- Breakthrough Hit: Where Owls Know My Name. They were a low-level support when they recorded Monarchy, and while that did increase their profile, they were still finding themselves consistently placing low on bills. More than anything, the Ending Fatigue for the latter album's touring cycle (by their own admission, they spent way too long touring on that album for way too little in return) was ultimately what led to the major change in sound on Where Owls Know My Name and its general eclecticism; "fuck it, let's do it" was the spirit of its creation, and they deliberately took large risks. While it wasn't obvious at first (aside from better sales), their Canadian headlining tour in support of the album in 2018 was ultimately what proved that they had made the right decision, as they sold out numerous dates and played to packed houses every night, and one of the songs that they were the most worried about ("Subtle Change") wound up becoming a fan favorite and a big crowd-pleaser live.
- Breakup Breakout: Jon Kunz started Outer Heaven as a side project, with no intention of it ever growing into anything more than a local opener that would do weekend warrior runs if the demand was there, and wound up quitting Rivers after they started touring more than he could handle (likely due to health problems making heavy touring physically hazardous). They built up a great deal of hype in the underground, however, and by the time that Realms of Eternal Decay was released in 2018, they had become a legitimately in-demand act that was routinely getting huge offers sent their way (particularly from The Acacia Strain, who sent them at least three offers in less than a year due to Vincent Bennett's open love for the bandnote ), and while various issues have prevented them from accepting the offers, it is highly likely that they will gain enough of a following to make two-week runs and fly-outs an economically viable way of conducting business as a band.
- Career Resurrection: In a way, Where Owls Know My Name was this. By their own admission, they had intended for Monarchy to be the album to make them blow up. Instead, they got a very long, very disappointing touring cycle that was marked by lineup instability, missed or aborted opportunities, and a final tour that was fun, but ended with them in a position that was barely better than when they started the cycle. They wrote Where Owls Know My Name with the very real expectation that it was going to be their last album before they broke up, so they took risks that they normally wouldn't have taken because if they didn't pay off, they wouldn't be around to care anyways. Instead, they got an album that rapidly took off, won them a ton of new fans, and provided a touring cycle that was everything they wanted the Monarchy touring cycle to be and then some. In short, the album that was written with the expectation that they were doomed wound up being exactly what saved them from their doom.
- Creative Differences: The core of why Dylan Potts didn't work out. His inconsistency didn't help, but it was his lack of any real band experience (let alone touring) coupled with his immaturity that really wore out his welcome.
- Throw It In!: "Subtle Change", apparently. According to Brody, it was a spur-of-the-moment decision between him and Biggs at the very end of the writing process, as they suddenly felt like writing a sprawling prog song that they knew would probably be polarizing, but decided to go ahead with because they liked the idea just too much to pass it up. This was also how Zach Strouse's saxophone parts came to be; Biggs had a bunch of lengthy passages that he had no idea what to do with, and he wound up sending the files over to Strouse for creative input. Strouse then recorded himself playing saxophone over the parts and sent them back to Biggs, who was so impressed by the results that he opted to keep it on the final product.
Trivia / Rivers of Nihil