Interview with CULT REVIVAL
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Chris: When I was younger I was only good at two things at school; music and drama, so it made sense for me to pursue one or the other. I guess if I wasn't doing this I’d be involved in some kind of media or stage production, ideally, but who knows how things would have worked out?
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Chris: I enjoy all kinds of story-telling and adventure through pop culture, so I watch a lot of tv and movies, I play lots of video games and I love going to new places. Within those experiences, I tend to write about anything that makes me 'feel' something special or unusual, especially if it lingers with me afterward. My songwriting really reflects this: exploring into a situation or a character. My life and all the experiences I push myself to have within it provides me with the awe and wonder I need... which is to creativity as fuel is to a car!
How long has your band been around?
Craig: We formed Cult Revival during the pandemic and then got things really moving in early 2021 as restrictions eased and we were a little freer to practice and play. However, the three of us were in a previous band called AvaGrace for 10 years prior to this, and Ben and I playing music together goes back even further, right to our school days.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Chris: We're all originally from Kent (although Ben now resides in Norwich) but to be completely honest where we live doesn’t have any influence on our music at all in the way it did for our previous outfits. We started playing live music in a generation where venues were thriving, decent gigs were held every night of the week, and a big indie band scene was flourishing. The culture then meant that venues' loyal crowds of music fans that would go to any event to mix with like minded people and now, post-covid, this really isn't the case at all - and that's with what venues survived, if any in some areas. It's sad, but we're hopeful things will pick up in the future for more emerging artists to cut their teeth in the way we've seen before... especially with festival season ahead and so many more groups giving things a shot.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Ben: Cult Revival was born out of a miserable time to be honest, during the pandemic whilst we were all isolated but we were forming something new and wanted this to be something positive. The name is formed of two parts, ‘Cult’ signifies the community we want to build, a following of music lovers and enthusiasts. ‘Revival’ gives a nod to our state of rebuild after the abandonment of previous projects.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Ben: We're great friends with the now-defunct UK punk band Drones but for one of our first shows we got to play their last show. Although being a very bittersweet occasion everyone had a great time and we’re glad we got to be part of that evening as they’ve always been supportive of our musical ventures. There's nothing better than playing with mates!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Chris: Probably somewhere like The Forum in Tunbridge Wells or Camden Assembly (ex-Barfly). There’s tons of venues we’d love to play, probably too many to mention in realistic terms. Invite us along to some!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Chris: Saosin, Chiodos, PMToday
Craig: AC/DC, Blink 182, Underoath
Ben: Rain City Drive, HIM, Normandie
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Craig: Be wary of false prophets, they will tell you what you want to hear. It's easy in the music industry to be promised the world and before you know it you’ve been bled dry with nothing to show for it.
Ben: Also, it’s important to find the right people that have the same passion for being in a band as you. You need to find the balance of having fun playing but also being dedicated and productive.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Ben: I think ‘Warhead’ for me personally, the song deals with a realisation that life isn’t how it used to be and things change/get in the way and this influences our life decisions moving forward. The track gives a stylised perspective of someone who struggles with their thoughts and mental well-being which is something I can personally relate to.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Chris: The answer to both is probably our track YOU, and for the reason that it seems to be most popular song, which in turn makes us enjoy playing it live seeing the reaction! The track itself has an uplifting and positive vibe which instills hope, we think that’s important and is probably why it resonates as our favourite to play.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Chris: For the songs we’ve released so far including Warhead Craig has written the musical idea and then demoed, If the other two vibe the idea then Ben adds his musical touches. We’ve then gone back and forth with producer Matt O’Grady over song structures to really nail them. Then Chris writes the lyrics, and the other two will look to add or enhance anything they can. Personally I think as a unit we have pretty good internal filters so we’ve already got to a stage we think it’s decent before sharing with anyone else. When it comes to visual aspect of the band that’s all down to Ben who is also a graphic designer under the moniker Mammoth Design.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Chris: Our songs are often about our personal situations but we know that a lot of people out there can and will relate to what we’re singing about; so hopefully it can be an outlet for them to outpour those feelings when listening to the music. It's always nice to have the sense that you aren’t alone in your feelings and thoughts, and I'm sure we all have those moments when listening to our favourite artists.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Ben: The three of us very rarely disagree and I think it helps us being in a previous band to CR for 10 years because we have a good understanding of how we all tick! We know well our strengths within the band and how to approach certain things with each other. We're best friends and have been for years. We’ve found its been difficult in the past having other people involved in the process as it works so well for us because it's fairly well established, which can sometimes makes it seem like it’s us versus them. But largely the three of us seem to share and agree on the same musical vision, have a lot of similar influences, and come from same musical background. Having a sense of humour and knowing each other so well helps.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Craig: We’ll be continuing to write and record and if the demand is there we’ll get back out and play live shows. Being in a band is always an adventure so we’re excited to see the reaction of Warhead and see where the future takes us!
Keep in touch at - https://www.facebook.com/cultrevivaluk