[INTERVIEW] ONE MAN REVIVAL

Blending moderate rock with a subtle ambience, Sunderland trio One Man Revival have already made a name for themselves in their local live scene, boasting reviews of highly-energetic performances and an unwavering dedication to the do-it-yourself work ethic. Last year saw the release of the band’s debut album, Ordinary World, following four years of relentless touring and a successful, spur-of-the-moment Indiegogo campaign to fund it. “We had been touring all over the country for years, but had no money and nothing to show for it, says vocalist Andy Hanlon. “We knew we had a good fan following, so we decided to test out the campaign idea and it worked. The whole concept of reviews and things is pretty new to us, but the feedback has been great.”

The band name itself originated as a concept in Andy’s imagination when he was part of a “failing band” in the days before One Man Revival. “The ‘One Man’ was me,” says the frontman. “The ‘Revival’ was anyone that wanted to perform the songs I had written, whether that was two people or twenty two people.” In the early days, the band started out as a four-piece, with drummer Wayne Glaister having worked alongside Andy in a previous band. “It was an acoustic concept at first, but I was told to ‘keep Wayne in mind’ if I ever wanted to rock it up again.” By the winter of 2012, Andy’s concept was eventually finalised following the departure of two members and the addition of bassist Kyle Smith. “We click together brilliantly,” explains Andy. “Wayne is like my brother and Kyle is my best friend. On stage we know exactly what the others are doing, and whenever we’re off stage there’s always banter.”

Despite the cheerful atmosphere in the band, Ordinary World doesn’t always maintain a positive vibe. While tracks such as ‘Be With Me Anymore’ and ‘Out of Here Alive’ have subtle post-punk and hard rock undertones, others (‘Dreams’ and ‘Temper’ for example) take a more emotional approach in terms of both lyrical and vocal intensity. Written about the death of a friend, “’Dreams’ has a deep meaning to it,” Andy explains. “With the other tracks it’s normally the music that comes first, then we work out a vocal line and the lyrics come last. We tend to brainstorm what we’re all thinking or feeling and take it from there.” Discussing the album’s weaker points, Andy says, “If I knew what I do now when I started recording the album, a few of the tempos would have been slightly quicker and some of the effect and records would be more polished, but overall it’s our baby and we’re very happy with it.”

Describing their sound as “a fine line between mellow and hard rock”, One Man Revival claim that they take an eclectic approach within their influences, drawing inspiration from Sunderland’s local live scene. “I’ve been a fan of the local scene for many years just due to the endeavour of what it takes to become a good, successful musician,” explains Andy. “I know it’s always cliché to hear people refer to bands as the ‘next big thing’, but there are so many acts that just don’t make it to the big stages.”

For One Man Revival, the objective now is to get the band’s name out there as much as possible. “This year is focused solely on trying to get the album into the public eye, whether that’s through shows, festivals, radio stations, public appearances or anything else.” One Man Revival’s album launch show will take place at Newcastle’s O2 Academy on March 19th, with supports from Black Nevada, Saints of Arcadia and The Firelight Opera. “It’s a great step for us – playing in a venue we love with three bands that we love. A lot of people are saying that it’s the pinnacle of the North-east rock scene at the moment, and it means a lot to be a part of that.”

 

Words by Kelly Ronaldson

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