Revocation interview (08/2016)
|With:||David Davidson, Dan Gargiulo, Brett Bramberger, Ash Pearson|
|Conducted by:||Susan (in person)|
The Summer Slaughter Tour rocked its way across the United States yet again, and I had the pleasure of speaking with the awesome guys from Revocation before their set. There are many nice and cool musicians out there playing metal, but few bands are as instantly likeable, easy-going, and fun as Revocation. When we weren't talking about dildos or farting, we actually got down to some business. Here are some of those more business-related highlights from our chat:
Susan: The new album seems pretty well received. What were you guys hoping to accomplish with it?
Dave: It's pretty much the same thing with every process we do it's like a natural organic thing that develops over the year or so that we write it. Like a specific goal? I guess, other than just ...
Brett: I just want to enjoy it.
Dave: Right, make music that we enjoy.
Brett: Enjoy it, work on it, you know, have fun.
Dave: I think we naturally just evolved, it gets better, we get better as musicians over time, so we get better and finding our ideas and honing in on what our sound is. But other than that it's the same process every time.
Susan: Was there anything on the new album that turned out better than you expected? Like you're in the studio thinking hmmm I don't know if this is going to work, then you listen and it's kind of amazing?
Dan: I think that Crumbling ("Crumbling Imperium") kinda came out better than I expected.
Brett: Working on the pre-pro, Dave and Dan have their vision for their song, and you and I, Ash, working on the pre-production we have a different idea of what the song is, pretty much, and when we get it in the room it's like, oh, wow this is pretty kick ass. Then when we get it even more finely tuned and recorded it's like, holy shit! So that's the vision. It's awesome. It's watching it come to life.
Dave: Dan and I, for our own songs, already kinda have a vision for what we want and try to explain certain things and get some, "are you sure that's going to work?" and we're like "trust me".
Susan: (to Dave) You said "our own songs," do you each bring new ideas for songs from scratch to the table?
Dave: Yeah I mean there are certain riffs, there's a couple riffs on the newest record that are pretty old, but for the most part 95% of the material is all brand new.
Susan: You guys did an interview with Metal Storm previously, a video interview with Dave and Phil, you said that in songwriting, instruments come first with vocals and lyrics second. Is that still the case on this one?
Dave: Yeah, I tend to write lyrics once the skeletons of the songs are all in place that way I can think about vocal patterns and all that kind of stuff. Yeah, the music always comes first.
Susan: Can you tell us the sources of inspiration behind your rather dark and macabre lyrics?
Dave: Well, the new record is a concept album about the folly of man throughout history. We went back to the middle ages up to present day and looked at certain historical events and tried to comment on them using Great Is Our Sin as kind of the lens to view these historical events.
Susan: Nice. Hopefully too many of those won't be repeating themselves.
Dave: Well it's sad that it tends to keep happening.
Susan: Yes. So, your live performance can be pretty insane, I loved you guys at Summer Slaughter last time: how do you cultivate that stage presence? Do you rehearse moves or have you just been performing a really long time?
Brett: We talk about it via email.
Dan: For me we've just been doing it so long it just feels natural. I don't really get nervous up there anymore.
Ash: I feel like we stand by what we write and play, so we play it from... we actually give a shit what we play.
Dan: Yeah we're not just faking it.
Ash: We're not just up there stroking off a bunch of shit looking bored while we're doing it. It's actually coming from some place real so I feel like it translates. People can pick up that we're laying something down that's the real deal, you know?
Brett: Yeah pretty much you internalize it and project it.
Susan: Nice. How do you guys translate that to the studio? Because some bands are great live and boring in the studio but you guys have that same crazy energy.
Ash: Or vice versa.
Susan: Or vice versa, totally. How do you do that when you're just in a booth.
Dave: Just the level of preparation that goes into it we've all been on multiple recordings at this point, I think we all realize like you have to go in 110% prepared because you never know what littler variable will come along and screw up your day. So, eliminating all those variables making sure you, for example, like all the tempos of the songs we're working on, something as simple as that, it's huge to know this is the tempo I'm tracking to or working on solos beforehand so you're not just trying to come up with a line in the studio while the clock is ticking under pressure. Although, I will say that I do leave certain sections unfinished to have a little bit of an improvised quality in the studio, like there might be a certain melody or something that I want to lay down over a riff and I'll leave till I get to the studio just so there is that spark of creativity. But for the most part yeah, it's just the level of preparation.
Susan: Dan, you said you don't get nervous on stage anymore. Did you used to?
Dan: Oh yeah, of course.
Susan: Do you have any horror stories about playing something for the first time and fucking up?
Dan: No, I'm always afraid of falling, but that hasn't happened yet.
Susan: Hasn't happened yet, I like your optimism about it! Maybe tonight!
Brett: Yeah, that stage is just gonna give out.
Dan: You never know!
Ash: But you get a little numb to it you know, you just think this is what I do and you get up and do it.
Dan: It's a routine; this is what I do now.
Brett: And even if you were nervous, at some point there's so much go, go, go with taking out gear that you don't have time to get nervous.
(Ash Pearson joined Revocation in 2015, having previous been the long-time drummer for 3 Inches Of Blood).
Susan: Ash, how do the Revocation shows differ from 3 Inches of Blood? How is the live vibe different?
Ash: Different music, harder music to play. Just lots of fun. Really technical, fun stuff to play. Yeah. It's great.
Susan: What are you favorite songs to play live?
Brett: I'm feeling "Arbiters" (Arbiters Of The Apocalypse)
(the guys agree)
Brett: I'm kinda feeling that one. It's nice and easy and fun.
Dan: I like "Crumbling Imperium" a lot.
(Everyone starts talking at once and agreeing)
"The new stuff is just like..."
"We're all stoked on that."
"New and exciting."
Susan: Are you already gathering ideas for the next album?
Dave: A little bit, here and there, yeah. We're the type of band where we don't wait till like the month before we have to record. If an idea hits us and we like it we'll lay it down on my phone or on one of our computers just to capture it after it and we revisit it 6 months down the line but at least you have it archived somewhere.
Ash: Yeah, we were jamming new stuff in the practices prior to this tour.
Dave: Yeah, just a couple little ideas.
New stuff? SWEEEEET. Their Summer Slaughter set that evening was also awesome; read about it here and see the photo gallery here.
Posted on 18.08.2016 by
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of sub-genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.
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