While it is a common wisdom that initial conditions influence the evolution of the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability (RMI), the research in this area is focused primarily on the effects of the wavelength and amplitude of the interface perturbation. The information has hitherto largely ignored the influences on RMI dynamics of the relative phase of waves constituting a multiwave initial perturbation and the interference of the perturbation waves. In this work we systematically study the influence of the relative phase and the interference of waves constituting a multiwave initial perturbation on a strong-shock-driven Richtmyer-Meshkov unstable interface separating ideal fluids with contrast densities. We apply group theory analysis and smoothed particle hydrodynamics numerical simulations. For verification and validation of the simulations, qualitative and quantitative comparisons are performed with rigorous zeroth-order, linear, and nonlinear theories as well as with gas dynamics experiments achieving good agreement. For a sample case of a two-wave (two-mode) initial perturbation we select the first-wave amplitude enabling the maximum initial growth rate of the RMI and we vary the second-wave amplitude from 1% to 100% of the first-wave amplitude. We also vary the relative phase of the first and second waves and consider the in-phase, the antiphase and the random-phase cases. We find that the relative phase and the interference of waves are important factors of RMI dynamics influencing qualitatively and quantitatively the symmetry, morphology, and growth rate of the Richtmyer-Meshkov unstable interface, as well as the order and disorder in strong-shock-driven RMI.