You miss me?

Sorry that you’ve been left R:Evless in blog land for a while. We’ve been busy beavers in the studio crafting a new single for your sweet listening pleasures. You never know, if you’re very naughty you might get it slipped into your stocking for Christmas…

To be honest, I hate being in the studio. I know it’s a necessary evil, but for me, life is about entertaining. The whole time I’m in the booth I’m longing for an audience and a stage. You can’t dance around much in the space provided either 😛

It’s tempting to just smash it out and get it over with, like the fast removal of a plaster, but this time we have done it with painstaking care. We have tried to aline all the stars so that this is the best single you could possibly hear.

Being in the studio does bring a band together. The camaraderie strengthens when you share in each other’s mistakes and glories. It reinforces the gang mentality that keeps us together.

All this recording time has meant there’s been little available to rehearse for our gig with Hellion Rising on December 1st at Newcastle Students Union. That last rehearsal nearly killed me.

I came straight from having an operation in the QE to North Shields to rehearse because needs must. On a stormy night of flood warnings, with road closures everywhere, I hauled my drugged up, cut apart carcass to rehearse. Propped up in front of a mic stand, bleeding profusely from a re-opened stitch and still dopey with anaesthetic, I tried my best to yelp through a three hour session. My worn throat was hoarse from roughly inserted tubes and pipes whilst my body throbbed with pain that medication can’t mask. That is what being a musician is all about: passion and dedication to die for your cause. You don’t get that on the  X Factor.

It’s a shame some of the people you gig for don’t share this level of passion though. Here I am, grinding myself to death for a gig on 1st December that isn’t even listed on the fucking website or Facebook of the venue. Makes you doubt whether posters were put up either, since simple electronic updates were too much of a stretch. You’d think since there are four bands playing who each have to sell 50 tickets that they might be able to afford a little publicity.

At least I have open wounds now to make it easier for the vampires to suck the blood from unsigned musicians…

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A Tribute for Womankind

In a Barry White voice I say: This one, is for the ladies.

October has been breast cancer awareness month, and I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the ladies the band know and love.

To the girlfriends, sisters and mothers who have supported us, kept our egos in check and lived with our obsession. Thank you for your love.

To the girlfriends who told us to give up and get a job. Thank you for spurring our righteous determination to be the best, leaving you in our wake.

To Kassy Harris for her excellent live photographs over the years. You capture our essence. To Kirsty Short, for shooting us at practice in our time of need, and making sure Adam’s fringe was perfect…

To Leonie Dunn for designing the R:Ev logo. Thank you for giving us a banner to proudly fly.

To all the ladies who show up to our gigs, cheer us on, send messages of support, share our updates and even stroke my ego by reading my blog. Thank you, we appreciate you.

To Mariana, for spreading the good word of R:Ev in South America.

We pay respect and tribute to the great female musicians of today. I’m so glad that Faine Dovaston of Allegro Bay, Hannah Elizabeth Neil of Fallen Mafia, Brigitta Balogh of Riff-X and the girls of Lyxx prove the local scene isn’t just a boy’s club; that girls can give it just as good.  Likewise to our female friends further afield, like Chloe Drinkwater of Skarlett Riot. Long may you all continue to be female role models to girls who want to raise the horns, not take a duckface selfie.

I sing so high that there is often the danger I’m mistaken for one of these local female vocalists unfortunately. Questions involving my genitalia arise more times than you might imagine. I may have to pull a Jim Morrison one day on stage…

We are grateful to the ladies who tirelessly work behind the scenes to promote and review bands. Elysium, The Purple Ladies, Vikki Ridley, Emma Whitfield, Foxicus Metallicus and Di Parkes. Thank you for spreading the beauty of rock and metal as far as it can reach.

Women have always been an important part of our music and creative process. From the impassioned defence of those oppressed we offer in Domestic Warzone and Kill the Clown, to the feelings of deep loss I feel for my sister Isobel on I Will Remain and Peace. From the tragedy and romance of Fairytale to the loving worship and homage offered when we kneel nightly before the altar of womankind on Dirty Dream or The Water’s Edge.

We salute you ladies. Thank you for everything. With love from the R:Ev.

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International Evilution

A lot is said about the internet and music.

It is sad that downloading has made such a huge impact on music as an industry, although a change was always going to come. In some ways, it has made it hard for little bands like us to survive.

On the other hand, it can be beautiful.  I got into music to touch people. I don’t just mean because being a front man gives you the status that people want you to feel them up, although that is spectacular for a short arse like me to get some hope for a grope, I mean to touch people emotionally.

The other day I received a message from a lady in South America who listened to R:Ev and said that she was touched by how beautiful the words were and how much they moved her. She spoke of the phenomenal guitar, powerful music and beautiful vocals. This is greatly humbling and encourages me that we do right in this World.s

That is what music is all about. For a woman to be affected by the beauty of music that is not even from her country or in her native tongue is a magical thing. It is also something special for a (for now) little known band from Newcastle in England to be able to elicit this kind of response and have this kind of reach globally. For that, I am thankful for the internet. The more people we can bring happiness, inspiration, entertainment and excitement to, the more beautiful a thing it will be.

That, to me is art. It is to touch others and is something that must spread to the World, not be locked away in a bedroom or tiny rehearsal room.

Thank you to our fans, from South Tyneside to South America! You are beautiful, and you are why we exist.

With love from the R:Ev.

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Behind the Curtain: Fairytale

This is the second instalment of our ‘Behind the Curtain’ series, which explains the thoughts and meanings behind the music we play.

Fairytale is the second side of our new single. It’s less optimistic than a lot of our music, looking more at that crushing realisation that nothing is going to plan, or life just didn’t turn out the way you wanted. It is the powerless feeling that you can’t change your life for the better.

We wrote Fairytale back during our days as Perfect Stranger’s. It has grown considerably under our new direction though, and I personally think it has greatly improved.

It was difficult to write in as much as it needed to convey that feeling of weariness and despondence that develops when things go wrong, whilst being tasteful enough to not come across as shitty, whiney angst. I tried to use literary allusion so that it didn’t become just another moaner’s ballad. It’s more of an explanation through metaphor than bitching about the bleakness of heartbreak.

I think the meaning is evident but vague at the same time. By this I mean that people can relate to the feelings and emotions in the music by attaching their own meaning and situation to the metaphor, instead of having a story spelled out for them.

That is why I can still see positivity in Fairytale: although downbeat and a little morose, it can cause a connection with people feeling depressed or defeated, and hopefully give them some feeling of support. The support would be knowing that someone else understands how they feel. Someone else has felt the same things they feel too. If that brings comfort, then I am proud of what we have achieved.

With love from the R:Ev

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Behind the Curtain: The Road

I’m going to be running a series called ‘Behind the Curtain’ where we reveal to you what our songs are about, what inspired them and giving you the lyrics to read through at the end, should the need for Relentless Karaoke arise…

First up is The Road, a song which will become our first single after we record on Sunday. The Road is a familiar motif in our writing, and in music in general. It came from the frustration that I’m sure lots of musicians, or just creative professionals in general, can relate to: That frustration that comes from getting nowhere despite being good at what you do.

Many of us grind ourselves into the ground for years, desperately trying to succeed at our dreams whilst holding down low pay jobs where we are treated like shite. Nobody deserves to be treated this way, but it rankles even more when you KNOW you are talented and intelligent, and could pursue a much ore lucrative career but it would mean giving up the dream; something none of us can do.

The Road is the dream: it’s the road out of the life we live now into the life we want to live. It’s the road that you can escape on every time you play, riding it fast and as far away from the life you are floundering in and heading straight into the great beyond. 

The Road is optimism in the face of crushing and at times mind-numbing reality: If you keep fighting and keep believing, you can still make it, no matter what anybody else says or thinks. Never surrender.

With love from the R:Ev

Lyrics

Feeling like a slave chained to minimum wage
The hours are so long and the times are tough
Working all day with my heart on the stage
Because the vision in my heart is enough

So many times I feel close to collapse
Destroyed by the daily grind.
Feeling like no one in a one horse town
I’m going to leave it all behind

Because I’m on the road to the future
I will escape my future
I’m on the road to the future.
I will fight to the last

Destiny is calling me, I hear her cry
The time has come for me to be someone
I was born for the stage and it’s where I’ll die
Immortality for me has just begun

Because I’m on the road to the future
I will escape my past
I’m on the road to the future
I will fight to the last

Copyright A. Tempest

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New Beginnings for an Old Story

New Beginnings for an Old Story.

Before Kennyfest, it had been nearly two years since I last stood on a stage and did what I enjoy best. Would I still be able to do it? Was I still as good as I was? Was I even that good in the first place? The anticipation was… well…

I’d love to say the anticipation was palpable, but I was never exactly famous to begin with, so the World continued turning merrily on its axis without anybody noticing I even stopped in the first place!

Finally though, a new band and a new sound would bring me back into the live arena (well, arena might be a stretch but the live… er… place). The irony was this ‘new’ band was really a reuniting of the band that nearly was. The same members as before, just much better now.

We debuted at Kennyfest a month after getting together and sculpting a set of eight songs. It was a great day. You’d think having that many local bands under one roof would be a recipe for prima donna behaviour. You’d be wrong. Relaxing backstage and checking out the countless talent throughout the day was a constant pleasure, and the atmosphere was constantly a sense of unity .

The biggest pleasure though, was playing again. Turns out I wasn’t feeling rusty at all. We write songs about pretty serious topics. We never really were into the rock and roll cliché topically, so always wrote about what mattered to us, and what was real.  With songs about the tragedy of young teenage soldiers killed in WWI, the struggles of domestic violence, unfulfilled lives and our hatred towards a local paedophile, it would be easy for an audience to feel crushed by the weight of the subject matter.

That’s why we intersperse the dark side with black humour, and take the piss out of the Geordie Shore/TOWIE culture that has developed or the salacious goings on beneath the veiled curtain of middle class, new build suburbia. That, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously on stage. Who wants to watch some poe faced wanker inflate himself with the pretence of being cool? It’s far more fun to watch a tongue in cheek, good time performance that connects band with audience.

It’s a good job we have that view mind. If you were an uptight band member, you’d have had your feathers well and truly ruffled at our second gig at the Blyth and Tyne! Lady luck slapped us with a wet fish that night…

James clocked me with his bass and stepped onto my pedal (which sounds minor, but when you’re in the middle of a ballad and your effects get switched for speed metal it can raise/remove a few eyebrows). Rory’s mic was too high to sing, so I had a repeat of the old days where he sings backing loudly, but in my ear and to the back of my head. It’s like having a slightly delayed double track that only the singer can hear.  Snapping a string on his guitar and having to run through the audience to get another and retune topped off the night for the four stooges of metal!

That said, it made for a chaotically enjoyable time. I think without the comedy or fuck ups, we’d have to put up a ‘if any of the issues raised tonight offended or upset you, call…’ disclaimer, so it’s probably for the best.

From the R:Ev, with love.

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