The Revivalists aren’t just a New Orleans band anymore. At Hangout Fest 2013, we had to share “our” Revivalists with national media as everyone tried to get an interview with the high-energ y jam/funk outfit. The Revivalists, fortunately, are a seven-piece band, which has great perks, like the ability to divide into teams to meet an onslaught of interview requests. Since the Revivalists’ extensive national tour as Gov’t Mule’s opening band, the rest of the nation is realizing what New Orleanians already know: they’re a real fuckin’ band. The Revivalists are Ed (pedal steel guitar), Zack (guitar), Drew (drums), and Mike (keys, trumpet), as well as absent band members David (vocals), George (bass) and Rob (saxophone).
This is a beach interview, so we’re not going to discuss anything really serious. So the first question is—
Ed: How many tank tops have I bought for this [festival]?
Yes, how many and what do they say on them?
Ed: Three. One says Spring Break ’86.
Zack: Right, and who was wearing that today?
Ed: Dave. It says Spring Break ’86 and has four volleyball players on it. The other one says USA. The other one is just a regular one, I don’t know…
Zack: Hangout Fest is the epicenter of the bro tank universe.
Best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed.
Ed: This girl gave me a scarf hoodie in Ohio.
What’s a scarf hoodie?
Ed: Exactly. It’s a scarf with a hoodie built into it. I was like, “Yeah, I’ll take it because I’m cold.” Then we went to Colorado and New York and it was freezing. I had nothing. It saved my life. My girlfriend hates it though, because another girl gave it to me.
Tell me about touring with Gov’t Mule.
Ed: They are the nicest people ever.
Zack: They treat us so well.
Ed: They’re really our fans. We appreciate them so much. I really think that’s been a great pairing for us.
Andrew: They’re one band that all seven of us used to listen to and really like a lot, so it’s really cool that we get to tour with them and learn from them. Warren [Haynes] was here yesterday and we were just sitting and talking. Hearing his stories of The Allman Brothers and The Grateful Dead and the years of touring– it’s great.
Zack: He’s a wise man.
Is he related to his guitar tech? I saw Farmer at the Mule show at the Mahalia and they look so similar.
Zack: Farmer wears a shirt that says “I Am Not Him.” Also, to rub it in even worse, they have the same birthday… He’s incredibly helpful to us, which he didn’t have to be, on the guitar tone end and stuff.
Ed: I had some problems with my gear during a set and Farmer had no problem getting in there and helping me fix it.
Andrew: Everybody in their whole crew is really nice and accommodating and helpful. And they don’t have to be.
Farmer has what looks like his own lab up there [onstage].
Zack: I don’t think you see a lot of guitar techs that have a following, but he has fans.
Ed: I’ve seen a shirt before that was all black and it just said, “I Want To Fuck Farmer.” For a guitar tech, that’s a pretty good compliment.
[Everyone exchanges greetings and introductions with trumpet player Michael Girardot]
Mike: Hello! Oh, Antigravity. Hurray!
Ed: I don’t like gravity either, so that’s cool.
Mike: It’s always bringing me down.
Zack: We agree with your magazine’s mission. Fuck gravity.
Ed: Fuck gravity.
Mike: I just like the pictures on the front.
[The other Revivalists]: Mike can’t actually read.
You’re in that weird transition of going from a New Orleans band to a national band. Tell me about that.
[Several of the Revivalists, singing]: Love it, love it, love it.
Zack: One of the things that I’ve realized is just that we’re so excited… We’re doing the same thing every day. Eventually, you look out into the crowd and it’s like, “Where did all of these people come from? And they know all of our words!” You don’t realize it until you’re there. It happens in a snap.
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