Revis Returns!

Revis Returns!
Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The

Who: Revis
What: modern rock
When: 2010-10-29
Revis Returns!
Leah Williams Wright

words by Leah Williams Wright

archival pictures by Thierry Boehm

There is no rock ‘n’ roll recipe for success; the music business is too cut-throat to be cookie-cutter. Musicians either make it or they don’t. Why certain things do not pan out is beyond reasonable explanation.

After going through what they went through, Revis might have faded into rock ‘n’ roll obscurity. But it ain’t over till it’s over.

“We never focused on the negativity,” said Revis lead guitarist Robert Davis. “We always tried to be ourselves.”

Readying themselves for round two, a resurgent Revis will rumble at a homecoming performance Friday, October 29 at the Copper Dragon with Under the Radar and 30-Aut-6 warming up. The post-grunge poets reunited, and it felt so good that they are releasing new music for the first time in five years.

In early 2000, Revis was a Southern Illinois band named Orco. With original members from both Benton and East Peoria, the guys grew a loyal fan base and played to large local crowds. In July 2001, they set their sights on Los Angeles in hopes of making it to the big time. It was not always easy, but after weathering what the band labelled “dismissive management,” and an eviction from a one-bedroom apartment, Orco got their first big break, recorded a demo, changed their name to Revis, and signed to Epic Records. All of this happened within the first year of the band arriving in L.A.

In May 2003, Revis released Places for Breathing, recorded at NRG Recording in North Hollywood. The band toured with well-known artists like Oleander, Evanescence, Pearl Jam, Fuel, and Cold, and even scored a couple of rock radio hits, “Caught in the Rain” and “Seven.” “Caught in the Rain” was also featured on the Daredevil movie soundtrack.

Places for Breathing hit number one on Billboard’s heatseekers chart and peaked at number 115 on the Billboard top two-hundred chart.

Revis seemed like they were on top of the world. They recorded a second demo and made plans to rerecord tracks for placement on a sophomore album. But those plans halted when Epic dropped them from the label as a result of a record-label merger.

Revis broke up shortly afterward. During the hiatus, each of the members busied themselves with other music-related entities. For a long time it seemed as if the big record machine asphyxiated Revis and Places for Breathing.

Fast forward to 2010. Davis and drummer David Piribauer started a production company together, and not long after, the two decided to reach out to their former front man Justin Holman and guitarist Nathaniel Cox. It started innocent enough, as just a way to record and rerecord some of their old material. But as they were breathing life into their unreleased songs, they soon realized that they had enough material to put out a new album.

Holman explained that the desire to resurrect Revis was a two-fold decision.

“We all remained friends,” Holman said. “We were always in each other’s lives. We didn’t break up because we didn’t like each other-- that, and we saw so many fans out there wanting to hear from us.”

The pushback of the album from its original release date in July was not a sign of trouble, but rather an indication that the creative juices were in full swing.

“We had just come up with some new songs and we wanted to get them ready to put on the new album,” Davis explained.

The current lineup added newcomers in bass player Brad Smith (who is also the original bass player for Blind Melon) and guitarist Kevin Haaland.

“It’s been great working with them,” Smith said. “We get along great and we all try to make good music together.”

“[Smith and Haaland] are quality musicians that are going to help bring our sound to a whole different level,” Holman said.

While the band made plans to unleash an album titled Fire and Ice by now, the new marketing strategy is to issue singles until the album release, now slated for sometime in 2011. The band has already released “Are You Taking Me Home?” and “A Better Day (Relief).” The next single, “From That Point On,” was set for release on Monday, October 25. This song will be a remixed and updated version from a track that was a rare B-side from the Epic years.

“We want to introduce songs one at a time,” Davis said. “The market has changed so much in the last few years. We wanted to first put them on the website and see how people react.”

Holman agreed, saying: “Rather than putting it all out there and hoping that it does well, we want to see how these songs perform and go from there.”

All the tracks were recorded at NRG Recording, in the same room where the first album was laid down.

The Copper Dragon show will be the first live performance promoting the new material, and a film crew will record the show for a DVD release.

The band is looking forward to playing back on their home turf. For the newbies, it will be an introduction, and for the rest of Revis, well, it has been a long time, hasn’t it?

“I haven’t been home in six years,” Davis said. “It’s going to be great seeing everyone again for the first time in a long time.”

Reflecting back on everything they have been through as a band, Revis says that the often turbulent ride has been all worth it to get to where they are now.

“We all want this,” Holman said. “There was never any ill will toward any of us. We are genuinely friends and we enjoy working together.”

For more information, log on to <>. The site contains updated information, song downloads, and photographs of the band recording their new album.

who: Revis

what: modern rock

where: Copper Dragon Brewing Company

when: Friday, October 29 w/ Under the Radar / 30-Aut-6