Ok, so how did it happen that REVERENCE came to life?
-Following the demise of Tokyo Blade after our last European tour in late fall of 2009 I decided I wanted to create a new band that was heavier and a more power metal in style, but in the same vein as Judas Priest, Savatage, Helloween and Primal Fear. I immediately began hunting for the perfect vocalist that could creating soaring vocal choruses and melodies over my riffs, the combo I was looking for was akin to that classic metal sound I loved growing up but also with a hint of modern feel.
How did the band end up with the members it now have?
-I found Todd Michael Hall by searching on Myspace on New Years Eve 2010, I contacted him the next day and coincidentally he lives only a couple hours away from me, so we agreed to partner and soon after began writing for a new album. After demoing a few songs I contacted Frank Kruckel my bandmate in Tokyo Blade and played him the new material and he signed on immediately. As for Doc Killdrums, I have known Doc for 15 plus years and had played with him many times before. Doc and I had always wanted to play together and this was the perfect opportunity. With the music we were writing we knew we needed a second guitarist, so once Doc was onboard he suggested Pete Rossi from Pittsburg’s Sanxtion. We tossed the music back and forth to each other via the internet, which worked well finalizing the demos before heading into pre-production rehearsals and then into studio. Shortly after the album recording was completed Frank had to bow out due to some family circumstances so Todd brought in Ned Meloni, bassist for Jack Starr’s Burning Starr and Funny Money.
How well do you feel that initial idea of the band has turned out? How far off are you to what you set out to create?
-I think we came pretty close the mark of what our original plan was, I feel there some aspects that I think we could improve on for sure. We have just started working on the writing of our second album and I would like to make it heavier and darker than ‘When Darkness Calls’. I think we have a good start on it, Pete and I have already been putting our heads together and are meeting up in a few weeks for another writing session, the riff we have I believe are in a heavier and darker direction so I think we’re on the right path, time will tell though.
What is it about soaring vocals and unstoppable riffs that is so heavy metal? Where does it all come from originally?
-I think those two things are the definition of what classic heavy metal really is. That’s what we great up loving and what we felt was lacking in today’s music so we wanted to bring it alive again for ourselves as well as the fans. For us writing riff and solo, etc just come from our roots of the bands we grew up on, I’m heavily influenced by Rik Emmett from Triumph, Randy Rhoads from Ozzy Osbourne and Criss Oliva from Savatage. I also love the interaction in the classic dual guitars of Downing and Tipton from Judas Priest, Wilton and DeGarmo from Queensryche, Hansen and Weikath from Helloween and even Watson and Gillis from Night Ranger, we tried really hard to put that kinda of style into Reverence.
The album’s been out a while now. What kind of reactions have you had to it so far?
-Yeah, it’s been out about 6 months now, the media and fan reaction has been amazing! And now we’re even seeing the album show up on some end of year Top 10 Best Album of the year lists. We could never have predicted the kind of support that was give to our debut album. When your writing it, you’re so close, it’s really hard tell how good or bad the songs are, we have an idea but after hear these songs hundreds of times the objectivity gets lost so we’re very fortunate.
How easy is it to get an album distributed worldwide these days? Is the whole DIY becoming an force to be reckon with today?
-I think you better have a bit of knowledge about how things work in order to get the most out of the DIY process. I think distro can be tough but for the most part DIY is the way to go, the label anymore ore virtually worthless and you can usually get the same things accomplished, if not more if you just did it yourself, of course that’s a lot more work and very time consuming but at least you’re not giving all your hard work away for a bunch of empty promises.
When you have been around a while and start anew with a new band do you avoid all the pitfalls that you’ve been through once already? How much do you make sure that everything is done the right way?
-In our case, I believe having been around the biz and played the game for years now you can’t help but to have learned from some of the past failures and avoiding pitfalls newer bands don’t. We try to do things in-house as much as possible, you know who you can trust and that things will get done right, it’s just easier to control your own destiny.
When you have the track record that you guys have how do you put together a set list for touring? Do you use much from your past?
-Well we’re not trying to lean too hard on our past efforts we want to push and promote this band, Reverence, not Savatage, Tokyo Blade or Jack Starr. But obviously fans may not be as familiar with the new album as they are with our past bands material so I think we are expected to play at least a few classics until we can solidify and transition to just playing only Reverence material. So I would think the first tour would probably be the only time we would do that.
What kind of touring plans do you have for 2013? How far do you intend to take REVERENCE?
-We’ll take Reverence as far as the fans will let us take it, I mean we plan on sticking together and are already moving forward on a second album so we’ll keep making music together as long as we still love what we’re doing and the fans continue to support us. As for touring, we are planning and have some confirmed dates already for a European and US East Coast tour this fall 2013, so fingers crossed.
What would the ideal future for the band look like?
-If it were up to me, I’d be on the road constantly, I love playing live, that’s what I live for and most musicians do. Unfortunately that’s to possible as there simply isn’t enough money in what we’re doing to be able to make a total living off music and be on the road touring endlessly. But With Reverence being a new band we hope to grow the band over time in playing bigger venues and festivals to the point of where we can get our fix for playing live for the fans.