Rock

The Revivalists Find Themselves in Good Company On 'All My Friends': Premiere

The Revivalists
Zackery Michael

The Revivalists

New Orleans rock group The Revivalists are rising again after three grueling years, with a more demanding tour schedule and brighter spotlight following their breakout 2015 album Men Amongst Mountains, but it appears that any shift within the eight-piece band is strictly surface-level.

“We are in a nicer tour bus and nicer hotels, and maybe we have a hot tub sometimes too,” lead vocalist and guitarist David Shaw jokes. “But really it’s not that much different. We’re doing the same things, and what gets us up in the morning is the same, even though what’s going on around us has changed a bit.”

Despite their wildly enhanced stature, the collective -- composed of Shaw, guitarists Zack Feinberg and Ed Williams, drummer Andrew Campanelli, bassist George Gekas, saxophonist Rob Ingraham, keyboard and trumpet player Michael Giradot and newest addition P.J. Howard on drums and percussion -- has not allowed the success to corrupt the creative ecosystem that has fostered their compelling blend of musical ingenuity and heart. Rather, they have managed to stay grounded leading up to their highly-anticipated fourth studio album by relying on each other even more and staying true to the journey.

Shaw tells Billboard, “This album is a culmination of ten years of just hard work -- working on ourselves as musicians, working on ourselves as people, working on ourselves being bandmates because it’s not just eight friends traveling around the world...it’s like we all have seven other significant others.”

The familial dynamic within the group takes center stage on the first offering from the group’s latest set, the rollicking floor-stomper “All My Friends.” The song follows the band’s diplomatic nature both thematically and sonically, with a diverse swath of instrumentation that gives the song a necessary depth as Shaw reflects on the saving graces of his support system.

“‘All My Friends’ was really a true collaborative process between all of us,” Shaw proudly proclaims. “This one felt really good and natural. It’s a tune that has all the things we do as a band, all the genres, inside of it. It’s all there.”

The track presents a band that has honed their strongest qualities and yet still find space for the new. While it embraces the accessibility of their ubiquitous 2016 Alternative Songs Chart-topping hit “Wish I Knew You,” the song digs into the raw core of the band’s rock and folk roots that flawlessly frays the ethereal sheen coating the mix.

Though Shaw calls the recording sessions in Nashville’s iconic RCA Studio B totally “old school,” the band gained some new tricks with help from some of music’s most boundary-pushing producers including Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton) and Andrew Dawson (Kanye West). The new voices in the collaborative process only seem to amplify the band’s experimental tendencies and showcase artists that finally have the means to create the record they want.

“We have so many different elements and sounds and textures that we want to see shine through,” Shaw explains. “We tailored that and picked each producer to do their thing the best, and to make those different elements of the band shine.”

When it came to finishing “All My Friends,” which Shaw describes as “a bit of a puzzle,” the band turned to Dave Bassett (Elle King, Vance Joy) to help produce and fill in some of the missing pieces left in the lyrics. The majority of the song has been sitting with Shaw since he was 27, which explains why it feels perfectly suited for the band’s next phase yet still firmly connected to their days before “Wish I Knew You.”

“I always wanted to wrap a song around those lyrics because I knew there was something there,” Shaw says. “Once we had all the pieces it was like okay, ‘Boom! Here’s the song.' So you've got to have patience as a songwriter. You've got to know when it’s right, and more importantly, you've got to know when it’s wrong.”

Just as the years of grinding it out and refining their sound led to their first smash hit, everything falls back on timing for The Revivalists. And this time around, they are staying ahead of the curve.

“All My Friends” is the first single from the band’s upcoming fourth studio album, and first under indie label Loma Vista Recordings, set to release this Fall.

Check out “All My Friends” below, premiering on Billboard today (Aug. 2).