Band Interview: Redeem/Revive

After being silent with new music for the most past of the last 4 years, Redeem/Revive have “Redeemed” and “Revived” themselves as they are just weeks away from releasing their debut album, Free Minds, which is out on March 3rd, 2017 via Stay Sick Recordings. We got to chat with guitarist Kriss Felix about the upcoming album, signing with Stay Sick, the struggles of the band throughout those four years, plus more!

For more on Redeem/Revive and to stay up to date on the latest news, you can follow them on their socials: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

We like to start our interviews off with getting to know the people behind the music and try to change this up every time. This time around, what TV show(s) have you really found yourself into as of late?

We’re pretty hyped for stranger things season 2.The first one was just so good!

Starting out, it seems most musicians aspire to sign to a label, especially one that fully supports the artists by pushing them and their music forward. When the time comes to sign though, it seems like it becomes a much more difficult decision, so tell us what that was like for you guys when it came to accepting a deal from Stay Sick Recordings and how you ended up in that position.

We were in a really bad spot. We felt abandoned by pretty much everyone and the morale was extremely low. So much so that Josh (our singer) ended up quitting. About a week after Josh quit, Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens had seen our cover of “We Like It Loud.” I don’t know the exact details but Fronz told us that’s how he heard of us. Kellin had stumbled upon our cover and after watching a few of our music videos he told Fronz he needed to sign us immediately. That same day I got an email from StaySick asking about our history and what our goals were as a band. We went back and forth for a couple of days and I had confessed to him that our singer quit. Simultaneously we were talking to Josh about him coming back because we might have a deal on the table. Im use to dealing with industry people and there’s usually this really disingenuous tone where you can tell they really don’t care about you or they’re just trying to build their roster. However, after going back and forth with Fronz through emails and eventually a lengthy phone call; it was obvious he really cared and believed in what we had to offer. We’ve learned to be careful from past experiences and not rush into anything, we’re glad it all worked out the way it did.

As indicated, you signed to Stay Sick Recordings in September of 2015, with big intentions on releasing your debut full-length in early 2016. However, it’s obvious that wasn’t what happened and that things came up. As artists, do you think that delay helped in the creation of what the album is now versus what it was in the earlier stages? Looking back, are you glad the album was delayed or do you feel having such a long period of silence hurt you?

Actually we had finished the writing and recording of the album a little over a month after we had started. The reasons for the delays were because of the way everything was handled after the initial recording was finished. I really don’t want to point the blame at any one person or persons, but it was a huge mess trying to get our files back to start the mixing and mastering process. Once we were FINALLY able to start the mixing process we were finding that a lot of the files were missing from each and every song. It was a nightmare that I’m glad is finally over.

Delving a bit deeper into the delay of the album and new music from you guys in general, it’s been mentioned in various places that there’s been some bumps in the road for the band. Though it looks like things are set to really take off, could you shed some light on the problems that have popped up over the past few years?

Certainly! I can’t stress this enough; everything we’ve ever had to accomplish has been an uphill battle. It didn’t matter how good we thought we were or how catchy and well written our songs were, there was always somebody out there telling us “no.” One of the more notable things we accomplished early on was signing to a bigger named management company. Now, although that did give us a lot of legitimacy from our peers, in the long run it almost stunted our growth because we were put on the back-burner. Out of that entire company there was only one person who truly believed in us but they never gave him the proper power to actually help us. That relationship caused a lot of stress in the band and was ultimately the main reason we had so many internal struggles amongst all the members. We’ve had members leave solely because of stress. Unneeded stress, we were putting our trust into people that just didn’t care and believing empty promises after empty promises.

Staying on the topic of your upcoming album, Free Minds (out March 3, 2017). The typical album cycle tends to be releasing an album every other year and during that time, artists normally say the time between albums helped them grow and mature their music. You guys have had a much longer time-span to write your debut album. Do you believe that your songwriting and instrumentation has matured? If so, how does it compare to your previous EP release in 2014?

As I mentioned before; we started and finished recording in 2015 so we’ve had about the same amount of time as anyone else to really grow as songwriters. With every release we’ve done we try to get more personal with our stories. We’re not trying to relate just for the sake of it. We’re touching on real stories that have actually happened in our lives. Those are the songs that I feel like hold the most meaning, because they’re real. This is a theme we’ve kept all throughout our songwriting, going back as early as “Empathy” which is the first song we ever wrote as a band.

Since it has been such a long time in the making, we have to ask – is it more of a relief that your debut album is finally coming out or are there a lot of nerves with finally releasing it?

Little bit of both, honestly. I think we all just want these songs to finally be heard because we’ve put so much time and effort into them. Obviously we want them to be perfect but there’s only so much you can do to them before you’re like “ok we need to stop, people need to hear this!”

When releasing a new album, it can be difficult to decide which song you want the first single to be because fans will look at that single and base that as what the overall sound will be of the album. How did you guys decide upon “The Cataclysm (Of a Dying Fate)” being your reintroduction and how has the feedback been thus far?

Story wise it was the most fitting. Sound wise it has some of the best elements of the album combined. The song is about Josh quitting the band through his perspective and the thought process of it all. Instrumentally, it was the first song we wrote back and the first song I wrote with our new guitarist Tony Valenzuela. With all that being said, symbolically, it’s the best introduction into our new album. The feedbacks been amazing, a lot of new fans that have never heard of us feel like it’s a refreshing sound and our old fans are excited to finally hear new music.

For us, we find more interest in albums as a whole package, from the album art to the name and track-list order, rather than picking it apart piece by piece. With that said, where did the title of Free Minds come from and does it mean something specific? Further, was the artwork for the album chosen to correlate to the title?

The title of the album is stating that we’re “freeing our mind” from all of the things that went unsaid for so long. We’re finally shedding some light on all our problems that we were dealing with behind closed doors. The artwork is a dahlia flower, which as it stands, symbolizes a great bond. Each color of the dahlia represents something different as well. Red, which is actually a black dahlia, symbolizes a warning of betrayal. Green symbolizes a fresh start or a new beginning and blue means being focused and pure/honest with thought. Everything ties together.

Following up on the inspiration for the album title, is there an overarching theme throughout the entirety of Free Minds or are there different subjects touched upon throughout?

Free Minds is essentially our story, every struggle and personal hardship we faced as a band. Every bump on that road. The album starts off in chronological order from when we started Redeem/Revive up until we set foot into that studio to start Free Minds. As I touched on before, The Cataclysm is about Josh quitting through his perspective where as the song right after it is about the aftermath and our perspective of him quitting. It really was a therapeutic process all together. Finally being able to say the things we wanted to for so long and on top of that put them into songs. A lot of what we sing about is personal, but told in a way where anyone can apply it to their own life and their own struggles. However, if you really pay attention it gives you a really vivid glimpse into everything we went through for the last 3 plus years. It’s a great story and it really puts us in a vulnerable position but I feel like people will really be able to appreciate that and connect with us on a whole new level.

You guys have been doing shows here and there throughout the time you’ve been signed, but have yet to embark on any sort of longer tour. Are there any plans on touring up and down a coast or across the country in support of the album?

The plan has always been to tour. We want this to be our careers. We would love to tour nonstop and just have music be our lives. Nothing is set in stone yet but we’re confident this album will open new doors for us.

Ending on a lighter note, is there anything you’d like to say to anyone who reads this? We would also like to thank you for taking time out of your day to do this interview!

If you’re new I really hope you give us a chance I promise you will not be disappointed! For all of our fans that have been waiting so patiently I’ll never stop being grateful for the opportunity you’ve given us and thank you for never giving up on us!

No problem at all! Thank you so much for the questions – Kriss

You can watch the band’s newest music video for their single, “Omen” below:

Redeem/Revive – Omen Official Music Video

Free Minds: available now!

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