The Revivalists Celebrate Their City of Sound
Let’s talk about your plans for the spring. You’ve got some SXSW stuff coming up…
We’re going to SXSW. We’ve got a few showcases. We’re going to do one for our record label and I think one for our booking agency. We always have fun at SXSW. It’s a great networking place. I love going there and checking out new bands, finding out what’s the latest buzz on the scene. I’m definitely excited. We’ve done it the past two or three years, and it’s done nothing but good for us for sure.
You’re also going to be hitting the road with Moon Taxi later in the spring. What made you want to team up with this band, and what can we expect from those co-headlining shows?
They’re a great band; great guys and we’ve done a few shows with them. After some shows, the fans would be like, “Have you ever heard of a band called Moon Taxi?” After a while we checked them out and it was just like, wow, these guys are great. We should definitely do something with them. We did a show in New Orleans, and we did one in Austin not too long ago. It sold out. We were like, Why don’t we team up to go out and play some of these bigger rooms all over the Southeast and Northeast, and we’ll see what we can do. It’s definitely a good match.
Last year The Revivalists were one of Relix’s summer stars. Have you guys found a lot of love on the festival scene, and what do you have planned for this summer?
We are definitely feeling the love on the festival scene, that’s for sure. Somebody told us that we might have played the most festivals last year out of any band at our level. It was certainly a whirlwind year. After it was all typed out and we looked back, it was like, What? Did we just do all that? It was a great time, and this year is nothing less. We’re doing some of the same festivals. I’m definitely looking forward to Counterpoint Music Festival. Definitely looking forward to Jazz Fest. That’s always a riot; the crazy after shows and the nightlife is great as well.
You’ve toured with Galactic in the past, filling in the part-time vocalist role that’s also been filled by Corey Glover and Maggie Koerner at various times, and you’ve also worked with them on a few studio tracks, “Dolla Diva” and “Hey Na Na.” How did your relationship with that band begin?
The relationship with that band actually began when Ben (Ellman) was the producer for our album that’s about to be re-released. He liked my songwriting and liked my singing. He started sending me instrumental tracks for me to write songs to and he sent me this one track, which was “Hey Na Na.” I was hanging out in my bedroom and my friend Maggie (Koerner) came over and I said, ‘I want to know what you would do to this song.’ I left for like 10 minutes, and she’d written “Hey Na Na,” and I was like, “Alright, alright, we can definitely work with this.” I wrote some verses, and then she put the hook in there, and then we added a bridge and a couple more verses to the song. The rest is history. I’m a songwriter at heart, and that’s what I love to do. The relationship is great. I also co-wrote “Dolla Diva,” and there’s definitely more in the bag.
You guys came out of what I would say is the greatest musical city in the United States, New Orleans. What was it like coming out of that scene? How do you think The Revivalists fit into that crazy gumbo down there?
We love New Orleans. We all came here from other cities — some to go to school, some to pursue a career in music, some for both. Rob came to get a degree in saxophone, so that’s what he did. But it’s one of those cities. There’s a saying: There’s San Francisco, New Orleans and New York City. Everything else is Cleveland. And I’m not dissing on any of these other cities, but it’s really true. It’s got a unique life of its own, that’s for sure, a unique personality of its own. And some of the music coming out of here, some of the indie bands that come out of here don’t sound like indie bands from New York or the indie bands in San Francisco. It’s really, really got its own sound because the funk thing is running very thick throughout the city and throughout the music that people hear just on a regular basis. A lot of the bands are very groove-oriented. That’s one thing we’ve really tried to capture. We’re after that ferocious groove. Even if it’s a folk song, you know what I’m saying? It’s a beautiful city. If they made “I heart NO” shirts, I’d wear one. But I don’t really see many of those. You always see “I heart NY.” But it’s the bomb. I love it. It’s kind of a love-hate relationship with touring, because you gotta tour to make money and do what you love, but then you can’t be in the city. So I always kind of say “It’s a great place to vacation at for me,” because that’s pretty much what happens.