The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
INTERVIEW: REV THEORy BASSIST MATT McCLOSKEY

 

By Todd Jolicouer

 

 

A management and PR genius whom I count among my friends, Steve Karas, suggested I check out the upcoming release from Rev Theory. Holy Shit am I glad he did. This things rocks on every level - even the slower tempo songs rock. When he asked me about talking to one of the creators of this delicious slice of rock, you had to hold me back. Thanks to Steve, I was the lucky recipient of a phone call from Matt McCloskey, bassist for Rev Theory.


Toddstar: First off, I want to thank you for taking the time for The Rockpit. Let’s jump into the new album, Justice, due Feb 15, 2011. This album really takes everything to the next level for you guys. I love it from front to back. Tell us a little about your take on the album.

 


Matt: Thanks man. We appreciate the opportunity to speak with you. This album, in our mind, we wanted to be “all killer, no filler.” We wanted to record an album from which all the songs could be singles. We came into the studio full of piss and vinegar. Our goal was to convey our live show in the studio. We felt that on our previous releases we hadn’t done that yet, so that was a major focus for us. When we were discussing the songs with our producer this time around, we wanted a bare bones record with no artificial sounds. We wanted to let the songs stand up on their own and have a live feeling to them. We are really happy with the results on Justice. To us, this album is a lot like our first one. Good rocker with solos flushed out. We really like our last disc, but we used two different producers. It created an inconsistent disc. Each of the producers had a different vision of what Rev Theory should be about and sound like, and you can tell on the disc. It seems disjointed at times. This time we wanted that fluid feeling between songs. We also wanted to convey our feelings – anger, lashing out, partying. You know, just putting our emotions out there.


Toddstar: After listening to it probably a hundred times since getting my review copy, I would say you did exactly that. The lead single and title track, ‘Justice’ seems to be commentary of some type. It is very present in the fan-made viral video featuring several of today’s leading news makers and paparazzi targets. Can you lend your view of this commentary approach to creating an album?


Matt: You know, we see what has been glorified here in the U.S. – the people that other people look up to. All of these people from the “reality” world. Some of these people are the wrong people to be looking up to. Some of them are famous or popular for the wrong reasons. Big companies and the media feed the crap to the population and we are supposed to eat it up. It really kinda angered us and we decided to write about it. We noticed it was becoming about the money and not the entertainment and music. We wanted to go back to the roots of music and entertainment. You know, entertaining while making a statement. We all grew up listening to grunge, among other types of rock. A lot of the artists we grew up on believed in making a statement. We really wanted our songs to make a difference in some way. Take the track ‘Remedy’ off our new album. It is really about the soldiers. These are the people we should be looking up to. We glorify the wrong people while we are taking advantage of the soldiers. You know, when we get to meet the soldiers and talk to them, they are so appreciative of our music, and it is such an honor, because we appreciate them. People in general don’t appreciate all they have, including the freedom being provided by someone making a sacrifice on someone else’s behalf. We decided to take a step back and make sure our message could contribute to society without being politically driven. Like I said earlier, we wanted to convey a certain feeling, and with songs like ‘Justice’ and ‘Remedy’ we do that. In today’s world there is so much that can be done that is positive. Look at all the green companies out there that are trying to make a difference. They share a message that touches people and will leave a mark for years to come.


Toddstar: You guys are in a rare position in that your genre of rock has seemingly been given a push by satellite radio. This new media really took off as your career was launched.

 


Matt: Oh yeah. Sirius has been very good to us. It is a relationship we worked hard and personally. We didn’t rely on anyone else to get the stations to play us. We were on a tour and driving around in a van. The van had a trial period subscription to Sirius so we listed to it all the time. As we were flipping stations, we found Octane and it stuck. It was what we liked and what we were aiming for. One day on the road, we called in and talked Kayla. We explained that we, at the time, were Revelation Theory and we were out on the road touring to promote our music. Next thing we know, they are playing ‘Slow Burn’ and we are getting a lot of movement from the exposure they were giving us. I think the radio station and satellite radio system provide a good gauge of listeners across the nation and North America. We were blessed again in 2009 when ‘Far From Over’ was picked as a #1 song. It is simply amazing how supportive the station is. We actually just were in the Octane studio this morning and are hanging with Kayla tonight.


Toddstar: That’s awesome. When I am in the car, it is the station I listen to 90% of the time. You guys have a big tour coming up – The Monster Energy Outbreak Tour. Is this something you guys decided to do and ran with or were you approached?

 


Matt: We have been talking about doing a package tour for a year or so now. We wanted to go out with a branded tour to increase exposure but help keep costs down. Out with us on this run we have Pop Evil, who we have toured with before. They are great guys so we definitely wanted to take them out again. Another great young group we are taking out is Hail The Villain. We like taking out young guys, just like someone did for us a few years back. It’s a really good package of five great bands out there to have a great time and rock out. The best part is these are five great live bands. You know, for less than $20 in most markets the fans are getting five bands for less than $4 per band. We are hoping for a big turnout so we can blast the hits and bring the new tunes to the fans.


Toddstar: Matt, tell me, all the great Rev Theory tunes aside, if there was one song or album in the history of music you would love to say you had a part in - be it writing, recording, producing – what would it be?


Matt: Man, good question. I could look at this a couple ways. My choice would be kind of obscure. I love Radiohead. I love ‘Pyramid Song’ from the album Amnesiac. On every level the song just blew me away, and still does. The lyrics reference and are inspired by several pieces of literature, including Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha. It describes life as a spiritual being like a river. It describes the movement of the river and how it constantly flows regardless of any other movement in the water. Like how a splash in the river can cause a ripple, but the river keeps moving and adapts to the ripple. I always thought that view was interesting. That everything life throws at us is like that ripple, as we must keep moving and change or adapt to accommodate the ripples in life.


Toddstar: And lastly Matt, tell me, what is the meaning of life?


Matt: Wow. Um. Does it have a meaning? Maybe it is all about everything being interconnected. I guess it is to experience as much as you can, cause you don’t know how long you have or what’s next for you. It is about surrounding yourself with people, things, and situations that make you feel good. To be thankful should be a part of it too. Basically enjoy everything. Oh yeah, and to rock out.


Toddstar: Awesome, thank you Matt. Looking forward to seeing you guys out on the road this summer.


Matt: For sure, stop by and say hello. Thanks again for digging us.


Toddstar: Thanks for taking the time out for the Rockpit. Have fun with Kayla tonight.


Couldn’t have said it better… “and to rock out.” Nothing left to say except, if you see Rev Theory this summer and want to get in Matt’s good graces, make sure he has a cold Dragon’s Milk Oak Barrel Ale from New Holland Brewing Company… he loves the stuff.