It's Revis Day Again: A Hard-rocking Resurrection and New CD

It's Revis Day Again:  A Hard-rocking Resurrection and New CD
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Revis Returns!

Who: Revis
What: modern rock CD release party
When: 2011-05-19
It's Revis Day Again: A Hard-rocking Resurrection and New CD
Leah Williams Wright

words by Leah Williams Wright

pictures by Keith Briley

May 19 has and will forever more belong to Revis.

It was on that day in 2003 that then mayor Brad Cole issued a formal proclamation that the city of Carbondale was to celebrate Revis Day. The Southern Illinois band had left the small pond to make it big, and big they almost became. With their first album about to be released by Epic Records, better things seemed on the horizon.

"That day is Revis Day, we still remember it," lead guitarist Robert Davis told Nightlife. "We still have the decree that the mayor made and everything."

Now, nearly ten years later, May 19 can once again be Revis Day. The resurrected band will release their first batch of new material in almost a decade Thursday, May 19 at a CD release party at the Copper Dragon. Do We Have to Beg?, the band's sophomore effort, will be released the next day to the masses.

"We saw so many fans waiting to hear from us that we had to see what we could do," lead singer Justin Holman told Nightlife.

The story of Revis is one of tenacity and perseverance, meteoric rises and falls. Once upon a time, Revis became one of Southern Illinois's most popular bands under their old moniker, Orco. Then the band ventured off to the West Coast and started playing gigs in Los Angeles. It was there they changed their name, recorded a demo, and caught the attention of record execs at Epic. The band signed with the label in January 2002.

Revis's popularity kept rising. Their first album, Places for Breathing, came along on May 20, 2003, debuting at number one on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. The song "Caught in the Rain" was a top five-hit on active-rock radio charts and featured on the Daredevil movie soundtrack. Revis toured with Oleander and Evanescence to promote the album.

But their upward climb did not continue forever. Epic Records dropped Revis, and the band broke up in 2004.

But earlier last year, the rumor mill started to turn that Revis was back together and gearing up for a return album. Do We Have to Beg? was recorded at NRG Recording in West Hollywood, in the same room where Revis laid down their first album. Revis gained a couple of new members (Kyle Needham on guitar and Simon Huber on bass). A few singles slowly leaked out last fall to test the market and see if the listening public was ready to again embrace Revis.

Sure enough, it was. In fact, more than willing. "Are You Going to Take Me Home?" and "A Better Day (Relief)" received a welcome reception. The third single, "From That Point On," was a remix of a song that had been a B-side on from the band's first go-round.

In October, the band reunited for a homecoming show at the Copper Dragon.

"It felt so good to be back," Davis said. "We had such a great time, and we can't wait to come back and do it again."

Revis is now on a multicity tour to promote Do We Have to Beg? that will take them to Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Toledo, and Philadelphia.

The idea to come back was a joint decision. The band's members had remained on good terms following their departure from Epic, and had mounds of new material. During the process of coming back together for Do We Have to Beg?, bandmates kept writing new material that they felt just had to get on the record.

The leadoff single for Do We Have to Beg? is superb. "Save Our Souls" is a steady rocker written for a forthcoming documentary that chronicles the burlesque scene in New Orleans, especially since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The film will premiere this fall at the New Orleans Film Festival.

With everything that they have been through, Revis's members have remained positive that good things can still happen for them.

"It's been great working together again," Davis said. "It has helped to breathe second life into us again."

Listeners can hear remnants of Revis's past on Do We Have to Beg?, but band members say that as years have gone by, the band has matured. True, they are still Revis, but a more evolved and seasoned Revis.

"Some of it is still there," Holman said. "People can still listen to it and say, 'Yeah, that's Revis.' But it's not exactly like we were then, and we don't expect it to be. We have also grown up a lot as musicians and artists since then."

Davis agreed, adding: "We don't think people will be disappointed. It's the best music that we've ever done. This time it feels right."

And this Revis Day will be even more reason to celebrate than the last.

"There's nothing we want more," Holman said. "We're back for good."

For more information about Revis, check out <>.

who: Revis

what: modern rock CD release party

where: Copper Dragon Brewing Company

when: Thursday, May 19