Rev Theory Returns to Roots for 'Justice'
Rev Theory Returns to Roots for 'Justice'

New York rockers Rev Theory drew from the past for its upcoming third album, "Justice."

Guitarist Julien Jorgensen tells Billboard.com that the quintet modeled "Justice," which is due out Feb. 15, to be closer to its 2005 debut, "Truth Is Currency," than to the 2008 sophomore set, "Light It Up." "This is a more consistent body of work," Jorgensen says of the Terry Date-produced set, which Rev Theory started working on in January and recorded from April through June at Henson Studios in Hollywood.

"We felt like we fell short of that on the last record. There was a bit of an identity crisis; part of it was being signed to a major [label] and having them expect you to write a hit, rather than be a band and do what you do best. We felt we had veered away from being a band and just playing music. We wanted to bring back the essence of our first record, which was kind of a raw, honest body of work."

Rev Theory does remain with Interscope for "Justice," however, and Jorgensen says that the label was fully "along for the ride" and amenable to the direction the group wanted to take on the new album.

We were trying to meet in the middle a little bit on ['Light It Up']," Jorgensen explains. "They saw us as a certain thing. We thought we were a certain thing, but we were team players and went along with [Interscope]. I'm really proud of that record. I think it was a learning process. The band learned a lot. The label learned a lot. We mutually respect each other and I think they knew what we were better going into ['Justice'], which is great."

"Justice" is already getting a boost from its title track, which was released to both radio and digital outlets in early November. The song itself was written in 2006 by Rev Theory along with the band Mercy Fall, with whom Rev Theory toured. "We wrote the tune together, and they actually ended up demoing it themselves," Jorgensen recalls. "Then they got dropped by Atlantic and we were like, 'That song's perfect for us and for our time right now. It's indicative of everything we were going through in the music industry; there's this feeling of vindication, like it's about getting what's ours. So we figured it was time to put it on our album."

Rev Theory plans to preview "Justice" for fans in about 20 cities, in conjunction with local radio stations, during January, and then hit the road with Pop Evil, Hail the Villain and Black Cloud Collective for the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour, starting Feb. 16 in Phoenix. "We're just going to start pounding the pavement, maybe land a big tour after that and then go into the summer," Jorgensen says. "We can't wait. ('Justice') gives us a larger body of work to choose from. Before we were struggling to put together an hour set. Now it comes pretty effortlessly. It's nice to draw the best songs, the best live songs especially, from all those records. It just feels good to still be in the game, still be doing this, getting another shot at it. We're excited."