Tell us the story of how Reverence came to be.
Bryan: Sure, I found Todd Michael Hall, who also fronts Jack Starr’s Burning Starr, on Myspace on New Years Eve 2010, I contacted him, we met up to make a game plan and agreed to partner up and began writing for a new album. After demoing a few songs I contacted Frank Kruckel my bassist in Tokyo Blade and played him the new material and he signed on immediately. After recording the album Frank had to bow out so we recruited Todd’s bandmate/bassist in Burning Starr, Ned Meloni. I have known Doc Killdrums from Savatage for 17 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, I sent him the demos and he signed on too. We knew we needed a second guitarist, so Doc 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.
Do you think that all of the so-called genres, and sub-genres (Deaththrashspeedblackpowerdoomstoner) really matter?
Bryan: For the most part I think its pretty silly, unless there’s a real drastic difference in styles I think its pointless. There is such a minuscule difference between Power Metal, Heavy Metal, Traditional Metal, NWOBHM, I mean come on…its Metal stupid, Hahaha!
Rock N’ Roll music to me has always been the driving force in my soul and a brotherhood that allows us to share with others and have others share with us. What is the spirit of Rock N’ Roll to you guys?
Bryan: Truly the Reverence mantra has always been ‘All for one, One for all’. We’re all team players which with all the band members being from other somewhat known acts some may think the ego’s would be flying all over but it’s exactly the opposite, everyone in the band is very professional and down-to-earth. We’re all good friends and don’t war our feelings on our sleeves. Ultimately we’re just trying to create music that we love and feel is missing to some extent in today’s music, it’s really been driven underground lately and we’re just trying to carry on the flame.
Reverence happens to be one of my favorite new bands. How do you go about writing?
Bryan: Wow, thank you that’s a very big compliment. I usually write a completed song musically and send it over to Todd Hall (vocalist), he then writes his vocal lines and lyrics and we’ll tweak some of the musical arrangements until we feel we have it down to a final draft. Pete Rossi (2nd guitarist) also co-wrote several songs with us too for the album. So it’s really the three of us that wrote ‘When Darkness Calls’ but I believe with the next album we’ll have more participation from Pete and Ned Meloni (bassist) as well.
What are the demographics of the listeners for Reverence?
Bryan: Well with us being a metal band I think we’re painted into that corner a bit but that’s OK. I know we have fans that cover the ages from the teens to 50+ so I believe we have a good spread of appeal.
What era of Rock do you feel was the most culturally impactful? And Why?
Bryan: I think there’s been several significant eras, without a doubt both Elvis and The Beatles changed music during their peaks, after that it changed again in the 70’s and peaked in the 80’s especially with the video movement. To me it died down in the 90’s and 2000’s, but it almost feels like a resurgence is happening lately, almost like this is the 70’s again with the metal being in the underground, hopefully its ripe for a comeback.
In your opinion, what makes Reverence stand out from other bands?
Bryan: I think it’s really difficult for us to determine that being so close to it but I think we appeal to those that remember the classic metal sounds which I think we’ve managed to capture, the younger crowds are now getting interested in that sound too, plus also we have a bit of a modern feel too. So I think somehow we managed to cover some different bases with our sound but that’s just my two cents, what do I know, Hahaa!
If you could travel back in time and give your younger self some musical advice what would it be?
Bryan: I think I should have learned more about music theory, I’m self-taught so I have limited knowledge on theory that I think probably would have aided me in my formative musical years and even now.
What new music are you listening to and does it have an influence on your musicianship today?
Bryan: I really like a new band out of LA called Holy Grail, I think those guys are on the cusp of something special and are part of the thriving underground that hopefully will break through again like it did in the early 80’s. None of the newer bands really influence my playing at all, I am still stuck to my old influences of Randy Rhoads, Rik Emmett and Criss Oliva, I still drawn from them as well as classic era Judas Priest, Queensryche and Dio. I love the twin guitar attack of bands like Priest and Night Ranger, I guess I’m stuck in the 80’s huh! But thats part of the recipe that makes Reverence.
What is your take on the music industry/scene today?
Bryan: I think its pretty poor right now, it’s really underground kind of like in the early 80’s, definitely ripe for a comeback. It’s a bit better in Europe than America where everyone is very fickle and following fads. The world economy hasn’t done anything to help either plus people have a lot of distractions now with the web, Facebook, twitter, Xbox games, etc. music has become a distant thing for people to put their time into. All we can do is ride it out and do our best to carry on the flame of metal.
Many thanks for giving us the spotlight with this interview, we really appreciate everyone’s support of us, the positive feedback we’ve gotten from the fans press has been overwhelming, we can’t wait to take this on the road and get working on the follow-up to ‘When Darkness Calls’ which you can get on iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic and of course our own website ReverenceMetal.com as both a download and a physical CD.
Many thanks, Bryan Holland
I am grateful to Bryan for taking time from his busy schedule to answer these questions for me. If you haven’t checked out Reverence you are missing out on some great music. Here’s a link to their video for “Bleed For Me”: