Interview : Revocation
SoCalMusicToday caught up with the Boston based thrashers Revocation on their stop in Santa Ana on their current tour with Children of Bodom, Eluveitie and Threat Signal. Guitarist and vocalist David Davidson, Guitarist Dan Gargiulo and drummer Phil Dubois answered questions regarding the bands musical style, touring and the Black Sabbath reunion . Check out Revocation’s latest CD “Chaos of Forms” and Like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Revocation. Revocation is on tour with Children of Bodom through the first week in March.
Question: What does the band’s name Revocation mean? How/who came up with the name Revocation?
David Davidson: I came up with the name, we wanted to change our name from our original name Cryptic Warning – it was a good name but our style and material was changing so rapidly we felt we outgrew the name. There is so many band names with the word Cryptic in it we wanted something more unique and also we wanted a one word name. Revocation gave us that one word name. People can put their own rationalizations on the word Revocation. We wanted to start fresh with a new band name and it was just cool to fucking come up with a one word name. I think we got one of the last one word band names in metal out there!
Q: Describe and/or Categorize Revocation’s music.
Phil Dubois: I would say just metal, we try to stay away from all these specific genre labeling. Also we play too many different styles to label us as one category. All in all we are just a metal band.
David Davidson: If you had to give us a label it would be Technical Death, thrash, black grind-core metal.
Q: Tell me about making your latest album “Chaos of Forms”.
David Davidson: It was different for us . . . . This was the first record we recorded in-between tours, every other record we have done we always had a big chunk of time to go into the studio and hammer it out. So it was a start and stop process as we were still touring (for “Existence is Futile”). Did the drums, left for a tour, then did the guitars and bass and did a tour, and finally finished mixing and mastering after that. It was nice as it kind of gave us a bit more time to work on my solos but it’s also cool to get into the studio in one shot and not lose that focus. But with all the touring we made it work, it was definitely a unique experience for us so far as making an album goes.
Q: Tell me about the songwriting process for Revocation – Is there a primary song writer, etc?
David Davidson: We’ll all get together and jam, I’ll come up with some riffs and then as a band kind of flush it out and make it a song. As far as lyrics go Anthony (bass player) writes about half the lyrics, I write the other half – basically an even split between me and Anthony as far as the lyrics go. Lyrically he’ll write his songs with little tweaking and I’ll do the same. Lyric writing to me is very personal, a lot of time it’s OK to just not have any collaboration and just write what’s in my head. Cause lyrics can be about a fantasy or really personal reality shit. We (me and Anthony) just kind of let each other do our own things with the lyrics.
Q: What does the album title “Chaos of Forms” mean and what is the significance of the album cover art?
David Davidson: Chaos of Forms is a line from the book Steppenwolf I was reading (when I was a kid), the main character was talking about how his mind was a storm of thoughts going on in his head, his mind was like a Chaos of Forms and that line just really stuck out to me . . . so I wrote that down in a notebook (when I was a kid) – my notebook of cool band names and song titles. I mentioned it to the band early on – we didn’t even have any material written – I said what do you guys think of Chaos of Forms and we said that is gonna be the name of our third record. It was funny as the name became like a prophecy fulfilled as years later we said what are we gonna call our record and said fuck it – let’s call it Chaos of Forms.
In terms of the artwork, the artwork was once again done by Orion, he is the in house artist at Relapse Records. The artistic direction I wanted to give him was . . . I mean I am a big fan of expressionism in art and abstract expressionism – it was kind of an interesting time in history with WWII – kind of an exciting time for art whether it was music or visual art. There was an expressionist painter Franz Marc who had a painting called Fighting Forms and when I was researching that time period that was one of the paintings that I thought was so cool – it had two weird amorphous blobs attacking each other – that image really stuck out for me. So we sent a picture of that painting over to Orion and said this is called Fighting Forms and we want to call our album Chaos of Forms can you metalize it? He definitely put his own thing into it but it still has this big swirling mass of weirdness with a lot going on and the background is all chaotic. That is the basic idea, with that painting as a point of reference.
Q: What music is currently in your iPods , what are you listening to?
Phil Dubois: Just Judas Priest – that’s the only band I listen too . . . and sometimes Thin Lizzy and Kiss.
David Davidson: I don’t know –we like a lot of different shit . . . we are fans of new extreme metal and classic metal too – it’s a mixed bag.
Phil Dubois: Some of us like Pop some of us like Classical music – we’ll spin anything and everything.
Q: Saturday you had an off day from this tour and played the Roxy in Hollywood for a SCION A/V show. How did that go?
David Davidson: it was awesome; SCION is really, really cool to the bands they work with. It was fun because it was solely a Relapse show with all Relapse Records bands. All the people from Relapse flew out from the east coast, like Orion was there, the head of the label was there, I was surprised. It was like a nice heavy metal family reunion. The show was great all the bands ripped it. To play with Exhumed was like a dream come true – they are a Gore-Grind legend. It was fun – lots of circle pits – just a good time.
Q: What other bands have you toured with – who is your favorite band to tour with to date?
Phil Dubois: Musically or Personnel-wise? Well we have never really toured with a band we didn’t like. Goatwhore are awesome guys, Misery Index, Atheist, Forbidden was a big one, Darkest Hour . . . they were like the coolest dudes ever.
David Davidson: Regardless of what Genre – we’ve toured with everybody , right now were out with a metal folk band (Eluveitie). Everybody is always totally cool – any touring band is always cool. The Darkest Hour tour was awesome – we ripped it hard.
Q: What bands would you like to tour with ?
Phil Dubois: Nickelback . . . I would love to tour with Metallica. I mean we just wanna tour with bands that draw crowds. Possession would be cool, Megadeth, Lamb of God, Slipknot . . . . tons of bands.
Q: From previous tours, do you have a favorite venue to play at ?
Phil Dubois: Emo’s East – I’m stoked to play there in Austin Texas. It’s supposed to be huge. Anything in Austin is great. It’s more about the city than the venue – some venues are better than others.
Q: Is there a better part of the country for metalheads – better crowds ?
Dan Gargiulo: We do well in California, Texas obviously Boston.
David Davidson: It all depends on the tour package and the night of the week you play a city on. It depends – the bigger the headliner the more guarantee it’s gonna be a crazy night. Sometimes the off the path places in the middle of nowhere turn out crazy.
Dan Gargiulo: Sometimes you go to a city you never heard of and it ends up insane because they don’t get many shows. You never know.
Q: What is your favorite song to play live ?
Phil Dubois: I don’t really like any of our songs . . . Anything really fast is fun.
David Davidson: Right now it’s No Funeral (we just did a video for it), we’ve been closing with it on this tour – seems to get the kids pumped up.
Q: Least favorite song to play live?
David Davidson: Anything really difficult.
Q: What’s next after the Children Of Bodom Tour ends – any summer touring plans ?
Phil Dubois: We have something in the works – we can’t talk about it – it’s a secret. But be sure we will be back on the road soon.
David Davidson: We’ll be back – stuff is cooking.
Q: What do you think of a Black Sabbath Reunion without Bill Ward on drums ?
Phil Dubois: I think that because they are doing a reunion at all is killer, it would be great to have all originals. There seems to be a question with Tony’s health . . . . it sucks but at least in some form people will get to see Sabbath. I just saw Judas Priest for first time recently there was no KK Downing but it didn’t ruin the show for me. This is better than nothing.
Q: What are the long-term goals for Revocation ?
David Davidson: Playing in front of people is fucking fun – just to feel that adrenaline. We want to maintain our integrity and gain more and more fans. Like Meshuggah – every record is different but they never sell out – it’s always them – we want to be like that. It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll.