A Q&A with The Old Revival
Good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll out of Bend, Oregon – introducing The Old Revival…
How did you get the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
Our new record, 9 Meals from Anarchy, is a loosely-based concept record based on the theory from Alfred Henry Lewis of the same name. His theory was that no matter how advanced or safe a society felt it was, at any given time it was about three days from disintegrating in front of you. Simply put, any human society is nine missed meals from anarchy. After three days of no food, you would begin to do whatever it took to feed your family or yourself. When I stopped and thought about it, it was almost like a lion in the zoo. When he is safe and well fed, someone could walk right up and pet him. But if you met that same lion starving on the Serengeti, that damn cat is going to eat you. Are we really that different when it comes down to it? I don’t know, but it felt like an interesting topic to me. Not even in a way of if we are good or bad, but just that we have maybe forgotten what our true nature could push us to if a circumstance like that arose. We took that concept of a world that was coming off the rails and wrote songs about how human nature would respond to it. Ourselves included. It is somewhat of a new sound, with much more focus on the guitar work, piano and harmonies. With the lockdown beginning halfway through making this record, it allowed us to take our time and craft something we are all really proud of.
What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
Well, here is the obvious answer: COVID. Right after we started making this record, the first lockdown started. All of a sudden, this whole concept record we had just written about society falling apart seemed like it was coming to life. It kept us out of the studio for a bit, but once we got back in, we tried to turn it into a positive. There was no rush for release if there was no way to play a release show, so we took our time making the record and added every nuance that we wanted. It was, without a doubt, the strangest experience in releasing new music I have ever had, but there were a lot of positives that actually came along with it.
Who produced the release – what did they bring to it?
Our guitar player, Ian Cook, produced the record. At the same time, I would also have to say that Dayne Wood, who recorded the record at The Firing Room, was a producer as well. We spent countless hours searching for tones and sounds that I have never had the time to do before. Ian has a lot of experience with recording, and as the guitar player and singer for Larry and His Flask, he was heavily involved in making those records. He has an incredible ear and instinct for the subtle things that truly make a track special. With his ear and Dayne’s ability to find and capture the sounds, it made making 9 Meals from Anarchy the most fun I have ever had in a studio.
What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
I would hope they can get lost in the song and connect with the meaning. Music is an unexplainable force and can connect and bring alive little things in you that nothing else can, and that’s why we love to make it. We all have triumphs and defeats, and I feel like there are songs on this record that run the spectrum in between. We also wrote 9 Meals from Anarchy to be experienced as a full rock record from start to finish. I hope the listener will take that journey, and I hope they like it.
How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
In years past, I wrote the songs alone and then we would arrange them as a band. With this record, it was a new process, hence the name change to just The Old Revival. When Ian and Andrew entered the band, we all had so many ideas that we started writing together. Everything just flowed. I had also written a lot on my own for this album, but I would bring a new idea and Ian would really take it and run with it, adding guitar, harmonies, piano or anything we needed. He and I demoed the whole record together before getting into the studio, and that’s where so many ideas took shape. We wrote much more collectively, and it was really fun to have that process come alive.
What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
Our influences are all over the place. I grew up on classic rock and fell in love with bands like AC/DC, Queen and Van Halen as a kid. That will always influence me at my core. The songwriting and storytelling of artists like Willie Nelson and Billy Joel have always influenced all of us as well, I think. There are just little pieces of all corners of music that I think add up to our influences. From punk rock, to singer songwriters to metal. Even more recent artists like Frank Turner or Will Varley have always spoken to me. This list could go on for too long…
When the world is back to normal where would like to tour, and why?
We have yet to go to Europe, and when this is all over, that would be at the top of our list. Ian and Andrew have spent time touring there, and all I have ever heard was that the fans and hospitality were incredible. Hopefully we make it there soon.
If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
I would say our new track ‘Beggars Dime’ off of 9 Meals from Anarchy. I think it sums up our sound and what we are about pretty well. Soaring melody, fun guitars and piano, and somewhat of a story lyrically. It sonically is a pretty accurate representation of the energy of The Old Revival as a band as well, more like what you would get at one of our live shows.
What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
We just want to keep writing and playing music. Playing a two hour show in a room where everyone comes alive and forgets about their problems for a bit is what it’s all about for us. As long as we keep getting to do that and the fans still want to listen, we will be happy.
Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
Probably some generic sh*t like, “Thank you!” But really, it’s thank you for letting us play our songs, and thanks for taking the time to listen and lose yourself with us for a bit. There really is nothing better than that.
For more info visit: facebook.com/brandonprinzingandtheoldrevival