Artist Profile: Eddie Orso (Revival Dear)

I've had the pleasure of sharing a few drinks with Eddie Orso in the past, and was excited to sit him down for an interview. We met up on College St, grabbed a bite to eat, and this was the result.

So, you're cramming for a factor deadline right now?

Our upcoming record, the songs are ready to go. and we're going to do the recording at my house. But we're trying to get factor money for gear. To rent gear, the engineer and stuff. All the recording I do now is at my house, so we need some dough to get that started.

So you're working on 3 tracks for the grant?

Yea. well it's funny, a lot of tracks are already done for the demo. But we changed the keys. I'd have the original drum track, but I'd have take anything out with notes in it. Shelley would come in and say, "this needs to be a higher key, I can't sing this low". Cause I'd write songs that suit my voice and I'd bring it to her, and we'd have to move it up. So I'm just going back now, and starting over, leaving the drum tracks and moving everything up.

Sounds like kind of a pain

No, it's great. It's good because the original demos, you learn a lot from. The songs have shaped a little more. it's good

So revival dear, the core is you and Shelley, but you get a revolving group of players?

Yeah, I"ll have a keyboard player... at least 3 different keyboard players, a couple bass players. We usually have the same drummer. But it's really me and Shelley who have an invested interest in the band.

And how do you guys organize it? does she write as well?

She does her own solo stuff. But we don't incorporate that into Revival Dear, because we have a specific sound from what I've written and she has a different style, so it doesn't really work that way.

So you do have to take a lot into account when writing these songs, keeping in mind what Shelley is doing

Oh, totally. It's like. Our manager will say "we need another song featuring shelley that's more of a rock song".. and I"ll go home and write something specifically for shelley. Actually this new record is going to be called "He Said, She Said". It's pretty much a story between a man and a women, going back and forth. Every chorus, or pre-chorus at least, will have "He Said, or She said" in it. Like, "And She said [Sings] be all mine tonight". Or, I said or You said. Every song pretty much has that.

So it's going to be a pretty focused album in terms of content.

Very. A lot of thought went into it. It's going to be a pretty short album, 10 songs, all about a man and a women. A back and forth Relationship.

Using a lot of personal content for that? Do you find you use a lot of your personal life?

It's funny, half way through a songs, I don't really know what I'm writing about. But by the time I'm done it, I'll be like "oh, I can see it now!" It's really weird. Seldom do I have an idea....like, I'm gonna write a song about my trip to Italy. I don't sit down and say, I want to write a song like that. I just write a song and whatever comes out, comes out.

So what is the song writing process for you. You were saying you have a lot of time to work on songs... do you go in with the goal of writing a song, or just fuck around and see what happens?

I just, for the first time, went up north to work on a farm. I was going to work on a farm during the day, I set a studio up in the cabin I was staying in. And, so I'd work during the day, for my food. and I"d write music at night and record. That was my goal, I wanted to get inspired, I'd just come back from Italy, and I wanted to get away from Toronto for the summer. I went up there, and worked all day, and by the time that was done, I'd grab my guitar and say "Oh, I'm supposed to write! I came up here to write!" And nothing would come out. So I was there for a week or two, and I came home, I didn't write a single thing, I didn't even want to play. But I came home and it just poured out of me. SO, you can't plan it, You just can't.

It's going to come when it comes.

Yeah, and the songwriting process is always for me, it's a melody. No lyrics, no guitar part. I pretty much write 80% of my songs when I'm walking down the street. My phone has me walking singing a melody, and I'll go home and translate it.

So, you guys have a tour coming up?

We, pretty much toured November, to May. We were on tour that whole fall/winter/spring. We'd be on tour, and it's been 3 years since out last record, and it'd get to a point where people where wondering where the new CD is. We'd been there 6 times. We decided we're done touring. After May, we said, we aren't playing anymore, we're not playing in the summer, unless it's a festival, we're just going to work on new material. In September, we're going to do a hand full of Ontario dates. But we're just going to pretty much hammer out the album, and then go crazy.

I saw that you're playing in Orillia soon, that's my home town, you're playing for the folk society. I did that gig a couple months back.

Oh, how is it?

It's great. It's really nice, not a big audience. It's a lot of middle aged people who come out, and there is a dinner... It was nice. Everyone was really nice, and paid attention and reacted when the should have... I really enjoyed it. You'll probably enjoy it.

We're doing those shows as a duo.

It'd suit a duo better, that gig.

Kinda make money too. When you have a band it gets expensive.

did you tour with band?

We've toured like... we'll do east coast... actually this is a pretty cool story, we toured with our band from Toronto, we did a handful of shows, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, and we left them behind, they went home and we drove up to the Maritimes, we had a band in Halifax that learned our music. I'd sent them our music a month before, cause I'd met these musicians, and we said, "We wish we could bring the band to Halifax, but we can't afford it.." They said, send us the music we'll learn it, and we'll be your band. So we got there and had this rehearsal a few hours before the show. In this dungy Halifax rehearsal studio. Rocking up the set, jump in the van and play a killer set.

It must have been nice to change it up a bit.

It was great, they were a little more, like, Crazy Horse.... a little more rough around the edges. They were a little younger than the musicians we'd played with in Toronto. They were just awesome. It was actually so good, that we thought, it'd be cool to do a tour across Canada, and promote it where, anyone can be in Revival Dear. Have a Maritime Revival Dear, Central Canada, West Coast.

It's change up the monotony of touring,

And it'd cost like a fraction.

And they don't have to go far, spend money on gas.

They can go home after wards.

You guys have played around Canada a fair bit... you said you'd done the west coast 3 times?

Maybe 4 times.

What have you noticed about touring Canada, what towns seem to really get it for you?

Yeah... P.E.I, we had wicked experiences with thier hippy... They have this little back-country hippie scene, and we played a festival there. They're aweseome. Then you go to The Sea Horse in halifax, it's liek a Dakota Tavern kinda feel. What were some surprise shows? We had some really good shows in Winipeg. Vancouver is always good to us. Oh, and a hidden gem for all Canadian bands is Fort St. John. It's an oil town. The bar is called Egens. They put on amazing shows there. Free stay, they pay you well. They want original music. The pay very well up there.

That's surprising. You wouldn't expect such a scene an Albertan oil town

I know. They've really created a great scene for themselves.

Check out part 2 tomorrow, we'll continue talking about Canadian cities, influences and Marilyn Manson.

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