Every band has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Marie B, vocals: The unique story about REVILUTION begins with Dan Seitz. His love of recording goes back to his childhood. He took piano lessons as a child, guitar lessons as an elective in high school, and taught himself to play the drums and bass while in the Army. Once back in civilian life, he played drums in cover bands. We met through a mutual friend, who was a bandmate of Dan’s. Dan told me, “I can be an entire band, and I can use a multitrack recorder.” He gave me a link to a ReverbNation page, where he had released two songs that he had recorded himself. They were pretty raw, but I was intrigued; I really dug the energy and the way the instruments sounded together. So I bought him a 16-track recorder to see if he could do it again, only better. True to his word, he recorded and released three songs within a couple of months. We had a great response on the music and I decided to move to California to manage his career. Dan finished the first album and released it soon after. Because he’s a big fan of the band KISS, when Gene Simmons Tweeted he was doing Rock Fantasy Camp, I jumped on it and got us set up to go. Somehow I accidentally ended up with a lead vocals package, and I got to sing “I Remember You” with Sebastian Bach, which is how I wound up doing vocals in REVILUTION. After that, we took what Dan knows and what I know and mixed it with what we learned at the camp. We tried to put a band together and it didn’t work out, so we started recording a second album, again doing everything ourselves. Then I bought a house and we built the band studio in it, where we finished the second album and then recorded an EP that we released exclusively on cassette. Dan and I performed a few open-mic shows using backing tracks from the albums, but we still wanted to perform with a full band, so we found some people through mutual friends and Craigslist, and this time it worked! We played live shows locally for a year with that lineup, then a couple members left, we got new members, and we have built a solid sound.
Dan Seitz, vocals, guitar: Our current lineup is me, Marie, Scott Flint on guitar and vocals, Mikey Chavez on bass, and Joe Hernandez on drums.
Please tell us about your music.
Dan: I almost always write music before lyrics, which starts with me noodling around on guitar or bass or keyboard until I come across a riff I like. If I’m able to turn that riff into a full rhythm section, then I’ll listen to it a bunch of times to get the emotion of it; I let the music tell me what the song is about. Then I’ll write lyrics for it. I like high-energy rock and metal with a good message, and I like it to be believable, so I draw on my own life experiences when I write lyrics. Marie likes to do stream-of-consciousness writing, too, so quite a few of our song lyrics are her ideas, which I move around and polish to fit whatever I’m working on. And Scott has brought in a few tunes as well, which we polish up as a full band.
Marie: At first it was Dan’s songs and I listened to them and gave him feedback and support. That morphed into adding some of my words which were evoked by what he’d written. He uses my ears and how I interpret what I hear to polish the songs. To sweeten them or…you know make them sound more complete. Not that they’re not already great compositions but when you add a listener to it with feedback it helps to finish the sound. Now that we have our current lineup, we get ideas from each other too.
What do you think about conditions for rock bands today?
Marie: I’d say that although there is a lot of competition to be heard, the fact that there are listeners out there is good. Rock music fans had to learn how to find the sounds they want to hear. There’s a lot of data to sift through and understand these days. As far as performing live shows, bands are subjected to venues that want part of our pay to be drinks at the venue. Some places want us to sell tickets to do shows. So, bands have to be smart and get a manager that will look out for them. I imagine it’s always been like that. You know, there’s always challenges to overcome.
Dan: Hip-hop and streaming has kind of kicked the legs out from under a lot of rock bands. With digital recording and all the apps and plug-ins available for it, pretty much anyone can release any kind of music they want, but if it’s any good, it winds up on pirate sites as soon as it hits the internet. Hip-hop artists are churning out songs as fast as they can record them, trying desperately to make whatever money they can before a song becomes essentially worthless, so the genre has held onto the mainstream for a long time. And it’s all but impossible to make any real money from streaming, regardless of genre, so fans and music venues now believe that music is pretty much free and so they don’t want to pay the musicians. But there are still a lot of die-hard rock fans out there, hanging out in the dive bars and waiting for a good band to come and play them a really great song. That’s where REVILUTION comes in, and that’s why we play.
Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years?
Marie: I’d say both. It’s changed a lot. There are tools available for artists now that didn’t exist in the past. Plus with social media, bands can see what the fans are in to. So, since the pearls of music are created with the grains of sand, metaphorically speaking, the sound of music has been affected. Now everyone is all, look a grain of sand. I stand for grains of sand and I support the matter that surrounds it. Or, f*** grains of sand. All sand should be the same and I’m against the matter that surrounds grains of sand. Down with grains of sand, all sand should be….and so on. So to answer your question, the challenges are different. Everyone is being heard now so on one hand it’s easier. On the other hand everyone is being heard now so that’s a challenge too.
Dan: When I first wanted to start a band in the late ‘80s, we would’ve had to find a studio, pay a bazillion dollars for time, an engineer, and a producer to make a four-song EP, then mail physical copies off to record labels all across the country in hopes of landing a record deal, all while playing in local clubs, of which there are very few anywhere but on the coasts that are accepting of original music. Nowadays, you spend a few grand on gear, record an entire album yourself (if you’re any good at recording), then release it on the ‘net. You can do that from Swan Valley, Idaho, and get people all over the world to hear it, if you want to spend some money on social media ads. In that way, it’s easier. But there’s so many people that are doing exactly that, you gotta really have something special to be heard above all the noise. For us, we did the second thing first, which got us a manager, then she had us do the first thing, which is how we’re getting all this attention now! So maybe not much has really changed.
What can cities like LA do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
Marie: I’d say they should book bands and pay them to perform. Make sure it’s easy to get band equipment on and off stage. Offer us hot water for tea and also coffee. A one sheet of what to expect to encounter at their venue. (Bands have a one sheet about us, venues should too.) There should be a medic on staff and security so band equipment doesn’t go missing. If venues were held accountable for these things then bands wouldn’t get taken advantage of. We are there to entertain. We could thrive better if we were more able to focus solely on our performance.
Dan: It would also be helpful if the venues really pushed the events on their own social media pages, helped us get people out to shows. A lot of venues expect you to bring your own fan base when you play, but that’s pretty difficult if you’re just starting out and the gig is 100 miles away from everyone you know. No one wants to drive that far to see you play for 30 minutes, especially if they have to brave SoCal traffic!
How or where can people see you LIVE?
Dan: They can like our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/revilution1, where we have a list of all of our upcoming events. Right now we have a lot of shows booked in SoCal, and one in Vegas at the Double Down Saloon. Pick one, and come party with us!
How can people support your new music right now!?
Marie: People can support our new music right now by purchasing it at our website, http://www.revilution.com,
and attending our shows. We also have other things you can buy at the band website. We can accept donations of money but we aren’t the kind of people to ask for it.