ground. It’s still rock music, but embracing new influences: there’s pieces of funk in one song,
disco in another and even a ballad. Adding new instruments like violin, piano, Hammond or
mellotron, groovy bass licks and wah-wah pedals, RHEA sound groovier than ever. First single
Creeping Through My head can be best described as RHEA meets Kravitz.
The first 6 years after their breakthrough were quite the roller coaster for RHEA, eventually
hitting rock bottom, not knowing where to go next. But now they’re back on track, more
determined than ever. The second album will in many ways bring salvation, grown on the
fertile ground provided by the ashes that started it all.