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INTERVIEW: The American Revival

How would you classify your music?

Classification in music as time passes becomes harder and harder I feel. That said, we always tell people that if you were to have the harmonies of The Eagles, meshed with the rock and roll swing and attitude of Black Sabbath, but also played Country music, that would be The American Revival. I feel our name is important for classification. America is obviously very polarized, so we kind of speak to the segments of America. We’re Rock, we’re Blues, we’re Country, to be completely honest, I feel the stuff we create is the music of America. It has many voices and feelings.

Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?

Speaking for the band, I would say Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Buckley, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Iron Maiden. If we’re going more modern, I’d definitely say Lucero, Blackberry Smoke, Jamestown Revival, and Lukas Nelson.

What do you want fans to take from your music?

In terms of what we want the fans to take away from our music, I would say that we’re scratching the surface of takeaways. On this record, we talk a lot of heartbreak, sadness, coming up short, wishing things worked out a little better. We have other songs that speak of hope and optimism, so if you’re looking for a “boil it down” moment, I’d say the takeway is that we tell stories but with some cool riffs and guitar solos.

How’s the music scene in your locale?

The music scene in Austin is complicated. It’s an amazing town filled with highly skilled and talented musicians. In terms of making a career in Austin, it’s not for the faint of heart. Being in Austin, we’re surrounded by amazing musicians that push us to the brink and make us try to achieve our best. You can feel that same level of healthy competition and inspiration in Nashville and L.A.

What is the best concert you have been to? What do you like most about playing live?

The best concert I’ve ever been to would have to be Pat Metheny Group. It was the highest level musicianship, with guys who are in their prime, just going for it. It was unreal and spectacular. In terms of energy and spectacle, Foo Fighters NEVER disappoint. What I like most about playing live is the connection I get with the guys and the little moments; the smiles, the winks, the laughter, inside jokes, basically camradarie. You’re out in some town playing in front of strangers, and it’s your team and that’s it. I love it. I love making music with these guys and it’s a special sound we have.

Is there a song on your latest CD release here that stands out as your personal favorite, and why? 

The song that I would say is the stand out for me on our upcoming release, The Saint and The Sinner, would have to be “The Rise and Fall.” That’s what we call the “grown ass adult” song. The song is written by our lead guitarist and vocalist Ryan Holley, and it deals with the end of a significant relationship, and as you recall the happy moments of the relationship, you also know that it’s not sustainable and that it’s going to end. I’d venture to say that most everyone who will listen to this record will understand the emotions laid bare in this song. The band itself took to it, as Ryan laid down some heartfelt vocals, and Brandon came up with some beautiful backup vocal parts for him and Don, and Brandon came up with some beautiful soundscapes and textures that truly added to the song. Our former keys player Taylor Autry did some really cool 80’s throwback sounds which reminded me of my childhood. This song will always be personal to me.

How have you evolved as an artist over the last year?

Personally speaking, how I’ve evolved in my artistry is mainly through my sobriety. I haven’t gone fully sober, but I have stopped drinking at shows, and I’m noticing an enormous difference. I’m obviously more clear headed and things that were difficult for me are much much easier. As a band, I feel we’ve evolved in that we’ve leaned into this amalgamtion of Country and Rock, and now we’re just making music as opposed to just focusing for that “crossover” sound. It seems more organic, more how it should be.

If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be? 

If I could meet with anyone and have a drink, with anyone, it’d have to be with Led Zeppelin and John Bonham specifically.  I always felt a deep connection to him as a drummer and as a band, I’d love to just talk to them about creation, about music, and about life stuff. We talk about music all the time, what about the stuff we all do?

What’s next for you? 

What’s next for us? A lot of great stuff. We just released our single, “Whiskey Kisses,” available on all streaming platforms. We have our new record called The Saint and The Sinner which will be out in Early 2019, and we’ll be out in the world touring for it. We have released a video for our other single “On My Way,” and so you can say we are doing a joint campaign for “On My Way” and “Whiskey Kisses.” We are prepping to hit the road in 2019, so please check us out at www.theamericanrevival.net for upcoming tour dates! You can find us at The American Revival on Facebook and @the_americanrevival on Instagram. Thanks for reading this!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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