In 2010 the World witnessed the birth of Reverence,how did you come up with such an amazing band name?
Well, we wanted something that had meaning, we really struggled to find something and couldn’t find anything we felt was right for quite a while so Todd and I just started writing songs. We probably had 2-3 songs completed and we still had no name, the very first song we ever wrote was called ‘Revolution Rising’ and in the lyrics Todd had used the line “Bow down in Reverence, bow down in fear”. My wife Tracy was helping us sort through countless name possibilities and she stumbled upon that line of lyrics and it felt right to us plus is had a meaning. We started this band wanting to make music that we had grown up loving, the classic era’s of Dio, Judas Priest, Queensryche and Savatage and that name nailed the meaning behind our motives behind our own music.
Can you tell us a little about the band and how you all came together?
I had just gotten off tour with Tokyo Blade in the fall of 2009, the band was disintegrating due to the action of the other guitarist in the band, so I left TB but wanted to start fresh but in a bit different direction because Tokyo Blade was more of a NWOBHM band and was often likened to a poor man’s Iron Maiden. On New Years Eve of 2010 I found Todd on Myspace and contacted him a few days later, he only lived a few hours away from me so we set up a time to get together, we hit it off and formulated a plan of what we wanted to do musically. Once we got a few songs written, I sent the demo’s to Frank Kruckle my former bandmate and bassist in Tokyo Blade and my old friend and former Savatage drummer Steve ‘Doc Killdrums’ Wacholz, they both really loved the material and joined immediately. I had always planned on making this a two guitar band because of my days in TB, I knew we could do some really cool stuff with two lead guitarists, so Doc suggested Pete Rossi whom he had a previous project with, all-in-all the band cam together pretty easily.
Reverence is made up of some impressive pieces from some equally impressive bands such as Savatage,Tokyo Blade,Riot V etc. Your sound is so unique within the Power Metal Genre and as a influence of other Genres. What formula do you use to keep the creative juices flowing and if all band members have a part in the creative process?
Well, the first album ‘When Darkness Calls’ was written mainly by Todd and myself, Pete came into the band just as the last few songs were being written, he then added his share of solos and added a lot of layering and textures. The new second album, ‘Gods Of War’ was written by all the three of us, so in my opinion its more cohesive and complete sounding and I feel our song writing has definitely grown. I’m not sure what fuels the ideas besides our past influence, I think the bands sound simply comes from the three of us writing together bouncing ideas back and forth especially Pete and I. We aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel, we’re simply trying to write great songs that pay homage to our musical heroes with a positive message.
How do you prepare on a day to day basis for the next gig,the next show?any superstitions or routine Rituals?
Great question, Pete and I will often try to proactive a bit together, practicing harmony solos, etc. but I’m always worried about my gear so I usually over think everything and have to keep going over in my mind my setup. Then I drink a couple of Guinness to relax, haha!
How do you transform yourself from the writing process and the process of putting an album together and have it translate into your live performance?
Well the difference are night and day, often there’s layers of guitars and vocals on the records we can’t reproduce live and we don’t want to use backing tracks, so we just have to do a lot of homework before we even get into full band rehearsals and once we do its just a matter of working out all of the wrinkles. Usually we only rehearse as a full band for 2-3 weeks, but that goes pretty easy because of everyone doing their homework before we even get together.
What can you tell us about your latest release “Gods of War” and what fans can expect to find?
I think is a continuation of the ‘When Darkness Calls’ album but it believe we tried to take a few more left turns musically in the songs, add some variety. I believe our song writing has grown especially since all three of us we’re in on the writing vs. mainly Todd and I on the ‘Darkness’ album. On ‘Gods Of War’ Pete and I worked really hard to add a lot more guitar layers and textures, almost subliminal kind of stuff. He and I purposely tried not to play the exact some part at the same time, meaning if I’m hitting big open chords, he’s doing some inverted chording that’s complimentary but not the exact same thing, or we’ll do harmonies or octaves to what the other guitarist is playing, this keeps it fun and interesting while adding a lot textures and I guess in the end has kind of created ‘our’ own sound along with Todd’s layered vocals. I suppose those two things are the key to the ‘Reverence’ sound.
I’m just in love with the “Gods of War” album cover design, can you tell us how this came about and the concept behind it?
Thank you, our long time friend and artist Jobert Mello of Sledgehammer Graphix has done both of our album covers, website, banners, etc. and he’s done an amazing job! Once we decided on using the song ‘Gods of War’ as the title track, Todd and I starting working with Jobert on the cover design. We knew we wanted to use our mascot from the first album, the ‘Dead Pope’ on the new album so we originally want to make him more of a military general or a soldier but it just wasn’t turning out like we wanted so we started all over and decided to use the songs lyrics as a bit of a guide. I’m really into the World War 2 era so I wanted to make the imagery set in that time versus set in modern times. But also what the cover shows is probably not what you think it shows in that, there are soldiers fighting on the left and right sides of the cover and they are fighting each other not our ‘Dead God’ mascot way back in the distant middle, he’s the God of War, a puppet master if you listen to the song, is pitting men against men, country against country, etc. Most people haven’t even thought to take the time to really look but there are several hidden items in the cover art.
In your downtime what music do you like to listen too and what would you say would be The biggest influences to Reverence?
My personal influences are Randy Rhoads, Rik Emmett, Michael Schenker, Criss Oliva. I love the twin guitars of bands like Thin Lizzy, Night Ranger, Helloween, Queensrcyhe and Priest but my favorite bands are Rhoads era Ozzy, Savatage and Triumph. I think your can hear some elements of some of those bands in Reverence, especially Savatage and early Ozzy. I’ll admit I’m stuck in the 80’s like so many others out there, I just can’t get into the Screamo, Nu-metal, bark like dog vocals, I just don’t get it, I guess I’m getting old! I do like the new Megadeth, Sabbath and Priest album, many seem to still be putting out quality music.
Can you please tell our Readers what they can expect in the future from Reverence?
Well, As of this writing we’ve released three music video so far from the ‘Gods’ album, ‘Until My Dying Breath’, ‘Gods Of War’ and ‘Race To Obscene’ and plan to release a couple of more over the next couple of months. We have an untitled Live cd/dvd we recorded it on the Darkness tour which should be ready to roll out in late spring, early summer. We are already starting to write towards for the next album, its far to early to give any details about it yet. We are also hoping to book another Euro tour next fall, we’ll see what happens, a lot of things can change between now and then.
Any final words for our Readers to get A Better understanding of who and what Reverence is?
Thanks so much for your time and patience and thrilled that you will be a part of next Month’s issue of Metal On Loud?All the best to you guys.
Thanks so much David, I really appreciate your interest in the band. I’d like to say thanks for all the support we’ve gotten from our fans and the press over the past five years, we’ve been very fortunate to have reached a lot of people that are really digging what we’re doing….hang in there, there’s more to come!
Many thanks again David! ~ Bryan