It’s been awhile, nearly six years, since guitarist Keri Kelli planted the seeds for the hard rock supergroup A New Revenge. And now the project is finally a reality, on record at least, with the upcoming release of Enemies & Lovers, whose performance video for the track “Never Let You Go” is premiering exclusively below.
The group was born during a tour of Russia when Kelli, currently a regular with Night Ranger, was playing with Alice Cooper and touring with Scorpions and drummer James Kottak. “There was a lot of down time,” Kelli tells Billboard, “and I’d known James for a long time from L.A. We started to say, ‘Hey, it would be cool to do something outside the bands we’re associated with.'” A Russian promoter promised to support whatever they put together, and in 2014 A New Revenge — with frontman Ripper Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Yngwie Malmsteen, the Three Tremors) and bassist Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne, Dio, Whitesnake, the Guess Who) — hit the road there playing covers from the groups they were associated with.
“We all like each other,” Kelli says. “It’s easy and cool and something outside of our other projects, or day jobs.” Before long the idea of new music was broached, with the musicians passing songs they worked on at their home studios. “Little by little we started compiling songs. It’s been long time, but we finally got to where we have an album and have it coming out.”
With Enemies & Lovers due out March 29, A New Revenge is now trying to figure out its horizon amidst the members’ busy schedules. Conflicts have already impacted the filming of its two videos — for “Never Let You Go” and “The Way,” filmed the same day in Los Angeles with Hired Gun director Fran Strine — with Phil Soussan filling in for Sarzo, who had scheduling issues. “We try to carve out time when we can, but it’s hard ’cause everyone’s so busy,” Kelli notes. “We’re trying our best, but we don’t have the power of a huge band like Metallica or Slipknot or something.” Nevertheless, Kelli says some live shows later in the year are possible, while he and the others intend for A New Revenge to be a going concern and are already working on ideas for new songs.
“We don’t want to call this band a ‘project’ — that’s why we have a name for it,” he explains. “We’ve talked to people in Russia, who want us back, and in Europe and South America. There’s interest. I really am proud of the record, and I want people to hear it. And I want us to do more. I think it’s too good not to.”