Good Night Magazine: A Word with The Revivalists

  • October 3, 2014
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Everyone has that one band. When you see them perform, they never cease to amaze you. As you see the smoke fuse out during their arrival and as fluorescent colors from the stage lights rise from the floor, you begin to think this is all just a rock n’ roll dream. Whether it’s Phish, Dave Matthews, Paramore, Umphrey’s McGee, hell, even Justin Bieber (no judgment here…you do you, man), we all know that feeling. Their songs never get tired, and each new release is like a personal gift wrapped to perfection, ribbons and all. The Revivalists are my version of that band.

The Revivalists are a seven-piece band from New Orleans jamming out rock n’ roll infused with some funk and jazz sounds. You can imagine my excitement when I received a phone call from my editor explaining that I got the interview and I needed to leave for the show ASAP! I hit the road for the SoConFest at Mercer University, and I was welcomed by the band’s down-to-Earth attitudes and clear passion for making music. The Revivalists consist of Ed Williams on pedal-steel guitar, David Shaw on vocals, Zack Fienberg on guitar, Rob Ingraham on sax, George Gekas on bass, Andrew Campanelli on drums, and Michael Giradot on keys and trumpet. At the show, each instrument performed a stellar solo that really showed how talented each member was. Between the smooth sounds of the pedal-steel and the funk-infused vocals and sax made for nothing short of a dance-filled night. Make sure to catch these guys while they’re touring up and down the East Coast for the next few months, and I promise you will be glad you did! Check out my interview with them here and give their new album City of Sound a listen to find out why they rock this beautiful world!

Good Night Magazine: How did you guys come up with your name? I know ‘revival’ has some religious connotations to it. Was that on purpose?
The Revivalists: That wasn’t intentional. We were watching 60 Minutes and there was this segment on Bruce Springsteen that described his concerts as having a "revivalist fervor.” Musical "revival” is seen a lot in New Orleans and with older styles of music.

GNM: Yeah, I saw you guys were from New Orleans. How does that influence your style?
REV: We kind of moved out there for college and we appreciate old rock, but the New Orleans funk and jazz scenes really opened our eyes to that kind of flavor of music. I think we’re a rock band but we do have a hidden New Orleans rhythm thing goin’ on. There’s not much you can do about avoiding it when you’re down there. We grew up listening to New Orleans bands in college and it gets in the way you play when you hear it. There’s music everywhere in town.

GNM: That’s awesome. One of my favorite songs by you guys is "Soul Fight”; I was wondering what made you want to write that song?
REV: Dave wrote it and can answer that one for you.
Dave: Yeah I was going through a lot of stuff. I was 22. It was actually the first song I ever finished. You know, it has a lot of meaning. It was all about these things in my life -- issues, drugs -- that were all colliding at the same time. The song’s mainly dealing with when you think you have something inside of you that is inherently good and what you’re showing to the outside world isn’t necessarily that…so "Soul Fight” is that, that fight that’s inside of you.

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